Tetra behavior -stress or illness

Beastije

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Will open a new topic instead of continuing my old one.
Setup - 360l, running for years, remade slowly ( months) - removed stuff (limestone, plants, shells), added stuff (plants, wood), weekly water changes, the usual. Ph 6,4. Temp 27°C
Till Monday it had 6 rasboras, 5 tylomelania, 3 bamboo shrimp.
Since Monday 15 hatchetfish, 15 corydoras sterbai, 20 ember tetra, 3 bamboo shrimp, 5 tylomelania.
I understand I did a large bioload when adding all the fish at once, but I did a water change right before and it is a stable tank and the fish are small.

Anyway, to the issue. Cories are ok, behaving nicely, curious and active. Hatchetfish are static, but they are ok, nice colors, they even feed ( which surprised me in an import fish). Tetras are not so ok.
Yesterday one spent all the time at the surface, at 45° angle, rapid movement of the mouth, mouth right at the surface. All tetras have rapid movement of the mouth though, even those in the school, but then again, thanks to cories a lot of floating particles in the water column. The shrimp are having a blast. This tetra did not participate in the school.

I removed this tetra just in case, though it may have caused it more stress. In the morning there is a fungus in its eye. I put a drop of esha 2000 in its quarantine.

Another tetra now also spends time at the surface at this angle, but it ventures a bit lower and participated in the feeding, not in the school. Will keep an eye at it, but should I remove it or wait for some fungus to appear too?

Last tetra is very bleak color (though not all tetras regained the color after the transport, 1/4 are still paler, this one is very much pale) and looks like the jaw is somehow wide, or the gills are open (they are not). Very strange looking, but it participates in the school and in the feeding. Will try to take a picture but am not holding my breath the tetras are always moving and not easy.

Should I act proactively and remove those that don't look perfect, or wait it out and see what happens?
 
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Beastije

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The main tank is the quarantine. I bought all fish at the same store and there was nothing else that can become sick from the fish in the main tank. Why would I quarantine?
 

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What are your readings for ammonia, nitrIte, and nitrAte, using a liquid test kit?
 

Bruce Leyland-Jones

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I understand I did a large bioload when adding all the fish at once, but I did a water change right before and it is a stable tank and the fish are small.
I suspect that adding this huge bioload to your previously established ecosystem has been the cause of your problems.
Readings from your test kits should clarify this.
Doing a water change will remove the toxins from the water and dilute those left, but your beneficial bacteria will still be struggling to keep up with the extra load that has been imposed upon it.
I suggest that if you keep up with the water changes, never, ever forgetting to add dechlorinator/conditioner, things should balance out once more, eventually.

To assist your bacteria, you could possibly add extra bottled bacteria, (at the very least, this would do know harm).
Live plants are always a good idea, but in this instance, fast-growing floating plants would be your best bet. These will help process the toxic wastes and add oxygen to the water.
Bubblers from an airpump will also assist with regards better oxygenation.
 
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Beastije

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Well I have an ammonia sticker checker from seachem and it is very stable at 0, never ever any other number. I will check NO2 though I doubt it is elevated. Sure it is a large bioload in theory, but 35 2cm fish and 15 3 cm fish on a large eheim canister filter should be like nothing.
Also if NO2 got elevated, wouldn't the shrimp be the first to go?

I coincidentally added yesterday an armload of egeria densa, limnophila, limnobium and hydrocotyle that I got either in my other fishtanks or from other people, not farm grown, so there should be no reestablishing period.
I think I did let the tetra get cold during the transport or something like that to induce stress in them. I was less careful with their bag than I was with the others.

Will keep an eye out and maybe do a small water change in two days again. Will do NO2 test before, now it makes no sense anymore.
 

Byron

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Provided the plants were growing, which from your info would seem to be the case, adding the fish would cause no rise in ammonia or nitrite. If the pH is below 7 as stated, ammonia would primarily be ammonium anyway, which is basically harmless. But the plants could and would easily handle things here.

The Embers may have an issue, may have been chilled, may have been injured in netting, whatever. Do not jump to conclusions and start isolating fish and/or using any medications. Even if you should lose all of them (the Embers) it is better than risking all the other fish which are already under stress just from the new environment and transport. Water changes are fine, but only use conditioner.

Pale Ember Tetra can be due to the fish themselves. There is apparently some variance in the intensity of their colouration, depending upon the source habitat. If they are commercially tank raised, they are undoubtedly weaker to begin with than wild fish would be, and pale colouration may be a fact of this group.
 

Bruce Leyland-Jones

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Provided the plants were growing, which from your info would seem to be the case, adding the fish would cause no rise in ammonia or nitrite. If the pH is below 7 as stated, ammonia would primarily be ammonium anyway, which is basically harmless. But the plants could and would easily handle things here.
There's way more to a self-contained ecosystem than the levels of ammonia, nitrite and nitrate.
 

Byron

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There's way more to a self-contained ecosystem than the levels of ammonia, nitrite and nitrate.

Obviously. I was responding to the issue of ammonia/nitrite mentioned in more than one post, as this is in all probability not an issue here.
 
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Beastije

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I may have been too hasty or watching the fish too closely, since I have a cold and nothing else to do :) it has been only two days, even the cories are displaying some stress behavior (occasional up and down the glass side in the whole school)
Will feed lightly, don't do anything drastic and will see.
Btw i forgot I also added some Vallisneria plants, i underestimated the generosity of other fish keepers in my area, asked for spare plants, got a full bucket, put some in each of my tanks but also have two 3l jars full of plants and still stuff in the bucket! Crazy :))
Will post in few days w an update
 
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Beastije

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Fyi
 

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Bruce Leyland-Jones

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I may have been too hasty or watching the fish too closely, since I have a cold and nothing else to do :) it has been only two days, even the cories are displaying some stress behavior (occasional up and down the glass side in the whole school)
They'll be mapping out their space, so not necessarily 'stress behaviour'.
Most of the fish will be exposed to a whole host of new (fish) noises and smells. Until they work out that those strange new sensations aren't going to kill them, they'll be wary.
Hopefully, they'll settle down.

(This is just one reason why I'm dead against adding all of the fish, immediately after a tank has been cycled, which many seem to suggest is an appropriate thing to do).
 
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Beastije

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If more plants are needed, i could add ludwiga or egeria to the substrate. I purposefully left few cm of space around the wood for the cories to have the sand floor space to be in the open. I read they don't like full bottom. The wood should work as a safehouse, they do hide under it if startled so guess it works as expected. I want to add more plants to the middle, ideally java fern to tie to the wood for the tetras. I just have to wait for it to grow a bit, that is why I tied the egeria to the wood in the middle. Will see how it goes, some is left floating.
Or if the Vallisneria on the other side grows will also provide more plant. The lotus is starting to drop new leaves too.

Can't do any changes now, will leave it to settle for a while, i think I did enough poking recently :)
 

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