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Author Topic: Hover-fish.  (Read 2589 times)
Nossie
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Hover-fish.
« on: February 21, 2010, 01:39:11 PM »

Here's the deal: I have, the last two months, noticed that one of my fish is hovering by the surface, no gasping, no nothing. Just hovering motionless (which I read would be because of low pH). About two weeks ago, my second fish started acting in a similar way, both of them decide to swim around normally most of the time, but they stay hovering like this for 5-15 minutes. My third fish is perfectly okay and has never displayed this behavior. So it doesn't seem like it'd be caused by water quality problems imo. Nor swim bladder disorder because they can easily control themselves.

I change the water once a week (33% of it), add water conditioner and bio filter booster. I test the pH 2-3 times a week (it's on 7.5) along with the KH, I check the nitrite levels about once every two weeks and it's always 0. I am intending to get a nitrate and ammonia test as well, just to be on the safe side. My tank is, as of now 8 gallons, three small fish at 1.5 inch each. It has a sponge filter and an air stone.
I've been reading in all kinds of books, checking on disease, possible water problems... but nothing seems to answer my questions. I even examined the gills which looked meaty and healthy as they should!
I feed them shelled peas every day, along with pellets (both sinking and floating). And freeze-dried live foods twice a week.

Is this hovering something to be worried about? And if that's the case, what do I do?
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Mindemae
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Re: Hover-fish.
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2010, 01:56:33 PM »

"Hovering" at the top of the aquarium sometimes is an indication of low oxygen levels.  The oxygen/cabon dioxide exchange is at the top of the aquarium so the highest oxygen levels are at the top of the water in the tank or bowl.
The best thing to do is increase aeration and diminish the amount of fish you have in your tank/orb.  Low oxygen levels can be from overcrowding and remember that when the lights are off, oxygen levels also diminish as the plants stop photosynthesis and become competitive with the fish, for oxygen themselves.
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Nossie
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Re: Hover-fish.
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2010, 02:01:21 PM »

I see! That may be why they are more active once the water is changed. Thanks (:
I'll try to repair the problem asap!
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Mindemae
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Re: Hover-fish.
« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2010, 02:08:11 PM »

It is good that you are so observant of your fish, Nossie.  Cheesy  Someone that is not as observant might lose a fish or two and not see anything wrong before it's too late!
The hovering is a indication that something is not quite right.  I'm so glad you noticed the behavior and posted the question before something happened to one of your beautiful fish!  Smiley
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Nossie
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Re: Hover-fish.
« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2010, 03:21:26 PM »

Thanks! Cheesy It's nice to hear that (: Since I maybe don't have the best possible tank for them (yet) I decided to try and take as good care as possible of them as it is. Namely by looking closely at them every day and getting to know them (:
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Nossie
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Re: Hover-fish.
« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2010, 08:49:15 AM »

One more question though! (Or more)
I have no other place to put any of my little fish (except for a 3 liter glass jar, and it's out of question.), so I was wondering about some other ways of increasing the oxygen level in the water. For example, would it be good to remove some of the water so that the surface area would be bigger? Or to get some oxygenating plant like Canadian pond weed or Hornwort?

Secondly, I wanted to mention the fact that my fish are acting like this only in evenings, about two hours before I turn off the light and that they are dancing around like normal again in the morning. Still oxygen problems?
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Mindemae
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Re: Hover-fish.
« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2010, 11:33:21 AM »

Can you increase aeration in your orb by turning up the air pump? If not then I would create more surface air by decreasing the water level at least.  Remember, the more water surface a tank provides, the more oxygen will be in the water and the more fish, the more oxygen they will need.  3 fish in an 8 gallon orb would be really difficult to to maintain oxygen levels I would think.  Goldfish are oxygen hogs.  Also, higher water temperature mean less availble oxygen too to a tank.  Do you heat your orb?
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Nossie
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Re: Hover-fish.
« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2010, 12:33:36 PM »

I have no heater in my orb, didn't bother buying one since I wasn't intending to keep any tropical temps there. And the water I add when changing it is always about 1 degree colder than the water in the aquarium. (Which is on 19-20 degrees Celsius). I changed the water just now, and I tried putting a bit less water in as well (:
It's unfortunately not possible to change the speed of my pump in any way...
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