My cory and goldfish not eating for 1 month still alive

cornflakes

Hello, I am new here. I wasn't going to inquire about it because I thought they were going to die within
a couple weeks at most but since it has been over a month now, I am wondering what is going on.

I have 20 gallon fish tank that had 2 corys and 2 gold fish and they lived together no issues for a couple years.
It wasn't until about 4 or 5 weeks ago that I noticed first one of my corys had what looks like mouth rot. It's mouth
was completely gone and now there's just a hole in its face. Ever since that time I have never seen it eating anything.
Maybe it can't because it has no mouth whiskers/lips? So I thought for sure it was going to die soon with no food. It's now
been over a month later and it's still alive.

Same with one of my gold fish. He stopped eating over a month ago. He just sits in a corner (same corner) all day
and it appears he doesn't open his mouth hardly at all. When I drop food, his mouth doesn't open. He swims around a bit
knowing food is falling down but he doesn't appear to be eating since his mouth rarely opens. I started to hand feed him
mashed up green peas through a plastic syringe feeder so maybe i was able to force some green pea water/sediments into his
mouth but his mouth doesn't open. It's also been over a month it's been like this and I thought it would die within 2 weeks or less
but I'm surprised both of them are still alive now heading into week 5 or 6. I've already done water changes and added water improvement
conditioner and bacteria....but I don't know anything about medicines. No difference despite cleaning the water several times
over the past month or so.

How are the fish still living if they haven't really been eating for over a month? Maybe they are getting some sediments in? But I can't see it.
Any advice please?
 

DoubleDutch

Got some pics of the fish and tank ?
 

PeterFishKeepin

First of all, Welcome to fishlore :)

Secondly, do you know what type of goldfish it is, fancy, comet, common, shubunkins? A photo would help. Also a photo of the cory would help too, some are small while some can get larger. Goldfish need a minimum of 55-60 gallons per goldfish. So 20 gal isn’t going to be big enough for them, please rehome them or buy a bigger suitable tank. If your goldfish are still small like 1-3 inches they should be ok in 20 gal for then next 4 months max before you stunt their growth and cause damage. They also get bigger than a 12 inches/1 foot/30cm.

Thirdly, cory are schooling fish and need to be in groups of 6 minimum so you may want to purchase some more.

Fourthly, i have large goldfish in my 850gal pond and its on my farm, so i only get to feed them around once every month or two. They are fine, i introduced a very large amount of pond, bladder, ramshorn and new zealand mud snails to the pond which are eaten by the fish aswell as mosquito larvae and tadpoles and other bugs that get into pond, i have lots of live plants too which they munch on. So they can survive a long time without being feed, i recommend adding some plants and snails.

Fifthly, were the goldfish and cories eating in the tank before you noticed this, or have they not eaten since you bought them? sometimes fish hide/not eat and 'glass surf' when they are new to tank but this rarely tanks more then a week.

Do you notices anything wrong with fish or looks weird that may or may not have been on the fish when you bought it, eg. cotton wool disease, ich???

Some photos would be very helpful.

Welcome to fishlore
Peter
 

cornflakes

Thank you for your replies.
I will try my best to answer the questions.
First off here are the photos.

I don't know what the specific names of the corydoras or goldfish are. The one that isn't eating or isn't opening it's mouth is the white/gold one. I've had the corys for about 2 years. One of them passed away about 2 weeks ago (not the one with the mouth rot). I thought the mouth rot one would die first but the other one which looked perfectly fine died pretty fast. The goldfish I've had for 1 year as they were rescues from another place that had them in cups and I thought since my tank is bigger, I can just take them and give them a home. I suspect these things all occurred due to water quality because 3 of the 4 got sick all around the same time (1 cory got mouth rot, other cory just died, 1 goldfish stopped eating and just sits at the bottom of the corner) but the 4th fish (another goldfish) is perfectly fine eating well and swimming well.

