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Just Noticed Some Unusual Behavior


uberleslie

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Hi crew,

Haven't been around awhile (again), but all has generally been going well with my fish family. Starbuck is perpetually bottom-sitting, but she has a healthy appetite and no additional signs of being unwell (just some general raggedness). We just moved into a new home mid-January, so moving the tanks was a pain, but everything went well. The house we bought was about 2 miles from our rental, and thankfully the tap water readings appear to be identical (though unfortunately, it's really soft water, so I'm still relying on Buff-it-up).

Anyhoo, I come to you today with a Fisher issue. Haven't had one of these in awhile.

This morning I noticed he was a bit erratic at feeding time. He's always a bit quick and fast and splashy, but moreso this morning. And tonight when I went to feed, he was bottom-sitting. He NEVER does this, even when he's sleeping (he sorta floats mid-tank). Then he got extra erratic, flashed around and seems to be avoiding looking at me. He turns around like he doesn't want to be seen. Very strange. Also, I noticed that there's some leftover food from this morning in the bottom of the tank. Also, extremely rare for him. He did eat the little bit that I dropped in tonight.

Given the move, etc. I have been a bit less than perfect with my water changes. I did about a 90% change this weekend, but before that it was about 2 weeks, maybe 2.5 between changes. There were about 2 weeks between the previous changes too, maybe even 3. I'm fuzzy remembering.

So here's the water info, etc.:

Ammonia Level? 0

Nitrite Level? 0

Nitrate level? 20 (maybe a bit less)

Ph Level, Tank (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines)? 8

Ph Level, Tap (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines)? 9+

Brand of test-kit used and whether strips or drops? API Master, drops

Water temperature? 68-70

Tank size (how many gals.) and how long has it been running? 29, running for awhile. At new house since mid-Jan, did a huge cleaning then, but kept most of the filter media...no bump in cycle noticed.

What is the name and size of the filter(s)? Emperor 280, Penguin 150

How often do you change the water and how much? Typically weekly, 80%, but like I said, I've been crappy lately. He's usually waaay more hardy than the fancy fish. I notice a difference in their behavior if nitrates rise. He's pretty much never phased.

How many fish in the tank and their size? 1, common; 7 inches?

What kind of water additives or conditioners? Prime, Buff-it-Up

What do you feed your fish and how often? Twice daily; alternate Hikari Lionhead and Pro Gold. Hasn't had any veg in about a month or so. Typically I give peas or whatnot about weekly or so.

Any new fish added to the tank? No.

Any medications added to the tank? No.

Any unusual findings on the fish such as "grains of salt," bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus? He's got a scale that looks angry hear his head, but I think that's just from the flashing.

Any unusual behavior like staying at the bottom, not eating, etc.? Bottom sitting (extremely rare); flashing (semi-rare, he's occasionally spastic); not eating all his food (extremely rare)

Any ideas?

I know it's all relatively new, so maybe he'll be just totally normal tomorrow. But given our ordeal a couple years ago, I'm now very quick to notice when something isn't quite right.

Thanks in advance. And hope everyone is doing good. I need to hang around more...I miss you guys. (Plus, now that we OWN a house, I'm thinking it's time for a pond!)

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Hi, I'm sorry I don't have an answer for you, but I just wanted to say -- your Starbuck looks a LOT like my Penelope. :D I did a double take when I saw your avatar.

Best of luck with your sick fishie...I hope someone can offer some advice. :heart

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Have they been treated with salt and prazi before? The symptoms are classic case of flukes to me assuming they were never treated with prazi before.

Is Fisher separated from the fancies? If he had been in contact with the rest, which one in your sig was the last bought? Was it treated with prazi and salt? What's your usual quarantine regimen for new fish?

I'm sorry if this seems repetitive from the past.oops.gif

Edited by Lupin
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Have they been treated with salt and prazi before? The symptoms are classic case of flukes to me assuming they were never treated with prazi before.

Is Fisher separated from the fancies? If he had been in contact with the rest, which one in your sig was the last bought? Was it treated with prazi and salt? What's your usual quarantine regimen for new fish?

I'm sorry if this seems repetitive from the past.oops.gif

No...all good questions. There has been nothing new though. The 3 fancies are in a tank together, and Fisher is separate...sorry that wasn't clear. I do share equipment between tanks, but there have been no new fish introduced since...geez...October 2008? And when I did add them, everyone was QT'd, prazied, salted, etc. and I've had no issues since.

