Goldfish not eating

Discussion in 'Freshwater Fish Disease' started by TayJay76, Apr 4, 2012.

  1. TayJay76

    TayJay76Valued MemberMember

    A couple of days ago I lost one of my goldfish to a internal infection. For that past couple fo days my other red cap goldfish hasn't been eating the food I give them. He'll swim around the food and one in a while suck up a flake and then spit it out. I tried giving them brine shrimp, but he wouldn't eat that either.

    I checked his mouth to see if he had a rock stuck in his mouth, but there wasn't anything in there. I did a 50% water change yesterday in order to get rid of all the toxins that might be in the water because of the other fish, and I also noticed that my nitrates were at 38. Any ideas as to why this fish isn't eating, he swims around and is showing normal behavior other than the not eating.
  2. Jaysee

    JayseeFishlore LegendMember

    I'm sure someone will come along soon.
  3. yukoandk

    yukoandkValued MemberMember

    I use rubbermaid tubs for quarantine. Sturdy, shallow types are better as they tend to bow out and crack is filled too high with water. About 10 gal of water will be easier to work with because it is harder to keep less amount of water from deteriorating too quickly. Just add an air stone, and a heater is possible that has an accurate thermostat to control the temperature. I usually set up two of these side by side with the same configuration—while a sick fish is in one tub, the water in the second tub is being aerated and temperature-matched, and the fish will be moved to the second tub with new water every day or two depending on its condition. (This method is especially effective with parasitic infections where you don’t want fish to sit in the water with parasite population for too long.) If you have one setup like this, you will just have to do water changes in it accordingly.

    A goldfish not eating is not good at all. Have you got any medication on hand if so what? Look into Oxolium (broad spectrum antibiotics), medication with kanamycin and/or metronidazole (I mix Seachem KanaPlex and Metronidazole), Medi-Gold and/or Metro-Meds from In case of parasites (you cannot be sure unless you diagnose this with a microscope but is a possibility) praziquantel powder such as Aqua-Prazi is safe to use as preventive for flukes, and I use formalin based medication such as Proform-C or potassium permanganate—you need to be very careful with these as they can kill your fish as well. This site has a pretty good list of aquarium meds for reference:  .

    As I said on your previous thread, it is best to separate the sick fish and leave it in a dark, quiet place for a few days. I would first use 0.3% salt concentration (about 1 table spoon or 3 teaspoon per 1 gallon of water) with raised temperature to upper 70’s and good aeration. Use aquarium salt, sea salt, kosher salt, or any salt without additives (look at the ingredients on the package), and you can also mix Epsom salt about 10-20% of total salt. Do this gradually over the first day, and just leave the fish alone, no feeding. You will have to change the water in 2 to 3 days, and if you get medication, you can add antibiotics then. Be careful which meds you get and mixing them with salt if you do use salt--above mentioned meds are ok with salt EXCEPT FOR FORMALIN.

    Do large water changes to the main tank in a meanwhile. If the rest of fish are not sick and you are comfortable with the procedure (matching the temperature for the most part) you can do several 75% changes daily or every other day. Then you can decide if you want to medicate the rest of the fish and the main tank for preventive or not. I would be inclined to give a round of Medi-Gold, Metro-Meds, and/or Prazi, seems you’ve been having issues. If you want to tell me about your set up—filtrations, test readings and such—I may be able to give you some pointers if any. I would recommend sinking pellet food for goldfish as I don’t think flakes can sustain fat fish like goldfish.

    Alright then, I’ll try to check the forum often in case you have questions. Good luck!
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2012
  4. yukoandk

    yukoandkValued MemberMember

    Copied from PM—others may have their experiences and ideas to contribute.

    It will be better for the sick fish if you can set up a quarantine. 6 table spoons of salt to a 55 gal tank won’t hurt but not enough to be therapeutic neither. If you have plants they won’t like a lot of salt. Does the sick fish have any redness or does he look bloated? There is a possibility of constipation or impacted eggs if it’s a she. Salt (and Epsom salt) helps with osmoregulation and fluid retention and may relieve issues related to constipation and/or impacted eggs. The reason I recommend 0.3% salt concentration (1 table spoon per gallon) is to aid in osmoregulation relieving stress, and it is significant enough to kill some minor parasites and to curve bacteria population from multiplying too quickly. In case of internal bacterial infections, salt alone is not effective enough, and if the fish does not show signs of improvement after 2-3 days of recuperating in quarantine, I will advise using some antibiotics. The main setup sounds fine—keep doing large water changes (75% recommended) for a bit to control water quality and possible population outbreak of disease pathogens.

    Maracyn is fine, and if the shop carries this line, combine it with Maracyn 2 to make it more broad spectrum for both gram positive and negative bacterium. Maracyn is good for gram positive bacteria while gram negative bacteria are more common in aquariums. Note these are less effective in hard water, and also you need to buy enough to complete a full treatment (usually at least 10 days with any antibiotics)—I remember them being rather expensive, and another reason to start with salt.
  5. Jaysee

    JayseeFishlore LegendMember

    I don't think it's for certain that the fish is sick. I have heard first hand accounts of goldfish becoming depressed when they lose their buddy. Moping around and not eating is consistent with that. I'm not saying that the fish is not sick, but I absolutely would not medicate, especially when you don't know what it is you are "treating".

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