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fish rubbing on objects
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leafsman38
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Joined: 22 Mar 2008
Location: Canada

PostPosted: 2008.11.24(Mon)12:30    Post subject: fish rubbing on objects Reply with quote

I noticed my fish keep rubbing on objects in my tank. None of them look like they have ich. What could this be?
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Darkblade48
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Joined: 21 Jun 2004
Location: Yokohama, Japan

PostPosted: 2008.11.25(Tue)10:31    Post subject: Reply with quote

It could be the beginning of Ich; just because you don't see the symptomatic white spots does not necessarily mean that the parasites are not already present.

Of course, more details regarding your tank, fish, water parameters, etc. would help us much more in diagnosing your problem.
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leafsman38
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Joined: 22 Mar 2008
Location: Canada

PostPosted: 2008.11.25(Tue)23:37    Post subject: Reply with quote

46 gallon unplanted tank.

I try to do a water change once a week but it's usually bi weekly (I work out of town a lot), where I remove EVERYTHING (except 2 java fern) including the fish, re-arrange the rockwork and do about a 35% water change with a gravel cleaner.

ammonia and nitrite are 0 as always. Not sure on GH as I don't have a test kit for that yet.

Nitrates are 20 ppm though even after a water change. Is this too high? I've always kind of kept it around there but the more I've been reading in books it sounds like 5-10 would be more suitable? Especially for my Bolivian Rams.

Would this help with my fish's health if I did more frequent water changes and brought this down or is it more likely something else?
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Darkblade48
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Joined: 21 Jun 2004
Location: Yokohama, Japan

PostPosted: 2008.11.26(Wed)8:37    Post subject: Reply with quote

leafsman38 wrote:
I try to do a water change once a week but it's usually bi weekly (I work out of town a lot), where I remove EVERYTHING (except 2 java fern) including the fish, re-arrange the rockwork and do about a 35% water change with a gravel cleaner.

Why do you remove everything? Removing the fish, decorations, etc, is likely to stress the fish out more than just leaving them in. And to add to that, you rearrange the rock work, causing the fish to have another environment to get used to (an analogy is that every time you come home from work, your furniture has been rearranged).

leafsman38 wrote:
Nitrates are 20 ppm though even after a water change. Is this too high? I've always kind of kept it around there but the more I've been reading in books it sounds like 5-10 would be more suitable? Especially for my Bolivian Rams.

Would this help with my fish's health if I did more frequent water changes and brought this down or is it more likely something else?

20 ppm is a little on the high side for Rams, I prefer to keep them closer to 5-10 myself. If your nitrates are still 20 ppm after a water change, you could test your tap water; it's possible that there are nitrates there.

Finally, increasing water changes is never a bad idea (but stop taking out everything and rearranging the rock work!)
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leafsman38
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Joined: 22 Mar 2008
Location: Canada

PostPosted: 2008.11.26(Wed)12:27    Post subject: Reply with quote

The rock work isn't completely rearranged. It has the same setup basically but I try to create more caves for the rams every time I do it (they seem to become less territorial for awhile after). The reason I remove everything is because there is no way I could get my wide gravel cleaner in anywhere (and you should see the amount of stuff that comes out of the corners of the tank). I would end up just knocking over the rocks and probably kill someone. I would be able to get the front open swimming space and that would be it (about 1/10th of the surface). And I can't imagine leaving it? After a day or two the substrate looks filthy with fish crap again. Plus when I had sand substrate and just left it alone it lead to a wave of diseases.

But now that you see where I'm coming from what do you think? what do you do with your tank?
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nikelodeon79
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Joined: 08 Nov 2007
Location: Wisconsin, U.S.A.

PostPosted: 2008.11.26(Wed)15:39    Post subject: Reply with quote

Perhaps your substrate is too thick? How deep is it? Is there a way you can get a smaller gravel vac so you don't have to take everything out of the tank? Sounds like a lot of work!! I would not recommend removing the fish, regardless. It could seriously stress them out, being removed all the time...

At any rate, I would recommend switching to a sand substrate. I have often observed that rams love a sand substrate. They like to sift through it, picking it up with their mouths and spitting it out. For cleaning, all you would need to do is stir up the sand every so often (a chopstick works well) and position your gravel vac a smidge above the substrate when you do water changes. The poo is lighter than the sand and will be sucked up. I have sand in all my tanks and positively love it (especially in my african mbuna tank with lots of rockwork).

I would also recommend some sort of live plants. Fish tend to enjoy them, and they are wonderful for sucking up nitrates. I have found that duckweed is amazing for getting rid of nitrates and seems to be able to grow in any condition (but, to warn you, it reproduces quickly and you will need to scoop some out of your tank every so often and throw it away). I have duckweed in my African mbuna tanks to help with the nitrates that result from these messy fish.

Even some anubias and/or java fern tied to some driftwood/rocks in your tank can be beneficial.
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Darkblade48
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Joined: 21 Jun 2004
Location: Yokohama, Japan

PostPosted: 2008.11.27(Thu)6:15    Post subject: Reply with quote

leafsman38 wrote:
And I can't imagine leaving it? After a day or two the substrate looks filthy with fish crap again.

What exactly is your stocking level? I don't think there's anyway that leaving the substrate alone for a day or two will cause it to be filled with filth that quickly unless you are severely overstocked/overfeeding.
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a311snowbunny
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Joined: 02 Oct 2008

PostPosted: 2008.12.02(Tue)4:28    Post subject: Reply with quote

So you say your fish are flashing. First thing to check is the ammonia and nitrites. If you have high readings that's your problem. Also chemicals in the water can cause irritation to the fish and make them flash. Make sure you use the right amount of water treatment.

Since your water is good. Then it sounds like a parasite. Ich is not the only parasite that effects fish. Also with ich lots of times you will not see it because the ich will get in the gills and nose of the fish staying out of sight.

I would do a 30% water change and treat for parasites. First I would use sometime mild like ich Attach. It's organic not harsh on any fish. It works well at getting singled cell parasites and fungus. Try that for a week, It will not stain but will turn the water a tea color. You don't need to do water changes during that treatment and you can treat fish every 12 hours. I recommend water changes of the water gets a dark tea color. Also water changes help keep the parasite numbers down and helps keep the fish healthy. I do a 25% water change every other day.

If your water is all good start researching parasites and the treatments for the different types that it could be.


I love the Kordon products.
http://www.novalek.com/kordon/ich_attack/index.htm
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