Help EMERGENCY HELP: Goldfish floating and sinking on sideways

Leslie714

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A detailed explanation of the issue is at the very bottom of this post.

Tank
What is the water volume of the tank?
10 Gallon

How long has the tank been running?
~10 months

Does it have a filter?
Yes, an Aqueon QuietFlow 10 small and can cycle 60 gallons per hour

Does it have a heater?
No

What is the water temperature?
~65 degrees Fahrenheit

What is the entire stocking of this tank? (Please list all fish and inverts.)
I have a Fancy Goldfish (the fish I'm very concerned about at the moment) and a Molly as well as a Java Fern and one another that I've forgotten the name of.

Maintenance
How often do you change the water?
I change the water every week

How much of the water do you change?
~15%-20%

What do you use to treat your water?
I only use a dechlorinator, AquaSafe plus

Do you vacuum the substrate or just the water?
I have a sand substrate so we don't normally vacuum it however during water changes we try to remove any visible particles at the top of the sand and then scrap through the sand to release any possible air bubbles.

*Parameters - Very Important
Did you cycle your tank before adding fish?
Sort of, we cycle our tank for a couple of days using a bacteria starter (I don't remember the exact one but it was from Tetra) and then tested the parameters and once they looked good, add our fish.

What do you use to test the water?
Test strips, however, we're currently out and don't test very frequently.

What are your parameters? We need to know the exact numbers, not just “fine” or “safe”.

Ammonia: 0-.25
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH:

I'm so sorry, but for the rest of the parameters we don't have the resources to test at the moment.

Feeding
How often do you feed your fish?
Used to feed to fish every day, but in the last month or so we've been giving them food every other day.

How much do you feed your fish?
For our Goldfish we give him 2 pellets and for our Molly we give him around 2-4 flakes

What brand of food do you feed your fish?
For our goldfish: Goldfish variety pellets by Tetra
For our Molly: Goldfish C Enriched Flakes by Tetra

Do you feed frozen or freeze-dried foods?
No

Illness & Symptoms
How long have you had this fish?
Since yesterday: May 19th

How long ago did you first notice these symptoms?
Yesterday

In a few words, can you explain the symptoms?
Goldfish is floating on its side both at the bottom and top of the tank. The underside of fish has bubbles not in the skin but on the skin.
Molly is perfectly fine.

Have you started any treatment for the illness?
We've done a 50% water change and have stopped feeding our goldfish.

Was your fish physically ill or injured upon purchase?
No

How has its behavior and appearance changed, if at all?
We noticed that our Goldfish liked to go into the bottom corner of the tank and would sometimes just rest there upright, but it was usually late night so we assumed it was him sleeping. Recently (as in yesterday) it's behavior has changed to not being able to swim and breathing extremely slowly.

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)
Our fish have been doing fine until yesterday we found him lying on the floor on his side curved. He was breathing and we could see his gills moving and occasionally had enough energy to attempt to swim at times. We read that it may be due to a swim bladder disorder so we decided to stop feeding him and carefully added some lukewarm water into the tank in attempts to raise the temperature a little to aid his digestive system. Today we woke up to see small bubbles on the underside of him and he was floating at the top (I think it's important to note that these were on his skin and not under it and when we tried to tilt him using a net, we could release the bubbles underneath him. Though in the pictures it may appear like ich, however, we don't believe it is and it's just small air bubbles). I'm extremely concerned right now because now he is floating midway up the tank, still on his side, and is breathing quite slowly and has slow gill movement compared to last night. We're extremely confused because although we assumed this must have to do with his water quality but our Molly has been just fine. Either way, today we did a 50% water change attempting to keep the temperature somewhat similar to our tank, nothing has changed.

I don't quite know if this is important to mention but around quarantine started we began having issues with brown "algae" or diatoms and the fish were fine and unbothered but we had to clean the sides of the tank pretty often. Three to four days ago we took out or aquarium decor because they had become extremely dirty with diatoms and so we soaked them in a ~5% bleach solutions and then soaked them overnight in dechlorinated water and then left them half a day to dry before putting them back into the tank. Now the diatoms seem to have been gotten rid of.

Any help is appreciated and please respond timely because sometimes his gills just stop moving and he breaths so slowly that we're so afraid they'll just stop. Thank you so much.
 

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Bloodfeather

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Leslie714 said:
A detailed explanation of the issue is at the very bottom of this post.

Tank
What is the water volume of the tank?
10 Gallon

How long has the tank been running?
~10 months

Does it have a filter?
Yes, an Aqueon QuietFlow 10 small and can cycle 60 gallons per hour

Does it have a heater?
No

What is the water temperature?
~65 degrees Fahrenheit

What is the entire stocking of this tank? (Please list all fish and inverts.)
I have a Fancy Goldfish (the fish I'm very concerned about at the moment) and a Molly as well as a Java Fern and one another that I've forgotten the name of.

Maintenance
How often do you change the water?
I change the water every week

How much of the water do you change?
~15%-20%

What do you use to treat your water?
I only use a dechlorinator, AquaSafe plus

Do you vacuum the substrate or just the water?
I have a sand substrate so we don't normally vacuum it however during water changes we try to remove any visible particles at the top of the sand and then scrap through the sand to release any possible air bubbles.

