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Sick baby :(


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One of my 3 month old fry is sick! He's one of my favorites so that makes me sad. He's the biggest one of all the fry too. I think he has swim bladder disease. :(

I've put him in the hospital tank and I'm gonna try treat him. Poor baby. :c

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"Swim Bladder Disease" does not exist. It is just a broad and inaccurate term used to describe a problem that has an effect on the swim bladder. When you hear about SBD (swim bladder "disorder") on this forum, it is usually used to describe acute or chronic problems with the swim bladder.

Your fish could be having a problem that is bacterial, viral, or constipation-related. Without knowing what it is, you're going to go into treating it blindly.

I would suggest filling out the Diagnosis Form so that the mod team can help you figure out what exactly is going on.

Good luck! :)

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:( I'm sorry. I have to concur with your diagnosis, the swim bladder looks as though it's been damaged. Unfortunately I don't think there's much you can do at this point :(
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Feel free to start a diagnosis thread as Chelsea suggested, it's possible others may have ideas of things to try, but in my experience, when it has gotten to the point that the fish is stuck to the bottom of the tank on their side (as opposed to upright ), the chances of successful treatment is rare :(

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I don't want to sound hard-hearted, but a three-month old fish with swim bladder problems is not going to become a healthy fish. You may get some improvement with treatment, but it will be temporary at best. It's probably best to let this one go.

Chelsea, I don't think that saying "swim bladder disease" instead of swim bladder disorder needs a correction. I could perfectly well have said it myself. :) While filling out a DD form before treatment is always a good idea, in this case it's probably not worth it. Swim bladder problems, floatiness, or whatever you chose to call it, gets worse with age. I think you would chose to cull one of your fry who showed such a problem at 3 months.

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Aww man I was hoping it would be an easy fix....the page on swim bladder disorder didn't mention a prognosis or anything. He was so healthy until today. :(

I hope none of the others get sick too. :(

There are varying degrees of swim bladder issues and as Chelsea stated earlier, various causes. A fish who is floaty because they are constipated or egg bound for example can be an easy fix. However, sinking as opposed to floating tends to signify more significant damage, and sinking to one side in my experience indicates a swim bladder that is likely beyond 'healing'. I have unfortunately experienced this in my own fish, and seen it several times in others on the forum. Whether or not to euthanize though remains up to you. As long as the fish is still able to eat, they can be kept alive in this condition, there have been members in the past that have felt there was still enough quality of life left to hang on to a fish in a similar condition, I think only you can determine this ;)

In terms of preventing this in the other fry, Sharon may have more input than me on this. When I think about this issue in a normal tank (not fry specifically) we generally do not treat other fish in the tank just because one fish had this issue, we watch for symptoms and act only if it's necessary :idont

I'm actually going to go ahead and move this thread to the diagnosis area for you. You can fill out all the water params etc and we can see if anything jumps out as being off :) also please let us know how deep the water is you are keeping the fry in

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Thanks guys. I haven't noticed any symptoms in any of the others yet, but I'll go ahead and get that form filled out just to be on the safe side.

The only other fry I have that has floaty issues is one that has been lopsided since birth. He is completely normal other than being a little lopsided, so I haven't culled him yet...but if it's something that is only going to get worse I might think about my options.

