Moody teenager. Or something more serious?

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Nyx created the topic: Moody teenager. Or something more serious?

Hi all, life has been busy and I haven't been able to post on here a lot anymore but I think I need some second opinions. I'm sure this will be a long winded story so hold on to your hats.

Over the past few weeks now (little) Thor has been acting strange. It started about the time I last made a topic on here about him clearing the gravel out of a corner of his tank. (I had maybe wondered if this could mean he was in fact a she so I made the topic asking that, learned it didn't mean it either way so I'm sticking with he) anyway! He continues to clear the gravel and has even moved the artificial plant into that cleared corner. (I'll post pics and maybe a video in my next post) so it looks like he is building a enclosed space around his cleared spot. Ok this is kind of neat behavior and fun to watch, so no real concerns there.

My concern? Well 2 things.
1. He has a bit of what looks like it's referred to on here as a pimple on his chin. I looked over an artical on this site and it looks like its nothing to worry about. Is this correct? (Again I'll post pictures next.) it does make around his bottom jaw look a bit red and irritated. I'm using a small stone that's not very soft. It's nat geo black gravel. It maybe called mini gravel but I'm not sure. Would that be causing the issues or do (lutino) oscar mouths look like that when they've been 'digging' ?
2. My next and most concern is he has barely been eating. At first it took a bit of coaxing to get him to eat but then he'd eat quite a bit like normal. Now I'm lucky if I can get him to eat 10 pellets (omega one small cichlid pellets). At first he was just really shy of coming to the surface. I know one night I had to get up and check on him because I heard a loud thump. He had banged his head on the glass lid. So understandably the next day he was skeptical of coming to the surface. But he STILL acts like this. He was eatting a bit more when I'd leave the light off but he is still eatting less and less of his pellets. He will come up to eat his shrimp while acting half scared to get it. So maybe it's time to try a new food? He has been on omega one his whole life. Is he just being a moody teenager?

Here are some anwsers to some basic questions
Thor's age: aprox 14months
Tank setup: 75gal
Filtration: whisper 30-60 hob and a eheim 2215 canister.
Water test results
Ammonia: 0ppm
Nitrites: 0ppm
Nitrates: 10ppm
Ph: 7.6
Temp : 82.4F
Water change schedule : 80%weekly

Ok I hope I anwsered enough to get started I'll post some pics next.
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Nyx replied the topic: Re:Moody teenager. Or something more serious?






^^ his spot


^^kind of shows how far out this 'pimple' sticks
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Nyx replied the topic: Re:Moody teenager. Or something more serious?

https://vimeo.com/107412930

Alright and here is a video of me attempting to get him to eat. Now this was during a water change so yes I know that can be stressful anyway but he acted just how he does when there is no water change going on. You can see that there is zero interest in the pellets then he timidly grabs up the shrimp at the end. Sorry for the noise, I leave the canister running while I do a wc because the intake is pretty low. And there is only that much light on bc I needed to see what I was doing.
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Poseidon2.0 replied the topic: Re:Moody teenager. Or something more serious?

Some beautiful closeups of Thor. Nice looking fish. I wouldn't be too concerned about the pimple. I have the same kind of gravel and Poseidon has recently started digging too. Very cool that Thor is arranging his environment just so.

I went away for a week and before that my O was stoping to eat his pellets, so I instructed the sitter not to feed him for the whole six days I was gone. He nows eats his pellets pretty well now. I was also feeding him shrimp and so he was rejecting the pellets in preference for them. Just stop feeding him for a few days and he should go back to eating them. They can go up to about three weeks without eating and really do need the pellets for their nutritional content, among other things.
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Nyx replied the topic: Re:Moody teenager. Or something more serious?

Thanks for providing your insight. I'm actually away house sitting for some family, I just went home to do some water changes today so I'll instruct his sitter to stop feeding him as well. I wasn't planning on completely taking him off of his pellets I just didn't know if I should maybe try another brand? I've heard hikari carnivore pellets are pretty decent? But I'll try the not feeding for several days first. There is a very dim (15watt bulb) lamp in the room I've been turning on during the day for some light (otherwise it would be completely dark 24/7) should I continue turning on and off this lamp ? I ask because when I turn it on is when he wakes up to eat or try and eat anyway.
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Nyx replied the topic: Re:Moody teenager. Or something more serious?

Also, do you think him acting like he is afraid to bite at food at the surface is just him being a drama queen?
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jmunroe replied the topic: Re:Moody teenager. Or something more serious?

Chaos has a pimple right now as well. It comes and goes depending on how much digging and glass banging he's been doing. He hits the glass with a swift movement of his head to get my attention sometimes. How much food and how often have you been feeding? Good to let them go without for a day or 2 every week or so. What size is he now?

Go do a water change - the solution to pollution is dilution.
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Lammergeier replied the topic: Re:Moody teenager. Or something more serious?

Regarding the pimple, I wouldn't be concerned about it. I'm guessing it's a callus from shifting gravel around, that's all.

Regarding feeding, I had the beginnings of a similar issue when Henry was around 5". He was still eating a bit, but unenthusiastically, spitting stuff out etc. It turned out I was feeding him too much - I dropped down from feeding twice a day to once, then introduced a starve day when he hit 6" and it solved the problem. The other thing I'd done was that I hadn't been mixing up Henry's dry food much at all. Introducing some other foods and mixing things up seemed to help him get his enthusiasm for food back, and (imo) a big variety of foods seems to help prevent them getting overly picky about one type.

That said, I think with Thor the main problem you could have is that he's just scared of coming up to the surface of the water. If he managed to injure himself (even mildly) on the lid, then it's possible that he now associates the lids with something scary and unpleasant (even if he did it to himself :S )

If all else fails I'd suggest trying to change the appearance of the glass lids (or replace them with something else), even if it's painting them with something fish-safe so Thor doesn't recognise them. In the mean time I'd definitely try not feeding him for a few days, then just feeding him a bit less in general and try mixing up his food more. Hikari pellets are pretty good, but I think the carnivore sticks are a bit better suited as an everyday pellet for the truly carnivorous cichlids (Dovii etc) instead of oscars. I use Hikari gold/biogold personally for Henry, my sev and the RDs, but Henry does (rarely) get one of the carnivore sticks as a treat.
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Nyx replied the topic: Re:Moody teenager. Or something more serious?

Thank you both for replying! Before Thor started being dramatic with his food I was feeding him 1x a day, really about as much as he'd eat over the course of a minute or two. I'd drop a few pellets in he'd eat them then I'd drop in a few more. We did this until he didn't grab the food as quickly and seem to just hold it in him mouth rather than chew it.

As you mentioned lammergeier , I don't mix up his food a whole lot. He fits a fd shrimp after he eats his pellets, not on a reg base at all but I've given him a few meal worms, a chunk or two of banana but that's about it. I've tried frozen bloodworms and brine shrimp in the past but he always spazzed out when that stuff hit the water. OH! I have given him some spirlina flakes, and I still have those but they always made a mess and he'd eat a flake or two and loose interest. So starting tomorrow I won't feed him for a few days.

Should I pick up another brand of pellets and start rotating?
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Nyx replied the topic: Re:Moody teenager. Or something more serious?



Oh! As for what size he is, here is a whole picture of him in his tank which is the standard 75.

Edit: on the right there you can see he has moved the red plant all the way from the left of the tank to the outer rim of his cleared spot. And he uses the big decoration in there to set under and lookout from. Even after I filled the tank and returned 20mins later he moved the plant again. I'm think I'm going to buy him a few more to decorate with lol.
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