Why are my fish freightened? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

 
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post #1 of 10 Old 09-19-2009, 09:16 AM Thread Starter
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Why are my fish freightened?

Hi,

I have a school of 7 neon dwarf rainbows that I've recently moved from a 20 to 46 gallon tank. Since the move, they're very nervous and not behaving like themselves at all.

This is very frustrating, as the tank was to give them room to swim, they seemed crowded in the 20. Instead, they're hovering in little clusters and panic if I go near the tank, practically swimming into the walls.

They live with the same other fish they always have - 7 cories and 3 phantom tetras. They have more plants than they did in the last tank and a great big piece of driftwood that includes a nice cave. The new tank is in a lower traffic area than the old and while I used to perch in front of the old one to watch them, I've been giving them space to try to calm them down.

I moved gravel and bio-wheel, so the tank paramaters all match what they were in before.

Any ideas what's going on? They were nervous on purchase into the old tank, but settled down much faster than this.

Thanks!
Sue
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post #2 of 10 Old 09-19-2009, 09:24 AM
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Instead of "giving them space", you might want to pull up a chair and sit fairly still for a bit so the remember that you're not a predator.

I'm all jacked up on Mountain Dew...

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post #3 of 10 Old 09-19-2009, 09:32 AM
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Sue, I think you did a great thing, by giving them a larger tank.
How long have they been in the new tank? Did you seed the cycle? Does the water test zero for ammonia and nitrites?

You can try leaving the lights out for a while, that will help them feel more calm.
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post #4 of 10 Old 09-19-2009, 09:57 AM
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seeding the Cycle

Quote:
Originally Posted by Twistersmom View Post
Sue, I think you did a great thing, by giving them a larger tank.
How long have they been in the new tank? Did you seed the cycle? Does the water test zero for ammonia and nitrites?

You can try leaving the lights out for a while, that will help them feel more calm.
Twistersmom

What is the definition of Seeding the Cycle?
Please explain I have never heard that term before...
thanks
Ron
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post #5 of 10 Old 09-19-2009, 10:14 AM
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All new tanks go through a cycle. The cycle is hard on fish.
What happens in the cycle, you start getting a build up of ammonia in the tank, then nitrites, and then nitrates.
The ammonia and nitrites are both toxic and need to be kept as low as possible for your fish to live through the cycle. Once enough good bacteria is established (nitrates), the ammonia and nitrites will always test zero.

If you move a cycled filter, cycled filter media, or substrate from a cycled tank to a new tank, it can "seed" the new tanks cycle.This can help prevent the new tank from going through the "new tank cycle", and exposing the fish to harmful ammonia and nitrite.

Do you have a water test kit? If not the API freshwater testing kit is a good one to have. Any new tanks, you will want to test for ammonia and nitrite daily. For sensitive fish, you want to keep both ammonia and nitrite well under .25 ppm, through water changes.

Is the 20 gal still setup?
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post #6 of 10 Old 09-19-2009, 11:13 AM Thread Starter
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Yes, I used the bio-wheel from the old tank, as well as gravel and plants. I'm reading 0 ammonia and nitrates (just did a re-check).

They've been in the new tank for 4 days, so they've had nice long, quite nights to get used to the place.
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post #7 of 10 Old 09-19-2009, 11:57 AM
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I've had some fish take a week, sometimes 10 days before truly relaxing and settling in. They might just need a few more days.

If you don't stand up for something you'll fall for anything...
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post #8 of 10 Old 09-19-2009, 11:58 AM
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Job well done with seeding the new tank with your bio-wheel, gravel and plants!
Not sure why they are still so stressed, maybe they just need some more time to adjust.
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post #9 of 10 Old 09-19-2009, 12:05 PM Thread Starter
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Well.....patience it is, I guess! Not my strong suit at all!!

Thanks for weighing in! I'm glad no one siad the tank is too big for them!!
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post #10 of 10 Old 09-19-2009, 05:43 PM
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I just moved all of my fish into a 36G from a 20G...they weren't quite right for the first week, but now they're back to normal. It's pretty interesting that they're aware enough to notice the change. You'd think that, naturally being in a *RIVER* with a change of environment every few feet, that they wouldn't really care about a new home. :-\
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