I don't want my fish to die Help

Discussion in 'Freshwater Fish Disease' started by naturekristen, Dec 17, 2009.

  1. naturekristenNew MemberMember

    Please help me figure out why my fish is swimming in circles. I have owned my 7 cent feeder goldfish for 12 years. He is huge and has been healthy for years. I rarely have ever filtered my water over the years and would let my water get pretty dirty at times, regrettabley. I recently have begun to pay more attention to his water quality. One day I found him swimming crooked with no other signs of sickness just his odd swimming movements. Also his one fin was spasming.I added salt to his tank and immediately did a 50% water change using spring water from a natural spring that people visit to bottle water in my area. I treated the water with my usual drops and let it get to room temp and added it to the tank. He quickly got better and I was relieved. A few days later he began swimming in circles. He seems to struggle to move in motions other than in his tight circles. There is no other fish in the tank with him and I have tested for all possible water quality problems. The water seems to be perfect. There are no changes in his apperance.Please,please help me figure out how to help my old buddy. I truly love this fish.
  2. Aquarist

    AquaristFishlore LegendMember

    Hello NatureKristen and Welcome to Fish Lore. So sorry to hear that your fish isn't feeling up to par. I can't say for certain what his problem is. 12 years is a really long life for an aquarium fish. I've also heard of some types of Gold Fish living past 20 years or more.

    It sounds like your fish may have swim bladder issues. Is he eating and pooping like he should be? Bloated at all? What types of food do you offer him? Too, there is a disease called "whirling" disease. Sadly it's usually fatal. You can do a search at the top of the screen for "whirling" disease and there is more information there. Too, you can use your search engine to find more information on the disease. See if the symptoms are ones your fish is displaying.
    The link above may help you to diagnose the problem too. (it should help some for goldies too.)

    Goldfish Caresheet
    Hang on for more responses.
    Best wishes! I hope he's going to be ok
  3. OP

    naturekristenNew MemberMember

    thank you for the quick response

    I am touched to hear words of wisdom and encouragement from a stranger. Thank you for taking time out of your day to help someone you have never met! I am wondering if my dechlorinators are substantial. One site said swimming in circles may be a sign of chlorine poisoning. His swimming pattern is in circles but he is able to eat and move momentarily out of his circle pattern. He is pooping normally. He cannot rise to the surface although I see him attempting it. The spinning doesn't seem to parrallel the spinning associated with the fatal whirling disease. The sites describe fish that are led by there heads and are unable to feed. He is feeding fine though with slight frustration. I found a site that said it maybe his brain or eyes? The sight was not too informative. I have invested hours online for fours days obsessively searching for a cure. I gave him a salt bath in a container with all fresh, treated water to no availe last night. I have him in a large container now with treated water. I am at a lose as to how I can help him further. Thank you in advance for any help you can offer.

  4. Meenu

    MeenuFishlore VIPMember

    hi kristen
    welcome to fishlore. i am so sorry about your poor goldfish. :(
    we have some really smart members with goldies here, so hopefully someone will be able to help.

    can you tell us which water conditioners you use? do you use them with every water change? it would also be helpful to know what the water parameters are. could you take a sample to the store and jot down the results? if they use the strips to test, ask if the have the liquid test available. my petco uses both tests for free, but petsmart only the strips, which are less accurate.

    can you explain what you mean by ph 63? or is that the temperature? and is the goldie by himself or are there tankmates?

    sorry for all the questions :)

    hang in there, hopefully we can get you through this.

  5. OP

    naturekristenNew MemberMember

    thank you for your patience!

    Thank you for the information that Petco and Petsmart do water tests. I live in rural Virginia and we have over two feet of snow. I live an hour from the city. I will get my water sample to a Petco as soon as I can. I hope he can hold on. Today he is worse. It looks like it may be whirling disease. It said the parasite attacks the spine and nervous system and today it is obvious that he can not hold his body straight when his head is down feeding. It is so sad, watching him struggle to eat. He still has the drive and will to live but his body just isn't cooperating. I am not going to handle his passing well at all. My friends and family just keep telling me that I have to be prepared b/c it is inevitable. I have had him in my life for twleve years. He is my only pet. How amazing that a little creature can get so deep in your heart? I hope there is still a chance it is his water. I am going to get a new brand of dechlorinator tonight from Walmart. I am using an old bottle of wardleys watercare chlor out...I read one review that said it doesn't break up the bonds correctly and inturn doesn't remove ammonia. Could ammonia poisoning cause the spinning behavior?
  6. Lucy

    LucyModeratorModerator Member

    :( I'm so sorry. It's hard to watch a pet suffer.
    When was the last time you changed the water?
  7. Beeker

    BeekerWell Known MemberMember

    Whirling fish disease isn't common for older fish, and is even more uncommon in aquarium fish. Have you added any fish, ornaments, live food?
    I suggest looking further into how fish get Whirling Fish Disease to make sure that is what you are dealing with. Maybe it is something that Maracyn 2 can clear up.
  8. gremlin

    gremlinWell Known MemberMember

    What size is your tank? How big/long is your goldfish? Have any other signs or symptoms showed up since your first post? Any redness on the gills or the fins? Any spots or bumps that weren't there before?

