Fish gasping for air and dying!
Last night I noticed my fish were gasping for air at the top of the tank. This morning, they are still doing it, except for one. One of my Green Lantern Platys is lying on the bottom of the tank, breathing heavily. He tried to swim, but he floated back down. :-(
This means there's not enough oxygen in the tank. Also a high possibility of toxins.
Do you have a filter and heater? Need the heater since you have tropical fish...need the filter because you have living things in a tank....
Did you fully(FULLY) cycle the tank? If you just set the thing up and dumped in water and fish, or let it run for a week or two after filling it up, that's not cycling. It takes 4-8+ weeks to properly cycle a tank, and it's a good bit of work too, you also need an ammonia source to start it. If you did NOT properly cycle the tank, and test it for several days after completion to see if it stayed stable, it likely was not and your fish are being poisoned by the system getting itself in order.
Try changing about 35-40% of the water and get a good testing kit(not strips, they're never accurate and pet shops use them often and rarely give numbers. Get the API Master Freshwater Test Kit) to make sure you're going the right way. If the tank isn't properly cycled....I'd send the fish back to the store and get a refund, wait until it's done cycling and then get your fish.
If the tank is cycled or almost finished, there are a few things you can do to help, but no guarantees on survival for the fish. Make sure the temp is proper for your platies(76-78 degrees), and make sure you have the room for them. You can also get a bubbler with an air stone to help out with oxygen, water changes will also help(depending on what your stats are...if you have ammonia you can do two 25-30% changes per day until it evens out), be sure you treat the water good before changes. Seachem Prime is a good water conditioner as it detoxifies nitrites and nitrates and removes ammonia(though it wont stay removed if you have a problem in the tank like over-stocking where the fish make more waste than you can remove).
without knowing anything about your tank
make sure you have no CO2
if you have plants, make sure you give extra light any way possible and if you get algae, then decide what's more important
get a bubbler, or several, or a bubble wand, or whatever else you can get to get some O2 (air) into the water ASAP
if it's toxins, major water changes
major water changes should help with O2 as well actually.
i'm going to guess your green lantern fish (as it's on the bottom) is a lost cause, ... sorry, that sucks
but ya, whatever you can to get some O2 in the tank
whatever you can to get CO2 out of the tank
-bubbler will help with both
bubbler -> air pump
but a trip to the store
do water change as mentioned above. if you do not have an airstone/air pump,lower the water level a bit so your filter can agitate the water.this is assuming that you are using a filter.i second the suggestion to get a liquid test kit.
can you tell us about your tank?how long has tank been set up?what is your water changing regimen?what size tank?how many fish?feeding schedule and amount?temp of tank?what chemicals do you use?this includes conditioners.
what equipment do you have in it ?
any pumps, filters, etc. ? (particular anything that causes any agitation to the water, what do you have ?)
Yes, one filter and heater. And he just died :(
If it is nitrates, then it is essential that you get those levels down asap because high nitrate harms your fishes gills...might explain the gasping. It is very important to act immediatly because the gill damage is irreversable and potentialy fatal.
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