Shubinkin Lying On Tank Bottom

Breezewing
  • #1
Hello everyone. I'm new to these forums and I've been on here to look up previous queries, but feel the need to ask one myself now.

I have a 180 litre / 48 gallon tank with a common goldfish (around 5") and a shubunkin (around 7"). Had them for years with nothing apart from very minor issues, but yesterday my shubunkin started lying on the floor for extended periods. He is normally a very active fish who likes to swim around constantly, blow bubbles at the tank top (to get my attention, of all things) and generally be the dominant one in there, so this recent development is very noticeable. He will lay on the bottom, but swim around a bit when I approach the tank, and eats without a problem. When he does swim, he looks "heavy" and bounces back down quite heavily too.

The tank is bare-bottom with a pile of gravel (large enough pieces they they can't ingest) to hold down the airstone. I checked the levels just now with a kit and ammonia's reading zero, nitrite is around 0.025 mg/l and nitrate is 0-5 mg/l. Their diet is fresh veg one day a week, with Tetra "Funballs", large pond pellets, small black and brown sinking pellets (all soaked till soft) mixed around. I do a water change (a bucketful?) every few days.

My first guess at the problem is that he's eaten some of the marimo ball I added in last week and it's made him ill. I've seen it come out as waste from the common, so it isn't the fake felt type. My second guess is swim-bladder related, so I already fed a few peas yesterday, which have (I believed) been expelled.

I have taken the marimo out since that's the only thing that changed recently. Not sure what else I can do, if anything. Thanks for the advice in advance.
 
Seasoldier
  • #2
Hi, when you say you've had them for 'years' how many?
 
Breezewing
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
Hey. They just turned five years old, so they're still relatively young as far as goldfish go.
 
Seasoldier
  • #4
OK so not age then, have you noticed any other symptoms? How's the common is that showing any change in behaviour?
 
Rtessy
  • #5
The "heaviness" does sound like it could be swim bladder.
Don't worry about the marimo, my common ate an entire one in two days and was fine.
Try doing another water change, pristine water always helps
 
Breezewing
  • Thread Starter
  • #6
My common is alright, I think. Whenever I look over he's swimming around like normal, apart from the odd occasion he's been lying at the bottom. As stupid as it sounds, I think it's a schooling reaction since he's so used to being submissive, so he's just copying my shubunkin. He doesn't seem to be suffering any particular ill effects but I'm monitoring them both.

The shubunkin is the same as this morning. He'll occasionally go on a fast flit around the tank for a few seconds and then drop back down, but there's been no other change. I'm looking at this from a positive angle and accepting that he hasn't gotten worse, is still eating (gave them half a pea earlier) and swimming on his own volition, and goldfish are generally hardy so he'll pull through.

I did a large water change this morning after seeing them both perk up slightly out of the tank in different water, but that could be moving stress or something else. I will look for that "Pristine" conditioner here though (am in the UK) and give it a go!

What causes the sinking kind of swim-bladder, if I may ask? I know air and constipation can cause the floaty kind, but my shubunkin is very rarely out of sorts like this. If it's anything I can avoid in future, I'm all open to suggestions. Will this heal by itself if I keep up the water changes? I love fish and I'm always keen to learn more about them.
 
Rtessy
  • #7
I'm honestly not sure what causes the "sinking" swimbladder, I think it can have the same causes as the floating one, just instead off getting too much air, it over regulates and gets rid of too much air.
The running around the tank almost sounds like some sort of stress reaction, are there any new vibrations or anything by the tank? Loud or high pitched noises? Like if a filter started making a funny sound or something.
Oh and by pristine water, sorry I just mean perfect water. I picked up that saying from on here because everyone was saying it and I thought it sounded fancy, lol.
My common sometimes sits when the water flow decreaes, but doesn't seem to suffer any damage or anything. I do think it could be a schooling reaction like you said.
And just out of curiosity, how large are both of your fish? It might help determine the cause
 
Seasoldier
  • #8
Rtessy you beat me to it, I was just going to explain I thought you were talking about very good water quality rather than adding Pristine as a conditioner
 
Breezewing
  • Thread Starter
  • #9
Ahh, those auto-linking words, right?! Yeah, I don't know about the rapid swimming either. Nothing's changed in or around the tank. It almost looks like he's flashing, but there's nothing to flash against in their tank (some plants, the filter and airstone tube, that's it) and he doesn't look to have any kind of external problem.