For the goldfish, I thought it was maybe a digestion issue because prior weeks it used to have trouble sinking. It would stay near the surface for a few hours after eating before swimming normally again. This happened a lot and I think somehow while the fish was opening it's mouth in the surface for the food it was taking in air and that air was trapped inside keeping him buoyant until he can somehow burp it out or something I read.

There is algae growing on the tank glass and I try to wipe it off time to time as well as algae or green bacteria growing on the rocks. I don't have one of those water tester kits to check for ammonium or nitrites (?). I'm not really sure how to get them or use them. I just try to do regular water changes every week or two weeks about 50% at a time and then add those water improvement solutions (one for chlorine, another for disease prevention, and another for bacteria).

Before all this happened, they were eating well, very healthy. I'm not very experienced with fish as pets and I realize compared to most people on this forum, I'm just a casual pet owner who is probably frowned upon why I would own fish if I don't know much about how to take care of them nor willing to really get myself more into learning about everything there is to know about owning fish. I do feel guilty that I don't pamper my fish and make sure to stay on top of everything like fish experts. I'm honestly one of those people who just wanted to keep some fish as pets and do the bare minimum and if they die they die sort of mentality, but I do care about them, maybe just not as much as the avid fish pet owners. I had already accepted their fate weeks ago and thought they were gonna die cuz usually once they stop eating, they die shortly after. It's only since they are still alive after more than a month, I thought maybe there is something I can do to help them recover if water changes wasn't enough?
 

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DoubleDutch

It is a C.aeneus with probably mouthrot (pseudomonas / aeromonas bacteria).
ai think it is due to the unsuitable substrate.

Not frowning at you and not want to be rude (admiring you're telling this) but let's be honest isn't it a better idea to quit keeping fish for this reason.

I think we owe any living creature to keep them the best possible way and be willing to learn how to do so.

Again : Not judging or basing you, but that is how I see it.
 

cornflakes

I've had this substrate for as long as I've had corys (even before these 2) and never seemed to be an issue. I did wonder though if it could be the substrate as I read about some could cut or hurt them while foraging but since I never had any problems for years I didn't think that was the likely cause.

I actually planned on stop owning fish after these guys all passed away. I have been planning to stop owning fish about a year ago but since these guys are still alive, I am just waiting for that to happen. I'm also not intentionally neglecting them to speed up their demise lol. No, I'm not that cruel. I'm a huge animal lover and have always loved animals since I was a kid. It's just I've never been really good at taking care of things no matter what animal it is. I just sort of have a more casual approach to it and do the bare minimum since they seem to come and go fairly faster than say owning a dog or a cat (however, I am aware that some fish can live a very long time ...longer than cats and dogs). I owned a couple plecos too. One of them died early but the other one lived for about 5 years or so and I saw him grow from being a tiny one the size of my pinky to being the size of my hand. He recently passed away (maybe 3 months ago) and again, I suspect due to the poor water quality...I think too much ammonium.

I also struggle with depression so I am barely able to function on my own and take care of myself, let alone try to spend extra effort taking care of fish. That's another reason why I decided to stop because in my current condition, I have no motivation for my own life so I have very little for these fish even though I want to care for them and hope I can still do the bare minimum so they can at least have a fair shot at living a decent life. So in any case, I kinda don't want these 2 guys to die cuz they have been hanging on for so long now and I'm sort of in admiration of their fight to stay alive....so if there is anything you know I can do directly that could cure them, that would be great. If this is a case where they are just succumbing to a genetic disease or something that is just taking its natural course then I guess I just have to watch them slowly pass away. I just didn't understand why they were still alive when it looks like they should have passed away weeks ago....how are they not eating and still living after 5-6 weeks? I am continually giving them food each day but since so much food is being left uneaten, I suspect that is dangerously increasing the ammonium/nitrates(?) faster in the tank which probably doesn't help them so I have to change water more frequently.
 

PeterFishKeepin

well, fresh clean water will help them, you will need to do 25% water changes every second day or 50% water changes twice a week, this will remove ammonia and help to keep them in best conditions possible.

Your life and your fish are valuable and valued so please feel ok.
 

