Fish gasping at water surface

Kuebeecee

I have a 55 gallon, heavily planted tank. (Lots of small plants still growing)

The setup is a little strange, as I combined fish in my other tanks into this one. It’s basically a “leftover” tank.

2 x yellow dwarf gourami
3 x zebra danio
2 x white cloud minnow
1 x platty
5 x oto
5 x cory
1 x zebra nerite

Parameters as of right now:
Ammonia 0
Nitrate (barely registering)
PH 7.2
High range ph 7.4

When I got home from work I noticed all the fish were gasping for air at the top of the tank. I noticed the air stone had been moved somehow and was stuck between something, resulting in barely any bubbles being produced. I adjusted the air stone and got a lot of agitation back to the surface.

This seemed to help, as shortly after the fish all went back their normal areas. However, looking at them I am noticing they are all breathing pretty heavily. The Corys seem to be swimming up for air more frequently as well. There is one danio still hanging out at the surface.

I am mainly wondering what was causing this issue. I recently added a few river rock into the tank on the last water change to help keep some of the new plant additions in place while they grow. I thought maybe those had something to do with the odd behavior of the fish, considering these may have changed the pH but this seems to be testing normal. (I think)
 

PeterFishKeepin

maybe a water change and keep that airstone blasting not sure, gasping is often oxygen levels are low, plants help with oxygenation so add some fertilers and get those juvinile plants nice and big.
 

Flyfisha

Double check the heater is not stuck on Kuebeecee

Is the air your only way of agitating the surface?

Air stones are notorious for becoming blocked. Even the poorly named plastic never clog stones need to be unscrewed and rinsed. The stone ones are a lot harder to clear. I wonder if you have an on going issue here?

You may want to test for nitrites?
 

SparkyJones

Do you light off while at work? Its common for plants to use nitrogen and produce oxygen with the light on and reverse when the light is off. If heavily planted, it's possible to deplete oxygen in the water with the lights out if not agitated for oxygen exchange. Possible for the fish to have stressed with the airstone getting jammed up while you were gone from low o2 levels.
 

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