It's a bit of a mixed signal with him. Right now he's listless and lying in the corner under a plant. Not long ago he was excited and at the top because I was cooking (their cue that food is coming). If I go to the tank he'll come investigate, but go back to lying down when I leave. What would you suggest I do, just wait it out?

My common is around 5" long and the shubunkin is somewhere over 7" long. Actually, I've always wondered what type of shubunkin he is, so if I post a photo, could one of you shed some light on that please?
 
Rtessy
  • #10
Yeah, lol. Honestly I'm a little confused with this one, so I'm going to call someone in.
Sorry to do this to you Gypsy13 hope your recovery is going well
I'm not so good with types of shubunkin honestly, but maybe if I describe it to Gypsy she'll know. She's the best goldfish person on here, or any forum probably
 
Breezewing
  • Thread Starter
  • #11
Thank you for the help! Honestly, it makes me feel better just talking about it and I'll try to stay positive for him. Here's a photo from the side, with my other one photobombing ...
 

Attachments

  • SDC135855.jpg
    SDC135855.jpg
    106.2 KB · Views: 66
Gypsy13
  • #12
Hi. Welcome to fishlore.
Questions?
How big is the bucket? How often do you feed? What water conditioner do you use? You’re reading nitrites? More frequent water changes are needed and need to be 25-30% for normal routine. Now I’d do 50% water change. What is their water temp? Do you have aquarium salt? What colors are showing on your shubunkin? Especially background color?
Tell me Rtessy what it looks like? Please?
 
Rtessy
  • #13
Hi. Welcome to fishlore.
Questions?
How big is the bucket? How often do you feed? What water conditioner do you use? You’re reading ammonia. More frequent water changes are needed and need to be 25-30% for normal routine. Now I’d do 50% water change. What is their water temp? Do you have aquarium salt? What colors are showing on your shubunkin? Especially background color?
Tell me Rtessy what it looks like? Please?
Sorry to call you in, my brain is busted today.
I think it may just be a comet, it's orange with some white spots, but the white look like missing scales to me (could be the lighting). Long flowing tail though. A few black scales here and there, not clustered, just one.
OP, are those missing scales or coloration?
Sorry just saw this now.
And 7" for a shubunkin means he is stunted, so that could be the cause of the possible swim bladder, but there are other possibilities
 
Gypsy13
  • #14
Sorry to call you in, my brain is busted today.
I think it may just be a comet, it's orange with some white spots, but the white look like missing scales to me (could be the lighting). Long flowing tail though. A few black scales here and there, not clustered, just one.
OP, are those missing scales or coloration?
Sorry just saw this now.
And 7" for a shubunkin means he is stunted, so that could be the cause of the possible swim bladder, but there are other possibilities

Doesn’t sound like shubunkin at all. Sounds like comet. Stunted. Does it look fat? Not bloated but fat? If their diet is too high in protein they can get too much fat built up that will cause swim bladder issues as well. Black scales most likely healing. Need to get control of the water parameters and may end up needing antibiotics. Aquarium salt is a good beginning. Methylene blue baths as well.
 
Rtessy
  • #15
Doesn’t sound like shubunkin at all. Sounds like comet. Stunted. Does it look fat? Not bloated but fat? If their diet is too high in protein they can get too much fat built up that will cause swim bladder issues as well. Black scales most likely healing. Need to get control of the water parameters and may end up needing antibiotics. Aquarium salt is a good beginning. Methylene blue baths as well.
Good to have the salt lady back!
Yes actually, they do look rather chunky, quite a bit more than Charles does (that's my little common, just so you know OP).
 
Gypsy13
  • #16
Breezewing how long has your fish looked fat? If it’s recent it may be heading towards bloat.
 
Breezewing
  • Thread Starter
  • #17
Hello! I'll try to reply as best I can. Sorry for the delay in doing so, but it's 7:45am here right now.

They are back in the tank now and not a bucket any more. Just had them in there whilst I changed most of the water yesterday. I use Interpet Bioactive tapsafe plus and occasionally Interpet Filter Start if I do large changes at once. I don't really put anything else in the water. I'm conscientious about cleaning bits and pieces out of the tank every day, so it's quite clean.

