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FAQs on Gas Bubble Disease

Related Articles: Gas Bubble Disease, Koi/Pond Fish Disease, Goldfish Disease,

Related FAQs: Goldfish Disease, Bubble Trouble, Oxygen/Gas Problems (marine),


Bubbles - 12/20/11
Fish gurus-
Your website is fantastic!  It is so informative.  Thanks for creating such a useful resource.
Here's my situation:  I have a small outdoor pond.
<Size, shape depth please>

  There are about 20 Comets and 1 Red Oranda in the pond.  This will be the 6th winter most of the fish have spent in the pond.  I recently discovered one of the comets "dead" on the bottom of the pond.  When I netted him out, he was actually still alive.  I put him in a bucket of pond water and brought him in to defrost. When the water warmed up to about 68 F he was totally back to normal.
<Mmm, a valuable clue>

 I hurried and set up a 10 gallon tank (I know a 10 gallon tank is not adequate for a 4 inch goldfish... but it's all I have and it was kind of an emergency).  Other than wishing he was in his pond, this fish seems to be back to normal.  Then I discovered the Oranda (2 inches) outside floating upside down.  I brought the fish inside, let it come up to the inside temperature, Googled all I could on swim bladder problems, and fed both fish (who are now stuck in the same tank) a bunch of shelled peas.
Eventually both fish seemed normal.  Unfortunately the Oranda's swim bladder issues returned 2 weeks later.  The fish went back on peas and the problem seemed righted again over night.  My local fish store recommended sinking pellets to prevent future swim bladder problems.  I'm hoping that with frequent partial water changes I can keep the fish happy and healthy until I can reintroduce them to the pond in a few months.
Here's my problem:  The Oranda suddenly spends a lot of time at the surface blowing bubbles. He just started doing this after the last bout with his swim bladder. I'm confident the water is well oxygenated.  The peas make the water very murky, so I just did a 30% water change.  He was blowing bubbles before and after the water change--so I'm even more sure it's not oxygen.  He doesn't act stressed and the comet isn't acting strange at all.
 I haven't tested the water for nitrates/ites... I'm not a real aquarium enthusiast, so I don't have a test kit and I haven't been back to the fish store since the bubbles started.  I read another post where it's possible that two fish can have different oxygen needs or tolerances of water imbalances.  Is the smaller Oranda suffocating while the larger Comet isn't? Could the bubble blowing have anything to do with the swim bladder issues (cause or effect?)? I'm not really in a position to upgrade all of my indoor fish equipment, but if the small tank isn't going to cut it for this winter I guess I'll have to figure something out. Any insight into this sudden bubble blowing would be very helpful.
Thanks, Sadie
<What first comes to mind is "gas-bubble disease", emphysematosis... Do you have a pressurized pump here? The gas could also come from super-saturated source/tap water as well. Please read here:
and the linked FAQs file above. Bob Fenner>

Emphysematosis?   1/7/10
Hello all crew members, wishing you all a great new years beginning.
<And you>
I read you daily FAQs frequently, and a recent subject has caught my eye.
Excessive research on the subject, and I must admit, the more I read into it, the more confused I got. Correct me if I'm wrong but this is what I understand of "gas bubble disease". It doesn't have anything to do with the actual air bubbles entering the water column, which technically shouldn't do any harm, no matter how fine the bubbles are?
<Mmm, actually, has to do with dissolved gas period... and very fine bubbling can indeed raise dissolved gas concentration>
The condition is set forth via atmospheric gas, being somehow contained and compressed in an environment with water, which causes the gas to dissolve into the water, raising the amounts of dissolved gases in the water.
<This is the most common process, yes>
Most typical case of this condition in aquaria being intake air leaks in/on a powerhead, where the intake of water and excess air is being compressed via the pump, creating the conditions as stated?
<Yes... or source water... pressurized in pipes... mostly going from quite cold to warmer temperature>
A true sign would be an intake/output of a canister
filter, both being underwater, while the output is emitting bubbles?
<Mmmm, not really canister filters... most all these are run by smallish magnetic centrifugal pumps... don't generate sufficient pressure>
Once this water, that has contained the rich gas content, enters the aquarium, and processed through the fish gills, is entered into their bloodstream. The condition stays subtle, until a difference in pressures/temperatures does a chemical reaction, that causes the dissolved gases to reverse and separate from the water, thus causing bubbling and the so called "gas bubble disease"?
<Mmm, more like the "bends" in humans... let's say in scuba diving... the gas coalesces in the body, blood stream... causing troubles>
External bubbles attaching to the fish is no problem, but it is the internal bubbles protruding that is a sign here?
Hopefully I got this matter down to layman's term and please supplement where I might be incorrect.
Thanks once again greatly for the services. Hoping you all the best.
<Is this clearer Andy? BobF>  

