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Old 11-20-2021, 06:27 PM   #1
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Golden ram behaving strangely

Im concerned about our golden ram.
We've had him for a while now, so know that this is new... although recently, we got him a buddy and found out she is carrying eggs. Because of this, I decided it was a good enough excuse to buy some pretty plants in the hopes that she would feel safe to lay them;

-Tropica Microsorum Pteropus on lava stone
-Java Fern with Java moss on half a coconut (Microsorium Pteropus Vesicularia Dubyana)

As I was going to be reshuffling things around(replacing ornaments with plants, etc) I thought it was best to also perform a 25% water change, hoping it would cause less stress...

Thinking all is going well, took the filter bracket off the glass to clean all the muck and the danio appeared! Started darting every where in circles, clearly stressed. There are very distinctive white marks where the scales are falling off and the spine is probably, most definitely injured.
When we noticed, (this was a couple of days after introducing the female ram into the tank, so about 10 days ago) we looked and couldn't see the danio anywhere... and that's with all ornaments moved. Checked back of tank/desk thinking maybe it jumped through the little gap in the lid and nada. So we assumed, that the rams cornered him and gave him a taste of his own medicine. So he's been stuck for over a week? We freed him yesterday and today have noticed the ram acting strangely.
The biggest things being its random twitching with its side rubbing either against the lava rock, filter or floor. It's really weird. Is it having a scratch? Is it still getting use to the new layout? Although the filter is in the same place. Is it stressed because of the danio?? or could it have parasites? Thinking either from the danio from being stuck behind the filter bracket or something from the new plants?
Ive done water test, bearing in mind it is a day after water change;
pH - 7.5
Nitrite - 0
Ammonia 0.2
Water temp - 27c

Please, any ideas or advice on what it could be? Happy to answer any further questions if any...

-Meg

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Old 11-20-2021, 07:10 PM   #2
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The behaviour you are describing, scratching itself, twitching etc is called flashing. Its commonly caused by either poor water quality or a parasitic infection.

Do you know your nitrate?

I would up the water changes and keep an eye on the fish. Look for any other signs that could help with the diagnosis.
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Old 11-21-2021, 06:06 AM   #3
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Thank you!
The Nitrate from the strip reading is: between 25 and 50. Is that too high for the rams?
With water changes, should I perform a 15% water change today or tomorrow?Last water change was a 25% on Friday.
We are really trying to be careful with out water conditions and although disappointing to hear, hoping that it is poor water quality and not a parasitic infection.
From switching the light on this morning, I've only noticed the golden ram twitch once... and its be about 40 minutes so far...
Any thought on how it could be a parasite if it does seem like it? From the danio? or the plants?
We are also careful with how much food we feed them as I do tend to feel sorry for the rams as they always seem to be begging for food. The food is kept on the left side of the tank and seems like to me, they swim and glass surface that area only and immediately stop and swim to the top once I've picked it up...
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Old 11-21-2021, 08:21 AM   #4
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Here are a few links to the videos where I managed to capture its behaviour!!

LONG VIDEO OF ALL FISH;
https://youtu.be/PidPsmHKsUw

CLOSE UP OF GOLDEN RAM;
https://youtu.be/rZvYOPRle64

THIS IS IT!! THIS IS THE BEHAVIOUR IM TALKING ABOUT;
https://youtu.be/-C2u1CQJFXc
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Old 11-22-2021, 02:14 PM   #5
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Update

An update on water conditions as water should be settling now after water change;

Aqua Care kit;
pH: 7/7.5
Nitrite: 0
Ammonia: 0

Test strip;
pH: 7
Carbon Hardness: 3-6
General Hardness: 7
Nitrate:50
Nitriate: 0

Update on the fish:
The danio is still being a dick, going for the golden ram... looks like its trying to bite its tail...
The golden ram seems to be ok, haven't been able to see much as Ive been in work all day...
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Old 11-22-2021, 03:33 PM   #6
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A couple of issues thats come to mind.

You seem to have individual fish. I saw a single zebra danio in there. A single cardinal tetra. These fish are social and when not kept in groups they can get stressed and aggressive. Stress can adversly effect their health. If possible i would look at what fish you are keeping, reduce the number of fish types and up the numbers of fish of the species you want to keep if they are the social types.

The temperature ranges of those fish arent a good match. The 27c you have is great for rams, but the zebra danio is a temperate fish and 27c is too warm for it long term. Ive done the exact same thing (electric blue rams in my case) and trying to find a temperature that suits rams and danios just doesnt work long term. It can look like everything works for a while, but eventually something will get sick. Again i would look at what you are keeping, if its the rams you like then look to stock other fish that like the water in high 20s too.

Yes, that definitely looks like the fish is trying to scratch an itch. I would do a 25-30% water change every couple of days see if things improve. If not can you quarantine? You're from Wales? Medication options are limited here in UK but aquarium salt is an option.
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Old 11-23-2021, 02:53 PM   #7
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A few comments. Rams are rather delicate fishes and really need clean water. Also rams will not lay eggs unless there is a male to fertilize them.

In addition to the water being too warm for the danio they should be kept in a school else their behavior towards other fishes might not be pleasing.

It would not hurt to raise the temp to 28c for the ram - also do not put salt in the tank with the ram.

