Cichlid Fish Forum banner
1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I have 15 gallon tank set up that I was using to nurse a adult female ruby red back to health (male beat the **** outta her). She healed up nicely after a couple of weeks and I left her in that tank. About three months later, she started darting around the tank literally cutting the surface of the water. This would only happen after I turned off the tank light at night and would happen within 5- 30 minutes after doing so. My problem is that whenever she would dart around the tank, upon hearing the water splashing, I'd turn the light back on to find my fish unconscious floating upside down in the tank as though dead. Usually 15-30 minutes later, she would right herself back up and would swim around normally as though nothing happened (weirdest thing I'd ever seen). This unconscious thing happened about a dozen times and one day she didn't come to. A few weeks later I acquired two male juvenile peacock (ruby & nyasse about 2"). I put then both in that same tank to let them grow up a little before throwing them into the 55. Within the first week, the nyasse started doing the same thing. And now (a month later) the ruby did the same thing, except this time he went berserk when I turned the light on. My lfs thinks it could be either shock because of the sudden change in light, or possibly the petricolas are scaring them when they are sleeping.
This tank has been constantly running for about a year and a half now housing a pleco and three synodontis petricolas. Ever since I started using the tank for cichlids, I've been doing 50% water changes every 10-14 days regularly.
I would greatly appreciate the forums expertise in this matter.

Much thanks in advance.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
131 Posts
Check to make sure your not putting any unwanted electricity into the water. A faulted heater, or power that is submerged in the tank.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
623 Posts
Although it's worth a check i doubt it's electricity since I'm sure OP would have got a shock. This is one reason I don't like small tanks, high possibility of contaminant and poor water quality, simply due to the small water volume. Doesn't explain the strange activity, did that female die and has there been any others? What's the temperature? Personally I don't find it necassary to use lights on 10-15 gallon tanks unless say planted. If so only small lights should be used. I should add my fish did this after a big water change as they were flashing and would rub the glass top. Did you do big water changes? Test your tap water, maybe you should do smaller water changes?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks so much for your guys feedback...

No, I have not tested the parameters of the water. I should check that. I've actually never checked any parameters on any of my tanks before. :-?

No electricity in the water. No heater in the tank, and the only external things in the tank is a penguin 200 and an air hose for the bubble wand. Also i have other fish in the tank which don't seem to be getting affected by any of this which is another reason why I'm confused.

The female peacock did die. :( I do 50% water changes regularly because the tank is small although I do believe the filter is amply sufficient- 200gph (I change the filter cartridge once a month). I use regular tap water with stress coat and rock salt. My water temp is always at 78% (I live in Hawaii) I do have multiple tanks set up all utilizing the same water source with rock salt and stress coat and for some reason only this tank is giving me issues. This is so darn frustrating, I did however check in with another lfs and the meathead employee told me that as long as the fish eats you should be okay?!??!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
554 Posts
+1 on the electricity, since it coincides with the light being switched on/off. The OP wouldn't necessarily be in contact with anything that would conduct electricity to him/her, so they wouldn't necessarily feel a shock. Check all your electric fixtures, perhaps replace your light fixture.

I doubt it's the petricolas.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Sorry Nina I should clarify... First off, it's a perfecto hood so the fixture is shielded from the water by a glass panel so it never gets wet and is never in direct contact with the water (I did check just to be safe though). The fish went nuts 5-30 minutes after turning the light off as well, therefore no current was running though the light. If there was a short, I'm sure my surge suppressor or circuit breaker would have tripped. I also know that it cannot be the penguin filter because of the way it is designed (the electrical box is isolated from the main unit; basically my house would probably burn down before electricity goes into the water due to the filter).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
131 Posts
Only reason I mentioned the electricity is because of when the fish start to act erratic.

I experienced this once when one of my heaters had a small crack in it from being exposed while it was on during a water change. Since you have no heater in your tank, I am guessing your house ambient temp. is around 80F ?

Is this behavior only happening after you are turning the lights off? If so, I would suggest leaving them off for a few days and see if they display symptoms again.

Deff. check your water parameters first and foremost. :thumb:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
38 Posts
I think the synos might be the problem. Can you maybe just leave as little light as possible, just enough to see their shadow while you sit motionless somewhere not very visible?
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
40,494 Posts
I've never had a syno bother any Malawi in any of my tanks so that would surprise me. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
thx ppl, but this sucks... Both nyasse and ruby went berserk today while I was siphoning water (only water) and I unplugged the surge suppressor as I always do when siphoning therefore no electricity was remotely around the tank. Still, both fish went unconscious (first time they did this while i was cleaning tank), but the nyasse stopped breathing this time and only the the ruby woke up. :( !#%[email protected]#[email protected]$ I don't know what to do. I don't think its the synos either b/c they actually swim around and brush against the peacock(s) regardless if the lights are on or not, and the peacock(s) don't seem to mind it at all. I really hate to throw my last fish into the 55 b/c I know he'll get pulverized by the dragon blood in there. The other thing I really don't get is why are only the peacocks acting weird? This is killing me guys... I know water parameters are crucial but I cannot envision how poor water conditions would cause them to act like this. in my experiences, poor water conditions lead to slow deaths as levels change and become toxic, but not sudden sporatic (convulsing) behavior ending with the fish being unconscious. They literally dart around the tank and start convulsing as humans do until they turn upside down and float in the tank- gills still moving) I live in Hawaii so my water temp never changes. their water is always clean (weekly water changes/ every other week vacuuming) I feed them twice a day (nls only) and I don't know what else to say. ARGGGHHHH!!! Sorry ppl this is just so darn frustrating. I take pride in my fish as we all do and would love to just set up a new larger tank (and throw this piece of $#!t away) but i just don't have the funds or space to do so.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
66 Posts
I would recomend to get a bigger aquarium, I have two fem and a male ngara in a 30. I did however notice when i would do a 10% once a week the male goes crazy and sorta does the same thing. But never loses conciousness. So I added an extra hiding place and he doesn't seem to do it nearly as much . But definetly I think they are trying to break free so a bigger tank to put the dragon in or the other peacocks. Also, had a customer, that her fish were doing the same thing, and its cause he PH was so low that the fish weren't dying just freaking out, slowly wasting away, hurting themselves and trying to eat eachother. So we had to slowly bring the ph up and now 4wks later fish are great. But could be a number of thing. Hope this helps, Def test your water regularly even if you just get the strips to give you a rough estimate of where things are at in your tank. Good luck and sry to hear about your troubles.:(
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks Lacey... For the time being, to be safe, I took him out and he now temporarily resides in a 60qt cooler (ice chest) until I can figure out what is going on. Will definitely run water test within the next couple of days. :thumb:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Yikes... I ran the api ph test and discovered my ph was @ 6.0 :eek:... this was AFTER a 50% water change (my tap tested at 7.6). I've read the buffer recipe article, but now my question is how slowly is it recommended for adding in the bi-carb, especially because my ph is so low? I'm assuming that I can't just throw two teaspoons of the stuff in a cup of tank water to dump into the tank. I'm hoping this is the cause of my probs. I also probed the tank with a fluke randomly throughout the day in different conditions (light on- off/ filter on- off/ air pump on-off), but the readings showed nothing. Once again, thanks so much for all your guys tips and feedback!!!!
Aloha!
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
40,494 Posts
I would do 0.2 maybe every other day.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
40,494 Posts
It's a good idea to do both immediate and after 24 hours. Some people will get the same measurement both times (like me) and others will get a drop.

I THINK (corrections please :oops: ) that it's different after 24 hours from some if they have pressurized municipal systems that don't allow CO2 to outgass while in the system.
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top