10 Gallon Cherry Barb Urgent Issue Help

Discussion in 'Freshwater Fish Disease' started by biotopebuff, May 28, 2018.

  1. biotopebuff

    biotopebuffValued MemberMember

    Hey everyone,

    I have had my 10 gal tank with 6 cherry barbs and 2 amano shrimp for about sixth months now. Everything has been going rather smoothly up until now. I know the tank is slightly overstocked, but Nitrite and Ammonia levels have remained a consistent 0 throughout the whole time, and there have been no problems fighting whatsoever. Yesterday I did a major change on the fish tank, replacing gravel with Fluorite Black, new wood, and new rocks. All other fish and shrimp seem fine, and after testing Nitrite and Ammonia, still a hard 0. However, one cherry barb is laying on the sand, un moving, but alive. He will occasionally move to another part of the tank, but other than that, no movement. I see no signs of disease, fights, or anything else. Please help!
  2. FishGirl38

    FishGirl38Valued MemberMember

    Hi!, so, I don't think your 10 gallon is really over-stocked at all actually.
    and I would attribute anything funny going on now to the major change you just did. When you do any kind of MAJOR change like removing the gravel/switching it out. It can put your BB a little out of whack. Though, if all of the other fish are fine, it could just be him reacting not so great to the stress of having everything changed. Did you leave the fish in the tank when you changed the gravel? ( I would've) if you did, the dirty water could've stressed him out a bit. (the dirt that was kicked up during gravel change.)

    You may noticed that a slimey/foggy layer may begin to grow on your wood, this is normal and nothing to be worried about. If it's mopani wood it may not even happen. Either way, the amano shrimp will eat at it, or it will go away on it's own in about a week or so. It's the wood curing itself in the water, and is totally unrelated to your changing the tank/your water.

    What kind of rock is it? some rocks like tuffa can break down and add Calcium to the water. Probably not the current issue because this takes time, but it is something to consider for later on down the road. (Calcium could affect the hardness (PH) of your water)

    Is he breathing heavy? or just kinda, laying down? Fish do rest, and it could be maybe he's stressed a bunch and needs a break though, this really isn't a good sign. If there isn't any disease or inflammation that you can see, there really isn't anything you can do for him but make sure the water is clean. I wouldn't go medicating or anything.
  3. OP

    biotopebuffValued MemberMember

    Thanks so much!

    I did not leave the fish in the tank while changing the gravel, as there was a lot to do. I put them in a bucket with clean tank water, and some wood thatw as in the tank. Not sure about the new rocks, but they are a sort of smooth river rock. The wood is Malaysian. Thanks!

  4. FishGirl38

    FishGirl38Valued MemberMember

    okay! yeah, smooth river rock is fine, shouldn't cause any issue with the water chem. The wood will probably get a slimey layer over it soon, don't worry about it if it does. You can research more about it though, it is technically a fungas but it's not bad, and is normal.

    And okay! that's even better that you removed the fish while changing gravel. (I've switch flourite black from one tank to another AND flourite red from one tank to another, both done with fish in the tank, talk about a mess, fish are cichlids though, really hardy and no adverse effects). Did you do a water change during this switch?

    My thoughts, are that you removed whatever BB was in the gravel bed when you switched gravels. BUT, if your other fish are fine and your tests are coming back with 0 everything but nitrate, then the other little guy should be okay. Is he looking any better? Usually fish do that when they're stressed, stress would be caused by differing water parameters, like higher PH or ammonia, but again, you're not observing a change so...I'm unsure. To be on the safe side, you could add a pre-made BB product. like fluval bio or marinelands biospira or an equivalent, since that's really the only thing that could've changed via the gravel switch.

    Edit: is he breathing heavily? this would be a bit indicator that something is wrong. If he's breathing heavy, putting more oxygen in the water or a BB suppliment/water change (if it was ammonia, which you've stated it is not....) may help. You can add more oxygen by putting an airstone (connected to air pump) into the tank OR increasing the flow of your filter.

