Important Notice! Symptoms of Lack of Oxygen in Fish Tank

It is rare for a well-maintained fish tank to have low oxygen level. However, it could be really devastating when it happens. There are several factors leading to low oxygen level in fish tank, such as overstock, poor-maintained fish tank, excess waste in the fish tank, low level of lighting for plants, improper use of chemicals and many more.

Low oxygen level in fish tank must not be underestimated as it may wipe out your entire stock in no time at all. It does not come with bells and whistles which give you alert. However, there are some symptoms you can observe that let you notice that the oxygen level in your fish tank is very low. Check them out!

1. Less Active Fish

When the oxygen level in the fish tank is getting low, your fish will initially react to it by moving around less. They tend to swim less vigorously and eat less often.

Labored breathing and more rapid gill movements will also be noticed. These happen due to their attempt to get enough oxygen from the water by passing more water over their gills.

2. Gasping at the Surface of Water

Surface breathing should be one of the easiest symptoms to be noticed. Your fish do so because they ty to get more oxygen. Don’t get confused with fish feeding at the surface or fish species that normally breathe at the surface of water.

Betta fish, dwarf gourami, paradise fish and some other fish take oxygen from the surface of water, however, when all your fish are trying to get oxygen from the surface, it could be a serious problem. Gasping at the surface of the water could be one of the signs your goldfish is stressed.

3. Eating Less Often

Your fish might also eat less when the oxygen level in the fish tank is getting low.

4. Labored Breathing

Another strong symptom that your fish tank has low oxygen level is labored breathing. You will notice that your fish are breathing rapidly and showing more rapid movement. The rapid movement of the gill indicates that the fish try to take more oxygen from the water.

5. Changes in Color

When the oxygen level in the fish tank is low, then there might be some parasites or pathogens take over the fish tank. These parasites or pathogens make your fish suffer. Your fish may change the skin color, either red or white or even lesions on the skin. Also read more about reasons why your betta fish losing their color.

Not only the fish that change color, but the plants and corals too. They may turn unusual colors and begin to die. Before deciding what plants to put inside the fish tank, make sure you read these plants for your fish tank and how they are beneficial.

After knowing all the symptoms of low oxygen level in fish tank, then you should do some actions to prevent the condition from getting worse. There are some things that you can do to when you notice that the oxygen level is low.

  • Change the large volume of water. You can start replacing 5% of the water and the oxygen level would be given an instant boost.
  • Avoid overcrowding the fish. This is one of the most common causes of low oxygen levels in the fish tank. Remember the rule of thumb for stocking a tank: one inch of fish per one or two gallons of water.
  • Avoid setting high temperature water. You can simply turn your heater down or off, or even add some ice cubes placed in a zip-close bag. It will help to lower the temperature of water in the tank. However, make sure to set the temperature to the ideal one.
  • Adding a light or increase the lighting duration. By doing so, you can stimulate the plants to release more oxygen.
  • Clean your tank regularly. Fish waste and algae can sap oxygen from the fish tank. Make sure to clean the fish tank thoroughly to remove debris from the gravel and tank walls will boost oxygen.
  • Keep the water inside the fish tank moving. Stagnant water has low oxygen level, so water in the fish tank should be moved in order to maintain adequate oxygen. Use filter to increase the oxygen level as they move water. You can also install a spray bar on the outlet of the filter to the tank.

Low oxygen level in fish tank is one of the causes of some common fish tank problems. Moreover, make sure to provide all these essential things for your fish tank.