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  • Regular Member

I have one Ryukin goldfish that is 7-8 years old.  He is in a10 gallon aquarium with filter and aerator stone.  For the last month he has been staying on the bottom.  
I have checked nitrogen and changed water.  He has a history of swim bladder problems but it doesn’t seem to be the problem.  He typically swims up to eat but I feed him sinking pellets.  Lately it seems that he isn’t able to swim to the top.  
I’ve offered fresh peas but he’s not interested.  
What could be wrong?

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  • Regular Member

Hello and welcome

your tank is way to small for a goldfish, the recommendation is at least a 20 gallon tank for one goldfish and 20 gallons per additional fish. For single tails at minimum of 30 gallons. I am not sure what you mean by checking the nitrogen are you referring to the nitrogen cycle if that is the case what is your ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and ph. What type of test are you using, how often and much do you change the water.  For now I recommend at 75% water change and use prime to condition your water, Fast the fish for a few days do not worry they can weeks without eating. Lastly what type of filter are you using, If the filter is too strong for the fish it may be that it is tiring the fish and he does not want to swim. Let us know about your progress.

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  • Admin




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."

Along with @spider man 's suggestion, could you fill this out also I may suggest finding some Duckweed. This plant is an amazing food for goldfish. 

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  • Regular Member

Since my post my goldfish is worsening.  He is now on his side with labored breathing.  I didn’t expect him to be alive this morning.  I tested the ammonia with an API test kit for nitrates, nitrites and ph.  It revealed a 0 level.  No sure how to determine the ph from this tube test.  

I understand that you recommend a bigger aquarium.  My fish is about 5” long in a 10 gallon.  I have a Tetra Whisper filter.  I condition the water with Prine.  

It has not been eating much at all.  Not eating any peas.  Before it turned on it’s side it would go after pellets that fell down in front of it.  

I saw a long string of stool attached to the filter several days ago.  It was brown.  It’s abdomen appears the usual size.  However, my reading last night suggested constipation as the problem so I added 4 teaspoons of Epsom salt.  

I have had a heater turned on most of its life but I’ve recently read that they are cold goldfish so I turned the heater off.  With the heater on, the temp is about 78.  

I have changed about 1/2 of the water.  Should I move it to a different aquarium? With the filter? Heater? 

Can it be saved from this condition? 

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  • Helper

Turning the heater off is not advised, it oftentimes will weaken fancy goldfish, and it slows down their metabolisms. If he was thriving in a warmer tank there was no need to change that. Most fancies seem to do best in the mid seventies for temperature.

We can try treating him, but we need good, close up pictures or video of what is going on, plus the form Koko linked filled out as precisely as possible. It would also be helpful to know what medications, if any, you have on hand, and as complete a treatment history of this fish as possible.

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