Help Fish Gasping At Surface?

ThePetPavilion

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What is the water volume of the tank? 5 gallons, the 10 gallon tank is cycling.
How long has the tank been running? Not quite sure. But it is sorta cycled, I will be putting the fish in the 10 gallon soon. I added a cycled filter cartridge to the filter in the 10g.
Does it have a filter? No
Does it have a heater? Yes
What is the water temperature? Thermometer broke, my other tank doesn't have a heater and it's at 80- 82 F, so somewhere around there.
What is the entire stocking of this tank? (Please list all fish and inverts.) Female betta, 3 platies, 2 swordtails, 1 female guppy, and 2 snails. I had an oto in the tank, but I put him in the ten gallon, and he is much happier there.

Maintenance
How often do you change the water? 1 or 2 times a week, I changed about 45% 2 days ago, then tested it and it was fine.
How much of the water do you change? 25%ish
What do you use to treat your water? Start Right, AquaSafe Plus, and Ammonia Neutralizer. I'm planning on getting SafeStart for the 10 gallon.
Do you vacuum the substrate or just the water? I vacuum the substrate and water.

*Parameters - Very Important
Did you cycle your tank before adding fish? Yes, I think so
What do you use to test the water?API 5 in 1 test strips
What are your parameters? We need to know the exact numbers, not just “fine” or “safe”.

Ammonia:Unknown, I have to buy an ammonia test kit, I found out after I bought it that there was no ammonia test
Nitrite: 0 ppm
Nitrate: 0 ppm
pH: 6.5- 7.0

Feeding
How often do you feed your fish? 1 or 2 times a day
How much do you feed your fish?A large pinch, it takes them all less then a minute to demolish it, so I give them a little extra, and 1 platy is pregnant, so I make sure she has enough to eat.
What brand of food do you feed your fish? Tetra Tropical Fish Flakes
Do you feed frozen or freeze-dried foods? I sometimes give them frozen Brine Shrimp or Bloodworms

Illness & Symptoms
How long have you had these fish? Guppy and snails: several months; Betta, 2 platies, 1 swordtails, and oto: 1 wk and 3 days; 1 platy and 1 swordtail: 3 days.
How long ago did you first notice these symptoms? 4- 5 days ago
In a few words, can you explain the symptoms? The fish are swimming at the top gasping.
Have you started any treatment for the illness? Sorta, I have the Start Right, it says if you have sick fish add double the amount, so I added just a little extra.
Was your fish physically ill or injured upon purchase? No, they all seemed healthy
How has its behavior and appearance changed, if at all? They only swim at the top gasping, they eat and swim normal, except that they swim at the top. They seemed a bit better today.

Explain your emergency situation in detail.
They swim at the top and gasp, their gills seem to be moving pretty fast. Do they need a bubbler in the tank? Cause I have one, if I need to use, the 10 gallon tank has air in it from the filter.
 
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ThePetPavilion

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No. I didn't quarantine the new fish, but they came from the same tanks the other fish I got a week before them came from, if that helps. I don't have a quarantine tank, I have only had my fish come with a disease once, and those were male guppies, I had like 7 guppies, now I have 1, if you get my meaning, she is just fine, now, cause I got her to a different tank soon enough for her not to get the disease. Yeah, I'm thinking of moving them today, if I do a partial water change and then test the water.

I will add some ammonia neutralizer to the tank, right now.

The nitrites are in the caution zone, I forget exactly what they were, I know they were below 3 ppm. I think it was like 0.5 or 1 ppm or something like that.
 

Crazycoryfishlady

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So right now you are likely not having them in a cycled tank.
Ammonia tests are the most important tests for you to have, aside from nitrate, especially when cycling.
Nitrite is still important, but ammonia is much more toxic and harmful.

You are using 3 water conditioners, and they all have different compounds and all likely lie about some of the boasting benefits, such as double dosing when your fish is sick.

Adding extra dechlorinator, whether it has aloe in it or not, will not save your fishes life.
It will not extra improve the quality of your water by dosing one condition twice and two others once.

I would stick with only one conditioner.
Choose the cheapest/your favorite, and stop using all the others.
Or, you could chose prime.
It's far more concentrated, a larger bottle, and it neutralizes ALL of those chemicals, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate.
So it does the job of all 3 of your conditioners, but with only one bottle of treatment necessary instead of a buttload of chemicals.

I agree, it is likely ammonia poisoning.
Your 5 gallon is heavily over stocked, and it will even be considered over stocked when going to a 10 gallon.
We had a heavily planted 10 gallon, and with two adult platies and a betta we couldn't fit much more in there withiut the bioload being really affected.

Not to mention bettas are highly agressive towards guppies, which I assume honestly had part of the reason to do with why some of them died.
I would also like to note, taking a fish out of sick water that 6 other fish died from, doesn't necessarily mean that you got the fish out healthy before it got sick.
Humans and fish can be carriers of disease, so usually when 1 out of 7 shows no symptoms, that one could be a carrier of disease instead of just a miraculously healthy fish.
It's like having a cold but no stuffy nose, then you spend time with friends and they get a stuffy nose.

Keep the betta in the 5 gallon, and when moving up, move the platies and guppies.

