My fishes are acting weird and at times lethargic - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
 
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post #1 of 7 Old 10-29-2010, 01:05 AM Thread Starter
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My fishes are acting weird and at times lethargic

Hi all, I'm new to the forums but needed to post somewhere to get help quick.
My gf and i have a 12g tank. We've had it for about 5-6 weeks now. We began by cycling with 4 zebra danios. And afterwards got a snail, 3 black skirts, 3 guppies, and 2 albino corys (I know you guys are going to tell me that that's too many fish for a tank that small, we just got over excited about getting new fish )
We do at least 20% water change per week. But recently our fish have been acting weird and sluggish.

We went to the petsmart and got a water test since and they said the ammonia level has spiked very high. The fish have been lethargic and weird at times. We immediately bought ammo-lock (as advised by the petsmart staff) and did a 50% water change. Afterwards we used the ammo-lock but they were still acting weird. I been watching them every few hours to see if there's any changes in there status. I don't know what else to do but wait and do another water change in a day or two.

Thanks in advance guys.
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post #2 of 7 Old 10-29-2010, 04:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by churong View Post
Hi all, I'm new to the forums but needed to post somewhere to get help quick.
My gf and i have a 12g tank. We've had it for about 5-6 weeks now. We began by cycling with 4 zebra danios. And afterwards got a snail, 3 black skirts, 3 guppies, and 2 albino corys (I know you guys are going to tell me that that's too many fish for a tank that small, we just got over excited about getting new fish )
We do at least 20% water change per week. But recently our fish have been acting weird and sluggish.

We went to the petsmart and got a water test since and they said the ammonia level has spiked very high. The fish have been lethargic and weird at times. We immediately bought ammo-lock (as advised by the petsmart staff) and did a 50% water change. Afterwards we used the ammo-lock but they were still acting weird. I been watching them every few hours to see if there's any changes in there status. I don't know what else to do but wait and do another water change in a day or two.

Thanks in advance guys.
Perform 50 percent water changes daily, or every other day, using a dechlorinator such as PRIME oe AMQUEL PLUS +. for the next ten days.
Reduce feedings to once every ,day or every other day, and only feed a tiny amount about half a dime size amount.
Don't clean the filter material in anything but dechlorinated water or old water you take out during water changes. Don't replace the filter cartridges until they begin to literally fall apart. If you are not overfeeding ,the filter material should not get too dirty.
See that only one person is feeding the fish.
By performing the 50 percent water change,you reduced the high ammonia level by one half. Could very well still be at toxic to lethal levels ,and thus my suggestion of performing the 50 percent water changes perhaps daily for the next ten days. Shouldn't be that much trouble for your size tank.
Ammonia burns the gills of the fish and once this happens,the damage cannot be reversed. Fish may survive or they may not .
In a cycled tank, the ammonia and nitrites must read zero all day ,every day and were it me,,I would perform another 50 percent water change now, followed by another tommorrow and then every other day as described.
You did not do the fishes any favors by stocking too many too soon ,but many others have done likewise.
You do not have a test kit as evidenced by your taking water to fish store for testing so I would perform the water changes as described with the dechlorinators recommended, until such time as I purchased my own test kit or had the water tested once more by the fish store.
If the fish store is using strip style test's this can give you a ball park figure ,but could very well be more or less given these style test's accuracy.
Anything other than zero for ammonia is stessful to lethal for the fish ,and often results in sick,dead fishes.

The most important medication in your fish medicine cabinet is.. Clean water.

Last edited by 1077; 10-29-2010 at 05:00 AM.
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post #3 of 7 Old 10-29-2010, 11:58 PM
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1077 has covered most of the basics. I would also suggest heavy water changes every day for a while with a good quality dechlorinator. I would also suggest you stop using the Ammo Lock. Generally you're goal should be to use as few chemicals in a tank as possible. Products like Ammo Lock aren't there because they'e good for your fish, they're there to make money. *cue PetSmart telling you to buy it*

30g SE Asian Tank
15 Lambchop Rasbora
2 Gold White Cloud Minnows
3 Dwarf Chain Loaches
2 Powder Blue Dwarf Gourami

