Sick Goldfish, Using Your Template


Barbara Manning

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These two goldfish come from the aquatic program at the local park, where they raise goldfish (koi, actually) and sell the best ones to help pay for park programs.
Tank


What is the water volume of the tank? 36L
How long has the tank been running? 18 months
Does it have a filter? yes
Does it have a heater? yes
What is the water temperature? 32° C
What is the entire stocking of this tank? (Please list all fish and inverts.) 2 goldfish, 2 snails

Maintenance
How often do you change the water? About every month or 6 weeks.
How much of the water do you change? All of it
What do you use to treat your water? Bio Squall -- a Japanese product 株式会社ベルテックジャパン│製品案内※Bioスコール※
Do you vacuum the substrate or just the water? I vacuum the substrate

*Parameters - Very Important
Did you cycle your tank before adding fish? I haven't added fish
What do you use to test the water? API Freshwater Master Test Kit
What are your parameters? We need to know the exact numbers, not just “fine” or “safe”.

Ammonia: 0 ppm
Nitrite: 0 ppm
Nitrate: 20ppm
pH: 7.6

Feeding
How often do you feed your fish? Once a day in the morning. 3.
How much do you feed your fish? Several grains of fish food, plus fish flakes
What brand of food do you feed your fish? 金魚のエサ(金魚用飼料):ゴールドプロス and 金魚のエサ(金魚用飼料):ゴールドプロス
Do you feed frozen or freeze-dried foods? Right-click anywhere on the page and then click translate to English.

Illness & Symptoms
How long have you had this fish? 18 months
How long ago did you first notice these symptoms? One week
In a few words, can you explain the symptoms? the fish swims on its side. It can come to the top of the tank to feed, but today s/he just grabbed some food and sank to the bottom of the tank, boinking itself on the rocks and stayed there. S/he stays at the bottom of the tank and does not swim around.
Have you started any treatment for the illness? No. I'm not sure what to do
Was your fish physically ill or injured upon purchase? No. Mizumoto Park in Tokyo Japan has an excellent fish hatchery. They raise goldfish and koi for sale and have an annual sell-off of the fish that are not marked to their liking.
How has its behavior and appearance changed, if at all? I see no difference in his/her appearance. There are no spots or mold or other outward appearance of the disease.

Explain your emergency situation in detail. (Please give a clear explanation of what is going on, include details from the beginning of the illness leading up to now). The fish just started swimming oddly (over on her side), and now is laying on the bottom of the tank. I just did a complete water change today, which is why the numbers look so good. The tank has a light, a filter, a heater, and a bubbler. Right now, she's on the bottom of the tank with her nose to the corner of the glass, her fish partner hovers nearby. I tried to upload a video but only got a message that the file is too large. Thanks, Fishlore. Please change the message to tell me the max vid size.
 

PascalKrypt

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It seems that your fish is having an issue with its swim bladder. This is quite a common problem in goldfish.

As for what caused the problem, your fish may be stressed because you are keeping them in conditions generally unsuitable for goldfish.
32 degrees is far, far too hot for a goldfish' taste. If you have the heater on, slowly lower the temperature by 2 degrees a day or so until it is back to around 20~22 degrees (or whatever room temperature is). Don't drop the temperature 10 degrees in one go, it will make the problem worse.
36L is also way too small for keeping goldfish, I don't know how old they are but you need to get them into a bigger tank. Stunted growth is not healthy.

However your main issue would be this:
How often do you change the water? About every month or 6 weeks.
I just did a complete water change today, which is why the numbers look so good.
Goldfish are pretty messy and your way undersized tank means their water dirties up so fast you need to do way more, large, water changes. Either change 30% every 3 days or so or do 50% changes every week. Even then I wonder if that would be enough. Your fish have been swimming in toxic water for several weeks every month.

A total water change may actually have been detrimental because you change the parameters too much in one go, shocking the fish, but what is done is done.
For now I would skip feeding them for a day or two and work on your water. Now that you've done a 100% change anyway, I would change 30-50% of water daily for a week and see how your fish are doing at the end of that week.
I don't know if Japan has a product like prime that detoxifies (small amounts of) ammonia but you may want to look into that.

... actually from the description I'm now wondering if you tank is cycled at all. How did you cycle it before adding the fish? What does "Did you cycle your tank before adding fish? I haven't added fish" <- this mean?
 

