New Home, Scared Fish

cuteusagi
  • #1
HI Everyone!!

My husband and I recently shifted all our fish from our old 29 Gallon to our new 55 Gallon tank! However, after several days of our fish being in their new home, they are still acting quite scared and timid all the time. The water quality is very good, and the tank was cycled before they were added. There are also more hiding places in this tank than there were even in the 29...

Our corycats and plecos seem to be doing just fine in the new environment, as is the elephant nose. Our cichlids (the 3 bolivian rams and the kribensis) are the ones that are hardly swimming around at all, showing their "afriad" colors, and just don't seem to like their new home. I'm at a loss as to what to do!! The fish are eating just fine, they are just staying close to the substrate and not swimming around very much, as compared to their behavior in the 29 gallon.

Any suggestions to make them more comfortable??? Thanks!
 
Shawnie
  • #2
HI cuteusagi...time is what I suggest..my oscars are still adjusting as well as dempseys...its like going from a sublet hotel room to a mansion ...got pics?? I'm a pic queen and love to see all the different fish..goodluck
 
kra-z-fishmumm
  • #3
How did you cycle your tank? What were your water readings? what do you use to test your water? :you might want to do a 25% water change to make sure ammonia and nitrites aren't adding up on you. let us know ok
 
cuteusagi
  • Thread Starter
  • #4
When we started the 55, we cycled it with our corycats and also added plants and decorations from the established 29 Gallon. When we did water changes in the 55, we replaced the removed water with water from the 29 gallon. The readings in the aquarium info is current and up-to-date as of this evening. Nitrates are around 5 at most, everything else is 0. The temperature doesn't fluctuate more than 1 degree F, and the pH is stable as well. I am using Aquarium Pharmaceuticals Master Test Kit for the quality tests, and all of the fish in the tank seem to be doing really well except for the cichlids. Even our elephantnose fish (probably the most sensitive fish we have in there) came right out around dusk to swim around and explore the new big tank, but the cichlids are still looking scared of something....

Our kribensis seems to be establishing his territory under our big hunk of mopani, and seems to be adjusting better than the bolivians. At first I suspected that the bolivians just needed to redefine their territories, but that doesn't seem to be happening. I fed the tank again tonight, and everyone came out to eat without issue, as they did earlier today. I'm just really stumped as to what may be bothering the bolivians.

I will be doing a water change tomorrow, and will let you know if the situation changes. Any other advice/suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!!!
 
Kayin1470
  • #5
I'm relatively new to fish but have been reading like crazy. I was told by the not so trusty people at my fish store, that cichlids couldn't be in with anything other then cichlids? but I know that there's always exceptions. are your cichlids more peaceful compared to others? I am curious.
 
MissMTS
  • #6
I'm relatively new to fish but have been reading like crazy. I was told by the not so trusty people at my fish store, that cichlids couldn't be in with anything other then cichlids? but I know that there's always exceptions. are your cichlids more peaceful compared to others? I am curious.

Kribs and bolivian rams are pretty peaceful as far as cichlids go. You should never combine african cichlids such as mbuna with other fish. Oscars and large new world cichlids should also not be combined with other fish (other than large plecos). It really depends on the temperment and size of the fish, and water perameters that it requires.
 
MissMTS
  • #7
When we started the 55, we cycled it with our corycats and also added plants and decorations from the established 29 Gallon. When we did water changes in the 55, we replaced the removed water with water from the 29 gallon. The readings in the aquarium info is current and up-to-date as of this evening. Nitrates are around 5 at most, everything else is 0. The temperature doesn't fluctuate more than 1 degree F, and the pH is stable as well. I am using Aquarium Pharmaceuticals Master Test Kit for the quality tests, and all of the fish in the tank seem to be doing really well except for the cichlids. Even our elephantnose fish (probably the most sensitive fish we have in there) came right out around dusk to swim around and explore the new big tank, but the cichlids are still looking scared of something....

Our kribensis seems to be establishing his territory under our big hunk of mopani, and seems to be adjusting better than the bolivians. At first I suspected that the bolivians just needed to redefine their territories, but that doesn't seem to be happening. I fed the tank again tonight, and everyone came out to eat without issue, as they did earlier today. I'm just really stumped as to what may be bothering the bolivians.

I will be doing a water change tomorrow, and will let you know if the situation changes. Any other advice/suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!!!

How did you acclimate them to the new tank? They may be in shock. Is the pH different from that of your other tank? I have actually have been having trouble with my bolivian rams lately too, so I will be anxiously awaiting what you find out about yours. I hope that they start to do better.
 
Blub
  • #8
Hi!

I'm surprised knowone has brought what I'm about to bring up before. Remember, Cichlids are territorial, and they are in a totally different world - where is their teritory!? They don't know what to do!

 
COBettaCouple
  • #9
How are they acting now? If they're still unsettled, maybe more 'night' time would help them and lower light during the day?
 
Shawnie
  • #10
After moving my kids, it is still taking a few weeks to come out with lite...check them out without a lite as cobettacouple said...you will be surprised..even in my small tank, if I move anything around, the fish are like "WHOOOA" who did dat!! so with great readings you have, id say they are still gettin to know their crib ! get any pics yet ?
 
cuteusagi
  • Thread Starter
  • #11
Thanks for all the advice!! Of the cichlids, the krib is right at home!! He's had quite a personality change with the new tank though - he is being extremely territorial with his new home, but I think that's just because he likes it so much. He found a spot under our large piece of mopanI and chases any cory or pleco that tries to get in.

