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New Fish Got Shy


goldenlady

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I just bought a 3" ranchu baby last week. It was very lively and swimming all over the quarantine tank after I first introduced it--happily eating, etc. Then I had to take delivery of a new fish I had bought online, and thought since the ranchu looked so healthy, I'd move it to the regular 30 gallon tank that only had one fish. I don't use a net to catch my fish, instead opt to hand transfer them from one receptacle to another. I did it quickly, but since the transfer, the ranchu has been preferring to hide in the back among the plants. When it spies me, it dashes to cover! I was really worried because it wouldn't come out to eat before my old fish, being a hog, ate everything every time. The ranchu would come out finally, but find no food and go back into hiding. Finally, I used the plastic aquarium forceps that I use to grab things with and just used it like a long stick to guide the ranchu out to eat. It tries to run back, but I put the forceps in its way and push it back out. It usually sucks in a couple of pellets and then runs back into hiding. Will this fish stay spooked forever now, or will it, given months or weeks of time, finally get over its fright? I feel so bad that it has lost its free and lively swimming behaviour. Obviously, it is afraid of me since I captured and moved it. What can I do?

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i dunno if its afraid of you specifically, but perhaps it feels threatened by everything since its all pretty new. a new tank, a new tankmate, new water conditions, it just might be overly stressed by all of those. give it a week and see what happens from there. my new fish i got less than a week ago is like that right now, but it seems to be slowly getting used to everything.

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:unsure: Well here's a hint,using forceps to guide it out,is not going to make it better.If I were the fish,I'd be totally terrified of you by now.

When you transfered it,did you test the new water params/temps,etc.,to make sure that they all matched?Does this bigger tank have decor/plants throughout it,so the fish doesn't feel so out in the open?Is he interacting with the other fish?

Sometimes new living spaces do throw them out of sorts a bit and it just takes time for them to get comfortable.If params and such were the same,I'd go with that unless he starts showing any symptoms/signs of illness or such.

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Thanks for your comments. I didn't check the perimeters when I transfered the new fish to the big tank. When I put water into the quarantine tank a couple of weeks ago, I Primed it, checked it for pH and put in some PraziPro. Then to help establish the tank, I placed a goldie from the established tank into the quarantine tank. I went away for two weeks and was feeding the fish with a feeder. When I came back, I moved the old goldie back into its regular tank and put the baby into the quarantine tank after acclimating for temperature. It seemed to be doing very well for the two days it was there. The established tank had been checked for perimeters a couple of weeks before. It didn't have any fish in it for two weeks and was just filtering and airbubbling. Good point though, about checking for a match in environment.

I've taken some of the plants in the established aquarium out and the baby fish is swimming around exploring everything. I just walked past the tank, and the little guy was startled again and headed for the corner, although there is no longer a lot of greenery there. I guess I'll just have to be patient. I suppose that if I just leave it alone, it will get used to its new home. I have to introduce a python cylindar to empty the tank for water changes, but I won't be doing anything else in the tank from now on, except to lift the tank cover to feed the fishes. The baby is coming forth to get food that I drop in, so it isn't going to starve as I orignially feared. I hope it will all work out.

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:) Right now,it sounds like he's just a bit unsure.Hopefully ,that's all it really is and he'll adjust after a bit. :) Any time you move fish from one tank to another,try to always check the params right before you do it.I have 15 tanks,and I know for sure that some of their readings are way different than other's,so I always acclimate.It just the safest way to move them. :) Good luck with your little guy.
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  • 2 weeks later...
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Thank, Devs. By the beginning of next week, I'll be ready to move my blue oranda into the regular tank, so I'll be checking the params and using a big plastic bag to house the fish and gradually introduce the regular tank's water to it. I hope the goldies will thrive together. The tank is only 30 gallons. Water quality is the thing and making sure the baby gets high quality foods to help it grow.

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Thanks so much for bringing this subject up. I have the same sort of problem with His Higness. His Majesty's water changes seem to be too stressful for the royal constitution. I especially hate to net

Him: He seems to always lose a scale or two, and leaving Him in the tank while I empty it makes His environment too turbulent, noisy and scary. He acts shocked. When He recovers, I get the "off with your head" look from the safety of the grotto that he hides in , and I can expect the stinkeye for at least a week.

Has anyone got any hints for making water changes less frightening to the fish?

His Majesty Dickey seems to have a long memory.

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what part of the water changes does he not like? the taking out of water, or adding new water? my fish didn't seem to ever mind the siphon that i used, and i think most fish might have problems with the adding of new water. what i do when i add new aged water is i first make sure the temperature is almost exactly the same. within a degree of each other so that there isn't any sudden shock. i then actually lower the entire bucket into the tank(make sure the outside of the bucket is clean first) until its fully submerged, then invert the bucket and take it out. that way, there is almost no current at all, and with the matched temperature of the waters, the fish shouldn't get any shock other than having a huge bucket in the tank for afew seconds. i now use a 5 gallon bucket to age my water though, so that method doesn't work anymore. i just use a small 1ish litre bucket and transfer it 1 small bucket at a time now. takes more time but the shock is pretty small too. if its the siphoning part that the fish doesn't like, then im not sure what to do since siphoning is pretty important if you have a tank with gravel. if youre not siphoning and the fish is still afraid, i'd say try to do it 1 small bucket(like a litre) at a time, or get the fish used to you. if your fish associates you with food already, as in when you go to feed him he hurries towards you, then before you actually feed him, stick your finger in the tank, or while the food is in the tank, stick your finger by the food, granted its floating food. he should eventually get used to you being around and in the tank and that'll give the fish less of a shock when youre doing water changes. i guess this will work with siphoning too, and its always nice to have the fish not afraid of you.

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He just seems to resent the intrusion. now that I think of it...He seems most afraid of the siphoning. You have to get under the rocks and generally rough things up a bit. I think the noise of it bothers Him (I know they don't hear like us but they do sense vibrations) I have little glass globs in there and they rattle a bit when moved. I have yet to find the correct siphon; one is too small and doesn't get enough suction for some of the larger bits and it takes too long. the other is too big and takes too much water too fast (10 gal tank) so I can't be thorough.

I always have the water at or near same temperature as the tank, and I pour it in slowly so I don't disturb the decor. So I guess it has to be the siphoning. I don't want to add to his trauma by removing him to a holding tank. No matter how gentle I am. it's frightening to Him.He hates the indignity of being chased with a net, and panics in the small tank. The holding tank has tank water in it and an extra aerator for His majesty's comfort.

is He neurotic or what???

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