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General Bottom-sitting


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Hi everyone,

I've been MIA for a bit. My great-grandma fell down and becuase of complications passed away, so I was out of town for a week. Then I was back in town for 2 weeks, and then on vacation for another 2. I've been back for 2 weeks now...

All of this had led to some wonkiness in my water changes. Ususally every Sunday I do a 75%ish water change. But there were about 2- 2 week intervals where there were no water changes, and the 2 water changes I did do in that time were more like 50%.

Sooo...

Ammonia - 0

Nitrate - 40

Nitrite - 0

pH - 7

(API drops)

Tank size - 20, running since March (well, December actually)

Filter - Emperor 280

Fish - 2 fish, Common and oranda (Yes, I know - not good tank mates and overstocked. But they get along well, and I do large w/cs regularly exept for recently.)

Water stuff - Prime, baking soda (for pH - going to order Buff-it-Up this weekend because my KH/GH are crap.)

Food - ProGold and Tetra Crisps (I make the crisps sink, so there's no top-feeding.)

Unusual - Starbuck is bottom sitting, I would say a good majority of the day. Everytime I go in the room, she's at the bottom hiding behind the fake wood ornament. She always jumps up and swims around, so she's got it in her to swim. But she's not very graceful. She sorta scoots and stalls and bumbles around. She's eating well, not having any problems in that department. Occasionally her and Fisher will bob around at the surface, but it's always after feeding time and not for very long.

I know the Nitrate is high and that's a problem. I'm going to get that down with a couple large water changes. Usually it doesn't go higher than 10, maaaaybe 20. But I was sorta noticing Starbuck's behavior was off awhile back. (Should I add a plant to the tank to help with Nitrates??)

The only other things I've noticed, are bits of stringy poo in the tank. (Not seen any attached.) And Fisher has lost a couple of scales. (Not sure if that's normal or whatnot.)

Any ideas?

Here is a video of her swimming. This is after feeding. She always hangs at the bottom 'chewing' and then scoots around afterwards.

th_MOV02710.jpg

Thanks!

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Hmm...wouldn't let me edit...

My husband looked at the Nitrate reading, and he swears it's 20 and not 40.

Could this test be any harder to read? (Is it red, Red, or RED?) Grr!

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I don't know why she's bottom sitting Leslie. She looks very healthy and swimming very nicely & happily in the video. The only thing I can think is your pH is bumping aorund again. Nitrates will be a problem as these fish grow and could already be acidifying the water..which can make fish bottom sit and lose scales.

If a fish bottom sits for a very short time it can simply mean he is acclimitising (to a change in something: temperaure/pH water). How long in minutes are the sitdowns?

Just some thoughts.

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It's hard to tell how long she's sitting because she always perks up when I come in the room -- but I know she's sitting, because I always see her get up from the same spot.

The temp is pretty stable lately, about 78.

pH is the only instability, so I'll order the Buff-it-Up -- I'm always sure the pH is at or above 7.0 though. Hopefully the product will help. And I'll do a large w/c tomorrow to get the Nitrates down. Plus, I'm going to try to work more veggies in their diet too...

I guess I've just been through SO much with Fisher, that I'm probably extra cautious and want to identify any problems ASAP so I can pro-actively treat, rather than bring back from death's door.

I'm also not used to her swimming style, she's definitely not as stable or graceful as Fisher -- so maybe that's just a difference between a common/fancy.

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I think that's definitely a big difference. A "first" fish tends to set our expectations for swimming and eating style and your two couldn't be more opposite in both I think.

I have many different varieties of fish and each type seems to display their own characteristics. My orandas botom hover more than any of my other fish and are also the slowest swimmers, a little wobbly yes. They are also prone to indegestion so more care is needed with variation in foods. Wenned fish also have that slightly head heavy swimming style on account of the weight of their big heads :)

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I think 'bottom hover' is a good description of how she swims generally, except at feeding where she's all over the place.

I'll just keep an eye on her and get my water params stabilized... hopefully all will be well.

Thanks!

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When I went to add zucchini to the tank today I noticed that they both had a long stringy poo going on. Fisher's worse than Starbucks...

Could it be the beginning of a bacterial infection of some sort? Should I treat or wait...?

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Okay, I just did about an 80% w/c. I was looking at Starbuck closely and noticed that she's got some angry red streaks in her tail -- typically she has two red veins that I can see...but this looks like inflammation.

I haven't purchased the Buff-it-Up just yet -- is there anything at GFC that I can get? Medi-Gold? Metro-Meds? I don't know what the heck I'm doing...

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Leslie -- I would agree with Trinket that Starbuck's swimming in the video is typical oranda swimming. I can't account for the stringy poop or tail-streaks, however. Perhaps they are just left-over effects from your less frequent water changes and will clear up after a few days of really good water conditions. If you want to order medicated food to have on hand, I think that Medigold is the more all-purpose antibiotic food, but Metromeds is also very useful for dropsy, pop-eye, and hole in the head.

I also just wanted to pop in and ask if the wood in your tank is real or fake? If you have any pH issues whatsoever and the wood is real, I would take it out. It could be contributing to your pH instability.

