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Old 02-10-2012, 01:22 AM   #1
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Fish gasping for air at surface

I have a 55 gallon tank with 5 parrot fish. They are all swimming at the top gasping for air. I have been out of town and my husband says they have been doing it for several days. I cleaned their filter last night and they seemed to be better. Tonight they are back to gasping at the top. I have tested the water levels and nitrites, nitrates, PH, and ammonia are all normal. They are normal in color. The tank has been slightly neglected due to the fact that i am 9 months pregnant and it does need some attention. But like i said water tests normal. What could be wrong with them? Thanks for your help in advance. My toddler loves the fish and we would all be so sad if something happened to them.
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Old 02-10-2012, 01:29 AM   #2
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Hello

Any air stones or HOB filters?

When was the last water change?

Assuming "normal" means 0 ammo and nitri, what are your nitrate reading?
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Old 02-10-2012, 01:47 AM   #3
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Do a large water change.
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Old 02-10-2012, 01:48 AM   #4
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Nitrates are 0 as well. I do have an air curtain but the tube is clogged and needs to be replaced. There is not much air coming from it at this point. I have a fluval 350 canister filter. I Add water every week. Seems like it evaporates at a fast pace. I have not done a water change in several months I am embarrassed to say. This is a well established tank. I have owned it with these same five fish for about 4 years.
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Old 02-10-2012, 01:49 AM   #5
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How large of a water change can I do all at once?
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Old 02-10-2012, 01:54 AM   #6
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At least a 50%, Should be fine. Try to unclog the airline when they gasp for air it's just that not enough oxygen in the water.
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Old 02-10-2012, 01:55 AM   #7
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Do a 100% water change. Something is wrong. You should have nitrate since you have not done a water change for several months. Recheck the nitrate and be sure to shake well. Keep the surface of the water agitated. Do weekly water changes. Your tank probably have a lot of waste at substrate level. Siphon them out really good. Be careful of toxic pockets.
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Old 02-10-2012, 02:54 AM   #8
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This sounds to me like your fish are being poisoned slowly with nitrates not lack of oxygen. Since your saying your results are 'normal' I'm guessing your using the test strips an not a liquid test kit like the API master test kit. First off, those test strips are incredibly inaccurate.


You need to do a 50% pwc right away. I would do one now and one tomorrow, depending on what the levels are.. Make sure you are using a good dechlorinator like Prime to treat the new water before adding to the tank.

Congrats on the baby!! you should definitely have your husband do this as you recline and tell him the procedure.
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