DoubleDutch

I've had this substrate for as long as I've had corys (even before these 2) and never seemed to be an issue. I did wonder though if it could be the substrate as I read about some could cut or hurt them while foraging but since I never had any problems for years I didn't think that was the likely cause.

I actually planned on stop owning fish after these guys all passed away. I have been planning to stop owning fish about a year ago but since these guys are still alive, I am just waiting for that to happen. I'm also not intentionally neglecting them to speed up their demise lol. No, I'm not that cruel. I'm a huge animal lover and have always loved animals since I was a kid. It's just I've never been really good at taking care of things no matter what animal it is. I just sort of have a more casual approach to it and do the bare minimum since they seem to come and go fairly faster than say owning a dog or a cat (however, I am aware that some fish can live a very long time ...longer than cats and dogs). I owned a couple plecos too. One of them died early but the other one lived for about 5 years or so and I saw him grow from being a tiny one the size of my pinky to being the size of my hand. He recently passed away (maybe 3 months ago) and again, I suspect due to the poor water quality...I think too much ammonium.

I also struggle with depression so I am barely able to function on my own and take care of myself, let alone try to spend extra effort taking care of fish. That's another reason why I decided to stop because in my current condition, I have no motivation for my own life so I have very little for these fish even though I want to care for them and hope I can still do the bare minimum so they can at least have a fair shot at living a decent life. So in any case, I kinda don't want these 2 guys to die cuz they have been hanging on for so long now and I'm sort of in admiration of their fight to stay alive....so if there is anything you know I can do directly that could cure them, that would be great. If this is a case where they are just succumbing to a genetic disease or something that is just taking its natural course then I guess I just have to watch them slowly pass away. I just didn't understand why they were still alive when it looks like they should have passed away weeks ago....how are they not eating and still living after 5-6 weeks? I am continually giving them food each day but since so much food is being left uneaten, I suspect that is dangerously increasing the ammonium/nitrates(?) faster in the tank which probably doesn't help them so I have to change water more frequently.
Respect for being so extremely honest.
Hoping you'll soon feel better and your life will brighten up.

To be more clear I suspect the combination substrate and pollution by left over food has caused this (not the substrate itself).

If you're able to do a good clean up / waterchange and feed less.
 

cornflakes

I noticed today that the cory's eyes are now looking like the layer over the eyes is turning white...I suspect it means malnourishment and maybe the eyes are about to go? Not puffy like bulging out but the layer over the eyes is like turning white and it looks like the eyes are now covered by a cloudy layer of skin.
 

PeterFishKeepin

we need a photo asap, this could be cloudy eye disease.
 

ppate1977

On a separate note, don't give up the hobby if it brings you joy. If you need to restart, change your substrate and keep at it. I also gain a lot of peace and fulfillment with fishkeeping. Sometimes bad and unforseen things occur. Don't let it get you to quit.
 

cornflakes

we need a photo asap, this could be cloudy eye disease.
He passed away this morning.
On a separate note, don't give up the hobby if it brings you joy. If you need to restart, change your substrate and keep at it. I also gain a lot of peace and fulfillment with fishkeeping. Sometimes bad and unforseen things occur. Don't let it get you to quit.

Thank you. Yes, I agree with you and I used to feel that way about it because fish do have a calming effect and makes you feel relaxed. It can bring a sense of satisfaction I think in the same way other people love having plants and tending them to everyday. For me, since I've been really struggling with emotional and mental health issues since covid 2020 started, I've not been the same person. I knew for sure I had to stop after these fish pass away because it feels like I need to shrink my focus of attention. I'm not sure if others can relate but those who struggle with depression, there's this feeling of "nothing really matters anymore" and you don't have any energy to care about almost everything in life except for the bare essentials (food, shelter, general health, pay the bills). I can barely spend any time doing things for myself such as combing my hair, washing my face, making my bed, keeping my room clean....I neglect those too....so I knew that I shouldn't keep fish anymore after this. Thanks for your input.
 

cornflakes

Just to update you, my goldfish is still alive....it's been like 2 months now where I haven't seen him eating but somehow he must be getting some nutrients to still be alive and he looks relatively healthy other than he's not swimming much (just staying at the bottom corner hiding) and not opening his mouth.....I still handfeed him pea mash once a week and try to force it in him but his mouth won't open.
 

