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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My cycle took a setback right before my fish were shipped to me so I had no choice but to put them in my tank. I have .25-.5ppm nitrIte and I'm wondering if my fish are just going for the bubbles cause they are hungry or if they are gasping for air? it seems to only be my Acei that are doing it.


thanks in advance for any feedback!
 

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Its hard to tell by the video, but usually the Acei tend to stick to the higher portions of the tank then most others. Look and see they are really flaring their gills and opening their mouth wide like they are really trying to get the water moving through them. If you can maybe try and get a little more surface agitation to help promote gas exchange in the water, or add an airstone till your sure the tank is properly cycled.

Edit: I see you are running HOBs so Id say your safe with the O2 levels. Looks more like they are just trying to eat something
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I've been watching them for awhile and it looks like they are trying to eat the bubbles, they aren't flaring their gills at all when they go to the surface. I have tons of surface agitation, two HOB filters there's little bubbles all over the surface and even in the water itself.
 

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.5 nitrite has my fish gasping at the surface, definitely. But it's the nitrite that is the problem, not lack of oxygen. The toxin burns their gills and they feel like they can't breathe.
 

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That doesnt look like they are gasping. When I add new fish to my tank they always play and go for the bubbles off my curtains. I think sometimes they think the bubbles on the water surface is food, thats just bubbles created off the canister like yours is doing.

You would definitely know they were 'hanging' at the top for air where the oxygen levels would be higher. They tend to 'hang' at a 45% angle with the head touching the water surface and just stay there, yours seem to be playing somewhat and it looks to me like they are playing in the stream of water against a current maybe? is the a current at the left hand side?

If your totally unsure you could always do some small water changes over the period of a week, do you have access to mature water or mature filter media, even a sponge you could squeeze into your tank to replace the bacteria your taking out...watse of money buying bacteria from LFS, IME they are just as useful as a chocolate fire guard.

Id say its not necessary to do anything until you see them hanging or worse, you see blood coming to the scale surface, this would indicate burning from ammonia or nitrites.

Best of luck and keep us informed, regards Lee
 

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I don't see a promblem there yet. They seem to be behaving normally. Also watch for brown gills. Your nitrite level is pretty low. Is it dropping daily, any change? Try using Prime, if you aren't already, as it claims to detox nitrite. Not sure if I mentioned that to you yet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
thanks for the responses, since my initial post I did a 50% WC to get my nitrites from .25-.5 down close to 0 (API test showed a very slight purplish blue last night). This morning I just tested and got

0 ammonia, 0 nitrites, 10-20 nitrAtes

I think there still might be traces of nitrItes throwing off my nitrates, I find it hard to believe I already have almost 20 nitrAtes after 1 night, but I could be wrong.

akky- I think you're right about them just playing or thinking it was food. None of my other species were up at the top and the Acei would just go up, suck a couple bubbles in, and go back down. I didn't notice any gill flaring at all and I've checked their gills this morning and they appear to be normal.
 

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Sounds like you're in good shape and that spike was indeed brief. Going forward, go easy on feedings and water changes (amount) for the first 45-60 days. Don't clean the filter for the first 60 days. If you're not overfeeding, it wont' need it. First cleaning go real easy and test water afterward.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Should I still do WC whenever I see nitrates above 20 and/or whenever nitrites are present? I won't clean anything for awhile, when is it okay to start feeding daily? I got the NLS small fish formula, this is the same as the cichlid formula isn't it? Is it going to be safe for my fish? My rusties are small, .5"-1" my Acei are about 1"-1.5" and my Yellow labs are about 2".
 

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The food is good, and daily feeding is fine at this point as long as nitrites don't climb. But, I'm guessing they'll zero out by tomorrow. At that point just monitor nitrates.

Generally 20ppm of nitrate is the level used to signal a water change is needed. I'd suggest a weekly change of 25% or so and see how that goes. Adjust as needed. As they grow you may have change as much as 40% or more weekly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Just curious how you feed your fish. This morning I took a small pinch of the pellets and put them in the tank and the fish went crazy for about 20-30 seconds, they are apparently "sinking" pellets but my fish ate them before they got the chance to sink. There were some fish that I saw that didn't get any, I don't think they realized I was putting food in. Should I put the food in the same spot every time so they get used to it? I'm new to this so I don't want to underfeed but I'm paranoid of over feeding too.
 

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What you did today was fine even if some didn't get any. When you start to add more and more until you see all get some, that's when overfeeding can happen. This is common in the early going until they all figure out where the food is. Tomorrow, they'll probably get in there and get their share. I use a feeding tube so the food gradually sinks. I don't like to force non-surface feeders to surface feed. Some may not bottom feed, but most will. So in your case you might want to add the food, then give the surface a quick stir with your fingers to get it to sinking. That'll spread it around and give all a chance. You can also add the food to some water in a small cup, then dump it in, but then most will end up on the sand. Not a problem unless you have some that don't like to feed from the bottom. Don't get overanxious about this. It's a learning exprience for you and the fish. You'll figure out what works for them and they'll figure out that you've got the food.

Just want to add, don't soak the food for an extended period if you use the cup method. Just stir it so it sinks in the cup and add to the tank.
 
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