They are fed twice a day (one day a week fresh fruit/greens, the rest Tetra "Funballs", various sinking pellets soaked till soft). Once at breakfast (6-8am) and once in the evening around 3pm. He has always looked "chunky" and him being like that isn't a recent development. He's not excessively wide, but he is tall if that makes sense. Also has no missing scales, but he does have white, black, orange colouring as well as some iridescent shiny scales randomly scattered across him. Sorry, that photo was taken with my old (very old) digital camera! With the colouring, is it possible he is a cross? The pet shop I bought him from had their tank labelled as "Shubunkins".

I will go do another ammonia / nitrate / nitrite test now, but the results yesterday came out fine. No ammonia, very low nitrate and nitrite. Did a 50% change yesterday. How often do the 25% changes need to be and do I need to buy a water conditioner?

Should I be fasting or trying to feed pea still? He is a bit more mobile today. Came up for breakfast as I was making mine and right now I can see him halfway up the tank, lingering, but still seems to be lying on the ground. One thing to note: I do need to clean the filter. It's not pushing water out properly and that started late last night, so that's another job for today.

Thank you all for the help. I really appreciate it!
 
Goldiemom
  • #18
Hello! I'll try to reply as best I can. Sorry for the delay in doing so, but it's 7:45am here right now.

They are back in the tank now and not a bucket any more. Just had them in there whilst I changed most of the water yesterday. I use Interpet Bioactive tapsafe plus and occasionally Interpet Filter Start if I do large changes at once. I don't really put anything else in the water. I'm conscientious about cleaning bits and pieces out of the tank every day, so it's quite clean.

They are fed twice a day (one day a week fresh fruit/greens, the rest Tetra "Funballs", various sinking pellets soaked till soft). Once at breakfast (6-8am) and once in the evening around 3pm. He has always looked "chunky" and him being like that isn't a recent development. He's not excessively wide, but he is tall if that makes sense. Also has no missing scales, but he does have white, black, orange colouring as well as some iridescent shiny scales randomly scattered across him. Sorry, that photo was taken with my old (very old) digital camera! With the colouring, is it possible he is a cross? The pet shop I bought him from had their tank labelled as "Shubunkins".

I will go do another ammonia / nitrate / nitrite test now, but the results yesterday came out fine. No ammonia, very low nitrate and nitrite. Did a 50% change yesterday. How often do the 25% changes need to be and do I need to buy a water conditioner?

Should I be fasting or trying to feed pea still? He is a bit more mobile today. Came up for breakfast as I was making mine and right now I can see him halfway up the tank, lingering, but still seems to be lying on the ground. One thing to note: I do need to clean the filter. It's not pushing water out properly and that started late last night, so that's another job for today.

Thank you all for the help. I really appreciate it!
Hi! Just wanted to comment on the size of the tank. Those are some large goldfish and your tank is way too small for them. I’m glad to see that you are doing frequent water changes but the tank size may be having an effect on them. Any possibility of getting a larger one? I hate to be the bearer of bad news but keeping them in that size tank will shorten their life span. Gypsy is great with diseases. ( Although she is suppose to be resting and recovering).
 
Breezewing
  • Thread Starter
  • #19
It's a Juwel Vision 180, but too small for them? What would be the recommended size? I live in a studio apartment so space is at a premium (as is money) but I'll have a look for a larger one that can fit somewhere.
 
BottomDweller
  • #20
The recommended size for singletailed goldfish is around 180 gallons. Sorry but they are pond fish really.
 
Goldiemom
  • #21
I’m afraid BottomDweller is right. Single tail goldfish are pond fish. I didn’t want to say that because I know you care about them. They need 100 gallons for first fish and 50 for additional. I had to build a pond for mine as they grew in less than 6 months. Look at my pic. The largest one I have had a year. He’s about 7” now and isn’t near finished growing. They should max out at about a foot to 18” long. Mine has grown about 2 more inches in the 5 months he’s been in the pond. Yours are stunted due to tank size. When this occurs, their outside body stops growing but their inside continues to grow. That’s what shortens their lifespan so much. Mine only lived in a tank for about 6 months... only the large one was in the tank. The Comet and Shubunkin are less than a year.
 

Attachments

  • 6B79348C-BBB0-465F-BA79-37A2CEBB9CE8.jpeg
    6B79348C-BBB0-465F-BA79-37A2CEBB9CE8.jpeg
    75.2 KB · Views: 36
  • B4964BC8-6AFD-402D-AF58-292352052375.jpeg
    B4964BC8-6AFD-402D-AF58-292352052375.jpeg
    73.6 KB · Views: 48
aussieJJDude
  • #22
OP, does the shubinkin have noticeable red veins on the caudal, in the pic that you took, I notice some redness in the area.

