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Author Topic: strange behaviour  (Read 1666 times)
cdale
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strange behaviour
« on: February 04, 2012, 05:53:23 PM »

I have a comet and have had him about a month and a half now. Had previous fish so I am a quite experienced fish keeper but I have never seen the behaviour this fish is displaying and I am worrying because I love my fish!:'(

After a recent water change two days ago, where I changed approx. 60% water, the filter sponge which was due, replaced 20% of the gravel with new stuff, hoovered the gravel with a gravel cleaner and added some new ornaments, my fish has been darting around the tank looking stressed then getting tired and sitting at the bottom of the tank. However, he seems to calm down when the light is off and act normal. He is not normally like this, is quite an active fish but he looks stressed!
I tested the water and the KH is down which I know means the pH is more likely to fluctuate but the pH is around 6.5-7 at the moment. The GH is normal and I have no nitrites or nitrates present.

I have a medium sized biorb tank which holds 16 gallons , with a biorb filter.
I have had this tank a year and two months.
Just got the one comet.
I preform a 20% water change every week, to keep toxic waste levels low.
I use King British safe guard water conditioner.
I provide the fish with an air pump through an air stone specifically for a biorb tank.

Please help me  Huh I do not know what is best to stop the fish stressing  Huh
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cheri_alexander
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Re: strange behaviour
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2012, 06:14:11 PM »

For one thing the tank is too small for a comet and the shape is not ideal either, you'll need 160 liters or more. That may not be the issue now though, I think you sent your tank into a mini-cycle by changing the filter and gravel at the same time, and I'm sure the bio orb filtration isn't suffient in the first place. You need to be testing ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate, not KH. Try doing frequent water changes (like every other day) and see if he calms down.
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cdale
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Re: strange behaviour
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2012, 06:18:02 PM »

Thank you for the advice.
I changed some of the water earlier and will do so again in the next few days.
I have tested the nitrites and nitrates and they are low. I haven't got an ammonia testing kit, do you suggest it is important I buy one now?  Huh
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Vicloz2006
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Re: strange behaviour
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2012, 07:51:30 PM »

It would be useful to have one handy incase anything like this happens again.
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cheri_alexander
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Re: strange behaviour
« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2012, 08:12:11 PM »

I definetly would, even if he gets better you should test frequently just because your tank is small and a sponge filter isn't ideal.
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Nossie
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Re: strange behaviour
« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2012, 04:06:45 AM »

I had a few goldfish in the biorb, and I would suggest not listening to their care instructions because the filter is so weak. You need to change out 50% of the water every week, and since the tank is so small, you may need to do that more often. It's really hard to get to all the accumulated waste under the ceramic gravel, so it's definitely not that good for goldfish.

If I were you, I'd start looking for a cheap 160 liter tank somewhere around... Smiley Until then, keep up the water changes, but don't bother exchanging the ceramic media or the filter sponge, just rinse them in some old tank water every once in a while Smiley
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Skwishee
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Re: strange behaviour
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2012, 07:37:59 AM »

Welcome to the forums cdale Smiley

Branching off from what others have said, a larger tank would be a good idea, rectangular shaped aquariums are better for goldfish, than bowls, because they provide more swimming room and more surface area for gas exchange.
The reason such large tanks and filters are needed for goldfish is because they produce a lot of waste and when kept in small spaces of water, can and will poison themselves this way, it can sometimes even cause death, as the waste they give off becomes too concentrated.

If you have a look around on places like Gumtree, Ebay, you can often some cheap and reasonable deals. Or perhaps ask neighbours, friends or family, you never know who may have an old tank lying around Wink

May I ask how big your comet is currently?

Let us know how he get's on  Smiley
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cdale
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Re: strange behaviour
« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2012, 08:13:41 AM »

Thanks for the advice everyone!

Thanks for the welcome skwishee, he is about 10 cm? hes in my profile picture check him out! Smiley

He seems a little better today? He still interacts with me but gets scared easily and goes crazy around the tank, bashing himself on rocks and the tank, which is worrying!

