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Lil2606 Lil2606
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  • Posted on: 3/1 20:30
Rosy Barb loosing colour and inactive, other one is healthy #1
Hi all,

I'm house sitting for a family and looking after their Fish while they are away. They had 3 Rosy Barbs but they lost 2 before I moved in, and I was left with a lonely Girl (Franchesca). She had really grown on me so I bought a friend for her. Unfortunately he (Paolo) turned out to be a real little bully, (fin nipping and she got stuck between 2 rocks once when he chased her) I had to separate them for a while but she recovered and they seem to be on better terms now (they were fine together for about a month now, the girl had been growing her fins back noticeably). I separated them now again.

The other day Franchesca got stuck in the air pipe while it was turned off, and she had been loosing her colour since, and in the last couple of days she became less and less active. A couple of times she was just sitting at the bottom of the tank, but mostly she is up in one of the corners swimming against the current from the air pipe just to stay still, for hours on end, which is unusual for her. She normally swims around. So I am concerned about her, but she eats fine and when she does swim from A to B she swims normally.

I have no PH or ammonia values for the tank. I'll buy a kit one of these days. Temperature is room temperature and the tank is quite small 15l I think (its a small rectangular biorb model). I put a mirror up behind the tank so they "have a bigger school" but I am also looking into getting a bigger tank for them and more friends. I have been reading up on them and I understand they are not in ideal conditions.

Any ideas why the girl is loosing her colour and is so inactive? The boy seems perfectly fine.

Thank you!
Fishlady Fishlady
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  • Posted on: 4/1 7:16
Re: Rosy Barb loosing colour and inactive, other one is healthy #2
She may have been getting too much attention from the male. Upgrade to at least a 60-litre tank and increase the group to at least six (mostly female) as soon as you can.
michaelfrick michaelfrick
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  • Posted on: 6/1 7:32
Re: Rosy Barb loosing colour and inactive, other one is healthy #3
If she's eating just fine and you didn't notice other symptoms aside from losing her colour, I think she's doing okay and you have nothing to worry about. She just needs bigger tank though, as barbs are very lively and active. Try to observe if she has a bloated stomach or any other symptoms
Lil2606 Lil2606
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  • Posted on: 19/1 11:12
Re: Rosy Barb loosing colour and inactive, other one is healthy #4
I am getting concerned about her again.. She spends a lot of time at the bottom of the tank just sitting and wiggling every now and then. She recognises me and comes up to the top assuming I will feed them, but when she sees I won't, she goes back to the same spot and just sits there again..

She swims fine, when she swims, and she eats when I feed them but this behaviour is just so odd.
I am about to upgrade them to a bigger tank (they are currently in a 15l tank which is way too small) and its a matter of days until I get them some friends, but I am worried about 'stressing her' putting her in a bigger tank and introducing more fish, if she is unwell.. I tested the water, all good parameters.. and the boy is still perfectly fine..

Could it be some infection, should I get some medication for her, or anything to help her recover a bit before I move her? She has been fin nipped as well :(
fcmf fcmf
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  • Posted on: 19/1 12:51
Re: Rosy Barb loosing colour and inactive, other one is healthy #5
I think this is almost certainly the result of living in such a small environment (the nearest analogy being a dog kept in a kennel rather than taken out for exercise) and likely the effect of ammonia, nitrate and high nitrates. A liquid-based test kit to measure these three aspects of water quality is vital (hopefully that's what you now have?), in addition to the larger tank - and it will be particularly important to monitor these if additional fish are added.

Until you get the larger tank and appropriate test kit (if that's not what you have already), do daily or twice-daily water changes of ~25% to improve water quality - these need to be at 0 ammonia and 0 nitrite and no more than 20 above tap water levels for nitrates. The combination of the larger tank and maintaining water quality as described will hopefully resolve the problem (and make it less likely that she is fin-nipped).
Lil2606 Lil2606
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  • Posted on: 19/1 13:18
Re: Rosy Barb loosing colour and inactive, other one is healthy #6
Thank you! She was very active until I moved in the male, I do think she is hiding from him, but my heart breaks for her.. she is pale and clearly not happy. :(

Yes I used a liquid based water test kit, 0 ammonia 0 nitrite 5-10 nitrate, and 7.6-7.8PH. I did a water change yesterday, more than 25% but less than 50%, had no effect on their behaviour.
They haven't got a heater, but they are supposed to be in room temperature water which, they are in logically and according to the laws of physics..
So I don't think its a water quality thing.. they have a bubbler filter too, so O2 should be okay as well..

I'm just worried that it is some illness, which again.. I don't know how could she contract but the other one not..
just concerned...
Fishlady Fishlady
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  • Posted on: 19/1 18:46
Re: Rosy Barb loosing colour and inactive, other one is healthy #7
Is the room constantly heated (i.e 24/7)? If not, they need a heater to maintain a constant temperature as at this time of year the temperature will swing up and down with the room heating and that could be stressing the fish.
Lil2606 Lil2606
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  • Posted on: 20/1 13:12
Re: Rosy Barb loosing colour and inactive, other one is healthy #8
Yes the room is heated 24-7.. the temperature is always between 19 and 22..
Lil2606 Lil2606
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  • Posted on: 21/1 8:59
Re: Rosy Barb loosing colour and inactive, other one is healthy #9
Okay they are in the big tank now, and the girl in question had been swimming around a bit more! She is in the top layers and goes to the surface often.. looks like she is up there for air, but the other one doesn't do that and the filter breaks the top surface, so I (from what I read so far) the water should be oxygenated okay...

She then started to do this thing where she gets herself sucked up against the filter and just stays there, not moving... she can come away, and she did come away from it when I fed them but she went back twice this morning... Then she went to the bottom of the tank and again, just sat there..

To me it seems like she just sinks if she is not swimming around, and that she is weak / tired and doesn't want to swim... the new filter has a bit of a current and she can swim against it, she did it a couple of times, but it does just wash her away most of the time.

I don't know how to help her and its so upsetting.

The boy is fine and seem to enjoy the big tank. Swims around explores, and every now and then nips at my girl. I'm going to my LFS later today to get them some more friends so, hopefully he will leave my poorly girl alone... is there anything I could pick up? Some medication or vitamins or something....

I can now isolate the girl in the little 15l tank if I need to give her meds or anything..
Fishlady Fishlady
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  • Posted on: 21/1 11:46
Re: Rosy Barb loosing colour and inactive, other one is healthy #10
It's possible she has an internal bacterial infection causing problems with her swim bladder. Does she eat OK? Is her poo normal, or is it white or clear and stringy?