Help! Fish staying at the surface for air/water too hot
I just set up my 29 gallon freshwater tank and yesterday put in 6 platties to start cycling the tank. All was well, but today the weather got very hot and the temperature is now reading 80F, which is a bit too hot. Since the temperature increase (not a huge increase, tank was steady at 78F yesterday), the fish are not moving much and hanging out very close to the surface, probably for an attempt to get more air. It's my understanding that hot water has less oxygen than water at a cooler temperature, but I have an aqueon HOB filter on it rated for a 55 gallon tankl that is moving a lot of water and making a lot of bubbles so I don't think lack of oxygen is the problem. I also have the tank lid open in an attempt to allow the tank to gradually cool down a bit, heater is off. What else can I do to help my fish? I do not want to see them die. Thanks in advance for any help offered.
Hello and welcome to the forum.
You can put an airstone in the tank to help with oxygenation and if you have a fan that you can direct to to tank, that might help it cool things down a bit. Keep the tank lights off too.
You can also change out some of the water with cooler water to bring it down.
Good point! And another good reason to to frequent water changes.
Yes, warm water holds less oxygen than cold water. However, that comparison is most valid with COLD and HOT water. The difference between 78 and 80 is negligible.
Best thing to do for your fish is to familiarize yourself with the nitrogen cycle and the mechanics of how an aquarium functions. Since you have fish already, reading up on "fish in cycling" would be a good start.
Thanks for the help guys, ammonia poisoning wasn't even on the top of my mind...my local fish store had told me that because I had a filter rated for a larger tank than the one I have that I should buy more than the "normal" amount of fish recommended to cycle a 29 gallon tank. Is a 10% water change per day/every other day enough or should I be planning on larger changes?
If you want the fish to live, I would not do less than 75% changes. With a 10% change, the ammonia produced is probably going to exceed the amount of ammonia removed by the water change.
The lower the ammonia concentration, the better for the fish - that's the challenge of cycling with fish.
As for the filter - it's good to have a larger filter, but without the beneficial bacteria, the filter will not process the ammonia produced by the fish. The ideal number of fish to cycle with is only a few. The more fish you have, the more difficult it will be to maintain water quality.
First, change the water, at least half the tank, immediately. Use a water conditioner; one that detoxifies ammonia and nitrite would be wise during the initial cycling period. Seachem's Prime and Aquarium Solutions' Ultimate both do this, if you can get either one.
Second, get yourself a test kit. The API Master Combo is a good value, it has ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and pH tests. The liquid test kit (as opposed to test strips) is more expensive but much more reliable. Test ammonia daily, and do the 50% water change every day until it reads zero. You will start testing for nitrites in a couple days, and same happens there.
You can read about cycling here:
While you are at the store, I would strongly recommend getting a good bacterial supplement. This "seeds" the tank with the bacteria to help speed up the cycling. There are a few good products for this. Seachem's Stability, Tetra's SafeStart, a product called Dr. Tim's One and Only. Use as directed on the label of whichever you can get.
To add to what everyone else said. I'd recomend switching(if you are not already using it) to Prime for your water conditioner...especially while cycling with so many fish. You will be doing most likely daily water changes at first while cycling and prime while conditioning the new water it will help make the remaining ammonia less toxic ...and in general I just find that to be a better one regardless. You should also get a good testing kit to keep track of where you are in the cycle.
edit -Well.. Byron beat me to that. Didn't mean to repeat anyone.
Quick Update...I just did a 50% water change I wanted to do more but that was all my back/hardwood floors could handle. Tomorrow morning before work I'm going to wake up early to do another, along with going to the store during my lunch break to pick up some prime, an air pump as well as a test kit. Possibly another water change when I get back home from work depending on the condition of the fish. To comment on the condition of the fish, for the most part they are all hanging out at the surface behind the lip of the filter output :/. I'm not sure how long it generally takes for them to recover after a water change but I'm really hoping that they can stick it out until tomorrow when I'm able to do some more water changes and add prime.
I'd like to extend a huge thank you to those that have helped thus far, your input and advice is greatly appreciated and I am looking forward to participating in this forum in the future.
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