The Straight Dope

Go Back   Straight Dope Message Board > Main > In My Humble Opinion (IMHO)

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 04-28-2012, 05:57 PM
janeslogin janeslogin is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Can you explain this goldfish behavior?

Wife has four Black Moors, 2-3 inches, in a 50 gallon tank.

One of the larger ones was laying on the bottom at one end of the tank looked as if it were dying. Water tested OK but the fish laid there all day so we moved into a 10 gallon isolation.

Twenty-four hours later the isolated fish is swimming around in a healthy manner and all three of the others are laying on the bottom at the same spot at one end of the big tank most of the time. They do sporadically move around normally.

What are your thoughts?

Last edited by janeslogin; 04-28-2012 at 05:58 PM..
Reply With Quote
Advertisements  
  #2  
Old 04-28-2012, 06:02 PM
secretsmile36 secretsmile36 is offline
BANNED
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 116
There has got to be something wrong with the water.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 04-28-2012, 06:18 PM
TriPolar TriPolar is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Sounds like some contaminant in the water. Goldfish will go to the surface to gulp air, so it's not an oxygenation problem. Time for a water change and cleaning.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 04-28-2012, 08:53 PM
Waxwinged Waxwinged is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Could it be a temperature problem?
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 04-28-2012, 09:58 PM
carnivorousplant carnivorousplant is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Central Arkansas
Posts: 42,348
Do a water change and check the temps in both tanks.

Last edited by carnivorousplant; 04-28-2012 at 09:59 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 04-28-2012, 10:23 PM
chacoguy chacoguy is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Occupy Fish Tank, get some pepper spray.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 04-29-2012, 11:34 AM
janeslogin janeslogin is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by carnivorousplant View Post
Do a water change and check the temps in both tanks.
Done and rechecked.

After the one large fish was moved to another tank the second largest fish is still spending most of its time in the corner. I mean really stuffing itself into the corner and insisting upon staying there until probed to move and moves normally, then returns.

Last edited by janeslogin; 04-29-2012 at 11:36 AM..
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 04-29-2012, 12:11 PM
carnivorousplant carnivorousplant is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Central Arkansas
Posts: 42,348
How much water did you change, and are any of the fish behaving normally?
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 04-29-2012, 01:30 PM
Kasper1014 Kasper1014 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
I would check your water temp....do you have anyother fish in the tank besides the black moors?
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 04-29-2012, 11:22 PM
elfkin477 elfkin477 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: NH
Posts: 19,738
Check the ammonia levels, not just the PH.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 04-30-2012, 09:50 AM
PunditLisa PunditLisa is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: 'burbs of Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 13,402
Maybe they were laying little fish eggs...
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 04-30-2012, 10:45 AM
Sailboat Sailboat is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
None of these black moors is named Othello, I trust?
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 04-30-2012, 11:37 AM
carnivorousplant carnivorousplant is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Central Arkansas
Posts: 42,348
Quote:
Originally Posted by PunditLisa View Post
Maybe they were laying little fish eggs...
Goldfish spawning is done on the run, so to speak. It involves a lot of chasing and bumping.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 04-30-2012, 05:06 PM
PunditLisa PunditLisa is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: 'burbs of Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 13,402
Quote:
Originally Posted by carnivorousplant View Post
Goldfish spawning is done on the run, so to speak. It involves a lot of chasing and bumping.
Doesn't it always?
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 04-30-2012, 05:13 PM
carnivorousplant carnivorousplant is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Central Arkansas
Posts: 42,348
Quote:
Originally Posted by PunditLisa View Post
Doesn't it always?
Live bearers, like gambasia and guppies have a sort of hit and run thing.
Lake Tanganyika cichlids do a love of chocolate and flower buying.


Janeslogin, how are the moors?

Last edited by carnivorousplant; 04-30-2012 at 05:14 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 04-30-2012, 06:07 PM
janeslogin janeslogin is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by PunditLisa View Post
Maybe they were laying little fish eggs...
I wondered about this. I thought they chased each other near floating stuff rather than laying quiet on the bottom but I don't know this much about black moors.

Here is the complete history: the largest of the two big ones was observed on the bottom appearing near death on 27th. It was moved to another tank and started immediately behaving as it had been doing for a couple of years.

Six parameters were checked, five chemical and temperature and all were normal. 30% of the water was changed pulling temperature down about two degrees to 67oF or so.

Soon the other fish in the tank were huddled in the bottom corner where from which the first fish was removed. The largest stayed in the corner for most of the next 24 hours. The two smaller fish were sometimes somewhat active.

This morning they were all doing their typical floating around up and down back and fourth as our black moors have always done.

So, thanks everyone. Do you know of a link to a forum specifically for black moors?
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 04-30-2012, 06:38 PM
carnivorousplant carnivorousplant is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Central Arkansas
Posts: 42,348
Quote:
Originally Posted by janeslogin View Post
Do you know of a link to a forum specifically for black moors?
I'd believe a goldfish forum or aquarium forum would suit your needs.
The above poster is right about the ammonia levels.
How long are these guys, and is the tank filtered?
Goldfish are much more messy than tropicals. I'd filter the hell out of it and have some plants to clean up the water.
And keep lots of water on hand for water changes.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 04-30-2012, 07:44 PM
TriPolar TriPolar is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by carnivorousplant View Post
And keep lots of water on hand for water changes.
All good advice.

