Poorly Featherfin squeaker :(

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Gazy
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Poorly Featherfin squeaker :(

Post by Gazy »

Hi all. Sorry this is my first post, I've bought two featherfin squeaker catfish about a week or so ago.

One of them looks good, dark and happy.

The other looks pale with a white underside and looks thin.

He was kind of pale when I got him , but was eating fine.

He kept being chased around the tank by the other slightly bigger featherfin but then they seemed to settle down.

But I dont think he has been eating and yesterday he started swimming around in circles and didn't seem to know what he was doing.

I've been doing water changes and gravel vacs but he is still acting odd.

He's been hiding by the filter and under objects trying to keep himself still.

He probably isn't going to make it but I've bought some interpet swim bladder treatment.

I couldn't decide between this or the dropsy treatment. It's probably too late for him but if I put the bladder treatment in the tank, will it be okay to leave the other fish in the tank?

The other fish are 2 young Buenos Aires tetra and another featherfin.

I don't have a spare quarantine tank to treat him separately.

I've also only got a PH tester kit. Water seems to be within featherfin range I think.

It's well water that gets pumped up to the house.

How much treatment should I put in the tank? And will it be okay with the other fish ?
Last edited by Gazy on 10 Apr 2024, 04:01, edited 1 time in total.
Gazy
Posts: 12
Joined: 05 Apr 2024, 19:38
Location 1: Wales
Location 2: UK

Re: Poorly Featherfin squeaker :(

Post by Gazy »

Gazy
Posts: 12
Joined: 05 Apr 2024, 19:38
Location 1: Wales
Location 2: UK

Re: Poorly Featherfin squeaker :(

Post by Gazy »

Gazy
Posts: 12
Joined: 05 Apr 2024, 19:38
Location 1: Wales
Location 2: UK

Re: Poorly Featherfin squeaker :(

Post by Gazy »

I have an update.

Because we are on well water and there is no chlorine or chloramine in our water, I assumed we didn't need any water conditioner, what with it being 'natural' or so I thought.

But yesterday I went out and bought so Api tap water conditioner.

It's the one without any Aloe (apparently it's bad for Labyrinth organs in catfish etc) .

It also uses a different chemical to some other brands and a website I found had an article saying it was the best chemical for well water as it contains ' Sodium THIOSULFATE,ANDHYDROUS' ?

And apparently that is the only chemical suitable for well water?

So I put about 2.5 ml into the tank and within an hour, the poorly catfish started to become darker again and started swimming in a more controlled manner.

No longer pointing downward and swimming in circles etc.

And by the time I went to bed they were both darting around the tank, rummaging in the gravel , swimming upside down on the surface and goofing around just like they did when I first got them.

They also seem to be eating now like they were when I first got them.

The one that was poorly still looks pale on his underside but he's gone from looking like he's about to die, to looking really happy in a matter of a few hours!

I'm guessing there must be some metals in the water?

I googled 'copper poisoning' and the symptoms he was having sound identical.

Where it's coming from though, I don't know?
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naturalart
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Re: Poorly Featherfin squeaker :(

Post by naturalart »

If you're getting positive results with the water conditioner, that's a good thing. But I would be cautious about adding more chemicals to your tank. It is so easy to try to 'fix stuff' with chemicals when we know so little about fish physiology. From what I see on your videos, it looks like your 'beta' fish looks relatively healthy... but stressed. And stress can kill. I would focus more on trying to arrange your tank so that each fish has a hidey-hole to go to. Create a low-stress tank. If you haven't already, check out the maintenance/care for Synodontis eupterus in the Cat-elog. You're probably going to need a bigger tank for this fish long-term. Good luck with such cool fish!
Gazy
Posts: 12
Joined: 05 Apr 2024, 19:38
Location 1: Wales
Location 2: UK

Re: Poorly Featherfin squeaker :(

Post by Gazy »

Yeah, I will need a bigger tank than this 4ft as they get bigger.

I use to own a 5ft 425 litre tank at my ex girlfriends house. But after we broke up I thought I'd have trouble moving it all.

I've not used the 'swim bladder treatment' as I noticed on the side it said "not for use with scaleless fish" .

I'm hoping for now the api tap conditioner does the trick.

I've ordered a pot shaped hide hole for the fish. Hopefully this gives another place for the fish to chill.

I've also just bought a large piece of drift wood.



naturalart wrote: 06 Apr 2024, 17:33 If you're getting positive results with the water conditioner, that's a good thing. But I would be cautious about adding more chemicals to your tank. It is so easy to try to 'fix stuff' with chemicals when we know so little about fish physiology. From what I see on your videos, it looks like your 'beta' fish looks relatively healthy... but stressed. And stress can kill. I would focus more on trying to arrange your tank so that each fish has a hidey-hole to go to. Create a low-stress tank. If you haven't already, check out the maintenance/care for Synodontis eupterus in the Cat-elog. You're probably going to need a bigger tank for this fish long-term. Good luck with such cool fish!
Gazy
Posts: 12
Joined: 05 Apr 2024, 19:38
Location 1: Wales
Location 2: UK

Re: Poorly Featherfin squeaker :(

Post by Gazy »

I think the copper might be coming from the copper plumbing in the house. Especially as the well water is slightly acidic.

Sometimes when we run a bath the water looks a slight greeny blue and there is also a green stain on the tub where the tap drips.

I forget to ask at the store how old the catfish were, but I think they are currently about 4.5in long.

Any idea how old that would make them? And how long it will take to reach full size?

I told the girl at the store I had a 4ft tank and she seemed to think that was big enough, but I think maybe I've been given bad advice.

