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Fish gasping for air at top of tank

Need some help or advice quickly.

Fish gasping for air at top of tank

Postby srhkitty » Tue Aug 19, 2014 4:59 pm

Hi I'm new here hope you can help.

My freshwater fish keep going to the top of the tank gasping for air...I've changed the filter pads in accordance with instructions and did a partial water change few days ago. The only thing I haven't managed to do is clean the filter motor as I'm having problems removing it. Getting a friend to help with this on Thursday but I'm worried the fish will be ok till then. Also do you think this could be the problem and what else should I do. Thanks for your help.
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Re: Fish gasping for air at top of tank

Postby Big Den » Tue Aug 19, 2014 8:01 pm

Do another 20% water change straight away. The filter pads normally are fine if you rinse them out with old tank water, changing them removes some of the beneficial bacteria. What size is your tank, how many fish, what size is the filter?
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Re: Fish gasping for air at top of tank

Postby srhkitty » Wed Aug 20, 2014 1:01 am

Hi and thanks for getting back to me. Not sure how much water the tank holds as it's 2nd hand but its around the size of a 28" tv set (sry cant be more specific), I have 4 fish in it and the filter is a Fluval U3 150L. They're a bit better tonight and are swimming around a bit more. I'll do the water change in the morning and let you know how I get on.
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Re: Fish gasping for air at top of tank

Postby srhkitty » Wed Aug 20, 2014 12:21 pm

Hi and thanks for getting back to me. The tank is 28 X 14 X 19 inches. I've got 4 fish and am using Fluval U3 150L filter.
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Re: Fish gasping for air at top of tank

Postby Big Den » Wed Aug 20, 2014 6:37 pm

Well your not over stocked, unless the fish are 6 inches apiece, and your filter is adequate. Try to remember that the filter is the heart of a fish aquarium and it needs to be looked after. Never wash it with fresh water, always use the old tank water that you drain off during a water change. Never was it too thoroughly and rinse the filter pads gently, this will preserve the friendly bacteria which feasts on the nasty ammonia and nitrite. By changing the filter pads you took away the friendly bacteria and probably went through an ammonia spike which made the fish gulp at the surface. If you have to change a filter pad change 1 only and then change a different 1 next time. Your filter is now trying to catch up and the water change will help.
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Re: Fish gasping for air at top of tank

Postby srhkitty » Wed Aug 20, 2014 6:50 pm

Did the water change and they're a lot better, have been swimming around but still going to the top aswell, one fish in particular.

I've done a water test and the results were:

GH - 30
KH - 40
pH - 6.5
NO2 - 0
NO3 - 20

Let me know what to do next. Thanks.
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Re: Fish gasping for air at top of tank

Postby Big Den » Wed Aug 20, 2014 9:48 pm

What is the ammonia reading, NH3?
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Re: Fish gasping for air at top of tank

Postby malakye » Thu Aug 21, 2014 1:05 pm

Hi and welcome. What kind of fish do you have and what size are they?
Can you give the ammonia, nitrite and nitrate readings as Den and I are unsure what NO2 and NO3. The first three you gave are standard so we know which ones they are.
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Re: Fish gasping for air at top of tank

Postby srhkitty » Sat Aug 23, 2014 8:14 am

Hi its goldfish I have: common, fantail, veiltail, yellow and koi. They're between 2 and 5 inches big. The nitrite reading was 0, nitrate 20 and ammonia 2mg/l.
Thanks again. Sarah.
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Re: Fish gasping for air at top of tank

Postby Big Den » Sat Aug 23, 2014 1:54 pm

Tha ammonia is bordering on lethal and you are overstocked. your tank is about 25 gallons and goldfish, any type, need at least 10 gallons per fish.
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