I will try and see if I can find a cheap one somewhere, I got this tank given to me by a member of family for free so thats the only reason why I have it. Money is tight at the moment so would need a cheap one, but I suppose I can sell the Biorb...
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Skwishee
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Re: strange behaviour
« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2012, 06:07:42 AM »

Ah yes the behaviour you describe, of getting scared easily and bashing into things, is an indication that the tank is too small for the goldfish.

My goldfish was in a small 21 litre tank for around 5 months, it was fine to begin with, but then I saw her doing the same thing. I'd walk past the tank sometimes and would hear this horryfying bump, as she would swim really fast to get away, only to land head first into the side of the tank Embarrassed

My dad gave me his old fish tank, which is around 90/100 litres, so thank goodness she doesn't crash into things now.

Comet goldfish have the potential, when given the right space to grow up to 30cm, so your fish may have stunted growth if it is only 3 inches and over a year old. Even if they are stunted they can still grow pretty big, the comet/common/shubunkin types of goldfish, which are all of the single tailed variety, require either a really big fish tank or even better a nice big pond.
(When I say big, I mean something like a 6 foot fish tank and ponds that are a minimum of 1000 litres).

My current golfish is a common, so I am in the exact same precidament! I have had Lucky, for 6 months, she is 3 inches (was around 1 or 2 inches when I first got her) I am concerned she is slightly stunted from being in that 21 litre tank for so long, but I was fortunate to find this tank in time and my plan is to either upgrade her tank, build a pond or find someone who has a pond. I intend to do this, when she reaches 5/6 inches, as I'm not sure how bad the stunting is, or how long it will take her to grow.

So please see what bigger tanks you can find, I can understand if money is tight, I've seen some really good deals on large tanks, on gumtree. Sometimes you can pick up an entire set of things quite cheaply, i.e. a tank with a stand and filter.

Oh also with goldfish you preferabley need an external canister filter, because they provide more bio media, than an internal filter. So remember what I mentioned before about them being messy creatures? Well external filters, with lots of bacteria help deal with that Smiley

Just something to keep in mind, when you look around for things Smiley
Good luck, let us know how you get on!
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cdale
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Re: strange behaviour
« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2012, 03:34:34 PM »

Thank you very much for the advice!

Now you say it it sounds just right! I have him in a tank thats too small, its actually 30L but thats still too small! So i took your advice today and bought a new tank, quite expensive but worth it, 48L and a nice stand! Smiley
It is currently set up for the three days before I can put him in. Looks really good, I shall post a picture of it when he is in! Smiley



« Last Edit: February 06, 2012, 06:29:45 PM by cdale » Logged
cdale
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Re: strange behaviour
« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2012, 06:25:53 PM »

I know 48L is not too big but the fish is small for the tank at the moment anyway, im just going to watch him over the next 6 months or so and if he does end up too big for the tank I know someone with a pond who would be happy to take him so I have a back up plan.
I do not have the room for a massive tank at the moment but may do in the future! Cheesy
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cheri_alexander
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Re: strange behaviour
« Reply #11 on: February 06, 2012, 06:47:20 PM »

That's great that you are doing your best for him. Be sure you read up on cycling your new tank, you will have to test the water and do frequent changes while the tank is getting established.
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cdale
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Re: strange behaviour
« Reply #12 on: February 07, 2012, 03:29:45 AM »

Yeah I will have a good read around before I add him on Friday! Smiley Do I just have to make sure the water is as close to the water he is in regarding pH etc...?
Thanks!
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Nossie
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Re: strange behaviour
« Reply #13 on: February 07, 2012, 06:24:35 AM »

Very good! Smiley
When setting up a new tank, it might be useful to take the gravel from the old tank and fill it partially with old water as well to give the cycling process a kick start Wink Then you should let the tank settle for a few days, 3-7 days is usually good, for the temperature and stuff. You will also need a test kit so you can test ammonia, nitrite and nitrate every day for the first two weeks or so when you introduce the fish.
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cdale
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Re: strange behaviour
« Reply #14 on: February 07, 2012, 09:23:43 AM »

I have bought an ammonia test kit so will take your advice and test it everyday for the first few weeks, I also have some API ammo lock just in case the levels get too high for the new filter. Tested all the levels currently and they are perfect, I am going to introduce him friday. I have put a little bit of the old water in but I am not able to put old gravel in because it is biorb ceramic media which is being sold with the old tank.

