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malloc 04-09-2007 09:51 PM

strange barb behavior, getting worried

I have a 20 gal unplanted tank with included lighting and a aquaclear 30 filter, which i just installed about 2 weeks ago. Yesterday afternoon I removed the light fixture for about 2 hours to install some LED moonlights. Ever since putting the light back on my 3 odessa barbs have been acting strangely. They are normally a very bright red color (although they lose their color at night) and they always swim around the middle/ top of the tank, chasing each other, etc. But since yesterday they are almost completely white (the way they look at night) and they hide around the bottom of the tank, in rocks, and are *very* twitchy. Every time I walk by the tank they all flip out & try hide themselves as much as possible, they are very easily startled & dart around the rocks, etc... They usually swim up to the surface hoping to be fed. I thought maybe taking the light away for a couple hours just confused them, but after more than a day the situation is the same.

Water params are all normal, and the other fish in the tank act normal-- except for my rainbow shark, who hides more because he doesn't have to bother chasing the barbs away from his cave any more.

Can anyone tell me what might be going on with the barbs? Could they be mating or something? I have read that strange things can bring on mating in some fish.

In the tank I have the 3 odessa barbs, 3 hatchetfish, 1 red tail shark, 1 snail & 1 adf.

Thanks a lot

i3k 04-10-2007 12:57 AM

not sure. they might be stressed. are they eating? what is the temperature in the tank? Do you have any stresscoat? that stuff calms them down a bit and protects them from stress. I've seen fish turn pale from ammonia in the tank but you said the water params are normal. Are they getting chased/nipped on by any of the other fish?

malloc 04-10-2007 01:09 AM

yes, they are eating fine. I just poured some blood worms in there & they went right after them as usual. I don't know what stresscoat is, lol. Temp is a steady 78F, and has been since establishing the tank. They get chased by my red finned shark some, but that is usual. he never nips, only chases them away from his cave. If anything, they are being chased less today since they are just hiding in the back of the tank rather than taunting the shark =P

They seem to be regaining a bit of their color now. I was just worried because I certainly didn't do anything out of the ordinary to stress them out, other than taking their sun away for a couple hours, but I have done that before without seeing this behavior.

malloc 04-10-2007 02:34 PM

This morning they are slightly more red, still not close to their normal color. They are still acting pretty nervous.

i3k 04-10-2007 08:30 PM

How long has the tank been running? You said you installed aquaclear filter. Was there a filter before you bought a new one?

Maybe when you were installing those LED moonlights the fish got spooked and crashed into something.

StressCoat is a water conditioner that has Aloe Vera in it. I use it with my PWC. It removes chlorine, neutralizes chloramines, detoxifies heavy metals and replaces protective coating fish naturally have.

malloc 04-11-2007 01:55 AM

The tank has been running since last september. Before the aquaclear filter I was just using the whisper20 that came with my tank kit.
I use aquasafe dechlorinator with my pwc's, is this similar to stresscoat?


Maybe when you were installing those LED moonlights the fish got spooked and crashed into something.
That's the only think I could think of... but like I said, i have removed the light before with no problems. Their behavior is unchanged today.

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