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Old 11-22-2012, 07:27 AM   #1
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Please help - my pride and joy is sick! Comet swollen on one side, upside down

Hi, I'm new and am wondering if anyone can help me. My pride and joy comet goldfish is not well and I'd be devastated if he died.

He (I assume he is a he - not entirely convinced in my sexing skills!) is about 7-8 years old and has always been a hardy little guy except for very occasional constipated which I sorted quickly with a fast.
He is in a 55 litre tank with one other goldfish smaller than him and about 2-3 years old now (common goldie) and they have been the best of friends since.

He began being lazy at the beginning of November 2012, and not really swimming about, just laying in funny positions over the tank decs. A couple of weeks ago I noticed that his tail looked bent and viewed from the top, it is a definite curve along his spine and his left side was swollen (only the left, no other symptoms apart from being lazy).

Yesterday I noticed very slight pineconing on left side towards the tail (only a certain spot, literally about 5-6 scales) and he is now upside down making gasping/eating movements with his mouth. I have looked down his throat and can't see anything, I'm currently thawing peas for him and haven't fed them for 3 days now. Since he started being poorly, I fed him once every two days.

Tank is well looked after, regular water changes, filtration etc, I put some swimbladder med in last night and he seems to have gone down hill since that? He was treated at the beginning of the month for internal parasites but it doens't seem to have made a difference.

No other symptoms except floating upside down (new occurrence as of yesterday) gawping, slightly pine-coning of a left swollen abdomen which is bending his back and his anus looks a bit swollen. I haven't seen him really go to the toilet except for occasionally stringy poos.

I don't know if this is relevant but I handled him earlier today to look down his throat and felt his swollen bit and anus. Since then he is a bit more active, occasionally a bit more upright, but the other goldie is bumping his bum/belly in between pushing him upright? They have never fought and this is the most active I've seen porly fish in weeks,

Please help, I don't know what to do.
I haven't tested the water parameters yet, but it has regular water changes and filter aid. When he first got sick I performed a 50% water change as it seemed like CO2 poisoning.

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Old 11-22-2012, 08:11 AM   #2
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If he's pine coning, could it be early stages, or a stage of dropsy? I don't have goldfish, but I've lost 2 fish to dropsy, and they became swollen, scales went like a pinecone especially when viewing from the top..
Unfortunately I've not been able to save either of my 2 that had dropsy. Did he respond to the swim bladder treatment? What are your water parameters?
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Old 11-22-2012, 08:17 AM   #3
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I haven't checked the water parameters yet. Am waiting for a full test kit to arrive.
I considered dropsy this morning but it is not full pineconing and is only in a certain part of his abdomen, on the left towards the tail. Not particularly noticeable from the top but I can see it slightly whn viewed from the tail end.
I have not completed the swimbladder meds yet, there are 4 doses and he only had the first yesterday because that was when he started showing symptoms that could indicate SBD.

One thing I have noticed today is that where his anus is swollen, I can see a little pin prick sized hole and it gets slightly bigger sometimes like during movement. Could this indicate straining from constipation?
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Old 11-22-2012, 08:36 AM   #4
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I'm afraid I don't know I've never seen that on a fish, it could be, I'm not sure but it sounds like you're trying to figure out what's wrong, if I were you I'd just keep doing water changes, and continue treatment with swim bladder, maybe someone else will know.. Sorry I can't help more
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Old 11-22-2012, 08:46 AM   #5
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Hey I had the same problem I'd look at treatments for dropsy with the scales being as you described plus if not it wont hurt to try. turns out mine had broke its back I have know idea how but she healed herself and now just swims a bit funny she's just had 30 babies too so she's fine lol fingers crossed for your goldfish let us know how things go
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Old 11-22-2012, 08:47 AM   #6
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No idea how***
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Old 11-22-2012, 08:55 AM   #7
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I thought he might have damaged his back too! But then I noticed the swelling. It isn't as bent as it was. I'm trying to figure out what's wrong cos he really is my pride! So beautiful and brilliant
I just don't know, I thought perhaps he might actually be a she and have impacted eggs but it's unlikely that goldies breed in captivity isn't it? the one sided swelling is really throwing me out? Thanks for your help so far. x
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Old 11-22-2012, 10:02 PM   #8
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Hi littlelady, and Welcome to AA!

