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Old 01-31-2008, 12:31 AM   #1
i3k
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Silver Dollar at the surface gasping

I have a 33 gallon tank which has been running for about 3 years now. Haven't had any problems lately. In the tank I have 1 redtail shark which is about 1 inch, 5 rainbows(three of them are 3" and two of them are 1") Also have a candy pleco in there 1 1/2"...and got 2 botia loaches that are 3" each. Yesterday I bought 3 silver dollars which are all about 2". They were all doing good yesterday, but today one of them is at the surface gasping for air. I checked the water right away and all is good...no ammonia...no nothing...expect the PH seems to be at around 7.5-7.8 (**** southern california tap water) can the high pH level make a fish gasp for air? I also noticed my temp. was around 80 degrees so I lowered the heater to 76 over the period of two hours. I did a water change about 4-5 days ago of 35%

What can be causing the poor guy to be at the surface gasping?

Thanks all.
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Old 01-31-2008, 05:09 AM   #2
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This is usually a sign that there isn't enough oxygen in the water. Higher temps can cause this. Of low oxygen levels are due to the higher temp, then the gasping will stop in due course.

What filtration are you running?
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Old 01-31-2008, 01:22 PM   #3
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Yea, I was thinking the same thing. I did lower the temp to 76 degrees over a period of 4 hours and the one silver dollar was still at the top gasping for air. For filtration, I'm running an AquaClear 300 which is more then enough for a 33 gal. But if it was in fact the temp. causing low oxygen levels, why would only 1 of the silver dollars be up top gasping? I was also thinking it might of came sick from the store, maybe with ich all up in the gills...not really sure what happened.

Well today when I woke up the fish was pretty much done. It was sitting at the bottom tilting up against the wall of the aquarium. I transfered it to a bucket with 10% aquarium water and the rest with fresh water. He was sitting at the bottom not moving. Probably will not survive...but we'll see when I get home.

Thanks for the help.
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Old 01-31-2008, 01:36 PM   #4
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I'm sorry to hear about the sick silver dollar. He could have been sick when you bought him. Watch the other one but if he's not gasping anymore, that's a good sign.

Another way to combat high water temps and low oxygen is to increase the water surface turbulence. The increased splashing will draw more oxygen into the water. You can remove a small amount of water until your HOB filter makes a bigger splash. When the fish aren't gasping anyore, add water back in. This method works well to increase oxygen during ick treatment when you raise the temperature. I'm not saying to raise the temp now - you did say you suspected ich - but I'd watch and wait to be sure first.
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Old 04-27-2008, 09:29 PM   #5
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with it being just one fish it sound like an infection affecting the gills in some way. it never hurts when a fish is acting funny to try a broad spectrum antibiotic. Parasites could also be a culprit. you may even try to combo antibiotics and some malachite green or blue.
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