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A Tale of Tubbs - The Sunken Arises . . .


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  • Regular Member

Hi, All!

Just a bit of encouragement and a thought to consider, perhaps a clue to a cure....

Back in - September, maybe? - I went upstairs to get ready for bed and noticed that two of my ryukins, Richtofen (Named for her red color and extra-long, winglike pectorals) and Tubbs, were a little floaty. Nothing too serious, they just had a bit of extra positive bouyancy. Sure enough, by next morning, Richtofen was swimming normally, so I looked for Tubbs . . .

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Sunk. Sitting on the sand, unmoving. When he swam up, he fell like a stone. Even when he strained himself to reach the surface and grab a gulp of air, it would only slow his descent a little bit - and he almost always lost the bubble on the way back down. I felt bad watching him work so hard, only to lose his prize. Autumn and winter passed, and while Tubbs didn't aquire any sores from his belly-bumping, he also made no progress toward swimming normally. He'd pick up pellets which landed near him, but couldn't effectively search them out.

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As time went on, I learned (mostly from the folks at Koko's) that a goldfish who sinks nearly never rises again, and learned to love Tubbs for who he was and his charming peek-a-boo among the plants.

In early April, the water in the tank began to cloud up. At first, I thought that I'd gone beyond the limits of fish in the tank, but then realized that the green cast in my white bucket indicated euglena beginning to bloom - and bloom they did! It wasn't long before both goldfish tanks (Yes, there are two now...) were deep, bright green. (The newer setup, a 40-breeder, has since cleared, though it still takes on a tea-colored cast from the mopani wood that makes up much of its decor, but the older system, the 37 tall, remains a brilliant green. This is the tank Tubbs and Richtofen live in, but if they're not within an inch and a half of the glass, you'll never see them.

Fast-forward to yesterday, mid-May.

A rotund orange shape gliding past the glass, propelled by a dark tail. What the . . . ?!

It took a while before I could get enough sightings to confirm, but Tubbs is most definitely _back_! I've seen him swimming normally, with neutral bouyancy, at all levels of the tank. Feeding with the others, and scoring pellets with grace and style.

I am a happy goldfish keeper, even though I have a green tank! In fact, I'm wondering if the green water didn't have something to do with Tubbs' recovery.

(Less happy about other things, like the three months my wife's been in the Intensive Care Unit, but I'll take what I can get!!)

~Bruce

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  • Regular Member

Hi Bruce,

Thanks for sharing this fantastic story, and I am so very happy for Tubbs! :)

I just wanted to clarify one thing, if I may. It is true that in our experience, fish that are sunk do not regain their ability to swim again, EXCEPT that green water could be helpful here. Lionchu is a big fan of green water for this reason. The problem of course is that green water is not easily raised. For some, it's really easy to do. For others, it's impossible. For yet others, it's serendipity. :)

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That's so amazing! I'm happy your very handsome fish is able to swim proudly again quite amazing!

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Green water is quite remarkable. A former mod on the site, Daryl, used to constantly run a green water tank. At the first sign of buoyancy issues she would place her fish in the green water. It always seemed to cure whatever swim bladder issues her fish were facing. :)

I'm sorry to hear about your wife. I hope she comes out of intensive care soon.

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Great story!! I'm so happy Tubbs is a swimmer again! Best wishes to you and your wife. :)

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Thanks, Everyone!

Thanks for the clarifications on green water and swim bladder - don't know how I missed it all this time, but finding it was, as Dnalex said, serendipitous! (Also, thank you all for your kind wishes for my wife!)

~Bruce

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Hi Bruce, What a lovely story about your fish. Thanks for sharing it with us. Your fish are adorable. I hope your wife is doing better and out of ICU. That is a long time.

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Thanks, 4prettyfish & Spillie!

My wife has COPD, so her illness will not pass quickly, but she keeps re-contracting pneumonia . . .

As much as I love the effect that green water had on Tubbs, I'd like to see my fish again . . . I'm thinking about filling up the top of that tank with dwarf water lettuce as a nutrient soak. (The other plants in the tank don't seem to be up to the job...)

~Bruce

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