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Is My Fish Just Lazy?


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  • Regular Member

i have a 36" tank with and oxygen powered under gravel filter i have one butterfly loach(ben) two black moors(phill,and eddie) two orandas(amanda and pebbles) and two fantails(tiger and chalky) i have had pebbles for over a month now and ever since ive had him ive noticed he only uses one fin to swim with he keeps all the rest tucked in even the one on his back all the fish in this tank except amanda and chalky have had white spot which was brought into my tank by eddie the black moor is there something wrong with him? :crp

i am a new fish owner and phil is my first fish i started off with him in a bowl and then my level grew and grew i also have a second tank with five common goldfish which i took from my cousin because he didnt look after them properly any adice on keeping my water clear in my fancy tank because my under gravel filter doesnt seem to work :newfish

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  • Regular Member

How many gallons does your tank hold? That will help us suggest what size filter would be appropriate.

Also, let us know your routine for caring for your fish ... i.e., how often you change the water and how much. That kind of thing. Maybe we can make some suggestions that would help.

Pebbles problems could be related to water quality. Let us know a bit more about your tank. If you could take a few minutes and answer as many of the questions at the top of the page that you can, that would help a lot to figure out what is going on :)

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  • Regular Member

ok then i change about half of my tanks water every week i have five 2" fish and one 4" fish and a tiny little 2" butterfly loach i have had my tank for about six weeks and my under gravel filter took a while to start working i dont know the ph level of my tap water but i know im in a high limescale area i havent had any water tests but after being on this site i think i better do you know where i can get one done and how much they cost? pebbles has also started to flick the fin along his back alot and dashes about the tank im also getting worried because some days he cant swim down from the top and other days he can could this be the start of a swim blader problem i will get a water test ASAP! :krazy:

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  • Regular Member

Most of the larger pet stores will test your water for free. I would take in a sample and get it tested. Get the results in numbers, not just good or bad. Especially get the numbers for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and the ph.

An undergravel filter isn't enough for goldfish. You really need a good power filter for a goldfish tank. Most people do not run undergravel filters with goldfish.

What are the measurements of your tank? Length, width and height. That way we can figure out how much water your tank holds and what size of filter your tank needs.

I think your tank is probably suffering from poor water quality right now. I would do a 50% water change now, and depending on the test results, we will see where we will go from there.

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  • Regular Member

i am getting my tank water and tap water tested today my tank width is 12" length 36" and hieght 15" i have noticed my water looks kinda green is this because my tank is next to my window? :unsure:

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Yes, that is algae growth caused by excess light. Try blocking out some of the light coming from the window either by a blind on the window or paper on the side of the tank facing the window. High nitrates will also contribute to algae growth. Extra water changes will help reduce the nitrate level.

Your tank holds approx 28 gallon of water. A power filter like an AquaClear 300 or something comparable would be a good choice for a tank that size. Try to get something that pumps about 300 gallons per hour. Goldfish are messy fish and should have a filter that turns the water over about 10 times per hour.

Your tank is overstocked at the moment. Goldfish require approx. 10 gallons of water per fish. I know your fish are small now, but they are going to grow, so you should be thinking of either adding another tank in the future or moving up to a larger tank.

I would start with doing water changes twice per week, and add a power filter. At the present time, I would keep the undergravel filter operating since it is probably providing biological filtration by now since the tank has been running six weeks. The water tests you are going to have done will help us determine whether or not your tank has cycled.

Also, you should gravel vac your gravel when you do water changes. Also, you should have around 2 to 2 1/2 inches of gravel over your filter plates to have your UGF work efficiently.

Hope these suggestions help and please let us know your water test numbers :)

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ok i have been told the problem is nitrites they were really high the water was bright purple my tap water was 7.5 my ph was 7.0 my nitrite 5.0 i think or maybe 0.5 and amonia 0 i have brought a gravel cleaner and did a good clean of the gravel right away any advice on lowering this? i was also told that 6 was the amount of fish i could keep in a tank this size and i was also told i could kepp twelve in a tank this size while another shop told me anything in between this number! if 6 is too many im gutted because i wanted a pair of bubble eyes they would have made my tank complete. :unsure:

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Your tank is in the process of cycling. The bacteria that converts ammonia into nitrite has been established and you are in the process of establishing the bacteria that converts nitrites into nitrates. Nitrates are relatively harmless to fish and are controlled by your regular water changes.