For water changes I'd recommend keeping a pair of 5 gallon buckets around. One filled with water to sit for a few days so the chlorine and ammonia can evaporate, and an empty one to remove 5 gallons of water before you pour the new water in. Don't stack the full one in the empty one unless you put something in the bottom one so that they don't fit together tightly, otherwise you won't be able to seperate them.

Yes, good filtering is important, even for goldfish. Good aeration helps keep ammonia levels down and is healthier for the fish. Be careful about overfeeding them. Don't give them any more food than they'll finish every last bit of. Feed them more times a day instead of giving them a lot at once.

Also don't put a baby in a high chair with a sippy cup in reach of the tank.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 04-30-2012, 10:03 PM
elfkin477 elfkin477 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: NH
Posts: 19,738
Quote:
Originally Posted by TriPolar View Post
Yes, good filtering is important, even for goldfish.
Even? Especially for goldfish: goldfish produce a lot more poop than other fish. I had really good luck by doing ammonia cycling before adding fish to tanks and the resultant biofilter helped keep the mess down quite a bit.
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 04-30-2012, 10:14 PM
TriPolar TriPolar is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by elfkin477 View Post
Even? Especially for goldfish: goldfish produce a lot more poop than other fish. I had really good luck by doing ammonia cycling before adding fish to tanks and the resultant biofilter helped keep the mess down quite a bit.
I meant that in regard to goldfish's ability to gulp air to survive in poorly oxygenated water. But high ammonia levels are bad for any fish.
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 04-30-2012, 10:43 PM
carnivorousplant carnivorousplant is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Central Arkansas
Posts: 42,348
Quote:
Originally Posted by TriPolar View Post
I meant that in regard to goldfish's ability to gulp air to survive in poorly oxygenated water. But high ammonia levels are bad for any fish.
I think any fish will do that. It indicates that things are in a very bad way.
I'm not aware of any structure that goldfish have that would make them better at breathing air. The Anabantidae have an organ that lets them breathe, corydoras take a gulp of air once and a while although they fart it out quickly.
Sorry, I've gone into Aquarist Geek mode.

So OP, you're filtering the water like hell and have many plants in the tank, right?
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 04-30-2012, 11:40 PM
TriPolar TriPolar is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by carnivorousplant View Post
I think any fish will do that. It indicates that things are in a very bad way.
I'm not aware of any structure that goldfish have that would make them better at breathing air. The Anabantidae have an organ that lets them breathe, corydoras take a gulp of air once and a while although they fart it out quickly.
Sorry, I've gone into Aquarist Geek mode.
Carp are supposed to be better at it. They're generally hardier than tropical fish, and can survive worse conditions, but it's a mistake to think they can survive or thrive in low quality water. They'll just stay alive a little longer than other fish. And they do make a mess. When changing water, a gravel vacuum cleaner should be used to siphon out water and clean the bottom of the tank. I had to maintain a tank full of feeder goldfish to feed my grouper and triggerfish. Filthiest fish I've ever seen kept in a tank. But from the reactions I saw, goldfish must taste much better than guppies.
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 05-01-2012, 08:51 AM
carnivorousplant carnivorousplant is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Central Arkansas
Posts: 42,348
Quote:
Originally Posted by TriPolar View Post
But from the reactions I saw, goldfish must taste much better than guppies.
I stand corrected.

The major cause of death of large cichlids is supposedly "goldfish ingestion"; the large heads stick in their gut.
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 05-01-2012, 10:26 AM
TriPolar TriPolar is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by carnivorousplant View Post
I stand corrected.

The major cause of death of large cichlids is supposedly "goldfish ingestion"; the large heads stick in their gut.
Hadn't heard of that, but I didn't keep cichlids (good lord it's been 20 years since I kept any fish!). I wouldn't be surprised if a variety of fish would have a problem eating goldfish. As they get bigger they get more solid. Picasso (the triggerfish) would disable them with a gut shot, then pick them apart. Grouper (the grouper) would inhale them whole. He certainly was built to do that. And moments later he would spit out a cloud of goldfish scales, so there was another mess to clean up.

BTW: I'd recommend reverse flow undergravel filters for any tank with a gravel bottom. The worst messes occur in the poorly oxygenated water in the gravel bed, and the usual undergravel filters that draw water down through the gravel just pull all the muck into the gravel. For saltwater a protein trap is also excellent at maintaining water condition (never tried it with fresh). And although it was anathema outside of invert tanks, algae growth was very good also.
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 05-01-2012, 06:04 PM
Ethilrist Ethilrist is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Sounds fishy to me.
Reply With Quote
  #26  
Old 05-11-2012, 06:25 PM
janeslogin janeslogin is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by elfkin477 View Post
Check the ammonia levels, not just the PH.
It has been determined that ammonia is in the ''stress'' level which brings up several other questions. Why is the ammonia in similar aquariums not elevated? Why does only the largest fish show lethargy?
Reply With Quote
  #27  
Old 05-11-2012, 06:50 PM
carnivorousplant carnivorousplant is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Central Arkansas
Posts: 42,348
Goldfish poop more and produce more nitrates. I am not an ichythologist, but presumably larger fish take in more nitrates/ammonia and are affected first.
Reply With Quote
  #28  
Old 07-18-2012, 08:05 PM
carnivorousplant carnivorousplant is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Central Arkansas
Posts: 42,348
I was deleting my deleted email...How did things turn out, Janesemail?
Reply With Quote
Reply



Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:30 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@chicagoreader.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to: sdsubscriptions@chicagoreader.com.

Copyright 2013 Sun-Times Media, LLC.