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finsNfur

Air stone went off and fish began floating on their sides

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Yesterday one of my cats must have stepped on the tubing to my air stone, it was off for a few hours. When I noticed it, I was horrified to find my moor and my ryukin struggling to swim, and slurping air from the surface. I guess they were sucking in too much air. All night long they struggled to swim, I kept checking on them, afraid they had died. They were often floating on their sides. My fantail was unaffected. Thankfully this morning they are back to normal. They are all very young fish, only a few inches long in a 20 long, with two marineland biowheels rated for something like 40 gallon tanks. I guess the air circulation wasn't enough without the air stone, which is a long bar. I even had the filters raised a bit on lego pieces to cause more surface air circulation. I am really worried now, we sometimes lose power during storms, are my fish destined to die with a power outage, even only for a few hours? I can't believe they were so quickly distressed, I hadn't realized just how dependent they are on the bubbles.

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Sorry to hear your fish were in trouble :( It sounds to me it might be something more than the airstone being off for a few hours might be going on :( there are a few members here that don't use airstones at all and have no issues,maybe we need to move this to DD and fill out the question's at the top and see if we can figure out what went wrong ;)

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It does sound strange because my fish without airstones are perfectly fine. When you ship a fish it does not have any kind of surface agitation and it is fine so this does seem quite strange

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My fish has no air stones at all, and some people on here have even said they think the surface of my tank is somewhat calm and that I could increase surface agitation more. Even with this, my fish is totally happy and lively and has never had an issue. I do plan on increasing surface agitation in my tank, but I would think there was more going on with your fish with the reaction you described. I hope everyone can help you figure it out soon!

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I'm so sorry to hear this friend. Hope your fish are okay now.

As for your power outage problems, you can buy a computer UPS. These UPS are dirt cheap and can supply power to all of your equipments. If you connect four air pumps, you will get power for around 6 hours continuous once fully charged. I think this ought to be enough power.

Please remember that the UPS must NOT have AUTOMATIC NO LOAD SHUTDOWN otherwise it'll automatically shut off with small loads like airpumps. I recommend APC UPS. They are the best in my opinion, have better batteries and don't shut down automatically. Hope I have helped you. Any queries, please ask.

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I agree, there seems to be something additional that would cause this type of behaviour. Listing your parameters as Shelly has mentioned would definately help and if you could get your LFS to test the oxygen level in your tank water this would also narrow down the cause. Some LFS's will do this and some won't, you might get lucky.

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We are heavily dependent on such backup systems for canister filters and airpumps. Oxygen deprivation to fish can cause brain damage and death and so please don't take chances. I tested two double outlet airpumps with a fully charged APC UPS 650VA and the backup was close to 8 full hours! With a canister filter it was 6hours.

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I have never heard of the APC things, I will have to look into them, thanks!

The fish are completely normal today, like nothing happened. I tested the water using my API liquid testing kit, and everything is normal, no ammonia, no nitrites, very low nitrates. The tank has a lot of water sprite planted in it, the goldies are too young to rip them up yet. I do partial water changes a few times a week, I'll do another today. I don't have any LFS's near me that can test oxygen levels.

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Hmmm, well, they are quite expensive, I'm seeing the APC Smart UPS going between $100-$400, with the lower priced ones having a small amount of backup time. I'll have to do some more research on these, but thanks again for the suggestion.

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Hi finsNfur, I agree with what everyone has been saying so far. Although we routinely recommend extra aeration for our goldfish tanks, goldfish are actually quite efficient at being able to fully load their hemoglobins even at low oxygen conditions (1ppm dissolved oxygen), so I think it unlikely that the behavior was the direct result of oxygen deprivation in the absence of a working airstone.

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Hmmm, well, they are quite expensive, I'm seeing the APC Smart UPS going between $100-$400, with the lower priced ones having a small amount of backup time. I'll have to do some more research on these, but thanks again for the suggestion.

