Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Cezza91

Swim bladder problems - happening for a while.

Recommended Posts

  • * Ammonia Level (tank): 0
  • * Nitrite Level (tank): 0
  • * Nitrate level (Tank): 0
  • * Ammonia Level (Tap): 0
  • * Nitrite Level (Tap): 0
  • * Nitrate level (Tap): 0
  • * Ph Level, (Tank) (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines): I don't know
  • * Ph Level, (Tap) (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines): I don't know
  • * Brand of test-kit used and whether strips or drops?: API drops.
  • * What is the name and "size of the filter"(s)?: It's an external filter that came with the tank, so I'm assuming its adequate.
  • * What kind of water additives or conditioners?: Interpret Bioactive tapsafe.
  • * Water temperature?: Around 18C
  • * How often do you change the water and how much?: I change about a third of the water weekly.
  • * How many days ago was the last water change and how much did you change?: 5 days ago - a third of the water changed.
  • * Tank size (how many gals.) and how long has it been running?: 180l (which i think is around 50 gal) - running for at least 6 months.
  • * How many fish in the tank and their size?: 4 small fancies and one medium fancy.
  • * What do you feed your fish and how often?: Flake food, every day once a day.
  • * Any new fish added to the tank?: Not recently.
  • * Any medications added to the tank?: None.
  • * List previous issues experienced (dropsy, SBD, etc.): Nope.
  • * Any unusual findings on the fish such as "grains of salt," bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus?: Nothing visible.
  • * Any unusual behavior like staying at the bottom, not eating, etc.?: Very erratic swimming, almost like she's drunk. Sometimes she stays still on the surface of the water, floating upside down. Another fish in the tank spends a lot of time bottom-sitting.
  • * List entire medication/treatment history for fish and tank. Please include salt, Prazi, PP, etc and the approximate time and duration of treatment.: I've treated the fish with suspected swim bladder issues with salt, but this was at least eight-ten months ago, and it was for white spot.
  • * You can really help us to identify with the concern more accurately if you post some pictures and a short video.

So basically, my beautiful calico fantail has been having a lot of issues lately with what I suspect is problems with her swim bladder. It's been going on for weeks, at least a month probably, and seems to come on in waves. She swims around the tank very floatily, looking like she's drunk. Last night she spend hours floating upside down on the surface of the water, absolutely still. I did worry that she was dead, but she was very responsive as soon as I went up to the glass.

Like I said, this has been going on for a few weeks now, and where I first thought it would go away with peas and time, I'm starting to think that I need to do something to help her out. I've had the fish for almost a year, and she started out in a tiny tank that was way too small for her, with shocking water quality because I was so misinformed about how to look after goldfish. I'm worried that she's struggling because of that now. She had white spot in that tank, which I treated with salt, and she recovered.

I'm not sure that this tank she is in now is cycled to be honest, because I'm getting 0 reading for everything. I've definitely seen ammonia and nitrites, but now they are both reading 0 and I haven't had a nitrate reading yet. My tank is quite heavily planted, so wondering if this is the reason for that.

I would just really appreciate some help on getting my fish better. She's such a character and has been through so much that she's survived, and I don't want simple sbd to be the end of her. I have a ten gallon tank that I can set up as a quarantine, and salt to treat her (if that will help), but I wanted to get some advice from you guys first.

Edit: I forgot to mention, it always seems to get worse just after feeding. This is usually when she starts to float upside down at the top of the tank.

Edited by Cezza91

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

While we wait for a mod, there's some things I would like to ask that may clear up the situation with your Parameters:

Could you explain what you do when it's time to clean your filters?

And would you please test your PH for both tap and tank? It is very important that we know both.

180 liters is about 47 US gallons, which is definitely small for the stocking level you have. We should be seeing different parameters than all zeros. :unsure:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I haven't cleaned the filter yet... It's an external one so to be honest I wasn't sure how to do it so I've left it alone. I'll do some research and get it cleaned out today.

I don't have a test kit for pH unfortunately. If I take it to my lps will they be able to do it for me?

And I thought exactly the same as you for the parameters. When the tank was newly set up and with only two fish, I was seeing ammonia levels reach at least 1.0. Now I've been having readings of all zeros for the past month or two, but I'm pretty sure the tank isn't cycled.

Edited by Cezza91

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Cezza....nice to meet you. What part of Wales are you from? I'm in the Rhondda.

I have several initial concerns after reading your post....

Does your filter have a carbon insert? if so this will hamper all your efforts to cycle the tank. Carbon also absorbs Ammonia, and when full will release poisonous and bad bacteria back into the tanks system. This may have resulted in the current fish symptoms, they may have been poisoned by Ammonia.

I would suggest carrying out a 50% water change immediately, replacing fresh water that has been treated for chloramines etc at a rate of about 5% every one hour (to avoid Nitrate shock). The fish you reported as bottom sitting may be already suffering from Nitrate poisoning.

