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labecs

Gulping air and then floating

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Test Results for the Following:
* Ammonia Level(Tank) .15
* Nitrite Level(Tank) 0
* Nitrate level(Tank) 20
* Ammonia Level(Tap) 0
* Nitrite Level(Tap) 0
* Nitrate level(Tap)0
* Ph Level, Tank (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines) 6.5, 20, 75, 0
* Ph Level, Tap (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines) 7.2
Other Required Info:
* Brand of test-kit used and whether strips or drops? MTK
* Water temperature? 74
* Tank size (how many gals.) and how long has it been running? 45 gallon, 3 years
* What is the name and "size of the filter"(s)? Eheim 2217 (264 gph) with ceramic cylinders, ceramic spheres and filter pads, an Aqueon pf (250 gph) with filter pads and 2 large sponge filters in the tank. Plus 2 huge airstones.
* How often do you change the water and how much? Weekly 90%
* How many days ago was the last water change and how much did you change? 7 days 90% (today is water change day)
* How many fish in the tank and their size? Three: 3", 2", 1.5"  (body)
* What kind of water additives or conditioners? Prime
* What do you feed your fish and how often? Twice daily, Repashi Soilent Green and/or Super Greens, Hikary Lionhead, New Life Spectrum pellets, GVG Mix flakes... rotating.
* Any new fish added to the tank? Not in the past 3 months
* Any medications added to the tank? No

List entire medication/treatment history for fish and tank. Please include salt, Prazi, PP, etc and the approximate time and duration of treatment. None

* 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.?

The largest one has been spending lots of time at the surface eating bubbles, and then floats for a while. Medium one is a little floaty.

 

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My largest one spends lots of time at the surface gulping air, but does not seem at all distressed. Then he floats on his side or upside down at times, but has no trouble at all going down and swimming below. The medium one is a bit floaty at times, so could it be I am feeding too much? Is twice a day too much?  I used to feed them very little until I started fearing I was starting them, so I might be overdoing it now. I do fast them one day a week and then feed peas the next day.

 

Anything I can do before it becomes a problem?

 

 

 

The second video is what happens after he's been at it for a while.

 

 

 

 

 

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In the second video, the blue fish looks floaty, too. Not as much as the yellow one, though. My Nericon would do this exact same thing. Her issues stemmed from eating rocks. I switched her to a sparingly fed diet of seaweed, spinach, green beans, and Repashy Soilent green and she hasn't floated since. I fed her Oxytetracycline pellets before this, which seemed to help but might have been unrelated. My Rhonda floats just a tad when fed wheat pellets.

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Yes, Ray (middle boy/or girl... never sexed them)  is floaty at times. I am thinking it's just too much food.

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First thing I would like you to do, is stop feeding for 2 days, the just peas (DE shelled) for 2 days, then green beans for one day..

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First thing I would like you to do, is stop feeding for 2 days, the just peas (DE shelled) for 2 days, then green beans for one day..

Thank you, Koko....  I'll give an update in a week, then. Oh, they are gonna hate me... waaah!!

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A few observations:

 

That tank looks very tall.  Could you give the dimensions?

 

Your fish appear to struggle against the water movement.

 

Your largest fish looks to me like a nymph, a single-tailed fantail.  (Just an interesting aside.)

 

You might try cutting out the Hikari food, which some people say causes floatiness.

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Hope your Goldfish feels better.

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A few observations:

 

That tank looks very tall.  Could you give the dimensions?

 

Your fish appear to struggle against the water movement.

 

Your largest fish looks to me like a nymph, a single-tailed fantail.  (Just an interesting aside.)

 

You might try cutting out the Hikari food, which some people say causes floatiness.

It's 23 inches tall, 36 wide, 12 inches deep.

It's a Tomasaba.

I'll stop the Hikary for a time then.

 

You think they're struggling?  I can slow down the bubbles a bit.

Edited by labecs

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Beautiful fish! I hope the diet helps :teehee

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Ok, update after 2 days fast. All day yesterday, second day of the fast, Sunray (yellow Tomasaba) did not go up to eat bubbles, and did not float at all. Today, I finally gave them some peas, and he's back at it.... dumb fish!!! Ray, (the medium Oranda) is still floaty, but he has been like that since the beginning, some days more than others. I hope it doesn't develop into a full blown problem at some point.

Tomorrow will be pea day again. We'll see. But if it's a habit, how do I deter it from happening?

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Ok, update after 2 days fast. All day yesterday, second day of the fast, Sunray (yellow Tomasaba) did not go up to eat bubbles, and did not float at all. Today, I finally gave them some peas, and he's back at it.... dumb fish!!! Ray, (the medium Oranda) is still floaty, but he has been like that since the beginning, some days more than others. I hope it doesn't develop into a full blown problem at some point.

Tomorrow will be pea day again. We'll see. But if it's a habit, how do I deter it from happening?

