Fish doing horizontal cartwheels? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 2 Old 07-28-2012, 09:07 AM Thread Starter
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Fish doing horizontal cartwheels?

This morning, one Serpae Tetra (of 8) was doing horizontal cartwheels, and I don't think it was because it was happy to see me I netted it and placed it in the ultimate quarantine tank but I am wondering what was going on (it may have been in its final moments), but more importantly, do I have to be concerned for the other fish?

1. 36 gal. bowfront

2. Water parameters
a. Ammonia? .1
b. Nitrite? 0
c. Nitrate? 20
d. pH, KH and GH? 7.1 5 GH is above 30 (just started testing KH/GH a few days ago and trying to bring down the GH by using the 50/50 tap/RO water changes.
e. Test kit? API Master

3. Temperature? 79

4. FW (fresh water) or BW (brackish)? FW

5. How long the aquarium has been set up? 1 month

6. What fish do you have? How many are in your tank? How big are they? How long have you had them? 3 Peppered Cory, 3 Oto, 8 Neon Tetra, 7 Black Widow Tetra, 7 Serpae Tetra, 2 Mickey Mouse Platy. All are about 1 to 1-1/2" in size (body.) Fish added three and two weeks ago. Tank is moderately planted.

7. Were the fish placed under quarantine period (minus the first batch from the point wherein the tank is ready to accommodate the inhabitants)? No

8. a. Any live plants? Fake plants? Yes Anubias, Java Fern, Cabomba, Amazon Sword, Ruffled Sword, Vals
b. Sand, gravel, barebottom? Kitty Litter (the right one)
c. Rocks, woods, fancy decors? Any hollow decors? Seiryu rock and driftwood

9. a. Filtration? Eheim 2217
b. Heater? Aqueon Pro

10. a. Lighting schedule? What lights are used? 10 hours Aqueon 30" 2 bulb T5NO and 24" Marineland Double Bright.
b. Any sunlight exposure? How long? Just normal roomlight 5:30 am - 7:30 pm this time of year. Tank is not in direct sunlight from windows or door.

11. a. Water change schedule? Twice week
b. Volume of water changed? 25%
c. Well water, tap water, RO water ? 50/50 Outside tap/RO House has filtered water which I do not use.
d. Water conditioner used? Yes
e. Frequency of gravel/sand (if any) vacuumed? Substrate is clean/ moving water does not turn up anything

12. Foods? Tetra Flake and Wardley Flake
How often are they fed? once a day for two minutes

13. a. Any abnormal signs/symptoms? Fish was doing horizontal cartwheels
b. Appearance of poop? None seen
c. Appearance of gills? Not noticed

14. a. Have you treated your fish ahead of diagnosis? No
b. What meds were used?

Casa Grande AZ
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post #2 of 2 Old 08-19-2012, 12:37 PM
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Better late than never: the presence of ammonia in a new tank, possibly not fully cycled, could be to blame. Ammonia poisoning affects the gills and erratic swimming is a pretty typical result.

With or without plants, this is a very large number of fish to have placed already in so new a tank. And the fact that ammonia is present at all tells me that the "moderate planting" did not result in a successful"soft cycle" for this tank. I have noticed that this forum frequently mentions the use of plants as a way to bypass the cycling process, but I would be cautious, nevertheless and add fish slowly and monitor the cycling process with ammonia and nitrite tests in the first month and a half.

Not only have you acquired a lot of fish, the otos, tetras and cory cats are all pretty sensitive to deviations from acceptable water parameters. To be honest, were this my tank, I would have nothing in it as yet save for the platies. Possibly.

thousands have lived without love; not one without water.

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