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Shawn

common goldfish exhibiting odd behavior

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I have a common goldfish. He is about 4 years old and about 8 or 9 inches long. Just recently he has been showing some odd behavior (swimming erratically, sitting vertically facing the top of the tank, sitting at the bottom, twitching and shaking his head etc). I've looked up all possibilities but cannot seem to narrow it down. I've done water tests which showed very high amounts of ammonia, nitrates and nitrites. Ph is good, alkalinity and other tests were good. I did a 30% water change using bottled spring water and dropped 3 ammonia fizz tabs in the tank along with the proper dose of water conditioner just in case. Been testing the water all day today and some changes occurred in the water but nothing with the ammonia. I dont think its flukes, or ich, but he seems to be highly stressed. Water temp is at 68F. He is still actively eating (fed twice daily in small amounts he can eat within a minute or less). I'm pretty much stuck as much as he is, and dont wanna lose him. My wife said I'm going crazy, and I think shes right! But fish are living animals and I've grown attached to him so I'm almost as stressed as he is. Help!

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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."

 

:hi

and :welcome

Your not crazy. Sometimes they get sick just like us... We will try and help you out. Please fill this out as best as you can. The numbers for the ammonia and everything else is important. This helps us see what is going on in there water. :)

Photos too will help a lot. 

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Test Results for the Following:

 Ammonia Level(Tank) 8.0ppm+++

 Nitrite Level(Tank) 5.0

 Nitrate level(Tank) 160

 Ammonia Level(Tap) n/a

 Nitrite Level(Tap) n/a

 Nitrate level(Tap) n/a

 Ph Level, Tank (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines) 7.2

 Ph Level, Tap (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines) n/a

Other Required Info:

 Brand of test-kit used and whether strips or drops? API Ammonia Test Kit/Tetra 5 in 1 Easy strips

 Water temperature? 68

 Tank size (how many gals.) and how long has it been running? 25 gallons running for over a year with the same goldfish

 What is the name and "size of the filter"(s)? Topfin Essentials 25 gallon starter tank and filter.

 How often do you change the water and how much? Changed it 30% today. I dont change the water as often as I should but the fish has been fine up until about 3 days ago.

 How many days ago was the last water change and how much did you change? Today 30%

 How many fish in the tank and their size? 1 fish. 8 to 9 inches long

 What kind of water additives or conditioners? Ammo Lock, Easy Balance/Imagitarium Water Conditioner (they were sold out of prime :( and Jungle Ammonia Clear Fizz Tabs

 What do you feed your fish and how often? Baby shrimp for breakfast, baby shrimp for lunch and flakes for dinner

 Any new fish added to the tank? No

 Any medications added to the tank? No

 List entire medication/treatment history for fish and tank. Please include salt, Prazi, PP, etc and the approximate time and duration of treatment. None

 Any unusual findings on the fish such as "grains of salt," bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus? None that I can notice

 Any unusual behavior like staying at the bottom, not eating, etc.? Yes. Bottom sitting, vertical sitting, twitching, spasms, head shaking, shimmying.

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He will sit still in the water and start to lean downward then balance himself back up. Then would start to lean backwards and level back out. I thought it could be a swim bladder issue but I'm leaning more towards that whatever it is, he will not make it. The guy at Petco said it could be something neurological. I dont think that it is. Not constipation. I believe it's an environmental issue. Here he is almost vertically. He caught me taking a picture and moved a bit but he was straight up and down prior to moving. No fin movement. Top fin was not extended, but rather flush with his back as he stood vertical.

20210424_164232.jpg

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Well he's having problems living in that water. The ammonia is high, the nitrites are high and so are the nitrates from the readings you gave us. :(

The first thing I would do is do a 50% water change  then do a 50% water change two days later. See if that helps the fish. You really should be doing water changes more often. Also How often do you rinse your filter?

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I rinse it when I take it out of its packaging before placing it in the unit since it's a charcoal filter.

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He seems much better this morning. I have been watching him for the past 20 minutes. No shimmying. Just to confirm, you want me to do a 50% water change today and then another 2 days later correct? I will be picking up a bottle of Seachem Prime. I was able to find it online at another store near me. Now I can add the prime to the tank with him in the tank right? Should I change the filter media? Will the water changes stress him out again? He does not appear to have stress right now. He is swimming like normal and foraging in the gravel. Should I hold off on feeding him today?