Re: Gas Bubble Disease? -- 07/10/08 Hi Crew, Still having my troubles with my pesky flame angel. (1) At first he had a clear bubble above his eye after being in the quarantine tank for two days, however, just like Bob predicted the bubble eventually subsided 4 days later <Ah, good> (2) Everything had been going great with the fish for the next 2 weeks. (No signs of any illness and fish was eating was eating like a little piggy.) However, last week (approx. 3 weeks after being in quarantine) the fish began a hunger strike, refusing interest in all food. (He had been eating everything (pellets, frozen food, flakes) and picking at the walls of the aquarium, filter, heater, and PVC stop) <Perhaps just the quarantine> After a couple of days, and after reading similar prob.s on your website, I decided to place a piece of live rock from my display tank in the quarantine tank to see if he would pick off the live rock. <Good> At this time The fish still showed no signs of any illness (i.e no fin rot, no spots, no clamped fins, etc..) - only refused to eat. The fish has been in quarantine for almost 4 weeks now, and still has not returned to eating. However, i have noticed now that his gills have become paler and are contracting faster. He still swims around normal and appears not be struggling. (However, Every once and awhile it will appear as though he tries to scratch his eye on pvc piping). <I would move this fish to a larger, well-established setting...> Now my predicament, I'm not sure what, if anything, is wrong with the fish. I would like to treat him if something is wrong with him. Please advise as what treatment might be necessary. <Mmm, not> Also i am very confused on what to do with the live rock in the quarantine. I don't want to treat the QT with meds that will kill the live rock, but am wary of placing the rock back into the display tank because of the new issues with the Flame Angel. Please Help. Lastly, i was considering doing a bath and/or dip with ParaGuard. <? What for?> However, the directions on the bottle do not indicate whether it is to be a FW or saltwater dip/bath. <Can be used for either> My QT is 20 gallon long A Marineland emperor 280 power filter heater PVC pipes Heater ph: 8.2 ammonia: 0 nitrite: 0 nitrate:0-5 Thanks for all your help <Move this fish; it's "problem" is environmental. Bob Fenner>

Emphysematosis, Gas Bubble Disease  - 01/23/2006 Interesting article. B: "Wow!, look at the reading for dissolved oxygen concentration; 10.6 mg/l at twenty three degrees Centigrade!" R: "Way beyond saturation; water at this temperature should hold a maximum of 7.0 ppm." Is there a calculations chart that represents  safe saturation levels? <In most college-level aquaculture tomes, yes. Don't know about the Net. Bob Fenner> Judy Tipton

