Ammonia burn?


Well Known
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3 years
Hello Fishlore,
I recently made a thread about one of my albino corydoras swimming vertically to try to reach the surface for air. Following that event, I did water changes every day (50% with correct temp, ph, and prime) until my ammonia dropped to 0ppm. It's slowly risen to 0.25ppm, but now 2 of my corydoras seem to be swimming up top for air, constantly and struggling. At this point I do not think it is ammonia, but of course I am trying to lower the amount there is.

Back when I was a beginner, I had those 2 (and another, so total of 3) corydoras, all same species. I had fairly a small amount of knowledge, so they had to live in a tank filled with only them and 5 guppies (ammonia was at 0.25ppm for about 1/2 a year) Could that have hurt them?

I recently added 6 Odessa Barbs in my 20 long, could they be the reason my fish are struggling? (I added them all at once, I know, bio over load). I also think since barbs are notorious for their fin nipping, I thought they could be the reason. In person I have never seen them fight, but when I drop pellets for the corydoras they try to "bite" or "shove" them out of the way to eat the pellets. o_O Or I could be wrong and it might have been the ammonia that is hurting them. I should also add that the two infected fish have more red gills than other fish; they did not have that before.

Any information would help, I am glad to clarify any information you need. I would appreciate any feedback or encouragement from members of all experience. I only want to find out what is going on with my fish and tank (for the poor fish and my benefit for the future).


Active Member
Reaction score
4 years
Your ammonia seems fine, usually when fish gasp for air and they don't have labyrinth organs it means that your water is low in oxygen. Try increase the flow or surface agitation and see if that helps.

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