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Discussion Starter #1
So I did a 50% water change less than 12 hours ago. I've noticed this evening my fish are breathing particularly heavy. Also, the BW tetras were hanging out at the top gasping for air. I've even noticed my clown pleco coming up for air a couple times!

Just now:

PH 7.6
ammonia 0-0.25 (which I've determined is from the tap water)
nitrite 0
nitrate 10-20 (!!) I listed parameters this morning here: http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/freshwater-aquarium/how-am-i-doing-so-far-72013/ and for this recent water change I followed Byron's advice about shaking bottle #2 for 2 minutes so I'm at a loss...

Attached are pics of aquarium as a whole: is this not planted enough?

Also, I've raised the spigot of my outflow from the canister filter up a little bit for a little more water agitation. The manual said not to have the thing fully out of the water.

As I'm typing this my BW tetras are practically water-skiing along the surface gulping air and my cories are going nuts (up and down). Please help! :(
 

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Discussion Starter #2
pic of tetras gasping
 

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Trying to read up on the forum, and I wonder if I've inhibited my plants from absorbing nitrate when I added liquid fertilizer?
 

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If you have an air stone go ahead and throw it in, other wise I don't know why your canister filter would tell you not to pull the outflow out of the water but if you think it should be ok I would do that just to get some oxygen exchange. Your not heavily planted so some way of adding oxygen should still be necessary.

Other then that a few questions, how many fish do you have in this tank and how warm is the water currently.

And 10-20 nitrates is not horribly bad, and until your plants take off don't expect it alot better.
 

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yeah I was gonna say 10-20... not crazy. As zof said put a air pump in there and I suspect oxygen depletion which coiencides with the high temp.
 

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I agree that the nitrates are within safe levels, but if the fish are gasping at the surface I would immediately do another 50% water change.

Parameters June 4 (after 50% water change): PH 7.6; Ammonia 0-0.25 (probably from tap); Nitrite 0; Nitrate 5-10 (not sure why nitrate is so high right after water change. I had tested before water change and reading was way higher. Maybe I'm not testing correctly? Using API Freshwater Master Test kit)
Quote from your other thread.....the water change did work if your readings were higher before the w.change.

I don't know enough about fertilisers to comment, but perhaps it is possible. Stupid question, but did you remember to add dechlorinator when you did the w.change?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for putting me at ease, zof! Temp is 76-68 and I just raised the outflow a little higher. Still under, but there's definitely the "trickle" sound now and agitation on top.

I have 5 Black Widow tetras, 4 serpae tetras, 3 emerald cory catfish, and a clown pleco (13 total). To me, that doesn't seem over-stocked for a 56g column.
 

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by 68 I hope you meant 78 and I hope your problem gets better
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I agree that the nitrates are within safe levels, but if the fish are gasping at the surface I would immediately do another 50% water change.



Quote from your other thread.....the water change did work if your readings were higher before the w.change.

I don't know enough about fertilisers to comment, but perhaps it is possible. Stupid question, but did you remember to add dechlorinator when you did the w.change?

I did add the dechlorinator. I use the hose that connects to the sink. I'll make sure to do the 24 hr tap water test. Would it be beneficial (or is there such a product) to use something that dechlorinates, and neutralizes everything all at once?

Just in the past few minutes after raising the outflow, I haven't seen the tetras at the top like they were before. Their mouths are still moving like they just swam a marathon tho...

Thanks everyone, for the quick replies!
 

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lol
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Looks like you need to get an air pump and stone, or a spray bar for your filter. I'm betting we will see a pretty good raise in your pH after you let the water sit for 24 hours, mine lately has been going from 7.0 to 8.0 so I try and just do small water changes.
Where would I find one of those spray bars? DIY? Or do they sell the attachment separately?
 

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Look at the filters manufactures website and see if they have a spray bar under accessories, from there you should be able to follow to a merchant to buy it, if not their is the DIY method which is really simple; a piece of pvc with holes cut in it in one direction to point at the water, an end cap, a hose adapter and some way of securing the spray bar to the tank. If you need visuals goto the DIY section and see page 3 of my post small breeder setup.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Happy to report that crisis has been averted lol. Thanks again for the quick replies and suggestions.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
i thought that nitrates can be up to 80ppm and thats fine??
That may be (I'll let the experts answer) but it was a new one on me lol. Seeing the wrong color for nitrates threw me there :) That and the lack of oxygen.
 

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i thought that nitrates can be up to 80ppm and thats fine??
Fish might tolerate nitrates easier then ammonia and nitrites and 80 is probably survivable for many species, its always in the fishes best interest if you keep these numbers as low as possible. 10-20 is always a good range to aim for but of course lower is better.
 

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I wouldn't let my fish stand more than 40
 
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