    If he's not breathing heavy. I wouldn't worry too much, barbs tend to be pretty hardy and it may just be a stress thing, try turning your light off for a bit and see if it helps...I hope the little guy bounces back soon.
    Last edited: May 28, 2018
  5. OP

    biotopebuffValued MemberMember

    He is getting worse, breathing rapidly and wiggling his fins sharply. I have an airstone and a relatively good filter already set up. Dosing stability now.
  6. FishGirl38

    FishGirl38Valued MemberMember

    Hmmm. :(. That is odd! Have you tested your PH? though if it was your water chemistry the other fish would be feeling it too. If it's localized to him, and he were my fish, I'd say maybe he has sand in his gills or something (shrugs*) that's sad and I'm sorry but I'm really unsure. hopefully another (more) experienced person can chime in. I'll see if I can find more on why fish lay down or cherry barb oddities.
    Sending good vibes and hopefully I can find something useful.

    I found an article that says stability may help.
    All of your other fish are fine?
    How to help with fish breathing HEAVY / RAPID, please read.

    I found this, it's regarding a PH swing of 1.0 from the addition of tap water at a PH of 8.0 into a tank with a PH of 6.4. The swing went from 6.4-7.4 from a 25% water change. It caused one (gourami I believe) to act similar to your cherry barb, when all other fish seemed fine.

    Edit: I'm reading cherry barbs prefer slightly acidic water around a PH of 6.5-7.0. They can live in a PH anywhere from 6.1-8.0, but they do their best in slightly acidic water. And fish can react strangely (stressed out) to a PH fluctuation larger than .6. (it it's above 1.0 it can be deadly).

    Turns out I have been testing for it wrong all this time. Please be gentle. I did read. I am just mom brained. Is this considered too high?

    I had 9, now have 8. They are short fin. They are so sassy!

    Attached Files:

    Last edited by a moderator: May 28, 2018
  7. OP

    biotopebuffValued MemberMember

    Ok thank you so much. However, I believe he is now dead. Showing little movement and losing color rapidly. I will check on him in a little bit, but will then remove him from the tank. I think it may be the PH swing. Thank you for your contribution, so much.
  8. emmysjj

    emmysjjWell Known MemberMember

    I’m so sorry for your loss :(
  9. FishGirl38

    FishGirl38Valued MemberMember

    I feel so bad, I wish I could've helped more somehow. I'm also sorry for your loss. :( it's never easy. ...I've lost 4 angels in the past to PH fluctuations...angels are my favorite :(. You did the best you could and seeking help for the situation is always the right thing. If you need anything else in the future we're here. I would recommend testing for PH and keeping a chart of where it's at so you can tell when/if it swings up or down. (same with ammonia+nitrite+nitrate)

    If it is PH and you decide to try to modify it. (which I do not really recommend....) be careful when choosing a PH buffer. If you use something that is meant to continuously drop the PH to a certain point, you must use it continuously and as directed, otherwise it can actually cause PH fluctuations (it's not something like dechlor, melafix, bettafix, prime, BB ect. that can be used in a pinch). Some products are designed to be used in a pinch, I believe api has a 'PH up' and 'PH down' that are designed to be used on demand. Just be careful if you're going to try to mess with it, Ph can be hard to get right and the product you use can affect the outcome greatly, I personally buy fish that prefer water closer to the PH from my tap to make it easy on me...

    Other experienced members could comment on the PH thing. I'm not sure if that's what caused the issue.
  10. OP

    biotopebuffValued MemberMember

    He is definitely dead. Getting him out of the tank now.

    PH moderation is something I will seriously consider after this. When setting up the tank. I cared less about PH than Ammonia and Nitrite. This was my first tank and first loss. I did a whole bunch of research (like months of it) before getting the tank, but I was much less interested in that category. Thank you for your help and support :)

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