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CJBianco 04-13-2014 03:09 PM

Is the problem low oxygen ?
4 Attachment(s)
Hello, everyone. I have a black moor goldfish who shows all the signs of low oxygen levels, and I can't seem to figure out how to raise the O2 levels.

Answers to the standard questions:

1. Black moor goldfish. Swollen eye with a little blood inside. (Seems to get a little better with each H2O change, then starts getting red again.) Constant gulping at the top of the tank, and very lethargic--sitting for long periods at the bottom of the tank. Buddha has had these symptoms for several months now, and I am at my wit's end.

2. According to my API Freshwater Test Kit, everything is perfect--pH 7.6+, Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate <40. (These were taken BEFORE my Sunday 20% water change, and besides the Nitrate, they are representative of the usual readings. I often do a 10% Wednesday water change too, so the Nitrate levels are almost always around 10. However, I skipped last Wednesday, so the levels are almost 40 today.)

3. The tank is a 55G, and it's been there for a few months. The H2O is cycled.

4. The HOB is an Aquaclear 110, and the powerhead is an Aquaclear 70. (Both are modified with clear tubing to draw water from the bottom of the tank, and the powerhead has an additional piece to aim the output water toward the top for maximum surface action.)

5. Buddha is alone.

6. The last H2O change was an hour ago, but the water specs (with attached photo) are PRE-change. The last change before that was the previous Sunday.

7. Buddha was brought home from Petco about two years ago, though he has only been in this tank for five or six months.

8. Nothing new in the tank, but the O2 levels have always been low.

9. The food is Saki-Hikari Fancy Goldfish food. I switched from the Petco brand (whatever it was called) a while ago, but the symptoms were present before the switch.

OK, as I said before, I'm at my wit's end. I've tried everything I can think of to help Buddha. I've even tried an API salt treatment. Is there something I'm missing?

Any and all suggestions are welcome and appreciated.


CJBianco 04-13-2014 03:13 PM

4 Attachment(s)
And here are a few quick shots of Buddha, his swollen left eye and the small bloody spot at the bottom of it (which was faded to pink at the time of the photo).

You can also see the results of the PRE-change (20%) H2O quality check.


Matt68005 04-13-2014 09:32 PM

Idk, he seems fine. Why not add an airstone and some more fancies?

CJBianco 04-13-2014 09:59 PM


Originally Posted by Matt68005 (Post 2915506)
Idk, he seems fine. Why not add an airstone and some more fancies?


Thank you for the reply. Yes, Buddha does seem fine in the photos--very alert and swimmiful. (That's not a real word, is it?) I think he was hoping to be fed as I approached the tank for the photo shoot, and that's why he was so active. He's been fine for the last several hours since the water change, but in a day or two he'll be back to his same lethargic, sitting-on-the-bottom-of-the-tank-for-hours or constantly-gulping-air-at-the-surface self. It's strange.

Thanks again,

jlk 04-14-2014 10:46 AM

Hi! The eye is not concerning and it is fairly normal for moors to have lopsided eyes. They can change shape and size over the course of their life. The small amount of blood and slight swelling indicates that he likely injured it on décor in the tank which is common for moors to do. His behavior though indicates something is off that needs to be addressed and adding new fish right now will only further complicate the situation and I strongly advise against this right now.

The fact that his behavior dramatically improves after a wc indicates something amiss with the tank water for starters. Although nothing obvious except for high nitrates is apparent, there are many other levels and things to consider in fw tanks that we do not test for. The high level of nitrates though is sufficient to induce bottom sitting and piping. As your wc schedule is pretty minimal, I would start by increasing it to 50-60% every 2-3 days for the next week (or anytime he starts to show odd behavior which may be more frequently) and lets see if his behavior improves. I would also add daily veggies into diet. Adding an airstone or bubbler on the opposite side of the tank may help too. If things remain unchanged, the next step will be to consider actual meds to address a possible issue (such as flukes). Keep us posted!

CJBianco 04-14-2014 11:27 AM


Thanks for the great advice. I'll do a Wednesday water change this week as usual, but I'll increase the percentage as you suggested. (For what it's worth, the nitrate level is normally around 10, and his activity is the same at that time; he'll gulp at the surface for a while, then dive and let out bubbles.)

One thing I was considering last night...could excessive piping (thanks for teaching me a new fish word!) lead to lethargy/bottom-sitting? (I have no idea how piping affects fish.) Perhaps Buddha is simply attacking the bubbles at the surface (or is checking for food) and the excessive piping (which I've read is not too healthy) could be leading to his lethargy.

Who knows? I'll do some more research on other freshwater level considerations for which I've not tested. (Thanks for the tip!)

Thank you again.


Matt68005 04-14-2014 02:37 PM

My black moor just chills alot.... They are not thact active when they get bigger.

0xxKyleexx0 07-24-2014 10:30 PM

I would suggest getting a bubbler. Your tank is big, and would be a lot better with air(: I suggest putting one in the middle, or 2 at the ends, whatever serves you best. My black moor is in love with my bubbler and is a happy fish. (:

icydeath 07-26-2014 03:28 AM

I agree with the bubbler (or another filter or powerhead for surface agitation)

Possibly your tank temperature is off? Warm tanks hold less oxygen so I doubt this is what it is but make sure your tank is less than 72 degrees.

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