View Full Version : Fin nipping and poop eating.
07-11-2010, 12:34 AM
The last few days I have noticed that the Black Mollies are eating poop from the other fish as it falls off and drifts down in the tank. I have witnessed it about 2-3 times a day, and it is always the female Black Mollies that are eating it. This can not be good?
Does this indicate perhaps that I am not feeding them enough? Should I do anything about this?
Also, there is a new female Red Wag Platy in the same tank thats only been there 4 days that I just noticed tonight when the lights went out (I decided to have a look at what the fish where up to at night) she was really going at it nipping away at the tailfins of first the Betta Splendens (male) then at all 3 Guppys and then at 2 or 3 of the Black Mollies!
At that point I stopped watching and wrote this to see if it is anything serious.
Anything I should do or just let it play itself out for a while?
PS! I have not witnessed any nipping at all when the lights are on.
Here are some specs./ info etc;
300 liter tank fully cyled, plants cover about 65% of surface, 3 medium driftwood pieces.
pH 7,6 (want this lower in time, need correct product - mine lowers kH = no good as kH already low)
The tank inhabitants:
1 Betta Splendens (male)
3 Guppy (1 male, 2 female)
2 Platy (1 male, 1 female - will get another female soon)
4 Black Molly (1 male, 3 female)
20 Neon Tetra (about 5 or 6 males, the rest female)
2 Amano Shrimp (no clue what sex they are)
Also worth noting is I noticed an outbreak of ICK in its very first stages today, Betta has 2 hvite spots on him, and two Black Mollies have just one spot each on them.
As the shops were closed when I noticed it (and since I am relatively new to this hobby) I dont have any medicine yet, and will not have until monday after work.
(Thought I would mention this aswell if it could explain the behaviour?)
So any suggestions you might have on either of those issues I would appreciate very much!
(Comments about stocking would also be very much welcome if you have any because I want to add maybe 2 Guppy females and one or two Platy females)
07-11-2010, 02:05 PM
After some hours of reading up on the issues I mentioned in the first post I don`t think the nipping is anything to worry about yet. She is behaving perfectly normal now when the lights are on, and I can`t see any damage on the other fish.
The eating of poop however I have not found an answer to yet, surely that will lead to complications later on if it continues???
I am careful about feeding my fish after reading all sorts of warnings about overfeeding, but I never give them less than the recommended amount;
They get 2 feedings a day and everyone is attacking the food with vigour and there is always enough food to last atleast the 3 minutes each feeding.
They also get treats every now and again, and alot of variation in their diet (I think).
They get these foods served to them:
Sera Vipan (every feeding, a pinch crushed up - this goes in first)
Nutrafin MAX (every feeding, Betta food, but EVERYONE in the tank absolutely loves it aswell)
Tetra Wafer Mix (about every other day I toss in 3 of these)
Nutron Artemia (they don`t seem to be eating this stuff, don`t use it much now)
Nutron Biogran small (not used much, they dont seem to find them easily among the gravel)
SERA O nip (they love this the most, but it`s very messy - about 1 - 2 times a week)
I also have some Artemia eggs, but not tried that yet - will also get Brine Shrimp as soon as I can find some (no LFS has them). So I don`t think the poop eating is because of lack of variety or amount of food, do you?
(Also on the ICK, I have read the articles several times now and all I have done about it so far is raise temp to 29*C - extra waterchanges with lots of gravel cleaning to try to get atleast some of the ICK out. And I added "aquarium salts" (NORAQ GH/TH+) as I hoped that was the type of salts referred to in the article I read (will know for sure tomorrow when I am at the LFS, besides kH is abit too low anyway so thought it was OK to add). Then first thing monday morning when the shops open I will get the proper medication and hopefully that will resolve this issue with no deaths or serious injuries to any of the fish.)
So the poop eating is really the only thing I "need" an answer to, just tell me if it`s normal or not if you have witnessed this yourselves.
07-11-2010, 02:25 PM
I have guppies and they eat eachother's poop all the time...but they spit it out when they realize it is poop that they just put in their mouth. Do your fish swallow it or spit it back out? I wouldn't worry about it if they spit it back out. If they swallow it...well I'm not sure if that is bad or not.
07-11-2010, 05:35 PM
Ick is an opportunistic parasite - when fish are stressed they will succumb to it, I'd say the fin nipping is very likely part of your ick problem. IMHO the nippers should be re-homed to another tank or the LFS. When you have stressed fish you will have disease, eventually fish mortality and the subsequent chemical imbalances caused by dead fish in the tank, which also bring algae. Bettas are slow swimmers and cannot prevail against fast swimming nippers. If it were me, I would address this now before the tank goes south on you.
07-11-2010, 06:20 PM
I agree 100% with seattlefishgirl, some fish bicker among themselves with no ill effects such as some cichlids, the little fighting that goes on in a school, ect ect. However if you have a bully nothing good will come of it.
07-12-2010, 04:04 PM
Thank you very much for your replies!
Unfortunately it seems the tank is already heading south at an alarming pace! :(
Today when I arrived home with the medisine (ICHTHYO MEDIK from PRODAC) one female Guppy was floating around in the tank stone dead, and the Betta Splendens is dying as I am typing this :( his face has turned almost completely white and he looks horrible and can hardly move, I seriously doubt he will make it through the day. ;(
The Noen Tetras are now suddenly ALL scooling together, something they have not done since I moved them into the 300 liter tank (no doubt a bad sign).
