Are Praecox Rainbowfish just shy or am I doing something wrong?

eirynne

Active Member
Member
Messages
168
Reaction score
127
Experience
1 year
HI all... I've had my group of praecox rainbows since Oct 1st (after doing a full fishless cycle). I started with a group of 3 male/ 4 female but about 2 weeks ago I lost one of my males to an unknown illness (discoloration, gasping & bloating). The loss of their friend definitely shook them up for a few days (they skipped meals for 2-3 days when usually they are ravenous) but things have gotten back to normal & I haven't noticed anything wrong with the remaining group.
The problem is, though, that "normal" means that they will be swimming around/exploring/flirting in the morning, hide when they see me coming, come back out when they see it is breakfast, and then go back to hiding until I leave. If I visit them at any other time of day they hide. After a water change, they will swim around and ignore that I am there while they try to catch the pieces of vitamins I put in the water..... So essentially the only times I ever get to watch them being normal and happy is breakfast, after a water change (once a week), or when they don't realize I'm in the room in the morning.

Is this just normal behavior for this type of fish? I don't think the water params are bad as they are obviously happy enough to lay eggs regularly as I see fry very frequently & they act like they are happy until they know I'm there. :/
 

FishGirl38

Well Known
Member
Messages
1,087
Reaction score
749
Experience
4 years
Wow, you have rainbowfish breeding and the fry are surviving? Rainbowfish aren't typically HARD to breed....but it's not common for them to breed readily like that in an aquarium. Considering theyre breeding, I would agree that their water parameters are probably not 'bad', but do you test your water at all or know what your parameters are?

What size is the tank, and are they the only additions in the tank? Do you leave the light on all the time or often (longer than 8hrs?)

I've got at least...24 various species of rainbows (precox included) in a 135G and they're always active, I don't have a ton of places for them to hide though, just live plants and 1 piece of spider wood.

I asked about the water parameters because it could give an insight into what may be causing the odd behavior, if ammonia or nitrite is spiking, maybe nitrates are high, your PH could be changing....and you wouldn't know any of this is happening unless you're testing the water.

I work at an LFS, and couldn't tell you how many people come in and ask us about fill illness or odd behavior, we ask about their water parameters to attempt to diagnose the issue and they tell us 'the water is FINE, but what's wrong with the fish'....Weeellll, its impossible to give helpful insight into what may be the problem if there isn't any information on the fish's current environment, especially when it's a behavior thing. Sometimes it's just the fish being funny, other times it's them trying to tell us something about their environment.

I don't want to be redundant in explaining all the parameters and why their important because you might already know but if you don't I would gladly break them down for you.

EDIT: My thoughts, are that they may be a little skiddish, esp. if it's a smaller tank and you leave the light on often. and too, if they're the only species in the tank....erm...I'm not familiar with it happening with rainbow fish, usually they're not skiddish...but with some more peaceful, skiddish cichlid species (geophagus, severum, rams), people will add 'dither' fish in with them (that's what my rainbows are in my tank) to bring the more skiddish fish out of hiding.

The dither fish school and swim in the tank, making the bigger, more skiddish fish realize its 'safe' for them to explore too. Maybe, adding another type of fish to the tank might bring them out more? if it's big enough? Though....honestly....not changing anything would probably be better than changing their tank. Esp. if they're breeding...have you tried hiding from them to watch them?