The general number of fish for a 10 gallon that isn't heavily planted is anywhere from 3-6 fish depending on size.
But you don't have micro rasboras, so 6 is a terrible number.
Most people won't even put a single platy in a 5 gallon, let alone a pair of them in a 10 gallon.
I personally think 3 platies with any other fish is absolute max for a olanted 10 gallon.
And to give you an idea of sort of how planted your tank might need to be in order to keep up woth the nitrate load... Otherwise you'll have nitrates up the butt and have no way to remove them but by doing water changes multiple times a week.
My 10 gallon only had 3 fish and 2 crayfish and we still had to do weekly changes to keep nitrates below 50ish but enough so the plants could feed.

But yeah.
Do a water change now before adding your conditioner, and then figure out which brand you want to use solo, because there's not much reason to use 3-5 different chemicals on your tank every time you do maintenance, make sure you get an ammonia test, and in the future look into getting a liquid test kit.
It gives you over 800 tests for just 20 bucks, rather than 8 tests for 5 bucks! Lol


If you have nitrites you need to do a 50% water change right now.
Not doing so could have your whole tank dead in the morning.
Dont take all the nitrite out, this tank is still cycling and needs food to continue to cycle, so do a 50-60% change and then restest.
Your nitrites should be between 0 and .25, no higher than that.
I had to do 20 gallon changes on my 55 gallon when it was cycling.. Gotta protect the fish.
Let us know your testing after that.
 
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ThePetPavilion

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The nitrites are in the caution zone, I forget exactly what they were, I know they were below 3 ppm. I think it was like 0.5 or 1 ppm or something like that.
This was supposed to be for the 10 gallon tank, I moved them all to the 10g, I did 35% water change, all the other water parameters were fine.

There was no betta when the guppies died, and my betta fish is a sweetheart, she doesn't pick on any of the fish.

You are using 3 water conditioners, and they all have different compounds and all likely lie about some of the boasting benefits, such as double dosing when your fish is sick.

Adding extra dechlorinator, whether it has aloe in it or not, will not save your fishes life.
It will not extra improve the quality of your water by dosing one condition twice and two others once.

I would stick with only one conditioner.
Choose the cheapest/your favorite, and stop using all the others.
Or, you could chose prime.
It's far more concentrated, a larger bottle, and it neutralizes ALL of those chemicals, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate.
So it does the job of all 3 of your conditioners, but with only one bottle of treatment necessary instead of a buttload of chemicals.
Okay, I will pick one. Can I use all of them togeth till they're empty, then get just one of those or prime?

Not to mention bettas are highly agressive towards guppies, which I assume honestly had part of the reason to do with why some of them died.
I would also like to note, taking a fish out of sick water that 6 other fish died from, doesn't necessarily mean that you got the fish out healthy before it got sick.
Humans and fish can be carriers of disease, so usually when 1 out of 7 shows no symptoms, that one could be a carrier of disease instead of just a miraculously healthy fish.
It's like having a cold but no stuffy nose, then you spend time with friends and they get a stuffy nose.
My guppy has been in a clean tank for a few months with no sign of sickness. And the betta I had then was in a separate tank cause he hates other fish.

Keep the betta in the 5 gallon, and when moving up, move the platies and guppies.
Do I still need to keep the betta in the 5g, cause she likes the 10g with other fish more.

Almost all the water parameters are okay. They all in the caution or ideal zone, not danger. I will get another 10g, to put half the fish in there.
 

Crazycoryfishlady

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Almost all the water parameters are okay. They all in the caution or ideal zone, not danger. I will get another 10g, to put half the fish in there.
Do you live near a petco? If your plan is to get another 10 gallon, you might want to take advantage of the dollar per gallon sales.
I'm not sure if they are still going on, but you could just get a 20 gallon long tank, and put all of your fish in that, and they would be very happy!!!
I didn't know the betta you had was a female, or when the other guppies had died, so that makes sense.

Can you give numbers for caution? I don't know what that means.

Moving your fish around a lot in an uncycled tank can make things worse, so it would've been better to keep them in the 5 gallon and wait for the 10 gallon to be done, but you already did it, so don't move any more fish today!
I thought you meant that the 5 gallon had 3 nitrite.
What is the number for the nitrite now?

I wouldn't use all 3 of your dechlorinators at once, but maybe use one bottle at a time until they're all gone. Then choose one, or get prime.

If you get another tank, and do get a 20 gallon, then you could keep the guppy in your 10 gallon tank, and put everyone else in the 20 gallon, including your female betta fish.
If you want to have 3 tanks running, this means you can get more fish later in the future, and use the 5 gallon as your new quarantine tank!

Since your platy might have babies, a 20 gallon is a good idea because they can have a lot of babies!
You would want to get a sponge filter, and an air pump, because a regular filter can suck up the babies.
It's only a few dollars more than a 10 gallon tank, and it offers a lot more space.
There's also a trick about buying sand for a tank. If you go to a hardware store, or a place like a walmart, you can buy pool filter sand, or regular white silica sand. This is a big bag of sand for only about 10 dollars, and it's a lot cheaper than buying something labeled as aquarium substrate.
 
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ThePetPavilion

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I live 1/2 hour from petco and I'm 13, so I don't think I can go to Petco. I live really close to Pet Supplies Plus though, they have really cheap tanks. But my leopard gecko will be going into a bigger cage soon, so I can use his 10g when he has a better cage, cause my parents aren't that excited about me getting another tank.
 
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