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Linzi Glitter

Worrying Behaviour: Gulping Air and Bottom Sitting

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Hi everyone,

Not sure if this is something to worry about, but thought it was better to consult you more experienced fish keepers just in case.

Test Results for the Following:

  • * Ammonia Level(Tank): 0
  • * Nitrite Level(Tank): 0
  • * Nitrate level(Tank): 0 or < 5
  • * Ammonia Level(Tap): 0
  • * Nitrite Level(Tap): 0
  • * Nitrate level(Tap): 0
  • * Ph Level, Tank (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines): pH: 7.4-7.6, GH: 170ppm, KH: 107ppm
  • * Ph Level, Tap (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines): pH: 7.4-7.6, KH and GH are both quite low, <50ppm
  • Other Required Info:
  • * Brand of test-kit used and whether strips or drops? API Master Test Kit (drops) and API Drops KH and GH Test Kit
  • * Water temperature? 21* C (70* F) - steady with thermometer
  • * Tank size (how many gals.) and how long has it been running? 450litres (118 gallons) and has been running 9 months now
  • * What is the name and "size of the filter"(s)? Eheim Classic Canister, 1000 litres per hour (in the process of adding another big canister)
  • * How often do you change the water and how much? 50% 1-2 times per week
    • * How many days ago was the last water change and how much did you change? Wed 18th, 50%WC
    • * How many fish in the tank and their size? 5 fish as follows: 1 x 1gram, 1x 6grams, 1x 10 grams, 1x 20grams, 1x 38 grams
    • * What kind of water additives or conditioners? Prime, Baking soda, "GH conditioner" (packet says 'mixture of mineral salts designed to increase GH')
    • * What do you feed your fish and how often? 3 meals: Saki Hikari (purple bag), Repashi (50/50 mix of super green and soilent green), alternate between spinach and peas.
    • * Any new fish added to the tank? Tiny comet on the 15th Sept
    • * Any medications added to the tank? Recently treated the whole tank using the Koko's QT procedure (3 rounds), as they have never been treated for flukes etc, and noticed some frayed fins (which disappeared after 2 days of salt)
    • * List entire medication/treatment history for fish and tank. Please include salt, Prazi, PP, etc and the approximate time and duration of treatment: As above, treated using Prazi Pro and salt (0.3%) beginning on the 25th of August. Reduced the salt to 0.1% on the 9th Sept after reading here that it shouldn't be at 0.3% with Prazi Pro (correct / incorrect?!)
    • * Any unusual findings on the fish such as "grains of salt," bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus? As previously mentioned, there were some frayed fins previously, which cleared up quite quickly after salt was added. Two scales missing from Nightshade (might be coincidence / result of rough behaviour)
    • * Any unusual behavior like staying at the bottom, not eating, etc.? Nightshade (Black Moor, 38grams) has been an occasional bottom sitter since I got him on the 2nd August. When treating with Prazi, I noticed he would sit more in the first day or two that Prazi was added. The last couple of days he has been gulping at the surface, particularly during / after meal times. Today I noticed some weird swimming behaviour, he seems slightly floaty like he is struggling to swim downwards, and haven't seen him bottom sit today.
    • Don't know if this is relevant, but he is also quite a bossy fish, and was quite aggressive (particularly around meal times) when I first introduced him. It took quite a few weeks for a peaceful pecking order to be established. The addition of a new fish, even though she is small and timid, seems to have upset this a little and there has been more chasing than usual going on lately (might be breeding behaviour, but I thought not because females also chase males, and males chase males. It seems to mostly be limited to feeding times). This has been quite rough lately.

My friend is going to help me upload videos of the gulping and weird swimming this evening. But I thought it was worth checking in with you all in case there's some obvious mistake I'm still making. Any info / advice would be greatly appreciated, I really thought I was through with making beginner mistakes because things have been going so well lately. Just want to provide the best possible care for my lovely fish :(

http://i964.photobucket.com/albums/ae128/lcgillard/Nighshade-bottomsitting_zps0527c490.jpg

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How many rounds have you done with the Prazi?

The floatiness could be food related. While some people had good results with the Saki, a lot of my fish floated on it. So, you might want to consider fasting him for 2 days, and then feeding one type of food for a few days to see if that's the culprit.

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I hope he gets better! :)

Thank you, me too!!

How many rounds have you done with the Prazi?

The floatiness could be food related. While some people had good results with the Saki, a lot of my fish floated on it. So, you might want to consider fasting him for 2 days, and then feeding one type of food for a few days to see if that's the culprit.