I've got a sudan plated lizard too, in the wild (Africa), these lizards run from everything and hide in the cracks between rocks and inflate themselves so they can't be pulled out, anyway...he won't ever let me watch him eat. I walk up to his tank and *poof* into his cave. I can get a good look if I turn the room light off and sit off to the side of his tank though....:/
 

86 ssinit

Fishlore VIP
Member
Messages
6,502
Reaction score
6,989
Location
Long Island
Experience
More than 10 years
Mine were never shy but I kept them in an active room. Always someone in there. They came running at feeding time. Try feeding 3 times a day. What you feed in the morning now but split it up to 3 times.
About the illness. Unfortunately your not the first to bring that up. That does seem to be the way they die. I bought 10 2yrs ago and they all died like that. One at a time. I have bosemanI rainbow fish in the same tank that are 5 yrs old and still breeding in the tank. Have 4 babies in another tank growing out. Best wat to keep the fry is to put them in another tank. The parents will eat them.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #4
OP
eirynne

eirynne

Active Member
Member
Messages
168
Reaction score
127
Experience
1 year
FishGirl38 said:
Wow, you have rainbowfish breeding and the fry are surviving? Rainbowfish aren't typically HARD to breed....but it's not common for them to breed readily like that in an aquarium. Considering theyre breeding, I would agree that their water parameters are probably not 'bad', but do you test your water at all or know what your parameters are?

What size is the tank, and are they the only additions in the tank? Do you leave the light on all the time or often (longer than 8hrs?)

I've got at least...24 various species of rainbows (precox included) in a 135G and they're always active, I don't have a ton of places for them to hide though, just live plants and 1 piece of spider wood.

I asked about the water parameters because it could give an insight into what may be causing the odd behavior, if ammonia or nitrite is spiking, maybe nitrates are high, your PH could be changing....and you wouldn't know any of this is happening unless you're testing the water.

I work at an LFS, and couldn't tell you how many people come in and ask us about fill illness or odd behavior, we ask about their water parameters to attempt to diagnose the issue and they tell us 'the water is FINE, but what's wrong with the fish'....Weeellll, its impossible to give helpful insight into what may be the problem if there isn't any information on the fish's current environment, especially when it's a behavior thing. Sometimes it's just the fish being funny, other times it's them trying to tell us something about their environment.

I don't want to be redundant in explaining all the parameters and why their important because you might already know but if you don't I would gladly break them down for you.

EDIT: My thoughts, are that they may be a little skiddish, esp. if it's a smaller tank and you leave the light on often. and too, if they're the only species in the tank....erm...I'm not familiar with it happening with rainbow fish, usually they're not skiddish...but with some more peaceful, skiddish cichlid species (geophagus, severum, rams), people will add 'dither' fish in with them (that's what my rainbows are in my tank) to bring the more skiddish fish out of hiding.

The dither fish school and swim in the tank, making the bigger, more skiddish fish realize its 'safe' for them to explore too. Maybe, adding another type of fish to the tank might bring them out more? if it's big enough? Though....honestly....not changing anything would probably be better than changing their tank. Esp. if they're breeding...have you tried hiding from them to watch them?

I've got a sudan plated lizard too, in the wild (Africa), these lizards run from everything and hide in the cracks between rocks and inflate themselves so they can't be pulled out, anyway...he won't ever let me watch him eat. I walk up to his tank and *poof* into his cave. I can get a good look if I turn the room light off and sit off to the side of his tank though....:/
My tank is a 29gal kept at about 76-78F. Most days, the aquarium light is on from 10am-2pm off from 2-6pm and then on again from 6-10pm, so it's on for a total of 8hrs with a 4hr break in the middle of the day. But sometimes it is just completely off all day. I mostly have it on to help grow algae in the tank for the pleco.

They are currently with a bristlenose pleco (who, surprisingly is NOT reculusive/nocturnal like I've heard & comes out for breakfast in the morning with the rest of them!!!), but I originally also had 2 bolivian rams (they both died of a wasting disease over the course of the first month I brought them home... never came out or ate). I've been hesitant to add more fish since losing those three but I've definitely got some room if you have any species suggestions.

Regarding the fry... I wouldn't say that they "survive"... more like they are born and I feed them 2-3 times a day for about a week until the parents eat them (I know they won't survive but I can't just let them starve.... which probably seems silly). I'd love to get them in a different tank but I haven't gotten that set up yet. I've definitely had at least 4-5 batches of fry born since bringing them home though (if not more).

