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Help! Are My Pictus Catfish Sick?


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#1 soundey

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Posted 01 November 2006 - 07:37 PM

Hi there,

I was hoping someone may be able to offer me some advice. I have recently bought 3 pictus catfish who when released into their new home seemed fine, swimming around, chasing one another etc.

Untill now, (after i added another rock for them to hide around) they only do this at night. As soon as the lights come on, they swim under the filter and swim upright against the glass constantly. They are feeding, there is lots of plants and rocks for them to hide in, and from what i can see all the chemical levels are ok, i have been testing every day. Are they sick, could i have frightened them?

Im really not sure what to do and if they are sick id love the chance to be able to help them. Does anyone know why they are doing this or have any ideas if/how i should help them?

Many thanks

#2 Breeze7050

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Posted 01 November 2006 - 09:32 PM

Ive just had mine for a few days and they do the same thing. I can't help but wonder if they dont see the other 3 feet of the tank!?!? :crazy:
But, I do believe they are just nervous/a bit stressed about being in a new place. Hopefully someone with more experience can help us out!
Bloo where are you!??

#3 soundey

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Posted 02 November 2006 - 12:18 PM

Just an update, perhaps usefull for you Breeze..

Im thinking this is normal for them if they are stressed out or new to their environment. The second the lights go out they seem fine, they come out and seem to 'play' with one another all over the tank at all depths. Do yours come out at lights out?

I did think the same as you at first, do they know there is more tank then the 20cm of space they are in?! but im thinking where mine stay in the day, is one of the darkest and sheltered places in the tank. (right under the filter/pump which is also covered in plants. Perhaps they like it there?

Ive read they dont adjust well to chemical changes, rising/falling etc. So im going to keep an eye on the ph etc over the next week or so just to make sure this isnt dropping or raising.

Would still love someone who has more experiance then myself to give a second opinion.

**I have just called my local pet store where i purchased the fish from, and they have assured me they are doing this because of stress and are adjusting to their new home.. Altho im unsure of their experience so another opinion would be appreciated.**

Many thanks!

#4 stang1

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Posted 02 November 2006 - 12:23 PM

We have 3 pictus and they behaved exactly the same way for the first couple of days. We've now had ours about 2 months and they are fine. They do swim alongside the glass and sometimes their behaviour is a bit erratic but they are generally an active fish. Ours play chase with each other and are always on the move. Its been a nightmare trying to photograph them!
Watch out at feeding time, they become possessed!

#5 Bloo

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Posted 02 November 2006 - 01:13 PM

Swimming up and down (as in bottom to top) the glass is a sign of stress. Mine did this too when I added a large piece of bogwood to the tank which reduced it's "cruising ground". The behaviour stopped almost immediately when I removed the wood and gave it more space. Ensure there is enough open (decor free) space to swim around and make sure you don't have territorial issues. I also had a CAE which started attacking my Pictus - causing lots of stress. Removed CAE and problems went away.

In my opinion Pictus need a tank of minimum of 4ft (50US gallons ++) when they reach the size of 4" - and plenty of open space to swim. That helps to have happy Pictus :good:

Edit: if it's of any help, my adult pictus were cruising around night and day. But they grew up in the tank so they were totally at ease. While the little one hid mostly during the day. They can be "skittish" and don't appreciate sudden movement by the tank. So don't worry if you don't see them lots during the day when they are little.

Edited by Bloo, 02 November 2006 - 05:15 PM.


#6 Breeze7050

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Posted 02 November 2006 - 03:25 PM

Hey All!
Soundey - yes they do come out at night, but I haven't had much luck with the "frenzied feeding" just yet! Once the lights go on the go back to their caves - they each have one. But at night they do share caves and chase each other around them. STILL haven't seen them on the other side of the tank!! And that is where all the open water is! But, they may be doing that when Im in bed. By the time I get downstairs in the AM they are about ready to go back in their caves due to the sun shining in the room. Like you, Im just going to keep a close eye on them.
Thanks again to Bloo too! :good:




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