 

I wonder if the Duckweed would help this, give them something at the top to nibble on. :)

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I think it might.  

 

The fact that the behavior went away during the fast and returned with feeding strongly suggests that the fish is slurping the surface biofilm.  Any soft food -- gel food, soaked pellets, cooked peas, etc. -- will "feed" that film.  Duckweed will not, nor will dry pellets -- particularly floating pellets --  in small enough amounts for rapid consumption. 

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Hmm biofilm? Why do fish eat this?

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It consists of a film primarily of protein from food with some bacteria feeding on that protein and probably some other microscopic critters feedng on the bacteria.  Goldfish find all of these perfectly delicious.

 

You can remove it by skimming. 

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But on the other hand if you have The duck weed there it will give him something else and may stop it... Thats I was thinking Sharon :)

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I agree, Koko. 

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Now, can the biofilm form so fast? He does it even right after a WC. Plus, when I feed them, I almost feed them by mouth, as I will drop the pellet or piece of gel right in front of them and I see them eat every piece... maybe a couple will sink to the bottom.Just want to learn how that works. I'll try skimming after I do a couple of days of duckweed. I tried the duckweed some time ago and it was a messy disaster for my canister filter even with a feeding station... or I might cover the intake with something....?

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A water change short of 100% will not remove the surface film.  Unless you also collect every speck of poop as fast as they produce it, this will also release organics that may join the surface biofilm.  

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Skimming? Do you need special things to do this? Is Biofilm more active in tall tanks?

Edited by Speckles

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There exist filters with skimmers.  Most only work in saltwater tanks, so make sure any you get specify that they work in fresh water.

 

If one has an overflow for the tank, and a continuous drip of fresh water,  the surface film will disappear out the overflow.

 

Two tanks with the same volume and fish load will produce the same amount of organic materials that will float to the surface.  If one is taller, it will also have a smaller area, so the surface film will be thicker.

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Thanks for that info shakaho! I googled skimmers and watched a great diy skimmer video:

Edited by Speckles

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I love Joey!  That's a very easy build.  

 

I discovered my continuous water change system skimmed the surface of the water.  This consisted of one of

  (I did the old style, since he hadn't created the improved one yet.) and a fresh water reservoir that dripped water into the aquarium similar to what I use in my ponds.  One day I realized that the surface of the aquarium water was virtually invisible since there was nothing on top of the water to reflect light.  Until I saw that, I didn't realize how dirty the water surface got.

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Well, it looks like a $kimmer is not for me. Still, I wanted to give you an update. He is still floating right after he eats. First of all, I started feeding only once a day. I also stopped the pellets, and I will start feeding only Repashy now to see if I see a difference, and then I'll start only with the pellets and so on. He has no trouble going down and swimming around the rest of the time, it's just right after lunch, or after he spends a lot of time eating bubbles. It's only that my heart stops every time I see him floating.

 

My medium fish is still floaty, but he acts normal otherwise.  For over 10 years, I never before had this "eating air" problem, and I wonder if it's actually the Repashy food that creates the biofilm and the whole thing, because that is the only new style of food I'm feeding. I also mix Super Greens and Soilent... Maybe I should use one or the other or prepare my own gel food?

 

What else can I try feeding them to stop this? Can you recommend some special foods I should try?

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This may not be recommended by the mods, but I found that MANUALLY discouraging the surface gulping helped a lot too. Kinda like training. Nericon only floated after eating the air, it wasn't the food. To help her, I actually began tapping the tank when she'd try the gulping. She'd flinch and stop the surface gulping. Even after she stopped floating, I'd see her surface graze sometimes and didn't want the floating to restart so I tried this. She began to learn that surface grazing equals annoying tapping and she's absolutely stopped and doesn't surface graze anymore. Admittedly it requires being around after feeding for decent periods of time, and also it may sound cruel, but I just didn't want her to permanently damage her swim bladder and it was upsetting to me and I just wanted to help her. Again, not suggesting you do this, but it did seem to very much help my girl break the habit.

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This may not be recommended by the mods, but I found that MANUALLY discouraging the surface gulping helped a lot too. Kinda like training. Nericon only floated after eating the air, it wasn't the food. To help her, I actually began tapping the tank when she'd try the gulping. She'd flinch and stop the surface gulping. Even after she stopped floating, I'd see her surface graze sometimes and didn't want the floating to restart so I tried this. She began to learn that surface grazing equals annoying tapping and she's absolutely stopped and doesn't surface graze anymore. Admittedly it requires being around after feeding for decent periods of time, and also it may sound cruel, but I just didn't want her to permanently damage her swim bladder and it was upsetting to me and I just wanted to help her. Again, not suggesting you do this, but it did seem to very much help my girl break the habit.

I actually started doing this myself. When I caught him, I blew on his face and seemed to hate it. No he likes it. Tapping does not help. I wonder if a tiny/little/minuscule/loving tap on the head would do it.  (By the way, Slate looks awesome!!!)

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