Bloated goldfish. Tried everything

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wicca1971

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Hi guys. I'm so upset right now. My fish has been fighting what I was thinking was bladder disease but now I'm thinking it may be more serious. It started slowly several months ago and I've tried everything except bringing him to an actual fish doctor. Raising the temp, changing to sinking pellets, feeding peas, not feeding for a while. With each "treatment" he seemed to improve a little but he has suddenly just gotten worse. It's breaking my heart and I don't know what else to do.
He is one fancy tailed goldfish in a 75 gallon tank. All water perimeters are in normal range and he looks healthy in every way. Any other suggestions?
 

SM1199

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Can you provide pictures? What sort of food do you regularly feed? How much do you feed? Is he having any swim bladder symptoms like uncontrollably sinking or floating? How long ago did you get him?

It's very hard to judge without pictures and symptoms. You say he looks healthy in every way, so what exactly is making you think something's wrong? Fancy goldfish are bred to be very round, so I'm curious to see if he's actually very bloated, or if he's just a nice round fancy goldfish. He might even just be well-fed and was skinny when you first got him, which is why you noticed such a difference. It's hard to tell without more information.
 

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I wouldn’t raise the temp. Goldies don’t like warm water and it could stress him more. Only raise temp if you suspect ich or fungal infection.
 
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wicca1971

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I've had him for about 6 years and I feed him Omega One sinking pellets, just a few once a day. He's been floating upside down, hanging in corners, having trouble getting himself right side up.
It's not bad enough that he can't eat but it's very disturbing to watch. I do weekly water changes, about 25-30%. I'll try to add a video so you can see what he's doing.

It wont let me upload the video
 

BettaNgold

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I would do a 75% water change myself so I’ll advise you to do a 50%. If you only do 25% then you’re leaving 75% of the gunk in the tank. Hardly seems worth it.
 
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wicca1971

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BettaNgold said:
I wouldn’t raise the temp. Goldies don’t like warm water and it could stress him more. Only raise temp if you suspect ich or fungal infection.
I've been told by many fish enthusiasts that raising the temp helps them digest better if they are having issues and I've done 50% water changes once or twice hoping that would help but it didn't.

I figured out how to share the video.
 
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wicca1971

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I don't have the exact numbers on me right now but they were all in the normal range.
 

SM1199

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Unfortunately, sometimes guides aren't very clear as to what "normal range" really means and accept that there might be some ammonia or nitrite, which in reality is not acceptable or healthy. Your best bet is to get an API master test kit and verify that ammonia and nitrite are zero, and nitrate isn't off the charts or anything.
 
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wicca1971

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I do use the API kit. I'll post the numbers when I get home.
 

DIYbetta

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I didn’t see anything wrong with it? To me it looks like it’s just the body type/shape. Maybe I just don’t see something...
 

BettaNgold

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That is one fat goldfish! Even for a fancy. She is definitely swimming oddly. I have one that does that too but mine has a curled Gill. I would cut back on feeding. An Epsom salt bath may help. Place 1/2 tablespoon of epson salt in a gallon of dechlorinated water. Dissolve it and allow the fish to bathe in it for 5 minutes. Then put it back in tank. You can do this 3 times a day. It may pull some fluid off. The good news is that there is no pine coning. Keep us posted.
 
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wicca1971

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Honestly, she only eats like five medium size pellets a day but I will cut back.
Should I use the water from her tank? I have well water (so no chlorine) but I don't want to shock her. And what is everyone's thoughts on the raised temperature? So many people told me its suppose to help with digestion.

DIYbetta said:
I didn’t see anything wrong with it? To me it looks like it’s just the body type/shape. Maybe I just don’t see something...
She never had this issue until several months ago. She swam like a normal fancy, a little awkward but not upside down
 

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wicca1971 said:
Honestly, she only eats like five medium size pellets a day but I will cut back.
Should I use the water from her tank? I have well water (so no chlorine) but I don't want to shock her. And what is everyone's thoughts on the raised temperature? So many people told me its suppose to help with digestion.
That looks like a swimbladder issue. You can try epsom salt baths as suggested to draw fluid out. As for heat, i can't recommend either way as my fish are at the upper limit of heat tolerance as it is and never tried it. I have doubts it will work though, if the food has impacted already in the gut.
 
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wicca1971

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I will slowly lower the temp back to normal and cut back on feeding but as far as salt baths how much Epsom salt per gallon and how long do I leave her in it?
I've read many different variations of the directions.
And thank you EVERYONE for helping me out. This little girl is part of the family and it kills me to see her distressed
 

vyrille

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wicca1971 said:
I will slowly lower the temp back to normal and cut back on feeding but as far as salt baths how much Epsom salt per gallon and how long do I leave her in it?
I've read many different variations of the directions.
And thank you EVERYONE for helping me out. This little girl is part of the family and it kills me to see her distressed
Epsom salts has many other uses, and used of other fish as well, which probably explains the variations. Though, for goldfish swim bladder issues, in a bath, i would suggest 1 tbsp per gal of water, for 30mins daily, for a few days to a week. If he still doesn't improve in a week it's unlikely that it would be resolved by epsom salts and you may need to seek other means, such as manual evacuation. Dr. Loh has a good guide here:

For reference, the bladder is along the lateral line, thus:

source: and koi
Should you attempt manual evacuation, remember to keep the needle close to the skin, while lifting it, to avoid the kidney and intestines..
 

BettaNgold

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I agree on the epsom salt dose/bath. I was a little less aggressive with doseage because it’s not my fish. However, I do the tablespoon in mine. I suggest only 5 minutes the first time to see how the fish reacts. Then go to 30 minutes. You can do this 3 times a day. Please, do not do the surgical technique. That should be left to pros who have done it many times before.
 

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(Fyi, my goldfish tank is regularly 70-80 unheated... they're fine)
 
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wicca1971

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I'm going to do the salt bath tomorrow but i had one more question.....
Does Epsom salt expire? I have a container that is a few years old but not sure if I should use it or go buy a new one?
 

vyrille

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wicca1971 said:
I'm going to do the salt bath tomorrow but i had one more question.....
Does Epsom salt expire? I have a container that is a few years old but not sure if I should use it or go buy a new one?
epsom salts, so long as it's pure magnesium sulphate, and the container properly sealed and dry, does not expire
 
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