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Chilli/Mosquito Rasbora distressed behaviour

mess17

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Joined
24 Mar 2021
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8
Location
London
Hi there,

I have recently purchased some Chilli Rasbora to go in my fully cycled planted tank and they are displaying behaviour that suggests to me they are a bit stressed/not happy.

They are constantly pacing at the back of the tank, and also went through a period of glass surfing . They are almost never calm in the middle of the tank, are pretty pale save for the red gills that is accentuated by their paleness. They eat pretty well once they figure out food is in the tank and can be distracted from their relentless pacing. Just wondering if anyone has any advice on what this might be, otherwise i think i'll probably have to return them to the store as they just aren't happy.

The floating plants provide extra shade from the light as read they can find bright light a bit intense, and my pump, ehiem compacton 300 is on the lowest flow setting as I read that they prefer a lower flow.

1. Tank - Fluval Flex 34L (9g)
2. Filtration - Mixture of the built in mechanical and biological filter media, with an added bag of fluval biomax
3. Lighting - Built in tank lighting - 09:00 - 19:00 - medium intensity
4. Substrate - Tropica Powder soil
5. Co2 - Non-dosing Co2
6. Ferts - One pump of Tropica premium nutrition every other day
7. Waterchange - 20% once weekly
8. Plants - Hygrophila Polysperma, anubias nana bonsai, bacopa compact, rotala rotundfolia, marsilea hirsuta, ludwigia mini super red, Eleocharis acicularis and Salvinia auriculata
9. Livestock - 10 red cherry shrimp, 9 chilli rasbora, 3 amano shrimp, 1 nerite snail
10. Hardscape - Seriyu stone (3 pieces), redmoor wood (2 pieces)

Water params as of 23/03/21:
PH - 7.6
Amonia - 0
Nitrite - 0
Nitrate - 10
GH - 3.5
KH - 13
Temp - 25 C

any advice would be very welcome as I can't figure out their behaviour at all
 

MirandaB

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28 Apr 2013
Messages
833
Location
Suffolk/Norfolk Border
Have you got a photo of the tank set up?
They're really a soft/black water fish too which might not be helping...are you using tap water or remineralised ro?
 

mess17

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Thread starter
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24 Mar 2021
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Location
London
Sure do, see attached thumbnails, the water also happens to be quite clouded (you can kinda see it in both shots) and never really achieved that crystal clear water (but guess that's probably not good for the Rasbora anyway).

Using tap water, that has been dechlorinated of course. guess the seriyu stone won't help matters on the water hardness perhaps?

PXL_20210326_185829988.jpgPXL_20210326_185907291.jpg
 

MirandaB

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28 Apr 2013
Messages
833
Location
Suffolk/Norfolk Border
I have very hard water where I live and find a certain haziness to the water in the cichlid tanks which is down to that.
Tank set up looks lovely,they may just need more time to settle but I would consider getting the hardness down a bit for them if you can.
 

si walker

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30 Mar 2020
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166
Location
uk
I too recently purchased some Chilli's. They surfed on the class for a bit but not long. Its good that they are feeding, mine actually seem quite picky.
Could the flow be to strong for them?
You may have already mentioned, but how long have you had them?
I often think about what the fish have been through to even get to the stores, let alone a trip in the car to our tanks. It must be hellish.
At least you are offering them a chance of a decent home. Good luck mate.
Si
 

Wookii

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13 Nov 2019
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Location
Nottingham
Your tank looks ideal for them in terms of cover, so to echo what Miranda says, they may just need time to settle. They are my personal favourite fish, so I recommend your persevere with them.

You could add some botanicals which may improve their mood - a couple of alder cones and/or Catappa leaves and/or a rooibos tea bag. The shrimp and the fish will both benefit, as will the plants. They may stain your water a bit - which the fish will also like, but you may not - but it does soon dissipate. They will also lower your KH somewhat, and be a great home for micro-organisms that your shrimp will enjoy feeding off.

In the longer term, consider culturing some live food for the Chillis - it’ll bring out the best in their colouration, and their predatory instincts - and they really are voracious little torpedoes when they hunt.

If you are really lucky, given you have them in a single species tank, they may even breed:

 

Wookii

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A little tribe of chillis can be quite happy in 34 odd litres then? (I’m currently agonising over tank sizes for dinky fish.)

Personally I’d like to see them in bigger, they can be quite active, so 60 litres is probably better, but I’m aware not everyone shares that sentiment.
 

mess17

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24 Mar 2021
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Thanks everyone for the replies, I'll look in to getting some botanicals for sure.

Flow is as low as its possible to get with the default set up, looking at maybe getting a 3d printed flow reducer or spray bar off ebay possibly though.

I was somewhat concerned about the tank size but a lot of what I read and watched on YouTube seemed to suggest it'd be ok, at least for the time being until I can upgrade to a larger size when I have more room.
 

Steve Buce

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30 Dec 2018
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Leicester
My chillis are in a 35litre tank with lots of plant cover and seem ok
All my chillis started of pale and skittish, but as they mature and approach breeding age they colour up to a beautiful vibrant red and become more confident as a group
I feed mainly baby brine shrimp, crushed up vibra bites and bug bites colour flakes, a healthy diet should also encourage better colouration, i also add daphnia to the tank
Regarding flow, i have a small tunze powerhead on a timer (as well as internal pump) mine dont seem to mind the extra flow for an hour or 2 as it kicks up mulm which they like to poke thru for tasty titbits
I mix rainwater with my tapwater to a TDS of 100, botanicals are added as well so so the water is tinted

Also check your fish are true "chillies", when i first bought my first group it had 2 boraras maculatus in with them, they looked pretty similar when young, but dont seem to get as colourful( maybe should of put me glasses on when i bought them😳)

Well hope this helps

 

Ash_bash

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7 Jun 2020
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Stoke-on-Trent
I bought 14 online for a open top iwugami I had. Half of them jumped out when the lights came on in the first 24hr
then the other half jumped out over the week.

But they we're constantly pacing up and down the glass, they didn't seem to happy :(

The second half did settle abit and stop pacing as much just before they decided to take there chances on the kitchen floor.

I had reverse osmosis water too so can only put it down to lack of cover and bright lights spooking them.

Good job you have a cover.
Good luck I hope the settle down for you
 

Wookii

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I bought 14 online for a open top iwugami I had. . . . . so can only put it down to lack of cover and bright lights spooking them.

Chilli's can be prone to jumping, as they do spend a lot of their time near the surface - and often on the perimeters of the tank. An Iwagumi provides virtually no cover for fish to hide at all, even at the lower levels, so I'm not surprised your Chilli's jumped. It is also probably why you typically see those tanks with tetra species that naturally spend their time closer to the substrate.
 
Last edited:

mess17

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24 Mar 2021
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little update, they've since calmed down a lot, become way way less pale, can actually see the black mid strip and the red stripe is beginning to kick in too. Hopefully a sign that the water is good quality too is that one of my amanos is berried (although i know the young won't make it due to it not being brackish water)
 

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