First Aquarium Question

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by char223, Apr 19, 2018.

  1. char223New MemberMember

    I just started my very first aquarium 4 months ago. I spent months doing research beforehand, l learnt a lot about cycling, filteration, live plants, do's and don't' s and I asked lots of questions. So to make a long story short, I have 2 small bristlenose catfish that I've had for 2 months, up until yesterday their behaviour was normal. For the last 24 hours they have been staying just under the water surface at the top, they're not gasping for air just hanging out. I did a water test and all my levels are good. My pH has always been a little high ( about 7.8), I added some driftwood but that doesn't seem to be helping. I have 4 different live plants and 2 kinds of moss, I also have an aquaclear70 filter for a 20 gallon tall tank. There lots of surface movement, so I don't think lack of oxygen is the problem and the other fish are behaving normal. 8 neon tetras, 3 head and tail light tetras, 4 guppies and a platy
  2. Madeline PetersonValued MemberMember

    Bristlenose catfish are territorial. You should only have 1 per tank. This is probably not your problem, though.

    If their tails are noticeably higher than their heads, or they are swimming upside down, this indicates swim bladder problems. A common cause of swim bladder problems is an overful stomach. Treat by stopping food for a few days and warming up the water to aid in digestion.

  3. mattgirlFishlore VIPMember

    Have either or both of them started growing their bristles yet? It is possible that you have one of each and they are just getting to know each other.
    Do you have hiding places for them?
    What do you feed them? They do love their veggies. Elbert, my albino BN would disown me if I didn't keep him supplied with zucchini.
    They can do a lot of things that we as their humans will never understand. My Elbert likes to lay flat on his back when he is eating.
  4. char223New MemberMember

    The albino one has very small bristles and the other is too small to tell. With the live plants and decorations there are lots of places to hide. I give them algae disks that the other fish love too, wasn't sure what else to feed the them? My main concern is that they've been staying at the top for the last 24 hrs
  5. mattgirlFishlore VIPMember

    I wouldn't think the PH would be a problem if it hasn't changed. You say your perimeters are good. Does that mean 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites and some nitrates?

    How often do you do water changes and how much do you change each time? Sometimes the perimeters can test good but all of the minerals present in most tap water could be depleted if you've not done a water change lately or at least once a week.
  6. char223New MemberMember

    0 ammonia, 0 nitrites and 5 nitrates. I do 25-30%water change every 1-2 weeks depending on weekly water tests, I use water conditioner with every water change. The small one has moved to other locations but the albino is still hanging around the top
  7. mattgirlFishlore VIPMember

    It sounds like you are doing everything perfectly so at this point we are just going to have to assume they are just doing something out of the norn. Hopefully someone else will stop by if they have other thoughts. Sorry I couldn't be more helpful :(
  8. char223New MemberMember

    Thank you so much for your help!! We'll just have to wait and see
  9. mattgirlFishlore VIPMember

    Please keep us updated. I would love to hear that they were just doing Pleco stuff and are now back to normal if anything Plecos do can be considered normal compared to other water pets. They really are unique little creatures. :)

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