*Parameters - Very Important
Did you cycle your tank before adding fish?
Sort of, we cycle our tank for a couple of days using a bacteria starter (I don't remember the exact one but it was from Tetra) and then tested the parameters and once they looked good, add our fish.

What do you use to test the water?
Test strips, however, we're currently out and don't test very frequently.

What are your parameters? We need to know the exact numbers, not just “fine” or “safe”.

Ammonia: 0-.25
Nitrite:
Nitrate:
pH:

I'm so sorry, but for the rest of the parameters we don't have the resources to test at the moment.

Feeding
How often do you feed your fish?
Used to feed to fish every day, but in the last month or so we've been giving them food every other day.

How much do you feed your fish?
For our Goldfish we give him 2 pellets and for our Molly we give him around 2-4 flakes

What brand of food do you feed your fish?
For our goldfish: Goldfish variety pellets by Tetra
For our Molly: Goldfish C Enriched Flakes by Tetra

Do you feed frozen or freeze-dried foods?
No

Illness & Symptoms
How long have you had this fish?
Since yesterday: May 19th

How long ago did you first notice these symptoms?
Yesterday

In a few words, can you explain the symptoms?
Goldfish is floating on its side both at the bottom and top of the tank. The underside of fish has bubbles not in the skin but on the skin.
Molly is perfectly fine.

Have you started any treatment for the illness?
We've done a 50% water change and have stopped feeding our goldfish.

Was your fish physically ill or injured upon purchase?
No

How has its behavior and appearance changed, if at all?
We noticed that our Goldfish liked to go into the bottom corner of the tank and would sometimes just rest there upright, but it was usually late night so we assumed it was him sleeping. Recently (as in yesterday) it's behavior has changed to not being able to swim and breathing extremely slowly.

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)
Our fish have been doing fine until yesterday we found him lying on the floor on his side curved. He was breathing and we could see his gills moving and occasionally had enough energy to attempt to swim at times. We read that it may be due to a swim bladder disorder so we decided to stop feeding him and carefully added some lukewarm water into the tank in attempts to raise the temperature a little to aid his digestive system. Today we woke up to see small bubbles on the underside of him and he was floating at the top (I think it's important to note that these were on his skin and not under it and when we tried to tilt him using a net, we could release the bubbles underneath him. Though in the pictures it may appear like ich, however, we don't believe it is and it's just small air bubbles). I'm extremely concerned right now because now he is floating midway up the tank, still on his side, and is breathing quite slowly and has slow gill movement compared to last night. We're extremely confused because although we assumed this must have to do with his water quality but our Molly has been just fine. Either way, today we did a 50% water change attempting to keep the temperature somewhat similar to our tank, nothing has changed.

I don't quite know if this is important to mention but around quarantine started we began having issues with brown "algae" or diatoms and the fish were fine and unbothered but we had to clean the sides of the tank pretty often. Three to four days ago we took out or aquarium decor because they had become extremely dirty with diatoms and so we soaked them in a ~5% bleach solutions and then soaked them overnight in dechlorinated water and then left them half a day to dry before putting them back into the tank. Now the diatoms seem to have been gotten rid of.

Any help is appreciated and please respond timely because sometimes his gills just stop moving and he breaths so slowly that we're so afraid they'll just stop. Thank you so much.
First off-
Neither a goldfish nor a molly can live in a 10g tank. A single goldfish needs at least a 40g just to itself.
The goldfish and molly are not compatible temperature wise either, goldfish are coldwater and mollies are tropical.

What are your other parameters? I'm assuming your tank isn't cycled based on what you said.

I'm thinking it may be swim bladder problems and possibly ammonia/nitrite poisoning due to the uncycled tank. Just saw the kind of food you use... not a good brand, I'm sorry to say. That food includes many fillers and meals, all of which are not good for your fish and cannot be properly digested. The food is likely causing bloat as well. I recommend this food for him:

Edit: I can see the reddened gills in your pictures; that entails ammonia burns. The goldfish is suffering due to the water quality.
 

Fisheye

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"Sort of, we cycle our tank for a couple of days using a bacteria starter (I don't remember the exact one but it was from Tetra) and then tested the parameters and once they looked good, add our fish.

What do you use to test the water?
Test strips, however, we're currently out and don't test very frequently. "

Really sorry about your goldfish. That is a gorgeous colour.

  • So I don't expect you to be cycled.
  • I think I see scales pinconing in the second pic. Please confirm that this is real life and not just a trick of the camera.
  • A fish laying on the bottom or just floating is not a good sign at all. If you have a plastic colander, you could float that with the fish in it so that it's at the most oxygenated part of the tank but still covered in water. I suggest turning off or moving the tank light if you can so there are shady spots.
  • If you have an airstone, hook it up
  • Do not add lukewarm water to monkey with temp. Leave it stable as it was before
  • You're always dechlorinating right?
  • Without test strips, it's impossible to tell anything.
 

flyinGourami

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Some may disagree, but i would euthanize him. If I'm looking correctly, he has dropsy(in the second picture), possibly ick(sorry, don't feel comfortable diagnosing that) and very red gills. He also has swim bladder problems. Those don't look like small bubbles, they are white and there are multiple.
Now, that being said, I am NOT an expert and would wait for other opinions.
P.S. Mollys and goldfish are temperature compatible.
 