Bulging eyes Koi I hope  you can help Bob. I have 7 Koi (10-20")+ 3 gold, brought inside 1 month ago from the pond to a 150 gal trough (as I have done x3 years) This eve=Temp 79,Ph6.2 nitrite, nitrate, and ammonia negligible It's aerated plus filtered with the outside established filter with a  high filtration rate 1/3HP pump. I thought I noticed reddish base of 1's tail base so treated with MelaFix 30 ml.s daily x 8 and I  thought improved but after a weekend away one gold was dead and the Koi had eaten most of his 8" body and now one ?+ Koi's eyes were bulging -no bloating, scale problem noted, still active. I've done a 50% water  change added 50 ml.s Melafix and 120 drops aquariology (Zycosin) and Ammo lock 2 just in case! My son says he fed them right all weekend!! but didn't notice the dead one! Should I do anything else? or just continue with MelaFix/Zycosin? Thank you very much for your anticipated guidance Leslie - <What you describe sounds very much like the result of small air bubbles... likely air being entrained through a leak in a fitting just ahead of your pump... this needs to be fixed IMMEDIATELY... you can use a length of tubing to try and listen to the area (a MIP into your pumps volute most likely) where the air is being sucked in... Do you see fine bubbles at the point/s of discharge? You might or not... sometimes a dab of heavy-bodied PVC solvent around the joints of fittings will solve this... often one has to cut the plastic plumbing ahead of the pump/trap (unless you fortunately have a true union there that you can just unthread)... and re-tighten the MIP fitting into the volute... or replace it altogether... with a schedule 80 nipple (a riser cut in half)... To reiterate: I doubt if what you are observing is parasitic, infectious in origin. Look for an in-line air leak... ahead of your pump... and fix it... and the bulging eyes will fix themselves. Bob Fenner> Re: bulging eyes Koi Thank you for your speedy reply. I  use a submersed pump up to an above "ground" filter which flows through layers and then free falls back into the pond so no forced water flow with air exposure to get bubbles and none detectable. BUT I also have a small pump to introduce air bubbles which I thought increased available oxygen to the water. I will discontinue that (but have used it for years). Why the change now? Thank you again Leslie <Might not be "emphysematosis" as the root cause here... but as you'll find, its origins are often weather/temperature related. Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/PondSubWebIndex/PdBblDisease.htm and the Related FAQs (linked, in blue, at top). Bob Fenner> Emphysematosis Bob, <David> I just read your informative article on emphysematosis. I have always heard that water changes in the winter (when warmed up water is air-supersaturated) can cause fatal embolisms in the fish because the gas leaving the water (that forms bubbles on everything, including the fish) can enter the bloodstream through the gills. <Yes... a source of loss in aquaculture during cooler to warmer weather... unfortunate settings where air and water are mixed together as in air-entraining pumps...> I have always be doubtful of this, and after reading your piece, I think it is even less likely. It does seem possible, however, that the oxygen NOT in the bubbles, but still in solution, could supersaturate the fish's bloodstream, ultimately leading to GBD when the tank water finished degassing. Am I even close to correct? <Mmm, well, the partial pressure of both oxygen and nitrogen are of consequence> A related question: I have found that agitating the water greatly (as in using a hose nozzle to produce a lot of turbulence) prevents the formation of bubbles all over. Is there, however, a greater risk of introducing air than there is benefit of outgassing it? <Nope. Agitating the water is the route to go. Does de-gas extra dissolved gas> I should point out that we're talking a massive temperature increase here. Water from my well is probably well under 50, and it's heated to 80 to go into the tanks. <Yikes... I would store, aerate this water before using... for a good hour at least... likely longer just to warm it up!> Thanks for any light you can shed. David E. Boruchowitz <Be chatting, Bob Fenner>

How to treat air belly in fish <Mmm, please see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/PondSubWebIndex/PdBblDisease.htm Is this the condition? Bob Fenner>

