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Sowrdtails swiming at surface of water.

kevfiz

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hi my sowrdtails have started swimming at the top of my tank. What could this be a sign off? The temperature was 29 degrees I turned it down to 27.
 

JuiceBox52

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What size tank?
Tank mates?
Ammonia?
Nitrite?
Nitrate?
GH?
PH?
Have you added any new fish or plants recently?
Frequency and volume of water changes?
 
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kevfiz

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The tank is 145 litres. I got water checked in aquarium shop the day I bought them. The tests are still the same. No new fish. I change the water once a week.
 

JuiceBox52

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The tank is 145 litres. I got water checked in aquarium shop the day I bought them. The tests are still the same. No new fish. I change the water once a week.
Can we have the exact numbers of the test results? How much water do you change out when you change the water?
 
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kevfiz

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A third of the tank. I will do the tests in morning again
 

Byron

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Presumably all the swordtails are at the surface, are there any other fish? How long have you had them? Did this appear after something, like the last water change? What is the GH (general hardness) and pH?
 

Colin_T

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Pictures and video of the fish?

Fish hanging around the surface can be suffering from poor water quality, chemicals or something poisoning the water, low oxygen levels, or disease. Sometimes a combination of these factors.

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Do you dechlorinate the new water before adding it to the tank?
Have you added any chemicals to the tank?
How long have you had the fish for?
Do you have buckets specifically for the fish or do you use any bucket in the house?
 
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kevfiz

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yes I dechlorinate the tank. My bucket is for tank only I have added no chemicals and the fish are in there about three weeks. the first two weeks they swam low to middle of tank.
 

Colin_T

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Check the water for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and pH.
Do a big (75%) water change and gravel clean the substrate.
Increase aeration.
Post pictures and short video of the fish.
 
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kevfiz

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I dropped the temp last night from 29 degrees to 27 degree and it seems to have done the trick. Fish swimming around normally now.
 

AbbeysDad

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I dropped the temp last night from 29 degrees to 27 degree and it seems to have done the trick. Fish swimming around normally now.
I breed, grow out, and sell swordtails (in the hundreds). 29c (84.2F) is too hot! My tanks are 75-78F and I have some culls (early maturing males, deforms) living out their lives in the unheated turtle pond at 60-65F (with 55F partial water changes)! Although they would likely be happier at 70F+, they are doing well.
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You would be better at 76-78F (24-25c) as for most tropical fish...and even down to 70F (22c) for swordtails. At higher temperatures, fish metabolisms increase and oxygen levels in the water get low (sometimes too low). Add to this the lower water quality found in most aquariums and most fish begin to distress.
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I'd also suggest increasing your weekly water changes to 50%.
(Most of my tanks (colony breeding and grow out) have a large population of growing fish that are fed well so I do 50% TWICE per week.)
 
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kevfiz

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Will these temperatures be OK for my other fish? I have clown loach, otocinclus, cardinals, bentosi, red embers, red phantoms, gourami and of course the sowrd tails. I also have live plants, anubis and enchindorus.
 

AbbeysDad

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I've been a fishkeeper for over 50 years and have always kept tanks 76-78F for all kinds of tropical fish. There may be a few exceptions, but they are rare. In reality, there is a (wide) range in water temperatures in the tropics, especially seasonally. (A wider range than we tend to maintain our aquariums). Somewhat cooler temperatures during partial water changes often promotes breeding activity (suspected that it simulates rains).
 
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kevfiz

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And the lower temperature is better for algae control right?
 

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