While cycling I noticed that my tap water was around 7.0-7.2 but within 24hrs the tank would be close to 6.4 so I have a mesh bag of crushed coral in the filter that keeps the pH pretty steady at around 7.0-7.2. Anytime I've tested for ammonia or nitrite since cycling I've come up with 0 and my nitrate is usually around 5-10.

The tank is in my bedroom so I'll watch them from bed in the morning before giving them breakfast :)

And aww your lizard sounds shy just like my fish!! Why can't they just accept that we love them xD
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
OP
eirynne

eirynne

Active Member
Member
Messages
168
Reaction score
127
Experience
1 year
86 ssinit said:
Mine were never shy but I kept them in an active room. Always someone in there. They came running at feeding time. Try feeding 3 times a day. What you feed in the morning now but split it up to 3 times.
About the illness. Unfortunately your not the first to bring that up. That does seem to be the way they die. I bought 10 2yrs ago and they all died like that. One at a time. I have bosemanI rainbow fish in the same tank that are 5 yrs old and still breeding in the tank. Have 4 babies in another tank growing out. Best wat to keep the fry is to put them in another tank. The parents will eat them.
They definitely come running for breakfast so I think feeding more times a day is a good idea. Maybe it will teach them that I'm a nice guy at more than one time a day!

I'd love to start actually trying to raise the fry, I just don't have a tank for them yet. What size is yours?
 

86 ssinit

Fishlore VIP
Member
Messages
6,502
Reaction score
6,989
Location
Long Island
Experience
More than 10 years
I put them in a 15 or 30 gallon shrimp tanks that I have. I move them up as they get bigger. As fry they are tiny. Smallest fry I’d ever seen. Also they are very slow growers. Mine laid there eggs in my plants. When I moved the plants into a shrimp tank a few weeks later I found the fry. They would have all been eaten in the main tank.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #7
OP
eirynne

eirynne

Active Member
Member
Messages
168
Reaction score
127
Experience
1 year
86 ssinit said:
I put them in a 15 or 30 gallon shrimp tanks that I have. I move them up as they get bigger. As fry they are tiny. Smallest fry I’d ever seen. Also they are very slow growers. Mine laid there eggs in my plants. When I moved the plants into a shrimp tank a few weeks later I found the fry. They would have all been eaten in the main tank.
They are so tiny, right?! I honestly have no idea where they are laying the eggs lol. But I bought a mesh container to protect them within the tank but they are so small they just swim through the mesh!!! X_x
 

86 ssinit

Fishlore VIP
Member
Messages
6,502
Reaction score
6,989
Location
Long Island
Experience
More than 10 years
FD3C6EE1-F987-4330-A4E2-EE65146893A5.jpeg
I bought this for Cory fry and it’s great. Hangs outside the tank and with a air pump sends water from the tank through it.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #9
OP
eirynne

eirynne

Active Member
Member
Messages
168
Reaction score
127
Experience
1 year
86 ssinit said:
FD3C6EE1-F987-4330-A4E2-EE65146893A5.jpeg
I bought this for Cory fry and it’s great. Hangs outside the tank and with a air pump sends water from the tank through it.
Ooooh very cool!!! I'll look into that.
 

Stuart Wetherbe

New Member
Member
Messages
8
Reaction score
7
My fish are kept in a basement that has very little activity through the day except when I come down to feed and do maintenance. They are typically shy for many weeks before they get used to the routine. Recently I've been just sitting watching the tanks quietly for longer periods of time so they forget I'm there. Its a whole different scene. Natual behaviour (I assume) versus feed-me behaviour. Very cool.
 

New Threads

Similar Threads

Follow FishLore!

FishLore on Social Media

Online statistics

Members online
222
Guests online
3,343
Total visitors
3,565

Aquarium Photo Contests

Aquarium Calculator

Top Bottom