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Old 12-19-2003, 12:12 AM   #1
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Zebra danio sticking to bottom of tank

I have two danios that are cycling my tank, and one of them is sticking to the bottom of the tank and appears to be breathing heavily. It will eat and will swim if the other danio bothers it, but otherwise it has one or two spots where it just hovers. Don't know what the current water parameters are, but they were about 0 on Saturday when I got the danios and they were put in a just-filled tank and pH is 7.6. I added Stresszyme last night (I only have one bottle between my tanks at work and home). There is a whisper filter on the tank with a sponge filter and the temp has been right around 72-76. Any clues? Is it just the bacteria bloom? Danios are supposed to be indestructible...
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Old 12-19-2003, 12:46 AM   #2
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Hi JenNewbie,
Sorry to hear your going through a worry time, but with cycling this is what happens.
Since you are going through a cycle still, it could very well be that your fish are suffering in water with high ammonia. They will isolate themselves, lie on the bottom, breathe heavy...Danios are not invincible, just hearty.
How long has your tank been cycling? What size tank? How many fish?
And "it is" really, a "need" to have a test kit, it gives you answers and helps to keep your fish healthy. Since you do not have a kit, do you have a petstore that will test your water for you. It is really important to get the water tested somehow. Most around here do and it is usually a no charge. But with ammonia's.. different fish will tolerate different levels of ammonia. At concentrations as low as .2-.5 ppm, ammonia can kill your fish, Even at levels above 0.01-0.02 ppm, fish will be stressed. Different fish react differently. The key to getting the ammonias down are water changes, day after day until it goes down.
Hope this helps some.

time and water changes are the two mainstays
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Old 12-19-2003, 01:07 AM   #3
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How big is the tank? Have you got live plants? For any moderately sized tank, I don't think 2 Zebra Danios would cause an ammonia spike after a couple of days in the tank, at least they never did for me. In any case, it's important to test your water values, just like said before .
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Old 12-20-2003, 01:57 AM   #4
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I'd had the danios one week exactly today. I had intended on returning them because they are just too active for a 5 gal tank (yes, tiny, I know, but I hope to be inheriting a co-worker's 20gal tank soon), especially after I added more plants. When I returned them I looked at the other danios and there were several breathing rapidly. The lfs guy said something about septicemia? The values on the water, btw, were ok. I don't know the numbers, but ammonia was within "safe" and nitrite was high normal. This was from a sample taken before I did a 25% water change. I added some more Stresszyme to the water and I'm just crossing my fingers that the new fish do ok.
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Old 12-20-2003, 04:56 AM   #5
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JenNewbie,
Yes, I agree the danios are very active. I had some too and ended up giving them to my sister in law for her tank. Even for the 55 I had them in, they were to busy for me.
I do not think your fish had Septicemia. Signs of Septicemia are reddening of bases of fins, hemorrhages around the eyes, specimen not eating, listlessness.
I still think it is your water conditions through this cycle. It sounds like you have just past up the ammonia spike..And about the ammonia, any amount period is not safe. And high normal for nitrite? Ammonia and nitrites are toxins that are very toxic in a fish tank.
During cycling a tank, you can expect this: A cycle can take from 4-6 weeks to complete.
Around day 3-4 of the cycle, your ammonias will be very high and your fish may show stress signs, like jetting around the tank and gasping for air. At this time when ammonia levels move up you need to do a water change, start with 10% then just do them daily to help bring the ammonias down. But no gravel vac or changing the filter/media. It can disturb what bacteria has started. Around day 8-9 your ammonias will start to fall and the nitrites start to go up, During this first week or so you want the bacteria to start converting those ammonias to nitrites. Your fish may start acting stressed again and then you know it is time for another water change to start lessening thoses nitrites. You Ammonias still should be coming down.
by the time you are into this cycle 2 weeks your nitrites can get very high and then again, water changes. Just do small ones. You do not want to disturb the "good" bacteria that is starting to grow. And by now your ammonias should be close to zero. And your nitrites should start to fall.Just keep monitoring the water quality, because that is the key and answers to a cycled tank...Test kits are a must for cycling. The only real way to know if your tank has cycled will be to watch the levels rise and fall.
By now it should be a month into the cycle and the bacteria begin to process nitrites as quickly as they are produced. The bacteria should be starting to turn nitrites into nitrates.Nitrates should now show also.
You will know your tank is finished cycling when your ammonias and nitrites are 0... Your tank will also go through a cloudy look, this is a good thing(most of the time) it is a bacterial bloom. So don't fret if this happens, it will go away.
I hope this helps in giving you a better understanding of what the cycle is all about. I know I had a heck of a time, screwed my cycle up and had to start all over. I thought the bacterial bloom was bad, so I dumped 75% of a 30 gal and cleaned out my filter and thought it was fixed... 8O Little did know, I had to do it all over again.
Good luck and I hope your fish pull through the cycle.
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Old 12-20-2003, 12:14 PM   #6
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Maybe my tanks are an exception, but I find everything doesn't always go by the book. Or then my test kit is screwed up. With cycling my 3 tanks with fish (2 Zebra Danios) I have at no point had noticeable levels of ammonia or nitrites, and even after 2-3 months still no nitrates. Especially my 33 gallon must be cycled by now, I've got several fish in there, but still no ammonia or nitrites. I have not lost any fish, and have not noticed any behaviour on the fish that would indicate the presence of ammonia or nitrites. I've just figured it must be small amount of fish and a large amount of live plants that made the ammonia and nitrites "spikes" go by unnoticed.
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