Unfortunately, 55liters, or roughly 15 gallons is much too small for two goldfish. Especially a comet and a common put together. A lot of people on here will tell you that large fish like those are more suited for ponds than fish tanks, as each fish requires 50 gallons or more per fish. They can get well over a foot long, and need a lot of swimming room. Your Comet may be suffering from stunting due to this, or it might be their water. We won't know that for sure until you get your Test kit in though and test the water for ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates.

I would start doing 25-50% water changes daily, but before you start that, how often do you change your water, and how much water do you change?
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Old 11-23-2012, 09:03 AM   #9
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When I bought him, or when he was bought for me, he was my first fish and I didn't know what I know now. He was sold as a common goldfish. He's been in this tank for years and unfortunately until I move house I can't get anything bigger.
I do 25% water changes around twice per week (roughly four days between) and have filter aid added.
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Old 11-23-2012, 02:42 PM   #10
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Water health will be key here, since goldfish are so messy. Unfortunately the only way to help these guys is multiple water changes to bring the toxic levels of nitrate and probably ammonia that is in your water. If you already do water changes. That often, it might not be too bad, but we can't know until you get your water checked. Is there any way you can get a sample if water to a local fish store and get ammonia, nitrites and nitrates checked?

Also, I would up those water changes to 50% daily water changes. I know that sounds like a lot, but until we know how your water is, the more water changes the better.
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Old 11-23-2012, 03:24 PM   #11
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Water testing strips are on their way! Local fish shops won't do it as apparently they don't have the equipment "but we recommend this product". Convenient that, considering they charge twice the amount of the internet prices. I've read about the epsom salt dip, how long do you have to 'dip' the fish for?
If the water is the problem, how come the common goldfish isn't sick?
I shall start with the 50% water changes daily thank you
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Old 11-23-2012, 08:01 PM   #12
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Some fish show symptoms more quickly than others especially if they are sensitive to the water. It all depends on the fish. As for the salt baths, I couldn't tell you, since i've never before done it, since it can stress the fish out, I've always relied on lots if clean water for a quick recovery. Hopefully someone else will chime in on the salt bath for you.
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Old 11-24-2012, 04:46 AM   #13
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I know, I'm a little concerned but to be honest, I'll do anything to help my little fish, I love him to bits!! I feel like such a bad fish mother!
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Old 11-24-2012, 09:38 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GNarnian View Post
Hi littlelady, and Welcome to AA!

Unfortunately, 55liters, or roughly 15 gallons is much too small for two goldfish. Especially a comet and a common put together. A lot of people on here will tell you that large fish like those are more suited for ponds than fish tanks, as each fish requires 50 gallons or more per fish. They can get well over a foot long, and need a lot of swimming room. Your Comet may be suffering from stunting due to this, or it might be their water. We won't know that for sure until you get your Test kit in though and test the water for ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates.

I would start doing 25-50% water changes daily, but before you start that, how often do you change your water, and how much water do you change?
I have to agree on the advice offered here. The daily 50% water changes will help to address any water quality issues until you have a test kit but it wont cure the affects of stunting, unfortunately. How is your fish doing today?
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Old 11-25-2012, 04:27 AM   #15
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Hi, no change today. We tried the epsom salt bath yesterday and while he did seem to perk up and be a bit more active, I tried feeding a pea and he sucked it up but then spat it back again.
Where abouts on the fish in the intestines, are all the organs more or less along a central line in the middle between the pectoral and just before the anal fin? Diagrams aren't being incredibly helpful.
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