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Gasping Fish--help!


kelz0429

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Hello all!

I just brought a young goldfish home (it is either a Ryukin or a Fantail--leaning more toward Ryukin) and finished the acclimation process an our or so ago. I used the (float the bag method and added water from the tank every 15 mi

He/she is in a 20 gallon tank, conditioned with Amquel and NovAqua (water was treated yesterday), filtered by way of an AquaClear 50. I have an air pump connected to an bubble wand and a bubble operated aquarium ornament. The water does look a bit cloudy (maybe I didn't wash the gravel enough? Will the filter and daily water changes during cycling eventually clear it up?).

I have not tested my water out of the tap and it is not yet showing any ammonia.

I am just a bit concerned, as the fish is hanging out at the surface of the water quite a bit, opening and closing his mouth very quickly (pretty much gasping).

Is this common while the fish is adjusting to his/her new environment? Should I give him/her a bit of time before I become concerned? The water seems to be plenty aerated, as there are tiny bubbles everywhere. Could he/she be hungry/trying to eat the bubbles on the water's surface?

Any suggestions, advice?

Thanks!

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Congrats on your new fish!!! First of all, I am no expert, and I am sure someone who knows more will along soon, so hang on.

First of all, you are supposed to fill in as much of the info at the top as you can as it can be vital to figuring out what is wrong with your fish, not to mention keeping your fish healthy.. Aquarium Pharmac. has a great and easy to use master kit that doens't cost that much. It tests your ammonium, nitrites and nitrate as well as pH. You can buy a seperate kit to test your Gh and KH levels.

Second of all, the cloudy water is often called New Tank syndrome, and is common with a newly set up tank. So it isn't really anthing to be concerned about.

Thirdly, and I am guessing here, it could be that your fish is just getting used to the new tank, or the pH may be off from what the LFS had their tanks at. It sounds like you have great aeration, so I doubt that is a problem. As I said, i don't reaaly know much is this matter, and someone else will help you soon.

I also suggest that you read up on cycling your tank and proper tank maintenece. Forgive me if I am wrong, but I assume that you are new to fish, and KOKO's got great info on these topics to help keep your fish healthy. Just go to the main page and look for the link.

You could try to feed your fish, amd see if that helps. Maybe it is hungry. I read somewhere that you are suppossed to wait 1 day to feed, but I never did this, and my fish were fine. I don't think it would hurt. Good luck and be patient, as soemone will be along soon.

Was the fish gasping at the LFS? It can be a syptom of something else, but without knwoing more about your water and tank etc, I wouldn't want to guess. Good luck!!

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Thank you for your reply.

I am actually very experienced in keeping Bettas and somewhat experienced with other Tropicals. I have never kept Goldfish, so I am really not very familiar with typical behavior.

My tank has not been running long enough for "New Tank Syndrome" to have begun, as this is a response to the bloom of bacteria. I have noticed that this tends to happen no less than 48-72 hours after first adding fish. I honestly believe that I did not rinse my gravel well enough (even thought I split the 25 pound bag into thirds and rinsed each third vigorously in a 3 gallon bucket--the entire process took at least an hour). I am accustomed to only rinsing 5 pounds at a time, as all of my bettas are kept in 5 gallon Eclipse tanks. I did not notice the cloudiness until I added a black background to the tank today. There is definitely some sort of cloudiness.

I understand the process of cycling the tank and I test for Ammonia and Nitrite religiously. right now, Ammonia, Nitrate, and Nitrite are at 0. I have not tested the pH of my water for quite some time, but it was at 7.8 the last time I tested (about 6 months ago).

I NEVER run a fishless cylce as, in my experience, that process does not establish a very stable colony of bacteria in a tank, further stressing fish for long periods of time. I have never lost an animal or had an animal show any signs of stress, as I am very cautious and test my water for Ammonia and Nitrite three times a day during the Nitrogen Cycle. Also, during the cycling processes, I change 10-15% of the water at least once every single day and treat the water with Amquel at each change.

I am sorry that I have not done a complete chemical panel of my water to report, but I have successfully kept show quality Bettas (imported from a breeder in Thailand) for 4 years at my current home. I probably should have done so, given that Goldfish have different ideal parameters, but I was under the impression that they are pretty hardy and can stand fairly easily a shift in pH. As far as the other info at the top of the board, I think I pretty much covered it--first fish in a new tank that has only run for about 2 days before adding the fish, no other additives or medications. The fish is not showing any other signs of stress other than the hanging at and exhibiting the gasping behavior (which may not be gasping in the Goldfish world--I know they tend to open their mouths a lot while swimming).

I am just concerned about the behavior the fish is exhibiting, as I am not at all familiar with the normal behavior of goldfish. My fancy guppies tend to hang out at the top of the water when I am around in an attempt to beg for food--I thought this might be the issue with the new Goldy. It is my practice to refrain from feeding fish for 48 hours after first bringing them home. Is this acceptable for Goldfish.

Thanks again for your help.

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If you feel that you did not adequately rinse the gravel enough, then it's certainly worth fixing. Floating sediment can irritate the fish's gills and those produce surface-gasping behavior.

In regards to pH, while goldfish are hardy they can still develop stress from a sudden shift. Acclimating slowly is the way to go.

:) Keep us updated and good luck!

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How much time do Goldfish spend at the surface of the water? I know they do not necessarily prefer one depth of the aquarium over any other, but shouldn't they spend more time at the bottom, scavenging through gravel? Do Goldfish enjoy blowing bubbles on the surface?

What is the best way to fix the floating sediment problem (other than taking all of it out and rewashing it)? Will the filter and a a few water changes do the trick? I have never had this problem before and I am willing to bet that it is this particular type of gravel that is the culprit. Does anyone have experience with this problem in an operating aquarium?

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How much time do Goldfish spend at the surface of the water? I know they do not necessarily prefer one depth of the aquarium over any other, but shouldn't they spend more time at the bottom, scavenging through gravel? Do Goldfish enjoy blowing bubbles on the surface?

What is the best way to fix the floating sediment problem (other than taking all of it out and rewashing it)? Will the filter and a a few water changes do the trick? I have never had this problem before and I am willing to bet that it is this particular type of gravel that is the culprit. Does anyone have experience with this problem in an operating aquarium?

Lots of water changes should do you well if it's the gravel, but hopefully it'll settle out too.

Goldfish will make use of ALL parts of the water, usually pecking at things to see if they yield food. However, it is very concerning when they hang around for long periods of time at the surface (or even just sitting in one place when it's not sleep-time).

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