EnlightenedOne

He passed away this morning.


Thank you. Yes, I agree with you and I used to feel that way about it because fish do have a calming effect and makes you feel relaxed. It can bring a sense of satisfaction I think in the same way other people love having plants and tending them to everyday. For me, since I've been really struggling with emotional and mental health issues since covid 2020 started, I've not been the same person. I knew for sure I had to stop after these fish pass away because it feels like I need to shrink my focus of attention. I'm not sure if others can relate but those who struggle with depression, there's this feeling of "nothing really matters anymore" and you don't have any energy to care about almost everything in life except for the bare essentials (food, shelter, general health, pay the bills). I can barely spend any time doing things for myself such as combing my hair, washing my face, making my bed, keeping my room clean....I neglect those too....so I knew that I shouldn't keep fish anymore after this. Thanks for your input.

Hey just here to give you some words of support. Depression sucks and it has this tendency to sap everything away from you. You say you are casual and easy going but it sounds like you are a thoughtful and kind person at heart. This is working against you when that casual easy going attitude leads to losses or disappointment. I know how that feels. The things that suffer the most from you being depressed and feigning being carefree, are the things/people that care about you. The most important thing you can do for yourself right now is to do the things you say that you don't care about or want to give up. If you keep giving in to the depression you are conditioning yourself to see things negatively and give up when things don't go your way. In many ways being depressed is being selfish about how the world needs to cater to you. Life just sort of happens the way it does. It's not personal.

There are great things to learn from your failures. Failures and bad things can only become bad things if you let them defeat you and you continue to give up on things that you arbitrarily think are no longer important. You are conditioning yourself to focus on the bad parts and get more depressed. You will recede from everything and everyone.

You posting here obviously shows you have some compassion for these fish fighting for their survival. They are prisoners to a world that they never asked to be born into but they are struggling to survive. Take a lesson from that. Run with that compassion and continue to try to do those things that make you feel something. Don't shy away from things because there is potential for pain. Because if I learned one thing in life, pain is inevitable. It will come. Always. But the suffering each person puts themselves through is not inevitable, that is a choice even if it doesn't feel like it. We always have a choice. That being said it's not easy but you can start small. The fish you can nurse back to health or lose them. The result will happen. We are all promised only two things in this life. We are born and we die. Everything in between is a plus. So why not make it great? I think you can do it. Anyone can, it's just a matter of effort. How important are you and your choices. Your choices affect everyone. All your choices. You don't live in a bubble and neither do the fish in your tank. So spread some of the positivity as much as you can and either ease their passing or keep them alive so they can experience this life.

I'd start with those water changes. Clean yourself up. Clean your living space. I'm sure your fish are surviving but they would do better if you provided more for them. If you start caring about yourself more then it's inevitable that you will care about the wellbeing of others. You are important, your choices matter. All of them. And I believe if this is our one life to live, live it with zest. And if it's ****, then you can be the shiniest **** in the pile. I've been through it man. Love yourself and everything else will come. Like Nike says "Just do it". If this makes you angry, good. Think about why. If this makes you sad because you can't do it, why? I suggest you start to explore the root of this unhappiness. Best of luck to you and you are loved.
 