 

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YOU NEED TO DO WATER CHANGES, VACUUM THE GRAVEL AND REDUCE FEEDINGS UNTIL YOU WATER STABLIZES, YOUR AMMONIA AND NITRITES SHOULD ALWAYS BE ZERO, NITRATES UNDER 40PPM.  PLEASE USE PRIME  AS INSTRUCTED

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Thanks. I did a 50% water change before and he is stressed again. He was acting normal this morning but now were back at stressing again. I'm wondering if doing the 30% change yesterday and 50% today threw off the cycle? I will wait a few more days to do another 50% change. This way I give the tank time to cycle some of what I lost. Test levels are a bit better. Ammonia is at 4.0ppm down from 8+ , nitrites are down slightly but still not enough. Same for nitrates. Ph is neutral at 7.0ppm 

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2 hours ago, Shawn said:

Thanks. I did a 50% water change before and he is stressed again. He was acting normal this morning but now were back at stressing again. I'm wondering if doing the 30% change yesterday and 50% today threw off the cycle? I will wait a few more days to do another 50% change. This way I give the tank time to cycle some of what I lost. Test levels are a bit better. Ammonia is at 4.0ppm down from 8+ , nitrites are down slightly but still not enough. Same for nitrates. Ph is neutral at 7.0ppm 

You will need to do this every other day. That ammonia is way way to high. It should only be 0ppm. For a tank that is fully cycled you should have 0, 0 and max of 40ppm. :) 

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3 minutes ago, koko said:

You will need to do this every other day. That ammonia is way way to high. It should only be 0ppm. For a tank that is fully cycled you should have 0, 0 and max of 40ppm. :) 

Thank you. I am concerned that I will lose my beneficial bacteria. 

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9 minutes ago, Shawn said:

Thank you. I am concerned that I will lose my beneficial bacteria. 

Well with that gravel in there. The water changes should be a good for him. See the gravel is holding all the BB's in there right now and a lot of gunk. We need to get the water back to normal. That should help him. Then you will need to get rid of some of that gravel, but that would be way later down the road. Lets focus on getting the water back to help him feel better.

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10 minutes ago, koko said:

Well with that gravel in there. The water changes should be a good for him. See the gravel is holding all the BB's in there right now and a lot of gunk. We need to get the water back to normal. That should help him. Then you will need to get rid of some of that gravel, but that would be way later down the road. Lets focus on getting the water back to help him feel better.

I did 2 gravel vacs. 1 yesterday and 1 today. There was alot of nastiness. I want him to have limited stress since he just overcame an extreme stressful event. I have never ever seen him so bad. Now I wanna make him as comfortable as possible while trying to get this water right.

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18 hours ago, Shawn said:

I did 2 gravel vacs. 1 yesterday and 1 today. There was alot of nastiness. I want him to have limited stress since he just overcame an extreme stressful event. I have never ever seen him so bad. Now I wanna make him as comfortable as possible while trying to get this water right.

How is he doing today? 

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5 hours ago, koko said:

How is he doing today? 

Much better. Moving around alot. He looks good. Fed him a small amount of baby shrimp tonight but nothing else today. He isnt listing or appear to be in stress. 

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16 minutes ago, Shawn said:

Much better. Moving around alot. He looks good. Fed him a small amount of baby shrimp tonight but nothing else today. He isnt listing or appear to be in stress. 

I would do another water change. Also check your water at least every other day to see how the ammonia and such are doing. We want to get them to zero :) 

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1 minute ago, koko said:

I would do another water change. Also check your water at least every other day to see how the ammonia and such are doing. We want to get them to zero :) 

We are gonna do one tomorrow. My biggest fear is the chlorine in the tap water. I gave Prime but I still worry the poor thing has suffered enough :(

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1 minute ago, Shawn said:

We are gonna do one tomorrow. My biggest fear is the chlorine in the tap water. I gave Prime but I still worry the poor thing has suffered enough :(

Every other day is the best way. Once you get the ammonia down more. Then we can start to work on getting some of your gravel out. You really don't need that much gravel. In fact you don't need it at all. :) 

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22 hours ago, koko said:

Every other day is the best way. Once you get the ammonia down more. Then we can start to work on getting some of your gravel out. You really don't need that much gravel. In fact you don't need it at all. :) 

I did another change today. Fed him a small amount of shrimp. I made sure my water temp was the same as the water that came out of it, yet he seems hesitant about grabbing the food at the top. I'm not sure if the surface twmp is warmer but my thermometer is reading 70 which was the temp prior to changing the water. I put a test strip in and the readings have not changed (just saying). I know it takes time. I honestly never thought I'd be attached to a fish! Lol. I'm a big softy at heart and anything that has eyes, can eat and breathe, I have a soft spot for. Whether is a fish, lizard or human. 

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4 hours ago, Shawn said:

I did another change today. Fed him a small amount of shrimp. I made sure my water temp was the same as the water that came out of it, yet he seems hesitant about grabbing the food at the top. I'm not sure if the surface twmp is warmer but my thermometer is reading 70 which was the temp prior to changing the water. I put a test strip in and the readings have not changed (just saying). I know it takes time. I honestly never thought I'd be attached to a fish! Lol. I'm a big softy at heart and anything that has eyes, can eat and breathe, I have a soft spot for. Whether is a fish, lizard or human. 

Hum... you said in your post above you use...API Ammonia Test Kit/Tetra 5 in 1 Easy strips. 

Can you take a photo shot of your ammonia test the next time you do it? Also those 5 in 1 test strips are awful.  They really dont read right at all.

You should see some kind of change by now. Water temp I would worry about. Goldfish can live in a wide array of temps. :) 

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