Would it all be ok without old gravel? The levels I have tested are fine, no ammonia and pH is stable.

Just to let people know I tested the ammonia levels in the old tank with the fish in currently and they are 0 so the strange behaviour must be the stress of a small tank stunting him?  Huh
 
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Skwishee
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Re: strange behaviour
« Reply #15 on: February 07, 2012, 10:06:16 AM »

Hey cdale, lovely to hear the news Smiley

Without the old gravel, the tank will be fine, you will just be losing some of the beneficial bacteria that live there, so it will just be a slightly longer cycle on the tank.

Is he acting fairly normal apart from bumping into thing? Or is he acting hyper?

I ask because I remember after the ammonia spiked in my tank (lost one of my fish because of that), the nitrites spiked a week later and my goldfish Lucky went absolutley nuts. She was swimming around like crazy, swimming up and down quite excessively, acting extremely hyper. This behaviour as I learnt, is called 'flashing' and usually means something is wrong with the water quality. In my case it was the Nitrites.

But this behaviour can also be caused by ammonia or nitrate. You've already said the ammonia is 0, so it could the the nitrites or nitrates that's bothering him?

Oh also I must apologise, as I realise I mis-read your post and you've had the tank a year but the fish a month XD
Sorry! If that is the case, then your fish being 3 inches at a few months old is perfectly fine and the bigger tank will help, I had Lucky in the 21 litre tank for around 5 months and noticed her growing -visually at least- had stopped by this point, so I am sure your goldfish will be fine for much longer given the tank you have there is twice the size as what I had Smiley

It's difficult to know when to upgrade the tank with goldfish, which is why I mentioned previously that I intend to keep an eye on her size, rather than designating a time limit Wink

Good luck with the new tank Smiley
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cdale
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Re: strange behaviour
« Reply #16 on: February 07, 2012, 12:47:03 PM »

Hi again Skwishee Smiley

Thank you! I will just make sure I take extra care of him when he's in his new tank! Smiley Im very excited to introduce him, the tank looks great! Cheesy

Its hard to explain  Huh He was being a bit hyper but its swimming around the tank and then just flipping out  Undecided I tested the nitrites and they were about 20 so low and 0 nitrates so i guess thats fine?

He seems to have calmed a bit over the last few days, especially today! He eats and searches for food, so doesnt look too ill but then does these random movements as if something has scared him? After he sits at the bottom of the tank, as if he's resting?

Thanks for your advice it is helping me a lot!  Smiley
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cdale
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Re: strange behaviour
« Reply #17 on: February 07, 2012, 01:31:32 PM »

Check out my pictures in the picture gallery!  Cool

There's a nice one with him in it too!
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Nossie
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Re: strange behaviour
« Reply #18 on: February 08, 2012, 04:47:33 AM »

the nitrites shouldn't ever be that high @_@ They should stay below 5 and ideally 0. Nitrates on the other can be 20-30 before you need to change the water Smiley Maybe you mixed them up?
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cdale
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Re: strange behaviour
« Reply #19 on: February 08, 2012, 07:30:28 AM »

Haha I think I might have got them mixed up?

Ill put him in the new tank soon Smiley

The new tank water is starting to look a bit cloudy is that normal?
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scrivens345
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Re: strange behaviour
« Reply #20 on: February 08, 2012, 08:37:20 AM »

yes the beneficial bacteria can cause cloudy water
 Smiley
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cdale
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Re: strange behaviour
« Reply #21 on: February 08, 2012, 09:04:43 AM »

Okay thanks! Smiley
Oh good it worried me because Im due to put him in soon!
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cdale
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Re: strange behaviour
« Reply #22 on: February 08, 2012, 09:35:48 AM »

Oh yes Nossie I got the nitrates and nitrites mixed up!  Lips sealed
In the new tank both are 0 and in the current tank there's 0 nitrites and about 20 nitrates.

