View Full Version : Harlequin, scared, stressed and wont eat

13th November 2009, 11:27
On 31st October I added 6 Harlequin Rasboras into my tank of four Platies. From the off the largest Harlequin was separated from the group. After much reading I now recognise signs of stress, heavy breathing and not very colourful.

When I am with the fish for a length of time he/it will come out and swim with the others but ny movement from me send him off hiding including feeding times.

When I added the Harlequins I pushed the bio load up by serious over feeding and so had to control my Nitrite spike by water changes and holding back on the feed.

All other fish are looking fine but this one will not come and feed and because I have cut right back there simply is not or at least does not seem to be enough free floating food for him, as when its gone its gone.

Is this common? any ideas what i can try I dont want to risk the whole tank by overfeeding again but I am concern about my fish.

14th November 2009, 18:15
Can you give your water details - i.e. ammonia, nitrites and nitrates. How long has the tank been set up, temp and pH. Is it planted?

If it were me, I would keep the lights off for a day or so to help calm him and make sure the water is immaculate as he will be susceptable to disease. Try feeding the others down one end of the tank from him and feed his bit to him at the other - might work. Putting him in a hosptial tank would be a very last resort as the stress of it might be too much.

Maybe if you got some sinking food he might nibble at it if you drop it near him and leave the room. You would need to clear up what he doesn eat. Maybe live food? Daphnia, although I worry about anything that comes in with it.

16th November 2009, 09:04
Thanks ClaryJones,

My water parameters where a bit off the last couple of weeks. I have had a Nitrite spike which is now back at 0. I guess he may be more sensitive than the other but we will see if he settle in over the next couple of weeks.

16th November 2009, 09:13
i have been waiting for your water parameters but i jumped in. keep up the water changes, as bacterial loading in the water will eventaully cause problems if fish are stressed.
my harlequins like a bit of surface cover, do you have any floating plants?

16th November 2009, 09:45
Hi adodds,

The water params have been

PH 7.9 - same as tap (fish shop was 7.6)
Ammonia: 0 - same as tap
Somewhere between 31st Oct and 6th Nov
Nitrite: 0.1
Nitrite 0.2

At this point I started daily 50% water changes and kept it at 0.05-0.1 I guestimated these figures as I use an API test kit which goes from 0- 0.25 nothing inbetween. So I took daily tests of both Tap and Tank at the same time, hence my guess at the Nitrite ppm

My nitrite dropped back to 0 today.

My tank has an overhead filter so there is cover but perhaps once I am sure the nitrite has gone and if he is still looking pale I will get some floating plant life. My concern is that I have a 45l bowl and of course being a bowl it has a small surface area. I have read that being an overhead filter greatly increases the oxygen in the water and I have certainly not seen any fish gasping at the surface in the 2 1/2 months its been stocked.

Thanks for the input lots of "learning" required.

16th November 2009, 10:24
the api kits need to be well shaken before use, especially the no3 kit. (this must be banged on a hardsurface to loosen all the chemicals in the bottle)
i have the jbl test kits and no2 range is 0 to 1.0 much better than api in my opinion.

dont worry about oxygen in water, its only when you have a full enclosed/sealed tank can you do you risk o2 dropping too low.
fish that are suffering a lack of o2 will be gasping at the surface and moving really slowly.

yep constant water changes are doing the trick.

learning curve must be near vertical, it still is 20 yrs on