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Old 01-26-2012, 02:11 PM   #1
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sick goldfish

1~What type of fish is afflicted? ~ 3 inch Fantail goldfish, slightly bloated, swimming erratically (lying on the bottom earlier, now lying on it's side. Swimming in circles, bumping into things. shuddering/having a seizure or something)
2~What are your tank parameters? Unsire of all other parameters, temp is 22 C. 40% water change last night.
3~ How large is the tank? 10 gallon, set up since september, with Neon tetras since october. End of December, neons moved to a new tank and the 10 gallon sat empty (with water and plants but no fish) for about a month. Changed about 80% of the water before getting the goldfish, and have changed 40% 2 times since then.
4~What type of filtration are you using? Bio-wheel filter
5~How many fish are in the tank? What kinds of fish are they and what are their current sizes? Just the one goldfish
6~When is the last time you did a water change and vacuum the gravel? Changed 40% of water last night (with vacuuming). Usually do this 2 times/week.
7~How long have you had the fish? had the fish 1 week, acclimated by sitting the bag in the tank, for 20 minutes, then adding a bit of tank water to the bag, waiting another 10 mins, then releasing the fish.
8~Have you added anything new to the tank--decor, new dechlorinator, new substrate, etc.? -got a live plant at the same time, old live plants got relocated with the tetras.
9~What kind of food have you been feeding your fish, have you changed their diet recently? goldfish flakes

I think he may have eaten a rock, as he was poking around in the substrate as goldfish do and a few days ago he seemed to be trying to cough something out for a minute. This morning he seemed off, lying on the bottom and he is now lying on his side. I've moved him into a small tank of fresh water in case it was a water quality thing, but it doesn't seem to be helping
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Old 01-26-2012, 03:26 PM   #2
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Hi! Thanks for all the info! Are you using a dechlorinator/conditioner when you do water changes? Are you dosing it to the size of your tank? Unfortunately, 10g is too small for even a single goldfish due to their potentail for growth & their extremely high bioload. He needs atleast a 20gal tank with heavy filtration (10x tank size min). I highly suspect your tank is still cycling and your fish is suffering from poor water quality (high ammonia & nitrite). You really should invest in API freshwater master test kit as soon as possible so you can monitor his tank parameters. Until you are able to do this, I would suggest doing 50% water changes daily with temperature-matched, conditioned water (dose to the size of your tank). You can also try feeding him some plain, cooked deshelled peas (mash them before feeding). Also consider switching to a quality sinking goldfish pellet (such as hikari) to help alleviate swim issues related to poor food quality. Flakes are not a good choice for goldies as they are prone to digestive issues related to food. Please do not hesitate to ask if you have questions!
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Old 01-26-2012, 03:54 PM   #3
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Hi, Thanks for the fast reply.
I use a dechlorinator only when I can't leave the water sit for 24 hours (the city I live in doesn't have chloramine in the water)
This was only a temporary home, he is supposed to move to a 75 gallon in another week, with 2 other fantails, 2 filters, not sure what brand but they're a hang-over-the-back model for 70 gallons each.
I'll definitely switch the others to a pellet food after this.
Any other suggestions? He seems to be doing worse, just lying on his side, although I've moved him to a container with 100% fresh (dechlorinated) water a few hours ago. Not too sure he could eat a pea. thanks again
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Old 01-26-2012, 04:11 PM   #4
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Just a suggestion, but leaving the water to sit is not the best option. Chlorine may gas off but other things, such as heavy metals, do not. A good water conditioner (such as Prime) helps to bind other contaminants. I am glad they are moving to a bigger home! I am afraid though there is not much that can be done for him now other than provide super-healthy water and cross your fingers in hopes of him recovering. Good luck!
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Old 01-26-2012, 04:13 PM   #5
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Forgot this- if you havent done so already, add an airstone or bubbler to his water. An increase in oxygenation may help as well.
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Old 01-26-2012, 04:18 PM   #6
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Hi firstly well done for giving as much info as possible
My thoughts would be that the tank being empty for a month i believe? Then the tank would have died off so to speak so it probably a water quality issue? You really could do with getting it tested if possible,a local fish shop can do this for you. You say the fish may have ingested a piece of gravel? Is it got its mouth permanently open? Also agree you should use a dechlorinator regardless every time. Is the fish breathing heavily? Good luck.
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Old 01-26-2012, 04:58 PM   #7
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Hi
I agree the tank will be cycling. Leaving it empty for a month would have caused the bacteria to die off.
Guide to Starting a Freshwater Aquarium
This might answer some questions.
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Old 01-26-2012, 05:34 PM   #8
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WATER CHANGE- water change.
Don't feed at 40. Parboiled skined peas when you do feed. If you can heat the tank TO 60 to 65.feed alittle peas & add 2 table spoons of empsom salt.
If you are lucky He will poop. PS only sinking food Soaked. Fancy gold fish are a product of selective breeding. THERE INSIDES ARE A MESS.

and the above
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Old 01-26-2012, 09:09 PM   #9
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Thanks to all who have replied. He is looking a bit better-holding himself upright and not quite so brink-of-death-ish. Swimming around a bit, but still jerky. Will keep him in super-clean (and treated) water.
No, there was no pebble stuck in his mouth holding it open (that I saw) and I looked right in as he was opening his mouth. I just thought that may have happened, as I saw him poking in the gravel, and then he appeared to be trying to spit something out. Also, his belly looks a bit bloated, to the point where a few scales on one side were sticking out (the scales have gone down now though). Sometimes he looks a bit like he's gasping but mostly breathing pretty normally.
I figured the tank would stay cycled, as there was a ton of algae in it when the fish left and the lights weren't on at all. I thought it would die off and feed the good bacteria while I was gone. I'll check out the link above, thanks.
I'll leave him in the all clean water hospital tank for the night. Changed about 80-90% of the water in the 10 gallon, and will change more tomorrow (and I'm treating all the water with dechlorinator as I add). Is it ok to feed just the peas, nothing else? I have only been feeding about every 2 days, until today with the peas.
Is that 2 tbsp of Epsom salt per 10 gallons? All the time or just until he's better? Should I still add a bubbler if the filter output has a waterfall effect and sends air bubbles all the way to the bottom? When you say get it tested at the fish store, what do they test for? ammonia, nitrates, nitrites? If that is the case, I will just pick up a test kit to do at home. Fahrenheit, it's at 64 degrees.
Thanks again to everyone
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Old 01-26-2012, 09:19 PM   #10
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Your fine to only feed him mashed peas for a few days. If theres sufficient aeration from the filter, the bubbler probably isnt needed. Def pick yourself up a test kit! Its important to know your water parameters especially when dealing with a sick fish where the water quality is questionable. It allows you to monitor his water daily to be sure it stays as healthy as possible. I dont have any personal experience with using epsom salts as a laxative (which they are) in fish so ill let the poster advise you on this. I would be hesitant to use them as I believe your water quality has caused his illness instead of a constipation issue. You can also offer him a cooked broccoli floret daily in addition to the peas. Good luck!
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Old 01-28-2012, 05:21 AM   #11
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For my tank when I use aquarium salt for my freshwater mollies it says 1 rounded tablespoon for 5 gallon tank so you would use 2 tablespoons per 10gallon if we have the same salt.
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Old 01-28-2012, 04:36 PM   #12
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I would mix the salt in a different container, using treated aquarium water, and pour it in very slowly.
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Old 01-28-2012, 04:50 PM   #13
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Hi how is Jack doing now? Most goldfish enjoy digging in the gravel,hence why there tanks are generally so grubby! Also that's why its recommended that the substrate is generally fine
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