Added ICK medicine per manufacturer instructions, (also got medicine for sponges and parasites just in case (but not medicated with that one yet - it`s for an eventual future outbreak.)
temp is stabile at 29,1*C (if the Betta dies I think I will take the temp to 30*C (not done so yet from fear of loosing the Betta (heard they don`t like 30*C+ - but like so many other things I have read on the internets that might not be true???)
If someone who might know would PLEASE tell me if all of the fish I have should survive 30*Celsius??? (I think that is 86*K if thats the one you use). Because the LFS did not know! There are; Betta, Neon Tetra, Guppy, Platy, Molly in the tank (I know it`s outside their preferred temp range, but not by too much - will it kill them?)
Anyway, I am in the wrong forum to talk about deseases etc so I will end that here and start a thread in the appropriat place if needed.
I could not see much loss of the fins on them (from fighting), but the Guppy that died had a little bit chewed away it seemed. Also there was one whole plant (large size) that was entirely pulled up and a handfull of "branches" and such from more plants floating on top, so it seems SOMETHING has happened during the night.
So the Platy bully will have to go back to the LFS, or relocated if they refuse to take her back (doubt they want her back when it comes from a tank with an ICK outbreak in it?)
Regarding the poop (wich suddenly lost all it`s importance to me in face of these deaths and other misery);
They are certainly consuming it (no spitting out). The worst one I saw was a poop exactly 1,5 times the total length of the fish - and she sucked it straight down. After that she shook (whole body, like a dog shaking off water from it`s fur) and made a weird face before swimming away and continuing like nothing happened. I watched for over 5 minutes, no spitting it out.
I feel very helpless/guilty now, and the aquariums are certainly not making me relax - quite the oposite.
I just took a quick look in the tank before hitting "post reply" and the Betta Splendens is now dead!!! ;(
I feel like typing some of those same words I have been uttering while typing this, but I will refrain from that for now....
07-12-2010, 04:57 PM
I am so sorry for your losses. I hope everything works out for you.
07-12-2010, 05:49 PM
But my incredible stupidity just made things a million times worse! I know I said I wouldnt mention the ICK anymore here - but just this last one and hopefully I will be up to writing someting in the deseases section. Don`t feel like writing anything right now actually. :( I am actuallt debating with myself weather or not to even continue with this hobby.
The problem is;
I read the instructions that came with the bottle - medicated - THEN I readup on the medicine on the internet AFTER I added it to the tank because I got completely freaked out when I saw the dead and clearly suffering fish so I just dosed it and added without thought that I might have been sold some snake oil or something.
So in the first 3 (different) threads I find of other people using it they say it first of all is quote "some of the worst stuff available" and quote "it kills off your nitrification bacteria culture so you have to do a new cycle after medicating is finished"!!!!!!!!!!
I mean WHAT THE H3LL did I just do now??? The tank is filled with fish - I can not see how I can avoid this ending in disaster for my fish!
The reason I am so certain that this will be the end so to speak is beacause I cycled the 300 liter tank with fish when I started - and I was even more dilligent then the article said you had to be. I changed half the water atleast every day (sometimes twice - that is 600 liters siphoned out and carried i 10 litre buckets), monitored all levels atleast once a day, and threw all sorts of crappy products in the water the LFS managed to sell me before I had done enough reading to find out most of it was useless.
And still the fish suffered horribly, it was terrible seeing them in there - cowering in the corners. Of the 3 Red Coral Platys I used to cycle, 2 died only shortly after the tank was fully cycled after suffering from another desease I could not find the name of, and the LFS didn`t understand the symptoms I tried to explain to them.
I would not recommend cycling with fish even to my worst enemy, if you have any conscience at all you will be affected negatively by such things for sure.
That was with 3 tiny fish in a 300 liter tank - I can not imagine I have the stomac to go through with this with over 30 fish!!! (According to my calculations that would make it about 10 times worse so that is right out!)
There is a tiny slither of hope for my fish though, I pulled out the filter immediately when I read it will kill the filter bacteria - but it was about 2 hours running after adding a full first dose of the crap - I also have a brand new filter pump (exactly the same type).
Is there a chance the bacteria are not dead on the filter yet from 2 hours?
Because I have another tank wich is cycled and ready, problem is it is only 115 liters - should I move all my fish over there and medicate in that tank (it is already inhabitet by 3 Platys and also medicated) and suck ALL the water out of the big tank - refill - aquasafe and just let it run at the highest possible temp to kill any remaining bacteria???
That sounds like a good plan to me - remember the big fish (Betta) is dead - so maybe it could be better?
Please answer the last point even if you don`t really know because I have no more faith in my own decisions and my fish deserve better than I can provide at the moment.
07-12-2010, 06:03 PM
I know how you feel. I felt the same way when I started my tank...which was not that long ago. I went through such horrible algae problems...and when my first fish died I wanted to cry. I wanted to quit...wished I never tried it...you name it and I felt it. But once everything started to come together and all the crazy beginning stuff was over and my tank was algae free I was in love again.
I don't think you should give up. Just tough it out for a while. It will get better. I wish I could help more with your problems but I am by no means any kind of expert. There are lots of people here though that will help you...they helped me.
07-12-2010, 06:04 PM
Oh and I forgot to mention.....I added some meds to my tank not that long ago and I was warned that it would kill my cycle after I added them too....well it didn't hurt my cycle at all...so maybe there is hope for you in that regard.
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