Bubbles Have a porcupine puffer here that i'm concerned about... I have two power heads and a venturi type skimmer so as you can imagine I have A LOT of air bubbles in the water. Well his body is covered in what appears to be air bubbles but at first glance it looks like whie ick spots. most of them look like air bubbles up close but a few are hard to tell. i have a lion/a damsel/ and a eel that show no signs of stress. i've seen the bubbles on him for several days now. still accepting food and seems happy. if this was truly ick would he begin to stop eating or what would happen first?  lay on the bottom?  <Not necessarily... am leaning toward an environmental "disease": emphysematosis...> what also concerns me is when he really flaps his fins the bubbles don't fall off of him. does his stretchy skin somehow trap the bubbles on him? <From the inside out> i did observe him at least once about a week ago inflate himself underwater. <Not a good sign> thanks for the help! <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/bbldisease.htm and the FAQs beyond... though this piece is principally about pond fishes... the same condition affects all fishes in captivity. Bob Fenner>

Re: bubbles hmm this is interesting because once in a while i'll see my filter releasing some air bubbles like there was a air leak every so often. <And possibly deadly> but i've checked the filter hoses and impeller. i've gone so far as replacing the cover (includes the motor) to the rena filstar and it still does it kinda weird. the seals for the filter i think are on this cover and not on the chassis of it. <Time to trade that unit in> how quick would this env. disease take effect? <Hours to days...> the fish is doing very well. <Relatively> very friendly and bubbly, eats well. no other indications of problems other than that inflation a few days after introduction. <Best to check into the "loose gas bubbles", Bob Fenner>

Re: bubbles yah i'm working on the problem. i've tightened the intake plumbing quite a bit <Perhaps some silicone rubber as a makeshift gasket?> i've done some more investigation with a flash light i don't see the bubbles entering the filter. also shaking the unit seems to increase the air intake. hmm maybe sprinkle some water around some of the intake hose attachment to filter to check for leaks? maybe it would bubble if there was a leak kinda like a tire <Very hard to detect these intake leaks... perhaps you could borrow a dissolved oxygen kit, meter? Bob Fenner>

Re: disease (emphysematosis) Hi Mr. Fenner! Hope you are doing well today. Just wanted to drop you a short note in regaurds to my bubble troubles. I did what you suggested and pulled the lines and and tightened things up..especially the intake line. My fish seem to be doing pretty good, although they are doing some scratching which is not good. The bubbles on their bodies do seem to be a good bit less than what it was. My fish have a few bubbles but the bubbles are smaller and not near the amount that was once on them. <Yes... it takes a while (weeks) to flush out these subcutaneous bubbles...> The appearance of the fish are good besides that. Their color is still great and their eyes are still clear. But the scatching may be a problem. Do you think I should leave them alone or take them out and dip them????  <I would definitely leave them alone... very stressed by the environmental disease already... Maybe consider adding a biological cleaner species or two... posted on the WWM site> They are not scatching all the time at this point just a little bit. I have been giving them a bit of garlic in their food too once I noticed the scratching....I know you do not endorse this....please don't yell at me.LOL! <No fight, no blame> Anyway... I just wanted to up date you since you have been helping me and let you know that it looks like your suggestion may have helped because it looks like the bubbles are beginning to go away... Thank you for helping me. <You are welcome my friend. Congratulations on your success. You have very likely saved your livestocks lives and ended their suffering. Bob Fenner> Have a nice day! Jenny Fuller

