Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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xlinkinparkx 05-17-2010 12:35 PM

Nervous Fish
Hey everyone, I have a 55G aquarium, its been running for about 5years and in it i have:
2 Blood Parrots
1 Full grown Male Sijica Chiclid
7-8 babies(about 1-2 inches)

These fish have been in this aquarium for around 2 years the babies must be around a year old now maybe even more. But for some odd reason all my fish have become very nervous, they are all constantly hiding when someone walks by I tried feeding them krill and they all hid and it is quite annoying. this has been going on for mabey 2 or 3 months dose anyone know what can be causing this?

bettababy 05-18-2010 01:08 AM

There are a number of possible reasons for their changed behavior. The first one I would have to ask is what are your water params for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and pH? Changes in water chemistry over time, due to the growth of the fish, without accommodation of increased maintenance, can cause the behavior you describe. Fish that don't feel good don't feel safe.

As the fish grew did you increase the amount of decor in the tank to allow them to find larger territories to accommodate their increased needs? Fish that outgrow their environment can display the behavior your describe. You listed the fish, but you didn't list how big each one is? That makes a huge difference.

It is also possible that something spooked them at some point when this all started, and you may not even know what it was or that it happened... if it came from outside their tank, their behavior would make perfect sense. Until they feel secure again in their environment, the behavior will likely continue.

Foods being offered can also cause this behavior. What kind of variety do they have in their diet besides the krill? Do they react this way to all foods or just the krill? When a fish isn't finding proper nutrition in its food it will eventually lose interest and appetite for that food. With no reason to come out of hiding, they go about their business and find the addition of such foods as an intrusion instead of dinner.

Try approaching the tank very slowly, whether its feeding time or maintenance time. Every movement around the tank should be slow and steady, always controlled so as not to spook them. You can try taking 1 finger slowly to the glass and rubbing in slow small circles to teach them to come to you when you "call" them. This takes time and lots of patience, but I have not found a fish yet that can't be taught to respond if the conditions are proper and it is done right.

I hope this helps.

hamfist 05-19-2010 01:01 AM

Great post Bettababy. I think you covered it all !

xlinkinparkx 05-19-2010 09:10 AM

That was a perfect post thank you so much bettababy.

I checked the water and everything is perfect, I have to think its the decore because they eat as soon as I move away. I will post a picture, I am starting to plant my aquarium, The blood parrots and sijica chiclid are quite big and I dont really have any thing they can hide with out changing my aquarium around completly. Again thanks alot I will start my moving project right now:D

xlinkinparkx 05-19-2010 09:48 AM

Sijica father= 6inch
Blood Parrots5-6inches
SAE's 5 inch
sijica babies=1-3 inches

I do realize the bigger fish only have 1 or two places to hide while the babies can hide in many diffrent spots, but I am debating re-doing my rock wall seeing as it will stress the heck out of my fish.

hamfist 05-19-2010 10:27 AM


Originally Posted by xlinkinparkx (Post 386865)
Sijica father= 6inch
but I am debating re-doing my rock wall seeing as it will stress the heck out of my fish.

As a general principal I try and regularly get my hands in all my tanks, cleaning out, re-arranging, etc, etc. Ideally a couple of times a week. The fish definately get used to it, and are therefore less stressed overall, as they become very used to me fiddling around in their tank.
Maybe it's something you could look at doing more often to acclimatise your fish to your presence.

xlinkinparkx 05-19-2010 01:14 PM

2 Attachment(s)
Put food in my aquarium sat there for about 30 min no one ate a bite, but somethings I noticed, they do have many places to hide so what I said before is not true, But I do think plants would help and second, My Parrot and Sijica(largest of both) are displaying weird behaviour, both just swimming with their noses at the top of the water just floating along, it is now worrying me:S here is a picture of my aquarium as you can see NO FISH!!!

[ATTACH]Attachment 12209[/ATTACH]

bettababy 05-19-2010 01:23 PM

What do you call "perfect" for water params? It would help if we had exact numbers and knew what test kits you used? What is the water temp? How often are you doing water changes and how much water each time? What type of filter are you running? (make/model) From the photo it looks like a canister... is that a power head in the front left corner?

xlinkinparkx 05-19-2010 04:04 PM

Fluval 304 and a Fluval 203(only been running for 2 weeks) I do water changes every week or two I would say around 30-50L
and I use nutrafin test kits and the results are......
nitrate=10-15(OH THATS NOT GOOD)

bettababy 05-19-2010 04:23 PM

Are both filters new? Did you add old/used media to either of them or start with all new media?

I would not be as concerned about the 10 - 15 nitrate as I would be the .1 nitrite. Nitrite is more toxic to the fish in smaller quantities. If there is .1 nitrite that means there was recently ammonia, which can easily stress the fish.

In regards to decor... I would suggest adding a lot more decor to your tank and at the same time rearrange the decor thats in there now, to create new territories and add more territories at the same time.

If the fish are coming out to eat the food after you walk away, that tells me there is too much activity of some sort going on around the tank when you approach it. Are you moving too fast? Are the lights on or off when you feed? Do you turn the lights off after you feed? What other foods are you offering the fish besides krill?

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