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Old 07-31-2006, 12:21 AM   #1
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Fish gasping for air?

This is actually a 110 g turtle tank that the feeder fish in there have grown to a decent size and the turtles don't eat. I have grown quite attached to the fish. It is 4 good size goldfish and some minnows and some guppies. The tank has a fluval 404 and a fluval 304 on it. Been up and running for quite some times, no new additions to the tank.
I noticed this evening that one of hte minnows had died and all the fish were at the surface basically gasping for air. Obviously the turtles were fine. I do regular water changes on this tank b/c these are very sensitive turtles. I tested everything and the water was actually perfect! No ammonia no nitrates nothing. SO I was going to do a water change anyway (I will do that tomorrow actually) just as a though. I also threw in a power head and placed it at the bottom of the tank thinking maybe the water wasn't circulating enough? I don't know.
Any ideas. I mean again this were just feeders, I normally wouldn't mixt hese guys and the water is probably pretty warm for goldfish but they have done so well for well over a year like I said I am getting attached.
Any ideas???

Thanks,
Christina
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Old 07-31-2006, 12:27 AM   #2
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Hmm well turtles are messy. So at first I thought it was ammonia being produced by them. But then you mentioned you tested and there's none. It's also a little odd that you have no nitrates whatsoever. IME, gasping at the top of the tank means the fish aren't getting enough air, there's ammonia in the tank, or the fish are sick.
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Old 07-31-2006, 12:27 AM   #3
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I just set up a new tank for some baby snails, and the second they were put in they headed straight for the waterline. Snails do this when there is something frightfully wrong with the water (ammonia or some such). The water tested perfectly. These snails also do this when there isn't sufficient oxygen in the tank; they go up and breathe through a siphon.

It was suggested that perhaps, due to the extreme heat we are having, the city was adding something different to the water supply, or maybe more chlorine/chloramines. If it's extra chlor-whatever, I was told to double the amount of dechlorinator.

I hope you get your guys sorted out!
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Old 07-31-2006, 05:05 AM   #4
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you didn't list NO2. having high NO2 will cause the blood in the fish to hinder the O2 delivery to the body. which inturn will make them head to the top of the tank for air.

edit: how can you have no NO3 ?
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Old 07-31-2006, 10:22 AM   #5
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cause the water is clean. It is very possible. It might have like 5 if it turned a tinge but the water is clean trust me! And not he tank is not cycling or anything like that. nitrates, nitrites and ammonia were zero.

Christina
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Old 07-31-2006, 12:07 PM   #6
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what temperature is the water at and how much surface aggitation do you have? my guess is a lack of oxygen in the water. Provide an air-stone, or some surface aggitation. With this hot weather, if the tank water is hotter it is less able to be saturated with oxygen. Providing the air-stone or filter "splash" will help.
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Old 07-31-2006, 12:15 PM   #7
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Ok yeah the water is pretty warm. I will double check to see the exact temp (I am not home right now). But with the turtles the water is usually in the mid 70's. I had added the power head last night to move hte water around which might be helping it is hard to say. But I do have an air stone and stuff so I will add that and see if that helps. I forgot that the warmer water will decrease o2 sat.
The outflows for the filters are just below the surface so they do agitat it but not much (don't like the splashing sound).
SO I will do the stone and see how that is.

Thanks,
Christina
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Old 07-31-2006, 12:32 PM   #8
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nitrates, nitrites and ammonia were zero.
Christina, what are you using for testing?

Rkilling is referring to Nitrite poisining.

Oh yes, do you have the tank half-filled because it is a turtle tank?
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Old 07-31-2006, 01:49 PM   #9
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I am using the dipsticks and I double checked it with a full test kit (I am drawing a blank on the brand names right now). NItrites were zero, nitrates were trace and ammonia was zero.

No the tank is a 110 it has about 90-100 gallons of water. It is just about 2 inches below the surface.

Christina
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Old 07-31-2006, 02:22 PM   #10
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my answer would be, buy an airator and a bubble wand

your fish (unless they're gouramis) cannot live a healthy life gasping for air at the surface
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Old 07-31-2006, 02:32 PM   #11
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My guess is the heat of summertime has moved your temperature up too high in the tank. The higher the temp is in the tank the less oxygen. So - as suggested you should lower the water level so your filter output aggitates the water surface more and/or add an airstone.
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Old 07-31-2006, 05:44 PM   #12
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water

I think you should get the water tested at the LFS to check with your results.

Dipsticks are known to be highly innacurate.

Your water could be crystal clear, doesn't mean parameters are good.

I think you should buy a $10 air pump/$2 airstone see if it helps but dont bet on that being a quick fix.

Good Filtration or not, Goldies, and Turtles??