cornflakes

Thanks for such a nice post of encouragement.
I have always loved animals since I was pretty young. As an elementary school kid, I used to walk to school and walk home. On the ways, I'd pass through a townhouse and met a cat that would sit outside on the front porch. I always walked up to the cat and he loved me. He would curl around my legs and purr and I'd give him pets each day. His name was Buddy. I used to feed a lot of squirrels at the park, and they come to me for food....even fed birds in my backyard and they'd sit on the fence lined up waiting for me to drop bread crumbs and leave. Once I left I saw them all get the food. As I got older I spent a lot of time with animals....rescuing a bunch of rabbits, cats, dogs, strays/kittens/pups...even a couple birds...I even catch flies and set them free instead of killing them (most of the time). I have a plastic bag method of catching flies and once they are in the bag, I let them free outside the window rather than just killing them. Yes, my compassion is still there....I think always will be with me....but my deteriorating mental and emotional health has equaled or exceeded my compassion on most days. I'd rather just do the bare minimum to get by. On days when I feel better, I get more active and go the extra mile to do things for animals, but most of the time, I'm just trying to survive and get by so I really have no time or energy or interest. Part of the symptoms is a lost of general interest in almost everything. Life becomes tasteless, bland, and while I care still, I just can't seem to show it. Same goes with my parents....deep down inside I really love them and care about them but too often, I don't have the ability to show it or go beyond and do the extra mile to show it. Anyways, I have joined a mental health forum where I will discuss more about my personal issues there. Since this is a fish site, I suppose I'll just stick to fish.

So I'm still not sure how this fish is alive and living still. Other than force feeding him mashed peas once a week which I'm not even sure it's going in his mouth since his mouth doesn't open (I just flood his face with it and hope some gets in), he seems to be ok without eating for 2 months. He's still fat. His belly is still has a bulge. He just sits in the corner hiding behind some cloth I leave there to give him cover because I know he likes being covered instead of exposed in the open.

I just don't know how he is still living. I have no explanation.
 

EnlightenedOne

Goldfish are cold water fish. If your tank is cool and fish are cold blooded he could be just using up reserves or eating when the lights are out. He does seem plump for a guy not eating but that could be just bloating from a disease. Usually when fish who normally swim around and graze sit at the bottom they are in trouble and I've not had success when they reach that stage. From what you're saying they seem to be a fighter though. I think you should do a big 50% water change with conditioner and same temperature. I'd buy a test kit whether its inaccurate strips or the API master kit to see what's going on. The stress could be from a water parameter that you can't visibly see. When is the last time you've rinsed out the filter using a bucket of tank water? You could maybe get some garlic like a small piece(Half a pinky nail size) and break it up. It's good for the fish and sparks their appetite. Just smash it and drop it in there. It won't hurt them And garlic itself has microbe fighting chemicals that won't ruin your cycle. Also it'll make your tank smell like garlic but that goes away with water changes. Your fish won't eat or get better without the water changes and the stress going away. Corys tend to like to be in groups so that's probably not helping but until you fix the problem I wouldn't recommend going for more fish.
If you do test the water Ammonia 0 Nitrite 0 and Nitrate under 20-40.
 

cornflakes

Goldfish are cold water fish. If your tank is cool and fish are cold blooded he could be just using up reserves or eating when the lights are out. He does seem plump for a guy not eating but that could be just bloating from a disease. Usually when fish who normally swim around and graze sit at the bottom they are in trouble and I've not had success when they reach that stage. From what you're saying they seem to be a fighter though. I think you should do a big 50% water change with conditioner and same temperature. I'd buy a test kit whether its inaccurate strips or the API master kit to see what's going on. The stress could be from a water parameter that you can't visibly see. When is the last time you've rinsed out the filter using a bucket of tank water? You could maybe get some garlic like a small piece(Half a pinky nail size) and break it up. It's good for the fish and sparks their appetite. Just smash it and drop it in there. It won't hurt them And garlic itself has microbe fighting chemicals that won't ruin your cycle. Also it'll make your tank smell like garlic but that goes away with water changes. Your fish won't eat or get better without the water changes and the stress going away. Corys tend to like to be in groups so that's probably not helping but until you fix the problem I wouldn't recommend going for more fish.
If you do test the water Ammonia 0 Nitrite 0 and Nitrate under 20-40.

Thanks for the garlic tip! I'll try that. My corys are all gone. I'm only left with these 2 goldfish. The orange is doing fine eating and swimming normal. It's just the white/orange one (chubby one).
 

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