Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   Fish look stressed (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/characins/fish-look-stressed-70292/)

spurswin4 05-12-2011 05:47 PM

Fish look stressed
 
For some reason my fish look stressed (kinda gasping) is what I'd call it.

I changed about 12 gallons out this morning.. Roughly 8 hrs ago..

Water temp was matched within a 1/2 a degree..

Used conditioner and stress coat added a little aquarium salt as usual..

Just check the water and here are my levels

ph 7.0
ammonia 0 ppm
nitrite between 0 and 0.25 color is right in between
nitrate 0 ppm

temp is 76.6 today

water is clear no bacteria explosions

Thoughts???

GwenInNM 05-12-2011 07:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by spurswin4 (Post 672482)
For some reason my fish look stressed (kinda gasping) is what I'd call it.

I changed about 12 gallons out this morning.. Roughly 8 hrs ago..

Water temp was matched within a 1/2 a degree..

Used conditioner and stress coat added a little aquarium salt as usual..

Just check the water and here are my levels

ph 7.0
ammonia 0 ppm
nitrite between 0 and 0.25 color is right in between
nitrate 0 ppm

temp is 76.6 today

water is clear no bacteria explosions

Thoughts???

Here's my experience with just a very small amount of nitrites. Fish were hiding, not sure I noticed gasping, but definately seemed unhappy. I did a water change and all was immediately better. It could be your nitrites are present, and should be at 0. Not sure that will help, but if you use Prime Seachem it does neutralize nitrites for 24 hours, making them harmless to fish. Sounds like your tank is not yet cycled. Can't see what else it could be, perhaps someone else will help?

Gwen

spurswin4 05-12-2011 08:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by GwenInNM (Post 672597)
Here's my experience with just a very small amount of nitrites. Fish were hiding, not sure I noticed gasping, but definately seemed unhappy. I did a water change and all was immediately better. It could be your nitrites are present, and should be at 0. Not sure that will help, but if you use Prime Seachem it does neutralize nitrites for 24 hours, making them harmless to fish. Sounds like your tank is not yet cycled. Can't see what else it could be, perhaps someone else will help?

Gwen


Ya the tanks been running a long time.. Although I could see a mini cycle possible.. I went ahead and turned the lights off for the rest of the day and I'll with hold food as well...I'll check the water again tomorrow.. It was very strange though.. I noticed them in school hanging in one corner at the very top of the tank..it only seems to be the Bleeding Heart Tetra and not the Platys..

Definetely has me concerned.. I've never had them act like that..

spurswin4 05-12-2011 08:36 PM

Fishy Fishy - 55 gallon Freshwater fish tank



Your Aquariums in the Aquarium Log


this is what they're doing.. not sure what's up.. never seen them hanging at the top..

spurswin4 05-13-2011 09:56 PM

Happy to report all fish are back to normal Must have been a mini cycle..

brownmane 05-15-2011 06:15 PM

Glad to hear that your fish are alright. I am new to tropical fish and was following your discussion and questions, but unfortunately didn't have anything to help you out.

Byron 05-16-2011 05:40 PM

I checked the photos, that is definitely a problem. Glad they are "normal" now, but just so you know, there was something very wrong there. A partial water change of half the tank with a good conditioner can work wonders in such mysteries.

What conditioner do you use?

You mention Stress Coat, it functions as a water conditioner and can be used on its own at water changes. I would not combine this with another conditioner; chemicals in these products may react when mixed.

You mentioned salt. While this is useful in high nitrite situations, it should not be used regularly in a freshwater aquarium. Many fish, including these characins, have a high sensitivity to salt at quite low amounts. I'm copying what I wrote on this elsewhere so you will understand the issue:

Salt is detrimental to freshwater fish and plants in varying degrees. To understand why, we must understand what salt does in water.

Salt makes the water more dense than the same water without salt. The aquarium contains water. The bodies of fish and plant leaves also contain water [just as we do--we are, what is it, 70-some percent water?]. The water in the aquarium and the water in the fish/plant are separated by a semi-permeable layer which is the cell. Water can pass through this cell. When either body of water is more dense, the other less-dense body of water will pass through the membrane to equalize the water on both sides.

Water is constantly passing through the cells of fish by osmosis in an attempt to equate the water inside the fish (which is more dense) with the water in the aquarium. Put another way, the aquarium water is diluting the fish's body water until they are equal. Freshwater fish regularly excrete this water through respiration and urination. This is the issue behind pH differences as well as salt and other substances. It increases the fish's work--the kidney is used in the case of salt--which also increases the fish's stress in order to maintain their internal stability. Also, the fish tends to produce more mucus especially in the gills; the reason now seems to be due to the irritant property of salt--the fish is trying to get away from it.

I have an interesting measurement for fish. Dr. Stanley Weitzman, who is Emeritus Research Scientist at the Department of Ichthyology of the Smithsonian Institute in Washington and an acknowledged authority on characoid fishes, writes that 100 ppm of salt is the maximum for characins, and there are several species that show considerable stress leading to death at 60 ppm. 100 ppm is equal to .38 of one gram of salt per gallon of water. One level teaspoon holds six grams of salt, so 1 tsp of salt per gallon equates to more than 15 times the tolerable amount. Livebearers have a higher tolerance (mollies sometimes exist in brackish water) so the salt may be safe for them.

Plants: when salt is added to the aquarium water, the water inside the plant cells is less dense so it escapes through the cells. The result is that the plant literally dries out, and will wilt. I've so far been unable to find a measurement of how much salt will be detrimental to plants; all authorities I have found do note that some species are more sensitive than others, and all recommend no salt in planted aquaria.


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