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African cichlids always have a lack of oxygen, extremely labored breathing


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its 50 gallons with 13 fish, with an aquaclear 110. I find myself constantly putting an airstone in the aquarium because I can tell the fish are suffocating. I usually leave the airstone in there overnight and by morning they are fine. 2 days later they are stressed as heck, won't eat and gasping and yawning like they have no air. anyone know what up? thanks.


ammonia  nitrite:0     Nitrate 20

temp: 80

PH: 7.6

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Why you just don't leave airstone all the time?

I don't see some obvious reason for that. I know it's African cichlid tank but do you have co2?

Do you have protein film on top of the water?

Are you definitely sure your parameters are fine?

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Biofilm is from too low water movement and from biological decomposition of things in aquarium (fish food, poop, wood etc.).

Oxygen enters the water through the surface of your aquarium (surface agitation) biofilm can act as a barrier, preventing oxygen from entering your aquarium. So it could be reason that your fish don't have enough oxygen.


I would add airpump in tank and that should help your fishes.

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