Barbara Manning

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Thanks for your response. I'll see what I can find in Japan to combat a swim bladder issue. I was wrong about the tank temp -- I just read it with an instant-read thermometer and it's 26.2°C -- way better than 32, but not what you're recommending. I'll just take the heater out of the tank -- there is no thermostat on it. I may turn it off for 2 hours and test the water again until I can gradually lower the temp. I probably won't use it given what you are telling me -- room temp may be good enough.

The fish are about 8 cm (abt 3 inches) in total length from nose to tail. I have my eye on a bigger tank, but I have to figure out where I'd put it.

Thanks for the advice on water changes. Starting tomorrow I:
1. won't feed them
2. will remove about 12 L of water every day for a week, replacing it with room temp, treated water.
3. I clearly need to understand what it meant by "cycling the tank." I had the tank set up and running for 3 days prior to purchasing the fish, but that was a long time ago. I am reading now at How to Cycle a Fish Tank.
I see now that I'm not testing the water nearly as much as I should and I'm also over-feeding the fish. So. Henceforth, I will test the water at least twice a week and only feed them every other day, and about half of what I have been feeding them. I would think the test strips would work well for twice (or more) weekly testing and the more robust testing kit say, once a week? I ask because the Master Kit is not availabe in Japan (or I can't find it) and I don't want to pay to have one shipped here.​
4. Water. Japan is only one of 15 countries worldwide with seriously good water -- the USA did not make the cut. Do you think I need to use something in addition to the BioSquall mentioned in my initial request?
5. Tank size. I have my eye on a 15 gallon/57 liter tank -- do you think that's big enough?

PascalKrypt, thank you so much for your advice. I feel I'm much better prepared to care for my pets after listening to your advice. If I can ever get the video uploaded, I'll post that too.
 

Skavatar

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a heater is not needed for goldfish. but 78'F is fine for them since they are temperate fish and not "coldwater" fish. many fancy goldfish are bred and raised in outdoor ponds in full sunlight in tropical regions, like Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines, Florida, Brazil, etc.

for 2 fancy goldfish you need atleast 30g or 120L, the bigger the better.

poor water quality is the leading cause of illnesses. your goldfish seems to have developed swim bladder disease. you need to do atleast 50% weekly water changes for a moderately stocked tank. 2 fancy goldfish in a 9g tank is severely overstocked. for now you should do two 50% weekly water changes.

if you have a test kit, i'm betting the nitrate levels are very high. i see in your 1st post that you said you did a complete water change, but your nitrate is already at 20ppm. in a properly stocked tank, it should take a full week to get to 20ppm nitrate.

You don't need an API test kit, fish keeping is a huge hobby in Japan and Asia in general, they should have a similar test kit available at most fish stores. i don't read Japanese but the BioSquall seems to be a type of bottled bacteria, aiding in cycling a tank.

your goldfish is suffering from sinking swimbladder, instead of the more common floating swimbladder disease, here's some info:

Bottom sitting goldfish emergency

you may also find this filter media guide helpful Diy Media Guide For Top Fin Silenstream, Aquaclear And Other Hob Filters
 

PascalKrypt

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Thanks for your response. I'll see what I can find in Japan to combat a swim bladder issue. I was wrong about the tank temp -- I just read it with an instant-read thermometer and it's 26.2°C -- way better than 32, but not what you're recommending. I'll just take the heater out of the tank -- there is no thermostat on it. I may turn it off for 2 hours and test the water again until I can gradually lower the temp. I probably won't use it given what you are telling me -- room temp may be good enough.

The fish are about 8 cm (abt 3 inches) in total length from nose to tail. I have my eye on a bigger tank, but I have to figure out where I'd put it.

Thanks for the advice on water changes. Starting tomorrow I:
1. won't feed them
2. will remove about 12 L of water every day for a week, replacing it with room temp, treated water.
3. I clearly need to understand what it meant by "cycling the tank." I had the tank set up and running for 3 days prior to purchasing the fish, but that was a long time ago. I am reading now at How to Cycle a Fish Tank.
I see now that I'm not testing the water nearly as much as I should and I'm also over-feeding the fish. So. Henceforth, I will test the water at least twice a week and only feed them every other day, and about half of what I have been feeding them. I would think the test strips would work well for twice (or more) weekly testing and the more robust testing kit say, once a week? I ask because the Master Kit is not availabe in Japan (or I can't find it) and I don't want to pay to have one shipped here.​
4. Water. Japan is only one of 15 countries worldwide with seriously good water -- the USA did not make the cut. Do you think I need to use something in addition to the BioSquall mentioned in my initial request?
5. Tank size. I have my eye on a 15 gallon/57 liter tank -- do you think that's big enough?

