Guppy fish are peaceful fish and do great when provided with the adequate living condition. However, they sometimes show strange behavior that worries us, like gasping for air. So, Why is my guppy gasping for air? Let us find out.
Lack of oxygen in the water is the primary reason for guppy fish gasping for air. Other reasons are overcrowded tanks, inadequate water parameters, and diseases like gill fluke. Ensure good water quality and add an air pump for enough oxygen in your guppy’s aquarium.
This article will discuss the reasons behind guppy fish gasping for air and how to stop them from gasping for air. So, let us get into it.
- 1 Is It normal In guppy fish to gasp for air?
- 2 What are the reasons behind guppy fish gasping for air?
- 3 How to stop guppy fish from gasping for air?
- 4 Conclusion:
Is It normal In guppy fish to gasp for air?
It is not normal for guppies to gasp for air until and unless they are showing behavior for capturing food.
When we feed floating food like pellets and flake food to our guppies, they gasp air to capture the food.
So, if your guppies show such behavior when you go around the aquarium, it is normal.
If this is not the case, there is some issue with your guppies.
Lack of oxygen is the primary reason behind guppy fish gasping for air.
Other reasons are poor water quality, diseases like gill flukes, and overcrowded tanks.
Such a condition requires immediate action as your guppies can suffer from a life-threatening situation for all the other reasons.
What are the reasons behind guppy fish gasping for air?
These are the reasons behind your guppy fish gasping for air:
- Your guppies aquarium lack aeration.
- The water parameters of your guppies tank are not adequate and stable.
- The water quality of your guppy fish tank is poor.
- Your guppies tank is overcrowded.
- Your guppy fish is living in a small-size bowl.
- Your guppy fish is suffering from a disease.
- You feed floating food to your guppies.
Lack of aeration
Lack of aeration results in a lack of oxygen in the water.
Oxygen deficiency is the primary reason behind guppy fish gasping for air.
Guppy fish consistently gasping for air at the water’s surface indicates that your guppy’s aquarium water lacks oxygen.
Such oxygen deficiency in water occurs when there is no aeration in the aquarium and on the water’s surface.
A still water surface doesn’t get able to allow more oxygen to enter the water.
Inadequate and unstable water parameters
Inadequate and unstable water parameters will result in your guppy fish gulping for air.
Too hot water temperature will lower the oxygen level of your guppies aquarium, making them suffer from breathing, and they will gasp for the air at the surface of the water.
Inadequate water parameters of your guppies tank, like high nitrate and nitrite, results in an ammonia spike in your guppies aquarium.
Guppy will gulp at the surface consistently because of an ammonia spike in your tank.
Unstable water parameters will make your guppy fish come under stress.
Guppy fish under stress for a long time will become prone to various diseases and parasites, making them gasp at the water’s surface.
Poor water quality
Poor water quality will make your guppy fish gasp for air at the water’s surface.
Contaminated water will lack oxygen, making your guppy fish suffocate, and they will gasp for air.
You must know that the beneficial bacteria in our aquarium system require oxygen to break down ammonia and nitrite.
There will be a lack of oxygen in contaminated water. Because of that, beneficial bacteria will not get able to eliminate ammonia and nitrite, resulting in a spike of ammonia.
Also read: Best pH level For Guppies?
An overcrowded tank will lack oxygen, making your guppy fish gasp for air.
An overcrowded tank will cause all these issues:
- An overcrowded tank will lack oxygen.
- Your guppies will come under stress because of a lack of space to live and swim comfortably.
- Your guppies tank will get polluted faster than regular and need water change and maintenance more often.
An overcrowded tank will get dirty very soon, and the risk of an ammonia spike will be higher.
Also read: How Many Guppies In A 20 Gallon Tank?
A small-size bowl will have a small surface area.
The small surface area will not get able to have enough oxygen for your guppy fish.
Also, the bowl will not have much movement in the surface area, resulting in a lack of aeration.
Guppy fish suffering from a severe disease like gill flukes will make them gasp for air at the water’s surface.
Your guppy fish will have red gills and appear as open wounds when suffering from gill flukes.
