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We started our tank a little over a week ago (after cycling the tank first) with 3 fancy guppies and a very active otocinclus. the guppies are all doing just fine swiming around and looking pretty happy but not Costello ( our otocinclus). His activity is low and he doesn't seem to be eating the wafers that we drop in the tank for him. we picked him up another oto to keep him company in case the problem was that he was just lonely but that didn't seem to help much either. his color hasn't changed or anything so i don't think he is sick, especially since the other fish are all fine it makes me wonder what is wrong with him.
does anyone have a clue what we should do for our little guy? we don't want to loose him just because we couldn't figure out whats wrong, or is it normal for them to be lethargic?
|Posted 05-Jan-2011 01:49|
Small Fry with Ketchup
Sounds to me like you didn't cycle the tank. You just bought a tank and dumped fish in.
Unfortunately this usually results in fish deaths.
Do you have a test kit for ammonia, nitrIte and nitrAte? If not go and buy one ASAP! You should also look for a product called Cycle. This will help with speeding up the cycling process
Here is a link about the cycling process
Basically what happens is fish create waste, that waste is toxic and can kill them once it builds up (few days). Once that (ammonia) builds up enough it starts feeding nitrItes (which can also kill fish) the nitrites need to build up high enough that they can start feeding nitrAtes (which are also lethal in high doses). Once there are nitrAtes present in the tank in small enough doses the tank is considered "cycled" and ready for fish.
While there are a few fish that can handle the cycling process, guppies are among them, most others like ottos are very very sensitive and will likely be killed by the process.
What you need to do is buy the three test kits mentioned above. I suggest liquid dropper kits not the paper test strips. Having used both I find the paper strips more costly (in the long run) and harder to read. Aquarium Pharmaceuticals makes a really good Master test kit that has all the tests you'll need. Knowing where you are in the cycling process is a first step.
Adding Cycle will provide the beneficial bacteria that your tank needs to convert the ammonia into NitrAtes faster. Depending on your water readings doing small water changes here is a link, making sure you use a good quality dechlorinator can help lower ammonia and nitrIte levels, however since you need those levels to build up so that nitrAte can grow you can end up doing more harm than good. This is where adding Cycle can help.
Most importantly Do Not Add Any More Fish! That will just increase the bioload (waste) being put into the tank.
Let us know the results of your water test, and read that links I posted about the cycling process and water changes. Another good FAQ to read up on is beginner fish there are lots of good FAQ located at the top of the screen.
Welcome to the site Hope we can get your tank and fish back under control.
|Posted 05-Jan-2011 02:02|
we cycled the tank and had the store check and ok the water for fish before we even looked at them...
we have been keeping a close eye on our levels and they are not changing or anything.
could this be more of a sick/ dont have the right kind of food for him problem instead of a water problem? or am i just being protective fish parent and this is how he should be acting like adjusting to his new home?
|Posted 05-Jan-2011 02:24|
Show me the Shishies!
If you could answer some questions we can help you rule out water quality issues.
What we need to know:
last test results of
What temp does the tank run at?
How often are you cleaning the tank?
Out of curiosity what method did you use for cycling your tank?
Before you criticize someone walk a mile in their shoes. That way you're a mile away and you have their shoes.
|Posted 05-Jan-2011 02:35|
our last test results were :
GH - around 140
KH - 40-80
PH - 6.5
NO2 - 0
NO3 - about 20
we keep the tank between 76 and 78 degrees
Tank size is 10gal
we are using the topfin 10gal filter (we also have air stones going at all times if thats important)and doing a 1/3 water change every week
to cycle the tank we did a fishless cycle using the products that came with the starter kit (stress coat, stress zyme, and aquasafe water conditioner)
|Posted 05-Jan-2011 03:14|
The girl's got crabs!
Otos are pretty fussy and not the most active fish in comparison to guppies or corydoras.
Do you have any driftwood in the tank? I remember mine used to love gnawing away at the driftwood.
What algae wafers are you feeding? Some are more appetising to fussy eaters than others. I'm a big fan of Hikari sinking algae wafers which have a high percentage of fish meal in them. Not ideal for herbivores, but they do get fish eating. The larger, rougher algae wafers seem to get ignored around here. Perhaps the fish have me sussed...