I know that my recent crappy water change regimine might be to blame, so I'm wondering if I just keep up the schedule the next couple of weeks (and maybe do an extra one) that might help. I've noticed some planaria in the filter media in the fancies' tank...so that's always a sign that I've been sucking. And I'm noticing that the bit of brown algae that I typically get is now more of a dark green/blue algae. That probably means I suck more.

Bad fish mom!

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Hi, I'm sorry I don't have an answer for you, but I just wanted to say -- your Starbuck looks a LOT like my Penelope. biggrin.gif I did a double take when I saw your avatar.

Best of luck with your sick fishie...I hope someone can offer some advice. heartpump.gif

Aww...I love Penelope! Too cute.

Starbuck is my 'special' girl. The photo in my signature was taken during a period of remarkable health for her. She was a rescue fish from a big chain store and has never been 100% healthy. She hangs on though. She's super spunky and has a healthy appetite, despite her bottom-sitting. I've had her since May 2008. heartpump.gif

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Good to hear they had been treated with prazi before!

How thick is the substrate? How often do you vacuum? Thoroughly? Blue-green algae is cyanobacteria usually. It can carpet all over the bottom. I'd siphon that off. Perhaps for now, I'd get separate equipments or disinfect the current between two tanks' usage.

Do you still have plants? What are they? If you don't have them anymore, I'd reduce substrate to at least 1 cm thick assuming it is thicker than that and if you actually have them. The aerobic bacteria prefer circulated area anyway and the bottom layer usually becomes choked from oxygen and could contribute to reproduction of anaerobic bacteria. I'd slowly vacuum the remaining substrate thoroughly. At this point, daily water changes seem the best response to this situation and increase salt to 0.3% gradually.

Edited by Lupin
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Good to hear they had been treated with prazi before!

How thick is the substrate? How often do you vacuum? Thoroughly? Blue-green algae is cyanobacteria usually. It can carpet all over the bottom. I'd siphon that off. Perhaps for now, I'd get separate equipments or disinfect the current between two tanks' usage.

Do you still have plants? What are they? If you don't have them anymore, I'd reduce substrate to at least 1 cm thick assuming it is thicker than that and if you actually have them. The aerobic bacteria prefer circulated area anyway and the bottom layer usually becomes choked from oxygen and could contribute to reproduction of anaerobic bacteria. I'd slowly vacuum the remaining substrate thoroughly. At this point, daily water changes seem the best response to this situation and increase salt to 0.3% gradually.

About 1/3 of the bottom of the tank has gravel. The other 2/3 is barebottom. There's probably about a half inch, maybe less, of gravel on the side where it is. Plus some medium and large-ish river stones. When I gravel vac I get it seriously good -- and I do that with every water change. So, typically weekly, but given my bad habit of late a little less frequently.

I'm seeing the blue-green algae mostly on the filter intake and a very little bit on some of the bigger river stones, but not really on the glass or bottom at all.

I'm going to try a couple of water changes over the next few days and see how he reacts, and then add salt if needed. He is perked up a bit tonight, so I'm a little less freaked out...I think (again) his issues are a product of being a bad fish mom.

ETA: There are no plants, btw. The plans I do have are fake.

Edited by uberleslie
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Aww...I love Penelope! Too cute.

Starbuck is my 'special' girl. The photo in my signature was taken during a period of remarkable health for her. She was a rescue fish from a big chain store and has never been 100% healthy. She hangs on though. She's super spunky and has a healthy appetite, despite her bottom-sitting. I've had her since May 2008. heartpump.gif

Aww, that is so sweet. The ones that have been through it are the ones I usually get the most attached to as well. She is REALLY pretty! :)

Best of luck with your poor sick guy, and all your other fish too -- they are all adorable! :D

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I'm going to try a couple of water changes over the next few days and see how he reacts, and then add salt if needed. He is perked up a bit tonight, so I'm a little less freaked out...I think (again) his issues are a product of being a bad fish mom.

This sounds like a good plan! Some fish are very sensitive to changes in the bio load and if you've been lax on your water changes that might be exactly what's going on :) Keep up the water changes, and post back to let us know how it's going!

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Thanks all... I'll be sure to keep up with the water changes and give some of the filters a good scrubbing again. (I did a very good scrubbing mid-January when we moved...but it might take a few to get them back to tip-top shape.)

I do keep an eye on the pH too...I don't know what is up with the tap water in our area, but the pH is crazy high and the KH/GH are near 0. Lame! But I've had good success with the buff-it-up for, geez, about a year or so now.

I think this is just Fisher's way of telling me that he's outgrowing his tank and is in need of a pond. exactly.gifHe's such a big fish these days...and even the 29 gallon tank just doesn't seem like enough freedom for him to swim. Let's just see if the husband is persuadable now...

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