Fish Swimming At The Top Of The Water

Hugooo

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Hello, community,

I have had my fish for a while now, but a lot of them are often near the top of the water, even after I feed them. I have 2 platies, 3 neon tuxedo guppies, 1 tiger barb, and 1 black molly, and they live in a 10-gallon tank. Does anyone have any ideas as to why this is happening? Is this normal behavior?

Thank you so much, everyone!


As always, criticism is accepted.
 

PascalKrypt

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Usually fish hanging around at the filter or the water surface is a sign of one or both of the following two things: lack of oxygen (how is your surface agitation? that is not light stocking for a 10 gal) and poor water quality, by which I mean the presence of ammonia or nitrites or very high nitrate levels (but mostly the first). Do you have a test to check them?

Since you don't know about the nitrogen cycle it is likely ammonia and/or nitrite are present in your aquarium. Do a large water change before doing anything else, then read up on the nitrogen cycle. Until a tank is cycled (which takes several weeks) toxins build up very fast in the water. I would suggest you get a product like prime that detoxifies low levels of these toxins to help improve your fishes' health while you get your tank sorted (i.e. cycled)
 
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Hugooo

Hugooo

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PascalKrypt said:
Usually fish hanging around at the filter or the water surface is a sign of one or both of the following two things: lack of oxygen (how is your surface agitation? that is not light stocking for a 10 gal) and poor water quality, by which I mean the presence of ammonia or nitrites or very high nitrate levels (but mostly the first). Do you have a test to check them?

Since you don't know about the nitrogen cycle it is likely ammonia and/or nitrite are present in your aquarium. Do a large water change before doing anything else, then read up on the nitrogen cycle. Until a tank is cycled (which takes several weeks) toxins build up very fast in the water. I would suggest you get a product like prime that detoxifies low levels of these toxins to help improve your fishes' health while you get your tank sorted (i.e. cycled)
I have an Aqueon Quiet Flow 10 Filter on the left side, but no heater or air stone. I use the 5 in 1 Test Strips to test my water, but it does not have an ammonia checker, which is very important as you mentioned. Thanks so much for replying. Any more questions?
 

Laurenx19

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Unfortunately I believe your overstocked. Guppies & mollies alone have a large biload. & tigers really should be in a group of 6+. I would think if there constantly at the surface there's not enough oxygen. Id do a water change & move out certain fish. If it were me id rethink the guppies & platys.
 

SamAPFish

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I would say you have to many fish. Check your ammonia asap as that may be the problem. It could either be ammonia burn or not enough oxygen. Are the gills red and inflamed?
 

GuppyDazzle

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Without knowing your test readings, it's impossible to say for sure. Hanging out on the surface is usually either low oxygen level or the fish's gills are compromised due to ammonia or nitrite buildup.

It's almost impossible to do too many partial water changes. As others have suggested, I'd recommend doing a partial water change right away up to 50% and continue aggressive water changes every day or every other day until you figure this out. Prime water conditioner will not only neutralize chlorine, it will also neutralize ammonia and nitrites for 48 hours.

I'd recommend you get an API Master Test Kit and toss the test strips. Test strips are notorious for being unreliable, and they don't test ammonia. The API kit will test for pH, ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates. If you have any ammonia and nitrites, your tank is either not cycled or you're not doing enough partial water changes.

I don't think you're necessarily overstocked, but if you don't do frequent partial water changes, you might as well be.
 

Debbie1986

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8 Black neons were in a 5 gallon but were not doing well after a few weeks ( they were really, really small babies) . I put them in a 10 gallon. Then I had move 8 neons there out of a Betta tank. Lastly I had to move the skirt tetras ( 3 which became 2 after aggression..) in there for 2 weeks. Way over stocked.

what I did was a 20% water changes every 3 days and then prime. The fish survived (schooled really well too) until I got the 38 gallon rectangle tank my next paycheck.

Just stay on top of the water until you get situated
 
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Hugooo

Hugooo

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SamAPFish said:
I would say you have to many fish. Check your ammonia asap as that may be the problem. It could either be ammonia burn or not enough oxygen. Are the gills red and inflamed?
You know, I was going to say that their gills do look a bit weird. Is that part of the problem?
 

kallililly1973

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If their gills or front around their mouths are pinkish or reddish its usually an indication of ammonia burns. Do regular WC's till you can get an API liquid test kit to keep on top of of testing your water parameters. It's the single most important thing about this hobby. A healthy environment is the key.
 

Momgoose56

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Hugooo said:
Hello, community,

I have had my fish for a while now, but a lot of them are often near the top of the water, even after I feed them. I have 2 platies, 3 neon tuxedo guppies, 1 tiger barb, and 1 black molly, and they live in a 10-gallon tank. Does anyone have any ideas as to why this is happening? Is this normal behavior?

Thank you so much, everyone!


As always, criticism is accepted.
What size is your tank? You've received some good advice. I just have one thing to add. You have a tank full of tropical fish. Unless you live in the tropics and your room temp never drops below 78, you also need a thermometer and an adjustable, thermostatically controlled heater.
 

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