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Strange fish behavior

  1. Sep 22, 2005 #1

    cronxeh

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    I turned the light on in my fishtank today and found 2 things:

    1. The goldfish had its eyes "plucked" - simply they were missing from the sockets, and the goldfish was swimming upside down gulping for air at first, then tumbling and swimming normally for some time and swimming on belly again. At first I thought maybe its dying, but now I think its simply disoriented and the missing eyes are to blame. The reason for missing eyes could be #2:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    2. The other species of fish in the tank seem to have some addition. About a dozen or so new small fishies swimming with them. Perhaps the species attacked the goldfish in order to protect their spawn from being eaten by goldfish
    [​IMG]


    Is there any known behavior like this out in the wild? If not what could've caused the goldfish to lose both of its eyes?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 22, 2005 #2

    DaveC426913

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    I have never seen behaviour like this. Your hypotheses would have been my first guesses as well.
     
  4. Sep 23, 2005 #3
    There is a fish eye disorder called Eye pop. One or both eyes can swell. In severe cases, the eye can burst from the socket. It can happen pretty quickly too.
    I don't think its contagious, but to be on the safe side, remove the fish.
     
  5. Sep 23, 2005 #4

    DaveC426913

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    Are you thinking of dropsy? IIRC, eye pop is merely a result of internal swelling - dropsy - causes the scales of a fish to stick up, making it look (from above) like it's covered in teeth from a rasp.

    I don't see other signs of dropsy though.


    If it is, then it's bacterial, and your fish could be jeoparizing the others. Or more likely, they will attack and kill it.

    - if they haven't already...
     
  6. Sep 23, 2005 #5
    Dropsy, like Eye pop is not a specific disease, but rather a condition that can be caused by bacterial or parasite infestation.
    Dropsy causes the body to bloat, which is really noticeable. Other things that can cause Eye pop{with out the whole body swelling} are fish TB and Ichthyosporidium.

    As mentioned above, fish know when another fish is not healthy and will attack it. But they won't kill it to protect there're babies. The parents of the babies are just as likely to eat their young themselves. :yuck:
     
  7. Sep 23, 2005 #6

    DaveC426913

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    Yep. This is what I was sayin'.

    Clearly, you're a fellow aquarian. What do you keep?
     
  8. Sep 23, 2005 #7
    I have 2 Turquoise Discus and a singing cat{its more like he chirps} in a 40 gallon tall. I've always been fond of these gentle fish, but they are a lot of work. I have had this pair for 3 years now.
     
  9. Sep 23, 2005 #8

    DocToxyn

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    First a couple questions: How big is the tank, how many fish total, how long have you had the tank running and how long have they all resided there together?

    Now onto my suspicions: the pictures you posted (of the breeders) look to me to be convict cichlids (see pic below). Cichlids in general are thought of as aggressive fish, these guys are among the most aggressive and on top of that if they are breeding they will brutally defend their territory. Plus they are really easy to breed, you don't really even have to try, it just happens. Your goldfish looks to be somewhat large and may have simply been ignored or tolerated by the cichlids until the new additions. I'm not surprised that they ripped out its eyes. Cichlids have a wonderful array of jaw and pharyngeal tooth morphology which has allowed them to adapt to occupy many varied niches in the freshwater lakes to which they call home, usually in Africa, but some in South America. Some have jaws specifically designed to pluck scales and eyes from other fish as their main source of food. I don't think the convicts are of that species but try to tell that to your goldfish :biggrin: . Anyway, the goldfish is probably suffering and it would be the humane thing to do to put it down. Placing it in the freezer, in a ziploc with enough water to cover it, does a nice job.

    BTW, if anyone is curious, I have owned or currently own oscars, cichlids of various species, plecos, raphael cats, archerfish, platys, goldfish, tiger shovelnose cat, various tetras, guppies of all flavors, piranha, assorted saltwater species, etc.
    http://www.aquariumfish.net/images_01/convict_pair_with_fry_2.jpg
     
  10. Sep 23, 2005 #9

    cronxeh

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    Ah Doc, you are great. Those are in fact Cichlids and they've been bullying the goldfish quite often. Perhaps they did rip the eyes out, but maybe there is also some sort of an infection because the fish basically laid down to the bottom and seemed very .. dead
     
  11. Sep 23, 2005 #10
    awww RIP little fishies.
     
  12. Sep 23, 2005 #11

    DocToxyn

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    If someone ripped my eyes out, I'd probably do the same thing, infection or not. :bugeye: However, if the fish has survived the initial attack, then it would logically follow that those open wounds would be a prime target for any infectious agent, and fish tanks are rife with them. Either treat with the appropriate antibiotics (not necessarily the best thing for any tank ecosystem) and get the goldfish some dark sunglasses or put it down.
     
