12-04-2008, 03:13 PM
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Fish nipping at rocks/plants after eating
Greetings, I started my freshwater tank with a live cycle exactly 1 week ago. I bought the tank setup from a friend of mine who'd upgraded. When I bought the tank it had been running for about 2 months. However, when I brought it home, we drained all but about 1 inch of water from the tank. The substrate and piece of driftwood were left in the tank from the previous setup. The tank sat idle for about 3 days in this state at my house without the filter running, thereby killing all beneficial bacteria, if I understand correctly. I filled the tank and ran the filter and the heater for nearly 2 weeks before I had the time to add my first fish. It is a 55-gallon tank with a Whisper EX-70 filtration system. My substrate consists of rocks about the diameter of a U.S. Quarter. I am currently in the process of doing a live cycle on the tank. I have 4 small Red Wag Platys, 3 small Serpae Tetras, and 6 small Green Tiger Barbs. Everyone seems to get along with each other pretty well, as the barbs have plenty of friends to play around with. However, I have two issues. First, the largest of the Red Wag Platys seems to spend a lot of time at the surface (gasping for air, it seems), but only after eating. It seems like high ammonia levels to me based off of research. I am planning on taking my water in to get tested on Saturday, so hopefully conditions don't degrade to an unsafe level before then. I am thinking about cutting back on the feeding for a day. Second, it seems as though ALL of the fish like to spend about 5-10 minutes nipping or pecking at the rocks and fake plants in the tank after eating. What are they doing? Is this a problem?