Hiding Cherry Barb 1 Of 8

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Offline Bazza2000

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Hiding Cherry Barb 1 of 8
« on: September 14, 2018, 07:41:12 PM »
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Hi, I 15 days into a fish-in cycle with 8 Cherry Barbs 4M x 4F.  1 of the males is a real bully and is taking turns with the females in frolicking in the elodea, but when he's not occupied with that, he darting around the tank attacking the other 7 Cherries and then retreating back to the Elodea and the cycle repeats.  Most of the Cherries arn't too bothers and just move away to the other side of the tank, but 1 of the males just stays under a piece of plastic and hovers and doesn't really move much.  He's missing out on feeding times and I just see him the odd time coming out and scouring the bottom of the tank for leftovers.  I did manage to feed him some blood worm, but not too sure what to do.  I've read that if you re-organise the tank decorations and plants, it resets the territory and if you make a few more hiding places that can make them less shy, but looking for anyone who's had similar experiences.

Offline Sue

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Re: Hiding Cherry Barb 1 of 8
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2018, 08:16:09 PM »
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You could try rearranging things - this usually works with territorial fish as it forces them to set up new territories. But it may not work here because cherry barbs are not territorial fish like apistogrammas, for example. A lot of shoaling fish do form hierarchies within the shoal and the 'top fish' keeps his place by picking on the lower members. This sounds more like what is happening here.

You could try using a turkey baster to place food right in front of of the barb that's hiding.

Offline Bazza2000

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Re: Hiding Cherry Barb 1 of 8
« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2018, 08:26:23 PM »
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Will give it a try, thanks Sue.

Offline Bazza2000

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Re: Hiding Cherry Barb 1 of 8
« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2018, 06:34:00 PM »
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It appears things have taken a turn for the worst with my little Cherry Barb, he's not moved much for a couple of days now so I've put him in a little nursery tank off the main tank, he's not moving much and doesn't appear to be eating.  YouTube clip attached, is he a gonner, or can anyone see anything that's wrong with him that I could help?

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=72NgEGAHoJQ" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=72NgEGAHoJQ</a>

Offline fcmf

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Re: Hiding Cherry Barb 1 of 8
« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2018, 06:51:39 PM »
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Sorry to read about this.

Is its* right eye damaged and protruding slightly? I have a couple of fish like this, caused by fighting/sparring. However, if yours also has additional symptoms of not moving and not eating, then it might be worth treating - my inkling would be with a bacterial medication such as eSHa 2000 or Waterlife Myxazin.

[* That looks more like the colouring of female than a male to me ie paler than the redder colour of the males, but I may be wrong.]

Offline Sue

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Re: Hiding Cherry Barb 1 of 8
« Reply #5 on: September 15, 2018, 06:55:25 PM »
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His right eye looks swollen and opaque. I couldn't get a good look at his left eye in the video - is it the same as the right eye or normal?

Protruding eyes can be due to a few things.
When it affects just one eye it is usually physical damage. This can clear up by itself provided the water is kept clean.
Both eyes suggest an internal infection; some swelling inside the fish which is pushing both eyes outwards. The problem is trying to work out what is causing the infection.

I am loathe to suggest medicating the tank since it is so new - or to be precise, since the bacteria in there haven't bedded in yet. One option would be to pick up a small tank such as those plastic tanks sold for children (but take out the decor!) and some eSHa 2000 or Waterlife Myxazin and treat him in the small tank. I know the filter won't be cycled but if you do large water change each day, leave just enough water for him to be able to stay upright and add more medication afterwards he should be OK. Provided the new water is warmed to the same temp as the water you remove, such a large water change will be OK.
If you do decide on this approach, leave the light off and add some decor to the tank. Any bits and pieces will do the trick eg plastic plants and bits of drainpipe for caves. You won't need to use any substrate.



But I do need to warn you - it is quite common to lose fish shortly after purchase. They have been through a lot of stress in the last few weeks, from the breeder to the importer, to the wholesaler, to the shop and finally to your tank. It can all take its toll.

