Please help my goldfish, breathing heavily sitting at bottom


Hello, I won my Goldfish 5 years ago at a carnival. He’s in a 50 Gallon tank and is now grown quite large. About two weeks ago, we thought he had swim bladder disease, as he was spinning in circles around the tank and couldn’t seem to swim right. We thought he would pass away for sure since his sickness caused him to not be able to swim properly. Now it’s been over two weeks, and he has been doing nothing but sitting at the bottom of the tank, breathing heavily. He won’t keep any food down when we try to feed him. I feel so horrible, I’ve never seen a fish suffer this long. I don’t want to take his life because we’ve had him so long but he does seem like he’s in pain. Maybe he’s just injured and can’t swim and he’s feeling fine? The water levels are good. And we’ve changed 50% of the tank about three times since all of this happened with no luck. How do I get my poor fishy out of his misery? Do I have to just watch him starve to death? It’s making me quite sad. Please help me find a solution or at least some comfort for both him and me!


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Sorry I can’t provide assistance. Sure is a handsome fish though, esp for a carnie prize. If it helps, one of our pond fish we named Tiny Tim. He was #13 in the “I’ll take a dozen feeders” Severely emaciated since the pellets were too large for him to eat. Fins all rotted away. Found him bloated and floating in the pond one day (when we actually discovered him) and brought him indoors with the expectation he wouldn’t last the week.

5 years later and he’s larger than 3 of the pond fish who dwarfed him initially. Still no fins aside from tail and a small top fin. Aggressively outfeeds all the other fish. We renamed him Phoenix.

Hope he pulls through.
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He may be constipated. Is he pooping normal? Try feeding him something like boiled spinach if he eats it.
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I'm so sorry this is happening to you and your buddy. It sounds like he got really lucky to go home from the carnival with you!

I'm hoping more knowledgeable people will chime in but in the meantime, try feeding him frozen peas that you thaw and remove the outer shell from. It's possible that he's constipated and this should clean him out.
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I would give him an Epsom salt dip bath. Just what has helped me in the past with constipated or bloated fish. Best of luck.
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I would also try an Epsom salt bath in a separate container for 20 minutes.

But if that doesn't work, you can help him pass peacefully with clove oil.
You can get clove oil from a pharmacy.
You need to put the fish in a smallish container where he is still comfortable.
You get a bottle like a plastic water bottle,
fill it with tank water, add about 10 drops of clove oil,
shake it up very well!
Now pour a small amount into the container where the fish is. and wait 15 minutes. Pore in more if needed. wait again if needed.
he will fall asleep, he is feeling no pain! But he is still alive, and you have to make sure that he doesn't wake up. You can add the rest of the clove oil to cause an overdose or add vodka, or an Alka seltzer tablet. I could not get over my fear that he might wake up from these things. A dead fish looks so similar to a sleeping one. So I had my husband cut his head off.
Decapitation is a fast way to go, but if the fish is flopping around, accidents can happen to us nonprofessionals, so clove oil is the way to go IMOP!
Sorry about your fish! Sounds like he had a good life!
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