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Old 09-10-2014, 01:00 PM   #1
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Cardinal Tetra breathing heavily

One of my Cardinal Tetras has always been a little fuller in the belly than the others its blue stripe bends upwards. I've attached a (bad) pic below. I had assumed that this individual is a female and that it may be gravid. This morning, I noticed that it was breathing rather rapidly (about 4 mouth-openings per second). However, there do not appear to be any other problems with this fish or any of my others. This individual Cardinal occasionally hangs out in my bogwood "cave" but mostly schools with the others. I tested my ammonia and nitrites earlier this morning and both were zero. I can't tell if this fish is ill or if it may be getting ready to spawn.

I've had these Cardinals for about three weeks now. I recently treated the tank with Furan-2 to address what appeared to be columnaris in one of my Rummys and did numerous 20-25% water changes during this time. (My sick fish didn't respond after five days, so I euthanized it.)

My tank is a 29 gallon and was cycled about 6 weeks ago. Other inhabitants include Rummynose Tetras (7), Black Neons (7), more Cardinals (7), Sterbai Corys (4), and Assassin Snails (2). The tank is moderately planted.

Parameters:
77 deg F
pH 7.3-7.4
GH: 3 deg
KH: 2.5 deg (pH is still steady)
Nirates: ~7-13 ppm (currently 5 ppm)
Ammonia/nitrites: 0
Lighting: 17 watt T8

Any idea what's going on here?
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Old 09-10-2014, 07:57 PM   #2
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The aforementioned Cardinal didn't eat this afternoon and was spending a little more time in the bogwood cave. It's mouth is still working like a tobacco-chewing baseball player on amphetamines.
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Old 09-12-2014, 06:32 PM   #3
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This fish is still not eating. (I'm feeling New Life Spectrum Small Fish Formula 0.5 mm sinking pellets.) Its condition appears to be the same.

Any ideas?
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Old 09-12-2014, 09:04 PM   #4
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They are not live-bearers so if anything, maybe she is about to drop a lot of eggs. Sorry, I don't have any other useful help.
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Old 09-14-2014, 02:56 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Noviceafter2yea View Post
They are not live-bearers so if anything, maybe she is about to drop a lot of eggs. Sorry, I don't have any other useful help.
Thanks for the comment.

This individual seems a little thinner, most likely because it's not eating. Otherwise, there has been no apparent change in its condition.

I'm wondering if it could be constipation. Then again, I wouldn't associate constipation with rapid breathing.
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Old 09-14-2014, 03:09 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PNWaquarist View Post
Thanks for the comment.

This individual seems a little thinner, most likely because it's not eating. Otherwise, there has been no apparent change in its condition.

I'm wondering if it could be constipation. Then again, I wouldn't associate constipation with rapid breathing.
I don't have enough knowledge and am really offering speculation. Maybe it isn't getting enough oxygen and you need to add an airstone? I can't remember if you said whether or not she is getting picked on, is that possible? Any other possible stressors or changes to the environment? Are the other fish just beating her to the food?

I wish I could be more helpful.
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Old 09-14-2014, 03:16 PM   #7
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Is she no longer fuller in the belly as your original post? Is she just swayback maybe?

I think some meds reduce the oxygen.

I have a couple of platy fry that look sort of swayback, like they have a reverse curve. I also have some that have what looks like scoliosis. I posted about it a while back. The feedback I got was there was a good chance they'd be okay. But, mine are eating.
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Old 09-14-2014, 03:20 PM   #8
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Better pic of the swayback guy. Actually, this one is the biggest of the fry, poops the most, and seems to beat the others to food - but I do not think it is just fat.
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Old 09-14-2014, 03:33 PM   #9
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Thanks again for your remarks. It's definitely a challenging diagnosis.

I'm pretty sure that the oxygen levels are good. None of the other fish are acting abnormally and I have a good return water flow from my HOB filter. I've never seen aggressive behavior in my tank - it's extremely laid back.

Scoliosis might be something to consider. This individual does seem to be a bit more "bendy" than most Cardinals.
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Old 09-14-2014, 07:21 PM   #10
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I've been following and unfortunately not coming up with much. Fast breathing I've noticed in mine when I have lifted temp (like for ich treatment) or the first night of using meds. Which doesn't seem helpful here.
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