Fish Are Gasping For Air

benjmin

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hello fish fam!

so i have a 40 gallon aquarium with 12 paradise fish (gourami) and 3 bristlenose pleco. for the past month the paradise fish would occasionally come up to the surface for air. i have a aquaclear 70, and a powerhead (for agitation) but fish are still coming to the surface for air.

anyone have any idea what might be causing this? and are powerheads good for oxygenation?

thanks,
ben
 

tocandesu

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Paradise fish are part of the gourami family which means that they have a special labyrinth organ made specifically for air intake. So seeing them go to the surface for air is normal. It seems to be a habit for labyrinth fish.

However, if you see them gasping at the surface for a while(using the labyrinth organ should only last a couple of seconds), you have a water quality issue.
 

Ravenahra

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Have you checked your ammonia? Is your water cloudy or green?

Ammonia can make it hard for fish to breathe but they usually head to the bottom.

I've read that a bacteria bloom or an algae bloom or massive die off can suck oxygen out of the water as well.
 
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benjmin

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Paradise fish are part of the gourami family which means that they have a special labyrinth organ made specifically for air intake. So seeing them go to the surface for air is normal. It seems to be a habit for labyrinth fish.

However, if you see them gasping at the surface for a while(using the labyrinth organ should only last a couple of seconds), you have a water quality issue.
So I'm just hoping this is normal behavior because I believe my water parameters are healthy. This is from a test I did this morning. Thoughts?

Amonia - 0
Nitrate - 0 - 20
Nitrite - 0
GH - 25
PPM - 0
KH - 0
PH - 6.2

Have you checked your ammonia? Is your water cloudy or green?

Ammonia can make it hard for fish to breathe but they usually head to the bottom.

I've read that a bacteria bloom or an algae bloom or massive die off can suck oxygen out of the water as well.
I've tested my ammonia this morning and it's at 0. :/ here is a picture of my tank.
 

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Ravenahra

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I've tested my ammonia this morning and it's at 0. :/ here is a picture of my tank.
Water and parameters look good. As long as they're eating and swimming strong, I think it's the natural behavior tocandesu was describing .
 
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benjmin

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Water and parameters look good. As long as they're eating and swimming strong, I think it's the natural behavior tocandesu was describing .
that's a relief! thank you guys for the quick response.
 
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