22-01-2020, 19:41
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Hypoxia is accompanied by rapid breathing in the fish, they stop eating and prefer to stay near the water surface. The fish greedily gulp air from the surface of the water. In acute cases, the gills of the fish are protruding, their mouths are hardly closed and their coordination of movements is impaired. In advanced cases, the fish lie on their sides on the ground and hardly move at all.

It should be noted that hypoxia can often be confused with some infectious diseases and poisoning, which are also accompanied by oxygen deprivation. It is therefore necessary to correctly diagnose the disease in order to choose the right treatment.

Hypoxia very often results in the death of the fish. Lack of oxygen in the water may be caused by overpopulation, large amounts of organic material accumulated at the bottom or a lack of filtration equipment and water aeration.

Fish that live in naturally oxygenated areas (stormy rivers or near waterfalls) are particularly sensitive to changes in the oxygen content of the water. A considerably higher water temperature in summer or winter, during the heating season, may also be fatal for these fish. The fish require more oxygen under such conditions, but there is less of it in the water.


The higher the activity level, the more active the fish will be, the more oxygen they require.

The main causes that lead to hypoxia can thus be distinguished:

  • High water temperature, no or little aeration. Large amounts of organic material on the bottom resulting in rapid growth of bacteria, which absorb part of the oxygen dissolved in the water. The aquarium is overpopulated with fish;
  • Hypoxia related to gill injury, poisoning;
  • Hypoxia associated with infectious diseases, when, for various reasons, the gills of fish are affected by bacteria and protozoa.

The goal of every aquarist is to prevent hypoxia in the aquarium by all means, especially as it is not difficult to fight. Regardless of the cause of the hypoxia, the first thing to do is provide plenty of aeration.

Another effective way to deal with the problem is to change the water in the aquarium partially with fresh water. In a particularly difficult situation, a 15% hydrogen peroxide solution in a ratio of 1 g/l can be dissolved in water, but it can only be done once.

The most effective way to prevent hypoxia is to keep the aquarium clean, not overpopulate it with fish and aerate the water. Observing these conditions saves you many problems that need to be dealt with urgently.


Tags hypoxia

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