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abrown 03-23-2007 09:00 PM

help my redtail shark
So, I bought a redtailed shark today for my hubby's bday and it was fine for the past 4 hours, but now the tail is no longer red and his body is starting to turn white. The lady at my lfs told me that when they get stressed they do this. So, what can I do?? Is it going to die?? He's swimming around just fine and hiding in the rocks and plants. I haven't had the tank light on today, can that cause his color to fade??

Any advice is welcome.

Thank yall.


Lupin 03-23-2007 09:09 PM

Hi Angela.:wave:

Can you pls add more information?:) What are your water parameters? What is the size of your tank? What are the occupants of your tank?

I highly doubt the lady is right that when the labeos get stressed, they'll go white. Is there any chance of posting a picture?:) He doesn't appear to be dying if you are saying he's swimming around without any problems with the exception of turning white.

Lights not in use should not make your fish get stressed. It's more on lights turned on for long intervals.

abrown 03-23-2007 09:15 PM

It's a 55gal tank with 10 Zebra Danios, the redtail and a pelco. Our water temp is around 78 degrees, ph is 8.2 Eventually, we will be adding in some small cichlids while all of the other fish are still small as well. We( my husband and I ) were told we could do this if we had a really well planted and caved tank, which we do.

Lupin 03-23-2007 10:10 PM

pH is too high for most of your fish. What are your KH and GH?
KH-carbonate hardness
GH-general hardness
I would suggest using peat to lower the pH by 7.5 or even lower(not lower than 6.5 however). Avoid pH adjusting chemicals. The effects won't last long enough and will swing your pH back to its usual level thus stressing and eventually killing your fish.

You'll need to post water parameters of your ammonia, nitrites and nitrates. These ones are very important. API Freshwater Master test kit is best recommended.:)

What plec do you have? Some plecs are known to cause considerable damage to plants by demolishing them as they swim along or even turning them into salad bar.

abrown 03-23-2007 10:19 PM

I have a general alge eater with fake plants in the tank. The Nitrate is 15. and the Nitrite is .4 the GH is 150. We are taking a water sample to our lfs tomorrow for testing. We were told that for cichilds we needed the ph to be 8.2. Anyways, I think the fish is doing better, his tail is now a pinkish color.

thank you for your help.


Lupin 03-24-2007 07:59 AM

Glad the fish seems to be doing fine. I'd like you to take note of a few things.:)

1. Nitrites should be zero as any detectable level is toxic to the fish and will eventually kill them. Doing 10% daily water changes should nullify the nitrites.
2. What cichlids were your lfs recommending for that pH? Lake Malawi and Lake Tanganyikan cichlids are tolerant of this but not the dwarf cichlids from South America. Only the dwarf cichlids are suitable for planted tanks. Rift Valley cichlids will only destroy them.

abrown 03-24-2007 09:07 AM

They were talking about the Lake Malawai ones or however you spell it. They did caution us on the plants saying that they would dig them up, but if we tied them down they wouldn't be able to do so. So, since we have some really large rocks in our acrylic tank we placed that plastic light grate in the bottom to help even out the weight and placed the plants up through the grate so they can't be dug up. I have had these type of cichilds before and they did not mess with the fake plants at all. I know that the Nitrite needs to be at zero, but this is a new tank that we have only had set up for about a month now and we are still cycling and don't plan on putting our cichlids in the tank until we have the proper water conditions.

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