Featherfin Catfish Laying On Side

AshlyWester

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Hi! New to the forum and thread here.

I've had my Featherfin, Ringo, for almost 8 months. He had an issue hovering around the heater for a while, but I moved the heater to be out of his usual route. However, he did get a heater burn on his head and belly. It began to grow white fuzz, which I treated with a 14 day (7 days did not clear it all the way up) once a day dose of pimafix and melafix.

His wounds have healed very nicely and he's eating great!!! But... He does continue to lay on his side or vertically 24/7. Broad daylight. He looks dead consistently, but as soon as I bend to check he snaps out of it and moves. He does not swim on his side, only when resting. Especially near the bubble block .

I have a 20 gallon tank, temp 74, all readings on water within normal range. I have 5 fish total, 3 glo tetras, 1 striped Raphael, and my featherFin. Any ideas on why he rests in the light, on his side??
 

cichlid4life

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What is the pH, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrates at? What is the kind of heater you have running in that specific tank? Welcome to fishlore. How long is your feather fin in inches or centimeters? Catfish are sensitive to fungus medications because they are scaleless creatures. What side does Ringo rest on, his left or his right, or does he rest on both sides? Ringo is have some really strange behavior for a synodontis and I need as much of the questions I asked to be answer if possible because then I would be able to understand you problem to be better at finding a solution to this strange behavior.
 
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AshlyWester

AshlyWester

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cichlid4life said:
What is the pH, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrates at? What is the kind of heater you have running in that specific tank? Welcome to fishlore. How long is your feather fin in inches or centimeters? Catfish are sensitive to fungus medications because they are scaleless creatures. What side does Ringo rest on, his left or his right, or does he rest on both sides? Ringo is have some really strange behavior for a synodontis and I need as much of the questions I asked to be answer if possible because then I would be able to understand you problem to be better at finding a solution to this strange behavior.
pH is 7
Nitrite 0
Nitrate 0.5
Ammonia 0

Not sure of his measurement, he's a quick guy. But a wild guess would be about (in inches) 4 or 5 inches long? He mainly rests on his right side, but will change to left from time to time. When he is eating, he swims fine or when he is mad at me for staring at him. But resting he looks dead!
 
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AshlyWester

AshlyWester

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cichlid4life said:
Is your tank cycled and what is the heater type?
Yep, tank is cycled. Been set up for a long time eater type is the store brand from Pet Supplies Plus made for a 20 gallon tank .
 

cichlid4life

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The pH is a tiny bit low but it is fine for the feather fin. How big was/is the area that got heater burn? What is the tank size? What is the temperature of the tank? I have a though but I need to know the temperature of the tank and the tank size to know if I am correct or if I am wrong about my conclusion. You said 20 gallon but is the temperature still at 74 or is it different now? Where is the termometer at, is it next to the heater or on the opposite end of the tank (opposite of the heater)?
 
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AshlyWester

AshlyWester

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cichlid4life said:
The pH is a tiny bit low but it is fine for the feather fin. How big was/is the area that got heater burn? What is the tank size? What is the temperature of the tank? I have a though but I need to know the temperature of the tank and the tank size to know if I am correct or if I am wrong about my conclusion. You said 20 gallon but is the temperature still at 74 or is it different now? Where is the termometer at, is it next to the heater or on the opposite end of the tank (opposite of the heater)?
The tank is 20 gallons, no missing water from evaporation or overheat. The current temp is 74 with the thermometer being on the opposite side of the tank. The injury area on his belly was larger and there is scarring now. About the size of the radius of an English Pea. The one on his head was about the size of a pen cap, smaller than the one on his belly. This spot has healed completely.

When he was sick, I ramped the heat up to nearly (but not quite) 80 but this was all after his heater burn. I had the heater vertical when he was injured, it is now horizontal and higher up in the tank.
 

cichlid4life

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Ok, thanks for the information, in a twenty gallon tank heat is easy to make it cross an entire tank from the heater so I think it could of been the heater that burned him and I think it is a sensitive area where the "burn" happened but even then in my tanks I have a heater and it is a 78°F and all is good and my fish have no burn and so I think it was something else that caused his "burn" to appear on his body. I think it could be rough decor or something that injured you feather fin and you thought it was heater burn. but I think the reason for him to be on his side is because his belly is sensitive to the touch and he could be in pain if it touches anything. very strange and your temperature is very low (on one end of the tank) for a heater burn to possibly happen on the other end of the tank to any fish. your feather fin will out grow this tank at an adult size of 7-8".
 

sfsamm

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I agree that you'll soon need a new tank for your feather fin and that his behavior is not Normal. I would tend to think that the way mine tore around my tank playing and destroying things it's apt that he either egged on your Raphael and came out on the losing end or he injured himself on decor you may have in the tank.

That temp needs to come up to 78ish. Don't know temp requirements for the Raphael but 74 is too cold for the synos, he'd probably be alright at 76 as a minimum. when we had a big cold snap a while back and I didn't have enough backup heating for my house and tanks my synos were completely lethargic and hiding at 72° and by 70 they were refusing to eat. I always ran them 76.5-80 depending on my seasonal heat/cold in my house.

Also they do get quite large quite quickly. They like friends, though not entirely necessary. I grew my six synodontis eupterus (feather fins) from less than 1 inch to 7-8 inches in 9 months and then slow a bit. They can get even larger when well accommodated but I changed plans on my tank and rehomed them. They also are somewhat sensitive to poor water quality and make about as much waste as a equally sized goldfish so your guy is going to require fairly frequent water changes soon if he doesn't already.
 
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AshlyWester

AshlyWester

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cichlid4life said:
Ok, thanks for the information, in a twenty gallon tank heat is easy to make it cross an entire tank from the heater so I think it could of been the heater that burned him and I think it is a sensitive area where the "burn" happened but even then in my tanks I have a heater and it is a 78°F and all is good and my fish have no burn and so I think it was something else that caused his "burn" to appear on his body. I think it could be rough decor or something that injured you feather fin and you thought it was heater burn. but I think the reason for him to be on his side is because his belly is sensitive to the touch and he could be in pain if it touches anything. very strange and your temperature is very low (on one end of the tank) for a heater burn to possibly happen on the other end of the tank to any fish. your feather fin will out grow this tank at an adult size of 7-8".
Thank you! I've been so worried something is wrong. I know he will outgrow this tank... We originally had him in a 10 gallon .I kind of base off his size .He's my baby.
 

cichlid4life

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AshlyWester said:
Thank you! I've been so worried something is wrong. I know he will outgrow this tank... We originally had him in a 10 gallon .I kind of base off his size .He's my baby.
He will soon be your monstrous child!
 

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