Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   Rasbora hanging out at top of tank constantly? (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/tropical-fish-diseases/rasbora-hanging-out-top-tank-constantly-355722/)

mechanical8dragon 02-23-2014 01:54 PM

Rasbora hanging out at top of tank constantly?
 
I see no signs of disease and everyone was eating this morning. Fish does not seem bloated and the water is well oxygenated. Fish seems a bit pale in terms of red coloration but his/her black markings are bold.

Fish is in a 20g long, set up since late last December.
Temp is kept at a constant 74F
Ammonia <0.25 ppm (barely readable)
Nitrite 0
Nitrate <20 ppm

filter is a topfin 40. pumps 171g/hr and is on the lowest setting.
I did a ~10% WC yesterday when I saw him/her at the surface thinking it was my nitrates, but when i tested before the WC the nitrates were below 20ppm, but I did one anyways. I also accidently bumped the slate in my tank at the bac and it caused a bunch of debris to fill the tank.. another reason for the WC so I cleaned the slate -facepalm-

Densely planted, stock is listed in my signature as well as a picture of the tank (slight modifications)

Fish seems like its tired more than anything. The breathing is no different than the other fish (perhaps just a BIT more but not much) no serious gasping or the likes. All other fish are fine.

This fish will hang out at the surface then occasionally dip back down to the center before returning to the upper level where it will swim around for a bit before choosing the left corner/side where there is no current and just sit there at the surface. There is no wobbling or strange swimming motions at all. It seems to be getting more common now (hanging at the top instead of swimming anywhere else that is).

Any thoughts? I'm really confused as t what's causing this. the fish doesn't seem like its floating up to the top, it swims up there, and it swims quite fine. I'm at a loss.

A picture of the fish can be taken if it's needed.


EDIT:
Now that i look more closely, his/her front fins seem... smooshed together? It's hard to describe. The easiest way would be to say "Nemo". Their fins are so small i can't really even see them, ut it doesn't look like there are any 'bite marks' or chucks missing, they just look like they have grown into just a fin? Could it just be they're having a harder time swimming? But that doesn't explain why this just started to show up yesterday when i've had these fish for a few weeks now. (well i don't know which batch this fish came in but the first batch of fish i got was back in the beginning of January)

Sylverclaws 02-23-2014 02:31 PM

Barely readable ammonia is still ammonia.

Nitrate is at the max handleable level for most fish, you want to get that down too.

If I recall correctly, and I am assuming this is a Harlequin Rasbora from the red and black description(if not, let us know what type he is), you may want to up the temp to 76 degrees. I know they can handle it lower, but most tropical fish like it right about there, unless they're warmer water tropical species, some types of fish just like it almost bath water warm ^^; I do not know about this part for sure though(from what I've red Harlequins like it from 72F to 80F), hopefully someone else can shed light on if the temp is too low or not.

Now then, the symptoms say poison(hanging at the top, being a tad clenchy, paler colors, lower levels don't always affect other fish, this one may have a poor immune system and be delicate), likely from the ammonia and nitrates in the tank. You want zero ammonia, not a tad, and 10ppm or less on the nitrates. It sounds like you're having a mini cycle going on here.

Do a 35-40% water change and use some Prime to treat the water and help detoxify it. See if that drops it to where it's supposed to be at zero.

If his color isn't as off as it seems to be, and a photo would help yes, severe constipation can cause them to be lethargic and hang out somewhere and clench a bit. A blanched, skinned pea can help with that most often. Wont hurt to test it either, even if it's not the problem.

It'd also help to know how many fish you have in there, and all types.

mechanical8dragon 02-23-2014 02:56 PM

Well literally just a minute ago he started to be unable to swim right and is now practically dead. I have him in a container floating in the tank. He's not moving much

This is a harlequin. yes

Also my stock is in my signature, like stated in the OP

Also... my ammonia is ALWAYS <0.25ppm. keep in mind its most likely less than the 0.25 since its just BARELY green. and when i saw barely i mean barely. I understand that anything but 0 is something that could, if only slightly cause a problem, but this is something that shows back up within 24hrs after a large WC. I never have any reading for nitrites there. It's always a very light blue in color.

I did feed some de-skinned peas the other day that some took to. I don't think they quite know what it is yet cus most seem uninterested it in. I do feed veggi flakes on occassion (a few times a week mixed with their omega flakes) that they eat. IDK if that helps anything or not.

I'll do a large WC just to make sure if it's something in the tank causing this is out. but all the other fish are active so perhaps this guy just was one of those fish that wouldn't make it from the start. I'll upload a pic of him here in a sec.

Also im fairly certain this isn't a min-cycle. as my ammonia is NEVER above .25ppm and my nitrates never exceed 20ppm (even after a week of no WCs since before I only did a WC on friday or saturday and the readings remained the same throughout the whole week). There is never any reading of nitrites since my completed cycle. I have about 5ppm of Nitrates in my tap so even a large WC always brings in some more nitrates.

mechanical8dragon 02-23-2014 03:28 PM

http://i28.photobucket.com/albums/c2...ps5u1o9cgf.jpg

i crushed up a pea for him but he's completely uninterested. He'll swim for a second then flop over on his belly and just hang there upside down, unmoving, but still breathing.

mechanical8dragon 02-23-2014 04:42 PM

well he passed. I just dont get replies fast enough to save them I guess.

