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 Post subject: New altums not eating
PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2011 1:20 pm 
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Hi, I am new to the forum here and have a question.
About 4 days ago I introduced 2 new altums to my tank. I wanted to have some more but these were the last ones in the shop :-( Anyway I already had 3 scalares and they team up with them.
But the altums aren't eating. I tried anything: red and white mosquito larves, dry food, etc.
I also noticed that when I am looking from a distance they are swimming in front of the tank but when I come close they hide behind the wood and giant plants... when they do that they also "pinch" their tails sometimes.
Water params are pH 6,4 / GH 7 / kH 5 / Cl 0
Other fish are about 15 tetra's and some corydora's.

Maybe I am not patience enough? Anyone encountered this too ?


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PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2011 10:18 pm 
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The fish will not be harmed by not eating for ten days or so. Altum often react poorly to a change of environment, the pinched tails are a sign of discomfort. The tendency to hide is absolutely typical of fish newly introduced into a strange environment. However, if the fish are healthy (a big if with Altum) and their water conditions are good, I believe that they should eat within three days. Water quality is critical to acclimatising Altum to a new environment, they are a sensitive fish and do not appreciate change. If your tank is recently setup the filtration may not be up to speed yet, and the addition of new fish may result in a small Ammonia spike (testing for Nitrite would confirm this, Altum are far less tolerant of Ammonia than Scalare). My suggestion would be to ensure the temperature was in the Altum comfort zone 27-28c, do daily 30% water changes and feed lightly with livefood (making sure that any uneaten food is removed from the tank before it adds to the bioload) These fish are invariably problematic when introduced to a new environment, they appear to have difficulty with making adjustments to any sudden change.


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PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2011 11:10 pm 
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Thank you for the advice Phill. I already crancked up the temp a bit (from 26 ° to 28°). After an hour or so they started to explore the other corners of the tank and also swimmed from the bottom of the tank to the water surface. Before they stayed at the bottom or the mid-regions only. So I figure that is a good sign already ?
It is true that the ammonia level is sometimes not zero (new tank), but still within the comfort zone for 'normal' fish - perhaps not so for the altums. That's why I already did water changes (25%) every 2 days, but I will rise the volume and also perform this once a day.


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PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2011 11:29 pm 
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Hi,

Phill is giving you some great advice. In my experience, altums also need several days to "settle down" into a new environment, even if water parameters are perfectly within acceptable ranges. They will observe your other scalars by instinct and should feel comfortable soon granted if they are healthy specimens. Were they eating well previously in the shop? Continue to feed sparingly and approach the tank slowly initially to reduce the spook factor. Good luck and keep us posted!

Dennis


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PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2011 1:20 am 
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califish wrote:
Hi,

Phill is giving you some great advice. In my experience, altums also need several days to "settle down" into a new environment, even if water parameters are perfectly within acceptable ranges. They will observe your other scalars by instinct and should feel comfortable soon granted if they are healthy specimens. Were they eating well previously in the shop? Continue to feed sparingly and approach the tank slowly initially to reduce the spook factor. Good luck and keep us posted!

Dennis


Hello Califish,
Thanks for replying.
I called the shop and they say that the fish ate there (I trust them in that, they have a good reputation and know me for years).
I surely will keep you all posted !


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PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2011 12:41 pm 
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Johan, are your Altum Tank breds? I ask this because I would not expect to find wild fish for sale at this time of year. It is often suggested that the tank bred fish are more tolerant of aquarium conditions than the wildcaughts. I am not too sure about this, I suspect that they can put up with anything other than sudden change in environment, which appears to insult their system. It is very common for them to become "jumpy" and lose appetite when the filtration is challenged (this frequently happens with prophylactic antibacterial treatment)


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PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2011 9:03 am 
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Hi Johann. Taking into consideration that your tank is a new setup, correct? If so, I would recommend you also use Seachem Prime until the biofilter is fully functional. This will help keep the ammonia levels down. Filtering through Seachem Purigen will also be of great help.

Seachem, you guys should pay me! or give me free Purigen.

Wild altum are easily killed by ammonia or nitrite... but then, at pH 6.4 ammonia is much less stressful.

It'd be nice if you can get some live mosquito larvae (starting to show up in most places) or live California Blackworms (you can get them online or if lucky at your local petshop)...if the fish are healthy, these two foods are usually fail proof.

Ed

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PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2011 9:20 am 
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I asked if it are tank breds when I bought them, but it was the son who served me in the shop and he couln't tell me for sure (it's a family business and mostly the father is there). I suspect however that they are tank breds because the tank wasn't labeled as "wild altums" - they had also wild scalares and they were indeed labeled "wild scalares"...


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PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2011 10:18 am 
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- update - I just fed them. I gave dry flakes and red mosquito larves. They didn't move. But when I looked from a distance one of them began to eat... dry flakes... this was all what was left. The other altum still didn't eat. So that's a step in the right direction I guess....


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PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2011 4:29 pm 
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You must be relieved to see some evidence of feeding, even if it's just one! I am glad things are moving in the right direction.

I have only kept wild altums, and I can say in the past some will come in with the most aggressive appetite, while other batches from a different year are just the opposite, irrespective whether they appear healthy or not. Even with my current group, about a year ago there were days when they would stop begging for food from time to time. I found a good solution to these periodic temperamental feeding troubles by housing them with other large bodied, mild tempered cichlids like discus or other scalares in a minimally decorated tank. My altums really are put to ease when they are around these other fish and not be given too many places to hide. That's just my experience, however. I would also inquire about the pet shop's water parameters. Good luck!


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PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2011 6:33 am 
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The pet shop's params are about the same. But anyway, now the other starts to eat too: red blood worms. Not much still, but there is at least some movement :-)


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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 9:16 am 
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califish wrote:
My altums really are put to ease when they are around these other fish and not be given too many places to hide.


I've removed the giant wood roots and some big plants (not all of them), but now there's plenty of room for them for swimming around... and that's just what they are doing right now ;-) It is nicer /better too for us: they look greater now - also they start eating well - not that greedy like my scalares, but I see that things are truly changing now :-)

Thanks to you all for your help & advice !!!


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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2011 12:49 am 
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jupiter8 wrote:
califish wrote:
My altums really are put to ease when they are around these other fish and not be given too many places to hide.


I've removed the giant wood roots and some big plants (not all of them), but now there's plenty of room for them for swimming around... and that's just what they are doing right now ;-) It is nicer /better too for us: they look greater now - also they start eating well - not that greedy like my scalares, but I see that things are truly changing now :-)

Thanks to you all for your help & advice !!!


Glad that the altums are settling in nicely… keep us updated!

Dennis


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PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2011 1:49 am 
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puertoayacucho wrote:
I would recommend you also use Seachem Prime until the biofilter is fully functional. This will help keep the ammonia levels down. Filtering through Seachem Purigen will also be of great help.

Seachem, you guys should pay me! or give me free Purigen.

Ed


Hi Ed,
It seems that here in Belgium Seachem Prime isn' available... but is it the same as Sera Toxivec ? I think so since it also removes ammonia etc...


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2012 3:16 am 
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Hey Jupiter, i know this is an old thread now but what's the latest news on your fish?
Did they survive ok and did you ever find out if they were WC or TB?
My Altums eat ok but not the quantities that a TB Scalare ever would!
Mine never have bulging bellies like my Scalare would when feeding so i just feed more times a day and they are ok with that.


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