PascalKrypt, thank you so much for your advice. I feel I'm much better prepared to care for my pets after listening to your advice. If I can ever get the video uploaded, I'll post that too.
Skavatar has already addressed some of these concerns (though I personally think you should not keep goldfish at 26C long term, even though they can handle it - anyways a heater is wasted electricity). But as to the rest.

I happen to live in one of those other countries and don't condition my water with anything at all. When you do get water tests, check if your water has any chlorine (foremost reason U.S. water needs conditioner), ammonia or nitrites in it, and what the nitrate levels are. If all of the former levels are zero and nitrate levels are 20 or lower, you can just use the tap water straight from the tap without any additions.
The BioSquall is just a starter product for when your tank is still being cycled, you don't need it once your cycle is established. If you're reading up on it you will soon know what I mean.

15 gallons/57 liters is not enough, as Skavatar mentioned. Use google to determine what kind of goldfish you have first - fancy goldfish, like lionheads, veiltails, doubletails and the like, need 20 gallons (~75L) minimum, then 10 (38L) gallons additional space is recommended for every additional fish (so 30g as Skavatar said, which usually translates to an 80-90cm long tank). For oranda's and comets however, you need way more space as they grow way larger. 50 gallons/190L is around the minimum for a single fish. Since you're in Japan you might have some kind of variety that is not common here, so I really recommend you use google for this information. First try to find out what kind of goldfish you have. It it stays smaller than 12 centimteres a 75L will do, if it grows larger like 20-35cm I really recommend rehoming them if you have no space for a very large (200L+) tank.
 

Barbara Manning

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GASP! I'm prepared to do what's necessary to keep the fish healthy, but I had no idea that they'd get that big. Thanks for the advice on the water. I'll test it without the BioSquall and see if it passes your tests, Skavatar. Here's the data on water in Japan: Water supply and sanitation in Japan - Wikipedia
and Water supply and sanitation in Japan - Wikipedia I've stopped using my Zero Water filter because the readings before and after are so similar, but it never occurred to me to use that same logic for the fish. I'll use the test kit on tap water and report.

The two fish are in a 36L tank now, which is too small, according to PascalKrypt. I can get a 63L tank (60*29.5*36cm) from Amazon, but I haven't quite figured out where I'd put it. I'll have to go back to Mizumoto Park and ask the fish wranglers where to buy medication for my poor little fish. Film attached.

Ok, so film is NOT attached because FishLore seems to think that I can intuit what the max size for a video is and also what formats they will accept. I give up! I have no way of knowing the max acceptable size or format. Scheese!
 
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Ok, so film is NOT attached because FishLore seems to think that I can intuit what the max size for a video is and also what formats they will accept. I give up! I have no way of knowing the max acceptable size or format. Scheese!
Hi, unfortunately as you’ve found you can’t upload a video directly it needs to be first uploaded somewhere like YouTube then share the link here
 

Barbara Manning

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Thanks, Coradee. Here's the link:

So I've been doing about a one-third water change for the past few days, and only feed them every other day. I still need to find bladder medication -- I'm having trouble online and my local pet store focuses on dogs and cats. I can ask them to order it, but that would take a week or more. It does not seem to be carried on Amazon.co.jp and I'm not paying some exorbitant shipping fees to get it from Amazon.com (if they'll ship it at all). I'll hike over to Mizumoto Park and ask the fish breeders for some help. If you have some home remedies I can try, I'd appreciate your advice.

In the meantime, I've tested my tap water with a 6-way test strip and the more refined API Master Test kit. Numbers from the kit are:
Ph 6.6
High Ph 7.8
Ammonia 0 ppm
Nitrite 0 ppm
Nitrate 5 ppm
So I don't think I'll be treating the water any longer. I will let it sit out overnight just to make sure it's at room temp and to burn off any chlorine that might be in it.

Thanks for all your help gents. I've learned a lot.

Barbara

Hi, unfortunately as you’ve found you can’t upload a video directly it needs to be first uploaded somewhere like YouTube then share the link here
Thanks, but why have an "Upload a File" button if I can't upload a video file -- what kind of files can I upload from that button? And why is this information not in the "Read Me First" file or the FAQs or both?
 

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Barbara Manning

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Identifying my goldfish. I think the gold one is a Pom-Pom goldfish.
When I find the other one, I'll post it too.

Okay, the one that needs some TLC for the bladder, is probably a matt scale goldfish? I'm guessing because of the eye.