Sylverclaws 02-23-2014 04:55 PM

Meh, I'm sorry, that sucks. Poor guy. =(

I told you what the likely cause was, you just didn't listen. HOWEVER, no matter how fast replies came from the time you first posted this, I really don't think you could have saved him at this point. Highly likely it was the ammonia accompanied by a poor immune system(ANY ammonia is bad, no matter how low the amount, bad, toxic yuck) that allowed it to hit harder, and probably stress(likely from not enough space for two schools of sixteen top/mid level swimmers).

For one, twenty gallons, even the long ones, isn't enough for eight of two different top/mid level schoolers AND a group of bottom-level shoalers AND a BN pleco(who by the way should not be kept in anything smaller than thirty gallons, they do get six inches and have a pretty buff bioload themselves). Just one of each, and usually only five or six of them.

mechanical8dragon 02-23-2014 05:00 PM

I did listen to u. I did a WC. but he died before i had finished.

Secondly... my stocking list was OKed across 5 forums by 5+ people on each forum.... sooo idk wut to tell ya there. I only accepted the advice and reccomendations given to me by other people. People said this was an OK stocking list... so I went ahead with it. Never got a negative remark about this stock.

Thirdly, my ammonia reading givin was wrong. Apparantly its 0. I looked at the bottle without full light and it did look a bit green but taking it into the kitchen that has natural daylight bulbs they were light yellow. (My windows are located facing the south... or north so I get barely any natural light... doesn't help its winter soo even less) My nitrate level was accurate though, was orange so it was somewhere between 10 and 20ppm Wasn't 5.

After the WC my nitrate reading is about 5-10ppm. Again.. my tap has about 5-10ppm of nitrate in it already so no matter how much water I change I will ALWAYS have abut 5-10ppm nitrate in my tank. There's nothing I can do about that. I just have to hope that all the plants i have in the tank will keep the nitrate lvl down enough to keep it from getting past 20ppm which they have been so far.

jaysee 02-23-2014 05:21 PM

Sometimes fish die for reasons beyond our control. There's just not a lot that can be done about it when there are no indicators to tell you which way to go.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sylverclaws (Post 3984658)
Barely readable ammonia is still ammonia.

Nitrate is at the max handleable level for most fish, you want to get that down too.

There may or may not be a harmful level of ammonia. Tests are far from exact. There IS always ammonia in the water - that's what feeds the bacteria. Its certainly not unheard of for tests to consistently show a small amount of ammonia. Again, the tests arent all that exact.

Nitrate had NOTHING to do with anything. 20 is NOT the maximum handle-able level for most fish. That's just flat out untrue, and the fact that people repeat this misinformation does not make it any more legitimate. If I were to test my tanks right now nitrates would be at least 40 ppm. Only time they are ever under 20 is immediately after a water change. In public aquariums nitrates are triple digit high.

mechanical8dragon 02-23-2014 05:27 PM

Im sorry if I sound rude, its just I've been having fish die on me left and right. I went a week finally without a single death and then that guy passed. None of the fish that have died have shown any signs of health problems. One day they're fine, then the next they're dead. I test my tank immediately after I see a dead fish and the readings are always the same.

<.25 amm
0 nI
10-20 nA

The only time I had a fish show a disease was my previous betta who got mouth fungus and died the next day before i could get meds, none of the other fish have shown signs of it since then but I'm led to assume she had it when i purchased her since again... my tank had the same water params.

So its just that Im getting really frustrated about these unknown deaths and the fact I've easily spent 100$ in fish at this point and they just keep dying. Its not you, or anyone, its just me getting frustrated.

jaysee 02-23-2014 07:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mechanical8dragon (Post 3985682)
Im sorry if I sound rude, its just I've been having fish die on me left and right. I went a week finally without a single death and then that guy passed. None of the fish that have died have shown any signs of health problems. One day they're fine, then the next they're dead. I test my tank immediately after I see a dead fish and the readings are always the same.

<.25 amm
0 nI
10-20 nA

The only time I had a fish show a disease was my previous betta who got mouth fungus and died the next day before i could get meds, none of the other fish have shown signs of it since then but I'm led to assume she had it when i purchased her since again... my tank had the same water params.

So its just that Im getting really frustrated about these unknown deaths and the fact I've easily spent 100$ in fish at this point and they just keep dying. Its not you, or anyone, its just me getting frustrated.

Okay so you've gone through a lot of fish. Are you getting the same species over and over? Do you quarantine new fish? If yes for how long?

Regarding ammonia - your filter is plenty big to sustain your bioload. Unless you are messing with the filter media by changing cartridges and all, obsessively cleaning everything, or you have a mess of rotting plants in the tank, there is no reason for you to have ammonia in your water. I think you may just be getting false positives. One thing you can do JUST to make sure, is add more filter media to the filter. I would go out and get some aquaclear sponges. They are easily cut to shape and make better media than the cartridges, if that's what you are using.

That being said, there does exist the possibility that the water IS responsible. There's more to the water than just ammonia and nitrite - things you can't test for. I would look to rule out the water as the source of your problems and try using RO water for a little while. You will need to use RO water conditioner - different than regular water conditioner. You can buy RO by the gallon at many fish stores, as well as walmarts and other places. Usually runs between $0.25 and $0.50 a gallon. BYOB (bring your own bucket). Since you've lost so many fish I think that warrants ruling out the water.


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