disease Hi Mr. Fenner! I was wondering if you could help me with a problem. Is there a fish disease that takes form of bubbles on their body? <Yes... a few that this is symptomatic of. Some environmental, some infectious, parasitic> I lost some fish about a month ago. I thought they might have ick, but really did not know what it was. The sicker the fish got the more bubbles covered its body. I do not know if the bubbles really have anything to do with it or not. I have searched your web site over and over as well as other web sites and have not found any info. that seems to relate to this. <The "disease" sections are very... way too general. Must need make more complete, full... lead folks to other levels of sophistication... including simple microscopes, micro-technique, staining... There are very good reference materials, though hard to find, overpriced (IMO)... look for the name Edward Noga as an author for instance.> I now have a huma huma trigger that I just put in my tank last night and it has some bubbles on its belly and around its mouth. I know this probably sounds pretty stupid. I am paranoid after my other fish dying. Don't want a repeat. My tank has been cycled a couple of months, and my first mistake was that I put too much in my tank too quickly after it cycled.  <Very common> In doing this it caused a big ammonia spike which in return weakened my fish and they got sick. Anyway... after the fish died I did a big water change(about 50%) and vacumed the gravel...a few days later I did it again hoping to get rid of what ever could be in there. My tank went about 2 weeks with out anything in it . Lsat night I added 2 new fish a Lunare Wrasse and a huma huma trigger. The water quality is perfect at this point. Any ideas? I did salt water fish a few years ago and I don't recall ever seeing bubbles stick to the fish. I do have alot of airation in the tank. Can you have too much? I have a 45 gallon set up with an under gravel filter, 2 power heads , a 303 fluval canister filter with the spray bar. Any info would be appreciated. Thank you very much in advance! <Please read through the "Marine Environmental Disease FAQs" posted on the WWM site, and the article on "Emphysematosis": http://www.wetwebmedia.com/bbldisease.htm though it's directed to pond keepers, fishes... Due to the rapid onset of the bubble problem you describe I am concerned that you have a "dissolved gas" anomaly... somewhere air and water are getting mixed together... and the fine bubbles, gas getting into your fish... You should investigate, redress this issue immediately... If not this, we can continue our discussion, search for the root cause/s. Bob Fenner> Jenny Fuller

Re: disease Hello! Thank you for replying so quickly to my problem. I read what you suggested and was wondering if I should turn my power heads down so that they do not produce so many bubbles? I do have them going full force and there are alot of bubbles in the tank( so many that if the fish were swimming towards the back of the tank they are a little hard to see). Should I adjust them so there is not so much? My thinking was the more air the better, but maybe there is too much with the bubbles and all. Thanks so much for your help! <The bubbles may likely be the root of your problem here... Did you read the reference sent to you? Bob Fenner> Jenny Fuller

Re: disease (environmental, gas-bubble, marine) Mr. Fenner, Hello again! I have read your reference and I have been reading up on dissolved gasses from a book that I have here at home. Seems the more I read on it the more confusing it is.  <Keep reading then... at some point all will become, be less confusing> I feel like I understand what gas bubble disease is now, but still a little unsure of how to take care of the problem. <Discover, eliminate the source of the excess dissolved gas> From what I have read it , I understand that part of the problem is caused by poor circulation in sections of the tank as well as the surface bubbles at the top of the tank. <Any place of higher pressure where air and water are mixed together... typically due to a plumbing leak, introduction of air into a volute (housing around a pump impeller> As far as my aquarium goes... I do have one power head that is weaker than the other which is causing less circulation on that side of the tank and there is a lot of bubbles/foam on the surface. Would a better power head and a protein skimmer fix this problem? <No> Don't really have the money for the protein skimmer at this point...would anything else help? <Don't allow air to be pulled into the powerheads period> Or am I on the wrong track altogeather????  <Unfortunately so> My huma <trigger> does have a few more bubbles on him, but otherwise is acting normal and healthy at this point. I do not see any on the wrasse yet.Please help. <Please read the ref. I sent to you.> I am trying to avoid losing the fish. Not much fun to get fish that are this pretty only to watch them die and not know what to do to help them. I really do not understand why I am having this problem. I did not have these probelms a few years ago when I first set my aquarium up. It is the same set up, only a better filter now. I had an aqua clear that hung off the back, but now have the fluval 303 canister. I have checked all of my equiptment for air leaks. Everything seems fine from what I can see. <Pull the lines, connections on the intake side of this filter, re-cut them, re-fasten using some silicon lubricant> Thanks a bunch for the help you have given me so far. I have really enjoyed the web site, I have learned so much from it! <Keep studying my friend. Bob Fenner> Jenny Fuller

