Urgent! Fish Breathing at Top of Tank

abarilot

Jack Dempsey
Original poster
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Mar 4, 2009
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By the Beach!
Well I just moved yesterday and setup my 60g Uruguayan cichlid tank last night. I wake up this morning and the small fish (danios and white clouds) are at the top of the tank. Being tired I really didnt think much of it. In the past hour I looked at the tank and all the fish are at the top of the tank breathing rapidly. So I did a quick parameter check and the results: nitrates 0, nitrites .25 and ammonia 0. Would the nitrites cause this?

I just performed a 75% WC but what else is there I can do/test?

btw tank has been up and running since June 09
 

bob965

Feeder Fish
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Sep 16, 2009
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Your fish are showing signs of distress due to the presence of nitrites. Something happened to disrupt your cycle. Perhaps you increased your bioload, or cleaned your filter too thoroughly recently. Keep it under control with water changes until your biofilter restabilizes. You can also dose with Prime to detoxify the nitrite.
 

Citrinellus

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Nov 16, 2008
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I would increase surface movement too. They might be lacking oxygen in the water.
 

abarilot

Jack Dempsey
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Mar 4, 2009
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By the Beach!
Thanks for the responses! As for the O2 should be good since the surface water is pretty well distrubed. If something did happen to my cycle how long till it'll be back on track (i know it'll have to be an estimate)?
 

JK47

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The tank has bacteria all over every surface (walls, decor etc...), not just the filters. The fact that you just set it back up after a move means maybe only the bacteria from your filter survived the move casuing a mini cycle already going into the nitrite phase. I say this because if your nitrate readings really are 0 that would mean you've started with completely fresh water right? Dose the tank volme with a solid conditioner like Prime to make the nitrite non-toxic and add suface agitation like Citrinelus suggested. Since your in a cool down period for your cichlids, it may take a little longer for the minicycle to do it's thing. BB colonies cultivate faster in warmer, well oxygenated water so the surface aggitation is important.

EDIT, just read your response. You should be good within a couple days. I do a WC every day of a minicycle so there is always prime detox'ing ammo/nitrite. (Prime only binds it for 48 hours)
 

bob965

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Sep 16, 2009
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I would say 10 days or less if I had to guess, since you say it was already up and running. The only way to know for sure is to keep testing.
 

drodney22

Feeder Fish
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Mar 14, 2010
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This may be a dumb question, but I had almost all my fish die once to a similar situation. The bubbles creating oxygen in the tank had been turn off because they were on a switch ny son flipped on the way out that morning. Never do that again.

Just wondering if you have sufficient bubbles going on?
 
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