You will notice your fish sitting at the bottom of the tank most of the time and become lethargic.
Guppy fish will try to swim at the water’s surface for air every few hours.
Also read: Why Are My Guppies Lethargic?
If you are feeding floating food to your guppy fish every day, it can be the reason behind your guppy fish gasping for air at the water’s surface.
When you provide floating food to your guppies, they come to the water’s surface and try to eat the floating food.
When you come near your guppies aquarium, they will mimic the eating behavior and come at the water’s surface and gulp for air as they do for capturing food.
Also read: Best Food For Guppy Fish.
How to stop guppy fish from gasping for air?
Perform these things to stop and prevent your guppy fish from gasping for air:
- Ensure enough oxygen by adding an air pump to your guppies aquarium.
- Provide good water quality to your guppy fish.
- Provide adequate and stable water parameters to your guppy fish.
- Add live aquatic plants to your guppies aquarium.
- Avoid overcrowding your guppies tank.
- Keep your guppies in a tank rather than in a bowl.
Add air pump
An air pump is the best option to add to your guppies aquarium for creating aeration.
Air pump helps in introducing more atmospheric oxygen into your guppies aquarium.
Place the air stone at the bottom of the tank, allowing the gases to rise to the top in exchange for fresh atmospheric air.
Consider adding more than one air pump for oxygenation if you have a large tank.
Tetra whisper air pump is a good option when planning to buy an air pump for your aquarium.
You can buy it on amazon: Teta whisper air pump.
Also, consider adding a filter that helps in the surface movement of your guppy’s aquarium water.
Also read: Can Guppy Fish Live Without Oxygen?
Provide good water quality
Poor water quality is the primary reason for oxygen deficiency in your guppies aquarium.
Providing good water quality to your guppy fish will prevent them and stop them from gasping for air.
To ensure good water quality, perform a weekly water change of 35%.
Also, consider a good filtration system with carbon and biofilter media to keep your aquarium clean and prevent nitrite and ammonia.
Provide adequate and stable water parameters
Providing adequate water parameters will prevent guppy fish from showing such behavior.
Ensure maintaining the ammonia and nitrite at 0ppm whereas nitrate at below 25ppm.
A higher ammonia level will affect your guppy fish gills, making them gasp for air.
We recommend using an API test kit to keep a regular check on the ammonia level of your guppies aquarium.
You can buy an API test kit at amazon: API TEST KIT.
|Guppy Fish Requirement
|Water pH level
Ensure providing your guppy fish water temperature between 72-82 °F.
Add a heater to keep your guppy’s aquarium water stable.
Guppy fish require a water pH between 6.7-7.8.
Also read: Best TDS For Guppies?
Add live aquatic plants.
Adding live aquatic plants will help you keep your aquarium oxygenated.
Live aquatic plants will also keep your guppies aquarium clean by absorbing ammonia, nitrite, and nitrates.
These are some best plants to add to your guppies aquarium:
- Java moss
- Water Wisteria
- Water sprite
- Flame moss
Also read: Do Guppies Eat Plants?
An overcrowded tank results in oxygen deficiency, making your guppy fish gasp for air.
To ensure that you are not overcrowding your guppies tank, follow the one-inch one-gallon rule, which means one inch of fish per gallon of water.
Following the one-inch one-gallon rule will ensure that you are not overcrowding your guppies tank.
Avoid keeping guppies in a bowl.
Bowl doesn’t have a large surface area for oxygen exchange.
You will not be able to add a heater and filter to your guppies bowl.
Without a heater, you will not be able to keep the water temperature stable, making your guppies prone to various diseases and parasites.
And, without a filter, you will not be able to keep your bowl clean and safe from ammonia.
Instead, if you don’t have much space for a large size tank, consider buying a nano tank rather than a bowl.
Also read: Can Guppy Live In A Bowl?
Lack of oxygen is the primary reason behind guppy fish gasping for air.
Other reasons include poor water quality, overcrowded tanks, illness, and feeding floating food.
If your guppy fish is gasping for air to capture the food, there is nothing to worry about.
If the reason is not that, immediate action is required.
Add an air pump to your guppies aquarium to ensure aeration and enough oxygen.