Illness, Health & Nutrition • all fish sitting on bottom breathing heavy

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all fish sitting on bottom breathing heavy

Postby Grumblecakes » Sun Aug 21, 2011 12:58 am

all of my cichlids are sitting on the bottom breathing heavy/fast and very lethargic looking. they totally ignore food. this afternoon they were fine. i had to move the stand about 6in this morning so i drained about half the water. refilled it using the diy buffer and top fin dechlor. came home after a movie and they all were behaving as described. I've done a water change and lowered the water level to help with surface agitation. im at a loss of what to do and dont want to lose anyone. its been about 2 hours and i havent seen a change

my waters is
ammonia/nitrite 0
nitrates between 20-30
ph around 8.3/8.4
temp is 79f
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Postby vann59 » Sun Aug 21, 2011 1:08 am

Was this water change the first one in a long while?
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Postby Grumblecakes » Sun Aug 21, 2011 1:14 am

no, i did a water change about 3 days ago and usually do one every 5 days
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Postby Cooder » Sun Aug 21, 2011 4:17 am

hmmm, sounds like the difference between water of tank and new water is to great, in temp and ph ect.
This happened to me once, i tried using bore water to conserve my tank water and it was to soft, so my fish were doing the exact same thing as yours, i immediatly buffered and did a quick small water hange and they recovered within half an hour-an hour.
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Postby Grumblecakes » Sun Aug 21, 2011 7:14 am

as of now they are still alive but their activity is picking up. they are still breathing pretty rapidly
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Postby DanniGirl » Sun Aug 21, 2011 11:17 am

What was the pH before you added the baking soda?
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Postby Grumblecakes » Sun Aug 21, 2011 5:04 pm

around 8.2-8.4

just woke up and they area all acting normal breathing has slowed down but is still faster than normal. i pciked up all the shells to make sure they were alive last night. they have reburied most and the juvy acei has built a cave under a flat rock that him and the bn pleco are now sharing. they also ate pretty aggressively, which is a good sign.
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Postby vann59 » Sun Aug 28, 2011 1:13 am

Grumblecakes wrote:around 8.2-8.4

just woke up and they area all acting normal breathing has slowed down but is still faster than normal. i pciked up all the shells to make sure they were alive last night. they have reburied most and the juvy acei has built a cave under a flat rock that him and the bn pleco are now sharing. they also ate pretty aggressively, which is a good sign.


So you have shellies? They are supposed to have pretty hard water and high pH I believe. That may have been the problem.
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Postby Robin » Sun Aug 28, 2011 8:47 am

Sounds like the fish are coming out of it.
If this should ever happen again check the filter media to make sure there isn't a build up of waste on the them and also check to make sure the filters are working properly with a good strong flow out of the return.

If you hadn't done a water change for a while prior to doing this large water change then it's possible that your ph dropped--not an issue for your fish since the drop would have been gradual. If there was any ammonia then this lower ph would have rendered the ammonia harmless to your fish--so again, not an issue for your fish. However when you did the water change the new water would have raised the ph, fast and likewise converted the ammonia to it's toxic form and this could have sent them to the bottom, lethargic and breathing hard as you described. Having a dechlorinator that removes ammonia is helpful to have on hand. (Not sure if your dechlorinator is one of those-?)

Another possibility here is if you had deep substrate that hadn't been siphoned in a long time. Anaerobic bacteria can be release and cause fish problems.
And one more possibility is that some sort of toxin got into the water when you did the change. Residue from a some sort of cleaner, perfume, gasoline on your fingers.

How are the shellies today?

Robin
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Postby Grumblecakes » Tue Aug 30, 2011 8:36 am

they are all doing great and doing what they do best (aquascaping).

im still not really sure what happened. my best guess is i didnt wash my hands well enough and i was spray painting some stuff (non aquarium, outside/not near the tank) earlier in the day.

i dont think ammonia was the issue since the first thing i checked when i saw it was ammonia/nitrite/nitrate and ph as listed below.

but they are alive and i think they are doing a bit better than even before, 2 more have paired up giving me 2 pair. the territories seem to be less 'aggressive' as well since it all got rearranged.
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