Questions on new tank Bob, I've set up a new tank (in Mid-may of this year). Its a 75 gal (4 ft long, 18" front to back) with 100 lbs fiji LR and a red sea berlin skimmer in the sump - no other filtration. I'm having a couple of problems with it tho: 1) I get fine (pin prick sized) bubbles in my tank from my return. Its not the skimmer (I've tried running w/o it). I've tried different water pumps, and nothing seems to get rid of them. Currently, I have a MAG-DRIVE 7 pump (with prefilter sponge) for the return pump. I thought the sponge would eliminate the bubbles, but it doesn't - the sump doesn't appear to have any bubbles when the water gets to my pump. Any suggestions?  <Yes, and a concern... do check the screws around the volute/impeller with a driver... you may have an air intake problem there... at any length you need to find, cure the source of the intake> My corals (polyps, SPS, LPS, leathers) and lysmata shrimp are all doing well, but I still want to eliminate the fine bubbles. (they can only be seen when close to the tank glass - within 2 ft). I thought the bubbles would hurt my sps the most, but they seem to be thriving (mainly acropora). <Not problematical with much besides fishes... read over: http://wetwebmedia.com/bbldisease.htm On gas-bubble disease... an account about pond fishes... same principle> 2) I've lost some fish (2 fire gobies, 1 kole eye tang, 1 bicolor goby) and I don't know why.  <Oh, oh...> They all die within weeks after starting to work their gills rapidly. The day or two before death they become lethargic - lay on bottom - and get very pale around the gills. (ammonia/nitrate/nitrite all at 0). Oxygen is near saturation (6-7). I have a australian clown that's doing fine and a mandarin goby that is doing ok also, except for the next item. I always dip (freshwater/mblue) all my new fish for 5 - 10 mins. Could this be some parasite?  <Not likely with such a disparate mix of species... I do suspect gas-bubble problems here> Any ideas on the cause or suggestions to cure? <Find that leak... with a water/damp papertowel applied to sections of the plumbing, fittings mainly ahead of the pump, though could be after... to see where the air entraining stops...> 3) The mandarin goby is plump - when I first got him, he was pretty thin/sickly looking (My live rock has so many amphipods/copepods that they keep plugging my prefilters - a nice prob to have I guess), but he has white spots. It doesn't look like ick, rather, it looks like someone took an eraser and rubbed some of his pigmentation off - leaving white marks - mainly centered around the back of the head. Any ideas on what this is, how to treat? <Need to know more about the appearance, cause... Would treat with cleaners at this point.> Lastly, are SPS corals really suppose to be difficult to raise?  <For some people I guess... given decent water quality, strong lighting, they grow like proverbial weeds for the most part> I've only been in the hobby for a year, and was always under the impression that they were difficult, but in in my experience, they seem to be fairly hardy - much hardier than lps/fish/leathers. I've got many different acroporas and a couple montipora capricornis and the worst luck I've ever had with any of them is if the alk/ca drops too low, they stop growing until the levels are elevated - then they take off again. LPS corals always seem to be very suceptible to physical or infectious injury, in my experience. <Such are generalizations re SPS... Bob Fenner> Thanks again!