The fish hanging on the surface could be suffering from oxygen depravation...how much water is your pump transferring per hour? For a 50 gallon tank it would need to be pushing at least 500 GPH.

Take care....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I haven't cleaned the filter yet... It's an external one so to be honest I wasn't sure how to do it so I've left it alone. I'll do some research and get it cleaned out today.

I don't have a test kit for pH unfortunately. If I take it to my lps will they be able to do it for me?

And I thought exactly the same as you for the parameters. When the tank was newly set up and with only two fish, I was seeing ammonia levels reach at least 1.0. Now I've been having readings of all zeros for the past month or two, but I'm pretty sure the tank isn't cycled.

Yes, the LPS will definitely do it for you. This needs to be done before any more water changes, and both tap PH and tank PH need to be tested. The reason it should be done before you change the water is that if the PH is too different between the tap and tank you may hurt your fish by changing the water without equalizing the PH.

And what is inside the filter? Did it come with some sort of cartridge?

Edited by GoldenSpoiledRotten

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks so much for your help! I'm almost positive that the filter has a carbon insert - should I take it out?

With the water change, I should take out 50% of the water, then replace 5% of it with fresh treated water every hour?

And I'm from South Wales, in Pontypool. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks so much for your help! I'm almost positive that the filter has a carbon insert - should I take it out?

With the water change, I should take out 50% of the water, then replace 5% of it with fresh treated water every hour?

And I'm from South Wales, in Pontypool. :)

For the carbon, you can just cut the top of the cartridge open and dump out all the carbon into the trash. After 6 months it is definitely not doing its job and could actually be allowing the contaminants it took out of the water seep back into the tank. Then be sure to put the rest of the cartridge back into the filter, so you don't lose your cycle.

[e]And sorry, Phil, for going against you, but Cezza please do not change the water until you can get your PH tested. Could you go out and do that today at all?

Edited by GoldenSpoiledRotten

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I now that I'm still a newbie .. But my goldfish already get swimbladder too

I only not give he/ pshe any food for 3 days and its be healed ....

Hope this is helping u

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Pontypool...not too far from me.

Yes, if it has a carbon insert remove it and file it under "bin"...it's probably full, and served its' purpose by now anyway.

Remove at least 50% of the water and monitor the fishes behaviour. The deeper your goldfish tank, the more pressure created, and his weight/pressure greatly affects goldfish suffering from Nitrate or bacterial poisoning. If he appears happier in the lowered water level, change about 20% of the water remaining every two hours or so. Be sure to treat the fresh water with suitable additive to remove chlorine and chloramines etc....

Best of luck...and, in the meantime, try and obtain those water parameters for analysis by the mods. :thumb:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Remove at least 50% of the water and monitor the fishes behaviour. The deeper your goldfish tank, the more pressure created, and his weight/pressure greatly affects goldfish suffering from Nitrate or bacterial poisoning. If he appears happier in the lowered water level, change about 20% of the water remaining every two hours or so. Be sure to treat the fresh water with suitable additive to remove chlorine and chloramines etc....

Could we please refrain from advising to do large water changes when we are unaware of both the tank and tap pH as this could cause further issues if there is a large difference. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Remove at least 50% of the water and monitor the fishes behaviour. The deeper your goldfish tank, the more pressure created, and his weight/pressure greatly affects goldfish suffering from Nitrate or bacterial poisoning. If he appears happier in the lowered water level, change about 20% of the water remaining every two hours or so. Be sure to treat the fresh water with suitable additive to remove chlorine and chloramines etc....

Could we please refrain from advising to do large water changes when we are unaware of both the tank and tap pH as this could cause further issues if there is a large difference. :)

Hi ninzah & GSR.....point taken, but my suggestion was not to change the water, but simply to lower the water level by 50% in an effort to relieve the pressure on the fish. Then to slowly renew the water from there on, if and when the fish improves.

I live very close to our fellow member, therefore I am fully aware of the good quality water we receive through our tap (normal readings in this area are around 7.6).

Sorry if you feel I got it wrong....but just dropping the level shouldn't make the situation worse.

Edited by Phillyn17

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Remove at least 50% of the water and monitor the fishes behaviour. The deeper your goldfish tank, the more pressure created, and his weight/pressure greatly affects goldfish suffering from Nitrate or bacterial poisoning. If he appears happier in the lowered water level, change about 20% of the water remaining every two hours or so. Be sure to treat the fresh water with suitable additive to remove chlorine and chloramines etc....

Could we please refrain from advising to do large water changes when we are unaware of both the tank and tap pH as this could cause further issues if there is a large difference. :)

Hi ninzah.....point taken, but my suggestion was not to change the water, but simply to lower the water level by 50% in an effort to relieve the pressure on the fish. Then to slowly renew the water from there on, if and when the fish improves.