The new fish tank is started to smell is this normal? is this the benefical bacteria? Its not a really bad smell, just wondered why it smells with no fish in?  Undecided
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Mearwynna
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Re: strange behaviour
« Reply #23 on: February 08, 2012, 06:25:42 PM »

Our big tank smelled really bad, when we were cycling it with no fish, for a few days in the first week. Then it got much better. I wonder of that might be part of the regular cycle? We did some smaller water changes, like 20% every week or so. The cycle lasted at lease 6 weeks, before we introduced some critters in it.
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cdale
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Re: strange behaviour
« Reply #24 on: February 08, 2012, 06:30:42 PM »

Yeah might be a normal thing then? Doesnt smell too bad but I wondered why it smells already with no fish in it?  Huh
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Nossie
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Re: strange behaviour
« Reply #25 on: February 09, 2012, 04:15:18 AM »

I didn't sniff my tank until I introduced the fish, mine has *since I first smelled it* has a very nice, earthy kind of smell to it Smiley That's hot a healthy aquarium should smell later Smiley

Remember to test the water and change out 50% if ammonia is high when your fish moves in Smiley
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Skwishee
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Re: strange behaviour
« Reply #26 on: February 09, 2012, 08:12:14 AM »

Hmmmm interesting behaviour from your fish cdale.

Where is the tank positioned? Is it possible that the fish is seeing something, that's spooking it?
The only times Lucky freaked out was if I walked past the tank rather abruptly and she wasn't expecting it.
I'm not too sure about the bottom sitting, is it only after a hyper swim? Or does it occur at other times?

If it carries on like this, it might mean that something is wrong, bottom sitting can indiciate an illness, but there can be other causes, I have heard people mention their fish bottom sit after feeding for example Smiley

It'd be great to see some photo's when you have it all set up Smiley
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cdale
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Re: strange behaviour
« Reply #27 on: February 09, 2012, 08:21:37 AM »

It is positioned at the bottom of my bed cos I live in a student home. I think the magnified plastic scares him?   Huh

Yeah he sits for a bit after his hyper moments?

He also acts as if he's trying to get out of the bottom of the tank? I just want to move him now and see if he calms down, its not nice to see, I  set the tank up monday evening, debating adding him soon?

He is fine with the lights off too and then gets scared when I open the curtains on a morning  Huh

He doesn't look ill if you get me? He just stays still sometimes but not quite at the bottom, very confusing? Feeding doesn't affect him he just eats like normal and does the same thing.
Ill post you a picture when hes in the new tank! Smiley
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Skwishee
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Re: strange behaviour
« Reply #28 on: February 09, 2012, 08:53:18 AM »

When you say his trying to get out of the bottom of the tank? Do you mean the fish is digging about in the gravel?
Goldfish in particular are foragers, so it's completely normal if they are seen hunting around in the gravel, they are simply looking for food, my goldfish Lucky spends most of her day swimming around, nibbling at the gravel and other things in the tank.

Perhaps you could try open the curtains gradually? I have foud turning my bedroom light on, when it's been dark, can sometimes cause Lucky to be a little shocked/dazed, I only do this if I absolutley have to, otherwise I just wander about in the dark. But I never had her get scared.... Hmmm.....

I would say with the behaviour of being hyper and then bottom sitting, hmmmm, perhaps check his body closely, are there any white spots or anything abnormal that shouldn't be there? Check the gills, they should be a crisp red colour.
If the water quality is fine, then there is something else bothering him.

If you are planning on doing a fishless cycle, you will need to wait 6-8 weeks before you can add him.
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cdale
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Re: strange behaviour
« Reply #29 on: February 09, 2012, 09:00:35 AM »

No he is not looking for food, he does that too and I know what that looks like, this is more of a panic to get out?
I have checked his body and I have had fish with disease before and theres no signs of illness, the only thing that is wrong with him at the moment is that he has a few scales missing because he bashes himself on the rocks when he goes crazy  Huh
He is quite bad today, with this strange behaviour  Huh
REALLY?! I was told 4 days is ok, I have sold the old tank now, I have tested all the new water and everything is fine at the moment. I understand that when you add the fish the ammonia levels can peak so I know to do regular water changes every few days for the next few weeks? I will have to add him tomorrow, hope this will be ok?  Undecided

Thanks for your concern Skwishee! Smiley
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