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Freshwater Aquarium/stressed black moor


QUESTION: Hello, at work we have a large tank which had a black moor and a sucker fish. I took the sucker fish out as he was removing some of the black moors scales, the pet shop said this was happening because the tank had been moved quite a few times and the tank was too clean. Now the black moor is in the tank by itself. They said to add some stress coat to the tank which I did and not to clean the tank for a while to build up good bacteria in the tank. He is now lying on the bottom of the tank and has been doing it for a while now. I spoke to someone a while ago and they said it was normal and he could be resting but I don't think its that. He is still eating but doesn't swim very much just lies on the bottom. He is quite a large fish but I think the stress of having to move has caused this. Today he was looking really bad he did come up to eat but went back down.  I work at a primary school and have told the kids to stay away from the tank. What can I do to help him? I was going to take him to the vet but the vet said that would cause more stress. She said to add a plant for some oxygen which I will get tomorrow.They also said to do weekly water changes 1/3 of the water and add stress coat. What else can I do? I am worried he will die.He does have a lot of missing scales he is very patchy. Thank you.

ANSWER: Hi Melissa

I would add StressCoat to the water, doubling the amount in the directions on the bottle. This will help replace his slime coat. Add a live plant to the water and an airstone to oxygenate the water. You can also treat him with Melafix and/or Pimafix.

Hope this helps, good luck!


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: hello Richard thank you for replying. I have added a plant to his tank and got the water tested today the nitrites were not very good so the petshop said to do a half tank water change add stress coat and the good bateria stuff which I did. I added about 2 1/2 ml of stress coat and 5 ml of the good bateria. He then said to do another half tank water change on monday and add the stress coat again and bateria. Then once I have done that to do weekly water change of 20%. He said also to back off on the feeding of the fish as hes not eating much and its just going to the bottom of the tank.

When you do weekly water changes how much stress coat should you add? My tank is about a 18 Litre tank with only one fish. I have been adding about 1 or 2 mls is that right?
also why would the fish be swimming around all good then be on the bottom. Would this be due to the nitrates?

Read the directions on the bottle of StressCoat and use twice the recommend amount. I wouldn't do two 50% water changes in that short time period especially if you used a bacteria additive. I would add the StressCoat to the tank and do 25% water changes weekly. I do agree with backing off on the food if it's just going to the bottom. Just put a few flakes in there for him. I would also siphon the bottom of the tank to remove excess food and waste.

Hope this helps, good luck!


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Richard Hight


I own and maintain several freshwater aquariums from 2 to 180 gallon. I can answer most questions about freshwater aquariums, including setup, cycling, maintenance, compatible tank mates, feeding. Moving? I've moved fish both across town and across the country and can help you get your little aquatic friends to their new home safely. I know and have experience with most freshwater community fish, South American Cichlids and African Cichlids. I don't answer questions about Goldfish or keeping Goldfish with Tropical Fish. I also don't answer questions about keeping crustaceans (shrimp, snails, crabs etc) with Tropical Fish, nor questions about saltwater fish or aquariums. I'm not available to answer questions on weekends, this is when I do maintenance on my own tanks.


Many years of personal experience with community tank fish, semi-aggressive fish (Barbs, Tetras, etc), Angels, South American Cichlids and African Cichlids.

HSG 2010-2011 prof

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