Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
LiquidOxygen

Unable to figure out why my goldfish are gulping. Help!

Recommended Posts

   Hello Everyone!

          I'm new to this site. I'm so glad I found you! I have had my goldfish for just over four months now. I've have had my ups and downs as I learn the ropes. I have five goldfish who are growing everyday and have lived through all of our tough times together. I have officially cycled my 55 gallon tank. My readings today are,

 pH: between 7.2 and 7.6

 Ammonia: 0 ppm

 Nitrite: 0 ppm

 Nitrate: 20 ppm

          I have had an issue with my goldfish gulping for two months now. The most they have ever gone is two days max without gulping. While waiting for my tank to cycle I have been doing a daily 10% water change everyday. Last week I did a 80% water change. I have now gone back to a 10% water change everyday because I've never been able to get my Nitrite level to 0. Until today. With the gulping I haven't wanted them to suffer. I have cleaned my filters on my Marineland Bio-wheel Emperor 400 and Marineland Bio-wheel 350 weekly. I only replace the filters every three to four weeks. But, not all on the same day. I switched from gravel to a small amount of black sand for the substrate 3 weeks ago. Two of my goldfish got gravel stuck in their mouths. Somehow after rushing to retrieve the tweezers they popped out. In the meantime all five of my fish will gulp air then swim around as normal. Two of my fish the Oranda and my Ryukin will be at the top gulping most of the day. They all sleep under the water with no gulping at night. But still opening and closing their mouths for air. I also have 2 aeration stones. I have lowered the water level about an inch below the out flow of the filters to try and produce more oxygen. Yesterday I did a 10% water change, then added a table spoon of Aquarium salt. They haven't gone to the top to gulp in the last 24 hours. I noticed though that now they gulp under the water. And, are breathing heavily and stretching their mouths open as big as they can. Should I keep up the salt treatment or should I stop? Why are they still gulping under water? I've tried to figure out if they have any parasites or fluke. They show no signs of either as far as I can see. Any input, suggestions or advice would be much appreciated. Thank you!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome to Kokos!  Start by reading our guidelines for healthy goldfish.  You will find out that you have more fish than we recommend for a 55 gallon.   You can compensation for that by increasing the amount and/or frequency of water changes.  

 

The "yawning" that you observe is a symptom of flukes.

 

Please copy and fill out this form.  I know you have given some of the information already, but it helps us a lot to have it all in our familiar order.

 

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.?

We'll be back to you as soon as we read the form.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you! I'm going to read the guidelines now. 

 

Test Results for the Following:

* Ammonia Level(Tank): 0 ppm

* Nitrite Level(Tank):  0ppm

* Nitrate level(Tank): 20 ppm

* Ammonia Level(Tap): 0.50 ppm

* Nitrite Level(Tap): 0 ppm

* Nitrate level(Tap): 0 ppm

* Ph Level, Tank (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines): From Tetra EasyStrips,  PH 7.6, KH 180 ppm, GH 150, Chlorine 0 ppm, Chloramines (?)

* Ph Level, Tap (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines): From Tetra EssyStrips,  PH  6.8, KH 80 ppm, GH 150, Chlorine 0 ppm

Other Required Info:

* Brand of test-kit used and whether strips or drops?  API Freshwater Master Kit with testing tubes. Tetra EasyStrips

* Water temperature?  72 degrees

* Tank size (how many gals.) and how long has it been running?  55 gallon, 4ft in lenghth and has been running for 4 months.

* What is the name and "size of the filter"(s)?  Marineland Bio-wheel Emperor 400 and Marineland Bio-wheel 350

* How often do you change the water and how much?  10% daily

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

* How many fish in the tank and their size? 5 fish, size 2 ½’-2’ body length

* What kind of water additives or conditioners?  Prime

* What do you feed your fish and how often? New Life Spectrum twice daily. Once a week I’ll switch a meal for Cumbers, Spinach or Frozen Brine Shrimp. Peas once a week.

* Any new fish added to the tank? No

* Any medications added to the tank? None. I purchased 25 grams of Aqua-Prazi powder just in case of flukes.

* List entire medication/treatment history for fish and tank. Please include salt, Prazi, PP, etc and the approximate time and duration of treatment. 1 table spoon of Aquarium Salt yesterday.

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

* Any unusual behavior like staying at the bottom, not eating, etc.? Gulping, they eat and swim normally

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The goldfish are 2-2/12 inches in body length. Not feet, lol

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for responding so quickly.  

