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Old 01-26-2021, 06:44 PM   #1
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Flowerhorn gasping mouth

Hi,
Im a new flowerhorn owner, ive had mine for a few months now, and hes growing nicely. Ive noticed though that he pretty much the entire time does this gasping motion with his mouth and gills. He eats great, poops a ton and is active around the aquarium. He does not seem particularly stressed, and even comes up and lets me touch him with no issue. I know gasping for air at the surface is a sign of stress in fish, but thats not what hes doing. He does it all the time. Ive looked at some vids of flowerhorns and its seems like maybe this is just something they do? Is this normal or is it a gill issue maybe?

Thanks
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Old 01-26-2021, 06:57 PM   #2
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Do you know what your water parameters are?
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Old 01-26-2021, 07:58 PM   #3
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Ph 8
Ammonia 0.50ppm
No nitrite
40ppm nitrate
Im having some issues with my python and waste right now so the nitrates are high cause of that. Having trouble getting waste outa the tank. New connector coming in a few days and ima do several more water changes. But usualy i have barely detectable amonia and less than 10ppm nitrate. And hes always been gasping since i got him.
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Old 01-26-2021, 08:33 PM   #4
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Nitrates are good. 40 or under ppm is ideal. 80 ppm or less is generally not an issue either. 0 nitrites is good, but you should be getting readings of 0 ammonia too. What kind of filter do you have?
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Old 01-26-2021, 08:33 PM   #5
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And how big of a tank? Tank mates?
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Old 01-26-2021, 08:39 PM   #6
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Even a small amount of ammonia could be more toxic with a high ph like you have. That'll cause gasping. Maybe your tank isn't fully cycled...? Or maybe for a big fish that eats and poops alot your bio filtration isn't sufficient...?
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Old 01-26-2021, 10:22 PM   #7
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Its a 90gallon bare bottom tank. No tank mates. Filter is eheim professionel 3. Its an older model but i know it handles quite a bit above 90 gal. 150 maybe, cant remember how much exactly off the top of my head. Anyway its a beast, and is cycled fine.

I do think i tend to overfeed him, he does produce a lot of waste. I keep the ph at 8 since i researched that flowerhorns prefer ph 8-8.2.

He seems perfectly fine otherwise. He had ich when i first got him but it cleared up pretty quick. He had a small sore on his kok at one point too, but again healed super quick. And he never gasps for air at the top.
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Old 01-26-2021, 10:26 PM   #8
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Im already trying to get a system for measuring out the food really carefully for each feeding, since im worried that im overfeeding.

I suppose that should help with the amonia situation.

Hoping that if it is an issue with amonia toxicity though, that it isnt permanent.
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Old 01-26-2021, 10:54 PM   #9
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Your filtration sounds plenty adequate. Do you have ammonia readings every day?
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Old 01-26-2021, 11:43 PM   #10
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I dont test every day, just occasionally. I use like a test tube kit not the strips so it takes a bit. The amonia test is pretty simple though so i might try testing every day for a week.

Ive kept my routine of 1 25% water change a week from my gold fish, perhaps i should do twice a week?

I also have a lot of algae growth. Theres a lot of biomatter in there...
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Old 01-27-2021, 04:55 AM   #11
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Yeah. I personally would start testing more and see if you need more water changes. 3-5 days will tell you. Then you'll know of your getting ammonia every day. Are you cleaning your filter frequently? All that brown gunky slimy stuff is your beneficial bacteria. If it's cleaned out frequently your cycle has to start over. The algae growth is another possible sign your tank is unbalanced
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Old 01-27-2021, 11:03 AM   #12
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I rinse my filter once a month with aquarium water.

Thanks for the suggestions. Ill try them out, see how it goes.
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Old 01-27-2021, 11:20 AM   #13
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OK, cool. Yw
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Old 01-27-2021, 06:55 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Icedragonair View Post
I rinse my filter once a month with aquarium water.
That may be an issue as you do not want to rinse your filter out that often or thoroughly clean your filter. All that brown gunk going down the drain is your good bacteria needed to oxidize ammonia.
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Old 01-27-2021, 10:25 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fishwonder View Post
That may be an issue as you do not want to rinse your filter out that often or thoroughly clean your filter. All that brown gunk going down the drain is your good bacteria needed to oxidize ammonia.
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Old 01-27-2021, 11:27 PM   #16
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Bit of an update. Ammonia still at 0.5

I did a physical examination of him. He has a very round belly, and i was wondering again if thats just a flowerhorn thing or if hes bloated. (Again ive seen flowerhorns both with bellies and without)

His gills look good as far as i can tell, red but not dark. He had white/clear stringy poop today hanging from his vent. His tummy is squishy not hard so i dont think hes constipated. But his vent is kinda round and looks like theres something poking out of it. Light pressure makes him poop clear liquid.

Im just kinda panicking that the gasping thing was a symptom of something more serious all along like bacterial/parasitic infection and i just missed it.

Ill try to post some pics tomorrow. Hes hiding now since obviously being handled wasnt his favourite thing.

Edit: i usually have tons of brown crud in the filter, not slime though just "bits" ill leave it alone from now, heck i hate cleaning that thing...
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Old 01-27-2021, 11:35 PM   #17
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Also going to add some bio support to break down the ammonia.
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Old 01-27-2021, 11:39 PM   #18
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Maybe he does have a parasitic infection. There are lots of good meds out there that are broad spectrum. I use api general cure and Prazipro both
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Old 01-27-2021, 11:47 PM   #19
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The issue is my province is on stay at home order so i use amazon for most of my pet needs and amazon.ca SUCKS they only have mealfix and pimafix. I have a petsmart nearby which might be able to swing by, but again its a coin toss wether they have anything of use. I couldn't find any ich medication there last time if you can believe that...

Big als aquarium superstore will have what i need but its the next town over, and i have no car and also just came back from the hospital with a blood clot in my lung so commuting that far is not an option....

I love the lil bugger though, i dont want anything to happen to him. Unfortunately i know just how fast things can go downhill....
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Old 01-27-2021, 11:58 PM   #20
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Managed a pic, his name is Archimedes. Photo dont do him justice, he looks washed out here. Hes a beautiful boy irl
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