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Well, just to share from personal experience. I had school projects that were killing me and I only did 2 50% water changes in 6 weeks preceded by 2 50% water changes in 4 weeks. My readings never really got out of control, but I did get a build up of bad bacteria, so I had to do a 100% water change with a super dooper gravel vac and overall tank cleaning. It was too late, however, as my ryukin developed an internal bacterial infection that, despite treatment that looked like it had gone well, ultimately resulted in his death.

So, with that and that your fish have red streaks and the stereotypical white, stringy poop associated with internal bacterial infections, I would say at least invest in some Metro-Meds now before it may become an emergency and you have to pay the overnight shipping charges. I would also suggest to get some salt going. Salt can never hurt. Start with a 0.1% solution (0.1% = 1 tsp salt per gallon) upping to 0.3% (0.3% = 3 tsp (1TBL) salt per gallon) over 12 hour increments. And start feeding the MMs when they arrive.

Trinket, please advise on my suggestions.

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Just one comment to clarify. Metro Meds and Medi Gold are two different foods and it, actually, is good to have both as each works better for different problems. Metro Gold is good for bacterial and fungal infections, but if the bacterial infection progresses to a dropsy stage, it is better to use Metro Meds. But, Medi-Gold should be a good one to start with. Medi-Gold

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Grr! So I salted to 0.1% and I checked the temp -- when I did a w/c I put in water that was a bit cooler, so I expected it to be at 72/74 and nothing was showing on the strip. I switched to a new one I had in my basket o'goodies and the tank temp is 80. Yeesh...lots of little things going against me -- I don't know how long the temp strip has been off. *sigh* I turned a fan on the tank, hopefully that will bring it down.

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Running a fan over the top of the water is an amazing and highly inexpensive trick for reducing water temp. I dropped mine from 82 to 72 in a matter of hours and, as long as I kept the fan running, it stayed right at 72. Greatest invention ever!

Oh yeah, and test strips are notoriously inaccurate. As soon as you can invest in drop test kits, you'll get much better results. :)

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The strip is a thermometer strip -- it sticks on the glass. I use API drop test for water testing...

I'm running a fan at the tank, but I only have a big fan, and no way to actually aim it at the water. Hopefully that will help some.

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Hot water needs more aeration. Its very, very important to double air input at high temps. In fact bottom sitting for short periods can definitely be caused by lack of dissolved oxygen. The fish use oxygen for energy so it follows that if its running short they will huddle near the bottom to conserve that precious comodity.

I think your nitrates may have crept up.Nitrates can be a battle to keep down when the tank is even slightly overstocked. And angry red tail streaks and even bottom sitting are a classic outcome of even a few days or so with high nitrates which are acidic.

As for the medicated food. Have it at hand yes. Both kinds. But do not open them until needed. Metromeds is better generally speaking if there is any floatiness/gasping or fluid build up in the fish at all. Medigold can be hard on the fishes kidneys and repeated doses for the same fish are not recommended.

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Thanks Trinket! I checked the tank temp this morning and it's 76...so that's good news. I have one airstone going (a round one), and it's giving off big bubbles which I'm not thrilled about (my filter output also gives out some small ones). But I think the smaller bubbles provide more aeration and, frankly, I like the look of them more.

I've been through 3 bubble wands (a green one, light blue one, and plastic one) and 2 airstones (the 'volcano' kind) and all I get are big bubbles -- any product recommendations??

So basically just get my Nitrates and temp in check and see if symptoms improve? (Basically, don't start meds yet...)

I'm salted at 0.1% now -- should I increase/decrease or leave as-is?

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So today my params are Nitrate 10 and pH 7.6. Better than before, that's for sure.

I'm still only salted at 0.1% -- should I keep it there, take it down or up it?

Starbuck is about the same, still angry red streaks in her tail and stringy poo.

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I never pay that much attention to stringy poo myself. Fish get it when they are stressed, fact. It is as the number of symptoms rise that we have to worry. The bottom sitting + red streaks are more worrying if this is getting worse. Is there any chance of a pic to see how bad the streaks are? And what medicated food do you have there?

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The only medicated food I have on hand is the Jungle stuff that I've had since December...probably not the best option, huh. I have the Medi-Gold on the way (shipped yesterday), but not sure if it's right for the situation.

My camera battery is dead, so I'm charging now to take a picture. It might be tricky, cause she's not a fan of the camera....I'll definitely try in about a half hour or so.

I wouldn't say she's getting worse yet, but I'm just not seeing that she's perking up either...

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I did do a course of the Jungle Anti-Bacteria for her. (I think you said it looked like a 'flex' infection when I first brought her home all sickly.)

Here are some pictures. She always does have one red vein in each side of her tail, and it's always visible -- but now around it is a little red, and the top on one side is red and the other side a bit frayed. It's nothing too dramatic, but definitely noticable if you look closely (the pictures don't quite capture the actual amount of redness).

Generally what she's been doing:

072908-1.jpg

072908-3.jpg

Sort of illustrates the instability, even while on the bottom (also, cute!):

072908-5.jpg

Left side of tail, can see the streaks and a frayed bit at the top (and Fisher being curious!):

072908-2.jpg

Right side of tail, streaks in bottom and a bit on top:

072908-4.jpg

072908-6.jpg

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Aww. Poor sweet little baby :heart She does look like she's not feeling well doesn't she.

Do you think she looks plumper on one side than the other? You can see this best looking from the top down at her.

The streaks are not too bad yet..

Also have you seen her poop recently and can you remember how it was? Normal looking or not..

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