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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My compressiceps look as if they are turning clear on they're backs just behind the head. What could be causing this?

test read: 0;ppm Nitrite
0;ppm Nitrate
0 ammonia
0 chlorine
Of course the label on my test strips got tore off in a funny way so I cant read the PH or Alkalinity but giving my past experience with fish which is pretty good, just by looking at the colors on the pads the are perfect.

I have been feeding them Hikari micro pellets, OSI spirulina, and some spirulina fortified brine from Hikari along with some first bites.

They are very small and only around a inch or so and they are in a 75g tank with temps of 78 degrees.
 

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It is my understanding that if there are 0 nitrites and ammonia in the tank, then there should be nitrates, and inversely, no nitrates, there should be nitrites and ammonia. How long has this tank been set up, and what are the other inhabitants? It would seem that this tank is not cycled and could be causing the issue stated. Did you use a dechlorinator that also removes chlorimines?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
They are the only 2 animals and it has been running for almost a year now. It has had some other fish in it but I put them in a tank I gave to my daughter before I picked up the first Comp.

The tank is definitely cycled!

I know my 5 in one test strips are good but Im not sure about my ammonia ones ( I would think they are fine ) so I am going to take a sample to a friend at a LFS.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Heres a new development.

I just fed them and one suddelny got some kind of lock jaw. He was fine but when he went after a bit of food this happened...


This ones colors look better and all but if I would be in he right lighting you would see its still kind of clear. This is the one I most recently purchased on the 4th of July.

He looks like a horse face loach now!

I have been trying to get a good shot of the other one but its hard!!!
 

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Looks like lock jaw, if it doesn't correct itself in short order you'll have to carefully net the comp and very gently readjust its jaw. How long has it been extended in this manner?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
It happened some time in between those last two posts I made :x

I think he looks even more horse face than a horse face loach to be correct.

Well I have to put that aside and stay on topic, this is great. I finally get my hands on some of these guys and I have problems.

I forgot to mention that with the problems I explained ( the topic of the thread ) they are still eating which to me is a great sign but now with this happening who knows could be wrong.

I have had a bunch of fish in my time. I had huge Jaguar cichlids and all the times I seen them stretch their jaws I never saw something like this as much as I thought I would. And they had big mouths man!
 

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I would have to say, if there is 0 nitrate, there is something wrong, either with the test kits or, the tank is not cycled. Can 2, 1/2" fish produce enough waste to maintain a biological filter ?
 

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noddy said:
I would have to say, if there is 0 nitrate, there is something wrong, either with the test kits or, the tank is not cycled. Can 2, 1/2" fish produce enough waste to maintain a biological filter ?
Yes, but not at "full" stocking capacity.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I dont see why a already cycled aquarium would not adjust to the bio load of 2 small fish, heavy feeding and weekly 1/4 water changes.

From what I always thought Nitrates should be noticable when the aquarium is finaly cycled but then kept at the lowest minimum possible.

The tank ran fine for almost a year now. The only adjustments I made was raising the PH.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
OK back to the comp with the jaw problem. Has any Compressiceps owner seen anything like this? I figured some of you would know seeing how they have a unique structure to the jaw anyway.

I did manage to net him up despite the amount of places he has to hide and as soon as I did it went straight and he ate some left over food from the bottom right away as if his senses are still perfect. Its like he was waiting and new where the food was cause as soon as I dropped him in he went right for it.

However just about a hour ago it happened again. I have a bad feeling something is torn or on those lines of being damaged some how or another and it may just be hopeless seeing how if it keeps popping out it wont heal for sure even if it did have any chance at doing so. I have a bad feeling I may have to drop him in a cup with some clove oils.

As far as the water test went. the pets store fond the test to come up the same.

I am wondering if metals have found some way in which could be causing this problem with this other fishes jaw. I cant test for phosphates myself and I don't know of a shop that sells test kits for it or does test for it either and I doubt that is what could be causing problems. Like I said on the bright side they are eating and well one is at least attempting to eat.

As far as the tank not being cycled, remember that this is a old tank and I try my best to keep up with maintenance. I am sure that if I slacked off on maintenance especially water changes nitrate would be readable.
 

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It seems to be a fairly common thing to happen to calvus and comps, I've read about it a couple times on this forum. People gently nudge it back into place. I think it's a injury or dislocation thing and not caused by water chemistry problems.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Darkside said:
You can try repairing his jaw and then fasting them for a week to see if that helps.
That is a wonderful idea, unfortunately I don't see how a fish this size would handle surgery or how one could even perform it. Thanks for thinking though, it is appreciated.

It seems to be a fairly common thing to happen to calvus and comps, I've read about it a couple times on this forum. People gently nudge it back into place. I think it's a injury or dislocation thing and not caused by water chemistry problems.
Do they turn out successfully? I am almost sure that it is some kind of dislocation but seeing how my original reason for this post was the discoloration I did not want to rule that out and was thinking since it happened when he was eating maybe a metal in the water caused lock jaw.

Should I set up a quarantine tank for him so I can catch him easier if it happens again? I really don't have any room but I guess I could. I am really at my limit in such a apartment with tanks man. Like, this one would have to go in the walk in closet.

EDIT: Wait, if its that common would it not happen in the wild. Would it straighten out on its own in that case?
 

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It might straighten out on it's own. As long as you are gentle, nudging it back into place (which I'm sure is what Darkside meant) can only help. It may never happen again, it may happen repeatedly or he may never recover. I've read more success stories than failures...can't hurt to try!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Here is a pic of the one that looks as if he is turning clear...



sorry for the blurry pic but I don't have a nice camera, just a 6.0 meg point and click.
 

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Altolamps change color with mood. They can go from black to "clear" in about 5 minutes. Don't worry about that, it's perfectly normal for them to be pale, dark, or in between for extended periods of time.

The jaw extension is an injury that happens in altos, cyps, paracyps, and a few other cichlids. Some people have caught the fish and pushed the jaw back in. In those cases, sometimes it holds, sometimes it pops back out. Some people leave the fish alone, and the jaw pops back in, and sometimes it just stays that way and the fish figures out how to eat like that. It's your choice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks!

I figured it was a mood thing but I really would like to find out what it is thats causing this stress. It has been going on for a while but I am more reassured now that its not something to do with my water condition. I guess its just safe to say as a individual he is just a stressed out guy :lol:
 

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the clearness is normal. they will change color at will i have about 6 i have 4 comps and 2 calvus sometimes there colors and stripes come in really good and sometimes they fade away like that. It also seems that if im doing any type of maint. on my tank that fade also. :fish:
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks.

I made a trap for the fish with the jaw problem and managed to snag him up today.

I gave a look at his jaw and I cant see anything wrong with it still not determining that there isn't however. I managed to nudge his jaw a few times sort of massaging it ( sound stupid but that what I did ) and it went back in place. He took some food and it did not pop out this time. I leave for vacation tomorrow and have a friend to check up on things for me so the fact that I am leaving but the jaw did not pop out this time that he ate kind f makes me a bit more relieved.
 

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I am no expert with fish at all. But from what i have read, these fish have the ability to blend in with it's environment (camoflauge).
I may be wrong but thats what i have been led to believe and thats what it looks like it is doing.
 
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