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  • Test Results for the Following:
    • * Ammonia Level(Tank): 0ppm
    • * Nitrite Level(Tank): 0 ppm
    • * Nitrate level(Tank): ~10 ppm
    • * Ammonia Level(Tap): 0ppm
    • * Nitrite Level(Tap): 0ppm
    • * Nitrate level(Tap): 0ppm
    • * Ph Level, Tank: I can't find my pH color chart anywhere....but the tap water is like a royal blue and the tank is light green. o;
    • * Ph Level, Tap: "
    • Other Required Info:
      • * Brand of test-kit used: API liquid
      • * Water temperature: 75
      • * Tank size: 23 or 24 I don't remember exactly. It's not a standard sized aquarium. The dimensions are 24" long, 18" wide, and 11" tall.
      • * What is the name and "size of the filter"(s)?: Aquaclear 70 I think? It's a HOB that does 300gph.
      • * How often do you change the water and how much?: Every other day, around 75%.
  • * How many days ago was the last water change and how much did you change?: The last water change was this morning, around 75%.
  • * How many fish in the tank and their size?: 17 three-month-old fry; most of them are close to an inch long including the tail. (there's 16 fry in the tank now that the sick one is in a hospital tank.)
  • * What kind of water additives or conditioners?: only Seachem Prime
  • * What do you feed your fish and how often?: atm I'm feeding them omega one flakes once a day; they're too big for the BBS now and they're not interested in the gel food I feed the big guys, and they're too small for pellets. When I feed them the flakes I take a pinch and hold the flakes under water so that they sink instead of float.
  • * Any new fish added to the tank?: nope
  • * Any medications added to the tank?: nope
  • * List entire medication/treatment history for fish and tank. Please include salt, Prazi, PP, etc and the approximate time and duration of treatment: they have had 2 rounds of prazi, each round lasted a week
  • * Any unusual findings on the fish such as "grains of salt," bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus?: Nope
  • * Any unusual behavior like staying at the bottom, not eating, etc.?: Nope

^Just to be clear the above info is for the fry tank, not the hospital tank that the sick baby is in.

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I should also probably mention that the sick fry became sick VERY quickly. Like yesterday he was completely normal, and then when I checked on them today he was belly up. Which is why I'm a little worried for the other babies....they look fine now, but what if they suddenly become sick too? :(

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Also I guess since I already have a thread up and everything I might as well ask about some of my more....weird fry.

This is Derpy. Derpy was has been lopsided ever since he was born. Everything else about him is normal, he's growing just like all the others and he eats just like all the others. Was he born with a messed up swim bladder or something?

This is Tiny Tim. He also appears to be completely normal except he is MUCH smaller than all the other fry. It's kind of hard to tell in the video how much smaller he really is than all the others, but it's kind of freaky. He just doesn't grow, or if he does it's not very fast. Why isn't he growing like the others? He eats normally as far as I can tell.

This is Spazzy. He is just really jittery all the time, and it's kind of weird. Is this out of the ordinary? Sometimes he just sits at the bottom and spazzes. Also his tail looks weird.

Edited by Tuba Toothpaste
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Sounds like your pH may be dropping. This wouldn't have anything to do with the swim bladder issue, but it's something you probably want to address. If you search 'API ph test chart' or something like that you can pull up the colors online. Do you have a kh test kit?

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Sounds like your pH may be dropping. This wouldn't have anything to do with the swim bladder issue, but it's something you probably want to address. If you search 'API ph test chart' or something like that you can pull up the colors online. Do you have a kh test kit?

How does pH drop? Is that bad for my fish?

And no I don't have a kh test kit....to be honest I don't really know what kh is. o;

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Sounds like your pH may be dropping. This wouldn't have anything to do with the swim bladder issue, but it's something you probably want to address. If you search 'API ph test chart' or something like that you can pull up the colors online. Do you have a kh test kit?

How does pH drop? Is that bad for my fish?

And no I don't have a kh test kit....to be honest I don't really know what kh is. o;

kh (or carbonate hardness) is a measure of how much calcium carbonate there is in your water. In general terms, your kh is what makes a pH stable or unstable. If you have a low kh, your pH will be more likely to fluctuate (drop), and if you have a higher kh value, your pH is more likely to remain stable (it has to do with carbonate bonding with hydrogen ions etc. etc.)

So, basically it sounds like you have a pretty neutral pH coming out of the tap, but when you get it into the tank and it sits for a couple days, the pH drops because your kh is likely low. You want pH for goldfish to be above 7.0 generally (mid 7's is ideal, but above 7 is what to shoot for). Swings in pH, particularly drops, can be stressful for fish, and in cases of extreme swings can cause pretty significant symptoms (you may see excess slime coat production, bottom sitting, general lethargy etc.). In cases where the pH swing is minimal, you may not see any noticeable symptoms, but it is still something that should be corrected.

