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Community Tank Behavior
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Philster
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Joined: 21 Aug 2003
Location: Golden Triangle, Ontario Canada

PostPosted: 2003.08.24(Sun)9:26    Post subject: Community Tank Behavior Reply with quote

I've got a 7 week old 29gal community tank populated with:

1-4" pleco
3-2" red swords (1male 2 female)
3-2" green swords (1male 2 female)
6-1.5"fancy guppies (2 males 4 females)
3-1.5" platties (1male 2 females)

I use a Penguin Bio-Wheel 125 have a few rock ornaments and some plastic plants. Water quality is Ammonia 0ppm, Nitrites 0ppm and Nitrates 7ppm.

While watching the fish I see the odd one (except the pleco) will swim down towards a rock and kind of touch it and launch itself off. This doesn't happen continuously but about once every 10 to 15 minutes. There are no signs of ICH or other visible disorder on these fish. They mingle regularily and eat well. Is this normal behavior or should I be looking deeper?

Lastly every once in a while I see the odd guppy or sword just sitting still at the top of the tank not gasping but hovering quietly in a corner. I don't see any harrasment other than the male/female (lets get together) thing which happens continously.

Philster.
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Kunnagh
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Joined: 28 Jul 2003
Location: Bristol, UK

PostPosted: 2003.08.24(Sun)11:10    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Philster!

Spookily, I've got a new 29gal as well, though ours is only 4 weeks old. It has guppies, danios and yo-yo loaches in it (and already had mature bacteria in it, cycling fans - it's second hand...)

Anyway, to get to the point, we saw exactly the behaviour you describe with our guppies, hovering in a corner, usually quite high up. They became happier after we did two things - first, we added a airstone to give more water movement, and second we added more, bigger plants. I now have a big amazon sword across almost half the tank at the front, and a tall Java fern at the back of the other side. With these reassuring places to be, the guppies hide a lot less.

Can't help you with the other behaviour - they're not timing each other, are they?

Cheers!
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Philster
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Joined: 21 Aug 2003
Location: Golden Triangle, Ontario Canada

PostPosted: 2003.08.24(Sun)11:35    Post subject: Reply with quote

I should add that the behavior of just touching a rock ornament with their abdomen only happens around once an hour or so not as I had mentioned earlier (sorry for that) Confused .

So would you say the fish that suspend themselves near the filter tube or heater at the top of the tank are simply hiding? I'm not sure what you mean by timing each other though? can you explain that.

Philster.
Note: Ex Brit living in Canada since 1966 Very Happy
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Kunnagh
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Joined: 28 Jul 2003
Location: Bristol, UK

PostPosted: 2003.08.24(Sun)11:48    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Philster

Yes, in my (very limited) experience, the guppies seemed to be using the heater or filter upriser (I have a UGF) just to hide behind when they became nervous. In our case this seemed to be particularly when people clumped past (I have three teenage daughters, and the house can get quite noisy... Smile ). Once the place settled down, if we watched the guppies, then came back out and swam about. As I said, having more plants to hide in seems to have made them happier.

As to the 'timing' comment, I am afraid that the heat here in the UK has got to me, and I was trying to be funny. Sorry for confusion!

That is a long time living in Canada - I've only been a Brit since I was born here a year after you left!

Cheers!
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Philster
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Joined: 21 Aug 2003
Location: Golden Triangle, Ontario Canada

PostPosted: 2003.08.24(Sun)12:22    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well thanks for the reply Kunnagh! I heard you are enjoying some "warm temps" at least as far as England goes anyway. My relations who still live near Haslingden often go to Spain to get warmed up but I bet not this year!

Hopefully someone will comment on the fishes behavior of touching the rock ornaments. Take care.

Philster.
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Irons
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Joined: 27 Feb 2003
Location: Buffalo, NY

PostPosted: 2003.08.24(Sun)17:59    Post subject: Reply with quote

You may want to check your waters general and carbonated hardness just to be sure. More hiding places and you'll see your fish hiding on the surface and behind equipment less.

As far as the pleco goes, you want to find out what species you have. If you search the forum I'm sure there are a dozen+ comments on common pleco's. They get quite large. From the gallery here, http://www.aquahobby.com/gallery/gpleco2.html

60cm!! I kept one for about 2 weeks in my 75gal tank with no other fish. In that 2 weeks there was feces all OVER the bottom of the tank. It was worse than having a puppy. Something to consider.
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wetmanNY
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Joined: 24 Aug 2003
Location: NY NY

PostPosted: 2003.08.24(Sun)21:32    Post subject: Reply with quote

This sounds like "flashing," a sign of the gill itch that is caused by parasites.
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PharCyde
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Joined: 06 Feb 2003
Location: Queensland

PostPosted: 2003.08.25(Mon)0:43    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fish do get itches, maybe the water chemistry is affecting them (could be the nitrates but I doubt it, maybe chlorine in the water)
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Philster
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Joined: 21 Aug 2003
Location: Golden Triangle, Ontario Canada

PostPosted: 2003.08.25(Mon)5:06    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the comments everyone. I do regular 35 percent water changes and treat that with Aqua-Plus and Stress Zyme. As for the flashing, I had a very close look this morning and I don't think it's flashing.

I found this info : "Flashing This describes a fish that turns on its side and makes a rapid semicircular swimming motion. These fish will frequently rub on objects in the aquarium as well. Flashing is considered to be a sign of an "itchy" fish. Ectoparasite infestation is the most common cause of this behavior."

My fish that I have observed don't really swim in a rapid semicircular motion. They simply touch down their gill plate against an object and sort of launch themselves off it Confused however it does look like it could indeed be a parasitic infection of some sort. Since we already emplore the use of salt I'm going to remove the carbon insert in my bio-wheel and treat the tank with Malachite Green this evening. Thanks again.

Philster.
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Philster
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Joined: 21 Aug 2003
Location: Golden Triangle, Ontario Canada

PostPosted: 2003.08.25(Mon)18:21    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well I did a 30 percent water change on our 29 gal and managed to find about 10 green swords prior to doing the Melachite treatment. Hopefully this caught the flashing before it spread to far. I watched tonight prior to the tank cleaning and they certainly didn't seem to irritated by it, only occasionaly touching a rock.

I haven't been able to find any information on how long to treat the tank for however. Perhaps if someone knows they can let me know. On the brighter side though we now have about 30 fry (guppies, swords and platties) developing in our 10 gal nursery tank.

I also removed the filter element from my Penguin Bio-Wheel filter so the charcoal won't interfere with the treatment. Can this 1 week old filter be placed back into service after the treatment ends?

Philster.
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