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Old 01-15-2006, 09:45 AM   #1
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Weird bristlenose catfishes

Hi folks,

just a question...is it normal, that my new bristlenose catfishes swims frequently in a fast movement towards the surface in order to snap some air?

I put a piece of cucumber in my tank. It is supposed to be their meal because they never do any eforts to approach a vegetable tablet, I bought for them at my lfs. The problem now is, they effectually ignore the cucumber.
I have at least 16 of them in my tank, and I wonder myself, what they're eating??
I have a radix in there and I already realized, that they like it...but I guess, it ain't a really balanced diet to eat lumber all the day.

Greetings

Daniel Jackson

Ps.: Some pics of my tank under www.physik.de.vu
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Old 01-15-2006, 09:47 AM   #2
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Old 01-15-2006, 09:49 AM   #3
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What are your water parameters and what size tank?

How new are they in regard to the rest of your BN's?
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Old 01-15-2006, 10:19 AM   #4
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well, we already had this...see http://www.aquariumadvice.com/viewtopic.php?t=69271

one's again my water parameters. (Zagz told me my tank is not cycled, perhaps could this be the problem):

Size of tank: 55 US gallons
Temp. 80-82 °F (27°C)
pH 6.5-7
total hardness 16°
carbonate hardness 8°
nitrite 0-0.0025 mg/L
nitrate 0 mg/L
ammonia 0 mg/L
phosphate 0.25-0.5 mg/L
Fe 0.3 mg/L
CO2 12 mg/L
O2 5-6 mg/L

Except of one BN, they're all new.
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Old 01-15-2006, 10:33 AM   #5
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I read through your previous thread. It appears from your test results that you have nothing in the way of toxins to cause that reaction (ammonia, nitrite or nitrate). The absence of nitrate is interesting (more on that later).

The behavior demonstrated is usually associated with toxins in the water. I would go with the fish behavior rather than test results in this case.

Do a 50% PWC and re-test the tank. Let's see if this helps.
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Old 01-15-2006, 11:36 AM   #6
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Pleco's are capable of breathing surface air, it's also normal when they are getting ready for some swimming as it's the way they "equalize" their ballasts (allows them to float a bit, or hold 0 buoyancy), same as a cory.

I would only be concerned if he/she is doing this very often, they should only need to do it about once, maybe twice a day.. anytime they are busy afterwards... Make sure there is not a film on the surface of the water that won't allow oxygen exchange for the fish (tho you'ld see similar behaviour in the other fish).

The low nitrates are probably caused by your plants, and it's unlikely you will ever read pollutants (until you start getting some plant dieoff)

My Plec. used to do the same thing, then I installed a glass top and for the first week when the lights went out (he's nocturnal) I would hear him slam into the glasstop.. Then he figured out he could gently break the waters surface over at the filter and get some air for his nightly routine.
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Old 01-15-2006, 12:43 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Wizzard~of~Ozz
The low nitrates are probably caused by your plants, and it's unlikely you will ever read pollutants (until you start getting some plant dieoff)
Ok, I assume that the plants are in the photo links (I'm at work and the link is blocked grrrr.). Indeed, that would explain the missing nitrate. I've personally only seen my plecos do this very rarely. Perhaps they are doing the synchronius air gulp since you have so many?
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Old 01-15-2006, 01:03 PM   #8
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OK help a newbie at plants here please. A tank that has been set up for a few weeks, heavily planted and showing no nitrates, the tank was set up on Dec 28, 2005 according to Daniels page. It can be cycled? You can show 0 nitrates as opposed to low nitrates of say 5ppm? Then wouldn't you have to dose nitrates to keep the tank bacteria going? (is confused here). I am not sure if the tank's plants can be considered heavily planted at their current size. I am most interested in seeing what the general thoughts of members are regarding this situation.
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Old 01-15-2006, 01:12 PM   #9
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Zagz, the most easily accessible form of nitrogen that a plant can take is ammonia, (NH3), second is NitrAte (tho I don't know why NO3 is more accessible then NO2).

So you put moderate load into a planted tank, all ammonia produced is immediately absorbed by the plants, that's the end of the cycle.. Nitrate will come from other fish waste sitting on the bottom and dissolved organics, but that will be later on.

If I'm wrong on any of this, please feel free to enlighten, this is based on my understanding of the planted world.
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Old 01-15-2006, 01:18 PM   #10
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I think I understand, let me see if I do. If you start a tank, put the plants in and the fish, your cycle is sped up by the plants effectively reducing the time of the cycle substantially. If this is the case, LOL, I should have planted my first tank. You never quit learning in this hobby.
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Old 01-15-2006, 01:42 PM   #11
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Zagz,

I don't understand your question about having to add nitrAte to the tank for the bacteria. As far as I know, no bacteria use nitrAte, thats the byproduct that always requires PWC's to keep the level acceptable for fish.

I think if you think of it less as a cycle and more as Point A to Point B (for plants) its much easier. With bacteria, you have ammonia initially, you then need bacteria for ammonia to nitrIte, then another type of bacteria for nitrIte to nitrAte. Then you have to do PWC's to get rid of the nitrAte. Because at the beginning you will have little if any nitrIte to nitrAte bacteria (since their food source is solely dependent on the first type of bacteria multiplying), the cycle will take a long time.

With plants, ammonia is introduced into the water, and its used by the plants with no detrimental byproducts (actually you get oxygen in the water which is a GREAT byproduct). The "cycle" is over. Very little to no nitrIte, very little to no nitrAte, and as long as the plants stay healthy, water changes probably wouldn't even be needed (if things like trace elements and CO2 were constant).

I mean think about how those small ponds that may go weeks without rain water, with temperature fluctuations, no waterfall/bubbler aeration, can still manage to hold life. The closer you can make your tank to the environment, or even improve on it (constant temp., constant CO2, O2, food), the better off everyone (including your own sanity ) will be.

justin
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Old 01-15-2006, 01:44 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zagz
I think I understand, let me see if I do. If you start a tank, put the plants in and the fish, your cycle is sped up by the plants effectively reducing the time of the cycle substantially. If this is the case, LOL, I should have planted my first tank. You never quit learning in this hobby.
Apologies to the OP of this thread for the inadvertent hijack...but the question was valid and related to this topic.

Zagz, that's why I planted my tank during the cycle.
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Old 01-15-2006, 01:48 PM   #13
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Hmmm I apologize too for hijacking this thread, but I do take every opportunity to learn.

I have heard of people dosing nitrate into planted tanks, I must confess I never did understand why, but I don't have heavily planted tanks.

I would have to agree with JC's assessment of the original question, that a pwc would be in order based on the behaviour of your fish. Please keep us updated as to your fish. And I promise not to hijack any more of your threads!
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Old 01-15-2006, 01:58 PM   #14
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Zags,

They dose nitrAte into the tanks for the plants, not the bacteria. While the plants would much rather have ammonia as their food source, that would hurt/kill the fish, so you have to balance the health of the fish with what the plants want.

The only reason I would see someone needing to dose nitrAte, would be if they have a lot of plants and very few or very low waste producing fish. The purpose of this dosing would probably be to prevent the "plant crash" worry I would have in a tank that used plants primarily for nitrogen filtration (ie plants die, your ammonia and nitrIte levels go through the roof).
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