Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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jstaffo4 02-18-2012 12:07 AM

Please help!!!! Fish acting weird and worried about water
I am a new member and recently got an aquarium, all week the fish have been fine. Today however almost all of the fish were swimming directly under the top of the water at about a 40 degree angle. After i noticed this i changed the water and they all started their normal swimming patterns again but after about an hour after i put new water in the majority of the fist started just basically sitting underneath the top of the water at a weird angle not being very active. I am worried that the water is not right or something is wrong. i would really appreciate any help someone could give me to help me figure out this problem. i would really hate to see the fish die.

Thanks for any help!!

bigehugedome 02-18-2012 12:32 AM

Please tell us the size of your tank, how long has it been set up, what fish are in it, and your water parameters so we can get a better idea of the situation.
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jstaffo4 02-18-2012 12:44 AM

I have just a 29 gallon tank right now, i have one pleco, 2 baby cichlids i plan to put into a bigger tank when they grow, one green spotted puffer fish, 3 black mollies, and 1 chinese algae eater. i have added the recommendation i found of 1 tsp of aquarium salt per 10 gal of water. sorry i am not very experienced with the more expertise care of fish, so if you are looking for something more specific just let me know and i will find it out. i have used the aquarium water conditioner for tap water. like i said they have all been fine this week until today. if you need more info i will do my best to provide what you need.

Thank you for the reply

bigehugedome 02-18-2012 12:52 AM

How long has the tank been setup and did you cycle it before you added fish?

do you have a test kit? It is very important to have a test kit of your water parameters. Almost everyone here used te API master freshwater kit as liquid test kits are more accurate than strips and that kit has everything you will need. It sounds like you have poor water parameters, but that's impossible to know for sure unless you test your water and let us know if the tank was properly cycled.

Assuming you have a kit and post your parameters we can help you move forward.

Also, what is the brand of water conditioner you used?
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bigehugedome 02-18-2012 01:01 AM

You also have compatibility issues between the Fish you have.

The cae is not reccomended for a tank your size. And same goes the pleco, depending on its species. If its a common pleco it can get up to 3ft which will not work in your tank.

I have not experience with the puffer but it should most likley be kept in brackish water.

jstaffo4 02-18-2012 02:36 AM

well the CAE is the smallest of them all and the pleco is still small. i know they can get bigger but at the moment shouldnt they still be fine in that size of a tank.

Chris7 02-18-2012 02:58 AM

If you want help, please give more information on your tank. Is your tank cycled? what are your water parameters: ammonia level, nitrite level, Ph level, nitrate level, and water temp? There are a lot of people on this site that want to help but you have to give the proper information.
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Chris7 02-18-2012 03:27 AM

One more thing you say your fish are at the surface, does it look like they are gulping for air?
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AbbeysDad 02-18-2012 05:32 AM

I think we can conclude that this is a new setup and what we're seeing here is an ammonia spike. The fish are telling you they are stressed.
As already mentioned, you need to study up some on the nitrogen cycle (link referenced above in this thread). This is how toxic ammonia is converted to Nitrites and Nitrites are converted to Nitrates (and in a perfect world, Nitrates are converted to Nitrogen gas.) by beneficial bacteria.
In order to test for these elements, you need an API freshwater test kit.

In the meantime, you need to do a 50% water change with conditioned water. When ammonia levels spike in a new setup, it is important to dilute the water. Be prepared to do this again in a day or two.

fish monger 02-18-2012 08:04 AM

If you don't already have one, it never hurts to add an air stone to get the water moving a little more and get some surface agitation.

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