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The strangest ever symptoms in a goldfish


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  • Regular Member

So, all water parameters are perfect, as they've been from the beginning.

I don't overfeed.

Stocking is: Her, a 3 inch calico, and a 1.5 inch ryukin share a 55 gallon tank.

This fish will swim to the corner, behind the power filter, and go onto her side, or upside down, or rightside up, and just sit there. Of course I thought she was dead or about to die.

Then she will swim rightside up out of that location and eat voraciously! Then swim around, play in the bubbler, act "normal", then later on she'll be back there acting dead.

This has been going on for two weeks. In that time, no other problems manifest, especially eating. Her appetite is amazing, poo looks good. There are no external signs of disease either.

Is it possible that this fish simply likes to "lie down"? She DOES like to let the current of the bubbler and filter push her around...almost seems like she is exercising.

I've absolutely NEVER seen a goldfish on their side or flipped in a corner and not been wasting from disease, and dead the next morning!

The water temp is high. About 80-84˚ F which I have been checking and controlling with bottles of ice periodically, and i have the maximum surface action with an extra bubbler for oxygen. The other gold is also fine but doesn't do this strange upside down-on-side-in the corner behavior

Edited by Orangebetsy
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  • Regular Member

Could you please fill out the levels of your tap and tank water please. And a video and some pictures would help us a lot.

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  • Regular Member

Please fill out the form at the top of the page entirely. It's best to keep things organized. :) Thank you!


Here is another copy of the form:

Please copy & paste fill the following form and fill it out to the best of your ability when requesting help for Goldfish Problems:

Test Results for the Following:

* Ammonia Level(Tank)

* Nitrite Level(Tank)

* Nitrate level(Tank)

* Ammonia Level(Tap)

* Nitrite Level(Tap)

* Nitrate level(Tap)

* Ph Level, Tank (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines)

* Ph Level, Tap (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines)

Other Required Info:

* Brand of test-kit used and whether strips or drops?

* Water temperature?

* Tank size (how many gals.) and how long has it been running?

* What is the name and "size of the filter"(s)?

* How often do you change the water and how much?

* How many days ago was the last water change and how much did you change?

* How many fish in the tank and their size?

* What kind of water additives or conditioners?

* What do you feed your fish and how often?

* Any new fish added to the tank?

* Any medications added to the tank?

* List entire medication/treatment history for fish and tank. Please include salt, Prazi, PP, etc and the approximate time and duration of treatment.

* Any unusual findings on the fish such as "grains of salt," bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus?

* Any unusual behavior like staying at the bottom, not eating, etc.?

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  • Regular Member

* Ammonia Level(Tank) 0 (yellow)


* Nitrite Level(Tank) 0 (light blue)


* 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) pH ~ 8.0, not sure of total alkalinity but i put sodium bicarbonate, i'll buy a test kit, API Water Conditioner removes Chloramines?


* Ph Level, Tap (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines) pH~7.2


Other Required Info:


* Brand of test-kit used and whether strips or drops? API drops


* Water temperature? 80-84˚ F


* Tank size (how many gals.) and how long has it been running? 55 gallons, running for 5 months, no pH crashes, very stable.


* What is the name and "size of the filter"(s)? Power filter by Aquaeon came with the 55 gallon kit


* How often do you change the water and how much? every two weeks but lately more often


* How many days ago was the last water change and how much did you change? two days ago 75%


* How many fish in the tank and their size? a 3 inch calico fantail, a 1.5 inch fantail/ryukin mix


* What kind of water additives or conditioners? API stress coat water conditioner


* What do you feed your fish and how often? Hikari mini pellets (gold, staple) Tetra Goldfish flakes, occasionally Hikari bloodworms, straight from freezer.


* Any new fish added to the tank? no


* Any medications added to the tank? not until yesterday, i added Prazi as a preventative.


