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New cherry barbs not eating? BN pleco not hungry either.

3746 Views 10 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  mistergreen
Needing a little help here, i have recently moved my 5 gallon into my new 17 gallon after the 5 gallon unintentionally become very overstocked to to fish breeding and unintentionally acquiring a baby bn, the tank has settled in, didn't even have a mini cycle and everything for the most part is going fairly smoothly apart from a couple of plant deficiencies i am sorting out as i learn the new tanks needs and some fish not wanting to eat. Stocks are my peppered cory parents and their young, one bn pleco and 7 cherry barbs that i added 4 days ago. The cories have their same piggy appetite and the babies are still growing nice and fast. My BN however has pretty much spent the whole time hiding under driftwood and wont eat, he used to race out after the algae wafters and chase off the cories if they came within 10cm and he wasn't shy either and would happily sit around in plain veiw, now i can drop food near him and he wont touch it, only attack the cories if they get to close but wont eat. The cherry barbs also wont really eat, if food falls directly in front of them they may eat one little bit often spitting it out. They do not seem stressed at all and at feeding time tonight the males were chasing the females around everywhere while eggs went all over the place (perhaps they are to caught up breeding to eat?)


PH 6.8
Ammonia 0
Nitrate 10ppm (dosed to this otherwise 0 from plants)
Temp 24c


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How recent was the move? Are you sure tank cycle is still good? More frequent water changes and make sure temp is good. Give it a day or two with no feeding and just watch.

I also still that that your overstocked still.

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How recent was the move? Are you sure tank cycle is still good? More frequent water changes and make sure temp is good. Give it a day or two with no feeding and just watch.

I also still that that your overstocked still.

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Tank was moved close to 3 weeks ago, ammonia has stayed 0 the whole time, all gravel and filter media was moved across with extra added as needed to suit bigger filter etc. I agree on overstocking, i will be reducing the number of cories as the young ones grow out some more plus possibly re homing the bn as i got it by accident in the first place and don't really need it for cleaning as i don't have algae issues. That said i have grown to really like him/her and its strange personality and up until the move it was very happy growing nice and quickly and always on the move, i've had the bn nearly a year now and its tripled in size. No doubt i will get a bigger tank again soon, everything is so much easier.
Well with the info that you have provided it sure does sound like your cherry Barb's brought in some sort of disease. Either that or they are just still stressed from the move.

Like I said before you need to keep up on water changes in times like this and feed very little to not add waste if they are not eating.

Try and get some close up photos of the Barb's maybe there is a physical sign.

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That ammonia test of yours is likely faulty. All tanks will cycle. It is quite a long process.
I would add 1 teaspoon of aquarium salt, which will be diluted out as you do water changes.
I would do regular water changes, skipping no more than a day between them for another 2 or 3 weeks.
He has brought over existing filters and substrate. The tank should still be cycle but might be going through a mini cycle cause of the new fish and move.

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I'm assuming the light is new too. Cherries and BN don't like really bright lights especially with the tress of a new tank. Try feeding after the lights are off or have some floating plants.
Only the top layer of the substrate is of any use to the bacteria... scooping it from one tank to another does not guarantee that the stuff that was on top, goes on top again. sure things will cycle sooner. I suspect you will still see issues with that little plants and such a short period.

Also, I'm seeing no filtration on that tank... You say you put in a bigger filter?

Were the fish eating at the shop? You did ask them to feed them so you can see they eat?
Thanks for all the replies, the cherries weren't store bought or i would have quarantined them, they are from a friends tank who bred them himself who's tank has no diseases and has been running for many years, they were piggish eaters in his tank but never really seemed to want to eat from the surface they used to pick around the bottom a lot more. I had a talk to him and he said his cherries don't usually like to eat processed food that much. I offered them some mosquito larvae today and they went crazy over them, pleco is still being anti social. Lighting is around the same brightness as the old tank, i was running 2x 14w cfl on the 5g in a really inefficient reflector, new tank is running 2x18w t8's. When i moved the substrate i made sure to put all the new stuff on the bottom then spread the substrate from the old tank over the top. Ammonia tester is a brand new API that i bought especially for the move, it read some faint readings on day 3 then has been 0 ever since. Filtration is a large internal canister type, its doing the job but a hob is on the way to be added shorty as the internal filters are loud and a pain to clean. Regarding feeding when the lights are off i tried that and the cherries are a little more active but the pleco still hides. I did catch the bn cleaning late at night so i know its still eating not that there is much food around at the moment for it.

Will get some close ups soon, to me they all look very healthy, bright colours, all chubby and well fed with no damages on them.
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Perhaps they are just not used to the different food you give. When I first got my cherry barbs it took them several days to figure out that food came from the surface. They like to look around for things to eat on the bottom of the tank, I think that's normal. Let them get hungry for a few days- and keep trying. Maybe mix in something you're trying to get them to accept in with something you know they like- the mosquito larvae.

It sounds like they are not sick but just settling in. Mine have taken a week to get over being shy and nervous in a new tank, before. And when I added more cherries, the new ones wouldn't come to the surface to eat for days- but finally they followed the example of the established group.
I'm looking at this

Blue Gularis Killifish

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