Goldfish Sick From Stealing Food?

Liquidhorses

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Hello! I have a long post, feel free to scroll to the bottom for a tl;dr

I have had Percy, my comet goldfish for nearly two months now. He and I have been through a lot together already and he is such a trooper! When I first got him, he had black ammonia burns on his body. I treated him and nursed him back to health and he was a very happy goldfish! Around a week ago, I introduced three kuhlI loaches to his tank so that he could have some company, as well as some cleanup crew (since ghost shrimp didn't seem to work out well in my tank...).

After the first few days, I was concerned that they weren't eating a lot. They spend a lot of time hiding behind the heater in the corner of the aquarium, so I try to drop their algae thins down there, but Percy always finds a way to it and ends up eating it. As I have to be away for school and work, I am not able to watch them as they feed. Worried that they were not getting enough to eat, I doubled the amount of recommended food (one pellet total) and dropped two pellets into the aquarium. When I came home, I did my daily routine with them: watched them for a while, cleared large waste, and made sure everything was going fine. After a while, I noticed that Percy wasn't swimming around the aquarium as he usually does, and that he was often remaining dormant in one area which is very unlike him. It reminded me of when I first got him, as he would stay low to the substrate and not move around much. He keeps going back to a specific spot as shown in the picture below. I noticed he has produced a significant amount of waste (either that, or I didn't notice the mess before). Thinking his dormant behavior might have been due to the waste, I cleared as much as I could with a net, as I had already done a water change two days ago. I added some ammonia detoxifier into the tank and I am keeping a close eye on him now.

I am fairly sure he is just overlyfed right now and very full, so I am going to keep close watch on him for the next few days. I plan to limit his feed, perhaps not feeding him at all tomorrow. However, I do worry about the loaches. I know if I feed them their algae thins, Percy will get to them. I am not sure how much they have been eating this past week.

tl;dr: Comet goldfish (Percy) has become lethargic and pooping a lot, I think due to eating so much (his own food and the loaches food). Is it a safe bet to not feed the loaches for 1-3 days? I don't want to qt any of the fish because the loaches have been stressed (from their handling at the pet store when I got them + a recent water change) and Percy seems to be ill from overeating (+ a recent water change). Any advice? Sorry this post is so long, I wanted to include as much info as possible if it helps. Thanks in advance.
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junebug

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Loaches can't really be kept on gravel... so I would imagine they are having a lot of trouble. I also would never keep tiny kuhlis with a goldfish.

You will need to remove the loaches to their own tank, one filled with sand and plenty of hiding places.

Also, what is the ammonia reading in your tank?
 

NavigatorBlack

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There are a couple of possibilities. Percy isn't sick from overeating, but more food may be harming his water quality.
The loaches are new from the store, and may not be healthy. They may also have brought a surprise illness with them. You may have to watch and see.

As he grows (he is still very tiny for a comet), he will want to eat the loaches. He may have tried already. KuhlI loaches are fast and good hiders, so they may survive if his high levels of poop don't kill them. But long term, I don't think they will like old Percy, who will never give up trying to eat them.
 

Galathiel

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Is this your 30 gallon aquarium? Be aware that your goldfish will need something larger as he grows; comets need about 75 gallons of water each and there are very few fish that can be kept with them, other than goldfish (which would also require additional gallonage). The 30 gallon would be a good size for the loaches, if you could maybe switch the substrate to sand.
 

Danjamesdixon

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Galathiel said:
Is this your 30 gallon aquarium? Be aware that your goldfish will need something larger as he grows; comets need about 75 gallons of water each and there are very few fish that can be kept with them, other than goldfish (which would also require additional gallonage). The 30 gallon would be a good size for the loaches, if you could maybe switch the substrate to sand.
Just to interject, make that more like 300 gallons plus for a Comet. They really aren't suitable for domestic tanks.
 

Galathiel

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Hehe ...pretty soon people are going to say, "Oh no, you can't keep common goldfish unless you have a pool of water the size of Lake Michigan!
 

SaltySeaLion

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Galathiel said:
Hehe ...pretty soon people are going to say, "Oh no, you can't keep common goldfish unless you have a pool of water the size of Lake Michigan!
To be fair, the goldfish would definitely enjoy being in a pool of water that large, LOL


OP, the tank is okay for now, but your goldfish needs more space eventually. What Size Tank do Goldfish Need?

Everyone here gave good advice. I hope your goldie feels better soon!
 
