View Full Version : "Stray Voltage" and Skittish Fish?

01-27-2003, 01:18 PM
My 4 juvenile blue diamonds have always been extremely shy. The only way that I can see them is if I first put food in the tank and then turn off all of the room lights and stand back. In a few minutes they will cautiously emerge to eat.

Every once in a while they become "spooked" for no apparent reason and swim frantically to the back of the tank whre there is a thick growth of plants that they enjoy hiding in.

I do weekly to bi-weekly water changes, I have the water tested weekly, I maintain normal temperatures, and I have "dither fish" (cardinals and rummy noses) that are always out in the open and do not appear stressed at all.

I was browsing in the library yesterday and read a lengthy discussion on stray voltage shocking discus an makint them skittish started by Dave_C on April 21, 2002.

I see that there are varying oppinions on this issue, but I am trying to rule aout every possibility for why my fish are so timid. ( They never "beg" for food or appear to be happy to see me.)

Where can I find a voltage meter to test my water? I've never been shocked when reaching into the tank for maintenance and water changes, like Dave_C did.

Any suggestions?


01-27-2003, 03:03 PM

Most often over the years skittish fish have come to mean one of 2 different things to me: 1) Shadows/reflections/odd lighting or 2) High bacterial levels/poor water quality.

I think that you ought to up your water changes from 1-2 times every 2 weeks to 1-2 times every day. This also has the added bonus of getting the fish accustomed to you working in/around the tank.

Also make certain that in the process of moving through the room to the tank that you do not come between a light source (like a window or a lamp) and the tank.

I believe that these issues are more likely than the voltage to be the source of your nervous fish. Let us know how things progress!


01-27-2003, 04:02 PM
I agree with John! However, if you would like a peace of mind, try unplugging the heater and see what happens. It is possible for heaters to become 'faulty' and 'leak' current into the water (some submersible pumps could also become 'faulty').

I would not suspect this to be the case as your other fish are not effected. How long have you had your discus?