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Swim Bladder Woes


tarynator

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Ugh. It seems like every time I feed the fish, within an hour or so Mr Poh gets floaty. Every time this happens I refrain from feeding for a couple of days until he's better, but as soon as I feed again, he starts floating. I've noticed more air bubbles in his poop lately too. I think he's starting to take bigger gulps of air than usual since this was never really an issue, I'm feeding flakes and bloodworms from the surface. It's getting really frustrating and I was wondering if you guys knew of any foods that actually sink instead of having to feed right from the surface. When I stop the feeding I feel bad for Bilbo because he's always scavenging for something. Maybe its a problem with his tankmate who is always hungry so there's greater competition going on for food so he's trying to eat faster and just swallowing more air? I don't know.

Also, I have about an inch of gravel in my tank and I don't want the sinking food stuffs to just get embedded in it instead of being consumed. I've been flirting with the idea of going bare-bottom but I'm worried about maintenance since I don't have a lot of time to be constantly cleaning up.

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If you have proper filtration(gph=10x tank gallonage)that should take care of cleaning things up for you. Of course,you'll still need to do the 50% w/c/week.

It is not good to feed gf from the top-for the very same reason you cite-floatiness from taking in too much air. Some sinking pellets are Saki Hikari(lps or online),and Pro Gold from: My link

While you wait for the food to arrive(assuming you order it online),fast them for 2-3 days,then feed them cooked,deshelled,salt-free peas-it should help clean out their intestinal tracts-air too.

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Agreed with Susan about feeding at the surface here. Seriously consider feeding sinking foods from the bottom and avoid feeding them from the surface which allows them to gulp excessive air which in turn will only add to swim bladder malfunction. If you are using flake foods just soak them in a cup of tank water for a few minutes so they can absorb the water to make the flakes sink to the bottom. Just keep them from feeding at the surface and that's your first step! ;)

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With foods that do not reliably sink even when soaked (shrimp, for one) I hand feed T.F. just under the surface. You could easily train your guys to do the same.

I just want to point out that barebottom tanks REDUCE cleaning times. You do not have to constantly vacuum gravel in a barebottom tank. Your filter should suck up all of the ickies, provided the intake comes close enough to the bottom surface. Bare bottom also means no place for bad bacteria and gasses to build up. Gas build up can be fatal in a surprising amount of time.

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Well, you have to clean the bottom even more if there is gravel. Going bare bottom, the filters will take care of most of the poop, while with gravel poop and leftover food will just feed bacteria living in it, unless you do a thorough gravel vacuum with every water change. With an inch of gravel that is a lot more work than the bit of cleaning up with bare bottom.

I was worried that bare bottom will show all the poop, but really, I hardly ever find any goldi poo. The only poop I find is from the snails as their sand-grain sized poop seems to be too small and light to be affected of the suction of the filter intake.

But really, I think my tank actually looks cleaner now being almost bare bottom. I got some river stones spread out over the bottom now for extra surface for algae to grow for the pleco and to give the bottom a bit of an actual BOTTOM feeling to it.

So I would definitely go with sinking pellets, and you will also never find food lay on the bottom as especially in a bare bottom tank the fish don't leave the tiniest crumb of food :D

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Thanks for the replies guys. I fasted them for the weekend and its all back to normal (AGAIN lol). Thinking of going barebottom sooner than later! Any ideas on how I should go about this? Can I remove the gravel all at once or should I do it spanning over a few days? It's not very deep

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I went from a lot a gravel to just a little to anchor down the plastic plants. I removed one or two cups a week. It took a couple of months, but I figured that this way there wasn't any drastic change. Beneficial bacteria can live in the gravel (as well as the bad bacteria), so it's better to do it gradually. (In my opinion). I really like not having so much gravel anymore. The filters take care of the poop and I only have to vacuum a small amount of gravel now.

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