Tetra with shimmies?

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Stormyrose786

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I keep reading shimmies is common in mollies & guppies. I have mollies, guppies, tetras, & bottom feeders. The other night, I noticed one tetra looked like it was dancing, but it also didn't look right, & didn't stop...hasn't stopped. I knew my tank had high nitrates, but I had already gotten them down before this started. Found out that, for the 1st time since I've had this tank, my pH has dropped to 6.4 - it's normally 7.6. My tap water has high pH, so I started doing 25% wc, hoping the pH would go up, but slowly. My question, is it possible for tetras to shimmy? And how long can shimmies last? That is the only fish doing this, & I feel it may not recover.
 

FreshyFresh

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It's hard to say. How long has this tank been setup? Have you been doing weekly water changes on it?
 
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Sprinkle

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^ and shimmies usually are more than one sign of hidden illness and since it a tetra it could have the whole neon tetra thing BUT i no say it got it 100%. It could came from ur store already infected with something or could be intoxicated from nitrite but i doubt that if u reacted fast enough to get them down to 0ppm. Pretty much hard to say what is wrong with it but on safe side i would put him down if it is an illness that could spread if the tetra dies. Yes, it can pass from this as my female mollies had it and passed from it where there weight decreased (internal parasites or worms) so I could suggest internal worms or parasites too, store tank are full of that thing!
For how is the set up been run? I suppose it no cycled since u been having nitrite spikes right? How may of each fish do you have? How big is the tank?
 
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Shimmies as a sign that something is wrong are usually due to water quality issues. Usually this relates to the parameters but can also be due to water quality. It can be related to the electrolytes in the water, usually something is missing. You did not report either your GH or KH numbers which very well could be relevant here.

What I am seeing in your post is you are keeping fish which require different parameters. The odd things here is many tetras like softer water which is also usually a lower pH. When you say bottom feeders this is about as little info as you might offer on fish. Corys? Plecos? Loaches? I could go on, but it isn't likely you have more exotic ones. It can also matter whether the fish are wild or farmed. Normally, wild fish are more sensitive than tank or farm raised. So, your tetra may have adapted to the water parameters and the change is what caused the problem. I cannot say this is what happen, however. 7.6 ph is not bad for farmed tetras. The worst it might do is to prevent successful spawning.

High nitrates are not good. As FF say- weekly water changes of 50% should normally be done in almost all tanks.

Now to make things more complicated, there are internal parasites that can cause a fish to have the shimmies. This would be much harder to determine. The parasites take nutrients from the fish and this results in imbalances. Also parasites can get into a brain and really mess up things.

However, it is usually best to start from the most likely causes and then work towards the rarer ones when trying to diagnose things. If you start to have a cough do you think a cold or flu or lung cancer as your fist thought? It is the same for fish. Eliminate the obvious before looking for the rare.
 

Sprinkle

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Shimmies as a sign that something is wrong are usually due to water quality issues. Usually this relates to the parameters but can also be due to water quality.
Sadly that is wrong. Been doing everyday 50-60% water change daily for my 125L and my mollies keep shimmy and every source says that usually shimmying is a sign of more than one illness.
 
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Stormyrose786

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It's hard to say. How long has this tank been setup? Have you been doing weekly water changes on it?
Set up since around March, & usually weekly, but this time it was 2 weeks, we had taken a trip & used vacation food that said it could be left in there, & wouldn't affect the water...but before this, my parameters were great.
 

Stormyrose786

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^ and shimmies usually are more than one sign of hidden illness and since it a tetra it could have the whole neon tetra thing BUT i no say it got it 100%. It could came from ur store already infected with something or could be intoxicated from nitrite but i doubt that if u reacted fast enough to get them down to 0ppm. Pretty much hard to say what is wrong with it but on safe side i would put him down if it is an illness that could spread if the tetra dies. Yes, it can pass from this as my female mollies had it and passed from it where there weight decreased (internal parasites or worms) so I could suggest internal worms or parasites too, store tank are full of that thing!
For how is the set up been run? I suppose it no cycled since u been having nitrite spikes right? How may of each fish do you have? How big is the tank?

My tank has been cycled since March, I have a 20 gallon tank with about 10 fish, can't remember exactly right now. My water parameters were great before this. I believe the sudden nitrate spike was caused by vacation food left too long. The sudden low pH, which I have never had, I'm not sure about.
 

Sprinkle

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My tank has been cycled since March, I have a 20 gallon tank with about 10 fish, can't remember exactly right now. My water parameters were great before this. I believe the sudden nitrate spike was caused by vacation food left too long. The sudden low pH, which I have never had, I'm not sure about.
So i guess the nitrite has no effect on it then. I will it the other stuff i mentioned.
 

Stormyrose786

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Mar 10, 2020
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Cassie
Shimmies as a sign that something is wrong are usually due to water quality issues. Usually this relates to the parameters but can also be due to water quality. It can be related to the electrolytes in the water, usually something is missing. You did not report either your GH or KH numbers which very well could be relevant here.

What I am seeing in your post is you are keeping fish which require different parameters. The odd things here is many tetras like softer water which is also usually a lower pH. When you say bottom feeders this is about as little info as you might offer on fish. Corys? Plecos? Loaches? I could go on, but it isn't likely you have more exotic ones. It can also matter whether the fish are wild or farmed. Normally, wild fish are more sensitive than tank or farm raised. So, your tetra may have adapted to the water parameters and the change is what caused the problem. I cannot say this is what happen, however. 7.6 ph is not bad for farmed tetras. The worst it might do is to prevent successful spawning.

High nitrates are not good. As FF say- weekly water changes of 50% should normally be done in almost all tanks.

Now to make things more complicated, there are internal parasites that can cause a fish to have the shimmies. This would be much harder to determine. The parasites take nutrients from the fish and this results in imbalances. Also parasites can get into a brain and really mess up things.

However, it is usually best to start from the most likely causes and then work towards the rarer ones when trying to diagnose things. If you start to have a cough do you think a cold or flu or lung cancer as your fist thought? It is the same for fish. Eliminate the obvious before looking for the rare.

I have had this tetra for a few months, & 3 others for longer. My KH is usually about 100 ppm, & GH between 100 & 200. Yesterday, my KH was less than 50 ppm, & I don't remember the GH, because I panicked when I saw the low pH, which was 6.4. I use liquid tests. I have cories, & a loach, & a pleco. My fish are usually fine. I got them all from a local pet supply store, which I have used over a lot of years & am very familiar with.
 
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