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Old 04-23-2011, 02:55 PM   #1
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librarygirl's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Rhode Island
Posts: 7,052
Exclamation Hair in tank, (micro)bubbles, fish moving mouth.. (Pics & Video)


I'm a n00b. Here's a short history:

~March 25 - purchased a 5 gal Hex from Petsmart; wasn't told about cycling, etc, just told to let the tank "sit" for a week
~April 1 - took water to PetSmart, tested and said it was "fine," bought 3 GloFish (wasn't aware at the time they are genetically modified fish); fish seemed fine except one chasing others around the tank and harrassing one of the fish more than the other
~April 6 - one Glofish was dead after first water change which went badly. Purchased a bad siphon (had to shake it to get it going which I couldn't get it to work and lots of shaking of the water, moving things around, etc, stress for fish and 2) this was the fish that got bullied the most so I think it was stress
~April 7 - took dead fish back to Petsmart. Asked for advice; they tested water again and said everything was "where it should be" but didn't give me particulars. They suggested I get 2 more Glofish to try to lessen the harassing, which I did
~April 6-22; bought a better siphon cleaner (squeeze it once, all water pumps out, no fuss no muss lol) and doing daily water changes, 20%-40%. I also purchased a strip test kit, ammonia constant at 0.25 no matter what I did. Water treated with Prime before each change.
~April 16, noticed one of the fish moving its mouth fairly rapidly ( like saying "me me me me" very fast). I also purchased an API test kit around this time . Sometimes the fish seemed to slow down its mouth movements although never totally stopped; definitely doing it more than the other fish. Posted on another forum and they suggested an oxygen issue, so I purchased a small air stone. Noticed some improvement as I said but still moving its mouth more than the others. But the thing is I'm not sure if this fish has always done this and just never noticed or if it's new behavior
~April 20 - started to feel guilty about the small size tank for these guys, plus at some point I'd like to get a few more fish, maybe a snail, so I bought a 12 gallon Marineland Eclipse. Posted about how to upgrade here: http://www.aquariumadvice.com/forums...nk-149534.html
~April 21 - set up the larger tank, let it run overnight
~April 22 - tested both tanks, parameters and temp the same, switched fish over, after a few minutes of initial freaking out, they explored their new home and then seemed very happy, swimming around the tank, etc.; Throughout this time did not notice any noticeable difference in the fish with the mouth issue; sometimes he'd seem to be doing it less, other times more, but always more constant than the other fish; she(?)'s been eating and swimming around fine....until today.....hence this post.....

Today after a 40% water change I noticed a few things:

1) the fish with the mouth issue is at it again, back to doing it constantly and fairly rapidly. Also I noticed today she's not moving around much, hovering near the top. I have a filter which does move the water pretty good and I bought a larger airstone with the larger tank. The other 3 fish are swimming around some but are acting different than usual: they are schooling more today which usually they swim separately or in a group of 2 more often than not (although they are schooling fish, so, I don't know...) and even they have longer periods where they are hovering around the top and not moving much.
2) I have bubbles everywhere: microbubbles which seem to be coming from the filter (the part where the filtered water comes back into the tank) - see p ic, larger bubbles attached to the filter and part of the heater (normal?) and bubbles at surface (they tend to pop fairly quickly)
3) tiny hairs (?) and white cottony stuff floating in the tank - not much, but I've spotted a few - and some attached to the filter pump (the holed part that sucks up the water; tried to take a pic but my camera is pretty old so it wouldn't pick up the hairs). Also some tufts of what look like white cotton floating along bottom and stuck to some decorations (again not much but didn't notice this before!) What are these things? is it normal? I have a cat, so I'm hoping they aren't cat hairs, although my cat isn't white lol. The lid is always on whenever I change the water or feed and the cat has no interest whatsoever in the tank (I know, odd), and I try to make sure I rinse my hands before putting them in the tank, but hairs do cling, so maybe that' 'what they are? Anyone else have this? I've read the forums some and they do not look like worms, they are not on the glass and not on the fish. I caught a couple today floating while changing the water and took them out (stuck to some decorations) and since I've seen a couple more, a few attached to the filter pump, like the filter wants to suck them up but the hairs are too long and won't go in.

Additional info: tank hasn't yet cycled, been up for 3 weeks with fish (well, the old tank was up for almost 3 weeks, this current one a couple of days, but parameters test the same). Daily water changes. Ammonia levels constant from 0-0.25, hard to tell with the coloring of the tube and the chart, but definitely nothing over 0.25 yet, no nitrates/nitrites at all, ph between 7.4-7.6 as of this morning.

Any advice? I want to help the fish if there's something wrong but I don't know what! Seems like they were OK until the water change but I treated the water...? I'm going to do another water change now just b/c I feel I need to do something....

[edit] just did another 5 gal change with treated water, other fish are swimming around now but the other is still hovering along the top and opening/closing its mouth. Took out some of the hairs and the cottony stuff (yuck), one of them i picked up with my fingers looked like part of a greyish soggy worm, but can't tell, I squeezed it between my fingers and it's small and wet so I don't know. I'm sufficiently grossed out lol And still worried about that other fish, I have no idea what's wrong?!

[edit 2] she's swimming around more. I turned the light off for a while and she started swimming around (her mouth doesn't stop though). Her mouth looks odd to me, almost too large for her size and I thought I saw a black spot on one side near her mouth but she's moving too fast to get a good look. I'm adding some video I took of her, even though parts are a bit blurry she does get close and you can see the movement of her mouth. I put the light back on and she was hovering again on the left top of the tank, and then started swimming around more. Maybe the new light bothers her, is that possible? lol Sorry, I'm definitely a noobie, I know it's starting to show, sorry about that. Some other fish are chasing her when she swims out so maybe that's why she's isolating too (she isn't the smallest in the tank, but she's the second smallest)? New tank, new territorial battles maybe? I don't know, I'm grasping at straws I guess. I'm mostly concerned with her mouth movements....here's some video...

Sorry for the long post, just want to be thorough

VIDEOS (takes 15-30 secs from beginning of each for a good shot):


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