So, I have had midterms this week... I was supposed to clean Sunshine's tank on Sunday, but I had no time, which is a pathetic excuse, I know. She has been swimming non-stop in circles around the front of the tank, almost like pacing. She has never done this before, and i worries me. I don't know what is wrong...
Anyway, I just did a 50% change for her, because I thought maybe she was in need of cleaner water. But after about 5 minutes, she is still "pacing" around her tank. It is making me really anxious, I have no clue what is wrong with her...
Have you tested the water with a liquid test kit for ammonia, nitrites & nitrates? That's the first thing I do if somebody is acting abnormal. Once I have that info. I know if its a water issue or I've got to look for a different reason. Maybe its her way of getting a little more attention from you since you've been so busy!?
How long have you had her? I have a male that didn't start pacing until I'd had him for a few weeks. He does it in the front bottom of the tank. I have no idea why, I moved him from the 10g to the 5.5g & he still does it. That's just what some of them do. As for the car ride, she should be fine for a couple hours but you could maybe get one of those heat packs to keep the carrier warm.
I have had her for about 3 months now. She isn't as pacy, as I said, but she still does it.
Do you think it could be attention-getting? She is now swimming about the bottom and scavenging for left-overs, like she usually does, not pacing as often as even a few minutes ago...
The past two days, I have literally been in my room from 6 pm. until 7:30 a.m. and 11-6:30 is spent sleeping... Do you think she could be craving attention? I used to watch her for hours while doing my homework, but my science classes have me in the lab more than the books. :/
Since you can't test her water, I'd just do either an almost complete water change, or change her water frequently.
What size is her tank, and is it cycled?
If she's cycled, then a few days off from a change isn't likely to harm her unduly. I know I've been late by a week a couple of times (cringe...) but I tested the water frequently during that time and I never had any changes in ammonia or nitrites/ates.
If her water is safe, then it probably is just an attention-seeking behavior. :)
She may just want to swim at the front of the tank.. one of my girls often changes her "routines" when swimming. Sometimes in the back, sometimes in front, bottom, top, etc.. swimming back and forth really isn't a sign of anything other than a fish with energy.. possibly "boredom" if there aren't enough plants/caves to swim around in. Also showing her a mirror a little bit each day will also help her.. as these fish are actually pretty social.