I have a cherry barb who started laying down on the gravel today and breathing quickly. Occasionally he would start swimming but it looks more like shimmying/twitching and he doesn't really go anywhere. He responds to food but seems to miss all of the food. He would just swim around as the food sinks and not chase after a single one (although he definitely becomes more active when the food is in the tank).
Yesterday I did a partial water change to combat high nitrate levels. I had been doing partial water changes once every 2-3 days since finding that there was roughly 60 ppm
nitrates in the tank. The tank sits between 0-20 ppm
The other cherry barb in the tank has not shown signs of disease or stress. I am wondering if the unhealthy cherry barb is responding to the water quality or if there is something else that could explain it (like dropsy). I have not noticed any visible bloating, but I have noticed the other cherry barb chase the sick one several times today. And when the unhealthy cherry barb was chased, he was able to swim quickly to the surface and back to the bottom.
The two cherry barbs live in a MiniBow 2.5g tank. It is one of those starter kits that includes a filter (I recently changed cartridges) and an LED
light (which I keep on for a predictable period of 6-8 hours). The last water test I conducted had 0-20 NH3
, 0 NH2, 7.0 pH. I have not been able to take temperature measurements.
I have pictures that I can share. If people can suggest what steps I should take next, please let me know!