I did three rounds, then introduced another fish (bad idea, I know) and did another round of Prazi. So Nightshade has had four rounds total. It's weird because they have all been doing really well on the Saki for at least a month now. But will give the fasting a go to see what happens. If it's just the food, then that's an easy fix! :)

Can some fish be healthy and still occasionally bottom sit? Or is there usually something wrong when this happens?

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Older fish might bottom sit for a little bit, even if they are healthy. However, with young fish, this is not the case. They may hover in one place, but if they are actively hiding, or they are bottom sitting, then they aren't feeling well. It could be something as simple as constipation, or having had to control their swimming because of having been floaty, though.

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Interesting, thanks for the info. So after I have fasted for two days should I introduce the Saki Hikari again? If it's mostly likely that then it seems like a good place to start!

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Sure :)

Good luck!

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I don't think Nightshade really appreciated the fast, but it has noticeably improved him! He sat on the bottom quite a lot yesterday, but right now he is chilling out in the spot where he normally sits, but he isn't sitting, he is hovering above the gravel! So happy to see that! :D So I think this confirms the recent issues (and probably the bottom sitting the whole time I've had him) are food related. Going to start experimenting with diet by introducing some Saki Hikari tomorrow to see if that's what has been upsetting his little belly!

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Keep us updated! :)

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Fed four small meals of Saki Hikari today. I don't think it really agrees with him. He's slightly floaty (definitely not as bad as he was), but more worrying is the fact he is gulping a lot of air. Should I fast him again and try feeding straight Repashi to compare? What am I going to do with all the Hikari?!

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I'm sorry to say, but my fish didn't do well with Saki either. :(

You can try to see if anyone in Aus would be interested in buying it from you.

I would do exactly as you had proposed on top? :)

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He's also been bottom sitting a lot since I reintroduced the Saki Hikari.

So, the experiment continues! :D Thanks for your support and assistance with this one Alex, I understand that there are many more serious and urgent cases to attend to, but I really appreciate the dedication to 'optimal care' as well as just survival. :happydance

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*sigh*

After I reintroduced the Saki Hikari, I fasted the whole tank for two days. Nightshade went from slight floaty to very bottom sitty. Fed 4xmeals of Repashi (50/50mixof soilent green and super green) and yesterday he was still listing sideways a little when he turned, and last night was bottom sitting a lot again. The first fast had a noticeably positive effect, where as this one has just changed him from floaty to sinky. He seems better today (second day of Repashi only), but is still bottom sitting on and off. My other telescope tends to bottom sit when Nightshade does, but less often if that makes sense. So the other telescope doesn't bottom sit when Nightshade is floaty, but when Nightshade is in a sitty kind of mood, the other telescope also sits occasionally.
Could these things have an effect?

* I keep forgetting to use tank water when I mix up my Repashi, have just been using tap water

* A comment Helen made about poop in a different thread makes me think that perhaps I am overfeeding. If Repashy is 75% water, should I be feeding 2% of body weight rather than 1%?

* Could it have something to do with the recent air gulping? (Air bubbles in poop)

* The telescopes are definitely slower on the uptake at feeding time, should I be separating them so they get their fair share?

* Could he just be an occasional bottom sitter? Could there be another cause that isn't food related?

*Should I keep going with just repashi and see if it works itself out?

Sorry for the barrage of questions, really want to sort this out! :)

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* I keep forgetting to use tank water when I mix up my Repashi, have just been using tap water

It was my practice to use distilled/spring water, but I really don't think it matters. The boiling of the tap should get rid of a lot if not all of the chlorine, and what little there is should not really affect him. Having said that, I think it's better for ease of mine to use distilled or spring water, or tank. :)

* A comment Helen made about poop in a different thread makes me think that perhaps I am overfeeding. If Repashy is 75% water, should I be feeding 2% of body weight rather than 1%?

The general feeding guideline for goldfish is that with pellets, it can be anywhere from 0.25%-1%, or more, and really depends on how old/big the fish, and fast you want the fish to grow etc. On average, a good jumping off point is 0.5%. For gel food, this amount is a little more, and a good jumping off point is 1%, even though 0.5% might still be OK. Most of the nutrients eaten by goldfish end up going out the other end, so while there is a lot less nutrient per weight of gel, it's probably still quite a bit for these very inefficient fish. Feeding less is also a really good approach, especially if there has been history of overfeeding/overeating.

As Helen pointed out, if you have really long poop sticking out from the vent, you are overfeeding, by a lot. :rofl Everyone overfeeds their fish, but aim to have poop no long than 1/2 inch to 1 inch, at most. :)

* Could it have something to do with the recent air gulping? (Air bubbles in poop)

Possibly.

