Archived message board.
Got the itches??
Badmans Tropical Fish Message Center:
General message area: Got the itches??
March 08, 2002 - 11:17 pm
What does it mean when your fish swim on their sides on
a rock or on the gravel? Do they just itch or something?
Sometimes they have the jitters too. I mean they vibrate.
Does that make sense?
March 09, 2002 - 12:32 am
I am not sure about the jitters, but a lot of times when
fish appear to be scratching they could have parasites.
Occasional "flashing" is no cause for concern, but
if it is happening a lot I would worry if they had some
kind of external parasite. Maybe someone else could be more
specific as to what kind.
March 09, 2002 - 12:03 pm
Check out "Medications" on the main board. Shimmy
is listed on that site with some possible treatment. It
is a parasitic problem.
March 09, 2002 - 04:44 pm
I read the Medication about the shimmy and it listed a medication
to buy. I can do that but I would like to know if the shimmy
is harmfull to the fish or will it just get worse untreated.
It seems that there is a medication for everything that
my fish ever do. I just don't know where it ends. Sometimes
I feel that I need to spend a thousand buck just on medication
then it is all back to the drawing board anyway.
March 10, 2002 - 12:34 am
Only in fish keeping do you spend $20 to save a $2 investment...
I'm sure most all of us have been there and done that,
so we can relate.
Sometimes simply performing a water change if you haven't
for a while can help out some. So maybe do that if you're
behind on water changes.
A lot of the times, it can be a parasite underneath the
scales or in the gills, check descriptions of different
parasites, and see if anything matches. A lot of times gill
flukes will cause the flashing...among other things.
March 10, 2002 - 07:38 am
Like Nancy said if it continues you should treat. Over time
parasite infestations may kill your fish. Just wait it out
and see if it continues or dissapears. Sometimes water in
a new tank will also irritate your fish.
March 10, 2002 - 02:04 pm
Hmmm I just moved the fish to my new Cycled 50 gal. tank.
So that may be it. Here is what I find upsetting. I have
done everything I can think of to make my fish happy, I
change the water 1 a week. I condition the water. I check
the water with my master kit. I don't over feed, I put
the right kind of fish together etc, and my dish seem to
die. I have friends that do none of these things, they overcroud
their tanks, never test their water, or do water changes
and their fish seem to thrive and grow healthy. I am begening
to feel like I need to raise birds or something.
March 10, 2002 - 08:43 pm
David you never said what kind of fish. Maybe your friends
have tetra or some other fish that is virually almost 'bullet
proof'. Certain types of fish are really pretty hardy,
whereas others cannot stand any types of adverse conditions.
I think you may be a little hard on yourself. Also how many
fish did you move to the 50 gallon?A newly cycled tank can
actually recyle if you put too much fish load on it to begin
with. You need to add fish slowly over a few weeks to the
new tank. Don't get upset until you've had the tank
running for at least six weeks, it may take that long for
things to stablilize.
March 10, 2002 - 08:49 pm
I actually meant to say six MONTHS. A little typo here.
March 10, 2002 - 11:40 pm
I have had the tank up and running for over 2 months now.
I have tested the water and I know it is ok. I do 20% water
changes weekly. I did notice that this last time my water
seems a little cloudy. What can cause that. It has been
two days sense the water change and it is still cloudy.
The fish that I have in this tank are all cichlids except
for 1 gold fish. I only added 2 fish at a time. My friend
has the same fish as I do.
March 11, 2002 - 12:00 am
One of my cichlids has the itches more than any other ones
in my tank. It makes him angry because he starts chasing
the other fish in the tank. Makes me feel bad for him because
I don't know what to do to make him better. I live 4
hours from the nearest pet store so any medication I have
to buy I do online and ordering one at a time has become
quite expensive. Any suggestions on the scratching and jitters
March 11, 2002 - 02:02 am
If you've done water changes every week since you first
added fish to the aquarium, this may be part of the problem.
You want to wait four to six weeks before doing your first
water change. Doing water changes too soon after starting
the tank can delay the time the cycle tanks, and may result
in higher levels of stress to the fish.
A white cloudy is generally a bacterial bloom. Most of the
time it is caused by excess nutrients in the water, and
sometimes too much light. Lights should be on 10-12 hours
a day. If you get any sunlight on the tank, that might be
the problem. AS for nutrients, it could be anything. Maybe
you did a water change shortly after a recent rain, and
if it hadn't rained a while before that, some fertilizers
and such may have washed into the water supply...as crazy
as that may or may not sound, it CAN be a possibly factor.
Nutrients could also be overfeeding, either overfeeding
a lot once, or overfeeding a little every time. If you feed
more than once a day, and/or see any food hit the bottom
when you feed, then you should probably cut back feeding.
Once a day is plenty. If you have pumps and/or filters causing
the food to sink to the bottom, turn them down or off for
5 minutes while you feed...
The bacterial bloom "should" go away on its own,
however it may take anywhere from a few days to a couple
weeks, so just give it some time. As tempting as it may
be, water changes usually don't help a whole lot...unless
you have a LOT of waste in your gravel. Generally, its most
effective to simply let the bacteria "eat" themselves
out of house and home.
March 11, 2002 - 07:06 am
David just read an article in A fish a couple of months
back and they said bacteria blooms or cloudy tanks are really
quite common. Just wait it out. Is only the one fish itching?
Parasitic problems usually affect all the fish, not just
the one. Keep an eye on all of them and if more than one
exhibits the symptoms check Pat's main board for the
apporpriate med. I used something called tank buddies for
my African tank when the fish were itching a bit. I'd
wait if possible, meds can sometimes affect your good bacteria
in a new tank so you want to make sure you really need to
treat. Also disagree on G's water schedule I never waited
six weeks to change water in any of my five aquariums. With
a 50 gallon four weeks would be the max I'd ever go
without a water change! Kind of also depends on your fish
density...sometimes too much ammonia builds up if there
are too many fish in the tank.
March 12, 2002 - 10:30 pm
Well you guys have been most helpful. I will wait and see
what happens. Right now I only notice one fish with the
I have another question for you though. I have 2 purple-blue
cichlids and one orange one. The orange and purple one are
always picking on the other purple one. Is that common?
I feel bad for the fish. He must get pretty tired..
March 13, 2002 - 07:26 am
David are you talking African Rift Lake mbuna? I have two
tanks of these fish and they are the only purple-blue fish
I know of...if so these fish are aggressive and very tricky
to plan around. If one fish picks on the other too much
he will stress it out and it may be prone to disease and
death. Let us know what fish are in the tank. Usually with
mbuna you should have at least 3 of the same kind to disperse
the aggression, however if you do not have mbuna I don't
want to advise you incorrectly.
March 13, 2002 - 01:00 pm
Sometimes adding more decorations (with Africans, rocks
are probably the best decoration to use) will help divide
up the territories, and provide more hiding spaces for those
being picked on. If your tank is kind of bare in the decoration
department, try adding some more decorations to see if that
settles things down a little. The more caves and crevices
you have for the fish, the better off you are.
I know some people are hesitant to add a lot of rocks and
hiding places for fear that the fish will hide all the time.
Lots of hiding places generally, in the case of mbuna (and
many other fish), make the fish more comfortable. If
the fish feel more comfortable, they should act more naturally,
and are generally out and about a bit more, as they know
they have a safe haven should danger approach.