Is the caudal fin always clamped as well?
 
Breezewing
  • Thread Starter
  • #23
He doesn't have noticeable red veins in his tail that I can see. However, part of his tail fin is orange so this is what might be showing on the picture. Took another photo for you but it's not great as he's in motion. The part where scales taper off at the base does look a bit pink but I'm not sure if this is normal or part of a possibly injury. It's always looked reddish.

The previous two days I haven't noticed a lot of fin clamping, but he's doing it now. Even when swimming the dorsal is partway flattened down and the other fins are partly clamped. He seems agitated today so I was about to go get some medication to put in the tank to see if it'll help him improve.
 

Attachments

  • IMAG0058.jpg
    IMAG0058.jpg
    77.3 KB · Views: 49
Gypsy13
  • #24
Hey. The reason I asked about bucket was even a five gallon bucket isn’t enough for a water change. You should have zero nitrites. Make sure your tapsafe takes care of ammonia and nitrites as well as chlorine and chloramines. Did you do the fifty percent water change? Dosing meds isn’t going to help if the water stays as is.
 
Breezewing
  • Thread Starter
  • #25
Hey Gypsy. Oh, wasn't sure about the bucket question. I usually go off percentages since I have no idea how much that bucket holds. I did the 50% water change, yes. Continuing to monitor tank levels for ammonia, nitrites and nitrates as well as changing part of the tank water each day (about 25%).

He was very stressed yesterday and I was concerned, so I bought some swim-bladder treatment from a local pet shop. Did as recommended and did a partial water change then took the media out of the filter before applying. Early signs are that he's responding well and moving around the tank.

When he's better I'm going to try them on a low protein diet, in case they are overweight and that causes problems. I'm guessing that means more veg and fewer meals of pellet food, so I'll have a look into that. Thanks for the help.
 
Gypsy13
  • #26
Hey. I’m glad he’s moving around. Get those intestines working. And yes, less food. More veggies. It’s hard I know. My finpigs just keep begging. It’s so difficult to say that’s it. They say not to feed more than they can eat in a few to five minutes. That may be true for some fish but not goldfish. Mine could gulp down fifty pounds in five minutes. Keep posting ok? Good preferably but either way, updates are always appreciated. And thank you for letting us into your fish world!
 
Breezewing
  • Thread Starter
  • #27
I will keep posting, thank you! He is a lot more responsive today, nosing through the gravel and staying off the tank floor. He's a bit weak (doesn't rip my fingers off along with food at meal times like he used to) but I'm just so happy he's improved.

Going to be strict with them and processed food, so it'll be a veg and fruit diet they're mainly eating. I did look into making my own gel food and - if I can find the space to store it - I'll be giving that a go. Thanks to everyone who helped and provided information.
 
Gypsy13
  • #28
Keep us posted. Please?
 
Breezewing
  • Thread Starter
  • #29
I will! He's improved leaps and bounds today. Excited swimming around the tank seems to indicate that he's happy and, most importantly, he's doing something he hasn't done since becoming ill : blowing bubbles at the tank top. At some point he's learned it brings me to the tank, so he'll do it when he wants attention or food. It's adorable, but at times - like at 5:30am when I'm asleep - also a bit trying.

I'm overjoyed he is getting better and I will go ahead with diet changes. I will do all I can for them in the future, which includes doing a proper course of their swim-bladder medicine in coming days.
 
Gypsy13
  • #30
It’s hard but staying on top of things is always much easier than playing catch up. That usually means someone is going to be sick. I found more bb guppies. They’re going to be the end of me!
I’m so glad he’s strong enough to get your attention. Even at 5:30 in the morning. Keep posting good news!
 
Breezewing
  • Thread Starter
  • #31
I made some gel food for them today and they went crazy for it! Used a pouch of baby food that had only three ingredients as the base : broccoli, pears and peas. I did intend to mix a tin of fish fillets in too but they weren't keen on that at all when I offered them a bit. It was plain fish in water - not salted or anything - so I guess they're picky.

Just surprised they loved the homemade food so much and it's really good for them. Great result all around, I think!
 
