I am completely at a loss.

  • #1
Hey all, I have two fancy goldfish that always seem to have something wrong with them. I have tried to help them non-stop for about 9 months now, but I just can't seem to figure out how to make them as happy as I'd like. Below I have written as much information as I can while trying to keep it concise. Any tips or help will be greatly appreciated.

Description of Goldfish:

A rescue goldfish. He is a long fin Black Moore that spent 4 years with another owner. For these 4 years he lived inside of a 2.5-4 gallon bowl with an under-gravel filter. This bowl originally had two fancy goldfish but one of them died within the first year or two. He was fed once a day if at all and his diet consisted of flakes. He contracted ich at some point and was treated for it. He has perpetual pop-eye likely from poking his eye out on one of the sharp decorations in the bowl.

Problems with Yürg: Bottom sitting somewhat frequently (especially at night). Sometimes flashes, sometimes gasps at the surface. Can be very aggressive for extended periods of time. Sometimes has white stringy poops. Frequently gets white spots on his fins (not ich, the spots are larger) which I believe is a fungus (lymphocystis?).

Morty: A goldfish I purchased new. A short-finned Ryukin that I have owned for about 6 months. No backstory that I am aware of. Has had a run in with fish lice during which I had to pull him out of the tank and remove using tweezers. Likely came already on him when purchased or hitched a ride on one of the plants I bought.

Problems with Morty: Bottom sits rarely. Is consistently crooked. When sleeping or bottom sitting, will tilt to one side (always the same side?). Noticed he had very long poops when I first got him, so changed his diet. Now his poops are usually normal. Will do this thing where he swims quickly to the surface and sort of jumps out before coming back down and spitting out the bubbles. He seems to do it to cleanse himself. Constantly doing what I call “yawning” where he extends his mouth and his eyes flick downwards. Every now and then it seems like he gets scared (particularly when one of us is above him). Frequent white stringy poops or poops with bubbles in them. Has lost 2 scales for unknown reasons (happened 2 months apart). When I first introduced lava rocks (and lice was unknowingly present) he got a large red scratch on his side which I healed using aquarium salt. Since getting rid of the lice, have not had any further issues with the lava rocks. Not usually aggressive, although has chased a few times. Have caught him munching on Yürg’s fins (particularly at the white spots) when Yürg isn’t moving a lot or isn’t feeling well (bottom sitting).

Tank info:

Size: 32 gallons (I am hoping to get a bigger tank within the next couple years or so once Morty has grown more).

Temperature: 20-25 degrees Celsius / 68-77 degrees Fahrenheit

Water parameters: Ammonia: 0ppm | Nitrites: 0ppm | Nitrates: 10ppm (tops out at 40ppm before my water change) | pH: 7.5

Water is on the harder side.

Substrate: Super naturals fine sand.

Decorations: Driftwood, some rocks.

Plants: Anubias, Java fern, Marimo moss balls, and Pothos (leaves not submerged).

Filter: Aquaclear 50

There is an air stone in the tank as well.

Extra info:

The tank has been given salt treatments using aquarium salt with no additives. I recently read that I should have opted for high concentration salt dips instead of extended salt treatment so I think I will stop doing that from now on.

After getting particularly fed up I treated the tank for internal parasites using FRITZ ParaCleanse. I followed the treatment instructions on the box.

I try to feed them a varied diet as much as possible. I feed them 3 smaller meals a day which usually consists of Omega one goldfish pellets for breakfast, grated zucchini for lunch, and Repashy super gold for dinner. I have since dropped down to 2 smaller meals a day.

I do weekly water changes of about 75%.

To help deal with aggression I have made a divider out of plastic canvas. Unfortunately, while Yürg seems content with it in the tank, Morty appears to be extremely uncomfortable and will refuse to move or swim at all when it is in the tank. He won’t go anywhere near it.

Here are some pictures of them.


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  • #2
I'm so sorry this is happening to your little guys. I don't have a lot of advice but the white poop sounds like an infection being a parasite or bacterial. But you said your treating for that. Just make sure you don't have any activate carbon in your filter when you treat them
  • #3
  • #4
I have some some orandas with mixed success. I had a very new one die, but I think he was deformed. Ugly but cute, ya know. I thought he had like "fish narcolepsy" bc he'd float to top of tank, flip ovr on one side like a capsized boat and stay that way until he bumped into side or I touched him. I hoped he'd make it, but he died yesterday. Guess he just wasn't born right and not much you can do about that. I got a replacement for him that look better, but not as cute.
I moved Big Bertha (very large, black/blue Oranda) from the outdoor large stock pond inside with the new small orandas. They seem to be ok. Goldfish of any ilk are dirty fish. They make massive amounts of urine which can be toxic to other fish.
Orandas are usually slow moving and sloth-like, which is why the 10 inch common comet fish bothered her sometimes. That's the only aggression I've seen from them except for the time she got caught in the pond filter (dumb fish) and was somewhat injured by being caught between the pump and the plastic slotted box it was in. The comets got super rough with her, so I moved her indoors for a few days til her eye and fin healed up. Once she was free of abrasions, the comets left her alone. I sweat they were trying to eat her bc they sensed she was weak. What's weird about that is that they sure don't eat the numerous guppy fry, which I really wouldn't mind.
I only recently started using pond salt in most of my tanks both indoor and out. It seems to help somewhat.
Maybe try some stress coat and see if that helps calm them down. I use hemp oil on the dog and cats when they're in pain or seriously need to chill and I wonder if it can be used at all for fish.
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
I'm so sorry this is happening to your little guys. I don't have a lot of advice but the white poop sounds like an infection being a parasite or bacterial. But you said your treating for that. Just make sure you don't have any activate carbon in your filter when you treat them
Thank you for the kind words, and yes I did remove the activated charcoal during treatment. Thank you for the suggestion nonetheless
  • #6
When goldfish float like that they’re usually getting air with their food. You never want your goldfish to be eating at the surface, they will gulp air which will most often lead to death. Food should be soaked and ‘shot’ into tank with a turkey baister. I wouldn’t feed them anything that floats. Swim bladder disease. Very hard to remedy.

As for the OP, hard to say. I know they love salt dips and a bigger tank would definitely help. Could try ‘rehabilitating it’ in shallow waters, there was another video on this fish if you search for it where it was salt dipped:


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