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Hi. A couple of questions....
What is your C02 level during the day, what type of filtration do you use, and what is your KH? I'm assuming the KH is low if you're getting such a swing.

If you're having the problem at night, I would try raising the pH setting on your controller so it stays more consistent both night and day.
You're correct about it being hard on the fish if they're gasping for air.

I don't see your fish load as being excessive (or at least I've heard of much worse), but I would try to clean up the decomposing plant material as it happens, and perhaps increase your water changes. Even in heavily planted tanks with a fairly hefty fish load, that's not a normal problem unless one of the above is at fault.

Keep us posted on how the airstones go, as well. :)
 

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I'm glad the airstone helped.

One other thing that occured to me is that maybe your solenoid isn't shutting the C02 off all the way when it's supposed to (faulty regulator, or something)? I've heard a few people say that even when it's supposed to be off, it's still producing.
Just a thought. :)
 
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