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Why is my Oranda such a scardy-cat?


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So I got two Orandas about two weeks ago and everything was great. Both seemed to be very healthy and are going through a Prazi treatment right now just to make sure. 

 

As I'm getting to know them it has become very evident that Lily gets startled easily. The odd thing about it is that of the two fish she is the more aggressive when it comes to feeding (I hand feed) and exploring the heavily planted parts of the tank. It seems like any amount of movement around the tank, but not in the tank, startles her. She darts off into the plants to  hide and remains extremely still. It looks like she is holding her breath too. Her heart is definitely racing because you can see her body thumping. She is like this for about 3-5 minutes, then she pops out like nothing happened.

 

At first I thought it might be something electrical because when her body thumps it like a sudden jolt. But wouldn't the other Oranda (Storm) be presenting the same symptoms? Maybe thats ruled out. 

 

My next assumption was maybe there is some bullying going on. Luckily I've been home for the past 3 days to monitor them interacting with each other. No bullying at all. If anything Storm likes to follow Lily around and lay next to her which could definitely be annoying.  But no fin nipping or headbutts. 

 

Then I though that maybe it is triggered by the vibrations when we walk near the tank or make sudden movements. The first time Lily darted off to hide, I was doing maintenance on the tank. I kneeled down to get something from under the tank and came up fast. Lily happened to be right in from of the tank and I scared her. Maybe now she remembers that and is scared when we move faster than usual? 

 

So today when I got home, she darted off like usual and came out a few minutes later. I watched her for about an hour after this happened. Now she is confining herself to the inner depths of the plants, only pokes out every few minutes, and quickly returns. After watching, I feed them some repashy and Lily came out with the quickness pushing Storm out if the way to get to my fingers. 

 

So I guess I'm asking do you guys have fish like this? Can anyone unravel this mystery with Lily, the outgoing introvert. 

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Now she is confining herself to the inner depths of the plants, only pokes out every few minutes, and quickly returns.

 

Just read this thread. Maybe the plants are a comfortable resting place for here. She is cradled pretty nicely in the Val and Pennywort. Its like she is having "peace and quiet". 

 

I feel like it might be a combination of things. I scared her so she swims off... now she equates that to all fast motion. Storm probably follows her around way too much. Lily swims away but it isn't because Storm is being mean just annoying. BTW, Storm doesn't follow Lily into the plants. Maybe thesis just how she deals with stress. 

 

BUT! Maybe this is a possible nitrate shock and I've been trying to link two things together (being scared and hiding/resting in plants) that might not correlate. I just did 5 days ago 50% water change because my nitrates were at 80 ppm. (took the opportunity to start Prazi treatment) Read.

 

Contributing to nitrates: I feed 3% body weight Repashy split over three feeding periods and they eat the plants too (mostly duckweed). Could this be over feeding? Should I increase my water changes? Right now I'll be doing 50% water change every week.

 

Could nitrate shock be the reason why Lily has strange behavior?

Edited by Miss_Goldie
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I agree with Angie. 

 

Goldfish can be very skittish creatures. Until they get used to your routine, everything's scary. 

 

I would increase your water changes not because of her behavior, but because of that huge amount of Nitrates you're getting. They ideally shouldn't be above 20ppm, but could go as high as 40ppm. Do you have them in your tap water? Is the PH stable?

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BUT! Maybe this is a possible nitrate shock and I've been trying to link two things together (being scared and hiding/resting in plants) that might not correlate. I just did 5 days ago 50% water change because my nitrates were at 80 ppm. (took the opportunity to start Prazi treatment) Read.

 

Contributing to nitrates: I feed 3% body weight Repashy split over three feeding periods and they eat the plants too (mostly duckweed). Could this be over feeding? Should I increase my water changes? Right now I'll be doing 50% water change every week.

 

Have you never met a person who was shy and avoided uncomfortable situations? A sensitive fish is likely to be even more shy when water conditions deteriorate.

Would you please give us the rest of your parameters, including the pH of both the tank and the tap, and the size of the tank. Test before you change more water.

Your nitrate concentration definitely says you are overfeeding. Even growing fish don't need that much food unless you want them obese for show purposes. Obesity shortens life in fish as well as people. Obesity in goldfish also increases the risk of swim bladder disorder. People who overfeed show purposes also do frequent (often daily) 100% water changes.

Once we see your parameters, we can suggest a water change sequence to get rid of the nitrate.

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I agree with Angie. 

 

Goldfish can be very skittish creatures. Until they get used to your routine, everything's scary. 

 

I would increase your water changes not because of her behavior, but because of that huge amount of Nitrates you're getting. They ideally shouldn't be above 20ppm, but could go as high as 40ppm. Do you have them in your tap water? Is the PH stable?

The only thing is that she just started being skittish about 4 days ago. So it's kinda confusing.

 

I don't have them in my tap water but I age 30 gallons of it for 48 hrs before I add it to the tank . I have a low KH in the tap so by that time the crushed coral and argentine sand buff the pH. When I transferred the aged water it has a pH of 8.0-8.2. That matches my tank also, pH of 8.2. The are in a 75 gallon tank but I'm guessing it is really 60 gallons since the plants, substrate, and rock take up so much space. 

 

 

 

BUT! Maybe this is a possible nitrate shock and I've been trying to link two things together (being scared and hiding/resting in plants) that might not correlate. I just did 5 days ago 50% water change because my nitrates were at 80 ppm. (took the opportunity to start Prazi treatment) Read.

 

Contributing to nitrates: I feed 3% body weight Repashy split over three feeding periods and they eat the plants too (mostly duckweed). Could this be over feeding? Should I increase my water changes? Right now I'll be doing 50% water change every week.