Thoughts on my assumptions? As always, thanks for all the help.
 
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Skavatar

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the one with the swim problem is a ranchu, looks a bit deformed imho. the body shape is too long, and the back is bent. i don't think there is any treatment to fix that.
 

Barbara Manning

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Thanks for the ID. I don't see any photos online that look like mine, but I'm accepting your superior knowledge.

The Admin removed the links, saying something about that "kind of link" was not allowed and admonishing me not to repost. Scheese! I just want my fish to live, and it's getting less likely every day.

I continue to do daily 50% water changes using plain tap water now that I draw the night before. So whatever chlorine is in it can burn off, and so that it's room temperature. I also removed the heater. I feed them a tiny bit every other day.

My little Ranchu is probably deformed. After all, I bought it from the Park fish hatchery for about $3, when excellent specimens sell for $300+. And I know that the annual sale is of the fish that are not kept to breed or sell.

I think I'm just going to bite the bullet and order the Swim Bladder medicine from the States and hope that it gets here in time. Again, many many thanks for your kind help and support.
 

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Thanks for the ID. I don't see any photos online that look like mine, but I'm accepting your superior knowledge.

The Admin removed the links, saying something about that "kind of link" was not allowed and admonishing me not to repost. Scheese! I just want my fish to live, and it's getting less likely every day.

I continue to do daily 50% water changes using plain tap water now that I draw the night before. So whatever chlorine is in it can burn off, and so that it's room temperature. I also removed the heater. I feed them a tiny bit every other day.

My little Ranchu is probably deformed. After all, I bought it from the Park fish hatchery for about $3, when excellent specimens sell for $300+. And I know that the annual sale is of the fish that are not kept to breed or sell.

I think I'm just going to bite the bullet and order the Swim Bladder medicine from the States and hope that it gets here in time. Again, many many thanks for your kind help and support.
Sorry that we don't have much good news for you. Good that you are invested in trying though.
Unfortunately I doubt the medicine will work, but do what you have to. Unfortunately swim bladder problems are common in goldfish, especially the more weirdly shaped ornamental types, pretty much for that reason of weird shape, inbreeding, etc. It often cannot be fixed, though some fish can grow old with this problem.
 

Barbara Manning

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On closer inspection, I don't think it's a ranchu. S/he has none of the characteristics that I can see in the videos. In Japan, Ranchu's are also called lion heads, and that's not her, or him -- whatever. I thought it was a Matt Scale goldfish but now that the link is gone, I can't find the specific site I referenced. It's his/her eye that is the defining feature for me.

The boiled and shelled peas I added to the tank are gone, so that could be a good sign. Anyway, I don't want this fish to die -- s/he's too cute. And again, a 3.4 MB photo is rejected by FL's servers as being too large.
 

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Barbara, sorry to say but I'd put the fish out of its missery. Thenspots on its back could mean a bacterial infection (aeromonas/pseudomonas). It isn't "alone" a simple swimbladderissue.
 

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matt scale just describes if the scales are reflective/shiny or dull, its not a specific variety.
more info here: Understanding Color in Goldfish Article

there are 4 eye types. regular, telescope, bubble eye, and celestial.
more info: 33 Different Types of Goldfish Breeds | Identification Guide
and List of goldfish varieties - Wikipedia

i forgot about the lionhead, as its not as common as the ranchu here in the US. it does look more like a lionhead. ranchu's have a more down turned tail. the lack of a dorsal fin is the most prominent feature of these types of goldfish.

photo's can be edited on the computer with most photo software, just resize and make the resolution smaller.
 

Barbara Manning

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Barbara, sorry to say but I'd put the fish out of its missery. Thenspots on its back could mean a bacterial infection (aeromonas/pseudomonas). It isn't "alone" a simple swimbladderissue.
I'm sorry to hear you say that. the spots on its back have always been there, and they haven't gotten larger or changed in any way.

Other than flushing it down the toilet, do you have any humane ways to "put it out of its misery?"
 

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I'm sorry to hear you say that. the spots on its back have always been there, and they haven't gotten larger or changed in any way.

Other than flushing it down the toilet, do you have any humane ways to "put it out of its misery?"
Then I must be wrong about the spots Barbara (watched the vid on my mobile phone). Still think it won't make it though.
Clove oil or a blast on the head, no flushing please !
 

Skavatar

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#1 option is clove oil

i use an ice bath for about 10-15minutes, then put in a plastic bag and into the freezer.
 




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