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Old 07-17-2013, 06:33 PM   #1
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Fancy Goldfish, Bubbles and Floating

I've had three fancies for quite a while now, and only one of them has this problem that's got a few different aspects.

The first is the usual constipation. I feed sparingly (every 2 days), and mostly used boiled, shelled peas.

The second is that he constantly eats air bubbles. He's not gasping at the surface, he's actively going up to the top when he sees a bubble, and is eating them. I've reduced the amount of bubbles that occur in the tank but he still will go out of his way to eat the few that show up now and then. They show up in his poop later.

Because of his, every other day or so he's floating at the top, head down/tail up. The problem only clears up momentarily after he's been flushed out using the boiled peas.

I've tried so many things to fix him, and the peas obviously work for constipation - but he won't stop eating bubbles, which is not making him bloated but is causing him to float.

He's not in mortal danger - the worst he's sustained from his condition is a small abrasion on his side from floating up to the surface and getting stuck for a short time beside the fluval tube which I've sinced moved to prevent this from happening again.

What should I do to keep my poor fancy from floating like a bobber every other day? Am I destined to build one of those soft rubber tubing harnesses that there's videos of on the web? I've seen mention of "swim bladder medication" on some sites but when I searched for more info I couldn't find any.

Thanks.
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Old 07-18-2013, 11:43 PM   #2
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Hi! Can you please provide some more specific info so we can better help? Tank size? Stocking? Temp? Parameters? Diet? Water change schedule? How long you have had the fancies? Last time you added a new fish/was it qt'd? Thanks
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Old 07-19-2013, 04:00 PM   #3
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Hi! Can you please provide some more specific info so we can better help? Tank size? Stocking? Temp? Parameters? Diet? Water change schedule? How long you have had the fancies? Last time you added a new fish/was it qt'd? Thanks
Tank: 56g
Lightly planted
Sand substrate
Healthy fancies: 2.5" and 1"
The problem one: ~2.5"
Nitrates usually climbs to ~30 by the time WC day rolls around
Temp stays in the low to mid 70's (basically a little cooler than the room temp)

The problem fish is my oldest one, I've had him for 18 months. The newest fish was purchased about a month ago and spent a couple weeks in QT with a general de-lousing treatment of General Cure.

The sick fish has always had this problem, but when he was younger it was much less frequent. Then he started eating bubbles. When he's flushed with peas, his poop is normal (not white or stringy or clear, but will have some small bubbles in it) but it doesn't last long as he goes right back to eating them again.
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Old 07-19-2013, 04:33 PM   #4
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Do you also feed sinking pellets or flakes? Peas should be a supplement rather than the main meal. Especially if you are only feeding every other day.
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Old 07-19-2013, 10:12 PM   #5
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Do you also feed sinking pellets or flakes? Peas should be a supplement rather than the main meal. Especially if you are only feeding every other day.
+1

Some more info on their diet will help! Also, has the fish in question been through qt prior to being added or ever received treatment (meds) of any sort since you purchased him?
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Old 07-20-2013, 04:39 AM   #6
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He received the same QT process as the newer fish, a few weeks in isolation and general anti-parasite meds when he was first purchased. He spent some time in QT several months ago when he became bloated from constipation (this is the only time he's ever showed visible bloating).

The peas are usually fed every other or every third feeding. Other than that I use Omega One flakes. He used to be on NLS goldfish pellets that I soaked prior to feeding but they seemed to make him worse.

It's a very inconsistent problem which is annoying me to no end. For example, I came home today on lunch, he was hovering neutral in the tank until I walked up and he started to swim around. I come home after work, he's back to floating tail up. He eats normal, isn't skittish, will play if you have your hand in the tank, but he just can't cantrol his swimming most of the time.
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Old 07-20-2013, 11:08 PM   #7
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Thanks for the info! Unfortunately, I do not think your going to find a simple solution here. I would try a few things and see if they make any difference before accepting this as final.

I would start by treating the tank/everyone in it with a course of praziquantel. This will rule out any possibility that flukes are causing the gulping/bubble eating behavior.

Next, increase their veggie intake to daily. As eating bubbles can be learned behavior and substitute for the natural desire to graze, providing greens to munch on at all times may help stem the behavior. Cooked plain broccoli florets stuck in a veggie clip are an easy one to start with. Plants such as eldoea or duckweed or anacharis can also be used.

Lastly, you can try switching their staple food to a gelfood (homemade or commercial). Some fancies with buoyancy issues have great results with this. Good luck!
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Old 07-22-2013, 07:30 PM   #8
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Thanks for the advice, I've got all the necessary supplies to try all of those things.
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