Oh ya, how long has the tank been running?? Just wondering?
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Old 07-31-2006, 11:42 PM   #13
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I am not going to a LFS I used to work at one. I always use the dipstick as a baseline and then I used a real test kit to get accurate results. I now how to test my water. And trust me the water parameters were good.

Yes I know turtles and goldies are messy but I do regular water changes. The turtles that are in there are HIGHLY sensitive to water quality and my $300 turtle is more important then my little feeder fish. So I test it regularly and clean it regularly hence why it is clean. THis is not my only fish tank in the house. I have another fw and 4 sw tanks in my house. I have just never had this problem before and thought it was odd that it came on so suddenly.

THe tank has been up and running for over a year.

Christina
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Old 08-01-2006, 01:57 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tuwhada
and my $300 turtle is more important then my little feeder fish.
you regard your turtle over your fish?

...you make me sick

i mean this in the most sarcastic way as possible, $300 turtles are more important than feeders.
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Old 08-01-2006, 02:30 AM   #15
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As for the water, how long has the tank been set up and how often do you do water changes, and how much? I to am having a hard time understanding the trace nitrates. After a week, all my tanks are above 20ppm, except for the heavily planted tanks, which I have to dose to keep nitrates there. And I don't have fish that are as messy as goldies. Give us a little more info as to how often you do PWC's, how much, and is it planted?
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Old 08-01-2006, 03:11 AM   #16
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Quote:
nitrites and ammonia were zero.
Quote:
NItrites were zero, nitrates were trace and ammonia was zero.
Quote:
I now how to test my water. And trust me the water parameters were good.
hmm...Well THAT is odd....
It also appears your feeders are more sensitive to poor water parameters then your turtle.
If the additional powerhead hasn't fixed the problem meaning there is enough agitation to create oxygen, you have water issues.
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Old 08-01-2006, 03:25 AM   #17
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one more thing.
Quote:
So I test it regularly and clean it regularly hence why it is clean
how exactly do you clean it regularly?
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Old 08-01-2006, 08:07 AM   #18
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Yes I do regard my turtles as more importat in this particular tankb/c this is a turtle tank the fish were feeders that never got eaten. As mentioned before I have several tanks including 4 salt water tanks and in those my fish are more important!!! These fish would hav been eaten normally, foruntaely these turtles for some reason don't eat any fish! THe guppies breed on their own and the feeder goldfish have gone from about an inches to about 3 inches! ANd yes if there is poor oxygen in the water the fish would be affected way before the turtles turtles don't breathe the water. These turtles are highly sensitive to ammonia and pH problems. So those 2 are tested once a month at this point b/c there have not been any problems with the tank I don't do it quite as often.

OH and as for the temp it was 76-78 which is what is usually is.

Ok water changes. Usually every 2 weeks about 35%. When I say trace nitrates that would be below 20. THe turtles are NOT big. I think you guys are envisioning these huge turtles. There are four turtles in this 110 g tank that range in size from 1 inch to about 4 inches. SO waste is not huge. Plus I have almost double theamount of filtration on there then needed.
I change or clean the carbon as well as the sponges once a month and add fw water has needed. All my water is dechlorinated.
There are some live plants in the tank on occasion but the turtles and sometimes the fish munch on it so they don't last long in there.

The powerhead has improved the it a bit. The smaller feeders are fine now it is just the 3 larger goldfish. So today I am going to dig out a air pump with a stone (I have them left over from when I was breeding seahorses).

SO I am definately leaning towards the lack of surface agitation. I could not lower the water level b/c of the design of the tank and my basking platform for my turtles, but I think the stone will help.

Thank you all for your help, and trust me I won't be on this site much more with this kind of attitude!

Christina

And by the way at least I am here trying to get these fish some help instead of just letting them die and suffer!
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Old 08-01-2006, 09:01 AM   #19
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HI...

First off, don't go. The people here are actually very kind and willing to help. Also, I am a huge herp keeper, have 4 fish tanks now (new to fish) and 3 established terras. I might be able to help, if you don't mind me asking a few questions...

1.) How long has your turtle habitat been established?
2.) When you clean the filters, do you replace the mechanical filter media (sponge/filter floss/filter pack) or just rinse it? If you rinse it, is it rinsed in tank water or tap?
3.) How old is the turtle in the tank? What kind of turtle is it?
4.) When was the turtle's last molt?

Also, goldies aer very suseptible to swim bladder disease, which can make them act strangely. Are they showing any bloat?

Thanks, Please stick around, I would like to help if i can.

P.
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Old 08-01-2006, 11:03 AM   #20
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1. tank setup for well over a year
2, both rinse and replace when I rinse I use tank water
3. none of the 4 turtles are more then 3 years old, maps, painteds and a musk turtle
4. they are all constantly shedding
no sign of swim bladder disease.

Christina
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