Bullied Goldfish - Unwell

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Aquarium Advice Newbie
May 24, 2023
Hi everyone

I was wondering if someone could give me an advice. I have a red cap oranda that’s been bullied by another goldfish. She’s injured pretty bad and since she’s been swimming on her side. It’s been a day now since the incident and she’s still surviving. Honestly, I thought she won’t make it after that. But she’s still alive and pretty much eats. But it seems like she can’t swim upright. This is the first time that she’s injured so badly, and I honestly don’t know what to do. I’m thinking of euthanizing her but I’m still hoping she’d get better. Here’s a photo of her. Any advice would be of great help!


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Clean water and a stress free environment will give your injured fish the best chance of recovery. Seperate the fish from the aggressor into a quarantine tank or container and up the water changes to daily changes. Longer term dont put them back together.

Can you give some more details about the tank? How big is it? How long has it been set up? Maybe a photo of the tank?

Thank your response. I have a 200-liter tank that’s been set up for more than 10 months now. I only have 5 goldfishes (including the injured one) and 1 pleco. One of the goldfish which is bigger in size is the one that’s aggressive towards her. This is the first time that it happened. This is a photo of my tank. This is not a recent one but this is how it looks. Took this 2 weeks ago.


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There isnt a lot of aquascape to that tank. Nothing to break up lines if sight so a fish can keep away from an aggressive fish.

Not that it relates to your current issue, but goldfish and plecos shouldnt be kept together. Plecos diet tends to change as they age, and they often get a liking for fish slimecoat. Fancy goldfish make a tempting target as they arent very agile and are slow moving.

Do you know what kind of pleco it is? Goldfish are temperate water fish, some plecos need warmer water. They generally need driftwood in the tank so they can rasp on the wood which aids their digestion. Plecos grow to a variety of sizes depending on their species. From a few inches upto potentially a couple of feet long. Common plecos are commonly sold as babies as a solution to algae growth, but they get upto 2 feet long and need a tank 4 x bigger than the one you have.
I don't know what kind of pleco it is. It's the common kind with black and grey spots. It was just given to me because the previous owner didn't want it anymore. I felt bad, so I took it.

But the thing is, the pleco is not the aggressive one. It's usually very quiet and just sticking around the corner. It only swims away from its spot during feeding time then go back. It's the bigger lion-head goldfish I have an issue with. He's only aggressive to that one goldfish, but for the rest, he's friendly with them. I'm not sure what to do with this lion head, honestly.

I'll do as you advice and hopefully, she'll get better.
As said, as the pleco gets older its behaviour could change depending on what type of pleco it is. Even though its not a problem at the moment it could cause you issues going forward. I really wouldnt keep a pleco with goldfish, its a big risk. And if its a type that gets large your tank is nowhere near big enough.
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