Angelfish Gasping For Air?

  1. David894 Member Member

    My Angelfish is gasping for air at the top of the tank, it’s not just a one time thing, doing it a lot. :/ Is it normal behavior, is it hungry, bad water quality? :(

    Is it columnaris? :/
  2. IceFyre1414 Well Known Member Member

    Is the tank cycled? What are the water parameters?
    Are any other fish doing the same thing?
  3. David894 Member Member

    I don’t think it’s cycled unfortunately, I made a big mistake with that and I should mention I’m using water from a water softener and I haven’t done any water changes yet since I added the fish on 1/31. When I do a water change though, I’m going to use water that hasn’t gone through the water softener yet, by bypassing it

    I don’t have a test kit yet to test KH or GH, it’s in the mail.

    temp- 80
    ph- 8.3?? I have no idea, I attached a picture
    ammonia- 0 ppm
    nitrite- 0 ppm
    nitrate- 0 ppm

    I don’t notice anything physically wrong with the Angelfish, no spots or abnormalities or anything. Sometimes moving erratically, like sudden quick movements but I don’t know if that’s normal, idk the gasping doesn’t look good :/

    I only have the one Angelfish, no other fish

    Attached Files:

  4. Delta33 Member Member

    You're ammonia, nitrite and nitrates are all 0?
  5. David894 Member Member

    Yeah, it’s not cycled yet apparently.
  6. David894 Member Member

    Anybody ever have this experience? Idk what to do. I’ve read a lot about it and seen everything from “it’s perfectly normal, my fish does it too” to “it’s a sign of disease” to “it’s a sign your fish is gonna die asap”.
  7. David894 Member Member

    Can anyone help me with this???
  8. bizaliz3 Fishlore VIP Member

    Since the tank is not cycled, the most obvious assumption is that is the issue. Gasping for air at the surface is not a good sign. I always get nervous if I find and angel hanging at the surface like that.

    If I were you, I would do small daily water changes with seachem prime until the cycle is complete. Even better, get some bacteria supplement to use as well (like seachem stability)
  9. David894 Member Member

    Yeah it keeps doing it, couple days now :/

    Are you saying to use Prime to reduce ammonia, nitrites and nitrates because those all read 0 so I don’t see how that would help? Or are you saying to use Prime to help with the heavy metals in the water for water quality? I’ve been using something similar to Prime and a bacterial supplement already.

    Also how would daily water changes help with the cycle? I’m confused :/
  10. bizaliz3 Fishlore VIP Member

    I honestly don't know why you do not have any ammonia and nitrites right now. Since the tank is uncycled and there are fish in there producing ammonia. So it doesn't really make sense. If you don't have readings for those now, you will very soon!

    The prime is to dechlorinate, and if you use tap water, you need that of course. But the reason I suggested prime specifically, is because it also can help detoxify the ammonia and nitrites you will for sure start developing really quick. Your tank is uncycled, so it WILL go through stages of ammonia and nitrite as the cycle continues. This is why I suggest daily water changes until the cycle is complete. Otherwise the fish might not survive the process. Depending on how hardy they are.

    Adding the bottled beneficial bacteria will help speed the cycle along. But the cycle still needs to be done and there are fish out there that just can't tolerate that experience.

    I am just telling you what I would do!!
    Is there a chance you have another tank you could steal some filter media from? That is what I do whenever I set up a new tank.
  11. David894 Member Member

    Unfortunately no, I don’t, I wish I did. I already had one Angelfish die from stress I think and the only fish I have rn is this other Angel, I don’t wanna lose him too :( idk
  12. bizaliz3 Fishlore VIP Member

    What did you test the water with? The photo you posted only included pH.

    Again, if I were you, I would start by doing an immediate water change. When was the last water change?
  13. David894 Member Member

    I used an API Master Test Kit, and I tested everything, all readings 0 for sure. And I just did a 20% water change on 2/7, no change in behavior, still gasping :/ I think the GH and KH of my water must be really bad or he doesn’t like the pH?? idk. I didn’t think having a tank was rocket science but jeez...
  14. bizaliz3 Fishlore VIP Member

    You have fish producing ammonia in that tank!! I don't see how it is possible for it to be zero if it's not cycled. So that's my confusion.

    Did you bang that nitrAte bottle really hard and follow those directions?

    Your pH is pretty high....and you got these fish pretty recently. Large pH swings are hard on fish. Maybe the water they came from had much lower pH....
  15. David894 Member Member

    I’m just as confused :( And yeah maybe you’re right about the pH. I’m pretty positive I did all the tests right, I’ve done it multiple times, carefully reading all the directions. I appreciate you trying to help, it seems no one has a clear answer on why this happens or the solutions.
  16. bizaliz3 Fishlore VIP Member

    That's because there are way too many variables!!

    It could Just be that the fish was sick when you got it!
  17. David894 Member Member

    Yeah idk what to think
  18. bizaliz3 Fishlore VIP Member

    I'm sorry you're going through this. I have had it happen with new angels several times and my water is perfect! With mid range pH. It's a lot of stress going from the breeders to the store to your tank. Often it just proves to be more than some fish can tolerate! Adding a large pH swing doesn't help.

    I really hope the other Angel pulls through for you!
  19. David894 Member Member

    Thank you, I appreciate you trying to help. I’m having new problems with my heaters now though and my canister filter and then this, I think I’m just gonna see if they’ll take him back, I don’t wanna kill him.

    Being a newbie is no fun, all this stuff and trying to get it right and understand it is pretty much discouraging me from continuing, it’s so confusing
  20. bizaliz3 Fishlore VIP Member

    PLEASE DONT BE DISCOURAGED!!!!! I know exactly how you feel. I still have moments where I get really discouraged and I have been keeping fish for 6 years and breeding actively for 3 years. And I still learn new things all the time! (thanks to fishlore friends and the internet in general) Can you imagine trying to learn this hobby back in the day, before internet??? I bet a LOT of people gave up on the hobby very early back then. Thinking they just couldn't do it.

    Don't give up. There is a real learning curve with fish keeping. And one of the hardest things is weeding through the different opinions and answers you get about things. So if I get different answers from different people, I will go ahead and research it some more on my own and see which opinion I think is the most sound.

    There are a lot of very helpful understand and knowledgeable people right here on fishlore. Very SUPPORTIVE people too. Just keep coming back and keep asking questions. You'll get there!!!