 

Have you never met a person who was shy and avoided uncomfortable situations? A sensitive fish is likely to be even more shy when water conditions deteriorate.

Would you please give us the rest of your parameters, including the pH of both the tank and the tap, and the size of the tank. Test before you change more water.

Your nitrate concentration definitely says you are overfeeding. Even growing fish don't need that much food unless you want them obese for show purposes. Obesity shortens life in fish as well as people. Obesity in goldfish also increases the risk of swim bladder disorder. People who overfeed show purposes also do frequent (often daily) 100% water changes.

Once we see your parameters, we can suggest a water change sequence to get rid of the nitrate.

 

 

How much would you recommend feeding? I was unaware I was overfeeding until I read my nitrates. I can't remember who told me on here to feed 2-3% if I am solely feeding Repashy. That's all they eat for their staple diet. I give them protein every other day. They've also been eating duckweed like crazy. About 50% of the surface was covered with it and now it is just about gone. Isn't this contributing to the nitrates as well? 

 

I'm doing a water change tomorrow so I can get that test for you then. Should I gradually lower the nitrates with small, very frequent water changes?

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When was the last time you cleaned your filter media? That can contribute to nitrates significantly if maintanence is not consistent.

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The only thing is that she just started being skittish about 4 days ago. So it's kinda confusing.

 

I don't have them in my tap water but I age 30 gallons of it for 48 hrs before I add it to the tank . I have a low KH in the tap so by that time the crushed coral and argentine sand buff the pH. When I transferred the aged water it has a pH of 8.0-8.2. That matches my tank also, pH of 8.2. The are in a 75 gallon tank but I'm guessing it is really 60 gallons since the plants, substrate, and rock take up so much space. 

 

How much would you recommend feeding? I was unaware I was overfeeding until I read my nitrates. I can't remember who told me on here to feed 2-3% if I am solely feeding Repashy. That's all they eat for their staple diet. I give them protein every other day. They've also been eating duckweed like crazy. About 50% of the surface was covered with it and now it is just about gone. Isn't this contributing to the nitrates as well? 

 

I'm doing a water change tomorrow so I can get that test for you then. Should I gradually lower the nitrates with small, very frequent water changes?

OK. I didn't notice you were feeding Repashy, which has a lot of water. However, unless you have nitrate in your tap water, nitrate ultimately comes from the protein in the fish food. Since you are not overstocked and are doing what are normally adequate water changes, the high nitrate results from feeding more protein than your fish can use. The excess protein is digested to amino acids, the amino group is released as ammonia, and the rest is catabolized for calories.

It could be that this one fish is sensitive to nitrate. I have seen fish get "spooky" when nitrites went up and the symptoms of excess nitrate are said to resemble a milder version of nitrite poisoning.

So my recommendation is to do enough 50% water changes (at least a day apart) to get your nitrate below 20 ppm. Then do whatever changes you need to keep it there.

Whatever the protein is you are feeding every other day, I suggest you reduce that to once or twice a week. Give them all the duckweed you can grow for them. It's an excellent food for them. Cut the amount of Repashy in a feeding about in half. Once you have the nitrate under control, you can increase the food to determine how much you can feed and still keep nitrates under control.

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Just did a 50% water change. Tested the nitrates before change and they were between 40 ppm and 80 ppm (I can never tell the color difference). 

 

When was the last time you cleaned your filter media? That can contribute to nitrates significantly if maintanence is not consistent.

 

Took your advice and opened my canister filters. Filthy is not even the word to describe it. No wonder my nitrate were so high. Filled to the brim with snail poo! I haven't done it since I got the fish (2 weeks ago). Who know when I did it before? It's probably been about 2-3 months. How often would you recommend opening and cleaning them?

 

I also vacuumed in the back throughout the plants. I usually only do it in front. Adding that to the list too.

 

I also added Prazi for the 2nd round and reduce the amount of food for the meantime. Considering the Prazi, should I do a 50% water change on the third day of it being in the tank since it goes inactive by then? Then wait two more days before I add it back again for the 3rd round?

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I clean my canister monthly, but some do it less often. :idont I just prefer the canister running cleaner. :9

I rinse my sponges under the tub water until clean and lightly shake the biomedia in tank water.

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Unfortunately Lily is now isolating herself in the plants wedged, head down, between the filter and the back of the tank. She'll only come out if I tempt her with food and help maneuver her. When she comes out her balance is fine and she swims normal. Her breathing is normal too unless she over exerts herself swimming. Then she goes right back to her spot. 

 

Was the darting a sign of flukes and I just thought she was being scared? What should I do?

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She definitely has flukes. Apart from the isolation, she has clamped fins and one little red sore in her arm pit. Since I'm already treating, when do you guys think she'll get better? I hate see her like this.

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Miss_Goldie, I'm sorry about your new fish not doing well. Please make a post in Disease Diagnosis about your fish. It will get the needed attention there.

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She's actually perfectly fine right now. I'm thinking she had an infestation of flukes. The prazi treatment, while beneficial, caused her pain from the sores left over from the flukes. I could even see little sores of her armpits and face. Today was the first day that she been acting normal and not isolated herself in the plants for the entire day. And, she's not scared anymore. 

 

I feel like all of the her symptoms were caused by flukes and the treatment. I have successfully lowered the nitrates as well. Two days ago I did a water change and the nitrates read 10 - 20 ppm (I really must be color blind). The dirty filters were definitely the nitrate factories. I'm trying to keep the water quality in tip-top shape so that Lily's wounds don't get infected.  

 

Thanks everyone for your help. I'll be the first to let you all know if I need help at all. I really appreciate it. 

 

Common side effects when using Prazi Pro

 

Does prazi affect fish?

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