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Old 09-25-2017, 12:05 AM   #1
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Location: Austin, TX
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Fish gasping for air at surface

I apologize in advance for being long winded I performed my weekly water change today and that went well. I left for an hour and went to the LFS and got a couple of plants and some ferts. I've been using API root tabs and liquid but the LFS recommended the Flourish tabs and liquid. About 2 hours after I added the ferts(per package directions) all of the fish and even the shrimp were swimming at the surface so I verified the bubble count in the CO2 and it was normal but I cut it off. I have pretty good surface movement with the filter but nothing 'bubbly.' I rushed to the store to get an air stone and pump. Within 45 min of installing the fish were back to normal. With the water testing normal my only thought was something in the tap water or the ferts. Although if it were the tap water I would have thought they would have reacted more quickly than over an hour. Also how long should I keep the air stone running? Any thoughts?

29 Gal Planted
Guppies, platys, amano shrimp and bristle nose plec
Marineland 160 gph with api nitrazorb and carbon, new filters last week
Ammonia = 0 Nitrate = 0 Nitrite = 0
CO2=1 bubble every 3 sec
9w UV sterilizer
Water crystal clear except some weird look to the surface and no smell

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Old 09-25-2017, 06:06 AM   #2
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zero nitrate is concerning..
Are you shaking the #2 bottle beore you add the drops to the vial? Most who incorredtly get zero are not using the test correctly..
How much water do you change weekly?
You replaced the whole filter cartridge?
This is why I prefer the Aquaclears for HOBs..You can rinse the mechanical part[sponge] while keeping the bio media in force..
Do you use a drop checker for CO2 to know how much you are injecting?

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Old 09-25-2017, 07:40 AM   #3
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Hello el...

You have a small tank. The water chemistry in a small tank can change quickly and this will stress your fish. If you're keeping a basic tank with basic fish and plants from the pet store, you don't need to add anything to the water other than the standard water treatment and you don't need fancy gizmos to grow the plants.

I think you have too many things going on with the tank. The more chemicals and gizmos you add, the more things can go wrong.

Eliminate the extras and concentrate on keeping a basic tank. Just a filter, heater and change most of the tank water every week. Learn the basics and save the fluff for much later.

"Fear not, my young apprentice. Just change the tank water."
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Old 09-25-2017, 11:33 AM   #4
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The tank has been stable for months except a brief battle with staghorn algae. The API Nitrazorb is a pouch for the filter that has some sort of material that absorbs ammonia, nitrate and nitrites. I still do weekly water changes and I use as directed. It's worked great, should I not be using it?
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