Offline fcmf

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Re: Hiding Cherry Barb 1 of 8
« Reply #6 on: September 15, 2018, 07:04:20 PM »
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One option would be to pick up a small tank such as those plastic tanks sold for children
I think you mentioned you already had a couple of containers you use for water changes, so one of those would be suitable. After the course of treatment is done, you could "decontaminate" it from the medication, etc, by filling it with water and overdosing the water with dechlorinator for 24+ hours, if you wanted to reinstate it for its original purpose.



Offline Bazza2000

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Re: Hiding Cherry Barb 1 of 8
« Reply #7 on: September 15, 2018, 07:32:12 PM »
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Thanks for the info, Yes I have a 20L container I could rig up as a makeshift tank.  However, I assume I'd need a heater, pump and makeshift filter.  I had a pump delivered this morning and could use @Matt makeshift water bottle filter, but would need to buy a heater tomorrow along with the medication and then keep him in the 20L container and see how he goes.  What timescales are we looking at to see if he improves?  If its terminate, would I see it in a couple of days, or if I get him in the treated water is a few days or potentially weeks to see an improvement.

Offline Matt

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Re: Hiding Cherry Barb 1 of 8
« Reply #8 on: September 15, 2018, 07:38:28 PM »
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Could you float the container in the tank instead of using a heater for the time being?

Offline Sue

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Re: Hiding Cherry Barb 1 of 8
« Reply #9 on: September 15, 2018, 07:40:22 PM »
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If you did a very big water change every day you could get away without a filter, but it would have to virtually all the water. With 20 litres that's do-able. A few stems of a cheap plant like elodea would help by using ammonia and providing somewhere for the fish to hide.
But you would need a heater. Or use Matt's suggestion.

Offline Bazza2000

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Re: Hiding Cherry Barb 1 of 8
« Reply #10 on: September 15, 2018, 07:48:21 PM »
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Ok, sounds like I have a plan, 20L container is too big for my tank to float, but I'll see if I can get a heater from the LFS when I go tomorrow to pick up the 4 x False Penguin Tetras and some medication.  90% water changes should be ok for a few days.

Offline fcmf

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Re: Hiding Cherry Barb 1 of 8
« Reply #11 on: September 15, 2018, 07:58:14 PM »
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If your LFS is an MA, then it's most likely that this https://www.fishkeeper.co.uk/product/aquacare-anti-internal-bacteria-100ml will be the brand of medication they'll sell. (Incidentally, a while back, I think I figured out that Aquacare seems to be MA's branding of NT Labs' products.)

It does look as though both eyes are affected, unfortunately; best of luck with the treatment. Not that I want to encourage you to spend any more than you have to, but you might find garlic-infused brineshrimp helps stimulate the barb's appetite. It's also possible to infuse other fish food in garlic if you don't want to specifically buy this pre-prepared garlic-infused food.

Offline Littlefish

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Re: Hiding Cherry Barb 1 of 8
« Reply #12 on: September 15, 2018, 07:59:35 PM »
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Best of luck with your cherry barb.

Offline Sue

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Re: Hiding Cherry Barb 1 of 8
« Reply #13 on: September 15, 2018, 08:02:21 PM »
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Some medications say to dose every day, others only on certain days, missing out some days between doses.
For the dose every day type, add the med immediately after the water change.
For those that don't dose every day, immediately after the water change add enough med to treat the volume of new water (to replace the med you removed)

If you do get a tank, remove any carbon in the filter as this will adsorb medication. Some small tanks have filters where the media is nothing but a carbon filled cartridge.

Offline Bazza2000

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Re: Hiding Cherry Barb 1 of 8
« Reply #14 on: September 15, 2018, 08:13:07 PM »
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Many thanks for the advice, he looks like a fighter, so renamed him to Rocky and lets see how he does over the next few days.

Offline Bazza2000

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Re: Hiding Cherry Barb 1 of 8
« Reply #15 on: September 16, 2018, 02:06:56 PM »
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Sick Bay has been created with Myxazin treatment, a new heater, few strands of Elodea and his favourite fake coral.
He's only been in there a few minutes but looks like his eye has improved overnight in the main tank.

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yq7oJT6CXW8" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yq7oJT6CXW8</a>

Offline Sue

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Re: Hiding Cherry Barb 1 of 8
« Reply #16 on: September 16, 2018, 02:17:49 PM »
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His eyes do look a lot better. I would leave him there for the duration of the course of treatment. If it was an injury rather than an infection, the medication should help keep it clean till it heals. Don't forget to change the water every day as there's no filter.

