Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   How to de-stress fish after an emergency house move (

Sir Chauncy 08-22-2010 11:28 AM

How to de-stress fish after an emergency house move
Afternoon chaps and chapettes,

I have always had an on off relationship with fish and fish tanks, every time I get into the hobby I either lose my job or move house, perhaps this is lifes way of telling me to stop keeping fish :) Anyway...

My girlfriends parents had a fish tank that they didn't really want and didn't look after. So I kind of took over. Gradually changing water and putting plants in steadily over a period of months. I then moved in with my girlfriend and the tank was kind of left behind and I didn't see it for a fair old while. Then I found out that they were going to get rid of it unless we took it off their hands. It hadn't been touched for at least 6 weeks and things were really bleak; every neon had mouth or body fungus, several fish had died and there were no rummy noses on any tetra in about fifty feet.

My girl and I did an emergency tank move, we could only take about a third of the tank water with us and the rest was boiled and brita filtered (oops-advertising!) as a top up. I'm stupidly pleased to say that not one fish has died in the move, despite all being sick or in poor shape. However, with the exception of the armoured corydoras, the fish are very *very* pale. Worst hit is the little otocinclus, when we moved him we found that all his chums had died in the weeks before and he was the only one left :(

In terms of problem areas, well there are a few:- I had no time to cycle or age the water more than a day before we moved, and have no idea what the various chemical levels of the water were before or after the change. It was kind of an emergency tank transfer to save the poor fishkies. I also moved from gravel to sand and only washed it once before putting it into the tank, a kind of dust forms on the surface that I skim off using paper towels. This is thinning out now though.

So The advice I'd like is... what else can I do to help these fish get back on their feet? (or fins I'm sure the fish would prefer it anyway). The Oto worries me most of all. He looks like a ghost. When we first put him in his colour started to come back but he now is almost albino. I have tried cucumber, corgette and algae wafers but he kinds of keeps to himself out of the way and doesn't eat much. They like friends too but I am loathe to add more fish to a "new" tank in this state. The other fish are eating but their colours are shot to bits.

Is it just a case of gritting my teeth and letting the tank settle or is there a magic lamp I could rub?

kitten_penang 08-22-2010 12:42 PM

how many fishes are left.if you really wanna save them remove they from the cloudy water in a holding tank till the main tank settles enough to not kill those guys and since you said they had fungus do a qt for them to recover.

Sir Chauncy 08-22-2010 12:54 PM


Originally Posted by kitten_penang (Post 452850)
how many fishes are left.if you really wanna save them remove they from the cloudy water in a holding tank till the main tank settles enough to not kill those guys and since you said they had fungus do a qt for them to recover.

I have 1 oto, 2 armoured corydoras, 5 neons, 6 rummy nose tetras and 2 green velvet tetras.

I don't have another tank to remove them too unfortunately, they moved in a bucket!

The water itself is not cloudy just a kind of dusty sediment that forms on the surface, the kind you get from sand.

Inga 08-22-2010 01:19 PM

You didn't mention the use of a water conditioner, like Prime? I hope you added something like that to take the Ammonia and Nitrite out of the water. I would recommend daily water changes of at least 30% and the use of Prime with every water change. I also would recommend you use some type of a hose to remove the water like a Python or other siphon.

I would also suggest a couple of aquatic plants to help with they cycle process the tank is currently going through and to give a peaceful place for the fish to hide in. If you can get your hands on a few floating plants too, the fish find it more comfortable to hide under something and floating plants help them to feel safe.

Remember not to rinse your filter in tap water but you can rinse it in a bucket of water you siphon from the tank during a water change. With the daily water changes, water conditioner and plants, hopefully you will see some improvement. You might need to go so far as doing 50% water changes daily for awhile.

kitten_penang 08-22-2010 02:41 PM

agreed.quiet a lot of work.hope the bucket big enough for them. ammonia spikes in the first 2 weeks is common so better keep an eye out for that then comes the nitrite for the next 2 weeks after that only comes nitrate which is good for plants =) a good filter will help clear the water and since the fishes are not in the tank use add clear to help get rid of small particles in the water.don't use if they are fish in the tank but since they are in the bucket and are going to be in there for a while.go right ahead with the add clear.saves up a lot of frustration with cloudy tanks =)

Sir Chauncy 08-22-2010 03:14 PM

Cheers for this :) It seems that regular water changes are the way forward. I have four cats so keeping the fish in a bucket for several weeks would essentially be a death sentance!

The tank has the plants from the old tank and has plenty of hiding places, the filter was washed with tap water before we moved though >_< It'll be a little while before things start to cycle cleanly I think.

Thanks for the help though, I'll keep you updated as to how we do :)

kitten_penang 08-22-2010 03:33 PM

^.^ move them to my place.would gladly take care of your fish if i lived nearby.

LisaC144 08-22-2010 04:29 PM

No one made mention of a Liquid Master Test Kit. This is essential to the fish keeping hobby. I, and many others, us the API Liquid Master Test Kit. It tests ammonia, pH, nitrite, and nitrate. This will be extremely important during your cycling process especially, and you will wantto test every day. If you see anything above 0 Ammonia and 0 NitrIte, you'll want to do a minimum of 30% water change. After the cycling, once a week testing is sufficient.

Sir Chauncy 08-30-2010 03:31 AM

Cower before me mortals for I shall bring this thread back from the dead! *wiggles fingers*

Apologies if it's bad form here to rejig an old post like this but it seems better than starting a new one :)

Since I last visited here things have improved dramatically. Frequent water changes have kept any nasty chemical spikes at bay and every fish has it's colour back, including the ottocinclus that I was most worried about. A vastly improved diet of daphnia, tubiflex worms, brine shrimp, pellets, tablets and cucumber has gone a long way to help out too no doubt. The odd fungus that only grew on the neons has started to fade as well. It never seemed to caused the fish any discomfort which I found strange though: they ate and swam about doing their thing. I even saw them pop out to a disco once or twice.

I have really ramped up the number of plants in the tank too, removing the dodgy plastic ship it came with and adding a bogwood display. I was thinking that I'd kind of reached the limit of what you could add and then I saw some of Byrons planted tanks and dribbled a little. I plan to add some more bogwood and ground cover plants later, (and it's all Byron's fault!)

I really wish I could find the cable that connects my phone to the computer as well. I've taken several photos and would love to be able to show you chaps and chapettes how things have come along. It's the least I can do considering how you helped me out before ^_^

kitten_penang 08-30-2010 06:09 AM

aww.. your welcome too.. haha how did you know we like pics??? we atually love... pics ^.^

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