Gypsy13
  • #32
I made some gel food for them today and they went crazy for it! Used a pouch of baby food that had only three ingredients as the base : broccoli, pears and peas. I did intend to mix a tin of fish fillets in too but they weren't keen on that at all when I offered them a bit. It was plain fish in water - not salted or anything - so I guess they're picky.

Just surprised they loved the homemade food so much and it's really good for them. Great result all around, I think!

At least homemade you know exactly what they’re getting. Thank you for another good update. And for reminding me to cut up an orange for my goldfish.
 
Discus-Tang
  • #33
At least homemade you know exactly what they’re getting. Thank you for another good update. And for reminding me to cut up an orange for my goldfish.
No fish meal or fillers either :yuck:
 
Gypsy13
  • #34
No fish meal or fillers either :yuck:

OMG. when I found out exactly what chicken by product was, let’s just say I’ve not eaten an egg since. :hungover:
 
Discus-Tang
  • #35
OMG. when I found out exactly what chicken by product was, let’s just say I’ve not eaten an egg since. :hungover:
Egg is a by product of chicken. Or do you mean where they put the parts of the chicken in a boiling pot?
 
Gypsy13
  • #36
Egg is a by product of chicken. Or do you mean where they put the parts of the chicken in a boiling pot?

It’s where they (some plants not all) put baby boy chicks. The hard way.
 
Breezewing
  • Thread Starter
  • #37
Just an update for you : I put the second dose of the medicine in today and my shubunkin (or mystery comet cross?) is doing great! He is now waking me up early in the morning with pop-pops again! Second day of their gel food too and they're still loving it. I was afraid it'd make a mess of the tank but I've been diligent in netting the floating bits out.

When this batch runs out I'm going to try a fruit mix with some kale or broccolI mixed in. Have offered a lot of different foods to my fish and had varying success. Do goldfish like orange in general then?
 
Discus-Tang
  • #38
Just an update for you : I put the second dose of the medicine in today and my shubunkin (or mystery comet cross?) is doing great! He is now waking me up early in the morning with pop-pops again! Second day of their gel food too and they're still loving it. I was afraid it'd make a mess of the tank but I've been diligent in netting the floating bits out.

When this batch runs out I'm going to try a fruit mix with some kale or broccolI mixed in. Have offered a lot of different foods to my fish and had varying success. Do goldfish like orange in general then?
They like everything

Mine ate kale (green & Russian), Garlic, red grapes, lettuce (4 types-not iceberg), Peas, spinach, brocolli, cuumber, algae wafers, pellets (3 types), flakes (3 types), you get the idea.
 
Gypsy13
  • #39
Just an update for you : I put the second dose of the medicine in today and my shubunkin (or mystery comet cross?) is doing great! He is now waking me up early in the morning with pop-pops again! Second day of their gel food too and they're still loving it. I was afraid it'd make a mess of the tank but I've been diligent in netting the floating bits out.

When this batch runs out I'm going to try a fruit mix with some kale or broccolI mixed in. Have offered a lot of different foods to my fish and had varying success. Do goldfish like orange in general then?

Mine thinks oranges are nasty. They do love their green veggies. Yellow squash yes, zucchinI no. Hubby was out there with neighbors and the toddler threw his cookie in. Hubby thought nothing about it. The goldies loved it. (Shaking head). I’m just so glad he’s doing better!
 
Breezewing
  • Thread Starter
  • #40
I've tried all sorts on my two. As far as I can remember: pears, strawberry, tomato, apple, carrots, prawn, tuna, mackerel, sweetcorn, peas, broccoli, bread, courgette (zucchini), lettuce and various live plants. Turns out they are super picky with anything that isn't green, sweetcorn or a banana though. Cookies! That's adorable, hah. Not nutritious for them at all but I bet they went crazy for it!

There's a quay in the city centre with large (and ridiculously fat) koi swimming around in it and I often see people giving them bread. I know that's bad for them, but they are so numerous and very beautiful fish, so I guess it's more of a junk food for them at that point.

My poorly fish is doing great now, yeah. I'm so pleased he got better. If you were wondering their names, they're Coco (the common) and Chanel (the shubunkin). The story is that I named them before I knew their gender and guessed incorrectly, of course.
 

Similar Aquarium Threads

Replies
32
Views
1K
blackmollylover4life
Replies
16
Views
137
Rose of Sharon
Replies
22
Views
5K
Falena
Top Bottom