I've been debating a good two days now about posting this here but I figured I might bring it up now.
Shif has had some strange behavior lately. His colour is vibrant, he's been bubble nesting, he's been normal. However, about a week ago he seemed like he was stressed. He's been flaring at air, his fins are always really full, and he's been flaring at my finger and his food, which is odd. I kept an eye on him, and I did a WC. Then, his tail started getting pinholes. They heal quickly because of clean water, but he's had quite a few, I assume from overblowing his tail. Irritated once more, I did another WC the night I brought Survivor home in a hospital tank. Then Shif was REALLY irked because he saw another fish. I blocked his sight from the new fish. Still irked. He was taking to a habit of going under one leaf of the java fern that was in the corner of the tank, so it looked like he was diving and squirming between the gravel and the plant. I thought maybe he had ich or something on his face. Nothing. I did a WC and took out the java fern, and replaced it with a nice sprig of hornwort at the time. Hornwort is a pain in the you-know-what. But he loved it. Big bubble nests, laying on the leaves...
But then sometime the day before yesterday, I looked at him and he was laid on his side at the bottom of the tank, just laying there, underneath the hornwort and on top of the gravel. I thought he was stuck. I tapped on the tank and got onto his case and he fled up to the top and flared at me. Maybe he was just resting. >_> Last night, he went into his cave. Couple minutes passed, not surfacing. ... Not surfacing... ... Still not surfacing... My wits at its end, I slowly began lifting the cave out of the tank, to do a water change. He didn't swim out until the cave was almost all the way out of the water. He's done this before. Instead of darting all around the tank like WTF, he hid behind the heater at the bottom of the tank, and didn't move, just watching me. He never does this. So, I took out the heater. He still just sat there. I took out the hornwort and threw it away. Slowly, I began to scoop him up with his cup. ZOOM goes little fish! I've NEVER had such a hard time scooping him up. I had to keep stopping to let him rest because he was "breathing" so heavily and I didn't want to stress him.
After about twenty minutes of letting him rest, scooping out water, and eventually getting him into the cup, I did a water change. No plants. No cave. Just gravel, thermometer, heater, fresh water, Prime, and Fish Protector by Kordon, same makers of MB and MG, and AmQuel, NovAqua, etc. I use it when I can no longer use AQ salt. Properly acclimated him to new water, let him into the tank, and let him go overnight.
Today, he seems quite lively. But his frantic movements are just... I don't know. He's not normally like this. I can't figure anything out and his 5 gallon isn't ready yet. ._. No more rips or tears in his tail though. He pooped normal a little bit ago. If anyone has ANY suggestions, please let me know. I don't want him to be stressed or flare so much that he really blows his fins.
Video was taken a couple minutes ago. Forgive the talk about college drinking parties in the background if you can hear it. -.- Oh, that aquarium background I bought yesterday at petsmart. I love it. It's going on the 5 gallon but currently I'm using it to separate their tanks and make Shif feel like he's got plants in his water. I think the angle it's at right now he can see his reflection in the black part.
Stress? Or just Mr. Happy Fins? >.<