Annabella asked in PetsFish · 1 decade ago

Any idea why my fish are doing this?

I just moved & also changed the water in their tank. They are all congregating in one small corner by the filter & the air bubbles. It's much hotter here by like 15 to 20 degrees. Do you think it's that? Why would they all want to be there? It's a 55 gallon tank & right now I have 6 various types of goldfish & 1 catfish.

My husband has been putting an icebag in there daily just in case the weather here is too hot for them. Any suggestions?


Ooh. How do I oxygenate the tank? Should I leave the top flaps open where the lights are?

Update 2:

8 in the corner . . . it's actually in the 90's here. We were around 70-75 degrees at our old place by the beach. Is 90 plus really bad for them? We have A/C but don't run it 24/7. That's why we're putting the icebag in there.

Update 3:

WOW! Thanks everyone. I have more air stones & another pump that I'll put in & I will definitely do more to cool down the water. Thank you!!!

10 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
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    As what others have said, possible reasons are too hot, too little oxygen and different/poor quality water.

    Too hot: If you don't already have one, get an aquarium thermometer to stick to the inner glass, submerged about 2/3 from the tank bottom. Digital ones are much easier to read. It's important to monitor aquarium temp constantly. Goldies are cold water fish most comfortable in about 50-77F range. Cold water fish need more oxygen than warm water tropicals & warmer the water the less its ability to hold oxygen. It gets serious if fish resort to gasping for air at water surface. Water at the filter outlet will be more oxygenated than rest of the tank. Your current ambient temp is way too hot for even most tropicals.

    - removing top flaps allow for more air circulation which reduces heat from the lights & allows more evaporation to cool the water. Though more risk of dust getting on water surface & not advisable for jumpy fish.

    - ice bags or ice packs are very temporary solution & melt too fast to be efficient. Seal well in ziplock bags to prevent leakage if placing directly in tank. Similar alternative is freezing partially filled 1.5 or 2 liter plastic soda bottles.

    - Unless you have lots of moolah to burn, aquarium chillers are overkill for freshwater tanks. The best effective cheap method is to use clip-on small fans angled across the water surface. This increases the evaporation rate which in turn cools the water by about average 5-7F, but you'll need to top up the water level more frequently. Fans sold by fish shops are generally adapted from computer case fans, you can even DIY your own at fraction of price. Many consume less than 1W of power, very cost effective.

    Too little oxygen: More air stones is ok but note the bubbles themselves don't contribute to oxygen levels, it's the surface agitation that matters. Several airstones placed at different locations can be 'powered' using a single air pump by use of those multi connectors. Those long airstones can provide a wall of bubbles in the background, quite effective. Alternative is using a rain bar for the filter outlet, suspended above the water surface it agitates the water well.

    Water quality - advisable for fish owners to buy water testing kits, even those all-in-one strips are better than nothing. Important to periodically test pH, nitrite, nitrate, ammonia. Test pH of your new water supply direct from tap before use in the tank, it could be very different from your previous area. Fish can generally tolerate only a 0.5 swing within 24 hours, remember pH is logarithmic (10 times effect of previous pH). There are natural methods to fine tune pH if too out of whack. Use something like Seachem Prime to condition & detox tap water before use. Do regular water changes, up to 25% every 1-2 weeks. Note goldfish & most catfish are champion poopers, so water changes & good filter are a must. Having a permanent bag of biological media (sintered glass, ceramic rings etc) in the filter helps improve biological filtration to tackle toxic nitrogenous compounds. You can also have some tough live plants, not soft leaved ones that goldfish will eat, may need to be planted in pots to prevent uprooting. Live plants help with oxygenating water & also removing some toxins as fertilisers.

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  • 1 decade ago

    The air stones will do next to nothing, all you need to do is to keep the water temperature low to allow disolved oxygen to permeate the water, the higher the temp the less oxygen it can hold. You don't mention the size of the fish which may have a baring on the use of oxygen. One suspects they're staying near the filter because the water is cooler, turn off the lights and don't use them if you can get away with it as this will only add to the heat, open up the top so air can circulate.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Goldfish are most comfortable in cooler water, but unless your house is in the high 70's or low 80's, I would not worry about it. The fact that they are staying around the filter says that there might not be enough oxygen in the water for them to breathe comfortably.

    Try putting another air stone in the tank or turning up the amount of air that you have running at present. Warm water does not hold as much oxygen as cooler water. Oxygen is absorbed at the surface of the tank as the surface is agitated by the power filter or air stones.

    Another possibility is that the water pH is different than what they have been used to. A difference of just .5 is enough to cause them problems. If they get used to it over time you will be OK, but you should have acclimated them to the local water supply VERY slowly when you first brought them to the new house.

    Try some water conditioner that removes chlorine and chloramine and add some Stress Coat for them. If the pH at the new house is high, you might want to get some pH adjuster and bring the pH down a little for a while (do this very slowly).

    Some houses have water conditioners that use salt pellets to make the water soft. If this is the case there, you might want to get your water for the fish tank from a tap that is located in the line BEFORE the water conditioner tank.


    Source(s): 22 tanks up and running at present. Mostly cichlids with some catfish, livebearers and some shrimp. 26 years of keeping and breeding many different species of tropicals, cichlids, shrimp and snails.
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  • 1 decade ago

    You need to find out the tank water's temperature before you both panic and do something wrong with the water. Moving is never easy on fish.

    You don't want the water to hot or to cold. The goldfish are cool water fish, but the catfish isn't. The increase in water flow helps cool the water down, and that is also where there is more oxygen dissolved in the water, ie more comfortable.

    But do get a thermometer and check the tanks temp.

    Source(s): 35 years of keeping fish.
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  • 4 years ago

    You and your child go out and pick out some plants your child and you would like to have in a terrarium. Make a atmosphere for the plants so you and your child/children can watch the plant/s grow and they can see the wonder of plant life. One can even put seeds in there and the children can watch how a plant grows from seeds. If you have a top to the fish tank even better, but if not this is fine too. You can even put seeds in there of something edible? Maybe a plant that flowers, African violet or some other plant that has pretty flowers? Depending how old your children our of course we do not want the kids thinking they can eat all plants. So education will have to come into play here too :0)

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  • 1 decade ago

    if your tank water temp is too hot they may be stressed out and, scared, i would give them time to adjust, try to keep the noise around the tank down, and maybe even put up up a tank background, if your tank is too hot i would take a water bottle and freeze it then let it float.

    i would adjust the room temp or even move your tank in front of whatever ac you have available to cool them down,

    Source(s): my best wishes
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  • one reason may be it is not because they are hot because they are might want to consider putting a small heater in the tank,first check the temperature make sure its about 79-80 some fish actually do that when mating .Fish sometimes get shocks of changing their water .when changing water never pour it all leave about 1/2of and inch for them to adjust.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Maybe all the water isnt clean in the tank so they are all breathing in the fresh water by the filter.

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  • 1 decade ago

    The new water you put in the tank is probably not oxygenated enough for them. They will probably stop eventually.

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  • 1 decade ago

    i think it's just too hot( and hot water does make the water have less oxygen)

    and goldfish are coldwater.. so that's worse...

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