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Surface gulping - no obvious reason

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Hello again.

Test Results for the Following:

* Ammonia Level(Tank) 0

* Nitrite Level(Tank) 0

* Nitrate level(Tank) 1-2 has always been zero but small amounts have shown the last 2 weeks. The chart for my nitrate test only shows zero, then 10 and up, so this is an estimate, but the pink is very very light.

* Ammonia Level(Tap) 0

* Nitrite Level(Tap) 0

* Nitrate level(Tap)0

* Ph Level, Tank (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines) 7.2

* Ph Level, Tap (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines) 7.2

Other Required Info:

* Brand of test-kit used and whether strips or drops? Colombo drops

* Water temperature? 20-22

* Tank size (how many gals.) and how long has it been running? 140L, 5-6 months

* What is the name and "size of the filter"(s)? Aquapro super fish 800l/hr

* How often do you change the water and how much?, twice weekly between 50 and 80%

* How many days ago was the last water change and how much did you change? Today, 35%ish because I'm out of conditioner! will do a big change when the new one arrives in a couple of days

* How many fish in the tank and their size? 3, 6cm, 7cm and 10cmish (they're growing!)

* What kind of water additives or conditioners? Aquasafe

* What do you feed your fish and how often? Once daily, fcp godly sinking granules (I think they're crap but the best I could find at the time, will order better ones with the water conditioner)

* Any new fish added to the tank?2.5 months ago I added the two bigger fish

* Any medications added to the tank? Not right now, we completed prazi at the start of December.

* List entire medication/treatment history for fish and tank. Please include salt, Prazi, PP, etc and the approximate time and duration of treatment. Prazi/levamisole mix for 3 weeks I think, finishing up at start of December. Followed instructions and Sharon's advice.

* Any unusual findings on the fish such as "grains of salt," bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus? Nothing

* Any unusual behavior like staying at the bottom, not eating, etc.? Nope

About 3 weeks ago I noticed Dudits surface gulping, usually after dinner. I was using floating flakes at the time so I thought she might just be looking for food. I started noticing bubbly poop. I decided to switch to sinking pellets to reduce the gulping but it's been getting progressively worse. She'll swim around for a bit then gulp at the surface and then spit out air bubbles. Her poop is also still bubbly.

I understand it's usually due to low oxygen, ammonia, warm water etc but I've got none of these. My tank has lots of surface agitation.

There's zero clamping, bottom sitting or any sign of illness and the other fish never do this.

I'm just wondering whether you guys see an issue? I was considering doing a gill examination as per Chelsea's video but I'm pretty nervous about handling her so am waiting to see what you all think.

Here is a video, I tried to do an inconspicuous one without them seeing me but I couldn't get it clear enough, so this is their 'she's coming! She's coming!' Routine. Dudits is the orange and white comet although it's easy to work out who I'm referring to when you see the video :)


Hopefully I'm just being overly concerned. What do you think?

Edited by ChrissieA

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Hi Chrissie. Someone will be along to help you.

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Does the length you gave for your fish include the tail?  How tall is your tank? 


I think the fish is slurping the tasty film on the surface of the water.  This tends to become a habit, but probably a harmless one for long-bodied fish.  The only cure I know of is skimming the surface to clear away the film.  You can get a surface skimmer like this which will keep your water surface perfectly clean and completely uninteresting to your fish.  It is available from Amazon UK, I don't know where else in Europe.


If you like DIY, I can tell you how to make a device for skimming with little expense.

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Thanks dawn :)

The measurements are without tail, and a little overstated lol. I tried to use my memory of the last time I measured length and then add a touch since 2 have definately grown in length...only I got the original lengths wrong, so they're slightly smaller.. But I can't edit the post again?

The tank is 40cm tall.

That doesn't sound too bad... She's not constipated from the bubbles and between gulping she behaves normally... I just wasn't sure how concerned I should be. Is there anything I should watch out for?

Do you have a post in the DIY section on a skimmer? If not don't worry, I won't waste your time now, I won't be able to do anything until next week at the earliest. I'm still sold on your pond style filter too. Maybe I can get my act together and get them both done one weekend. The good news is that the money situation has improved so I'm looking for a bigger tank!

Thank you Sharon, helpful as ever :)

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Actually, I wound up skimming an aquarium when I set up a continuous drip water change system. Getting fresh water into the tank took nothing more than as 1/4" tube siphoning from an elevated water container next to the tank.  I used a dripper intended for irrigation to restrict the flow to a drip, but I needed a way to get excess water out of the tank.  With my container ponds, I just made a hole in the wall of the container for an overflow pipe.  I didn't have the nerve to drill a hole in glass, so I made one of

.  So I had what I was looking for.  I had fresh water dripping in one end of the tank and old water overflowing out of the tank into a waste container at the other end. 


Now I had never paid much attention to the water surface and didn't think it was dirty, but after I set this up I realized that the surface of the water became invisible.  There wasn't anything on the surface to reflect light.  The overflow was skimming the surface perfectly clean.


Joey has a

of the overflow, which solved some problems which don't apply to my use and made it look better. However I suspect the old version does a better job of skimming.

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Great Sharon, I'll have a look and get back to you when I'm ready to get building :) thanks for your help, again!

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