20 Gallon High, More fish?
So as i've posted on here i recently stocked my 20 gallon high..
i got some blue pearl shrimp, and 8 galaxy rasbora... i was planning on about 20 galaxys in this tank, but long story short i had to take my neighbors celebes rainbow fish to save their lives..
so as it sits i have about 5 blue pearl shrimp, 5 celebes rainbow fish and 6 galaxys..
I have a planted aquarium with a ton of wisteria in the back, newly planted crypts in the middle, and dwarf sag up front, and frogbit floating on top, with rocks and driftwood I dose flourish 2x a week, 1/3rd of a capful, prime is my conditioner, a fluval 206 filters my tank.
My test results as of today prior to cleaning/water change were 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, 10-20 nitrate.
All my shrimp and fish have been doing great, i started with 8 blue pearl shrimp first, and i stilll have ATLEAST 5, i just can never find them all at one time.. i have only found one dead shrimp, and it was halfway molted, so i figure it was something involved with that.
The rainbow fish when i got them didn't look good, and i lost one the first day, my neighbor hardly took care of them, but since i've taken them over they have been all over the tank, their colors have come out, and they eat like horses, they truly look like some healthy fish.
The rasboras... i noticed the first 2 days these guys were in my tank they hit a lot, but they still were decently active around the back of the tank in the plants, i could always obtain a headcount. they've been great for almost 3 weeks now. However, i re scaped the aquarium last week and after that they went back to always hiding and hardly moving again, i used to catch them out with the rainbows all swimming back and fourth and up and down, they went back into hiding, got it, they probably got stressed from re planting and re scaping, understandle, but they never became active again. My test have been the same since i put fish in, 0, 0, 10-20. PH 7.4-7.8.
I did a water change on sunday, at immediately afterwords i noticed two galaxys sitting on the sand about an hour afterwords, and no one else was in sight..(galaxys, the other fish/shrimp were normal and active) So i watched them both, scared for over an hour just sat there. Well, one started swimming upside down all abotu the tank, hitting walls, sand, and then floating in the current, then start all over again.. so i took him out and put him in a 5 gallon bucket, to see if i could get him to recover and settle down and see if i could see any physical issues... well he stopped moving after about 10 minutes... the other one remained low to the sand but didnt pass. I came home from work yesterday to find the other one still alive, and the others still hidden. Later i saw the sick little guy losing strength, he began to sink lower and seemed to just stop swimming.. and floated..if you understand what that means, he then did the same thing, so i got the net, and just put him in a corner hoping he'd start moving and he didnt, so after 5 minutes i removed him, and he is gone.
I dont know WHY these fish died. I know they had been at my LFS for atleast 4 months, because that's how long i've wanted them and i asked and he had recently gotten them the first time i went, and everytime i went to my LFS he would joke and ask me to buy them all because i'm the only one whos ever even asked about them.
So i know they were there for awhile. I clean my tank 1-2 times a week, i occasionally get a protein film i like to skim off with the vac, and some algae inside.
So i am at a loss for why these guys became shy again, and why those two just all the sudden kicked the bucket.
The rest of the galaxies havent acted normal since they died.. one sits in the top corner underneath frogbit just looking around, and the others are hidden 90% of the time, i can see 2 come out sometimes, but thats it, and i know there are no dead bodies and havent been any, so although i havent gotten a solid count on 6, they all have to be there. I think the re scape/re plant stressed them out, then maybe algae scrubbing a few days later and changing 40% of the water was probably more stressful... and then those 2 fish, whatever the cause of death was.. poor guys... stressed them even more.
SO, here is my question..
I ran the numbers on aqadvisor... and it says i'm fine.
I know they are expensive, but i want these guys happy, they were happy with 8 at one point, out numbering the rainbows by a few, and i feel the more, the merrier. I do not want to overstock my tank, but aqadvisor said my tank would be okay with:
6 blue pearl shrimp
Now, i dont really think i want the oto's because i DO believe that will over stock me.. correct me if im wrong.. and i dont want them to out compete my shrimp for algae.. because my shrimp seem to always be eating.. If by chance they arent a huge bio load, then sign me up, i'm all for it if they are happy..
But the galaxy numbers HAVE to come up... the rainbows weren't a part of the plan, but i had to save them, because the neighbor wanted to literally throw them away, im thinking of adding atleast 6 more galaxys.. I feel like it will promote activity, and give them some more guts and more comfort.
but i don't want to overstock my tank.
Any advice would be great, thank you.
Have you observed any type of aggressive or harassing behaviour from the rainbows toward the galaxies? I would probably expect these two species to be OK together, though the small (for the rainbow) tank volume and low number in the group can cause trouble in shoaling fish. Keen observation is critical for this. At just over 3 inches mature size, the Celebes will be crowded in a 20g tall.
They may be stressing out the Galaxies even if no physical confrontation occurs.
As for the symptoms, I would suspect a swim bladder problem or neurotic shock. I don't know all things that may cause this, but I have had fish develop it over the years and they never recover. They struggle to feed and remain upright, weakening day by day (get thinner and thinner, though sometimes they seem to manage feeding better) until finally they die. I now tend to remove them fairly soon, as I don't like watching fish slowly demise. There is no cure that I know of.
Nitrate is a bit high. Have you tested the tap water for nitrate? And if the API test, are you shaking Regent #2 well and for 2 minutes? False (high) readings can occur otherwise, so good to sort this out. With those plants and not an excessive fish overload I would not want nitrates above 10ppm. Nitrates at 20ppm do stress out many fish.
Aside from recent changes, the behaviour of the Galaxies is normal; these are not "out and about" fish, and a larger group (12+) would help. Most sources do suggest they be on their own, and while I've never had them myself and can't say, this may be good advice.
If the water change caused a marked change in the fish, this should be explored. I would test the tap water for pH, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate; any significant temperature change? Conditioner added? Try to go through any possibles. What is the difference in pH between tap and tank?
On adding fish, I would forget the otos. If there is something wrong in the tank, otos might well succumb quickly, they need stability. I would increase the Galaxies but only after any issues are resolved. Can you remove the Celebes? This may be problematic long-term.
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