Red Glass Barb, Erratic Swimming

  1. C

    Courtbear New Member Member

    hi all
    Looking for some advise on what could be wrong with my red glass barb, his/her swimming is normal but having very odd spasmodic movements that appear to be triggered by light or if startled. Eats and acts normal just suddenly starting doing this erratic swimming about 1.5weeks ago. Looks like it is having a frantic seizure for about 3-5secinds. No other fish in the tank are doing this

    30 gallon Tank has been established for 6months containing 8 barb fish and 1 pleco. Pleco was added 3months ago. No fighting in the tank that I have observed. Seems to have slight injury to top fin from banging into tank stuff, minor visual marking

    Water parameters are normal
    pH-8.2 normal since day1
    Ammonia-.25 since day1
    Nitrite-0
    Nitrate -40 *only number that increased from 20 over the past month

    I cycle 5gallons of water every 3 weeks

    Any advice on what could’ve caused this?
     
  2. FlipFlopFishFlake

    FlipFlopFishFlake Well Known Member Member

    Certain fish will be skittish and prone to sporadic movements when startled. I had a hatchetfish that behaved in this way, and to my knowledge it was due to some brain issue. A good thing to do is set the lighting on a schedule.
    Your fish will most likely develop more serious issues in the future due to your poor water quality. .25 ammonia is fairly dangerous, and your nitrates are a bit high. I would do more water changes, 20% weekly would be a good amount. Also, be careful that you don't have a common pleco, and have a species like a bristenose plecostomas or rubberlip pleco, as commons grow WAY too large for your tank.
     
  3. OP
    OP
    C

    Courtbear New Member Member

    Thx for the advice!
    I retested my ammonia and it is dropping after 2 water extra cycles so least that is now improving. Nitrates are still at 40 so more water cycles and am going to add a nitrate filter onto the water filtration system to see if that helps too. Might add live plants at some point

    Thinking perhaps my auto-feeder might be the issue for the nitrates. I don’t normally use one but added one about 3.5weeks ago to cover work travel and family vacation, seemed to be dropping right amount but feeders can offload too much/little and this timing kinda coincides with the nitrate increase and 1 barb behavior

    The tank light was running on a timer, on for just 4hrs so turned off that timer. The barb does seem slightly better, not seeing as much spasmic behavior but realize if it is a brain issue, can’t really fix that. All other fish are still fine

    As far as the pleco, yes it is a small bristlenose, won’t get more the 5in. in size so tank size for the colony is good