All fish swimming at the top - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
 
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post #1 of 7 Old 12-27-2010, 05:22 AM Thread Starter
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All fish swimming at the top

Hello

Recently, most of the fish in my aqarium have started to swim at a weird angle at the top of the tank, almost with their mouths sticking out of the water. I have tested the water twice over the past few days and it is perfect. It's 450 litre tank and the fish swimming at the top are the buenos aires tetras (8 of these) and the zebra danios (20 of these), also the corys (5 peppered and 2 albino) keep diving to the top for air on a regular basis... this is only a recent thing, none of these fish done this up until about a 3 weeks ago. It seemed to start when we put a our common pleco in (he is about a foot long). Another issue we have it that the sand is turning black, I have read up about this and have churned the sand as I read it helps which it has.. it just seems the tank is falling to bits... a few weeks ago the fish were active and thriving now they all seem lethargic and hardly move...

any help would be greatly appreciated..
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post #2 of 7 Old 12-27-2010, 08:27 AM
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low oxygen levels?
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post #3 of 7 Old 12-27-2010, 09:56 AM
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Originally Posted by fishbut View Post
Hello

Recently, most of the fish in my aqarium have started to swim at a weird angle at the top of the tank, almost with their mouths sticking out of the water. I have tested the water twice over the past few days and it is perfect. It's 450 litre tank and the fish swimming at the top are the buenos aires tetras (8 of these) and the zebra danios (20 of these), also the corys (5 peppered and 2 albino) keep diving to the top for air on a regular basis... this is only a recent thing, none of these fish done this up until about a 3 weeks ago. It seemed to start when we put a our common pleco in (he is about a foot long). Another issue we have it that the sand is turning black, I have read up about this and have churned the sand as I read it helps which it has.. it just seems the tank is falling to bits... a few weeks ago the fish were active and thriving now they all seem lethargic and hardly move...

any help would be greatly appreciated..
few questions - what are you testing the water with? liquid test kit is best. What are your results for ammonia, nitrite and nitrates?

sand can compact and trap bubbles of hydrogen sulphide gas as bacteria break down organic material without oxygen. When you stirred the sand did bubbles come up from it? Hydrogen sulphide has a rotten eggs smell - did you notice this at all?
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post #4 of 7 Old 12-27-2010, 11:07 AM
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Originally Posted by sik80 View Post
sand can compact and trap bubbles of hydrogen sulphide gas as bacteria break down organic material without oxygen. When you stirred the sand did bubbles come up from it? Hydrogen sulphide has a rotten eggs smell - did you notice this at all?
I was thinking this as well. I've never had it happen in my tank, but I read that if this happens, you'll see dead fish rather than gasping fish. :( I don't think I would stir up the sand.

Fishbut, is the temperature in your tank okay? Filter running okay?
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post #5 of 7 Old 12-27-2010, 03:25 PM
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hi
i'd say do more water changes and more regualr stirring of the sand is needed too.

when you set up a new tank,hide an extra
sponge or two behind some decor,that way you have
something seeded for you next filter.
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post #6 of 7 Old 12-27-2010, 04:05 PM
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did you test for ammonia? Ammonia might have burned the gills.
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post #7 of 7 Old 12-27-2010, 05:31 PM
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Everyone so far has good suggestions. Until you find out the source, daily water changes opf 50% are strongly advised. Fish "gasping" which is clearly what this is means something toxic is in the water--it may be excessive CO2 with low oxygen, gas from the substrate, ammonia or nitrite, very high nitrate, very low (sudden) pH, some poisonous substance in the water--any of these will cause the symptoms you mention. A daily 50%-70% water change with a good conditioner will keep whatever it is at low levels until the source is identified.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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