I live very close to our fellow member, therefore I am fully aware of the good quality water we receive through our tap. Sorry....

The main issue with this for me is that the fish in question is not in a quarantine tank, but in a main tank with other fish. Lowering the water in the main tank may cause issues with the water quality due to the other fish producing waste in a reduced amount of water.

This brings up a question: Would you be able to place the fish with the swim-bladder issues in a separate tank or food-safe tote for awhile, Cezza? Something that's at least 15 gallons?

Edited by GoldenSpoiledRotten

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I understand that you are trying to help :)

Water supply can vary even between close areas, so it's best to get exact readings for each scenario. It may well be the cae that you are both supplied by the same supply however even if you both have the same pH out the tap, it doesn't mean that the pH in the tank is currently the same. I live less than 10 minutes drive away from my mother's house but our water is different. In a 20 mile radius area here there are at least 3 different supplies with slightly different properties for pH (and kH - my mother's water is actually even softer than my own!)

Also, there is concern that with 5 fish in 180 liters of water there is still no nitrate reading, which seems unusual, although I am glad the ammonia and nitrite readings have disappeared. The concern in then removing half the water to leave 5 fish in just 90 liters (that is less than I have for just 2), is that there is the possibilty of ammonia building up faster than the filter can process it.

I am sure one of the mods will be along shortly to assess and decide on a treatment plan :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would just really appreciate some help on getting my fish better. She's such a character and has been through so much that she's survived, and I don't want simple sbd to be the end of her. I have a ten gallon tank that I can set up as a quarantine, and salt to treat her (if that will help), but I wanted to get some advice from you guys first.

Edit: I forgot to mention, it always seems to get worse just after feeding. This is usually when she starts to float upside down at the top of the tank.

A mod should be along soon to give you some guidance, it is good to know you have the ten gallon available if required :)

I see you feed the fish flakes, do you presoak them at all? Flakes generally don't have much nutritional value and can often cause bouancy issues as they soak up water and then swell inside the fishies once eaten. You will get a lot of info on good pellet brands or also gel food (either to buy or make your own) as well as frozen foods such as bloodworms if you have a look in the Goldfish Food section :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not sure if I'll be able to find out the pH of the water any time soon. I can't do it today, and we're expecting really heavy snow tonight so I probably won't be able to get out tomorrow either.

So until I can get that checked, what should I do? Should I do the water change in the main tank, or should I move the fish with the swim bladder issues into the ten gal on her own?

Also, I've only recently switched to flakes because the pellets I was feeding them were floating and I thought wasn't going to be good for them. I thoroughly soak the flakes beforehand, and I have some sinking pellets on their way in the post.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Cezza,

I'm sorry your fish are having issues, and I see that you are already getting some fantastic suggestions from our members here. (Thank you! :))

In any case, they are right in that we do need that bit more information in order to get a more complete picture. Knowing the pH of the tap and tank is an important thing. Does your kit not come with that?

Another concern that I have is that you have zero nitrates in the tank, despite the stocking and water change schedule. It is still possible that your nitrates can be zero, especially if you have a planted tank, but I would like to know when your kit expires, and if you've ever detected any nitrate at any time.

Could you upload a video of your tank and fish?

Flake foods are not recommended, and this is especially true with fish already having floaty issues.

Could you tell me more about the bottom sitting fish? How long? Does he/she ever rouse? Can he/she swim if roused?

I agree that carbon is not necessary in most tanks, most times. And yes, carbon can absorb a bit of ammonia, but it really isn't enough to interfere with the cycle. Many of us, including myself, have run carbon in the tank during cycling, or just intermittently in cycled tanks, without issues.

I await your answers etc. to proceed. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have API testers, but only for ammonia, nitrites and nitrates - i don't have the master kit. All of the test kits are well in date, and I've never actually detected nitrates before, only ammonia and nitrites, which have now gone down to 0.

The bottom sitting fish doesn't have any issues with swimming around and he is perfectly active whenever I come up to the tank or feed them. He just seems to spend a lot of time sitting on the bottom of the tank in the one corner. His top fin is always up, though.

Seems that finding the pH is important, but unfortunately I don't think I'll be able to get a test kit for that until at least Saturday. :(

I'll see if I can get a video up as soon as possible.

Edited by Cezza91

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bit of an update - the fish with the swim bladder issues has just had a poo, and it's got a lot of air bubbles in it. Tried to get a picture, but failed to get a good one. It literally looks like a long air bubble with bits of black in it. Does this signify anything?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bit of an update - the fish with the swim bladder issues has just had a poo, and it's got a lot of air bubbles in it. Tried to get a picture, but failed to get a good one. It literally looks like a long air bubble with bits of black in it. Does this signify anything?

This just means he's been gulping a lot, enough that it's made an impact on the poop. I would switch away from flakes at your earliest convenience.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
  • Create New...