Baking soda is the easiest, cheapest way to bring up your kh and stabilize pH. Using crushed coral in your filters is another potential option, or using some argonite sand as substrate. These are all options you may want to look into and decide what might work best for you :) But in the meantime, here's a link about using baking soda http://www.kokosgoldfish.invisionzone.com/forum/index.php?/topic/110296-stabilizing-your-tank-ph-with-sodium-bicarbonate-baking-soda/?hl=%2Bcalcium+%2Bcarbonate#entry1476914

Having a kh test kit allows you to see what your kh is to start in order to determine how much baking soda to add, and allows you to double check after you add the baking soda (or crushed coral or argonite). API sells a gh/kh kit for about 10 dollars (gh being general hardness)

Now, regarding the fish you posted about:

Both Spazzy and Derpy look like they have swim bladder issues to me. Derpy's being less significant, and Spazzy appears to have a swim bladder that may not be totally inflating properly - the spazzy swimming he is exhibiting is really hard work to keep himself afloat instead of sinking.

Regarding Tiny Tim, my guess is that it is likely genetics playing a role, some fish are just smaller, just like some people are shorter :idont It could also be in part competition for food - if he is slower than the others to get food, he may not be getting as much, but you'd have to determine this by watching them at meal times.

Having no experience with fry it is hard for me to say if these swim bladder issues are just genetic anomalies that would typically get culled out or if there is something larger at play here. I will have others from the mod team come take a look, but I'd also encourage other members who have a good amount of experience with fry to also weigh in :)

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Hi TT, you might want to just go over in your mind what you physically have in your tank. There was a person on the local forum with fish swimming like Spazzy. She removed a piece of driftwood that she had siliconed to a rock and his swimming improved. She wasn't sure if it was a coincidence, an infection caused by something in the wood or a reaction to perhaps suspect silicon.

You've said that Derpy has been like that since birth, but it still might be a good idea to think about anything 'odd' or adding relatively recently in terms of the other fish.

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Hi TT, you might want to just go over in your mind what you physically have in your tank. There was a person on the local forum with fish swimming like Spazzy. She removed a piece of driftwood that she had siliconed to a rock and his swimming improved. She wasn't sure if it was a coincidence, an infection caused by something in the wood or a reaction to perhaps suspect silicon.

You've said that Derpy has been like that since birth, but it still might be a good idea to think about anything 'odd' or adding relatively recently in terms of the other fish.

My tank has had the same things in it for about a month now. Everything in the tank can be seen in this video from last month:

I have a Red Melon Sword on the left, a castle in the middle, an Anubias on the right, and a sponge filter. The plants are planted in flora max substrate. Also not in the video, I have some floating wisteria in the tank. I sterilized all the plants before I added them to the tank.

The only other thing out of the ordinary that I added to the tank was a slice of cucumber about 3 days ago. I don't remember who all nibbled on it and who didn't, but most of the fry showed no interest.

Edited by Tuba Toothpaste
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The sick baby is looking way worse today....he is pretty much motionless at the bottom of the tank now besides his breathing and eye movement. I picked up some clove oil today, I think it's time to let him go. I'm thinking I should also cull the other two with swim bladder problems while I'm at it, considering it probably isn't going to get better. That way I can focus on the healthy ones.

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I'm sorry Hun :(

If you feel like you want to try treatment you could pick up some powdered metronidazole, but I'm not sure that it will do much :(

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I'd just like to pop in and add that Spazzy appears to have SB problems as well, they are 'spazzing' trying to remain in the water column and to stop themselves from sinking (That is what I gathered from the video anyway). If this is whats happening it's likely one of the lobes of the swim bladder has collapsed or failed to form at all which is causing this issue.

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I'd just like to pop in and add that Spazzy appears to have SB problems as well, they are 'spazzing' trying to remain in the water column and to stop themselves from sinking (That is what I gathered from the video anyway). If this is whats happening it's likely one of the lobes of the swim bladder has collapsed or failed to form at all which is causing this issue.

I mentioned the same thing earlier and concur

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Update on the fry:

I went ahead and culled the 3 babies with swim bladder issues. The remaining 14 all look healthy, except for one....

This is my second favorite baby, who I named YouTube (he's the one I used in all my YouTube videos because of his pretty tail). He started looking a little off balance yesterday, and now I'm starting to get worried because he looks a little floaty. He doesn't look nearly as bad as the other one did though, so I'm hoping he might pull through? Should I follow the instructions for treating swim bladder disorder and see if he shows any signs of improvement?

I was actually planning on keeping this one because I've always really liked him, so I hope I can make him better. :(

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