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Author Topic: EMERGENCY--Fish gasping at surface..  (Read 7740 times)
Truman40
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« on: August 22, 2010, 03:16:57 AM »

Ok heres what I did step by step.

Last night at around 5 pm I drained out 80% of my water, removed my plants rocks etc and added another bag of gravel Art black 3mm. I didn't have enough the first time around.  Now I know this gravel can be toxic if not washed properly but I washed it for two days at work.  I even used a electric mixer on slow to keep it churning whilst the water washed away the dust.
It took me an hour all up to do the complete job and the fish were fine and the water was clear. I put some filter wool in the top of my external cannister filter to help remove any left over black dust, and also put some in my in hood filter.
This morning the fish were still fine.  I went to the aquarium and brought two snails came home and put them in the tank. Still everything was fine.
Then this afternoon I walked past the tank and most of my fish were up the top including 8 neons gasping for air on the surface. Also the water had a very white cloudy look to it.
I noticed that the cannister filter didn't seem to have much flow so I disconnected it took out the filter wool, washed the bio balls, noodles and foam in tank water and did a 10% water change.
I'm not sure what has caused this and they seem okay for now. If I was to guess I'm wondering if it had anything to do with the filter wool restricting the flow on my cannister filter and perhaps this has caused the water to get dirty, but I do have an in hood filter as well.  As its now 6.15 pm on a Sunday night there is not much I can do except keep an eye on them and if they go to the surface again do another water change.
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Dom
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« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2010, 03:38:03 AM »

Sounds like Ammonia is in the tank and stopping the oxygen from being able to be absorbed by the fish. eg. they're gasping at the top for air.


Do a 50% water change immediately and read up on how to cycle a tank.

http://www.badmanstropicalfish.com/forum/index.php?topic=9402.0
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Ruthy
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« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2010, 03:39:18 AM »

Can you test your water at all? If you can get readings of ammonia and nitrites it would help you know exactly what the problem is.
But do do 50% WC as that will remove anything in the tank
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Truman40
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« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2010, 04:00:05 AM »

Dom..My tank was already cycled.  I had no ammonia no nitrites and around 2.5ppm of nitrates when testing my water just before doing a weekly water change. Thats why I didnt test for them when this happened.

Ive just tested for nitrites and ammonia and readings were zero on both.
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Ruthy
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« Reply #4 on: August 22, 2010, 04:23:25 AM »

That's odd then. Have you got an airstone? Or the surface tension being broken? It might just be that there's not enough oxygen in the water
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Truman40
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« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2010, 04:56:40 AM »

well I am doing diy c02 but Ive had that in there for 2 weeks now without any problems. (If this was early morning I could maybe consider it to be the cause but it was a nice sunny day here in melbourne and my curtains were open and there was plenty of light in the tank. I also turned my lights on around 3pm.
My in hood filter breaks the surface when the water flows out and my spray bar from my cannister filter is also pointed upwards.

if it was the gravel why would it cause problems just under 23 hrs later and not from the start??

2 hrs later and the fish seem fine.
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Dom
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« Reply #6 on: August 22, 2010, 05:22:45 AM »

test for Ammonia now. You may have broken the bacteria colony in your 80% water change.

Did you take the filter out and clean it in tap water or anything like that?  Also your bacteria is in the gravel and other objects aswell. You take them out you kill the bacteria.
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Truman40
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« Reply #7 on: August 22, 2010, 05:46:57 AM »

i put any plants rocks and wood I was going to re-use into a bucket full of tank water. I cleaned my in hood filter completely with fresh water but I left my cannister filter untouched. I have tested for ammonia twice tonight and still zero.
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Truman40
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« Reply #8 on: August 22, 2010, 05:58:21 AM »

The water must be fine now as the Tetras are all back to their bright blue and red colours instead of faded like they were before...  The waters still got that white cloudiness to it but apart from that Im not sure what caused this. It must have something to do with the filter wool I put on top of my cannister and maybe the flow was too slow...who knows...
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Tee
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« Reply #9 on: August 22, 2010, 10:41:31 AM »

Ot ammonia. u mentioned that the filter slowed and that u added an additional pad to help with filtration. How much did the filter slowed down to? Was there enough surface agitation? The fish gasping at the surface could be due to lack of oxygen.

80% water change will not "break" the bacteria colony. I do a weekly 75% water change as I tend to overfeed and never "broke" the bacteria colony
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55g planted - Many endlers, 13 otos, 2 BN + 3 tweens, 1 SAE, 1 sid, 6 rosy loach, 6 badis sp. + 2 babies, 2 amano shrimps.
Truman40
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« Reply #10 on: August 23, 2010, 07:15:26 PM »

Tee....Im not really sure about that one. Generally my spray bar on the cannister filter points downwards anyway and I only get surface agitation from my in hood filter where the water falls out and into the tank. So even if the water flow had slowed down in my cannister filter which it sort of felt like it had but Im not 100% sure...then it shouldnt have effected my surface agitation much. The water went a white cloudy sort of colour...Is there anything in that filter wool and do you have to pre-wash it first because I didnt.
All I can think of is if it filtered some of the nastys from the new gravel dust the day before then for some reson let it go again. However I might add that the gravel was spotless especially after washing it at work for two days. It had settled down nicely very quickly after I refilled the tank.
Ive got a satchel of purigen in the filter now and that does a really good job.

Ohh I just remembered something..I added around 10 teaspoons of kh powder to try and raise my kh.  Could this have done it? Ive had the powder there but never used it before.... I forgot all about that....Are you supposed to add this a little at a time perhaps????
« Last Edit: August 23, 2010, 08:13:09 PM by MRM » Logged
Wheels on the Bus
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« Reply #11 on: August 23, 2010, 09:21:25 PM »

Don't add it at all, dude - you don't need it. Yes, that could definitely cause the conditions you just observed. 

Unless you fish are more on the exotic side, you typically don't need to mess with your ph, kh, or gh. Leave it all the way it is. Attempting to mess with it causes problems for the fish, as you just observed.
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Truman40
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« Reply #12 on: August 23, 2010, 09:54:15 PM »

Ok thanks..I completely forgot about that, I didnt even think of it.. I suppose I thought because I can add it then it would be okay and wouldnt cause the problems I had. I will throw it out..

Thanks again..At least I now have an explanation.
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