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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently (2 days ago) downsized my tank from a 30 gallon to a 20 gallon, and used fresh saltwater from my local marine pet store to fill it. My clownfish seemed stressed out at first, but calmed down over night. I have a protein skimmer from my 30 gallon tank on it, and i bought a new filter. I recently noticed that the clownfish are rapidly gasping, and behaving sluggishly. I know the water is aerated enough, and the new water shouldn't be tainted or anything. I'm hoping the cause is just stress or shock, but I want a second opinion. can the water be too aerated with such a large protein skimmer? Thanks for any responses.
 

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Have you been testing your water? Ammonia? pH? Did you move all the old rock with the fish and just used new water? Was the rock exposed to air for a long period of time? Gasping can mean many things, from stress, to ammonia burn, to parasites, to oxygenation issues.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I haven't tested my water, but presumably it should be near perfect. The store uses RO/DI water and coral pro salt to mix the water. I'm wondering since my water was bad, that when i moved them to perfect water they had a shock. I moved a couple of old rocks after scrubbing them off, and I added new sand. The rocks were not exposed to air for long periods of time.

Could they be gasping from exhaustion? the protein skimmer puts off a pretty strong current, and they seem to be trying to hide from it.
 

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I would highly suggest testing your water. The amount of bacteria in your old rocks was enough to take care of the load of these fish, if you only moved a few of the rocks, then it's possible you don't have enough bacteria and they're being exposed to ammonia. That's worse case scenario but definitly the first thing you should rule out. It's very doubtful that the flow from your skimmer would exhaust them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks so much! You were right. the water had perfect stats except for ammonia, which was through the roof. I'm doing a water change right now, so hopefully they will feel better by tomorrow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Doing great. they have slowed their gasping, and are much livelier. They haven't eaten much yet, but I plan to make another water change soon. earlier I did a 90% water change, and tomorrow i'll do another 50% water change.
 
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