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Liquidhorses

Liquidhorses

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I am aware that he needs more room when he grows older, but he's only a baby so he has more than enough room now. :facepalm: The loaches are way too big for him to eat and they get along well. I have qt'ed them before adding them, and I test my water every week. The ammonia is around 0 now so I am not concerned about that. Kuhli's don't need sand, and I am using a smooth substrate. I've kept an eye on them and made sure they have no problems with it.
 

2211Nighthawk

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Liquidhorses said:
I am aware that he needs more room when he grows older, but he's only a baby so he has more than enough room now. :facepalm: The loaches are way too big for him to eat and they get along well. I have qt'ed them before adding them, and I test my water every week. The ammonia is around 0 now so I am not concerned about that. Kuhli's don't need sand, and I am using a smooth substrate. I've kept an eye on them and made sure they have no problems with it.
Your right, they don’t NEED sand much like we don’t NEED comfy beds vs a jail bed. They’ll survive but sand is way better for them. They won’t damage their barbles like they can do even on smooth gravel and they will filter food out of the sand and burrow in it.
 
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Liquidhorses

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2211Nighthawk said:
Your right, they don’t NEED sand much like we don’t NEED comfy beds vs a jail bed. They’ll survive but sand is way better for them. They won’t damage their barbles like they can do even on smooth gravel and they will filter food out of the sand and burrow in it.
Well I thought that smooth gravel would not damage their bodies, especially with the plants I have as well as carpeting plants and moss. This is a huge diversion from my actual question and problem.
 

2211Nighthawk

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Liquidhorses said:
Well I thought that smooth gravel would not damage their bodies, especially with the plants I have as well as carpeting plants and moss. This is a huge diversion from my actual question and problem.
Then I’ll make it relevant. Poop builds up in gravel tanks unless you do a serious amount of gravel vacuuming. If not, ammonia starts to build up effecting both kinds of fish. Also, my goldfish love to filter sand as well so it will make both happy short term. Long term, Percy needs a pond.

Try putting in a small pot or something that only the loaches can get into, then start feeding them there. Percy won’t be able to get the food then but make sure it all gets eaten and dosen’t foul up the water.
 

junebug

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Liquidhorses said:
I am aware that he needs more room when he grows older, but he's only a baby so he has more than enough room now. :facepalm: The loaches are way too big for him to eat and they get along well. I have qt'ed them before adding them, and I test my water every week. The ammonia is around 0 now so I am not concerned about that. Kuhli's don't need sand, and I am using a smooth substrate. I've kept an eye on them and made sure they have no problems with it.
If you had to swim around with your face on the substrate all day, I'm sure you'd think differently. Kuhlis do need sand for reasons already mentioned. They also need a lot of things that you can't give them in a tank with a goldfish, like tank mates that don't try to eat them all the time, and clean, warm water. Gravel, even smooth gravel, interferes with their natural behavior, thus causing them to become stressed (which is why they're trying to hide in behind the filter).

They are also sand sifters, and as such would normally feed almost constantly.

Kuhlis need a well-structured tank with plenty of hiding places. Obviously a goldfish and lots of hardscape is not going to work, so I would plan on separating them as soon as possible.

In the meantime, feed the kuhlis after lights out and in a separate cave, assuming they will go over to it.
 
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Liquidhorses

Liquidhorses

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junebug said:
If you had to swim around with your face on the substrate all day, I'm sure you'd think differently. Kuhlis do need sand for reasons already mentioned. They also need a lot of things that you can't give them in a tank with a goldfish, like tank mates that don't try to eat them all the time, and clean, warm water. Gravel, even smooth gravel, interferes with their natural behavior, thus causing them to become stressed (which is why they're trying to hide in behind the filter).

They are also sand sifters, and as such would normally feed almost constantly.

Kuhlis need a well-structured tank with plenty of hiding places. Obviously a goldfish and lots of hardscape is not going to work, so I would plan on separating them as soon as possible.

In the meantime, feed the kuhlis after lights out and in a separate cave, assuming they will go over to it.
 

junebug

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Seriously, one person finding "evidence" that they prefer rocks means nothing. I would be horrified to see a loach burrowing under a rock. They are scaleless fish and doing that could seriously hurt them, even kill them.

Edit:

Here, this should help:
KuhlI Loach (Pangio kuhlii) — Loaches Online

It is beyond me why anyone would ever try to keep kuhlis on gravel when their natural environment is exclusively soft substrate.
 

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