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Old 09-16-2009, 06:24 PM   #1
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Pajama Cardinal Fish Has the Spins

I have a Pajama Cardinal (Sphaeramia nematoptera ) that has a case of the spins. It started several weeks ago when I noticed that she swims in a tight circle always in the same direction. It appears to be involuntary and causes her often to bump into things in the tank. She does this much of the time but not all of the time. Unlike my other Pajama Cardinals, she rarely ever stays still. My gut tells me it is not a swim bladder issue but I can not be sure. Her eyes seem to be affected too. While she is spinning her eyes will flick back and forth quickly, like they want to spin in her head too. It may be that she is just trying to focus on me as I watch her spin but it may also be an involuntary reaction. Could this be a neurological problem? Internal parasite? Perhaps it is a common issue with Pajama Cardinals? I have had this fish for roughly 18 – 20 months. I worry that she is not getting her share of the food because when her spinning is at its worst she is unable to do anything else.

1. How long have you had the fish? Do you know if it was wild caught, or tank raised? 18 -20 months, don’t know.
2. How long has the fish been in the tank? What are the tank mates? Any aggression? 18-20 months, 2 other Pajama Cardinals, 1 Shrimp, 1 Yellow Watchman Goby, Live rock, zoos, a small unidentified crab, mushrooms, some bubble coral type thingies. Occasionally bullied by male pajama cardinal and goby but mostly since it has started spinning.
3. Is the fish eating? If so what does it eat? Readily accepts marine fish pellets (or did when it was healthy)
4. What are the water parameters? pH, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, SPG? (actual numbers please: posting high, average or normal is not helpful) What saltwater test kit are you using? I’m not home now to test but can post specific results when I next have time. I have not seen anything unusual in the last several tests.
5. Is the fish showing any physical signs of disease, grain of salt size spots, discoloration, ragged fins, misting or spots on the fins, cuts, cloudy eyes, etc? Spinning, shifty eyes, ragged fins (possibly from spinning into the rock).
6. Is the fish "flashing" (scratching or rubbing on rocks, decorations or substrate)? No
7. How is the fish acting? Is it swimming around, or just hovering in one spot or corner of the tank? Spinning in the open.
8. Did you use quarantine? If so for how long and did you have a need to treat for any ailments? Is it in qt now? Are you currently treating with any medication(s)? No QT or medications.
9. Describe in detail how the fish was acclimated. Drip method, nearly two years ago.
10. What size system? What type of filtration do you use? Do you have any live rock or sand? 29gal, canister filter and protein skimmer, live rock and sand.
11. Do you use any additives? Have you used any sort of meds in the main tank? Use RO water, salt and I add calcium but not even close to as often as I should.

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Old 09-17-2009, 05:22 PM   #2
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My gut tells me it is swim bladder disease. Usually when they have this they swim in circles and bump into glass and rock. They swim upside down sometimes also. I have seen making sure of pristine water conditions will help to alleviate it.
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cardinal, pajama cardinal

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