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toilofday 09-08-2007 02:10 AM

black ghost knife fish scratching, I think
I just bought a this fish and I knew it was unusual, and I see that it swims in very strange directions, but after 5-6 hours in the tank he started scratching on the rocks, and laying on the bottom for short time periods.

I'm out of test strips for the tank, but I can tell you that I have very hard water and my PH is about 7.8 I've read now that this a very bad for a bgk in terms of hardness and not ideal for ph, but it will tollerate it. I've moved him into a newly prepared 10 gallon with a 20 gallon softener pillow in hopes to fix that for the short term.

Is my fish going to die? That would be a shame. It's such a cool fish.

What can I do to correct these water conditions. I can't afford reverse osmosis water for a 55 gallon tank. Monthly water changes alone would kill me, not to mention partials in between. That's about 45 dollars a month.

A permanent low cost solution would be nice......Heh, yeah right, don't we all want that. :P

Lupin 09-08-2007 05:57 AM

There is no need to fiddle with pH. Use liquid test kits. Test strips are unreliable. Check your ammonia, nitrites and nitrates aside from pH. How did you acclimate the fish?

GregV 09-08-2007 11:54 AM

Are there any signs of outward infection or is the scratching the only sign of trouble? Scratching and iregular swimming can indicate internal parasites, and there are two solutions I know of. one raise the temperature of this tank to around 84 degress over a period of days, this should kill most nasty little buggers, a little bit aquarium salt is helpful to use aswell in this case. next option is to medicate the tank with anti parasitic medicine.

question does the fish poo look white and stringy?

view this thread by Jones for a good way of dealing with this problem without useing medicaions

but you should probably wait for confirmation that parasites are the problem, as i am not quite sure if this is the case or not.

toilofday 09-09-2007 12:17 AM

Thaks for the info. I acclimated the fish by letting the water temp equalize in the bag he came in to the water temp in my tank.

he seems to have stopped scratching, perhaps it was just shock and water conditions. I do have the softer pillow in the 10 gal tank, so maybe that did the trick. My water stays at about 300 ppm for harndess out of the tap.

I just did a full water change on my 55 and i'm going to give it a week to stabilize before moving the bgkf.

It is still doing that laying on the bottom thing, but I read in another forum that this is normal. That's all I've found on that part, so any confirmation about this activity would be helpfull.

Now that I look over again, the fish is scratching again....maybe his is just pushing against things.....I mean, he is mostly blind right?

There is no sign of external infection or distress, and I haven't seen it's poop yet, I also haven't seen it eat yet, although it picks at the bottom of the tank and I put some mysis shrimp in earlier today. If it had internal parisites would it be eating normaly?

I want to be careful with medication, because this fish is SENSITIVE to it from what i've heard. Sooooo.....what do you all think?
Am I paranoid about the behavior of an oddly behaving fish, or do I have a problem.

GregV 09-09-2007 10:01 AM

when you see him fish scratchin, does his swiming go skewed, as in he intensionally throws himself hard at somehting or turns sidewas into something.

i dont think that hes is just blindly running into things as most blind fish are sensitive to even small water currents and can detect when an object is effecting the flow infront of them

toilofday 09-10-2007 12:11 PM

It's hard to tell, him being a latterly desinged fish that likes to be surrouned by cover and all. I mean, he swims sideways, backwards, upsidedown, lays on the bottom, and hides al the time..... :?: and that's all normal I guess.

I'll just have to see if he gets any worse. Thanks for the help.

TrustNo1 09-19-2007 08:35 AM

Is he actually coming into contact with objects or is he just shaking from side to side but staying in one spot? All my bgk do it so I'm guessing it's normal.

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