Offline Bazza2000

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Re: Hiding Cherry Barb 1 of 8
« Reply #17 on: September 16, 2018, 02:21:13 PM »
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Yep, its a 5 day course so its his new home until Friday ;D Yep, daily water changes, +90% Tap Safe and Treatment after each change.

Offline Littlefish

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Re: Hiding Cherry Barb 1 of 8
« Reply #18 on: September 16, 2018, 02:32:58 PM »
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Your cherry barb does look better already, and seems to be swimming around more than previously.
Keep up the good work.  :cheers:

Offline fcmf

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Re: Hiding Cherry Barb 1 of 8
« Reply #19 on: September 16, 2018, 02:51:56 PM »
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Great; keep up the good work and ensure that you complete the treatment course, even if he seems to recuperate completely before then. Fingers crossed for him.

Offline Matt

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Re: Hiding Cherry Barb 1 of 8
« Reply #20 on: September 16, 2018, 03:34:13 PM »
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Fingers crossed here also!  :fishy1:

Offline Bazza2000

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Re: Hiding Cherry Barb 1 of 8
« Reply #21 on: September 17, 2018, 09:34:27 PM »
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Water change done.  I did take him out and replace the lot as I'd left blood worm and flakes on the bottom just in case he stumbled across them as I don't think he can see too much in the light with his cloudy eye.  Seems to be more active once the lights are out.  Anyway, he doesn't seem as active today, just shuffling around on the bottom.  I've left flakes around again so hopefully he'll eat something to keep him going.

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qFK_YCyKZ2g" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qFK_YCyKZ2g</a>

Offline Sue

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Re: Hiding Cherry Barb 1 of 8
« Reply #22 on: September 17, 2018, 09:49:00 PM »
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Don't over feed him as that will make the water go bad quickly. Fish don't need as much food as you'd think. Compared to mammals they need very little because we use most of our food to maintain our body temperature. Fish don't do that.

Offline Bazza2000

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Re: Hiding Cherry Barb 1 of 8
« Reply #23 on: September 17, 2018, 10:03:35 PM »
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Don't over feed him as that will make the water go bad quickly. Fish don't need as much food as you'd think. Compared to mammals they need very little because we use most of our food to maintain our body temperature. Fish don't do that.
Understood, theres not a lot in there and just wanted to scatter it around in case he can't see and he'll stumble on it as he moved around the space.  Will siphon it out with tomorrows water change before adding fresh.

Offline Bazza2000

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Re: Hiding Cherry Barb 1 of 8
« Reply #24 on: September 19, 2018, 07:37:26 AM »
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Sorry to report, we lost Rocky overnight. He had been deteriating over that past couple of days, hiding and not really moving much except for the water changes where he would spring into life for a few moments. Just wanted to say thanks for all the advice, it gave him a fighting chance. Just wonder if I could have noticed his symptoms earlier it might have been better, but I know it's If and buts and sometimes these things just happen. Kids are in bits, but I suppose it all part of keeping fish. The highs and the lows. RIP Rocky!   :fishy1:

Offline Littlefish

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Re: Hiding Cherry Barb 1 of 8
« Reply #25 on: September 19, 2018, 07:54:41 AM »
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Sorry to hear about Rocky.  :(

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Re: Hiding Cherry Barb 1 of 8
« Reply #26 on: September 19, 2018, 09:12:31 AM »
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I'm sorry to hear that. I know it is upsetting to loose a fish, but it is worse for children.

You did everything you could for him. Even if you'd found symptoms earlier it probably would have had the same outcome. Fish are experts in hiding the fact they are sick. By the time internal problems begin to show, it is often too late for us to save them.

Offline Bazza2000

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Re: Hiding Cherry Barb 1 of 8
« Reply #27 on: September 19, 2018, 05:22:27 PM »
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just wanting to check, the container I was using as a sick bay, is it okay to re-use, or should I chuck it just to be safe?  I've only had the water, tap-safe and the treatment in it for the past few days.  Just wondering if there was some other infection Rocky had that may contaminate the water during future water changes?