Let me clear you friend. The backup time noted is for an average PC which consumes a total of around 150 watts or more. So their backup time is advertised as 15 minutes. But your two airpumps will consume around 5 watts. So typically you are using 30 times less power than a computer with airpumps. So typically you should get 30 times more time than advertised. But owing to slight inverter losses, you get around 6-7 hours backup.

Smart UPS are just pure sinewave UPS and you never need those just to run airpumps. They are an overkill for the task. The cheap 25-30$ without no load shutdown feature shall give you minimum 6 hours backup. All the aquarists here use this method with the cheapest UPS ever known to man! :)

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APC BACK UPS ES 500 500VA BE500U

This is your best buy! It's around 45 dollars.

APC BACK UPS ES 650 is another option.

Edited by bagho

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I can only agree with what has been said. I do not think that the disconnected air pump was the issue. If the tank is more or less properly stocked, and well filtered as you mentioned, then there shouldn't be problems.

When I started out overstocked and then ended up with 4 remaining fish in a 10 gallon tank without air pump, none of them showed oxygen related issues.

If I was you, I'd fill out the info form so our smart members can try to figure out what might be the issue with your fish :)

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I have to chime in too..........I have (several times) had a storm knock out the power while I was at work & came home to a very quiet house..NO bubbles, NO filter water falls splashing NOTHING, BUT the fish were fine. I, of course, quickly got everything back up & running.....but had NO ill effects.

You really need to figure out what could have happened......I am very curious!

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I have to chime in too..........I have (several times) had a storm knock out the power while I was at work & came home to a very quiet house..NO bubbles, NO filter water falls splashing NOTHING, BUT the fish were fine. I, of course, quickly got everything back up & running.....but had NO ill effects.

You really need to figure out what could have happened......I am very curious!

Me too^

One time I was gone for 12 hours and enough water evaporated and went below the mid intake on my filter so it started sucking in air. I must have not noticed the low water. (usually sits about 2 inches above the mid intake)

Edited by pinky2252s

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Thanks, everyone! The fish were fine, and yesterday I put some more duckweed in their tank, which is what I do a couple times a week. I had also done it the day the air stone got disconnected. The fish went crazy for it, slurping it from the surface, and I noticed again that the ryukin and moor started having difficulty swimming, they had slurped up too much air. After a few hours they were fine again, and all the water parameters were normal. I always feed them twice a day, either sinking pellets or occasional duckweed. I am thinking I might stop with the duckweed until they are a little larger.

Edited by finsNfur

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Thanks, everyone! The fish were fine, and yesterday I put some more duckweed in their tank, which is what I do a couple times a week. I had also done it the day the air stone got disconnected. The fish went crazy for it, slurping it from the surface, and I noticed again that the ryukin and moor started having difficulty swimming, they had slurped up too much air. After a few hours they were fine again, and all the water parameters were normal. I always feed them twice a day, either sinking pellets or occasional duckweed. I am thinking I might stop with the duckweed until they are a little larger.

:)

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Glad you figured out the problem! I have learned not to feed ANYTHING that floats on the surface! Goldies just suck in too much air!! I don't think I have had ANY floaty issues since I changed over to this idea!!! My Calico Fantail SOMETIMES wants to just sit at the surface & "drink" air (which makes me wanna thump his little head...LOL jus' kiddin'!...so far thankfully he doesn't do it much!!!) Just enough to tick me off!! (( Just as I was writing this I looked over & the Fantail A N D a young Oranda are at the surface sucking up air!! .............I ran them off!!!))

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Just an update, I have truly figured out what the problem is. As you pointed out Jeana, anything floating seems to do it now. I have been at a loss, I didn't realize how common it was until I noticed some floaty threads in the feeding forum. I can't do flakes at all anymore, and I have to make sure the pellets sink. It is two of my three fancy goldfish doing the floaty thing. My pond fish never have this issue so it was new to me, as a child I had a fantail and it never happened. Anyway, it wasn't a water quality or oxygen issue, just a sucking-too-much-air issue. I'm going to try gel food.

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