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Old 12-10-2018, 07:08 PM   #1
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Bristlenose off food

My female 14cm and 3 year old Bristlenose is behaving very differently to usual. She is completely disinterested in her food and has not eaten any of the food I have added to the tank in the past week. She usually heads straight for any food I add.

She is the only fish in a 12 gallon tank. I changed her tank 3 months ago and she has been very happy in it up to last week.

I have checked the tank parameters daily and they are:
ammonia -0
nitrites & nitrates - 0
temp - 23 degrees C
pH - 6.8

There is good filtration and a good water flow from the filter. It is an Eheim pickup 60 canister filter.

We noticed that our water tasted funny 1 week ago over a few days. During this time, without thinking, I did my usual weekly 25% water change. 3 days after the water change I noticed that two algae wafers were still in the tank and realized the Bristlenose was not eating. She was staying in one place on the side of the tank - in exactly the same place at 11pm and 7am. Although parameters were fine I did a 50% water change.

I wondered if she was constipated so followed online advice and fed her shelled peas - these were untouched. The following day I added 100% pure Epsom salt (12 teaspoons). She appeared to perk up a bit moving more and swam over to the driftwood. After 24 hours I did another 50% water change. Since, she has left peas, cucumber and zucchini untouched. She remains in one place underneath the driftwood - occasionally moving slightly.

I feel there must have been something in the water when I changed it a week ago. She does look slightly better as she is at least staying on the driftwood moving on it a little bit. Prior to the Epsom salt addition she was inactive and squashed in the corner of the tank on the glass.

Any advice would be much appreciated. Should I add Epsom salt again as this did seem to help? Or is it best to leave her alone now she is on the driftwood?

Thank you.
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Old 12-11-2018, 04:50 PM   #2
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Bristlenose. Here is my take on this fish are pray. No activity in the tank makes her think the prediters are out need some fish swimming around or has reached breeding age. It sounds like you take care of your tank. And I could be clear off base. Just my thoughts on It
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Old 12-14-2018, 08:12 PM   #3
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^ in other news.......

If a Bristlenose is not eating something is not well. Rather than dose epsom salt in the tank I would do it in baths. If you are confident in you water, change a larger then normal percent just a little cooler and do the baths and see how it reacts

I am assuming it is the only Bristlenose. If there are multiples, male-females them that is different
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Old 12-14-2018, 10:47 PM   #4
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My 2 cents...... keep up more frequent water changes and continue to dose salt for a couple of weeks if he's responding well to it.
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Old 12-19-2018, 11:59 PM   #5
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I would try a higher quality food. Dont give up! Try this food. All my fish are healthy and I use it in all my freshwater tanks.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/SEA-DIAMOND...FH6O:rk:2:pf:0
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Old 12-20-2018, 02:22 AM   #6
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Are you being paid by this company? You are pushing this stuff hard. Lol
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Old 12-29-2018, 03:58 PM   #7
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Thank you for your comments. My Bristlenose is still alive but pretty much the same - still not eating anything that I put in (peas, courgette, cucumber, algae wafers). She is still staying in pretty much one place and occasionally moving onto the driftwood. I will keep trying different foods, water changes (although in the last water change the water was completely clean as she is obviously not producing any waste) and Epsom salts. Should I put the epsom salt directly into the tank? She is the only fish in the tank.
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Old 12-29-2018, 04:01 PM   #8
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When you say put the Bristlenose in an Epsom salts bath, would a bucket I use to clean the fish tank out with be ok?
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Old 12-29-2018, 05:10 PM   #9
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I would use a bucket that I trust for the bath
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Old 12-29-2018, 05:43 PM   #10
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He has to be eating something if he's alive for nearly a month since you said you seen him eat last. Are you dropping in food just before you turn off the lights for the night? I once owned a common pleco that wouldn't eat during the day or when the lights were on.
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Old 12-31-2018, 05:45 AM   #11
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Yes King Fisher I think she must be eating algae. Actually right now she has moved over to the filter and is sucking on that. I do put food in at about 11pm but snails sit on it and it seems untouched by the Bristlenose as it is always in the same place and intact in the morning. Then I fish it out after 24 hours.
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Old 12-31-2018, 11:17 AM   #12
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Have you tried zucchini?
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Old 01-17-2019, 07:41 PM   #13
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All fine now!

My Bristlenose is now perfectly well. Thanks to everyone’s advice. Last week she started to be more active and move around the tank much more. I noticed a large amount of waste and then a few days later I found larger and larger nibbles in the cucumber and courgettes that I have been adding each evening. I think that she must have been constipated and that I was feeding her too many algae wafers perhaps.
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Old 01-17-2019, 07:43 PM   #14
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Yes Mbkemp I did try zucchini and now she has recovered and started eating it. A relief!
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Old 01-17-2019, 10:22 PM   #15
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Awesome news!!
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