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Odd breathing quesion
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submariner
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Joined: 26 Dec 2010

PostPosted: 2011.06.30(Thu)7:41    Post subject: Odd breathing quesion Reply with quote

When fish are swimming their gillls and mouth move ar a normal pace, My question is when fish are moving faster speed in the tank, does their breathing movements increase? I mea are the gills and mouth moving faster?

submariner
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bignellm
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Joined: 24 Jun 2011
Location: United States

PostPosted: 2011.06.30(Thu)8:02    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't know for sure, but logic would suggest so. If your fish are flashing about your tank, it could be a sign of environmental stress. If that's the case, you should check the Ammonia/Nitrate and other levels.
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keithkyli
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Joined: 27 Apr 2010

PostPosted: 2011.07.02(Sat)23:35    Post subject: Reply with quote

My observation is, they actually close their gill operculum when swimming fast, and "gasp" when they come to a stop. For long distance swimming (e.g. to escape from a predator or territory owner), they dart for a distance, stop for a while to "gasp" and orient themselves, then dart again.

Digging deeper into biology, fish have two kinds of muscle, white and red. White muscles can give strong short bursts but tire easily, and is found in most aquarium and food fish which live in slow-moving waters and coastal areas. Red muscles are suitable for aerobic long duration swimming, and are abundant on oceanic goers like tuna, mackerel and marlin etc. Red muscles need more oxygen supply, and many of these fishes use "ram ventilation", which means they open their mouth when swimming to have a constant supply of oxygen-rich water.

Since aquarium fish are mostly white muscle based, their physiology allows them to dart short distances without the need to pump oxygen immediately; they can compensate the debt when they come to a rest.
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