Did you ever treat for flukes?

* The telescopes are definitely slower on the uptake at feeding time, should I be separating them so they get their fair share?

You could, but that's a hassle. Would you like to try handfeeding?

* Could he just be an occasional bottom sitter? Could there be another cause that isn't food related?

Yes, he could be, especially if he is an older fish. This should not be the case with younger fish.

There could be other causes, including flukes, external parasites, internal infections, other kinds of illnesses, but the first and frequent culprit is food-related.

*Should I keep going with just repashi and see if it works itself out?

It doesn't hurt to try, but cut back some. :)

Sorry for the barrage of questions, really want to sort this out! :)

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Thanks for all this info! Yes I do hand feed, but the big piggy fantail is the most brave and cluey to the idea that the food comes from the hand. So she 'fishy kisses' my hand while the comets hover close by, and the telescopes blindly search for food at the bottom. Might need to separate them to teach them!

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How are things going with the fish, Linzi?

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Thanks for checking in :)

He hasn't been floaty since I cut out the Saki Hikari, so that's one problem solved! :hi5

However the bottom sitting is still a real worry. Sometimes he will stay there for hours, stirring only to eat and to come and say hello when I go near the tank. There are times when he swims around normally, but he bottom sits every day. I have caught two of the other fish bottom sitting as well, and have noticed some frayed fins and some white patches (more blotches than spots).

I have been doing some reading around about the forum and site, and have seen that flukes are usually the next thing to investigate after ruling out constipation in bottom sitting cases. To be honest I wouldn't be surprised if my first QT style treatment was ineffective: I was uncertain, super busy with uni, and a was little erratic about the treatment as a result. So I today I started treating for flukes with Prazi Pro and salt at 0.1%. I gave both Nightshade and Mao (other regular bottom sitter, with worst fins atm) a salt dip (3%) prior to adding the Prazi, and after the salt dip the white blotches had disappeared.

Do you think this is the right course of action? I plan to follow the schedule to the letter this time!

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It IS the right course of action, and I am so glad you took them.

Best of luck for happy and active fish soon! :)

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Thank you! *fingers crossed*

Should I be salt dipping every fish or just the ones with the symptoms? And should I be salt dipping before each round of Prazi?

Really want to smash those flukes!

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You should be salt dipping every fish, but only the first one or two rounds would be necessary.

If you are going to do a salt dip, do a test run with a lower percentage (1% instead of 3%) to see how the fish react first.

Good luck! :)

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Update: Just began my 5th round of Prazi Pro, salt has been at 0.1% and have been following the schedule religiously, with 75% water changes each time. The two worst affected fish have had 3 salt dips at 3%, and the other fish have had one 1% dip and one 3% dip.

There is still a lot of bottom sitting in the tank, from Nightshade, and to a lesser extent two other fish. Two tears in Nightshade's dorsal fin have joined together, so he is now missing quite a large chunk of fin. I think it's getting worse not better, but I'm not quite sure. Is this what fin flukes do to fish? (the white flecks are hard water / salt marks, I just figure I will polish the outside of the tank up again once I'm done with the salt and super frequent water changes!)

http://i964.photobucket.com/albums/ae128/lcgillard/Nightshade-dorsal_zps1e87aaf1.jpg

Today I also noticed something freaky - it appears like a little sore (the bronze under his velvety black is showing through) and there appears to be something attached and dangling out of it, like a cotton thread or a spider web. These are the best pics I could get, my camera is stuck on a weird setting, and I've circled in red so you can tell it apart from the water marks.

http://i964.photobucket.com/albums/ae128/lcgillard/Nightshade-growth2PAINT_zps7024effe.jpg

http://i964.photobucket.com/albums/ae128/lcgillard/Nightshade-growthPAINT_zpsd14ca1f8.jpg

What is this? :yikes

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Let's keep watch on that spot for further developments.

Could you please update us with a video? How much of the day are the fish spent bottom sitting?

It may very well be that Nightshade will have a bifurcated dorsal for the rest of his life. It's very unique! :)

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It's hard to say how much time is spent bottom sitting, because my life is super busy atm with final papers due for uni, I haven't been around as much. Also because when I approach the tank or even walk past he gets up and swims to the front to say hello. But when I'm chilling on the couch, he will sit on and off for an hour or more (mostly siting, but swimming around a little).

The dangly part of that funny spot has disappeared and all that is left is a kind of blemish (not really even a sore). A small white patch appeared on his tail, doesn't look like a grain of salt, more blurry if that makes sense. Will try to get a video up today, I'm just technologically unadvanced so will need to rope in my housemate for help!

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