Goldfish Emergency -- Please Help!

clairehasfish

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I went to the pet store and saw a sick fantail goldfish, and I just had to help it. It was listless and just floating around the top of the tank, and its tail looked clamped so much so that the bottoms almost seem pointy.

I already have a ten-gallon tank with perfect water parameters, so I floated the fish in there for about an hour. When I placed the fish in the tank, he just floated to the top. He is floating at the top of the tank and is tilting to the side. He seems to have gotten worse from when he was at the pet store. I added two tablespoons of aquarium salt and I tried to give him boiled skinless peas, but he will not eat them. He can't swim to the bottom of the tank, so I tried to hand-feed them, but I hold them right next to his mouth and he doesn't make an effort to eat.

I know the other option is to fast him for a few days, but he is so skinny -- I don't think he got much food at the pet store, so I don't want to starve him anymore. Please help me with any advice you may have. I want to save him.

I have only had him for a few hours. Should I just leave him alone for a while?
 
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clairehasfish

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I only put him in there temporarily. He isn't moving anyway.

He is quite small. Probably like an inch and a half?

I don't have live food at the moment, and I really don't like feeding live food.

What do you think the problem is? I thought it might be swim bladder disease.
 
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clairehasfish

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His tank mates were just more fancy goldfish about his size.

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clairehasfish

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I know it seems like he is in different places around the tank, but he only moves if I try to touch him with the net. I had to move him with the net because he was just in the corner flopped against a plant, and I couldn't get a picture.

The pet store employee who is a big fish-enthusiast says he is too skinny.

If he has a parasite or swim bladder disease, how do I help if I have already put in salt and he won't eat peas?
 

Sputnik

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HI there,
Is he by himself in your ten gallon? Peas help with constipation, not swimbladder. Swimbladder disease can be caused by injury ( trauma), parasites or infection. Was he picked on at the store? Sometimes you can have see swim bladder infection secondary to constipation, but if you don't think he is actually constipated there is no need to feed peas. You can try tempting with other foods, maybe soaked in garlic guard. If he is not with any other fish or inverts, Maybe also consider empirical treatment with an antibiotic (kanamycin can be absorbed through the water rather than fed, so its a good option with fish that won’t eat). You could try general cure for parasites too. Good luck!
 
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clairehasfish

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Hi,
Yes, he is by himself. I watched him for a while in the store, and nobody seemed to bother him. What cures do you suggest for parasites? Based on the pictures, what do you think is happening? Will he survive the night?
Thank you so much.
 

Sputnik

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I’m sorry, I can’t predict if he will survive, but you are a good person for trying to help him. I don't have much experience with goldfish- my thoughts are based in general fishkeeping experience, so hopefully some goldfish experts can weigh in too! API general cure is a treatment for many kinds of parasites. Though it won't treat all varieties, I have found it to be safe, so maybe use that according to label directions. You can gwt it on Amazon if your local fish store doesn't sell it. You can get kanamycin on Amazon too.
 
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clairehasfish

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Would I use kanamycin as well as API general cure? And do you think it is a swim bladder disorder or something else?
 

Sputnik

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I don't know- but I have used kanamycin and API general cure together without issues. If its trauma he just needs time to heal but if its parasites or bacterial infection it will get worse without medication. Also, is the ten gallon he is in fully cycled? If not, that could be making him worse. Do you have seachem prime water conditioner and a water test kit on hand?
 

IvyVines

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Based on the pictures and description, your fish is dying of ammonia poisoning. This has happened to me a few times, mostly from trying to save one from the pet store like you did. I have not found an effective cure yet. The picture shows the tail has "cuts" in it, like someone used scissors to shred his tail, a tell-tale sign of ammonia poisoning.

Also, if it an infection of some sort, make sure you monitor the other fish for they may get the sickness too. This is why a 2 week quarantine is strongly recommended.
 
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clairehasfish

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I tested the water with the master test kit and the ammonia is at 0. I don’t think it could be ammonia poisoning.

I am pretty sure the tank has been fully cycled — I tested ammonia, pH, nitrite, and nitrate yesterday and they were all how they needed to be.
 

Sputnik

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Ok, but do you have an established bacterial filter? Ammonia would be zero if he has not pooped since you got him.
 
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clairehasfish

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I think I do because the water parameters are good. But should I move him to one of my established guppy tanks?

I’m worried about doing that in case he has an infection that could spread to the other fish.
 

IvyVines

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The pet store probably had an ammonia poisoning problem somewhere, either in the display tank, the quarantine tank, or even during shipping.
 

JettsPapa

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clairehasfish said:
I think I do because the water parameters are good. But should I move him to one of my established guppy tanks?
I would definitely not put this fish in a tank with other fish. It's commendable that you're trying to save it, but from the description and pictures I think it's likely that it's too late to save it, and it may have always been.
 
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clairehasfish

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That is the weird part — all of the other fish were perfectly healthy. That’s why I picked out this one.
 

Sputnik

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Agree with JettsPapa- I would keep him isolated
 

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