Emergency: Goldfish found bent and floating

GentleGiant

Tank
What is the water volume of the tank?
- 10 gallons
How long has the tank been running?
- 1 month and 10 days
Does it have a filter?
- Yes, a Aqua-Tech 5-15 HOB. Also, a decent airstone.
Does it have a heater?
- No
What is the water temperature?
- Not sure, but seems like room temperature. For a lot of these things, I wish I had the means and resources (for example, I wish I had a working thermometer at hand), but being a college student, I can't include a lot of these things in my budget. I will try to get a way to measure temperature as soon as I can.
What is the entire stocking of this tank? (Please list all fish and inverts.)
- One 3 inch common goldfish

Maintenance
How often do you change the water?
- I mostly change the water every day or within 2-3 days at the latest
How much of the water do you change?
- I usually change 10-20% (usually once a day but sometimes twice). I did this because I was not sure if my tank was cycled or not (again, because I haven't yet been able to get the good API testing kit), and I continued even after 1 month and having received a java fern plant from my biology professor who has a tetra tank (hopefully with the beneficial bacteria on it)
What do you use to treat your water?
- Seachem Prime
Do you vacuum the substrate or just the water?
- No I do not vacuum. The HOB usually gets all the debris. If needed, I disturb the sand and get all the waste to float into the filter.

*Parameters - Very Important
Did you cycle your tank before adding fish?
- No
What do you use to test the water?
- Currently, just some cheap Jungle Ammonia Test Kit strips
What are your parameters? We need to know the exact numbers, not just “fine” or “safe”.
Ammonia: 0.1 ppm?
Nitrite: Don't know
Nitrate: Don't know
pH: Don't know

I really apologize and feel bad for not being able to have a good testing kit :(. I've asked my parents, so hopefully I'll get one soon.

Feeding
How often do you feed your fish?
- Usually once or twice a day
How much do you feed your fish?
- Each time usually either 1-3 flakes or half a boiled pea
What brand of food do you feed your fish?
- Tetra Pond Food Color Flakes
Do you feed frozen?
- No
Do you feed freeze-dried foods?
- No

Illness & Symptoms
How long have you had this fish?
- 1 month and 11 days
How long ago did you first notice these symptoms?
- 1-4 days ago
In a few words, can you explain the symptoms?
- First laying on the sand, especially when "sleeping"/at night (until disturbed etc... acting normal otherwise). After leaving him for a 2.5 day vacation, came back to find him bent (U-shaped) and stuck to filter intake. Once freed, he floats on his side and occasionally tries to swim.
Have you started any treatment for the illness?
- Heavy dose of Prime (in case of nitrate poisoning) and some salt (1 tbsp for the whole tank)
Was your fish physically ill or injured upon purchase?
- No
How has its behavior and appearance changed, if at all?
- More lethargic I guess, everything else described above.

Explain your emergency situation in detail.
(Please give a clear explanation of what is going on, include details from the beginning of the illness leading up to now)

Goldfish was doing fine and active. I fed him some peas and flakes on Sunday I believe, and noticed lots of poop the next day. I tried cleaning some of it, and continued feeding less (1 or 2 flakes a day or fasting). On Tuesday, I had to move him to another city (3 hour drive), so I emptied his tank to half way and left everything as is. By this time he began to "sleep" on the bottom. Once home, I slowly replaced the water in the tank to 100%. He did fine, with occasionally lethargic episodes. I decided to feed him less. I had to leave Thursday morning, so did a 10% water change Wednesday night and fed him a flake Thursday morning (he was again sleeping on the ground, but slowly woke up and actively came up to eat the flake (from my hand)). I came back today afternoon and he was bent and wrapped around filter intake. I freed him, he was still breathing and trying to swim occasionally (fin movements). He also floated and had no appetite (tried to feed a flake right at his mouth). What is wrong with him?? I do not think the nitrates would be that high given the large water change on Tuesday. Is it under/overfeeding? I'm really stressed out and don't want to lose him :( Here's a video: 20211127_165644.mp4.
Photo from side angle... he moves his fins and gills occasionally... as if he snaps out of it and tries to swim.
Please help fast if possible. I had a few more questions... is his stomach sunken? or is it enlarged? I can't tell. Should I go get API General Cure and try it?
 

BigManAquatics

Can't really tell anything about sunken stomach from this side. And you do know general cure is mainly a parasite treatment?
 

GentleGiant

Can't really tell anything about sunken stomach from this side. And you do know general cure is mainly a parasite treatment?
Thank you so much for replying. I've attached a few more pictures... maybe those help? I was thinking parasite because the lethargy, floating, and lack of appetite I thought might indicate a parasitic infection.
Thank you so much for replying. I've attached a few more pictures... maybe those help? I was thinking parasite because the lethargy, floating, and lack of appetite I thought might indicate a parasitic infection.
Maybe the video might help as well
 

jtjgg

it sounds like the problem started after the 3hr move. without knowing the water parameters of the old tank water, old location, and the new location, could be anything.

#1 during the 3 hr drive did you atleast have a portable aerator in the water?

#2 a difference in pH between the old location and new location would be a big factor.

from the video, his prognosis is not good.
 

Rose of Sharon

Hi,

Sorry about your goldie!

I don't know a whole lot about goldfish, but from what I have read, this sounds like nitrate poisoning - the bent spine and laying on the bottom trying to regulate his oxygen levels. It is good that you have an air stone. He needs oxygen.

From what I have read, it is bad to do big water changes when he is like this. He will need something like a 10% water change every hour. Too big of a change will shock him too badly.

You can also do some aquarium salt baths.

Please do a search on goldfish and nitrate poisoning, and see what you think. See if what you find out matches his symptoms.

I hope this all works out and that he gets better soon!!!!
 

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