I'm also now thinking they might have been better off having just a single one, due to their hierarchy nature .

I wrongly thought they might like a friend as I've previously kept Petricola catfish and Cory cats in my old tank and they seemed to like the company of their own kind.

Edit:
Also, these two featherfin's looked quite happy together in the store, but I've noticed that if you go up to the glass, all their attention is on you, rather than each other.

So maybe the fish tricked me!
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naturalart
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Re: Poorly Featherfin squeaker :(

Post by naturalart »

Hah! believe me, you are not alone, they trick me all the time! But seriously, this fish is a schooling species in my opinion. They just need a lot of space to get away from each other when they need to, and as they get older. An S. eupterus at 4.5 inches, I would guess is about 3-4yo. or older, depending on the care and conditioning they receive. This is also a long-lived and highly adaptable species (which is why they are so popular in the pet trade); if they don't have a reason to fear you, they will begin to see you as an opportunity, your presence as a possible source of food.

Hears another interesting article to check out: https://www.planetcatfish.com/cotm/cotm ... cle_id=534
Gazy
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Joined: 05 Apr 2024, 19:38
Location 1: Wales
Location 2: UK

Re: Poorly Featherfin squeaker :(

Post by Gazy »

Thanks for that! :)

I have a question about the Api tap water conditioner.

It's quite concentrated at only 1ml for 76 litres.

When doing a water change with my 10 litre bucket, I'm going to find it hard to measure out less than 1ml for each bucket full of water.

Will it be fine to put the water into the tank first and then put the api tap water conditioner in after?

There should be no chlorine in our well water, so it will just be the copper and/or other metals that need to be neutralised.

Will the metal harm the fish for the very brief amount of time before I put the conditioner in?

And shall I dose the amount of conditioner required for the whole tank? Or just for the amount of new water I've changed?

Can too much api tap water conditioner harm the fish?
naturalart wrote: 07 Apr 2024, 23:56 Hah! believe me, you are not alone, they trick me all the time! But seriously, this fish is a schooling species in my opinion. They just need a lot of space to get away from each other when they need to, and as they get older. An S. eupterus at 4.5 inches, I would guess is about 3-4yo. or older, depending on the care and conditioning they receive. This is also a long-lived and highly adaptable species (which is why they are so popular in the pet trade); if they don't have a reason to fear you, they will begin to see you as an opportunity, your presence as a possible source of food.

Hears another interesting article to check out: https://www.planetcatfish.com/cotm/cotm ... cle_id=534
User avatar
naturalart
Posts: 736
Joined: 07 Jan 2006, 05:38
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My Wishlist: 3
Spotted: 14
Location 1: Oakland
Location 2: California
Interests: catfish, nature

Re: Poorly Featherfin squeaker :(

Post by naturalart »

I have not used API conditioner myself. I do use "Prime" neutralizer, mainly for the chloramine. My cats are sensitive, and they've taught me over the years how much (more or less) I need to add. I don't measure since I've been doing it for so long. I would think you'd be safe with putting a 'rough' half capful in your 10gal. bucket and swirling it around a bit before you put the new water into the tank. In an ideal world, I would want to condition my water perfectly before it ever touches my fish. I don't think you will majorly harm your fishes health to add a little more, or less, conditioner. But I would err on the side of a little more for the most part.

Just another point: Generally Water Treatment plants work hard to maintain steady and stable water conditions for the public. But, that said, there is no way to know for sure exactly how much chlorine or chloramine is in your water from month to month, week to week, or even day to day. The water district will sometimes find the need to elevate or reduce their chlorine or chloramine levels depending on the quantity/types of bacteria, pathogens etc. they are dealing with. That's why it's best to err on the side of more conditioner than not.
Gazy
Posts: 12
Joined: 05 Apr 2024, 19:38
Location 1: Wales
Location 2: UK

Re: Poorly Featherfin squeaker :(

Post by Gazy »

Thanks for the help. :)
Our tap water is from our private Well in the field. There is no treatment by a water company and unless chlorine is getting in from the ground, I should think there wouldn't be anything like that in the water.

So I think the only issue I was having must have been metals like copper from our houses plumbing perhaps.

The bottle reads:
"To remove chlorine and heavy metals: Add 1ml for each 20 U.S gallons (76L) of tap water to be added to aquarium"

"To detoxify chloramines: Add 5ml for each 30 U.S gallons (114L) of tap water."

When I first used it, I used 2.5 ml and the poorly fish recovered from what looked like deaths door to within 2 hours looking like nothing had happened.
naturalart wrote: 10 Apr 2024, 06:03 I have not used API conditioner myself. I do use "Prime" neutralizer, mainly for the chloramine. My cats are sensitive, and they've taught me over the years how much (more or less) I need to add. I don't measure since I've been doing it for so long. I would think you'd be safe with putting a 'rough' half capful in your 10gal. bucket and swirling it around a bit before you put the new water into the tank. In an ideal world, I would want to condition my water perfectly before it ever touches my fish. I don't think you will majorly harm your fishes health to add a little more, or less, conditioner. But I would err on the side of a little more for the most part.

Just another point: Generally Water Treatment plants work hard to maintain steady and stable water conditions for the public. But, that said, there is no way to know for sure exactly how much chlorine or chloramine is in your water from month to month, week to week, or even day to day. The water district will sometimes find the need to elevate or reduce their chlorine or chloramine levels depending on the quantity/types of bacteria, pathogens etc. they are dealing with. That's why it's best to err on the side of more conditioner than not.
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