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FAQs on Scissortail Rasboras

Related Articles: Barbs, Danios & RasborasA Barbed Response; Wrongly maligned for being fin-nippers, barbs are in fact some of the best fish for the home aquarium by Neale Monks

Related FAQs:  Barbs, Danios, Rasboras 1, Barbs, Danios, Rasboras 2, B,D,R Identification, B,D,R Behavior, B,D,R Compatibility, B,D,R Selection, B,D,R Systems, B,D,R Feeding, B,D,R Disease, B,D,R Reproduction,


Please Help: are my Scissortails Rasboras sick? 10/14/07 Hello Wet Web Media Crew, <Hello.> I have 2 male yellow Lyretail mollies, 7 Neons, 3 scissortail Rasboras and 1 Otocinclus catfish in my 20G tank (5 months old). <Some nice fish, though personally I'd not keep mollies in this collection nor in a 20 gallon tank; Mollies need hard (and ideally brackish) water, and they also get quite large and sometimes (often) the males become very aggressive.> Today, all the 3 Scissortails have become pale, their stripes are gone, and are swimming mostly at the bottom, but they are still active and hide behind the plants and come to the front when I watch them closely. <As always: check water chemistry and quality! At the least, check pH and check nitrite.> Last night when I saw them they were all fine. I have no clue what happened. So I checked the water parameters and they (ph, hardness, alkalinity, nitrates, nitrites) are in the safe range, with no ammonia and no chlorine. <Define "the safe range". And sometime it isn't so much the value of something that matters, but how much it changed. Your Neons are fine anywhere between pH 5.5 and 8.0. But, if the tank pH suddenly goes from pH 8 to pH 6 overnight, then the Neons will be severely stressed. This is why we test water on a regular basis, especially early on in the lifetime of the tank: because we need to know *how stable* the water conditions are, as well as what the actual water chemistry values are.> The temp is 78 deg. I do weekly 30% water changes and feed the fish flakes and Tubifex worms. <Mollies need green foods, so don't forget to use algae-based flake instead of regular flake for at least 50% of the dry food meals. I'd never use live Tubifex worms: they are collected from filthy waters usually, and can be a serious source of disease.> The mollies and the Neons are doing fine so I don't know if the Scissortails are sick or stressed out or what. <Difficult to know. A good test is to do a nice big water change, say, 50%. If the fish perk up, then chances are the water quality was in some way the problem. If this makes no difference, then start looking for other factors. Review the needs of your Scissortails in terms of pH, general hardness, and carbonate hardness and then see if that matches the conditions in your aquarium. Another things you might look for is signs of aggression between the Mollies and Rasboras.> Your help is greatly appreciated. Thanks. Pallavi <Good luck, Neale>

Supporting A 20 Gallon Tank  9/9/06 Greetings all, My first (and most -pressing-) question has to do with the position of my tank. My boyfriend and I live in a small one room apartment, we came across a 20 gallon tank  out with the trash one day  and  decided to give it  a  new  home. Currently, we  have  it  set  up  on  a  sturdy  dresser (there is also a piece of cardboard beneath the tank), the dresser faces towards the door but we have the tank set up so the "front" of it faces our all-purpose eating-sitting-sleeping area. However, the tank is about two inches longer than the dresser is wide, and so is unsupported for about an inch on either side. It has been full of water for about two weeks now, and so far so good, but the visual thought of the seams giving out from stress are really cringe inducing. Do you think this is an "okay" setup, or should we really reposition it so that the entire tank is supported? (I know of course the latter would be preferable, but that would put the tank at a really crummy angle for observation of the fish.) If you think this isn't "okay" could you say whether it's an inevitability or just a not entirely remote possibility? < Remove the tank and place a piece of 3/4 plywood under the entire tank and than place in back on the dresser. This Tank with water will weight close to 200 lbs. The tank should be OK as is but I would feel better with a little extra support on the end pieces. The plywood will also help protect the top of the dresser. Some dressers are made of particle board and not solid wood. I would start looking for another stand if your dresser is made from the particle board.> Secondly, I have a question about our fish. After cleaning the tank (just with a new sponge, and soaking it in water for a day), setting up the filter/airstone/heater/gravel/etc., and letting it run for about a week we went out and got three scissortail Rasboras to keep in it. This was three days ago. (These seemed like a good candidate to survive the cycling.) They range in size from about an inch and a half, to 3/4s of an inch. The two larger fish have seemed pretty much content, actively swimming and the like. However, after maybe 6 hours the smallest fish retreated to a corner of the tank. If the other fish swim over to him he either ignores them, or darts over to the other side of the tank. He also comes out briefly after the lights are turned off for the night, but goes back to the corner within a few minutes. He comes out to eat, and seems to get his fair share, and otherwise looks healthy. I'm wondering if because of his relatively small size the cycling process/stress of transportation/some other factor is hitting him harder than the larger fish. Or, if he's perhaps just trying to separate himself from the establishment of the pecking order. (Initially the other two fish chased each other, and each claimed a nip from the other's tail. The chasing seems to have stopped, and the little fish still has very nice full tail fins.) Or, if perhaps there just simply aren't enough fish around for his schooling instinct to kick in. Other information that may be useful to know: we have (assumedly) soft water with a pH (that has remained steady) of about 7.3. In our excitement we neglected to test the water from the pet shop, but since it is just around the corner we assume it was similar. We took about 45 minutes to acclimate them by adding doses of water from the fish tank into the bag. We have been changing a gallon of the water daily. There are two large, two medium, and three small fake plants in the tank, along with a large rock (bought at the pet store), and another largish decoration. These are mostly oriented towards the front and the back, hopefully providing plenty of both cover and swimming room. We have been feeding them about 8 tetra flakes daily (two feedings of 4 each). Sorry for such a long-winded explanation for one little Rasbora, but it would do my heart good to not loose any fish due to preventable circumstances. < Schooling fish like these prefer to be in groups of at least six. After cycling you can add some more fish and he will feel better and come out more.> One last question, if you will. We definitely plan to add more Rasboras, knowing well that three isn't a proper school (not to mention that I find them delightfully amusing). I have read that if schooling fish are introduced singly to a group they sometimes get unduly harassed. For this reason, we are reluctant to add them one by one. Also, we anticipate the need for some sort of "janitorial" fish. In your opinion what should take precedence, reducing the bioload, or getting these guys into a proper school? (Of course we don't plan to add anything until we test and find ammonia levels to be 0). < Get the school up and running first, but really you could add the others at anytime as well.>     Finally I would like to thank you guys for your wonderfully informative site, and also your time in reading (and answering) this letter. It is greatly (greatly) appreciated!-Krisi < Thanks for your kind words.-Chuck> Rasbora Discoloration/Disease? - 08/18/2005 Hi. <'Ello.> I have two scissortail Rasbora and have had them for a few months now and everything has been fine; however, this morning I noticed the smaller of the two has developed a blood red colour at the base of its dorsal and anal fins and the black stripes on its tail are paler than normal.  It still seems to be swimming  and feeding ok. Should I be worried? <Perhaps, yes.  I would first look to water quality - the symptoms you describe suggest irritation, possible reaction to ammonia or nitrite in the water.  Maintain ammonia and nitrite levels at ZERO, nitrate less than 20ppm, with water changes.> Thanks in advance. <Wishing you well,  -Sabrina>

