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ANy tropical fish keepers here?? I need help

(20 Posts)
mieow Mon 03-May-04 23:37:36

My fish are all swimming at the top of the tank. I have fed them so they ain't waiting for food. Last time this happened, the O2 pipe was disconnected but its fine this time, the temp is fine and the pump is working, the water looks clear. What could be wrong??

Levanna Mon 03-May-04 23:41:09

Last time I had something similar happen it was due to my tank having a mini cycle, (as the filter wasn't running properly - I later found out!). If mine acted like this again, I'd do a large water change, and add an airstone If I had one handy, or wasn't using one already. What sort of filter are you using? What fish do you have?

mieow Mon 03-May-04 23:43:47

I have a large filter that built into the tank, its a Juwel tank, and a small one to the side. I have blackmollies (4 adults and 2 babies that were born last week), neons, 1 angel fish, glowlights, 2 cat fish, and a few others,

Levanna Mon 03-May-04 23:52:35

I think I'd still try the water change, also rinse the filter pads in the water you remove. Are they all at the surface, or are some breeds worse than others? When it happened with me, the gourami's and tetra's were constantly at the surface, and the cory's were making trips to the surface much more often than usual. If it is some kind of imbalance a water change will help, if it isn't it wont do any harm . (Pain to have to do it at this time of night though !)

mieow Mon 03-May-04 23:59:24

Levanna, thank you, just changed some of the water and they look better already, swimming normally..... thanks

mieow Tue 04-May-04 00:00:17

And my filter is pumping hard...

suzywong Tue 04-May-04 00:05:15

I say!

Levanna Tue 04-May-04 00:26:36

Hahaha, lmao .
Good to hear they're recovering! I'll go to bed smiling. Keep a close eye though, there might be an underlying problem that needs sorting .

misdee Tue 04-May-04 07:36:20

come and pick up some chemical tests from me or mum, i have to do a check on mine later anyway, so will sort out some for u.

Toothache Tue 04-May-04 08:14:12

Mieow - glad to hear they are looking better now. Fish only do this when they are needing oxygen. They can temporarily gasp in air if the O2 content of the water is depleted.

Most people will notice that their fish will be doing this in the morning if they keep them in darkness overnight. This is due to algae, they are plants and produce O2 during the day (or in artificial light), but in darkness they change the chemical process and produce toxic CO2 instead.

Boring science bit over, just humour me.... don't know if that's any use to anyone, but I like to think my degree didn't totally go to waste!

CountessDracula Tue 04-May-04 09:47:59

Yes I would do the tests - nitrite and ammonia is it? Sounds like your tank may need a complete water change - hope not!

Do you clean the gravel regularly? It can be a build up of poo in the gravel that causes this.

mothernature Tue 04-May-04 11:14:06

I hope this gives you all the information you need:- Sorry it is a bit long...

Cleaning Your Aquarium
Performing Your Weekly 10-15% Water Change
For all of you who have asked about cleaning tanks... Cleaning your aquarium is a simple and straight forward task, and should not take very long. The better care you provide for your tank, the healthier your fish will be, the nicer your tank will look and the easier your tank will be to care for in the future. You should not need to take all the stuff out of the tank when you clean it, in fact, I would not recommend it. Every surface in the tank will grow some beneficial bacteria that are part of the biological filter. By removing and cleaning the decorations you stress (and may even kill) some of this bacteria, reducing the quality of your filtration.

When cleaning your aquarium, you should just remove part (10-15%) of the water and replace it with fresh, dechlorinated tap water (bowls and vases require larger water changes more often). While you are doing this, you should use your siphon to suck up some of the gunk that collects in the gravel and decorations. If you have an under gravel filter, it is very important to clean the gravel when you do your weekly water changes, this will prevent detritus and other decaying organic matter from blocking the passages between the pebbles and restricting water flow. Generally, you can clean 25-33% (1/4-1/3) of the gravel while siphoning out 10-15% of the water.

If you have algae growing on the surface of the tank or ornaments, you should get an algae scraper of some sort and scrub the glass before removing water. Many varieties of algae scrapers or scrubbers are available at your local pet store. For additional cleanliness, you could get algae eating catfish and/or scavengers to pick up some of this work for you, however, having catfish in the tank does NOT mean that you don't need to clean. In fact, algae eaters and catfish, like any other fish, will add to the biological load of your tank and increase maintenance requirements.

