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Help Please! Sluggish Fish! What's Going On In My Tank?


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#1 katiefairyinnit

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 03:26 PM

I have a 120l tank with 5 platies, 2 opaline gourami, 1 siamese fighter, 1 pleco, 2 endler guppies (+ 1 baby in a breeding trap) and a black molly. The fish have been looking fairly sluggish recently apart from the black molly who is pretty active and rules the roost! One yellow gourami in particular is hovering at the surface with his fins drooping and not moving much. Also a couple of the platies are doing the same.

Please note that I have checked everything I can think of and have not found the possible cause of this problem :( Details as follows - tank is running on a Juwel filter system which has been cleaned in old tank water last week to avoid getting rid of the bacteria and the poly pad was replaced. The heater is a 1-week-old Juwel heater running at 25 degrees. I am aware that many problems can be attributed to the water quality, but I did a 25% water change 3 days ago and test the water regularly. I have just done another test and Ammonia is at 0 and rest of parameters are perfect also, so water quality should not be the issue.

The tank is heavily planted and no fish are gasping for air, or have any disease. I am worried for my fish as a couple do not seem themselves and i don't want to lose any!

Its also worth mentioning that I have a very placid tank and not even my fighter flares his fins at anyone! I am very confused by all this!

If anyone has any thoughts I'd greatly appreciate it!

Thanks in advance!

#2 fidjet2

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 03:31 PM

With your pleco, what type is it?

What are the exact water parameters?
How long has the tank been set up?
How often do you do water changes and how much do you do?

#3 katiefairyinnit

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 03:50 PM

The pleco is just a common plec, he's young I think as he's very small as plecs go.

The tank has been up and running for about 3 months now. I have done about four 25% water changes so far as the gourami, endlers and fighter have only been in the tank for a week so it didn't require much cleaning, esp during the cycle.

The parameters are as follows - NO3 - about 11, NO2 - 0, GH - about 6d, KH - about 5d, PH - about 7, and Ammonia - 0

#4 Aqua Tom

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 04:14 PM

The pleco is just a common plec, he's young I think as he's very small as plecs go.

The tank has been up and running for about 3 months now. I have done about four 25% water changes so far as the gourami, endlers and fighter have only been in the tank for a week so it didn't require much cleaning, esp during the cycle.

The parameters are as follows - NO3 - about 11, NO2 - 0, GH - about 6d, KH - about 5d, PH - about 7, and Ammonia - 0



NO3 about 11? Nitrate poisoning is happening. :hyper:

A massive water change is needed now & I mean now. You need to be draining the tank so the fish can barely swim, then fill it with temp matched dechlorinated water. Then do the same the next day & the next. ANY nitrite in a tank is deadly & a reading of 11ppm is realy bad.


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#5 katiefairyinnit

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 04:19 PM

thanks for your reply Tom. According to my Tetra testing kit an NO3 rating of between 0 and 25 is safe. The scale goes right up to 250 and says anything between 100 and 250 is bad. Are you not thinking of NO2? Cuz my test kit says anything above 4 is bad for NO2 and would require immediate action. The scale for NO2 only goes up to 10 on my kit. My current NO2 reading is 0. My understanding was that a little NO3 is good but NO2 is very bad?

It is only the yellow gourami and 2 platies who are behaving this wy, the rest of my tank are colourful, with full fins and look happy. This is a very recent thing. they were not behaving like this early this morning, if that info helps?

Thanks!

#6 fidjet2

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 04:45 PM

no3 is fine that is nitrate..... no2 is the one that has to be 0 at all times, as with ammonia

The fighter might be starting to get territorial which could cause stress and maybe the reason, but someone more experienced should say for sure.
Also that plec will get too big for your tank, he needs to be in a 200 Litre minimum

Edited by fidjet2, 16 February 2012 - 04:46 PM.


#7 katiefairyinnit

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 04:52 PM

I said previously that my fighter is VERY placid and does not even flare his fins. he keeps himself to himself and in turn, he is not bothered by any of my other fish. My tank is very peaceful and I cannot for the life of me find the cause of this problem :(

The gourami is looking very sad at the moment and I am out of ideas as to what to do? The couple of platies are sluggish, but nowhere near as sad-looking as the gourami. I have 2 gouramis and 1 is perfectly fine.

