Originally Posted by Oldfishlady
Usually when a fish is trying to get out like that it can be a sign that something is wrong with the water or a parasite......the heavy breathing can be a sign of gill problems related to toxic substance or parasites...my first thought when I first read this....chlorine/chloramine or some other toxic substance in the water...check the expiration date on your dechlorinater and make sure to shake well before use...some of the dechlorinator require that you use double dose (check the label) if you have chloramine in the water along with chlorine......if this was a sudden change in behavior especially after a water change it could be the dechlorinator or lack of.....
pH swings, something toxic on your hands, in the air that fell in the tank, etc.... can also cause this type of behavior
Best treatment is to make another water change and use extra dechlorinator, turn off the light and filter.....
Watch the white areas on his gills for changes...hopefully this problem is related to external parasites since they can usually recover without issues.....
First of all, thank you for the detailed response! I really appreciate it :)
I checked the expiration date on the water conditioner and it looks good.
I've got an extra 1 gallon bowl that I used to put him in, so I tried filling that up, putting a double dosage of water conditioner (shook it up), and putting the Ammonia Reducer in it, along with about a pinch or two of the aquarium salt.
He is still hanging out at the top and having trouble breathing. How long after the switch do you think he should start returning back to normal if it was something in the water / chlorine?
This could also all be in my head, but I think that his colors are becoming darker and less vivid, while the area around his gills and head is becoming whiter. Could that be a sign of something?