55g Amazon Tank
2 Wild Type Angels
1 Marble Angel
1 Black Angel
1 Koi Angel
2 Bolivian Rams
14 Pristella Tetra
10 Dwarf Pencilfish
2-3 Twig Catfish (to come)
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post #4 of 7 Old 11-03-2010, 12:18 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by 1077 View Post
Perform 50 percent water changes daily, or every other day, using a dechlorinator such as PRIME oe AMQUEL PLUS +. for the next ten days.
Reduce feedings to once every ,day or every other day, and only feed a tiny amount about half a dime size amount.
Don't clean the filter material in anything but dechlorinated water or old water you take out during water changes. Don't replace the filter cartridges until they begin to literally fall apart. If you are not overfeeding ,the filter material should not get too dirty.
See that only one person is feeding the fish.
By performing the 50 percent water change,you reduced the high ammonia level by one half. Could very well still be at toxic to lethal levels ,and thus my suggestion of performing the 50 percent water changes perhaps daily for the next ten days. Shouldn't be that much trouble for your size tank.
Ammonia burns the gills of the fish and once this happens,the damage cannot be reversed. Fish may survive or they may not .
In a cycled tank, the ammonia and nitrites must read zero all day ,every day and were it me,,I would perform another 50 percent water change now, followed by another tommorrow and then every other day as described.
You did not do the fishes any favors by stocking too many too soon ,but many others have done likewise.
You do not have a test kit as evidenced by your taking water to fish store for testing so I would perform the water changes as described with the dechlorinators recommended, until such time as I purchased my own test kit or had the water tested once more by the fish store.
If the fish store is using strip style test's this can give you a ball park figure ,but could very well be more or less given these style test's accuracy.
Anything other than zero for ammonia is stessful to lethal for the fish ,and often results in sick,dead fishes.
I haven't been able to respond but I have read your response and have done 50% water changes (i used PRIME) every other day since. I even put in a new filter. The fishes seem to be doing better little by little. The problem I'm having now is that my tank clouds up a bit. Yesterday was the worst. I came home after being out all day and the tank was very very cloudy. So I did a water change again (also cleaned the glass and today it is still clouding up again.

burnsbabe, i was just going to ask about continuing ammo-lock but you seemed to have already read my mind. I have only used it that one time they told me to use it.
Thank you guys for the helpful responses.
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post #5 of 7 Old 11-03-2010, 12:31 PM
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Originally Posted by churong View Post
I haven't been able to respond but I have read your response and have done 50% water changes (i used PRIME) every other day since. I even put in a new filter. The fishes seem to be doing better little by little. The problem I'm having now is that my tank clouds up a bit. Yesterday was the worst. I came home after being out all day and the tank was very very cloudy. So I did a water change again (also cleaned the glass and today it is still clouding up again.

burnsbabe, i was just going to ask about continuing ammo-lock but you seemed to have already read my mind. I have only used it that one time they told me to use it.
Thank you guys for the helpful responses.
As I mentioned ,I would not replace the filter material such as sponges,pads,or cartridges until they begin to fall apart. When you say you put in a new filter,do you mean that you added another filter to the tank?
If not, and you replaced the filter material in the filter,, then the cloudiness of your water is due to bacterial bloom (good kind) that will need to continue to grow to replace the good bacteria that was removed when you changed or replaced the filter material.
If you replaced the old filter with a new one and removed the old filter completely, then same thing applies.

The most important medication in your fish medicine cabinet is.. Clean water.
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post #6 of 7 Old 11-03-2010, 02:32 PM
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To elaborate a bit for 1077, the cloudiness isn't a major concern at this point and should clear up in a few days.

I don't think it was mentioned... What's the water temperature of your tank? I don't know what is meant by 'weird' in the OP, but fish won't be as active in water that is too cold for them.

- Lee
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post #7 of 7 Old 11-06-2010, 12:49 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by LMychajluk View Post
To elaborate a bit for 1077, the cloudiness isn't a major concern at this point and should clear up in a few days.

I don't think it was mentioned... What's the water temperature of your tank? I don't know what is meant by 'weird' in the OP, but fish won't be as active in water that is too cold for them.
i keep my temp at 80-ish since most of my fish require 75-82 i believe. it used to be set to 76ish but its getting cold up in the east coast so for reasons unbeknownst to me, i turned it up a bit. lol

what i meant by "weird" is that my fish doesn't act as active sometimes. For example, my blue guppy sometimes will be at the top with his posterior half kinda slumped down and he would just lay there. and my black fins would be at the very bottom sinking a bit, then they would swim up and sink etc. if that makes any sense to anybody.

my snail when i first got it was ALWAYS moving around, literally. he would take breaks and go into his shell here and there but he was always on the move. last week i found him laying on his side with his body half curled out. and he was in that position for a day. i took him out of the tank to see if he was dead but he moved a little bit. this occured for 2 days and now all of the sudden hes up and active again...i don't understand it. but i'm just glad hes alive =]
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