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Old 09-14-2012, 02:39 AM   #1
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Fish suddenly hide/don't eat

I just added 3 chromis to my 70 gallon aquarium 6 days ago. They are the first fish in the tank and they were swimming around fine and eating for the first few days (they looked somewhat stressed, but it was understandable b/c they were just added). However for the last 3 days they have been hiding and not coming out to eat when I put in food. I've only put on the lights for one day and turned them off the rest of the time so they might come out. The parameters are all in check (nitrates=20 ppm...kind of high, but that shouldn't be keeping them from eating?) It's strange how suddenly they just hide all of the time; haven't seen them come out, but I found where they hide, but I don't disturb them. So confused and I hope I'm not overreacting! What can I do? Will they hide until they starve themselves or eventually come out again?
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Old 09-14-2012, 02:51 AM   #2
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So u don't have the lights on at all? If not that may be why. Nitrate is a bit high might contribute but they are pretty hardy fish. Temp? May be too cold
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Old 09-14-2012, 02:56 AM   #3
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I thought it might have an opposite effect if the lights were on because they are so bright. I kept on LED moonlights in the daytime just so they could get used to having some light. The temp now is about 77...perhaps low..when I had my lights on for the day it went from 80-85 so I didn't want to raise the temp too high or stress the fish with the light.
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Old 09-14-2012, 02:59 AM   #4
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I'm from Australia so not sure exactly what that temp is in Celsius. But if it's low they won't be very active. With the moon lights it will have the same affect. It won't spook them they need the light ive only heard of leaving lights off when u first ad them not to spook them but not for a week
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Old 09-14-2012, 03:06 AM   #5
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Alright thanks. I'll put on the lights tomorrow and that should heat up the water too. It is 25 C now and the highest it's gotten is 29.4 C. The weather is altering each day so trying to get the temp stable; the temp changes might be the factor... Thanks so much for the advice!
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Old 09-14-2012, 03:13 AM   #6
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No worries 25 is spot on 29 is pushing it a bit high. Not sure if that would be why they're upset but not good either way. May need to fork out for a chiller if it gets much higher
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Old 09-14-2012, 09:46 AM   #7
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I have 3 green chromis , and mine are out all the time when the light is on. When light is off, they hide behind rocks to sleep. Not sure if that's the reason yours are hiding, but if your tanks pretty dark without the light on, they might just be hiding out of self preservation. Scary things can happen in the dark in the ocean. Lol
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Old 09-14-2012, 02:09 PM   #8
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How new is the tank, you said they're the first 3 fish are you still cycling? This could be an issue...

Your temp swings from 77 to 85 every day when the lights turn on? Thats a pretty drastic swing for marine fish. Perhaps a chiller or some fans to even it out?

Hiding and not eatings a pretty bad sign normally, its showing that the fish aren't happy. Without knowing what you're set up is though its hard to advise. Like what filtration are you using, how olds the tank? What kind of water to you fill it with, all these things can make a differnce. My guess would be a toxin like amonia in the water considering its all your fish shutting down, there is someting in the environment they aren't handling...
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Old 09-14-2012, 03:59 PM   #9
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They hide at night.
Nitrates are a bit too high, water changes are in order.
The temperature swing is going to cause problems. I would get that under control ASAP.
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Old 09-14-2012, 08:53 PM   #10
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I turned on the lights this morning and 2 minutes after doing so the fish came out! I was surprised since it was a simple change. I fed them frozen food and added a drop of garlic extract and the 2 went insane. The only problem is the 3rd one is missing. I highly doubt it survived as I cannot find it and it was the only one that didn't come to eat. I'm doing another water change today, and added chaeto a week ago to lower nitrates slightly. I use my own RO/DI water so that most likely not a factor. Since these are fish that are comfortable in groups they might hide more since theres only two now? Is 3 the minimum? And many thanks for the responses! Really helped.
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