A stressed fish is vulnerable to diseases including ick. The danio is probably stressing the ram and I would remove it.
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Old 11-25-2021, 07:05 AM   #8
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Thanks for both of your replies. The single fish are our original fish from when we started out tank up about 3 years ago. Originally we had 5 white mountain minnow but down to our last one. The danios (group of 6) eat most of them, we got told that they would be okay in the same tank but didn't seem that way. we also had 5 or 6 neon tetras after a year in or so and they've since gradually died, hence how we are down to the last one. We never want to have danios again so not bothered with buying more, only different species of tetra to keep the neon one company. Although yesterday noticed that the neon tetra was covered in white spots, assuming that's ick. Tried to quarantine it but as got stressed out from trying to catch it that it died, we also removed the danio swell as it was stressing the rams. We do have a the old tank that we could set up to quarantine in the future if ever needed although would really prefer not to as we do not have enough sockets in our room as of yet or a decent spare filter and heater... although with setting up a quarantine tank, wouldn't we need to set to up in advance for there to be a correct cycle? or would it not matter?

Our main priority for the tank are the rams. They are just so cool and interactive... The pair are a male and female

Ive bumped the temperature up to 30c as I read somewhere that it can help kill ich...
We also added; Interpret Anti White spot+ and Aquarium salt (before seeing jake37 post) Assuming though that because the rams also have white spots on the fins that its okay to do so... I've since then only done a 15% water change as I don't want to disrupt anything again... in 48 hours, should I still stick to 15? or do 25/30% water change?

How does ich get into the tank? We try to be very careful and unsure as to how its happened... could it have been from the danio when it was stuck for a good couple of days behind the filter bracket? or one of the new plants?
Ive actually thrown the java plant that's on the coconut shell as the rams kept scratching themselves in the corner with the roots and just lingering there...

Yes we are from Wales
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Old 11-25-2021, 07:12 AM   #9
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Ive separated the mountain minnow as I don't think it can tolerate 30c
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Old 11-25-2021, 07:58 AM   #10
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Ich cant spontaneously appear in an ich free environment. Ich can be introduced into a tank very easily though. Anything that goes from an infected tank (eg fishstore) to your tank without a very robust quarantine risks ich going into your tank. It might even be something that's been in the tank years and its only just manifesting. Otherwise healthy fish will often live with the ich parasite just fine showing no signs of infection.

The ich parasite has a life cycle. The visible stage is just a part of this and during this stage treatments won't do anything to kill the parasite. It tells you that on the bottle it only works during the free swimming stage.



Your fish will either survive or die while infected regardless of treatment. Increased temperature speeds up the life cycle and reduces the time spent actually infected which helps. After the infected stage the parasite drops off and makes its way into the substrate to reproduce, after which it becomes free swimming and your treatment can kill it before it reinfects your fish. So what you need to do is increase temperature as you have done to speed up the life cycle and make sure you continue to keep the temperature up and water medicated for a week after the infected stage has passed so that the treatment is still in the water when the parasite becomes free swimming. The medication and heat can obviously be stressful to the fish in itself on top of being infected. At temperate water temperature the complete ich lifecycle is a couple of months. At tropical temperature a few weeks. At 30c about a week. Thats why temperature is important in the treatment otherwise you would need to medicate much longer to ensure treatment is in the water for a whole lifecycle.

Also note, moving the minnow from an ich infected tank to a quarantine tank may have infected your QT as well.
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Old 11-25-2021, 08:51 AM   #11
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For a qt tank you are correct it needs to be cycled; however the only filter it needs is a sponge filter (which requires an air pump). I keep sponge filters in all my tanks and they share a common air pump; when I need to qt something I take a mature sponge filter from one of my tanks and put in the the container (I use a 5 gallon bucket) for qt and get a fresh sponge filter out and put it in the tank that had one removed. Then when I'm done with qt i clean the old filter and put it on the shelf.
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Old 11-25-2021, 08:54 AM   #12
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This is great, thank you. I've added treatment yesterday, incase there are free swimming ones... not sure how long they have been on the rams or on any of the other fish in the tank. I do think it might have come from the plant from amazon... behaviour started day after, but that also when we freed the danio...

The minnow isn't in the spare tank luckily!! As its small enough and doesn't require a heater, I've put it in a 5L jar with some moss balls and an air pump.
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Old 11-25-2021, 08:57 AM   #13
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Oh... I think we do have the sponge filter... but we never added any air pumps thinking that the pump is just rubbish... next time I need to use it ill be sure to add in an air pump, thanks for this!!
The mature filter pads won't fit in the spare filter though... Ive always used the moss balls... and a portion of the water its bee in

Thank you both
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Old 11-25-2021, 11:11 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MeganLois View Post
This is great, thank you. I've added treatment yesterday, incase there are free swimming ones... not sure how long they have been on the rams or on any of the other fish in the tank. I do think it might have come from the plant from amazon... behaviour started day after, but that also when we freed the danio...

The minnow isn't in the spare tank luckily!! As its small enough and doesn't require a heater, I've put it in a 5L jar with some moss balls and an air pump.
The plant from amazon? Was it a commercially sold packaged up plant like from Tropica or was it a private sale and might have come from a tank of fish?

Commercially grown plants like Tropica have never been in a tank of fish. Ich can survive its life cycle without a fish host to feed on before it reproduces. So commercial plants are unlikely to be contaminated with ich, unless someone removed them from the packaging and kept them in a fish tank until sold.
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Old 11-25-2021, 11:56 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aiken Drum View Post
The plant from amazon? Was it a commercially sold packaged up plant like from Tropica or was it a private sale and might have come from a tank of fish?

Commercially grown plants like Tropica have never been in a tank of fish. Ich can survive its life cycle without a fish host to feed on before it reproduces. So commercial plants are unlikely to be contaminated with ich, unless someone removed them from the packaging and kept them in a fish tank until sold.
This is it... there wasn't much of a difference in terms of packaging from the other plant I ordered which was from a company called Java Aquarium Plants.com, ... the only real difference was the smell and quality of the leaves...
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