Have you tried offering fresh blanched veggies? Sometimes that can get them interested in the tank. Try a thin strip of zucchini/yellow squash peel, use an elastic band to attach it to a pebble, pop it in the sink and pour some boiling water over it, then drop it in the tank. I leave mine in overnight because the shy fish seem more comfortable exploring in the dark, but any time will do.
I'm a bit confused about the cyclling part. Did you do the thing where you just let it run with no fish for a few days/weeks or did you actually have an ammonia source in there?
Your readings seems fine though you have no ammonia NH3 reading and that would be the big problem in the first few days of having live fish in there - TEST, and that one is worth investing in your own kit IMO, because that is your first indication that something is not right, anything above zero will be damaging your fish.
Do you know what the fish were being fed at the LFS?
Do you know what the water readings for the system were there?
Sometimes the shock of change can be enough to make fish a bit off, and mostly they will recover if the system they have moved to is established and/or kept stable. Avoid huge water changes, adding lots of chemicals, big feeds (very minimal feedings for the next 3 weeks should help everyone settle in and get that biofilter ticking over steadily)and make sure the tank light is not on for more than 12 hours because that can also cause extra stress.
Best of luck, we'd love to see a photo if you have any
|Posted 05-Jan-2011 13:50|
thanks for the advice, i will try some driftwood for him as for cycling we did let it cycle for a week before adding any fish and had the water tested at the store before we brought anyone home. we use the API 5 in 1 strips to test our water but they are a bit hard to read and we are looking in to a test tube kit instead, i'm not really sure how to get an ammonia reading from the strip and i dont want them to suffer cause im a dumby and dont have the right testers
im not sure what my LFS was feeding them but i will ask. we are feeding him the wafers but maybe i will switch brands since he doesn't seem to like these very much, i fish more of it out of the tank the next morning then he eats of it. we also drop a few baby shrimp in the tank every two days cause everyone seems to love those and he does come out and get a nibble. my fear is that he is pretty small and his food is large in comparison, is there anything i can do beside just crush up the bigger pieces before feeding him?
|Posted 05-Jan-2011 16:43|
|Posted 05-Jan-2011 17:01|
The girl's got crabs!
Just to be sure we haven't missed anything:
* did you have an ammonia source that first week?
* did the lfs give you gravel or put your filter in their tanks for a week? Did you get anything other than fish and water from their tanks? I see plants, are they doing ok? not rotting or anything?
Cycling (kick-starting a nitrogen cycle) requires an ammonia (waste) source equal to or greater than the waste the fish will output. People often use straight cleaning ammonia, a dead prawn, fish food, some cheap "disposable" fish, or something similar. This ammonia source feeds the good bacteria, helps them multiply, and gets them to a stage where they can easily handle the waste produced by the new fish.
Sorry for the 20 questions on this, but it is just important to know exactly what has happened because there are many fish shops that use "cycling" to mean many different things. (I remember one place that used it to mean flushing out a new filter!) Knowing where you are at means you can predict the way the tank is likely to behave over the next little bit.
Also, I could be wrong, but I think your new otocinclus might be a chinese algae eater. That would explain the difference in activity level a bit. Costello is an oto, he's got the little pointy nose and everything. Very cute!
and the oto
|Posted 05-Jan-2011 17:52|
I think, perhaps you have missed the point of the question.
The Nitrogen Cycle depends upon fish waste, both
solid (stool)and liquid (urea) for it to establish itself
and continue to run. Just setting up a tank with water
in it and letting the filter run for a week will not
establish the Nitrogen Cycle.
Even though it is a 10G tank, that is still a lot of water
for 3 to 5 fish. You should not be feeding them that much
as their stomachs are about the size of their eyes. Also,
even being fed, they don't give off that much waste in a
week to start the cycle and keep it running.
You should be seeing some ammonia (byproduct of urea)
and nitrogen (byproduct of decaying plant and food).
Take a moment and read up on the Nitrogen Cycle here
on FP and then keep an eye on the water chemistries.
BTW, high readings of nitrogen are not acceptable to those
catfish. Their tolerance is low and will die if it is
-->>> The Confidence of Amateurs, is the Envy of Professionals <<<--
|Posted 06-Jan-2011 02:14|
Abbot is a lone algae in a room full of Guppies now but at least he is doing well along with the rest of the fish in the tank.
|Posted 07-Jan-2011 04:39|
i know what its like to loose a fish. you'll get over it soon
|Posted 07-Jan-2011 09:31|
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