  13. Sep 24, 2005 #12

    DaveC426913

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    Discus eh? Nice.Considered any Cardinals or Neons in there? I've always liked biome-themed tanks.

    My current tank is SE Asian. Cherry barbs, Kuhliis, a Betta. Used to have Rasboras and some Clown loaches.

    My tank is custom-made. It takes up zero floor-space - it hangs on the wall like a picture. It's even matted and framed!
     
  14. Sep 24, 2005 #13
    Oooooooooohhhhh, I see it all,
    I think your golden fish isn't dying, I guess it is just looking for a mate, and it must be a female fish. Believe me, I have a lot of fish here, different types I bought at the supermarkets.
    Another reason is your tank water is getting dirty. Does it really cost much if you increase the light(power/electricity) in your tank ? Make it dim, but still *observable* at night.

    By the way, big eyed fish are weak. they look gentle, eyecatching but I don't suggest raising them.
     
  15. Sep 24, 2005 #14

    Moonbear

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    Where do you get this idea from? Have you been reading the rest of the thread at all?

    :uhh: What does buying fish at a supermarket have to do with caring for fish in an aquarium?

    Two problems here. 1) We have no evidence of whether the tank is clean or dirty, though goldfish can do pretty well in a dirty tank...or dirty pond. If the other fish are healthy, it's unlikely to be the problem. 2) If a tank is "dirty," leaving the lights on longer is not going to help; the filter is what keeps it clean, and turning on lights for longer times will only promote algae growth. You should turn the lights off at night so the fish have a normal light/dark cycle.

    Based on what sources, and how could this be generalized across all species?

    Sorry about your fish Cronxeh, but unless you have a second tank where you can quarantine it and treat it with antibiotics (it wouldn't be a good idea to treat all the fish in the tank with antibiotics if they are healthy), then DocToxyn's recommendation to humanely euthanize it is the best approach...the fish sounds unhealthy and it's better that you be the one to put it down rather than leave it for the other fish to terrorize.
     
  16. Sep 24, 2005 #15

    cronxeh

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    Gee Moonbear you took your time to write all of that when I simply told myself this guy drives a short bus to work :biggrin:

    Oh and we threw away the goldfish. Yesterday I gave fury to those cichlids though. I think I'm starting to see how their behavior works:

    The lighter ones are female, the darker ones are male. The female is much larger than male and divides the tank into 2 zone. In one zone she allows her newborns and her male mate, while she actively chases every other cichlid into the other zone everytime they cross that midline. It took me about 2 hours to verify such behavior, and I must say.. those fish are very aggressive and protective of their offspring
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2005
  17. Sep 24, 2005 #16

    Moonbear

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    Cichlids are a favorite subject of behavioral experiments. You could find a lot of articles about them and their behavior if it interests you.
     
  18. Sep 24, 2005 #17

    DaveC426913

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    I hope it was dead. Tell me you didn't just toss it in the toilet.

    DocToxyn is correct; the most humane way to dispose of a fish is to place it in the freezer in an inch of water. They feel no pain, but pass into sleep before death.

    (But make sure you remove it before your wife or kids find it!)
     
  19. Sep 24, 2005 #18

    cronxeh

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    It was dead by the time I posted this:

     
  20. Sep 24, 2005 #19
    Never having raised cichlids before, I thought it was time for some light reading on them. Several sites I went to said they {the mothers} would fiercely protect the fry! And that even the daddy fish would help protect the area. But the dominate male fish in the tank would decide how many fry would live to reach adulthood. Guess its his job to keep the community in check.

    Dave, I'm scared to add any other fish to my tank! The Discus is such a docile fish. But I am considering getting a mated pair of White Butterfly Discus..but I'm not likeing the price! $140.00!!!!!!
    But wouldn't they look great together?
     

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  21. Sep 25, 2005 #20

    DaveC426913

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    Yeah no. Discus and neon tetras or cardinal tetras are a natural pairing. You'll always see em together in tanks.
     
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