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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
fish were fine today ammonia 0.2 so did a 20% water change added usual de chlorinator etc all way normal anyway came home toight and they are at the surface. They look ok not in distress but they seem to be gasping for air, taken readings and

ammonia 0
ph 8.2
nitrite 0
nitrate 0

I feel my external filter, when it dumps the water back in the tank does not make enough bubbles so have temporarily taped it higher thus making the water make more bubbles when it goes in the tank

any ideas why this might happed, happened a week or so ago and i did the same and they were fine

:-?
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
i have turned the light off and this seems to have helped and they have come from the surface a bit. This i s strange but i dont like that its happened more than once now some thin is wrong

temp is 27 by the way
 

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do you have alot of surface movement? Usually fish at the surface indicates they don't have enough oxygen or nitrite poisoning.
Bubbles don't really add as much much oxygen as just creating a current on the surface.
The bacteria in filters eat up O2, with any ammonia reading, something is usually wrong.
 

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It sounds like your tank never went through its cycle, because unless it is very heavily planted there should be at least some nitrate reading. Also in an established tank ammonia readings should always be zero.

Keep an eye on the water parameters and continue with water changes to keep the ammonia readings down. See if you can get some established filter media from a friend or maybe the store you got the fish from in order to jumpstart the cycle.

Here is the library section's info on cycling:
http://www.cichlid-forum.com/articles/c ... y_list.php

Besides this there are the usual slew of questions about your tank that can help people provide better advice. What is the size, stock list, maintenance routine, recent changes or additions, ect. The more information you give the better the advice is typically. Though given what youve said so far I believe you tank hasn't finished cycling.
 

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G'day Cardiff.
I no your fish list because i have read every post you have made. I don't think that it has anything to do with your water parameters but most likely due to aggression in the tank. Is there a particular fish that dominates the tank and pushes the rest of them around.
One sign of extreme aggression is fish hanging around at the surface and behind filters.
I may be wrong. Do all the fish hang around the top? Has the tank been cycled?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
tank was fishless cycled for a month but with a smaller, internal filter, i ran it with fish for a month fine then put a few more in and ran the external for another month and been about another month with just the external, to be honest about 5 fish were at the top and one of those was my biggest orange one and he is the most agressive
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
anyone else? am up at 3am as concerned lol they were at the surface but dropped lower when i came in and swtched a rom light on
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
anyone else? came to check on them and a few were at the surface, turned the light on in the room and they dropped down
 

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Since you had a 0.2 ammonia reading this morning, your tank has either not finished it's cycle or you are having a mini spike. The fish do not recover instantly from an ammonia/nitrite spike and they may hover at the surface for a week or longer due to their earlier exposure.

How much filtration do you have on the tank? Is the turnover 2X per hour or more? You could try adding another filter and/or lowering the water to see if additional oxygen helps.

Don't discount aggression as the cause or at least a contributor. You have a high male:female ratio in your tank, correct? The fish hovering could be all the females trying to avoid the aggressive males. I'd change the mix as soon as possible.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
i am not super experienced but am thinkinh it may be high ph, heard that can cause gasping and my ph has been hard since i put coral sand in. my ph is about 8.8 right now and all i have to lower it malawi bffer but i am concerned that does not lower it does say it keeep it in the zone needed for malawi's but if it gets too high to get a ph lowerer

looking now and 5 are at the top

my little yellow, two blues, both my orange.

Am scrared i am going to go to bed and wake up to losses and no idea what i can do to help, ammonia and nitrite still 0, nitrite has never not been zero and thats using 2 different kits
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
the tank is only 90l and have a big aqua one aquis 750 filter i was told this was more than enough for my neds, everyime i turn to look there are about 5/6 fish at the surface but they drop down when they see me looking!

shall i keep doing water changes will this help?
 

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It *is odd you have '0' nitrates with that many fish if it's cycled. You're not using the test strips, are you? If so, they're not accurate at all. The liquid test tube kits ARE accurate.
The most obvious answer bsed on syptoms is ammonia or nitrite and they're not getting enough oxygen, they wouldn't be at the top otherwise. I'd do a 25% water change, I know you just did a 20% but it's a small tank and a lot of fish, I'd do more . When in doubt, change water.
 

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I'd say you've got three concerns, but I don't think pH is one of them. 8.8 is not too high for Malawi. They could have been shocked when they first transitioned into your 8.8 water, but if they survived that, they've adjusted. Once when I put fish into a tank with a little higher pH, they sort of plopped down on the bottom as if they were asleep for a while (no gasping at the surface). Then within a hour I guess they started to acclimate and started to swim around. They were fine after that.

The three concerns: tank too small, pairs instead of harems and ammonia spikes.

You are handling the ammonia spikes by doing water changes. Remember if the fish may have a chemical burn on their gills and they may have trouble breathing for a week or so even after you have fixed the problem.

I think you have to decide if you can provide a larger tank almost immediately. 90liters is 23 US gallons. I might keep a dozen juveniles in a tank that size for a 3 week quarantine, but after that they would go in a 55G or larger. A juvenile would be under 4cm.

I'm not familar with your filter, but how many gallons per hour does it filter? I googled Aquis 750 and got Aqua One Aquis CF 700, is that it? It says 700 liters per hour so that should be good, oxygen should be OK if your tank is at the proper temperature (around 78 degrees Farenheight).

That leaves aggression to be addressed. How large are your fish? Some of them looked like they might have had had full adult colors from your pictures. Maybe they are not juveniles, but mature? In that case, the small tank and lack of sufficient females probably has the females "hiding" at the surface. If you can't provide the larger tank and additional females immediately, I'd remove the fish at the surface and return them to the LFS until the larger tank/more females becomes possible.
 

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Hi Cardiff,

Where your tank is newly cycled I would first of all double check on all your water tests.

As long as there's nothing wrong with your water supply, (might want to check with your water company to make sure nothing's been altered), then I would go with the advice to try doing a 25-30% partial water change with a good quality declorinator. Then watch and see if there's any change in the fish's behavior.

Also: check to make sure that your filter(s) are running properly. There should be a good strong flow coming out of them. A faulty filter or clogged media in the filter can have a serious affect on your fish.

Anytime your fish are at the top the first thing you want to do is check your water quality and filters but in this case it doesn't quite fit that the fish will come down from the top when you turn the lights on or off-- so you should also consider the possibility of aggression. It's quite common for fish who are being harrassed to hang at the top and only come down when it's feeding time or you approach the tank, (which they asume means feeding time)

Have ALL the fish been staying at the top? Are the fish eating normally?

Robin
 
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