View Full Version : Rainbowfish Coming Up For Air

08-27-2012, 09:42 AM

I have a relatively new tank with 6 different fish in.
however i have noticed one of my dwarf neon rainbows keeps coming to the surface for air.

This is the only fish to do so and i have a pump that is working fine.

Any ideas?

08-27-2012, 10:36 AM
I just need to ask you a few questions, Frankee. Then explain why I ask them. It will help us sort out if there's a problem.

What size is the tank?

What other fishes do you have?

Do you have a water test kit? If you haven't it's always a good thing to have to see exactly what your water is doing. If you do have one, could you post up some test results?

Exactly how new is your tank? One or two weeks maybe? If the tank is new it's probably still cycling. If the tank is still cycling, then you will need the test kit.

In basic terms, cycling is the process of growing good bacteria in your filter media (the sponge, cotton wool, filter cartridge). The fishes waste will produce ammonia, which kicks off the cycle. Once the ammonia starts, bacteria starts to grow that eats the ammonia and turns it into nitrites. Once the nitrites start, then a bacteria starts to grow to eat the nitrites and turns it into nitrates. After the cycle is complete, your tests should read 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites, and you will be seeing nitrates when you test. As suggested, get yourself an API master test kit, so that you can test for ammonia, nitrites and nitrates. Having that kit will make it so much easier to keep track of what's going on during the cycle. Ammonia and nitrites are poisonous to fish, and you will need to do partial water changes to keep those two things at a safe level.

When you start doing your water changes, do not change the water so that you get a 0 reading of ammonia or nitrites, and do not clean your filter. And make sure you use dechlorinator every water change. Chlorinated water will kill off the good bacteria. You need to have ammonia and nitrites in the water to keep the cycle going, until it completes. You need to keep testing, and only do enough water changes to keep the ammonia between .25ppm and .50ppm. Eventually the ammonia will lower to 0 as the bacteria grows enough to eat it all. The nitrites will do the same thing. They will show up on your tests, they will rise, then lower as the bacteria grows.

Sorry if that's a bit long, but it'll help to answer some questions! :ssmile:

08-30-2012, 08:34 PM
Hi escamosa

Many thanks for your reply. To answer your questions I have a 95litre tank and have had it running for approximately 4 weeks with fish in it. I have 2 harlequins and two rainbow fish at present. The pump is working and the temperature is at 26*c I do not have a test kit but am getting regular water tests at the local shop every other day or so at the moment. There are 4 large living plants in the tank and I have been told that the water levels are ok with 0 amonia, little Nitrite and some Nitrate. exact numbers for the later two I am not sure but they are OK apparently. Also I am doing regular 10-20% water changes every 3 days at the moment but this has not stopped the one rainbow sucking on the top of the water.
Finally all the other fish seem to be quite happy and the two Harlequins seem to be breeding (I think) so they are fine.

Would be great if you have any more input
Many thanks

08-30-2012, 08:50 PM
First thing I would do is buy a Freshwater test kit from API so that you have an actual number to work with instead of Okay or Not Okay. It gives you more information which is never bad.

It seems like your tank is near the end of a fish-in cycle. If you don't know what cycling is, you should read up about it in the cycling sub-forum.

Lady Hobbs
08-30-2012, 09:15 PM
The fish store is there to help you get started. If you plan to continue in this hobby, then you need the equipment to do so.