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Discussion Starter #1
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. :-(
 

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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).
 

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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

Edit:
bubbler -> air pump
but a trip to the store
 

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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.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
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.
I did a water change the other day. I think he is about to die. He keeps bumping into things.
 

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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.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
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.
The tank has been set up since the beginning of october. Its a 10 gallon. I change water once every two weeks, 5 fish, fed once a day at 3 PM, temp 70 degrees.
 

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what equipment do you have in it ?
any pumps, filters, etc. ? (particular anything that causes any agitation to the water, what do you have ?)
 

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The tank has been set up since the beginning of october. Its a 10 gallon. I change water once every two weeks, 5 fish, fed once a day at 3 PM, temp 70 degrees.
I think 70° is too low for platies. The symptoms you descriibe sounds like nitrate poisoning. Water changes should help your fish by diluting/removing toxins. I would do 25-50% every two to three days. It won't hurt your tank to do water changes as long as the water you put in is dechloronated and up too temp. I only use Prime dechlor.
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.
Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
My test strips don't test for ammonia. but it tests for everything else.

General Hardness 6.0
PH 6.0
Nitrite 0
Nitrate 10
 

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i don't know what it stands for (the initials)
as for below, i may not be right, my chemistry knowledge is high school and at least 20 years out of date, otherwise it's random stuff i'm come across on the net while looking up other things, so below is things i remember but otherwise don't care to really study, ... so i could be really wrong on parts (or more)

it's the hydrogen and hydroxin (i dono the name) ... the number of ions floating around in the solution

a ph of 0 would be all H+ ions floating around, pure acid (otherwise fictional)
a ph of 14 would be all OH- floating around, pure base (otherwise fictional)
a ph of 7 would be a balance of H + HO (H2O - and we're familiar with water)

it's a logarithmic scale, like the earthquake scale
a ph change of 6.0-7.0 is a 10x difference
a pH change of 6.0-8.0 is 100x difference

what does all this mean to us who have aquariums, ... absolutely nothing :)
it's curiosity :)

different chemicals added to the water may add H+ or reduce the H+ availability (either lowering or raising pH)
other chemicals may affect the OH- ... either increasing or decreasing availability and once more adjusting your pH
then pH up, and pH down chemicals come into effect in a tank, ... they are limited in effectiveness by how much is in the water that those chemicals are trying to change, ... in very soft water a very little pH up or down can make a huge difference, ... in very hard water a lot of pH adjust is needed to make the smallest change
it becomes stubborn & resists change the more stuff is in the water trying to move the pH in any direction or another. this is generally a good thing as it keeps our tanks stable, our tanks resist change, and with the water being stable our fish are happier, not stressed as the world around them tries to change from one extreme to another

in the end, what we need to know, ... is it safe for our fish or not, generally from 6.0-9.0 depending on the fish, and i'm sure there are those who want more extreme levels one way or the other, ... this are otherwise safe numbers generally

after that, ... this is definitely not the place to discuss pH, and i'm sure i may be spoken to about going too scientific in a beginners section. ... so i'll leave it here :)
 

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What is PH anyway?
1+ for Flear
"Potential of hydrogen" where "p" is short for the German word for power, potenz and H is the element symbol for hydrogen. The H is capitalized because it is standard to capitalize element symbols. this is why the K in Kh is capitalize but the g in gh is not.

R
 

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Ah, there's your problem. A couple actually.

The tank is over-stocked if you have platies in a ten gallon, and 70 degrees is WAAY too cold for them. 76 is about right for platies, they like it a tad cooler than other livebearers who hate it below 78. Platies will enjoy a temp six degrees more than what you have them at. At 70 degrees you've slowed their metabolism and opened them up to all manner of illnesses, infections and parasites.

Platies need to be kept in 15 gallon tanks as a bare minimum(bare minimum meaning live-able, but not preferable to the fish. Only three or four should be put in a tank that small...and they can get on with a group of three but would rather have a group of four or five). It's preferable to have them in a twenty gallon tank in a group of 4-5, they just do not do well in ten gallon tanks at all.

What happened here was you likely had a build up in waste(that's your ammonia at the start, then it goes to nitrites and nitrates, ammonia should be zero when you have fish always, nitrites too, nitrates should not go above 20ppm and are also best at zero), because you had platies in a ten gallon tank..which they can handle for a short period, especially as youngsters...but not as adults or older juveniles. After a few months of them doing "Fine" they suddenly start dropping like flies and getting sick, even with exceptionally great care to your tank.

Unfortunately I don't think any of your platies will survive long here. You may be able to save the ones you have left, do large water changes, get a bubbler, and use Seachem Prime to treat your water. It stinks! It does, but it's really awesome stuff that may save your fish until you get a bigger tank or find them new homes.

Now once that tank is settled, either cycle a new larger tank, or find new homes for your platies. The ten gallon shouldn't have those in there, it's just too small and can't handle their bioload and group needs. If you want fish in a ten gallon, I would suggest either a single male or female betta, or four guppies(this is touchy...they should really be in fifteen gallons as well), or Endlers Livebearers(not the guppy crosses, N-Class Endlers like black-bar Endlers are awesome and MUCH smaller than guppies even). I would honestly suggest male endlers, males rarely even reach the inch mark, usually staying at 1/2-1/3 inch though some can hit the inch mark, females are much bigger...if you want to breed them you can. And unlike with most livebearers, you can have more males than females here, they aren't as aggressive as male guppies...but it happens so be mindful. Otherwise I'd just get 5-6 males. They ARE pretty, lovely little fish, and a small school of them will make the tank seem active and not empty.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I lost another platy overnight. Now all I have is one Green Lantern Platy and one Marigold Wag Swordtail. Its weird, they started acting funny after I put a new decoration in.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Oh sorry, I misread the thermometer. You know how it is, when your tired you can't see straight. ;-) Its actually 76.
 

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has your ph always been 6?or has it dropped over the last 1/2 year?ph of 6 is low and the tanks bacterial colony is dying off,giving you toxic parameters.what kind of water conditioner are you using?what kind of test kit do you have?you may have to do daily water changes to get the toxins under control until we can find out the cause of your low ph. fill a bucket with your source water,check the ph,add aireation to the bucket.check ph in 24 and 48 hours and report back here.this will tell us what is happening with the ph in your water.
 

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Sandybottom, reminds me of a concern i have with my tank

something killing greenwater culture i add (intentional) ... i think whatever it is, wherever it is, is eating it faster than it's reproducing

and something (could be the same thing, i dono) is killing my Malaysian trumpet snails, ... which as far as snails go, they're damn near immortal (age aside)
 
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