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Old 11-09-2004, 09:01 AM   #1
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Swimbladder? Need Help......

A friend of mine is having a problem and I don't have a clue, here is a copy of his e-mail to me any ideas or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

"I recently had a blackmoore that continually floated to the top of the tank and could not swim properly (his fan tail never fully opened on one side). Anyway, I read suggestions that this problem was swim bladder and tried the peas etc. Anyway, my poor blackmoore stayed like this for 3 months regardless of the peas and died after a water change (he ended up becoming stiff while still alive and stayed at the bottom of the tank for 2 days). Now my lionhead is having buoyancy problems after the death of the blackmoore. I have tried peas etc and they are making no impact. Other fish in the tank are perfectly fine. An other friend suggested that the blackmoore must have always had a fungus (for 3 months) and has transferred this onto the lionhead. Would that be correct? "

Thanks in advance.

You can't always get what you want, but if you try sometime, you might just find you get what you need.
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Old 11-09-2004, 11:00 AM   #2
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Goldfish create a lot of waste, so my first question would be, does he know what his water parameters were when the fish died? How big is the tank? What other fish does he have in the tank? And how often did he vacuume his gravel and do water changes?

From my experience, when fish are hanging out at the top of the tank, they are lacking in O2, due to water conditions. Did the fish have any physical signs of disease?
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Old 11-12-2004, 12:24 AM   #3
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Swimbladder problems are common in goldfish and can be caused by bacterial infection or defects in the swimbladder. You should probably treat with antibiotics and keep the water as near perfect as possible, also keep a .3% salt concentration while treating with medication and keep the water temp between 68-75. If its a bacteria, the symptoms should stop, but if not the only cure for swimbladder disorder is surgery and you should euthanize the fish so it doesn't suffer.
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Old 11-12-2004, 12:58 AM   #4
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Swimbladder is fairly complex problem because there are many different causes.

First - check all water parameters - chronic High NitrATEs can produce swim bladder problems.

Make sure you don't have lots of gunk in the gravel - H2S posioning may also cause floating problems.

After you make sure the water is perfect, try the following:

I see he's already try the peas. In advanced cases of constipation, this might not be enough. Try stopping feeding for a day or 2, then give a pea with a single grain of EPSOM's salt ... this may purge the fish out ... <I am assuming that this is an adult fish>. Alternatively, you can add epsoms salt to the tank water.

To prevent food related gut problems, feed sinking food & varied diet with greens, peas, etc.

You may consider using antibiotics, as bacterial infection of the gut may also cause floating problems.

Increase the water temp - to high 70's. This increases the fish's metabolism & help in correcting any problems. Note that fancy goldies are not tolerant of cold - esp. sharp temp drops & this is reputed to bring on swimbladder problems.

Salt is NOT recommended for swimbladder problems ... The extra salt in the water makes it more difficult for fish to sink, stressing it even more.

I have only treated one case of swimbladder in my goldies, & he responded to inceased temp & peas, so I never had to try the other treatment methods.
80 gal FW with 30 gal DIY wet/dry/sump.
9 fancy golds, 1 hillstream loaches, 1 rubber-lip pleco (C. thomasi), 3 SAEs, small school of white cloud minnows, planted.
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Old 11-12-2004, 03:54 AM   #5
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I truly doubt that the fish was constipated for 3 months. Especially if you tried peas, etc. This sounds most likely to be a bacterial problem in the tank or possible an extremley high nitrate level, especially if another fish is having the same symptoms in the same tank.
Make sure the water is in good condition. If it is and you still have fliping over, Treat for bacteria. If the fish are eating, give them food treated with antibiotics, MediGold is a good one. While you are treating with medication I urge you to use a low salt concentration. The fish don't need to "sink", they need to regulate the balance in the air sacs. Plus .3% is not going to make the water so bouyant the fish can't swim properly, thats absurd.
Salt is a wonderful helper in treating fish and I have had excellent results combining a medication/salt combo on my goldfish and cichlid. the salt helps take some of the the osmotic pressure off a stressed fish and helps with osmoregulation. It also will help any nitrite poisoining if you do have a high nitrite level, while youre getting it under control.
Whatever you do, if the fish is not responding and is floating helplessly on its side, it is time to put it down.
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