Sickly red-eyed tetra - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 19 Old 07-02-2007, 11:51 AM Thread Starter
Sickly red-eyed tetra

(55-gallon tank with fake plants, 4 zebra danios, 1 giant danio, 1 angelfish, 1 male swordtail, 1 female betta, 3 neon tetras, and 1 cory cat. Water parameters were all perfect with a Ph of 8.0.)

I got a young-ish red-eyed tetra from a friend. I also got a cory cat and a zebra danio at the same time. The danio and cory have adjusted well, but the tetra is hovering against the back of the tank and is not eating. He was healthy and happy in the friend's tank (as far as I know, anyway). Any thoughts as to what is wrong? I will be getting three more red-eyes from her next week, so I am not sure if he is just missing his schooling buddies or not.

Water parameters should all be good - no ammonia, no nitrite, low nitrate - although I have not checked them again this morning. I drip-acclimated all three new fish, and my high ph matched the friend's tank water almost exactly. I hesitate to put him in a hospital tank since I have tried this with other fish and it seems to stress them out even more.

A final comment - this particular fish has a very odd body shape. Instead of having an even profile from tail to top to mouth to stomach, he's kind of "lumpy" looking. He's symmetrical side-to-side, but he's just not a "show" specimen. He looks kind of squashed between his dorsal fin and stomach. I don't know if this has anything to do with his behavior or not. Unfortunately I cannot capture a photo.

Thanks!

Best wishes for your fishes!
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post #2 of 19 Old 07-02-2007, 12:22 PM
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Was he shaped weirdly in your friends tank as well? Fish Tuberculosis will cause skeletal deformities as well as lethargic behavior and loss of appetite. Does that match the description at all? It's not very contagious and you can treat with an antibiotic like erythromycin, though i'm not sure of the success rate on curing TB. Look it up though and see if that matches the description.

Mike H
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post #3 of 19 Old 07-02-2007, 03:56 PM
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This actually sounds like a stress issue. I would suggest watching to see if any of the other fish are harrassing or chasing this fish, and at the amount of cover in the mid to upper ranges of the tank where those fish tend to spend most of their time. How much decoration is in the tank? You could try floating a few plants at the surface, increasing the amount of territory and cover in the tank.
A simple mistake made by many fish keepers... when adding fish they forget to add more decorations according to the number of fish they are adding. Existing fish in the tank will have all of the territories claimed, thus can cause aggression between otherwise peaceful tank mates when someone new is introduced. If you always remember, new fish means new territory needed, it can making the moving of new fish much easier on all.
Hope this helps some.
(also, might want to check the temp and any difference in temp from 1 tank to the other, too)

Dawn Moneyhan
Aquatics Specialist/Nutritionist
Juneau, WI
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post #4 of 19 Old 07-03-2007, 01:51 AM Thread Starter
I appreciate the suggestions. Both seem as though they could fit, though I am guessing it has more to do with the territory issue. I can't really add much more as far as decorating goes, though; I already have two substantial pieces of drift wood, five or six large rocks with numerous "caves," and 20 or so fake plants, most of which are 16 inches tall. Not much more will fit. The temperature between the tanks is within a degree of one another, and the water conditions are nearly identical (mine are a little better: lower nitrates).

I will look further into the tuberculosis issue, though since my friend didn't notice him not eating, I think it has something to do with the move.

I have noticed my long-finned zebra danios picking on some of the fish; are the long-finned variety known for aggression? They nearly killed my single short-finned danio and I had to put him into another tank. I might post that question in the compatibility section.

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post #5 of 19 Old 07-03-2007, 02:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Julie's Julies
are the long-finned variety known for aggression?
It will be down to luck, Julie.:) Most fish can have varying behaviors.

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post #6 of 19 Old 07-03-2007, 02:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Julie's Julies

I have noticed my long-finned zebra danios picking on some of the fish; are the long-finned variety known for aggression? They nearly killed my single short-finned danio and I had to put him into another tank. I might post that question in the compatibility section.
Danios are considered peaceful community fish but it is very common to have some that are aggressive. I've heard of short finned variaties being just as aggressive as long finned so I don't think that makes much of a difference, just depends on who the dominant fish are in the tank.

Mike H
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post #7 of 19 Old 07-03-2007, 02:19 AM Thread Starter
Well, now I am really confused...I looked up symptoms for tuberculosis, and it could just as easily fit my fish. It does not have the "pinecone" effect on its scales, though, so who knows. I will attach a photo - I got one that sort of shows the shape. Let me know your thoughts. He is also listing ever so slightly to his left. Again, I don't know the history of this fish's behavior to know if this is normal for him or some new development.

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post #8 of 19 Old 07-03-2007, 02:21 AM Thread Starter
For some reason the picture did not attach. I will try again; if still no luck I will figure out the problem tomorrow.

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post #9 of 19 Old 07-03-2007, 02:25 AM Thread Starter
Here we go. This shows his hollow stomach and less-than-ideal shape.

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post #10 of 19 Old 07-03-2007, 02:42 AM
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doesnt really look like a skeletal deformity at all though, just an underweight fish. TB won't always produce a pinecone effect though. Usually with TB you would have a bending of the spine but I don't see that there. Do you notice any problems with regulating bouyancy? You mentioned he lists to the side a bit but when he swims around, does he struggle to swim down or up or does he seem to sink or float rapidly? It sounds like an internal bacterial or parasitic infection (practically the only two options so not much help). Bacterial infections often affect the swim bladder so bouyancy problems are often a sign of that. Parasites can infect it too but it's not as common. If I had to gamble on it i'd say bacterial since your other fish are doing well and parasites spread faster than bacteria usually. You may try a series of antibiotic bath dips for the fish but i'm no doctor. If you notice any slight oddities in his appearance or behavior, please list them. Going back to TB though, does he appear to actually have spinal deformities?

Mike H
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