African Butterfly Fish Floating Sideways - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 2 Old 04-17-2016, 11:08 AM Thread Starter
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African Butterfly Fish Floating Sideways

Hello all, my ABF is having a problem and I am hoping maybe someone here has seen or heard of this issue. I have a 3-4 inch African Butterfly Fish in my 55 gallon. community tank, and over the course of the last month he has slowly been rolling over onto his right side. I was out of town last week, and my wife called and said that she thought he was dead, because he was completely sideways. She reached in and touched him (he will always let you pet him, seems to actually enjoy it) and he started swimming. I instantly started to look up info on potential problems, but found nothing that specifically pertains to the ABF. Is it possible he's constipated? We've had him for 6 months and I have never seen him poop, although he's not typically active during the day. I feed him blood worms and NLS Thera +A and he eats well. I do fast all of my fish 1 day a week, and do at least 50% water changes weekly. At 1 point, this tank had African Cichlids in it, and nitrates got ahead of me, but I moved the cichlids to a 125 gallon and I have been slowly lowering the ph and have been able to significantly reduce nitrates. I am due to test today, and will post results when I do. One other possible problem. I live in Western Pennsylvania, and 3 or 4 years ago we had a massive influx of stink bugs. They've been here every year since. If you kill them, they give off an extremely pungent odor, which in turn attracts more stink bugs. Well, 1 morning I got up and went to check the tanks as I always do, and found a dead stink bug in that tank. I was glad that my ABF didn't eat it, and of course I removed it and it was water change day anyway so I did the normal routine. I am thinking that right after that is when I noticed him leaning right slightly, but I didn't connect the dots until right now. Anyway, that's my story, any insight would be greatly appreciated. I know that I have a lot to learn, so any thoughts at all would be helpful. Thank you.
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post #2 of 2 Old 04-17-2016, 09:22 PM Thread Starter
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Ok, tested water using API master kit. PH is 7.6, Ammonia is 0, Nitrite is 0, Nitrate is 20ppm. Today is water change day, so I will have that done shortly. All of the other fish are acting normally, stock includes 3 small Angelfish, 1 Clown Loach, 2 Black Skirt Tetras, 2 Von Rio Tetras, 2 Dalmation Mollies, 1 Bosemani Rainbow, and 2 Columbian Red/Blue Tetras (there were 3, but 1 died the other day out of no where). I use Seachem Prime when I change water, and I was using Stress Zyme also but I haven't been this last month or so. I use API cleaner on the outside of the glass, although one time my 10 year old son sprayed some air freshener in the room with my tanks, but that's been quite a long time ago. I don't mean to be goofy about this, just trying to think of any possible explanation. Again, any ideas or suggestions at all would be wonderful, even if you see something here that I am doing wrong, I'm a big boy and I can take it (just celebrated 15 years of marriage lol). I don't want any of my fish to die, but this guy is special. I have a 10 gallon hospital tank ready to go, just got a heater for it today. Should I try treating him with something? Should I try giving him peas? He's on day 3 of fasting, I figured I would treat it like constipation as opposed to unnecessary chemicals. I have some General Cure, will it hurt him if he doesn't have any of those problems? Would it have been better to try to get the nitrates down instantly using Matrix or something? I had read that changing ph or nitrates too fast can shock their system, so I tried to do it slowly. Maybe I shouldn't have done it with the fish in it. Anything would be helpful at this point. I don't want him to suffer, I will do whatever I can to help him, but I don't know if I can put him down, and he's still active enough that I don't think that is necessary.
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