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Fish Belly Up On Top Of The Surface


32Bit_Fish

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Hi All,

One of my lionhead started to stay at top of the water surface with belly up. He does that after a meal, and I believe the main reason causing this problem is he gulps air try to find food at the surface of the water. All my fish come to the surface during feeding time, so they are kinda used to searching food at surface which it is a bad habit since they are gulping down air.

I feed them green peas and pro-gold pellets and I predict soon the other two lionhead will have the same problem if they started come to surface look for food very often.

Is there anything I can do to fix this problem?

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Can you give more information as to why they are gulping at the surface of the water for food? In other words, have you just recently changed from another floating food to the Pro-Gold? How have they learned to gulp at the surface? Is Pro-Gold and peas all you feed?

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Check your nitrAte levels. If they are above 10ppm, I would suggest doing a water change to lower them to 10 or lower. Nitrate can make some fish floaty.

Fast the fish - for 3-5 days depending on size. If your tank is cooler (70F and under) you may wish to raise the temp to at least 74F to help the fish expell the excess food.

Change the diet to an all gel and green veggies diet. I have a Ranchu that is ALWAYS flloaty if I feed her any processed foods that are not incorporated into gel food. I put Hikari and ProGold into gel food - as well as many other things.

Some fish seem to have an adverse reaction to processed foods - some processed foods being worse than others. This has been described by some as almost an "allergy". You might want to switch foods..... I have never had a ProGold reaction - except for the fish that simply REQUIRES fresh and gel foods to stay upright.

The fish may be female ...... being egg bound - or simply FULL of eggs can be a real problem with many females.....

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I dumping the pellets into the tank while they are gulping at the surface. They do that whenever I approach to the tank. I've done it for a while now. I tried to drop the food at a different spot away from the fish, so the food can sink to the buttom. But they still come up to the surface look for more once they are finished all the food at the buttom of the tank.

I only feed pro-gold and peas. But I did feed them frozen bloodworms once a while. The fish look fine when they are not been fed for a day. I feed them twice a day with small amount of progold in the morning and some green peas at night.

Nitrate is always low since I do 80% w/c twice a week, but I haven't checked nitrate level lately.

Thanks for your reply.

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One thing that really isn't addressing your problem directly, but you should consider widening the foods you feed. Peas are great, but also give them fruits and more veggies like oranges, kiwis, peaches, spinach, broccoli, zucchini. Be adventurous. Try everything. You'd be surprised at what they'll eat. They won't eat everything. They're picky just like we are, but they do love a lot of different things. Steam the harder veggies so they're soft.

Maybe you could try some behavior modifications too. Don't feed them when they start gulping at the surface. If they start behaving this way every time you approach the tank, you need to teach them that not every time you approach the tank will they get fed. Go up to the tank and just stand or sit there for a while next to them at different times of the day. Get them more used to the idea of you being next to them without that always meaning food. When they realize that your visitations don't always mean food, they'll stop getting so excited every time you approach the tank. And when you do go to feed, have the food there to feed, but hold off on actually dropping it in the water until they stop the surface gulping. As soon as they give up, drop the food into the water. Behavior modification takes time and patience. It won't happen all at once.

There is also this little device. Fish Feeding Station. It keeps all the food in one place so that clean up is easier, but it would also teach them that food is at the bottom of the tank, not the top.

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One of my fish is doing the same thing. In fact, he is doing it right now. I have never heard about the nitrates causing some floatiness, but that could be the problem. Try as i might, I just can't seem to get the levels down! And he's never had a problem with the foods I have been feeding before. I may have to start geling my foods. That seems to work for a lot of fish. Good luck with yours.

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My nitrate was at 13 PPM before a w/c. I'm cutting down feeding from twice a day to once a day.

The fish just gulping at the surface once the time, but he goes down look for food too. So that tells me he is able to sink down.

Other time when he is not looking for food, he would just belling up float at the surface. He looks like in sleep.

I'm afraid he is getting used to this belly up floating posture. :rolleyes:

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