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Odd Jawfish Behavior


horseyhop74

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Hi all! I've had a Yellowhead Jawfish for five weeks in a 10g tank (that's been fully cycled for over a year). He has 3.5" of sand that he's made a burrow out of and for five weeks straight he's been a happy little guy, eating pellets and mysis fine and retreating into his burrow when startled. He seems to be seeing okay because he's sensitive to my movements when I'm watching the tank. The only other inhabitants are a peppermint shrimp (been in there since October), nassarius and cerith snails, and some zoas.

About half an hour ago I came up to the tank to find he wasn't in his burrow, but was lying on the sand just outside it, breathing heavily and unresponsive to food, my movements, or a net. i took him out and put him in a smaller container to study him more carefully and there's nothing outwardly wrong with him - no growths, specks, ragged fins, off color. I put him back in the tank and he kept lying there, still breathing heavily and curling himself in half. Nitrates are 0, SG is 1.025...I can't find my pH test kit though.

The thing is, I tried to kind of push him back into his burrow after I put him back in the tank ("if he dies, by heavens he's going to die at home"). He perked right up! After a few seconds of staring at me, he got right to work re-excavating and he's sensitive to my movements again and eating tentatively. He seems almost back to normal, if a little nervous.

I'm just staring at the tank in confusion. What could have happened to cause him to lie on his side like that, with labored breathing and no eating, just in front of his burrow?

 

On another note - he just pushed a piece of rubble out of the burrow with his two front fins. I love this fish.

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Ammonia? Temp? Stray electrical current?

 

Can't really think of anything else. Maybe he had a shrimp stuck in his throat and in poking at him you gave a fishy Heimlich Maneuver.

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Ammonia? Temp? Stray electrical current?

 

Ammonia is 0. Temp stays around 78-80. I don't have a heater and I don't feel anything that'd make me think there's stray electricity when I put my hand in the tank.

 

This morning I woke up and found him in the same place. He wasn't breathing hard this time, just chillin in the corner, and when he saw me he started roaming around the tank eating pods off the glass. After about a minute and a half he jetted back to his burrow.

 

I think he has clown genes. Or he's plotting world domination and phase 1 is to freak me out completely.

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