Catfish or no catfish, I recommend doing 10-15% water changes once a week for the life of your aquarium. Once you get into this habit, it is not really that much work.

If you have to clean out the filter(s) do not change all the media (cartridges, sponges, carbon packets, etc.) at once, as this will remove the majority of your biological filter, causing the tank to have to go through a cycling period again to get bacteria reestablished. Rinse any new filter media in cool running water before introducing it to the system (unless the instructions for the filter media specifically state not to).

Once you have siphoned 10-15% of the water from your tank, you will need to fill it again. The easiest and neatest way to do this, is to use a siphon to siphon water from a bucket into the tank. This will tend to reduce spilling and messing up the gravel and decorations. Use a bucket that has never had detergents or household chemicals in it (we recommend getting a bucket specifically for use for aquarium chores) and fill it with water. The water should be close to the temperature of the tank water that you just took out (the average person can tell temperature differences within 1/2 degree Fahrenheit with their hand, so just feel the water to see if it is the same). Use a chlorine or chloramine remover to prepare the water for introduction into the tank. Place the bucket somewhere higher than the top of the fish tank, and get your siphon going again and in just a couple of minutes, you should have a full tank. Be sure to watch the siphon, in case the hose gets bumped out of the tank, or if there is enough water in your bucket to overfill the tank. Remember, there needs to be some space between the top of the water and the aquarium cover, because your fish rely on oxygen exchange at the surface of the water in order to be able to breathe.

Do not just "top off the tank" to replace water that "disappears." This water that is disappearing is evaporating, and it leaves behind all the impurities that were in it to begin with. This means that as you just top off the tank, you are making your water harder until it will eventually no longer be able to support fish. Additionally, if there are even trace amounts of heavy metals or other toxic substances in the water, you are giving your fish more and more of these every time you top off the tank. Most municipal water systems have at trace levels of at least one potentially hazardous substance, but in minuscule amounts these should never be trouble for you or your fish. Furthermore, by not removing water from the tank from time to time, you allow build up of waste products not removed by the filter (such as Nitrate), which are potentially hazardous to the fish and encourage algae growth.

CountessDracula Tue 04-May-04 11:20:32

gravel cleaning always extra fun when you get mouth full of fishy water from the siphon IMO

mieow Tue 04-May-04 19:06:00

I have been out today and came home and they were all at the top again. I noticed the bubble thing wasn't working well so pulled it out and sorted that out and cleaned the pipe to the main o2 outlet, the fish seem better with most of them swimming normally, apart from a few who are still at the top, two black mollies and a orange one (can't remember the name)I tested the water last week and it was fine. Put some Tapsafe in, as I had to changed the water. The Pleto was swimming to the top and back down again, but he seems fine now....
I hope the babies survive this, they are going to Misdee.....

mieow Thu 06-May-04 23:30:06

Just had a fun evening, my fish were swimming at the top again so took most of the water out and replaced it with cooled boiled water, then they were fine, for a while, then they were swimming at the top again, so called my sister (misdee) at 8:45pm and she said to come and get her, she came and looked and said the filter was wrong and needed changing, as I couldn't get anything now, we went to safeways to get some bags to put the fish in and take them to her tank, while I sorted the tank out. Anyway while we were out, my mum popped in with all her testing kits and the amnonia levels were through the roof, my poor fish were being poisoned
We have taken all the fish out and taken them to Misdees house, and I am going to clean out the tank and start again, and hopefully my fish will be ok then. I lost two fishes though

Levanna Fri 07-May-04 01:18:24

Sorry to hear that mieow, it was the filter running badly that caused the same problem for mine.

misdee Fri 07-May-04 07:34:37

they are fine. nik has been counting all your fishes and asking why we have so many.

mieow Thu 13-May-04 14:00:50

I have set my tank back up now, been up and running for 3 days, tested the water, all is fine, so I can have my fish back now

MrsDoolittle Thu 13-May-04 17:10:39

mieow - wouldn't you be more likely to eat your fish?

Ronniebaby Thu 13-May-04 22:04:13


Just check they are not being over fed, as fish can suffer from Swim bladder and this causes them to either floats to the top or sink to the bottom.

Starve them for a few days, then if still happening, use mushy peas, frozen or fresh, NOT tinned and mush together then put in small bits in and this acts a laxative.

Hope this helps

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