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Hi, i just got my first fish yesterday. While i observe her, i noticed that she has long stringy faeces trailing behind her. I did some research, and as usual the sites contradicted each other. Some said the fish has constipation, and others said it was natural. I believe it might be stress from being in my tank for less than 48 hours, but I am not sure. 

Any ideas?

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what colour is it?

white can mean an internal parasite

dark can mean  constipation

its caused usually by not enough fibre  in the diet.

you can feed him /her blanched shelled peas  

or epsom salt bath @Aquaholic99 would probably be the person to ask about the dose and best way

i think its 2 teaspoons to 20 l water but i cant remember at the moment

 

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It's not black, it's kind of transparent. It also seems to fall out pretty easily and won't stay for more than 10 mins. I read on this site (https://cafishvet.com/2020/01/25/white-stringy-poop-in-fish/) that it's probably a 'faecal cast' but i don't really know what this means. I also don't really know what it's been eating as i only got it yesterday. I hope it's not a parasite 0_0.

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uh i can still see the stuff it is long and white and maving around in the current and as the fish swims. I managed to get a photo (sorry for bad quality)

Screen Shot 2020-08-03 at 3.49.22 pm.png

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What is his diet like? The sort of food being fed can have an impact, for instance feeding heaps of mysis and brine shrimp without much fibre can make white/clear poo naturally as Mick said. I wouldn't panic about treating for phantom illnesses as the  added stress may compound any issues or create new ones after just being rehomed from a shop.

I'd take a 3 step approach;

Is it eating? (if not, try salt bath) 

Is it looking happy? (fins up, swimming normally, no signs of lethargy, no excessive rubbing/flashing).

Is it losing weight? 

If yes to the first 2 questions and no to the third, then just keep an eye on him. Give a good mixed diet and wait for clearer symptoms to appear or for the stringy faeces to disappear. If it's "patchy" white and clear, like hollow spots in the faeces tube, then that can signify internal parasites but if it's more or less a uniform colour then it's usually lack of fibre. 

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thanks, im not really sure about most of those things because ive only had her three days. im going to the pet store tommorow to get the water tested and to ask further questions

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No worries, sorry if that's a lil daunting for a first time fish keeper but honestly if he/she is acting ok, swimming fine, eating at least once a day, then stressing and fiddling with the tank like adding meds or salt unnecessarily can cause problems that were never there by adding more stress to the fish.

Not sure where you live or the store you go to but depending on your LFS or the store, they may just tell you to dump this and that in just to sell you stuff and make money. There are a lot of good pet stores and LFS (Local Fish Stores) but there are also a lot that just wanna sell you crap. I used to play dumb at new stores when I was moving a lot. Been keeping fish since 9yrs old, breeding since 11, but I'd walk in and ask "new aquarist" questions and play dumb just to see what they'd try and sell me and in doing so figure out if they cared about the fish or just the next sale. Just be wary if they try to send you out the door with a bunch of meds. Personally I think it's too early to poison the lil guy with no definite symptoms and only the stringy poo to go on 

I find that a lot of the time when they're cared for properly, fish's immune systems can deal with the smaller problems on their own without meds. Rescued more than a few from rough conditions in my time and yes, some needed meds and specific treatment but for the most part, minor things where the fish is showing no real symptoms or health issues are best fought by the fish imo

Rams are usually fairly confident little fish but it will take a week or so to settle in. Not sure on the size of your tank but a small school of dithers will help with confidence if your tank can handle a few extra small fish's bioload. Pygmy rasbora (rasbora maculata) are very small yet they're cute and "dumb" for lack of a better word. They don't hide (provided in a school of 5-6 minimum) and therefore the ram sees the tiny fish out swimming and thinks everything must be safe as the tiny fish aren't getting munched... Dither fish work wonders for a lot of cichlids and larger fish whether it be just confidence to swim in the open so you get to see them more or even as much as lowering their overall stress levels in a new environment by way of them knowing there's obviously no predators to hide from. 

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Thanks a lot, that's really useful info! I'm not really sure about what is and isn't normal fish behaviour, but she looks fine to me. She doesn't really go all in for food like most fish, but i have observed her eating. It's probably because i'm using flakes instead of pellets, they get kind of blown around by the filter, and I think rams are bottom feeders.

P.S. the store i go to and the one i purchased her from was petbarn, and the employees seem to know what they're talking about?

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No worries @WildfyreTV, most welcome

For a simple explanation of fish's behaviour and "happiness", look at their fins, their movement and their colour. 

Pectoral fins steer fish like our arms steer us in the water only a thousand times better. By pushing and pulling against the water, usually in a fan like manner. Anal fins and dorsal fins act like rudders on a ship, angling to deflect water and the tail is the motor but also behaves like a rudder steering by angling. If all the fins seem to be moving like this when swimming, perfect :)

If above mentioned fins are mostly up then a good sign of a happy fish. If the fins are often or always tucked against the body then that's a sign of an unhappy fish.

Then colour, look if they are washed out, showing no colour, pale eyes/pupils. From the pics you've shown us I think she looks fairly happy for a newly homed fish. Fins are up, eyes are bright, she looks pretty perky.

If you're ever worried and want a quicker response just @ a few people so they get a notification and show us as good a pic as possible ;)

Petbarns are a franchise, some good, some ok, some meh... My local is a good one, mate Will does the fish there for the most part and cares about them. Nerang petbarn used to be a good one for fish too, haven't been there in years though and can't speak for others but I'm sure others on here could mention a few good stores in QLD. I'm just south of the border in NSW and haven't been up the coast since a month or so before all the lock down stuff began. Was going up this weekend to catch up with some mates and go see a few LFS up there for the first time in years but that's out the window now :(

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sorry about the bad quality of my photos! she has the shiny blue splotches, purple tail area and red eyes which i presume are normal for a ram. I am also soon adding some tetras. I have heard that the presence of schooling fish makes them less scared because it indicates no predators, but i cannot be sure of this. I can also attach this video of her that I put in my 'Hello' thread.

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Looks like a healthy fish, a little skittish but that's to be expected when newly added to a tank. She'll get more confident over time, even eat out of your hand after a while especially with a few tetras that'll surface feed and eat more excitedly. Just monitor your nitrate buildup in a small tank with the extra fish.

Simplified bacteria cycle goes; Bac A eat Ammonia, expel nitrite as waste, Bac B eat nitrite, expel nitrAte as waste. Nitrates removed by water changes and/or consumed by healthy live plants.

With more stock comes more nitrates, you want to optimally keep them below 40ppm. You can get a master freshwater test kit for 50-60bucks that tests ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH so you can monitor the cycle of the bacteria, the buildup of nitrates and then work out a water change schedule that keeps everything healthy.

General rule of thumb for stocking a tank is 1cm of fish per 2L of water in their tank/system, this will generally (with smaller tropicals) build nitrates around 5-10ppm a week with twice a day feeding, only as much as they eat in a few minutes. Overfeeding means extra waste building nitrates via ammonia when the excess food is decomposing. If you're building nitrates at 10ppm a week then a 50% water change once a fortnight or 30% a week will work perfectly (slow refill in small tanks and let water sit with a dose of dechlorinator in for an hour or even overnight). If you're gonna stock the tank more heavily then some easy growing, low maintenance plants will help massively :)

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