    What are the readings from your tests and what test are you using? What is the ammonia reading?

    How much salt to how much water? Did you add the salt before or after the water change?

    A lot of questions, I know, but the answers will help us figure out what might be going on.
  9. OP

    naturekristenNew MemberMember

    I am still snowed in but plan to take water from my tank and my faucet to Petco as soon as they plow my road. I feel compelled to explain why I seem so ignorant when it comes to my fish. He was just so healthy apparently, throughout his youth that I wasn't forced to become aware of all the sicknesses he could get. I am about to tell a tale that appalls even me (now that I have learned enough to become a better fish owner). My fish and I moved into a new apartment with old pipes and a few months into the move, after several regular water changes , began to swim lopsided. I had cured him once before of that problem with a hospital tank and salt...this time I added about two tablespoons of salt to his 40 gallon aquarium but this didn't do the trick. I began thinking that the old pipes were adding something toxic to the water. Crazy talk but I was freaking out at this point. I panicked and got a huge tub and went to a natural spring in our mountains that everyone goes to and bottles drinking water. My ignorance was only matched by my desire to save my fish. I added Wardleys watercare chlor out for some unknown reason and let it get room temp then did a 50 percent water change with the spring water. Looking back now, with my new arsenal of goldfish knowledge, I know that if in fact he does have whirling disease it is from the water I added without looking up information first. How sad. The odd thing was that the water change immediately seemed to help my fish. Then for a few days he was incredibly perky. I thought he was healed and then he began swimming in circles. No physical side effects other than the odd swimming. He is eager to eat and shows no gill problems or external parasite evidence. He is still hanging in there today and surprisingly enough learning to adapt to his terrible affliction. He does circles over to the bubble stone and lets the force push him up to the top where, due to his affliction, he could not scan for food otherwise. What a little genius? =(

    :animal0068:Ken was here :) Fish Forum Rules #2
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 21, 2009
  10. gremlin

    gremlinWell Known MemberMember

    The change of water from one place to another can cause problems. My sister and I (apparently) have different water sources even though we live in a big city less than 2 miles apart. She has to treat her hose water and she adds aquarium salt - otherwise she ends up with sick fishies in her pond. I don't have to add anything (not even dechlor) to my hose water. I just pour it in straight from the hose. Never had a problem at all. It is entirely possible that the "new" water in your new apartment may have had something in it that the dechlor you are using did not remove/detoxify. Using a different water source was a good move, but it is possible that their was something in the new water as well. The most important thing right now is to get the water tested so you know what you are dealing with. Depending on where you are and what the source of the water is and your local regulations, water can contain many things besides the "normal" chlorine and chloramine. There is also barium, cadmium, arsenic, chronium, lead, mercury, flouride, cyanide, etc. Granted, these things are generally present only in minute amounts that are non-toxic to humans, but then, we aren't drinking/breathing/living in the water either. With luck (and good water quality control), your goldfish may just pull through. You may want to consider a sinking pellet if he can't get to the surface to eat, or try teaching him to eat from your fingers or from a food clip placed at a level he can get to easily. Since there is no outward sign of disease or injury, I doubt it is ammonia problems (40 gallons for one goldie is pretty good). The time line and symptoms all lead back to the change in water when you moved. Do you have a filter on the tank now?
  11. OP

    naturekristenNew MemberMember

    It is a Christmas Miracle!

    I am so grateful to all of the kind and intelligent people of fishlore that aided me in my time of need. I am so glad to post the news that my fish has made a seemingly full recovery. I put him in a hospital tank with a product called Parasite Clear and after a few hours he began floating on his side and his gills began to stop moving. I moved him back into his old tank so he could die in his own home and within a day he was slowly beginning to swim "not in a circle"=) and within a few days was back to his old self. He is so amazing, he actually seemed to be enjoying his renewed mobility. I am still confused as to what went on with him and also know I am not out of the water yet but how beautiful that he is still alive. I am going to test my tap water and make sure I do everything to ensure he is happy and healthy for years to come. Thank you all for your support and I haven't checked yet, but hope your site has a pay pal option for donations. I encourage others to return the favor and help sites like these survive. Thank you again!
  12. Aquarist

    AquaristFishlore LegendMember

    Hello Kristen. Glad to hear you're seeing signs of improvement. Please keep us posted.
  13. Meenu

    MeenuFishlore VIPMember

    I'm happy things are looking better. :)

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