Offline Sue

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Re: Hiding Cherry Barb 1 of 8
« Reply #28 on: September 19, 2018, 06:41:39 PM »
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The way to clean the tub, and anything plastic that was inside it, is to wash it with bleach. Use supermarket basic range bleach, the stuff that costs a few pence a bottle, or baby bottle sterilising solution. Neither of these contain detergent or perfume; more expensive bleach contains both. After a thorough washing, rinse, rinse and rinse again, then rinse with water that has been overdosed with dechlorinator. Then let everything dry thoroughly.


The fish in the main tank will already have been exposed to any infection, but it is not a good idea to treat the tank 'as a precaution'. All the chemicals we add to a tank end up inside the fish, and a lot of medications do cause some stress to the fish. It is much better to only add medication if there is an illness, and then preferably in a separate container. There are a couple of conditions where the whole tank has to be treated (eg whitespot, internal worms) because the cause of the illness is in the water, but your barb did not have either of these.
With other infections the usual way these are passed on is by healthy fish eating a dead infected fish. You had the barb separated so no other fish could have eaten him.




For many years, whenever I buy shoaling fish I buy 2 or 3 more than I actually want because it is so common to to lose one or two within a few weeks of getting them. I think your barb shoal has been a victim of this.

Offline fcmf

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Re: Hiding Cherry Barb 1 of 8
« Reply #29 on: September 19, 2018, 08:00:01 PM »
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Very sorry to read of this sad news about your barb Rocky, @Bazza2000 - I do empathise with how upsetting this is and all the questions that ensue afterwards about what else could have caused it, been done, etc.  :'( 

Hopefully, the bad luck is behind you (albeit there's no guarantee of this) and the rest of the barb shoal and your penguins will be fine; fingers crossed for you.

Offline Bazza2000

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Re: Hiding Cherry Barb 1 of 8
« Reply #30 on: September 19, 2018, 08:49:49 PM »
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Thanks for all the kind words, kids are in bits, but they seem to be improving since I told them Rocky was now with Nanny in heaven, so hopefully on the road to dealing with the loss.

Just on the subject of Bleach, I'm paranoid after reading a lot of horror stories across forums about taking out a whole aquarium of fish with the wrong product.  Can someone let me know if either of these are suitable to bleach everything I used for Rocky?

ASDA Smart Price Thin Bleach
https://groceries.asda.com/product/bleach-disinfectants/asda-smart-price-thin-bleach/1104797

Milton Sterilising Fluid
https://groceries.asda.com/product/cleaning-sterilsers/milton-sterilising-fluid/910000033527

Thanks.

Offline Sue

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Re: Hiding Cherry Barb 1 of 8
« Reply #31 on: September 19, 2018, 08:59:28 PM »
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Use either of those on just the tub that Rocky was in and the fake coral; throw away the elodea and wipe down the glass part of the heater (I don't like to risk bleach on the plastic part where the wire goes in). Dilute the Asda bleach one part bleach with 9 parts water (a 1 in 10 solution) or make up the Milton as per the instructions.

Do not put it anywhere near the main tank.

Bleach is just a source of chlorine. If you rinse whatever you have used it on until you are fed up with rinsing it, then rinse again in water overdosed with dechlorinator, that should remove every trace. Allowing everything to dry totally will also make sure there is no bleach left next time you use the tub, which we hope will be a long time away.

Bleach will not only kill the fish, it will kill the filter bacteria which is why the water company adds chlorine to the water supply. Keep it well away from your main tank.
I once had a betta which died of lymphocystis. I could not risk another betta catching this virus, so I bleached everything - tank, filter casing, heater. I threw away all the decor (live plants and wood) and the filter media. Then bought new decor, plants and filter media and re-cycled the tank. The next betta was fine - he didn't get lymphocystis or die from bleach poisoning.

Offline Bazza2000

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Re: Hiding Cherry Barb 1 of 8
« Reply #32 on: September 19, 2018, 10:00:17 PM »
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Thanks Sue. I'm gonna repurpose the container for non-fish stuff, I've chucked the coral it was only a few quid anyway and can't imagine how I'll guarentee to clean every piece of it.  The heater is the only thing that I'll be keeping for fish related stuff so I'll bleach that and the siphon kit. 

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