new juvenile constantly fanning

If it isn't to late, and you're desperately looking for some advice, hopefully someone can help you out.

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littlerock
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new juvenile constantly fanning

Post by littlerock » Sun Nov 29, 2015 10:29 pm

Hi! I've had a new juvenile for about a week now. The first few days he didn't really do much ... just hid behind some wood and wasn't very active. Today he has been hiding in some rocks but seems to be constantly fanning his fins - could he be stressed ? He looks fine other than this behaviour - I'm not sure if its normal or not.

I have 3 new adults in the tank as well and they are fine. ammonia - 0, nitrites - 0, nitrates ~20ish, ph 7.4, temp 27.

Thanks in advance for any advice / help.

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TwoTankAmin
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Re: new juvenile constantly fanning

Post by TwoTankAmin » Mon Nov 30, 2015 3:35 pm

Is he doing this inside a cave? When a dad is on eggs/wigglers, he will do what I refer to as the "bump, bounce boogie." This is done to keep the eggs/wigglers well oxygenated. It could be that, if this activity is happening inside a cave, that you have a spawn.
What makes the common person uncommon is common sense.

littlerock
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Re: new juvenile constantly fanning

Post by littlerock » Tue Dec 01, 2015 12:50 pm

Thanks for the reply! :) he was just doing it on a rock ... And is a bit to young for spawning. He was breathing quite rapidly it seemed and almost looked like he was shivering. Thankfully the next morning he looked a bit better. I checked the water conditions ( this time with proper test kit rather than test strips ) and the nitrAte was higher than I'd thought - did a 50% water change, rinsed some filter media ( sponge was very dirty!!! ) and all is good now! Totally back to normal :-)

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TwoTankAmin
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Re: new juvenile constantly fanning

Post by TwoTankAmin » Tue Dec 01, 2015 4:17 pm

Hypancistrus are pretty hardy fish. Whenever I am forced to omit some tanks from the weekly maint. schedule, I always select Hypan tanks to be skipped. These fish can take pretty dirty or hard water. However, the one thing for sure to avoid are high nitrates. Zebras especially do not like them, and elevated nitrate levels are most hard on fry and young fish.

One of the difficulties in this hobby relates to testing. Hobby test kits can be quite useful but some are downright ornery to useless. One which falls into this category are the nitrate kits. Firstly, they can be difficult during cycling because they test nitrate by first turning it ti nitrite and then measuring that. In a tank with elevate nitrite readings, the nitrates are actually lower than what the kits might read. But even in a fully cycled tank with no detectible nitrite, the nitrate kit can be pretty wonky.

One of the reagents used tends to come out of solution in the bottle. That means one must shake heck out ogf that bottle for at least a minute prior to testing. Some folks even recommend you bang the bottom of the bottle on a hard surface first or in the middles of shaking to help dislodge the solids on the bottom and get then well mixed back in. Finally, even when it is working up to par, a nitrate test tends to be least accurate in the 0 to 20 ppm range.

This may all sound like there is no value to using a nitrate kit, This is not the case. The trick is to be sure you understand how to get the best out of one and then how to interpret the results. The kits are generally best used to give relative numbers and to indicate changes in levels. Finally, a number of years back i ran across an informal study of test kits and accuracy. They had several people use the same kits to test the same water several times. When it came to nitrate there was an interesting result. Person A and B would often get different results from the same sample. However, when doing 2 or 3 tests on the same sample both people got consistent results. So even if one's results are not absolutely correct, the same results will be obtained repeating the test. This indicates even if one's absolute values may be off, their testing methodology is consistent from test to test. And that means detecting the direction and magnitude of changes should be reasonably reliable.

In your case this allowed you to detect the problem.

As long as I am rambling on about this topic, I would add one last observation. Nitrate shows up on conductivity or TDS testing which requires a digital tester (these are not expensive, think in the $25 range). Nitrate does not show up on test kits for hardness (GH) or alkalinity (KH). Since I have a TDS meter, I almost never use my nitrate kit. The last time was to test for nitrate during a dry season simulation for zebras. I needed to be sure the desired increase in conductivity/TDS was not the result of elevated nitrate levels.
What makes the common person uncommon is common sense.

littlerock
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Re: new juvenile constantly fanning

Post by littlerock » Sat Dec 12, 2015 11:38 am

@TwoTankAmin, Many thanks for your reply. Will get myself a digital TDS tester. The little zeb hasn't repeated this behaviour since improvements in the water conditions :)

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