Barbs gasping for air after water change

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Registered Member
Jun 25, 2021
After a 25% water change last night using tetra aquasafe and some easy balance I woke up to find my water cloudy and my fish gasping for air at the surface. I’ve put an airstone in, whats happened how do I fix it? (I’m not sure if it’s related but it’s a unusually hot day today and the water is about two degrees warmer than what I’d have the heater set to)
Apr 2, 2002
New York
I had to look up Easy Balance. Two comments- First, I would never add this to any of my tanks based on the description. Second, I went to the Tetra site for the info on Easy Balance and noticed the product reviews. There are 26 reviews which gave it an average rating of 2.7/5 also it says that only "10 out of 24 (42%) reviewers recommend this product ." How can there be 26 reviews and 10/24?

Is it possible you accidentally overdosed either or both of the Tetra products?

However, you have provided very minimal information about your tank which makes it difficult for anyone to offer meaningful help. here are a few questions:

1. What are you tap water parameters? PH, GH and KH.
2. What are your tank water parameters?
3. How long has the tank been running?
4. What is the stocking.
5. What is in the tank besides the water and fish?
6, What do you feed and how often?
7. What is your water change routine- how much do you regularly change and how often?

The most common problem cause of bacterial blooms is excess nutrients in the water. However, the addition of certain additives can also cloud the water. The bacteria in a bloom use oxygen, dechlor take oxygen out of the water. So, one possibility is the fish are at the surface for this reason. Adding an air stone might help. So could a water change but without adding the Easy Balance and not overdosing the dechlor.

Nitrite in the water can also prevent the blood of the fish from carrying oxygen. This happens even when there is adequate oxygen available in the water. Did you test for nitrite or ammonia for that matter?


AC Members
Jun 28, 2006
SF Bay area, CA
I agree with TwoTank, it seems to be a lack of usable oxygen causing your fish to hang by the surface. We need more info that he asked for please.


AC Members
Jun 10, 2021
I suggest you toss out both tetra brand products, unless you bought them from amazon, then you could return them. Buy a bottle of prime for doing water changes. And do a 40% water change as soon as you get the prime.