* List entire medication/treatment history for fish and tank. Please include salt, Prazi, PP, etc and the approximate time and duration of treatment. Prazi as prescribed two months ago when fish in question came in from quarantine, as a preventative.


* Any unusual findings on the fish such as "grains of salt," bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus? none


* Any unusual behavior like staying at the bottom, not eating, etc.? as stated in body of text

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  • Regular Member

Something I am immediately drawn to is the mention of feeding flake food. Flake foods and other floating foods have been known to cause swim bladder issues because the fish suck air when eating them, which could explain the upside down sitting. How often and how much are these fed? Are the Hikari Pellets you have also a floating food? If so, do you soak them so they sink?

It would be a good idea to get the gh/kh kit. The Tank vs. Tap pH is very large a difference, which means major pH swings when you do water changes. A Mod will be able to tell you what a safe amount to change is for WCs.

Would you be able to provide photos and video of the behavior? Those would be very helpful.

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I agree with the water change, but make sure it is at least 50% WC a week. More if you would like and it depending on stocking levels. Great info about flakes Chelsea. I couldn't have said it any better ;)

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  • Supporter

I also noticed your nitrates were at zero. And you change the water every two weeks. We recommend you change it every 4-7 days.

thank you for helping, although, there is no reason why the OP should be changing the water between 4-7 days. from the information provided, tank looks to be cycled & he is well understocked. recently i had 2 x 4" fish in a cycled 120. i changed the water every 3 weeks. my nitrates were zero.

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thanks guys! What's the "OP" ? I'm not up on all the lingo. I should point out that I have some live plants and i maintain lots of algae on the back and sides for them to eat, and i thought this digests nitrates as well.

i do NOT soak the pellets...i will now.

i just got home and she is acting fine.

thanks again

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  • Regular Member

How many times a day are you feeding her? How much food each time? How long is she active after being fed?

Describe her poop, please. You said it looks normal, but how long is the poop? How thick? Thanks. :)

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  • Regular Member

i feed a little bit of hikari, enough for her to devour in a few seconds...about 5-10 baby pellets, and then later in the day a little flake food. i go really easy on her, less now than before. i think i was over feeding before. and the other fish Blub has no problem even when he beats her to the food and ends up eating more than he should. poop looks fine, not long or stringy..she's active after eating all day...at night she does this stuff.

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  • Regular Member

I think that this probably has more to do with her being unable to regulate her swim bladder properly while in resting mode. Even though I don't think that it has to do with the type of food, let's cut out flakes and see if that makes a difference.

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^ i agree to that & about the food being a possible contributing factor, when i fed hikari, 50% of my stock appeared to have floaty issues. i also tried to put it in gelfood because i made a bulk order instead of buying to try. still, floaty issues.

other members swear by it, and i don't blame them, it really is a good food, but my expriences in feeding it brought mixed results.

do cut the flakes out as Alex suggested & if problems persist, i think you should make some simple gelfood with fresh veggies & feed that for a few weeks to see if it helps your fish any at all.

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  • Regular Member

I'm not a mod but this works for me if you feed dark green lettuce daily that helps a lot with the swim bladder. Mine really like the red leaf lettuce. You can also feed spinach occasionally. I don't think you should feed spinach daily? They also love love love broccoli but it stinks if you leave the stems in so make sure you pull those out when they're done. The frozen shrimp in spiraluna algae are good too.

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  • Regular Member

Premature celebration....i came home and Asha was right back there again, in back of the filter. Is it possible it's the water temp? It's been at a steady 82-86˚ F sometimes 88˚ F. If so, it would be affecting one fish, and affecting the other 0%.

Could it be the current is too much and that is a place with very little current? None of any of this makes any sense at all. Maybe it's the temp. I may hafta move the entire 55 to another part of the apartment, where it's darker.

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  • Regular Member

The temp while a tad high, is still well within very acceptable range, as long as you have adequate oxygenation. Is there anyway you can try to baffle the current? Let's work on that as well.

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