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Whiptail catfish lying on its side

Discussion in 'Tropical Fish Emergencies' started by Caitlin Copeland, Apr 2, 2019.

  1. Caitlin Copeland

    Caitlin Copeland New Member

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    I've had my whiptail catfish for just over a week now and they've seemed fine until recently. One keeps lying weirdly as it keeps lying on its side and also his face on the floor but his body facing up. I found it quite funny when it looks like he's doing a hand stand but it scares me when he lies on his side, is this normal for them to do this or is he ill? They also randomly shoot up to the surface and back down sometimes which I don't know if that's unusual or not. They live in my 15 gallon tank which has been running for over a month and I've done water changes and tested the water and that is fine.

     
  2. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    No it's not normal. When fish act strange, sitting on their head or dashing madly about, it is just about always a water quality issue. It can be ammonia, nitrite, nitrate in the water, wrong pH for the species, or a chemical in the water.

    Big daily water changes (75%) and gravel cleaning is my first suggestion. See if the fish improves after a couple of water changes. If it's no better then add some carbon to the filter.

    Post a few pics of the fish and maybe a short 20 second video. It might help us spot something.
     
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  3. Caitlin Copeland

    Caitlin Copeland New Member

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    Okay thank you. And also could it be the fact that it is gravel in the tank, do they prefer sand?
     
  4. Caitlin Copeland

    Caitlin Copeland New Member

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    Also it is not letting me post a picture of him, it keeps saying that the file is too big even though it's just a basic quality photo
     
  5. Guppylover3x

    Guppylover3x Fishaholic

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    Hi and welcome to the forum. It sounds like your poor fish isn’t very well. I agree with Colin it could be a water quality issue. It would be difficult to advice you further unless you posted your exact parameters as fine could mean anything. Water changes are your best option as adviced above, if not it could be a chemical problem and the carbon would help take that out. I’m not sure if they prefer gravel or sand but this shouldn’t be of any contribution to him acting strange. It is only if the gravel isn’t cleaned that it would cause problems. Any sharp corners or edges in the tank can contribute towards injury, I would recommend keeping live plants if you don’t already do so. This provides shelter for the fish. Keep us posted. Best of luck.
     
    #5 Guppylover3x, Apr 2, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2019
  6. Guppylover3x

    Guppylover3x Fishaholic

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    Colin should be able to help assist with this.
     
  7. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    Gravel or sand is fine and won't make any difference.

    Set the camera's resolution to its lowest setting and take some more pictures. Check them on your pc and post a couple of clear images. Make sure you turn the camera's resolution back up after otherwise all your pictures will be small.
     
  8. Caitlin Copeland

    Caitlin Copeland New Member

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    The water results were:
    Nitrates: 28
    Nitrites: 0.39 which is a little high
    pH: 8.2
    Chlorine: 0
    Carbonate hardness: 15
    Total hardness: 10
     
  9. Caitlin Copeland

    Caitlin Copeland New Member

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    He hasn't been moving for a while now
     

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  10. Guppylover3x

    Guppylover3x Fishaholic

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    Look closely to see if his gills are moving, if so he is still alive but looks unwell. Make sure none of the other fish are pecking at him, I would switch of the tank light to reduce stress. Quarantine tanks are often helpful for situations like this. How much water do you change per week? And what’s your stocking like? Is it just catfish you have in this tank? Temperature also counts as a parameter, they like a temperature of 26C / 78F.
     
  11. Caitlin Copeland

    Caitlin Copeland New Member

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  12. Caitlin Copeland

    Caitlin Copeland New Member

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    I change 20% of the water per week, I have 2 whiptails, 7 neon Tetras and now only 1 shrimp and 1 platy as the others died, and the temperature is about 24c so should I raise the temperature to 26c?
     
  13. Guppylover3x

    Guppylover3x Fishaholic

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    I personally would raise it but the current temperature isn’t too low either. I notice you neon tetras are part of your stocking, from my knowledge I think these fish require a different PH level to your other fish. A PH of 8.2 could be a little high for these guys.
     
  14. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    Do a 75% water change and gravel clean the substrate each day until there is no ammonia or nitrite, and the nitrate is less than 20ppm.
    Make sure any new water is free of chlorine/ chloramine before it is added to the tank.

    Don't bother changing the temperature.
     
  15. Caitlin Copeland

    Caitlin Copeland New Member

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    I was thinking that the pH was a bit high and I've just done a water change as well. Thank you for your help
     

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