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Old 01-27-2011, 04:15 PM   #1
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Tetras with lumpy bellies.

Hi,
I need some help with my blue tetras. I've been trying to research for ages and can't find anything. Hoping someone here will have an answer.

Three of my five blue tetras are fatter than the other two, but they keep developing lumps on their bellies. This seems to occur most often after feeding, but not always then. They're also not solid or permanent. I have sat and watched then appear, disappear, and move. One tetra in particular seems to have two large lumps, a large one in the front and slightly to his left, and another slightly behind.

I thought maybe i was feeding them too much, so I left it two days before feeding them again. The lumps appeared while they were eating. All they have is one crushed up flake between all five of them. Is this too much?

My tank is still cycling at the moment (newbie mistake), so I'm doing water changes very frequently to battle with nitrites.

Could this just be because they are stressed. They are eating fine and they're fins aren't clamped, but they have started hiding in the plants and behind the filter more than usual.
Sorry for such a long post. Wanted to give you as much information as possible.
Thanks!
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Old 01-27-2011, 04:17 PM   #2
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I added the photos so you can see the lumps (sorry they're bad photos. Tetras are quick!!).
I put a pic of my tank up too in case you can see any problems with that.
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Old 01-27-2011, 08:03 PM   #3
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Please could someone help me?
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Old 01-28-2011, 12:02 AM   #4
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How many times a day are you feeding them? Small fish don't need a whole of food but will eat as much as you give them. Occasionally when I feed my Pristellas freeze dried blood worms, they will develope a bumpy belly like you are describing after eating a large piece of worm..It just doesn't take much to fill their belly up!

As far as the hiding is concerned, it is possible they are stressed. What have your water parameters been?
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Old 01-28-2011, 12:06 AM   #5
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I also think this is most likely food... When it doesn't happen after feeding perhaps they found their own food. Some fish are constantly looking for something to nibble.
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Old 01-28-2011, 02:52 AM   #6
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I've been feeding them twice a day. Should I cut down to once a day? I know that they will eat whatever they can find (they used to eat the cory pellets whole! And now they do swarm the algae wafers I give they corys instead. How can I stop that?)

I figured that they were hiding because they are stressed, I just wanted to check that it had nothing to do with their lumpy bellies. I'm changing 50% of my water about three times a day at the moment to get my ammonia and nitrites under control. By the next morning, my ammonia is about 0.5, nitrite about 2.0.
I know I've got too many fish for an uncycled 10 gallon tank (don't you just love the advice of people who work in a chain of pet shops that pretend they know what they're talking about!!)

My nitrite yesterday started at only 0.5, so after nearly two weeks of it shooting off the chart, I'm hoping that it's finished spiking and that now my nitrates will be rising. Shouldn't the ammonia be 0 all the time now though if the nitrite is nearly done spiking? Am I still doing something wrong? (I SO wish I'd heard about fishless cycling before we got our fish!!)

Thanks for replying! I am a bit paranoid about our fish, so it's nice to have people reassure me that they're not going to die of some horrific disease.
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Old 01-28-2011, 03:06 AM   #7
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Ok, my water params right now (I got ammonia and nitrite to 0 last night) are
Ammonia: 1ppm
Nitrite: 0.25ppm
Nitrate: 20ppm

Our tap water is about 10/20ppm nitrates anyway, but I'm hoping our plants will help with sucking all that nitrogen out! Wish they'd hurry up and get the ammonia down!
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Old 01-28-2011, 04:18 AM   #8
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Do water changes to keep the ammonia as close to .25 as possible, and it sounds like you are already doing that.

Two of my rasboras got lumpy bellies after eating too, I never worried too much about it. I fed mine way more than you do too!

You can feed the wafers when the lights go out.

Nitrate is fine between 5 and 40 ppm.
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Old 01-28-2011, 06:02 AM   #9
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Ooo, I hadn't thought to feed the wafers at night. I'll give that a go, thanks
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Old 01-28-2011, 11:09 AM   #10
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+1 on keeping up with your water changes. Ammonia should be the first to drop, but there is no guarantee as to how quickly that will happen. Like dkpate said, try to keep your ammonia/nitrites as close to .25 as possible. Great adivce from her about feeding the wafers at night. If your tetra are eating those PLUS their flakes 2x a day, they are definitely getting plenty of food. I might try cutting back their feedings to once a day, especially since you are cycling and trying to keep that ammonia down.
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Old 01-28-2011, 06:25 PM   #11
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Well, I haven't changed my tank water today, and my nitrites have dropped from 0.5 to 0.25 so excited that they're finally dropping!! My ammonia however has gone up to 1ppm! I tested nitrates again hoping that they might be going up. They've gone down to 5 though, which is much lower than the water I put in the tank. Maybe the plants are doing their job? why would my ammonia be going up though? Surely that should have gone down before the nitrite spike?
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Old 01-28-2011, 06:48 PM   #12
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Tried feeding the corys when the lights were out. The daft things went straight past it! They did manage to actually eat some of it before it got mobbed though.

The fattest of the tetras is now swimming around with the whole wafer in his mouth. Looks like a puppy with a frisbee!
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Old 01-28-2011, 07:59 PM   #13
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Too much food in the tank can cause more ammonia as well, so be careful. That's great that your nitrites are not as high today but I would still do a PWC since your ammonia is so high at the moment.
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Old 02-15-2011, 03:44 AM   #14
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I've finally found a way of getting food to the corys without the tetras eating it!
I bury it in the gravel. The tetras go mad knowing that there's food in the tank, but lose interest in about 2 minutes, then te corys find the wafers and dig them out the tetras don't seem to notice
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Old 02-15-2011, 10:34 AM   #15
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Good job! How is your cycling going?
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Old 02-15-2011, 10:37 AM   #16
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All finished I added some guppies, so it went through a mini cycle, but that's just finished now too
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Old 02-15-2011, 10:49 AM   #17
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Good to hear!
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Old 02-15-2011, 11:01 AM   #18
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Thanks it's so nice to not be changing tank water three times a day
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Old 02-15-2011, 11:40 AM   #19
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Sounds good, I hope. Congrats.
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Old 02-15-2011, 02:37 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fishies86 View Post
I've finally found a way of getting food to the corys without the tetras eating it!
I bury it in the gravel. The tetras go mad knowing that there's food in the tank, but lose interest in about 2 minutes, then te corys find the wafers and dig them out the tetras don't seem to notice
What a great idea!!! I might try that with my snail and betta.
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