The plec is only tiny, i'd say he's about 4cm long, if that. Don't worry about his size, I know what I'm doing and he is happy. If he ever got too big, i'd rehome him. The tank is pretty big anyway and by no means full.


Any more ideas people?

Thanks!

#8 fidjet2

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 04:59 PM

I didn't say you didn't know what you were doing, was just making sure that you knew that they can get up to 2 foot long.
Didn't mean to offend you or anything :/

Would you be able to post some pics up of the sick ones?

Edited by fidjet2, 16 February 2012 - 05:00 PM.


#9 katiefairyinnit

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 05:11 PM

Oh no, you didn't offend me, I was just letting you know that I'm not naive about my fishkeeping :) They've all been happy so far and I've even got through the nitrogen cycle without losing a fish. The only other possible reason for their behaviour that i can think of is my black molly. He is quite boisterous and has maybe chased the fish today and upset them? He usually concentrates his energy on just one female platy but she doesn't seem too bothered. This platy isn't one of the sluggish ones, those are 2 males and the male gourami. Do you think the molly may be the reason?

Thank you :)

#10 N0body Of The Goat

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 05:24 PM

Have you verified the water temperature with at least two different thermometers?

Juwel heaters are reknowned for being badly calibrated, my 50W and 200W ones need to be a maximum and 32 respectively to give a true reading of 25C. Your fish could be sluggish because the real temperature is ~20C.

Edited by N0body Of The Goat, 16 February 2012 - 05:25 PM.


#11 katiefairyinnit

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 05:30 PM

I have two thermometers and both read correctly. One is a submersible one and the other is a sticker. This heater is brand new so it's working okay. i've heard Juwel aren't too great from some other people too. I had to replace my last one when it was less than a year old as it just stopped heating the tank so I watch this one closely! Luckily its working fine so far, but `i have a back-up just in case!

To update - The platies have livened up slightly but the Gourami is looking very sad still and alternating between hovering at the top and hovering on the bottom. I am thinking my mollie might be to blame as he likes to give chase sometimes and the gourami was bought only 6 days ago so may be a weak fish?

#12 fidjet2

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 05:36 AM

It probably is the molly, i can't think of anything else O.o

#13 Man of fish

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 05:47 AM

It could have DGD. But you said it was an opaline so nevermind.

#14 katiefairyinnit

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 01:41 PM

The gourami has perked up slightly but a few platies are still looking sad and drooping. I really think it may be because my mollie is chasing them. I've been watching him this morning and he's been pretty relentless. Does anyone know if its because he's ready to breed or something like that? Would it be advisable to get him a few females or would it be best for me to rehome him? Its worth mentioning that I got him from the pet shop and they told me he'd been brought in by someone rehoming him. I would not be surprised if they rehomed him cuz he's so boisterous! He doesn't fin nip or anything but he does like to chase and circle a couple of the platies while displaying his fins.

Advice appreciated! :)

#15 Ruskull

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 05:13 PM

The gourami has perked up slightly but a few platies are still looking sad and drooping. I really think it may be because my mollie is chasing them. I've been watching him this morning and he's been pretty relentless. Does anyone know if its because he's ready to breed or something like that? Would it be advisable to get him a few females or would it be best for me to rehome him? Its worth mentioning that I got him from the pet shop and they told me he'd been brought in by someone rehoming him. I would not be surprised if they rehomed him cuz he's so boisterous! He doesn't fin nip or anything but he does like to chase and circle a couple of the platies while displaying his fins.

Advice appreciated! :)


I hate to say it but it does seem like the male Molly might be the problem. I had a similar issue with a large female Three Spot Gourami that was terrorizing the rest of the tank & she eventually had to go. I hated to get rid of her too because she actually ate from my hand..............

#16 katiefairyinnit

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 12:35 AM

thanks for all the replies - Just updating on the situation. All sluggish and sad-lloking fish have now made a miraculous recovery and are doing very well. Seems it was just a strange occurance and nothing more! Thank you for all the help xx




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