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Leslie714

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Fisheye said:
"Sort of, we cycle our tank for a couple of days using a bacteria starter (I don't remember the exact one but it was from Tetra) and then tested the parameters and once they looked good, add our fish.

What do you use to test the water?
Test strips, however, we're currently out and don't test very frequently. "

Really sorry about your goldfish. That is a gorgeous colour.

  • So I don't expect you to be cycled.
  • I think I see scales pinconing in the second pic. Please confirm that this is real life and not just a trick of the camera.
  • A fish laying on the bottom or just floating is not a good sign at all. If you have a plastic colander, you could float that with the fish in it so that it's at the most oxygenated part of the tank but still covered in water. I suggest turning off or moving the tank light if you can so there are shady spots.
  • If you have an airstone, hook it up
  • Do not add lukewarm water to monkey with temp. Leave it stable as it was before
  • You're always dechlorinating right?
  • Without test strips, it's impossible to tell anything.
Unfortunately, almost immediately after I was able to post my reply we noticed his gills have clamped up and he had stopped breathing. However the scales were not pinconning, that was a bad camera angle and we were always dechlorinating. Thank you for your suggestions, however, we love taking care of fish so we'll be using all advice to move forward.
 
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Leslie714

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flyinGourami said:
Some may disagree, but i would euthanize him. If I'm looking correctly, he has dropsy(in the second picture), possibly ick(sorry, don't feel comfortable diagnosing that) and very red gills. He also has swim bladder problems. Those don't look like small bubbles, they are white and there are multiple.
Now, that being said, I am NOT an expert and would wait for other opinions.
P.S. Mollys and goldfish are temperature compatible.
It's possible it could have been ick but it appeared to be bubbles on the underside however after he died shortly. It seemed so sudden, however, we want to make sure that the tank is still safe for our Molly. In the case it was parasitic do you have any suggestions on how we can get rid of possible ick?
 
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Leslie714

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Bloodfeather said:
First off-
Neither a goldfish nor a molly can live in a 10g tank. A single goldfish needs at least a 40g just to itself.
The goldfish and molly are not compatible temperature wise either, goldfish are coldwater and mollies are tropical.

What are your other parameters? I'm assuming your tank isn't cycled based on what you said.

I'm thinking it may be swim bladder problems and possibly ammonia/nitrite poisoning due to the uncycled tank. Just saw the kind of food you use... not a good brand, I'm sorry to say. That food includes many fillers and meals, all of which are not good for your fish and cannot be properly digested. The food is likely causing bloat as well. I recommend this food for him:

Edit: I can see the reddened gills in your pictures; that entails ammonia burns. The goldfish is suffering due to the water quality.
Unfortunately, almost immediately after I was able to post my reply he has died. However, because we want to use everyone's suggestions to move forward improve ur tank for future fish I appreciate you letting us know about different food brands. Also, the gills themselves are not redden if you look at the side photo, however, from the underbelly that was in the inside of the gill which is red because of the blood vessels, we did have ammonium test strips on hand which gave us a safe range so we conclude that wasn't the issue. I absolutely agree with your assessment, we were told by employees that a 10-gallon tank was suitable and that goldfish and mollies were compatible but later learned it wasn't and just tried to make the best out of the situation. Do you know if with our current tank size we could get another fish and if so which would be compatible with a molly?
 

Bloodfeather

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Leslie714 said:
Unfortunately, almost immediately after I was able to post my reply he has died. However, because we want to use everyone's suggestions to move forward improve ur tank for future fish I appreciate you letting us know about different food brands. Also, the gills themselves are not redden if you look at the side photo, however, from the underbelly that was in the inside of the gill which is red because of the blood vessels, we did have ammonium test strips on hand which gave us a safe range so we conclude that wasn't the issue. I absolutely agree with your assessment, we were told by employees that a 10-gallon tank was suitable and that goldfish and mollies were compatible but later learned it wasn't and just tried to make the best out of the situation. Do you know if with our current tank size we could get another fish and if so which would be compatible with a molly?
Mollies are rather social fish and do best in groups, so I'd recommend maybe another molly or two. What is the sex of your current molly? I'd recommend having only females- if you have a male/female group you will undeniably have babies. trust me on this one- I'm dealing with it myself ;)

Gourami is right ^^ mollies do well with a lot of other species.

And yes- I fully understand about the fishstore lies. My LFS told me that I could have 4 mollies and 2 kuhli loaches in a 10g- while the mollies need a 30g and the loaches a 20g. I'm currently working on upgrading from my 10g to a 50g, and I had to get rid of my male molly as he got all my girls pregnant and I'm now dealing with babies o_O
 

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