Why Are My Goldfish Gasping or Gulping For Air At Top of Pond or Aquarium?

Are your goldfish gasping or gulping for air at the surface of the water in your pond or aquarium? If so your goldfish could be suffering from lack of oxygen or a variety of different reasons. What you need to do is find out why your goldfish are gasping for air. Ask yourself, do your goldfish look sick, are they scratching themselves, is your pond or aquarium water too warm, have they recently been sick. Your the goldfish doctor and it’s your job to find the answer as to why your goldfish are gasping for air.

Goldfish most commonly are seen gasping for air at the surface of the water when there is a lack of oxygen in your pond, aquarium or goldfish bowl. When the water is to warm there is less oxygen available. What you need to do is perform a 25% water change immediately so that you can increase the oxygen available by aerating your pond or aquarium. For ponds a good technique is to turn your garden hose on spraying water directly in to the pond adding oxygen to the water.

Another reason why goldfish are seen gasping or gulping for air is due to damaged gills caused by either parasites or not using water conditioner when doing water changes. When you don’t use water conditioner the chlorine causes damage to the gills making it harder for goldfish to process oxygen from the water. It is very important to use water conditioner each and every time you do maintenance on your pond or aquarium.

Another good suggestion for you to do is test your water quality right away. Your water chemistry could be off the scale causing your goldfish to start gulping for air. If your ammonia spikes it can burn the gills of the fish much like chlorine will if you don’t use water conditioner. When you see fish gasping for air test your water quality immediately.

To help avoid fish mortalities due to lack of oxygen goldfish owners should add air pump to their aquarium or pond. This will help provide more oxygen for your pond or aquarium fish. To stop goldfish from gasping or gulping for air at the surface of the water it is recommended you follow all the above advice. Lack of oxygen can kill your goldfish or cause them to start gasping or gulping for air.


Jamie Boyle
The Goldfish Guy
“Helping Goldfish Owners With Advice, Fish Care and Fish Medication Treatments for Goldfish Diseases, Illnesses and Parasites”

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