hiding/stressed(?) fish - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-27-2020, 01:18 AM Thread Starter
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hiding/stressed(?) fish

I have 12 dwarf neon rainbows, 8 dwarf chain loaches, and 12 Amano shrimp in a well-established ~60-gallon planted tank. (The tank and filter have been going for ~6 years. The fish are a little new: about 2 weeks ago, I traded my former fish for these and 4 pearl gouramis that are on order.)

About 48 hours ago, I did my first water change with a new hose setup, refilling the tank for the first time--slowly--with water straight from my garden hose while simultaneously dosing with Prime. The rainbows have been hiding in a dark corner ever since, while the loaches and shrimp are acting normally. The rainbows came out to eat today, but went right back to their corner, after 2 weeks of acting normally.

I live in a place with a mild climate, and the temperature of the tank goes down just ~2-4 degrees when I change ~50% of it's water either the old way (buckets) or the new way (a slow garden hose). All water parameters look fine: Ammonia and nitrites=0/undetectable, nitrate=~5ppm, phosphate=~0.5ppm, GH=23/411ppm, KH=10/179ppm, pH=~7.5 (those hardness and pH values are normal for Santa Barbara, CA, where I live).

Did I do something to severely stress my fish? They didn't hide at all after bucket-based water changes, but they're still hiding now.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-27-2020, 02:39 AM
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I guess the beauty (but also potential downside) of using a hose to refill the tank is how quickly the new water can be added. Not sure how long your _slow garden hose_ took to top-up the water, but maybe go even slower next time? But maybe your fish are just new, young and still settling in to their new home. How similar is your tank water to the new water being added?


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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-27-2020, 04:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hirundo View Post
Did I do something to severely stress my fish? They didn't hide at all after bucket-based water changes, but they're still hiding now.
The fact that they didn't hide at all after bucket water changes is interesting to me; there really shouldn't be any difference between the two methods. Maybe do a bucket water change to see if they come back out again?
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-27-2020, 05:30 PM
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Did you remember to dechlorinate? Did you add enough? The local water company may have added more to system than usual? they will do that periodically.
Were there a lot of micro-bubbles when adding water which can lead to stress or Gas bubble disease depending upon amount of micro-bubbles exposed to.

Look at fish carefully: gills, body of fish, eyes. These sites will give you clues to issues.


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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-28-2020, 05:10 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the comments!

The new water was added pretty slowly--maybe 30 minutes for 25-30 gallons?--more slowly than the 5-gallon buckets I used to tip into the tank. No bubbles, small excess of dechlorinator, water parameters of old vs new the same. It's just weird that the fish were comfortable all over the tank for two weeks, and now this. It's now a little over 72 hours later, and the rainbows are still hiding (loaches and shrimp have been fine all along).

I forgot to mention that I did a water change in my 33-gallon tank the same day with the same method, and the fish there are all fine, totally unfazed.

The only thing I can think of, and I left it off to keep my original post shorter, is that right after the water change, I thought the phosphates were too high (I think ~1ppm) and I thought I might have accidentally overdosed my fertilizer. Nitrates were normal, but I did another water change that night, probably 4 hours after the first, as soon as I noticed the new behavior. Still, even if I did accidentally add too much fert, the water has been fine for 72 hours and the loaches are all fine. And I may not have overdosed...maybe the phosphates were just kind of high or I misread the API color chart?

It still seems weird.

Bump: ...but I did not yet look at the fish's gills, eyes, etc. I'll do that.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-30-2020, 06:03 AM Thread Starter
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It's now 5 days later. Rainbows still hiding, loaches still fine. The rainbows' eyes, mouths, fins, and breathing all seem normal, but their background color now looks darker. I'm starting to wonder if they're sick, and it just hadn't yet shown up in the LFS. Maybe the stress of the water change, regardless of method, was the thing that sent them over the edge.

I've been so busy at work--I'm a teacher, up past midnight every night scrambling to convert my classes to online--that I haven't had time for another water change. I'll do one tomorrow and see what happens.
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