28 March 2017

plan of action- notes to myself

I'm really focused on watching the window tank right now... Plants are doing great. Hornwort is growing at least half an inch a day. I've started seeing tiny baby malaysian trumpet snails in here. Tetras are more interested in eating- I lifted the lid to offer peas again today and the silver ones struck at the food right away. Serpaes hid at the disturbance but eventually came out to pick at pea bites on the bottom. Splishy the grounded female swordtail is most active of all when food comes- she sculls around the bottom methodically eating up all the pea she can find. Its kind of sad to watch but also heartening that she has so much appetite. While Fabio moves around the tank a lot more than Splishy, he is rather listless when it comes to food. Kind of just drifts around. At least I saw him definitely eating some pea this morning, not spitting it out. He's starting occasionally hanging at the surface gulping air. That alarms me, but none of the other fish do this. 

We had a brief, strong thunderstorm this morning. Tetras chasing each other around and flaring. Fabio seemed to feel the urge to mate- he was pestering the female more than usual, nudging her, doing this odd motion where he sits alongside her parallel and moves his body backwards and forwards in place. I saw him swing his gonopodium once or twice. Having not kept livebearers before, that was interesting.

Tetras are starting to bother the swordtails- I've seen them nipping at the trailing fins. Must move them out soon, but I want them to go through the parasite treatment first, just in case.
Yesterday I gave Splishy an epsom salt bath, she did not show any signs of stress. I'm going to do another one today- there's still a chance it could clear a blockage. First bath I did a low dose of salt, to see how she handled it- using one and a half teaspoons salt. This time going stronger, one tablespoon. Had to read up on it, since it's been a while since I had to medicate a fish. This was the procedure:

I clipped the baffle so could leave filter running while the lid was off (seems to alarm the fish less). Removed a gallon and a half of tank water, replaced in the tank with new, conditioned water. One gallon of the tank water went into my clean 2gal fish bucket. Half gallon held aside. Dissolved the salt into a small cup of tank water, poured into the treatment bucket. Caught the fish- I don't have room to use a net in there unless I pull all the plants (simple to do, but freaks out the fishes and these guys are still so easily alarmed). So I sunk the larger clear plastic cup in a corner, and used the long tongs to guide the sick fish into the cup- she moves away from it but not dashing frightened if I go slow. Put her in the bath for half and hour. Kept an eye on her the whole time- she sat still gently moving her pectorals, roving her eyes around, that's it. After the 30min removed and discarded half the bath water, put a cup of the reserved tank water into the bath. Added more tank water to the bath in 10 minute intervals, three times, until that volume of water was doubled. Fish remained calm. Easily caught her and returned her to the tank. 
But she didn't poop. So... if no response to a second and third bath, I'm going to assume it's not constipation and treat for parasites. Plan to use API General Cure which has praziquantel and metronidazole. This isn't supposed to stain the tank, harm the plants or the bio-filter. But info online is iffy about how it affects snails. So I would pick out as many trumpet snails as I can, they can go into my growout cup of subwassertang for a few days (which has just little bits in it now, as I recently sold the mass). When treatment is done I have a filter cartridge with activated carbon can clear the meds out...

1 comment:

Jeane said...

I finally found pictures of the same kind of swordtail- and the females naturally look so plump. I didn't know. I wish someone had told me when I put pictures on the forums. She looks a bit more slender now. I still don't know why always on the ground. Uncertain if I should go ahead with using meds for parasites.