 

I have a question about this statement: "I only replace the filters every three to four weeks. But, not all on the same day."  I'm wondering what you are replacing.  I have no experience with these filters, but I read that it has cartridges.  As a rule of thumb, we recommend rinsing debris from filter media regularly, but don't recommend replacing it unless it is falling apart.  Of course manufacturers would like you to replace it frequently.

 

The gulping may be simply an annoying habit.  Do the fish do this more after meals than otherwise?  Tanks develop a film of organic material, particularly proteins, on the surface.  Fish find this tasty and may spend a lot of time slurping it up.

 

I notice that your tap water has a lower pH than the tank.  Is that the reason you do 10% water changes daily rather than a large water change weekly?  Have you ever determined if the tap water pH changes with aging?  Just draw a bucket of tap water, check the pH, then let it sit overnight and test again. Please report the results.  

 

We have a protocol  for using salt and prazi to treat fish for flukes.  We do this for all new fish during quarantine.  You will find it here.  I recommend you start this procedure right away.  

 

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Emperor 400 has 4 slots, correct?  What do you have in them?  If you're using the blue cartridge that came with it, do you still have the carbon in there?  And what did you put in the gray baskets?  :idont

 

I'm not as familiar with the 350 . . .  what do you have in there?  And how many slots for media/baskets/cartridges does it have total? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You're in good hands with these two. I see two likely culprits for the gulping in your description already, and they're an easy fix! I'm wishing you and your fish the very best :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First let me say I'm so glad to be a new member. This site has been highly recommended. I have been to so many sites and have watched so many videos my brain hurts. I am glad I finally got my test readings to a good level (I guess). I bought the two different filters at different times. So when I replace the cartridges I replace the two from one filter. Then two weeks later I replace the other two. So the filters get changed once a month with this schedule. I wash in the same way, but weekly with tank water. The Penguin 350 and the Emperor 400 I use the blue cartridges that they came with. They all come with carbon in the filters. The pad filter is attached to the plastic where it holds the carbon. In the Penguin 350 has two cartridges and space for additional media. I added a bag of crush coral to it to raise the Ph, Hardness and KH because I read goldfish prefer higher levels. The Emperor 400 I use Fluval foam and cut it into small strips to put within the gray baskets. I have been doing water changes daily because my Nitrite had been at 0.25 for weeks. Finally after testing the tank water it now reads 0. I put aquarium salt in yesterday because I read that their gulping could be due to parasites. They haven't been gulping from the top since. However under the water they are opening and closing their mouths all day, as before. They occasionally they will yawn. I bought the Prazi just in case. Because I also read their gulping could be due to that as well. The best scenario would be slurping protein. I was told that before as well. I know gulping is harmful for them. I'm beside myself as to what could be causing this for weeks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I had my Emperor filters, I would simply cut a slit in the blue filter padding and dump the carbon.  You don't need it with GF tanks as we do sooooooooo many rather large, frequent WCs (vs a tropical or saltwater tank).  Then when I rinsed them, I'd spray them with the sprayer on my kitchen sink and blast the yuck off of them.  :rofl  This is your mechanical filtration. 

 

Now as far as the gray baskets, I highly recommend you put something like this:

 

http://www.amazon.com/Fluval-Biomax-Bio-Rings-ounces/dp/B000HHSG5M

 

in them instead of the fluval foam.  Fluval foam is great for mechanical filtration but you really need some good biological media for your beneficial bacteria to grow.  I would even consider putting some in a mesh bag and adding it to your Penguin filter so each filter has some biological filtration.  :D

 

If you decide to add biomax/some sort of ceramic media, I'd replace the fluval foam a bit at a time as it does contain some of your beneficial bacteria.  Maybe do half of one of the gray baskets one week, then the other half the next.  Then over the next two weeks do the other basket.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome to Koko's!!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Manufacturers tell you to frequently replace cartridges to make you spend loads more money then needed. 

 

Generally, you only replace your media when it is literally starting to fall apart and then only in portions (One insert a month would be my max recommendation).  Reason for this is underneath all that nasty build up is a bacteria colony living - this bacteria is what does the actual filtration of your water.  The media (cartridges, foam, bio balls, ceramic rings - what ever you end up using), is just the HOUSING of the bacteria.   Throwing these cartridges away too frequently means tossing the bacteria colonies which filter the water, therefore consistently risking a mini-cycle in the tank. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Manufacturers tell you to frequently replace cartridges to make you spend loads more money then needed. 

