Constipation Or Swim Bladder?

Discussion in 'Goldfish' started by stellabella, Apr 16, 2017.

  1. stellabella

    stellabellaNew MemberMember

    I have one fancy fantail goldfish in a 20 gallon long aquarium. All water parameters are normal. I feed her granules soaked in water first, and supplement that with peas a couple days a week.
    Over the past week or so I've noticed that her stomach looks more swollen than usual. Also she is having a hard time swimming all the way to the bottom of the tank. Normally she can get all the way to the bottom and sift through the sand but now her bottom is floating up so she ends up with her nose pointed to the bottom and can't stay on the bottom for more than a couple seconds, but otherwise she is swimming normally and isn't floating upside down.
    When she sees me she swims to the top and she does swallow some air. There is plenty of oxygen from the filter and a bubble wand so lack of oxygen is not a problem. I am also guilty of over feeding her at times because she is such a beggar for food.
    I know that these symptoms could be a sign of constipation or swim bladder so I raised the temperature in the tank from around 68 to 74 and fasted her for two days. she seemed to improve a little and didn't look quite as bloated . Then I gave her one pea a day for two days after that. Now she's right back to floating bottom up.
    Seeing as though she seemed to get a little better from fasting I'm wondering if I should start to fast her again but I don't want to starve her. I don't know how long I can safely withhold food without any detrimental effects.
    Another question that I have is what is the difference between swimbladder and constipation?
    I would appreciate any thoughts or advice as to what I should do.
  2. MattS99

    MattS99Well Known MemberMember

    My gourami just went through this and passed. I believe it's swim bladder. Nothing really helped him and the others were picking on him so I had to euthanize him... Since your guy is alone, hopefully you can cure him. I'd keep going with the peas every once in a while. For the fasting, you know your fish better than I do, so play it by ear. But I personally wouldn't go more than 2, maybe 3 days at most without food.
  3. NavigatorBlack

    NavigatorBlackFishlore VIPMember

    Most of the time, swim bladder problems are bowel problems. In rare cases one of the air sacs that makes up the swim bladders gets broken by an injury, but most of the time, the problem comes from intestinal gas.
    If your goldfish is one of the misshapen fancy types, the cause can be bad breeding and growth. A lot of these fish become less and less capable of swimming as they grow, and as the weight of their deformities kicks in. The body shapes on short and wide bodied fancy goldfish are actually cultivated birth defects, and for many of them, when they hit 3 inches, it becomes too much. The breeds without dorsals are the worst for that.
    They can easily handle ten days with no food, but it may not solve the problem if it is a breeding problem.
  4. OP

    stellabellaNew MemberMember

    Oh my god I'm so upset. She did just hit about 3 inches. l love her so much. She's super friendly, eats from my hand and swims around my hands when I'm cleaning the tank. If I have to euthanize her I'm going to lose it. I got her from a local pet shop so it probably is a breeding problem.

    A couple weeks ago I also bought a baby Ryukin who is in a quarantine tank. I was waiting to put them both in a bigger tank when the little one got bigger. Now I'm regretting buying another one.

    I read somewhere about using aquarium salt or Epsom salts. Should I try that?

    ILLBETHEJUDGEValued MemberMember

    epsom salt is good you could use it 2 ways as a bath or adding it to the tank directly.
    the second option depends on if you have invertebrates in the tank that would not tolerate salt.
  6. OP

    stellabellaNew MemberMember

    I don't have any invertebrates. How much salt should I use for a 20 gallon tank? And if I need to do a salt bath how much water should I put in the bath and how much salt should I use for that?

    ILLBETHEJUDGEValued MemberMember

    For a salt bath fill a container with old aquarium water I'll start low probably one table spoon of Epsom salt per 5 gallon 5 of water. Make sure it is pure Epsom salt. I'll leave the fish in there for 10/15 minutes
  8. yasha

    yashaWell Known MemberMember

    I can't really help but I wish you and your little fishy luck. Don't give up to quickly hopefully she gets better.
    I had one goldfish with swim bladder problem as a baby that grow out of it after getting around 3 inchs in body not counting fins (not common).
    I also do have 2 atm that seem to have swim bladder problem one that even looks messed up on the outside(sadly may not be help able). I moved them to a underbed tote with about 5inch of water for now so they don't float all over or get pushed around by pumps. I was told it may help my little ones so maybe something to look in to.

    Swim bladder disorder
    seems to be good info look over the Swim bladder disorder part.

    But as NavigatorBlack said if it is a real swim bladder problem there isn't much fixing it. All I have heard of is a vets adding or removing air as a temporary fix, again temporary.
  9. OP

    stellabellaNew MemberMember

    She seems to be getting better. I started to cut back on her food and give her one half of a pea daily in addition to her regular food. I'm hand feeding as much as possible, and I moved the bubbler to the back corner of the tank so it would not interfere with her swimming.
    I've also been trying to keep my distance from the tank when walking by unless I'm feeding her, since whenever she sees me walking by she comes to the surface looking for food, and i'm pretty sure she's taking in air at the same time.
    Thanks to everyone for the info and advice.