Of the Bolivian Rams, 1 is adjusting very well. He is not showing his "scared" colors as often and is swimming around the tank more. The other two are doing a little better, but are not getting as comfortable as quickly as the other ram. I think they are starting to try and establish their territories, but it's a slow process as the tank is much bigger than anything they've ever been in (or at least that's what I'm speculating).

I'm also noticing that all of our fish seem to favor 1 side of the tank over the other. Everyone's on the right hand side (where the mopanI is) and very few fish are on the left side (where the filter is). Does anyone else notice this general preference with their fish?

We took some pictures today, so I'll try to get them uploaded tomorrow for you to see! Our amazon sword plant is really taking off!!!
 
lilsoccakid
  • #12
if you don't hav a background on ur tank, that can help them feel more secure, because they don't feel like they are swimming in the middle of open water
 
cuteusagi
  • Thread Starter
  • #13
Well, the 1 Bolivian Ram that seemed to be adjusting well has taken a turn for the worse. He looked great yesterday morning (came out to see us in the morning, actively swimming around normally) and when we got home last night, his colorings were very dark, his eyes were dark, his caudal fin was clamped, and he was sitting on the bottom of the tank with the shimmies.

We moved him to the quarantine, and he hasn't shown any improvements in the last 12 hours or so. He hasn't taken any food, even though he looks interested. It looks like he's having too much trouble swimming at the moment to get to anything. We tried a little frozen brine shrimp (a known favorite) and all he could do was to try and turn around and look at it.

Any ideas??
 
Blub
  • #14
Hi!

Good water quality is the key to healthy fish - give him daily water changes and see what clears up.

 
COBettaCouple
  • #15
I'd consider the possibility of internal parasites with how they're acting.
 
cuteusagi
  • Thread Starter
  • #16
Well, Elvis the Bolivian didn't make it through the night. The other 2 Bolivians that are still in the 55 still dont' look like they're adjusting very well, even though they have been in the new tank for a good amount of time. They are eating just fine (which was always an issue with Elvis). The krib is doing quite well, and the elephant nose doesn't look like he could be happier. It's just the Bolivians that are still cowering in corners all day and all night. I just don't know what they're afraid of...we've been trying to keep a close eye on the tank, and none of the other fish seem to bother them at all.

Hopefully they will turn around and not follow in Elvis's path!!! Should we possibly move them to the quarantine? Thanks for all your help so far!
 
Lucy
  • #17
I've been reading your progress, I'm sorry you lost Elvis.
I would quarantine them just to be on the safe side.
Good Luck, I hope they come around.
 
COBettaCouple
  • #18
Sorry to hear that Elvis didn't make it. I'd agree on quarantine. Maybe with as much hiding spaces as possible and lower lighting. Some Stress Coat or Fish Protector might help with lowering their stress levels too.
 
cuteusagi
  • Thread Starter
  • #19
Our final thoughts on Elvis was an internal parasite. We had always had trouble with getting him to eat well, and he always looked a little on the "thin" side. We just figured he had a slighter build than other rams (since they all look quite individual). However, after the last few days, we're suspecting that he may have always had some kind of internal parasite and the move to the 55 gallon created enough stress for the parasite to take over.

Do you think quarantining the other 2 rams (even though they look pretty healthy, although still timid) would make them more comfortable? Or do you think they would have the same problem once we moved them back into the 55?
 
cuteusagi
  • Thread Starter
  • #20
Ok....here's an update with the Rams...

We put a background on the tank tonight (were previously using the wall behind the tank) to see if that improves their behavior. It continues to only be the 2 rams that seem to be scared fish. However, whenever food is put in the tank, they perk right back up and eat healthily. But any other time, they're usually hanging out with the corycats...
 
cuteusagi
  • Thread Starter
  • #21
The background was the solution!! Our Rams aren't nearly as scared and come out to play much more. Their old personalities are back, and they enjoy swimming around again! Next time we're near our lfs, we'll pick up a nice background for them. Our tank was pretty close to our wall, which is a dark color, so we didn't even think that the lack of a background would affect them that much.

In other news, I think we're losing our Elephant Nose...we're suspecting a swim bladder problem, as all the symptoms are there (he was having problems swimming, didn't eat last night, and is now lying on the bottom of the tank but is still alive). There are no external symptoms on his skin and on the outside, he looks quite healthy (except for the lethargy). Any ideas? We just did a water change on Wednesday (our usual weekly 10% or so) and we're scared that moving him to the quarantine might kill him all together. Any thoughts??
 
COBettaCouple
  • #22
Good news on the Rams and I think it's possible that your elephant nose could have parasites. (Parasite Clear or Clout would be the meds for that).
 
cuteusagi
  • Thread Starter
  • #23
Our Elephant nose unfortunately has died. My husband was with him in the last stages of whatever he had, and he found something in one of our books that matched exactly what he had: Sleeping Sickness or Cryptobiasis. I don't know if that diagnosis is correct, but everything matched perfectly to what our book says:
-Fish are sluggish
-Heads are lower than their tails
-Immobile
-Eyes retract and bodies become thin (and not just his belly but his whole body was very flat and thin)
-Gills become pale
If that was the actual cause or not, I don't know. We also don't know how it happened or happened so quickly. We knew our elephantnose was a delicate fish and we always made sure to keep the water clean and to keenly observe him. He was very comfortable (from what we could tell) and always ate heartily, so it was a surprise to see him go so quickly. He certainly added a lot of character to our tank. We just hope it wasn't something he picked up from the food, but none of the other fish are showing any signs of anything, so we think we're ok.

Any other thoughts or questions? We hate seeing a fish go like this, but we also realize that sometimes these things just happen, even to the best of fish.
 
COBettaCouple
  • #24
:'( We're sorry you lost him. It does sound most probable that you found the correct cause.
 

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