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Oranda Gulping Air and Having Buoyancy Issues


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Hello everyone, this is my first time posting here, so I apologize if I don’t quite know what information to communicate.  I have an Oranda what I’ve had for almost a year now that is almost constantly gulping air and having buoyancy issues and I am stumped as to how to help her. 

Here’s some info about the tank...

40 gallons, home to two orandas, filtered and aerated, have had up and running for a year now, fully cycled before I added fish and no ammonia/nitrite/nitrate spikes (I test water quality frequently), and I do biweekly water changes 

Water quality as of yesterday - ammonia 0, nitrites 0, nitrates 0-5, ph 8.0-8.2 (all API test kit)

For some background on the oranda, this issue started about two months ago. She has all of a sudden started gulping for air at the surface very frequently.  The other oranda does not display this behavior, nor does the oranda in question actually seem distressed (like she’s actually struggling to breath). Additionally, at the same time, she has stated to have some buoyancy issues, specifically flipping over when trying to eat off the bottom and just general floating and obviously not in complete control of her swimming movements. She is able to swim to the top and bottom and all around the tank, it’s just a bit awkward.  

They have never been fed floating food (so she shouldn’t be gulping air at the surface because of a food association).  I switched them to being exclusively fed gel food (Repashy) as this is what seems to be the most helpful for the fish with the issues. I did try the feeding her peas things and the results of that were about the same as when she eats the gel food. I also tried fasting with no real improvement. 

I have treated her with PraziPro in case it was a parasite issue with the gills (because of the air gulping) and with Kanaplex in case it was a bacterial issue. I saw no change with either of these treatments. 

I’m not really sure what to do next, and was looking for some input and other ideas to try.  Thanks in advance for any help, I really like this fish and am just wanting to try to keep this from getting worse at this point. 


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and :welcome


Please copy & paste 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.?

"If copy and paste doesn't work for you, quote this post and put your answers after each question."



One suggest right now for you. Get some Duckweed if you can find it. Feed it to them with no other food for 3 days then slowly add there food back in. 

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