new light stressing fish? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 11 Old 06-29-2012, 09:57 AM Thread Starter
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Unhappy new light stressing fish?

i recently got a new light, a much brighter one in hopes of my plants doing better. since then, one of my tiger barbs died (looked like swim bladder, don't know what caused it). my remaining barbs seem really stressed out. every morning when i look in (a little while after the light comes on) they are very faded and all huddled together at the bottom of the tank. yesterday i fed them and they colored up again and acted normal. i tried that today and none on them even noticed the food.

water parameters are ok, pH 7.4-7.6 (no change), no ammonia, no nitrites, nitrates around 30. i know the nitrates are a little high, but i have not been able to get them much lower since i set up the tank about a year ago, so that isn't a change either.

any ideas why they are so stressed out?

**I freely admit that most of the information I share I have learned from other people on this forum and am simply repeating. I thank you for sharing your knowledge and ask that if I say anything incorrect someone will kindly correct me**
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post #2 of 11 Old 06-29-2012, 12:25 PM
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Fish will always react to sudden light/dark, i.e., when the tank light comes on and when it goes out. And this is a stress, so the colour and/or pattern may weaken. At the same time, fish are usually "faded" during darkness. It takes about half an hour or more for fish to readjust to light/dark. You can read more here:
http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...er-fish-81982/

When the tank light comes on and goes out, there must be ambient light in the room, as it explains in that article, so make sure that is happening.

Now, that is general, so to the brightness of the tank light, unless this is significant it should be fine. Floating plants are always good with any forest fish since they shade the light. Fish will always be more brightly coloured in less light, which tells us something about the effect of overhead light.

Byron.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #3 of 11 Old 06-29-2012, 12:27 PM Thread Starter
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well, it has been several hours now and they are still really faded and hiding at the bottom. is there anything i can do to help them? i will try to get some floating plants soon, but i'm worried about them in the mean time.

**I freely admit that most of the information I share I have learned from other people on this forum and am simply repeating. I thank you for sharing your knowledge and ask that if I say anything incorrect someone will kindly correct me**
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post #4 of 11 Old 06-29-2012, 12:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KendraMc View Post
well, it has been several hours now and they are still really faded and hiding at the bottom. is there anything i can do to help them? i will try to get some floating plants soon, but i'm worried about them in the mean time.
It may be something other than the light, but let's explore that first. What exactly do you now have over the tank, and what is the tank size (gallons and length)?

And a question on the high nitrates, have you tested the tap water alone for nitrate?

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #5 of 11 Old 06-29-2012, 12:37 PM Thread Starter
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It may be something other than the light, but let's explore that first. What exactly do you now have over the tank, and what is the tank size (gallons and length)?
29 gallon standard, so about 30 inches i think. the new light is a Coralife 50/50, 24 inches. so, 50% 10,000K, 50% true actinic bluelight. i will admit, i don't really know what that means, but it is the only bulb i could find that would actually work in the fixture i have. i tried several

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And a question on the high nitrates, have you tested the tap water alone for nitrate?
yes i have, there isn't any. i have no idea why i can't get it to come down. i have a few plants, though all of the floating ones i had have died, and i will change 5 gallons a day for several days in a row and still not get under 20. the test will come back almost indistinguishable from before a water change.

**I freely admit that most of the information I share I have learned from other people on this forum and am simply repeating. I thank you for sharing your knowledge and ask that if I say anything incorrect someone will kindly correct me**
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post #6 of 11 Old 06-29-2012, 12:46 PM
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Quote:
29 gallon standard, so about 30 inches i think. the new light is a Coralife 50/50, 24 inches. so, 50% 10,000K, 50% true actinic bluelight. i will admit, i don't really know what that means, but it is the only bulb i could find that would actually work in the fixture i have. i tried several
Presumably this is T8 (the normal) and not T5 HO. so no problem here, i have much the same on my 29g. I would however get floating plants, Water Sprite is ideal. But the fish are more likely reacting to something else.

Quote:
yes i have, there isn't any. i have no idea why i can't get it to come down. i have a few plants, though all of the floating ones i had have died, and i will change 5 gallons a day for several days in a row and still not get under 20. the test will come back almost indistinguishable from before a water change.
This might be part of the problem, or related anyway. Can you post a photo of the tank? Interested in seeing the plants and decor which can sometimes tell one something.

What substances are entering the tank? Which water conditioner, for instance; and anything else?

How frequnet are water changes, and how much volume?

Any other fish besides the TB?

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #7 of 11 Old 06-29-2012, 01:05 PM Thread Starter
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What substances are entering the tank? Which water conditioner, for instance; and anything else?

How frequnet are water changes, and how much volume?

Any other fish besides the TB?

the only thing i add is Flourish fertilizer. my water sits out for at least 24 hours and they don't use chloromine around here, so that isn't a problem.

i change at least 5 gallons a week, though this week i did two changes that size, since i had the one barb die.

i also have a rainbow shark and a common pleco, both have been there for months with no problems.

**I freely admit that most of the information I share I have learned from other people on this forum and am simply repeating. I thank you for sharing your knowledge and ask that if I say anything incorrect someone will kindly correct me**
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post #8 of 11 Old 06-29-2012, 01:06 PM Thread Starter
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2012-06-29_12-47-55_998 | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

hopefully this link will take you to a photo of the tank. it isn't a great one, but you can see it ok.

**I freely admit that most of the information I share I have learned from other people on this forum and am simply repeating. I thank you for sharing your knowledge and ask that if I say anything incorrect someone will kindly correct me**
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post #9 of 11 Old 06-29-2012, 01:24 PM
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I won't diagnose health issues as this is a very complicated subject. But someting does present itself with your latest info and the photo.

You need to change more water each week, at least half the tank once a week. Vacuum the substrate a bit at each. This should get the nitrates lower (below 20ppm is OK, but the lower the better). There are insufficient plants to handle this on their own. Use the tap water with a good conditioner, this will make water changes easier.

And again some floating plants. Even some stem plants will suffice.

The common pleco will get over a foot in length, I would consider removing it unless a 4+ foot tank is available. [Pleco are notorius for high waste which means high organics = nitrates.] The rainbow shark at 6 inches should also have a 4-foot tank.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #10 of 11 Old 06-29-2012, 02:05 PM Thread Starter
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the pleco and the shark will be moving to a 75 gallon tank before long. i have it, but i moved this spring and haven't got it set up yet.

i do want to get more plants, and will work on getting some water sprite shortly (anyone have some to sell?). hopefully the vallisneria and amazon swords i have will start to actually grow now that i have a better light.

i do vacuum the substrate every time. i will work on changing more water.

do you think that will help? and any idea why they just started to seem stressed? they always had great color and acted normally before the light change...

**I freely admit that most of the information I share I have learned from other people on this forum and am simply repeating. I thank you for sharing your knowledge and ask that if I say anything incorrect someone will kindly correct me**
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