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Old 08-25-2011, 08:22 AM   #1 
Banicks's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Sydney, Australia
Panic stations!!

Ahh! The little guy is freaking me out!

I found a small terracotta jug, shaped so that it is smashed in half - would make a great cave. So I scrubbed it down with an old toothbrush, then boiled it to disinfect. After a minute boil, I ran it under hot water for a another minute, then left to cool a little and put it into the tank with Victor.

As a safe measure, I added a few drops of water conditioner in case it brought something with it.

Victor at first was curious as to why my hand came under water to move Sylvester the cat - I actually had to wait for him to move, to then place the pot underwater in his place. I watched him swim around the pot for a little while, into his normal spots and so on.

Then I got worried when I saw him lie on the roots of the Anubias - a spot he never sat before. I thought maybe he was watching the pot and napping, but after an hour I got worried and looked closer to see his gills breathing once every second - quicker than normal I though. After another 20 minutes I didn't want to risk it, so I pulled the pot out and put Sylvester the cat back.

After 10 minutes he started swimming around again and seems fine up until now (an hour later). He is sitting on the bottom in a shady part of the driftwood.

I am really concerned! It's getting close to my first water change, so I'm thinking either one or more of three things.

#1: He didn't like the change and stressed.

#2: Additional water conditioner caused an issue

#3: Ammonia levels are beginning to get high in the cycle, and a water change will be required soon to lower.

I don't have any testing kits - should I wing it and do a 50% WC to be sure? I was planning to hold out until the weekend (a full 6-7 days) but if the levels are already at a point where he is being affected I would rather proceed early.

I'm thinking I'll wait overnight and see what he is like in the morning, if he is acting worse I'll do a WC there and then.

Thoughts guys? :(

Filter is running normally. It did get warm today though - 30*c (86'F) in the tank - my girlfriend noticed it was because she opened a blind letting more heat from the sun in. When I got home it was steady at 29*c (84'F) and has now levelled off at 25*c to 26*c (77'F to 79'F)
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Old 08-25-2011, 08:42 AM   #2 
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: Warrensburg, NY

I think I would change some of the water just incase the ammonia is making him unhappy - maybe 20% and see how he is in the morning. I dont think extra conditioner would do any harm unless you used alot of it.
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Old 08-25-2011, 02:48 PM   #3 
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Grant, Nebraska
Terracotta is safe unless it has a glaze or sealant on it. unfortunately most terracotta for outdoor use has some sort of one or both so it doesnt decay fast... Make sure its safe for aquarium use... and always clean..

Another note: When changing the water in your tank if you disturb the substrate ( gravel ) to much, you will cause a spike in ammonia.

One solution is to use this

And put it in this

And float it in your tank... if You have a HOB filter you can float it in the filter.. Hope this will ease your nerves a little...
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