Jump to content

Severely Bloated Goldfish


Recommended Posts

  • Regular Member

Hello, seeking some advice for one of our goldfish which is severely bloated. We have 7 goldfish normally in a 75 gal tank, all are around 3 years old and probably between 4-6 inches. Typically we feed them Omega One goldfish pellets and occasionally lettuce.

We noticed our biggest fish starting to get large probably like 2 months ago, but initially we thought she(?) was full of eggs.  In the last month she’s gotten really ridiculously large and shows no signs of changing size or releasing eggs, so we were concerned it might be something more serious like dropsy. However she has no other dropsy symptoms, no pine coning, no red around her anus, still eating and maintaining her normal energy. We did start to treat our main tank with Melafix and Pimafix just over a week ago because one of our other fish had mouth rot (which quickly resolved once we added Pima/Melafix to the tank).
We then thought it was maybe constipation, so we moved the bloated fish to a hospital tank and stopped feeding pellets, but introduced blanched shelled peas. On the second day she did poop out a small pea-colored poop, but it's hard to tell how much she's pooping. We added aquarium salt to the hospital tank for a few days, but just switched to Epsom salt yesterday because we read that was supposed to be better for laxative effects. She seemed sad in the hospital tank so we moved the fish that was recovering from mouth rot in there with her a couple days ago and she seems much happier. Two days ago we also started adding Maracyn 2 to the hospital tank (so right now it’s getting Epsom Salt and Maracyn 2). The main tank with the remaining 5 fish is not getting anything added anymore after having finished Pima/Melafix 3 days ago.
It doesn't seem to be a swim bladder issue since she has no issue swimming, staying upright, or staying at the bottom of the tank. Then we thought maybe it's a tumor, but she's so uniformly round, we're not sure. Now we're reading about impacted eggs... ???
She has a healthy appetite and isn't lethargic at all, in fact she seems more unhappy being in the hospital tank. Can anyone shed some light on what this might be? I mean, maybe she's just a big girl, but like I said and as you can see, she's MUCH larger than the other fish we have, so it seems abnormal.

Here is the D&D form – sorry this post is so long!!

•    Test Results for the Following:
•     Ammonia Level(Tank): Hospital tank and main tank are at 0.5ppm
•     Nitrite Level(Tank): Hospital tank and main tank are ~0-0.5
•     Nitrate level(Tank): Hospital tank is ~20, main tank is quite high when I took a reading this morning (possibly due to treating with Melafix and Pimafix?)
•     Ammonia Level(Tap) 0.5ppm
•     Nitrite Level(Tap) - 0
•     Nitrate level(Tap)- 0
•     Ph Level, Tank (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines): Hospital tank is 7.5 ph, 180 GH, and 120 KH. Main tank is 7ph, 180 GH, and 40 KH. We have very hard water where we live as a fyi.
•     Ph Level, Tap (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines)7.5 PH, 180 GH, 120 KH

•    Other Required Info:
•     Brand of test-kit used and whether strips or drops? Tetra
•     Water temperature? Around 70 degrees
•     Tank size (how many gals.) and how long has it been running? Main tank is 75 gal, has been running for 3 years.
•     What is the name and "size of the filter"(s)? Penn Plax Cascade 700
•     How often do you change the water and how much? Around once per month, around 30%.
•     How many days ago was the last water change and how much did you change? We changed 40% water yesterday because we have been medicating the tank.
•     How many fish in the tank and their size? Normally we have 7 goldfish ranging from 4-6 inches.
•     What kind of water additives or conditioners? Tetra EasyBalace Plus and Aqua Safe Plus. We add these during water changes.
•     What do you feed your fish and how often? We feed 1 tsp of omega one pellets 2 times per day. We also occasionally give lettuce in the tank.
•     Any new fish added to the tank? No
•     Any medications added to the tank? List entire medication/treatment history for fish and tank. Yes. Main tank was getting Pimafix and Melafix. Hospital tank received aquarium salt for 3 days but yesterday we switched to Epsom salt. We also started Maracyn 2 treatment in hospital tank 2 days ago.
•     Any unusual findings on the fish such as "grains of salt," bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus? Nothing on the bloated fish at all. One of our other fish (not the bloated one) developed mouth rot last week, but was resolved with the Pimafix/Melafix combo.
•     Any unusual behavior like staying at the bottom, not eating, etc.? Seems to be acting normally, eating/swimming fine. Maybe tilting at a 45 degree angle due to bloated belly?


Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

Hey Reno Goldfish Fam, 

Thats a cool looking fish, 

you certainly know more about what's going on over there than I do and have the knowledge of before and after -but I do have a couple questions, 

I see you have some ammonia in your water, as well as nitrite, ( Not judging you) I also see that you are using a tetra test kit, I am not familiar with this kit but are you able to tell me if this measures for PPM ( parts per million)  or Mg/L ( milligrams per liter)?

Also, aside from the fish in questions behavior staying the same , have you noticed behavioral changes in your other fish towards this fish? Any breeding like activity taking place such as other fish chasing this fishes tail / attempting to push this fish into plants ? when its rest time do all the other fish shy away from this fish do they gather together in a fish pile? does this fish shy away from the others?anything of note helps.

Chasing This might be an indicator that the fish is ready to breed and is releasing hormones, alerting the males

Do you have a suitable place in your tank for the fish to lay eggs, such as plants real or fake or a spawning mop ( can be made with green yarn)  ? Fish might not lay eggs if the fish doesn't find a suitable place.

Something else that might keep a fish with eggs from laying eggs would be temperature. Whats your water temp? maybe if your water is on the colder side and you bring it up to the "Springtime pond" temperature if it is eggs - the fish will lay them.

aside from eggs, you see no other signs of dropsy, bloating could also be caused by internal parasites, but having multiple fish in the same tank myself I always figure that if its parasites they'll get into the water column and all the fish will get it and display symptoms?

my thoughts on the omega one pellets : I fed this to my fish 1 time and did not pre soak it and my Thai Oranda had immediate swim bladder issues. I spend the rest of that evening with my hands in the tank holding him upright for fear that he would get permanent equilibrium issues, I massaged his belly until all poop and gas had passed and he could again regulate his neutral buoyancy.

Now I feed my fish Repashy Super gold, and every few days I throw in some pees if I see their poop starts to trail a little.

Soon I will start experimenting with my own gel food recipe that includes more vegetables as repashy is mostly protein, that way I can give them one high protein meal a day and then one equally high fiber meal.

not saying omega is bad, just watch carefully

hope this helps, 




Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Admin

Imo it looks to be the start of a bacterial infection. Is there any redness anywhere on the fish? Like the pectoral fins, in the arm pit area? 

One of the reasons you have ammonia in your tank is....

To many fish in the tank. Also water changes need to be more often. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Regular Member

I just had this happen to one of my fish.  I ended up losing my fish unfortunately.   Mine seemed to have what they describe in this video.   It was an abdominal cyst filled with fluid.  Treatments are possible but it involves veterinarians.  If you try to treat it yourself just be really careful moving your fish.  Make sure youre using a net.



Link to comment
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.

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.

  • Create New...