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Hypoxia

This article was worked on by our good friend Nads, this took a lot of her time up to sort it out which will help our members time and time again. Thanks to Nads for this.

Moderators: Nads, Ray, iwade4fish, Super Turtleman

Hypoxia

PostAuthor: Nads » Sun Feb 17, 2008 10:55

What is hypoxia?

Hypoxia is when the fish is struggling to gain sufficient oxygen to survive.

Symptoms

Increased gill rate and fish is hanging near the surface.

In extreme cases the fish's breathing may appear extremely laboured and the fish may be lying on the bottom.

Other signs include increased colouration.


What causes hypoxia?

Lack of oxygen in the water

This in turn can be caused by the following;

- Increased temperature without increased aeration (the warmer the water the less oxygen it can contain)

- Inadequate surface agitation to allow sufficient gaseous exchange to re-oxygenate the water

- Bacteria bloom using up the available oxygen

- Some medications can also reduce the oxygen content of the water so would recommend that you add an air-stone when using medications


Inability of the fish to absorb oxygen

This in turn can be caused by the following;

- Gill damage

- Nitrite poisoning

- Ammonia poisoning

- Chlorine poisoning

- High levels of carbon dioxide in the water



Treatment

In all cases increase agitation of the water's surface to increase gaseous exchange

Check water parameters e.g. Temperature, pH, Nitrite, Nitrate and Ammonia levels and correct where needed

Partial water change and a decrease in the temperature of the tank will also help.

The fish should show improvement within half an hour.
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