 

Generally, you only replace your media when it is literally starting to fall apart and then only in portions (One insert a month would be my max recommendation).  Reason for this is underneath all that nasty build up is a bacteria colony living - this bacteria is what does the actual filtration of your water.  The media (cartridges, foam, bio balls, ceramic rings - what ever you end up using), is just the HOUSING of the bacteria.   Throwing these cartridges away too frequently means tossing the bacteria colonies which filter the water, therefore consistently risking a mini-cycle in the tank. 

 

Yes, all of these things. For what it's worth, you can buy some filter floss for a much cheaper price than carbon packets, cut it to size, and it lasts a LONG time. Like, in my case, sometimes 6+ months. If you search "aquarium filter floss" on Amazon, some good options should come up. It catches a lot of particulates and can be rinsed in tank water periodically.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

By the end with my last emporer filter I ripped the padding off the cartridge frame and used rubber bands and loose floss to make a finer, easier to service filter :D

I'd just rotate which one I'd be rinsing out which week.

Edited by Arctic Mama

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

   Thank you all for the filter cartridge alternatives. I about to take out the carbon right now. I will only replace them when they are falling apart from now on. fantailfan1...I've seen the Bio Rings in the stores. Will they fit in the plastic gray baskets? Are they supposed to move around? I will buy those too. I bought extra mesh bags when I bought the crushed coral. I will use a bag in the Penguin 350 next to the bag of crushed coral. 

   Well, I woke up today and noticed my Blackmoor, Midnight has white dots on his body. Maybe they have all had them but it was harder to see the white dots on them due to their colors. They are on Midnight's body and on the outside of his gill area (the flap covering his gills) on one side. I'm very upset. I have a house full of pets. I'm a big nurturer of all. Ask my husband and 3 boys. I've taken pictures of my goldies to share. I have no idea how to post them on here. I'm not computer savvy.

   I read,

Schedules for the Treatment of Flukes Etc. Using Praziquantel by: dnalex

   So, now I have a couple of questions. Will the Prazi kill all my good bacteria that I have worked so hard to establish? Should I feed as normal? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Prazi wont' kill your good bacteria.  Feed as normal.

 

Sounds like the moor has ich?  Pics would help.  you can use photobucket.com to post pics . . .  The white spots on his gill covers are probably breeding stars.  :ehh

 

If you're concerned about size, you could bet the bioballs instead of biorings . . . They don't have to move around.  They just need water flowing through them . . .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So, should i only treat for ich? I'll send pictures.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here are the pics of Midnight's spots: http://s935.photobucket.com/user/slbradley04/library/

So am I right in seeing these spots on his tail and flank as well? The pictures weren't super clear but I did see the ones on his gill cover, too. However with the body and fin spots I think I see I'd say it does look more probable to be ich than breeding stars, based on the distribution.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would treat for ich with 0.3% salt and heat to 78-80*.  Keep the salt in there for 7-10 days AFTER you see that last spot of ich.  Treat in your main tank and treat any fish that are in there.

 

Once that is done I'd treat with prazi . . . .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Arctic Mom, yes they are. fantailfan1, will do. I'll keep ya'll updates on how they're doing. Thanks again everyone!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your black moor is beautiful. I hope he starts to feel better soon!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you Blitz! I do too. I want all of my baby goldfish to live happy and long lives. They are such a pleasure to watch. They all have different personalities. And, they all know their names when I call them.  :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How does the ich look today?  It often looks worse before it gets better . . . .

 

Is the moor in with other fish?  (I believe he is. Any other fish showing signs of ich?)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

    They didn't like the level of aquarium salt at 0.3% at first. they had their dorsal fin straight up and swam around fast and jerking and twitching. Then they settle down and just floated towards the bottom. They schooled together. The 5 I have are all different types Midnight (Blackmoor) Sunshine (Calico Telescope Eyes) Pete (Pure oranage Oranda) Then Happy and Lake (Ryukins). After about 15 minutes they were just fine. Asking for food. I've slowly raised the water temperature as you proscribed. All's well in my little goldfish world. The spots on Midnight have actually dropped in numbers.

    Thank you so much fantailfan1 for asking. You've been such a great help to me. i like being part of a community whom love Goldfish as much as I have grown to love my goldies too. After telling my husband about what my goldfish are going through. He said, Honey, let's get you a nice large tank for them.  :thumbup2:

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...