Making the Hard Call Hello, A few weeks ago I mailed you guys about a scissortail Rasbora (Rasbora trilineata) with an oddly swollen abdomen in the back. I was wondering if it was maybe constipated, your reply suggested maybe the fish was pregnant. Since then the fish has gotten much more swollen and doesn't seem right at all. (even if it is gravid something is definitely not right) <Agreed> The entire abdomen is now swollen and the fish hangs funny in the water (nose up). It's colors are brighter than I have ever seen the Scissortails in my own tanks (which is odd). The spine seems slightly curved throughout due to the swelling. <OK, bent spine is the key here> This fish spends most of its time hiding in the back behind plants, or in my castle ornament which has a large cave in the interior. I don't usually see it with the other two Rasboras but then again, ever since I put them in this tank it's hard to find more than two at a time. I don't know if they have always been the same two. I haven't seen this fish eat in a long time. When I feed, I do see it grab food and spit it back out again pretty often, at least when it bothers to come to the front at all. What could be wrong with my fish? <I'm afraid he has TB> I'm leaving Tuesday for a 4 week trip to visit some friends and family, leaving my immediate family here to take care of the fish. Do I need to do something with this fish beforehand? <Yes, there is. Very sorry to say that you need to remove him from the tank and put him down. Do not flush him, living or dead. The only cure is the month long treatment of a three drug cocktail. Success rate is less than 10%. It's can spread to other fish, especially if he dies in the tank. In fact it can spread to humans through breaks in the skin coming into contact with the water. Many well respected people here suggest putting down all the fish and sterilizing the entire system. A hard call to make, but harder to argue against. Don>    Please help.. ~Anna

Scissortail Rasbora - constipation? Hey, Noticed today that one of my Scissortails has a swollen tummy :/  It's the very last part of the fish that's swollen (at least the last part that still has innards, before the tail)  Scissortails almost have two "sections" to their bodies to me and it would be the farther back one. (usually when they have overeaten a bit the first one will be big for a while) <Understood> I'm thinking it may be constipated. Otherwise seems happy and healthy. Tried to chase it into a cup to move it to a quarantine tank but between all the plants in the way and it being still active I couldn't manage it in 5 min.s, figured it would probably be more stressful than it was worth to keep up the chasing. So I thawed 3 peas and squished them into the tank, it ate a few little bits (as did the other fish) but mostly the peas sank to the bottom and became ignored. <Good try, but as you noticed not much of a vegetarian.> How much pea does it take to help with constipation? <More than he will eat. Try a small piece of a garden worm, if possible. Or frozen blood worms. Not meal worms. Nothing with a "shell".> Is there anything else I can do for this scissortail without being able to catch him? <A little Epsom salt may help, about 1 Tbls per 5 gallons> (saving my quarantine setup for now in case I can catch him later - it's not very good, just a 1 1/2 gal plastic tub that ice cream comes in <What flavor? :) >- but I can't afford a real quarantine tank yet. Hopefully soon.) <Is it heated?> Do you think it is really constipation? <Maybe. Any chance it's a female filling with eggs? A big problem would be if you see the fish start to develop a curved spine. That would be a sign of TB.>  I'm also wondering if the fish is pregnant or something but that seems pretty unlikely to me! <Why? Commonly bred fish. A well kept, healthy female should fill up. Usually more in the midsection though.> Thanks for your help, <No problem> ~Anna <Don>

Re: scissortail Rasbora - constipation? Really, what would eggs look like? It's the smallest of the three Scissortails with a narrower body shape in comparison (usually the less 'fat looking' fish are males, at least in what I have read about other species)  Took a trip tonight to pick up a friend from the airport and now the light is off for the night, but I will definitely look at the fish in the morning and see how it's looking. (also going to look up sexing Rasboras tonight) I had problems with Hexamita in the 10gal once, lost 2 Danios to that :( but the rest of the fish never developed symptoms. I understand that hex symptoms can be similar to TB (but I did observe the definite white mucous stool on one of the Danios) and this doesn't look anything like what I've seen there, more like bloating of some kind although I don't know. ~Anna

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