Questions on new tank - GBD Bob, Thanks for your response on GBD (gas bubble disease being the cause of fish death due to many fine bubble in my tank from my return pump) - I never would have focused on that w/o your advice. I read the article at http://wetwebmedia.com/bbldisease.htm as well as a few other web pages I found after searching for GBD, but they ended up raising more questions/confusion (and here I thought that I was getting past the 'ignorant newbie phase' with my 2nd tank) that I hoped you could answer: <Best to be able to call on the aforestated "phase"... to always remember our child-like behavior... it is indeed always with us... and valuble> 1) I'm assuming GBD is caused by rapid changes in supersaturation of gases of all types, not just oxygen.  <Yes... changes in saturation/degassing generally associated with thermal and pressure changes> Oxygen saturation just happens to be the most convenient component to measure in order to determine disolved gas changes- is this correct? <Hmm, okay... and a valuble measure for other purposes> 2) I'm assuming GBD is caused by 'rapid changes' in disolved gas levels, and not the absolute levels themselves - correct? <Well, actually too much change in "undissolved gasses"... as in air/bubble growth/expansion within living tissue> If so, how much can the gas levels change in a period of time and still be considered safe (ie. 1PPM O2 per hour?). <Think we may be talking about two different things here... any oversaturation of any gas is trouble though... let's say 8 or more ppm of oxygen in a rapidly warming medium...> 2.5) If its the 'change' in gas levels thats the main culprit, is there a max safe level of 02 - regardless of how gradually it is obtained?  <Ah, both... The analogy of a cold coca cola (tm) on a warm day being opened and shaken is useful here... imagine the inside of your fish (or yourself!) consisting of the Coke (tm)... You'd be better off in an equally pressurized environment, a cold one, one of similar total dissolved gas, or not shaken...> (I found a web article on GBD and salmon that indicated detrimental effects start at 105% saturation and fatalities start at 140%). <Yes, this is so> 3) If its rapid changes in disolved gas that causes GBD, I'm assuming if I have a leak in a return pump, that I don't want to fix it too fast (ie, it would cause a rapid decline in the disolved gas resulting in another wave of GBD on my tank - when the saturation levels drop). Is this correct?  <Not correct. You want to fix it ASAP... the fish are in the unpressurized world they have to be in... the extra gas is "the intruder"...> If so, can you recommend a way to slowly eliminate the bubbles instead of all at once? <No need to do this... repair the source of the air entraining immediately.> 4) Your web page article on GBD indicated that algae/photosynthesis could also cause GBD. Is this something to be concerned about if someone adds macroalgae to a 24/7 lit sump to an existing tank? <No... this scenario is mostly a concern in/with ponds... with very fast changes in lighting (the sun), copious amounts of filamentous algae, rapidly increasing/changing temperatures> If so, how do you add macroalgae to a sump to an existing tank in a safe manner (ie. start out with a 4 hr/day light period, and slowly increase over a month, or start with small amount of plants and let it slowly grow)???? <Not a concern> Does photsynthesis (via lighted sump/macro algae) only cause GBD in extremely rare situations? <Exceedingly rare cause in aquariums> 5) Assuming that a skimmer isn't returning bubbles in its outflow, can high powered downdraft (ie ETSS), and needle wheel skimmers that are skimming 4-6 times the tank volume each hour cause GBD? <Yes... in some circumstances... one of the reasons their discharges s/b directed to a sump w/o livestock, or otherwise be fitted with a diffuser/accumulator of bubbles> Can they cause it if they suddenly break down by causing rapid loss of disolved O2/gas (if so, how long would this take in an average - sorry for the vagueness - stocked tank - hours, days?). <Can be caused in minutes> 6) lastly, can you recommend a good O2 test kit? I'm using the salifert kit, but its hard to distinguish between the 5/7 PPM levels (very similar shades). <Hach, LaMotte... better to use titration rather than colorimetric assay. Bob Fenner> Thanks again!

Hi Bob Recently my Zebrasoma veliferum started going to the surface for air? Now I have noticed one white spot on his pectoral fin. I read that this may be Amyloodinium and to isolate this fish and treat with copper. What do you think? Thanks Dave >> Not quite so fast... what other fishes do you have? How long have they all been in your system? The Zebrasomas require pretty high dissolved oxygen... maybe your system is just O2 deficient... I'd add an airstone, more surface disruption, wick off or dip a pitcher in the system to get rid of surface film... And as a first line of defense against possible external parasites, add a biological cleaner species or two... Lysmata shrimp, Gobiosoma gobies... Hold off on the copper, moving the animal, (even environmental manipulation) till other fishes show symptoms... Bob Fenner

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