Nitrites are deadly to fish and you will have to do water changes to get these down. I would do a 50% water change today, along with a gravel vac. Do another 50% change tomorrow. You should buy a nitrite test kit and test your nitrites every day. Until you get a 0 reading, you will have to keep up the water changes. I would recommend a nitrite test kit from Aquarium Pharmaceuticals. They are under $10. If you can't find that brand, get one that uses liquids rather than dip sticks. They are more accurate.

In the meantime, salt will help your fish cope with the high nitrites. Use aquarium, kosher, pickling or coarse salt. A salt without additives. Add at a rate of 3 tablespoons per five gallons of water. Add in three stages, 12 hours apart. So, add 1 tablespoon per five gallons of water, then wait 12 hours and add another 1 tablespoon per five gallons, wait another 12 hours and add another 1 tablespoon per five gallons.

We figured your tank holds about 28 gallons of water, so take out about 3 gallons for your gravel, so your tank capacity is about 25 gallons. So you would add 5 tablespoons of salt every 12 hours, 3 times for a total dose of 15 tablespoons. When you do your water changes, you will have to replace the salt that you have removed. So, for every 5 gallons of water that you remove, add another 3 tablepoons of salt.

Personally, I would buy another filter for your tank and get that started. With an overstocked tank, the UGF just will not be able to do the job on its own.

A lot of pet store employees seem to think that goldfish can live in small amounts of water. However, they grow quickly and they get large, and to have success with them, you really do need to provide them with at least 10 gallons of water per fish. It seems like a lot when they are small, but you will be surprised at how quickly they will grow.

I hope all of this helps and please feel free to ask questions :)

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  • Regular Member

It is the nitrIte level that is the problem in your tank at the moment :) It is easy to confuse nitrites and nitrates. Nitrites in a tank are a sign of an incomplete cycle. Nitrates are a sign of a complete cycle. Nitrates are not particularly dangerous to fish unless they get very, very high. Nitrites on the other hand, are deadly and must be dealt with quickly.

It should take about 2-3 weeks for your tank to finish cycling. During this time, I would check the nitrite level daily. You should buy a test kit to do this. Aquarium Pharmaceuticals makes inexpensive test kits which are quite reliable. After your tank has cycled, you can test for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and ph before your weekly water changes.

Here is a link to a page that describes the cycling process:

http://www.kokosgoldfish.com/cycle.html

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • Regular Member

i ment nitrites soz. anyway the owner of my local aquatic centre told me to use SERA NITRIVEC BIOSTARTER to breakdown my nitrites it said to use 20ml of nitivec per 100litres(26.4.gal) and introduce the first fish after 24 hours and continue adding 10 ml(per 100 litres) everyday for 10 days so i took my fish out of their tank and placed them in a temporary 20 gal tank for the 24 hours i put them back in tonight and they seem alright so should i buy another bottle and and keep adding it every day for the ten days or just keep adding it till the bottle has finished it should last three days and then have my water tested again?

thanxs for your help.

p.s my oranda has a white patch on her head(on the wen) and i cant tell if it is fungus or shes just turning white ill try and get a decent pic to show you

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I have never used or seen this product, so I can't really advise you on its use. Maybe someone else on the list has used it, and might give you some advice. Have you had your water tested lately? How do your fish seem now?

If the white spot on your oranda's wen is a white, fuzzy tuft, it is nothing to worry about. Oranda's often get white tufts during active wen growth. It will disappear in a few days.

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well i was getting very worried about both of my moors because they were sitting on the bottom constantly and somedays not even eating but since theve gone back into their tank they are swimming around happily and phill is back to eating out of my hand. even pebbles can swim down further in the tank. i am going to get my water tested on wednesday and see how my levels are and ask if i should buy more of the stuff to complete the ten days. i cant see any tufts coming from is head but i shall keep a close eye on it.

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amanda now has a white patch on the other side of the head and it doesnt look tufty im worried. i have good and bad news: good news nitrites are 0 finally(that stuff is very good) bad news pebbles has got worse and now floats on her side my LFS has given me aquarian salts and has told me to do a salt dip or to put the salt in the water which would work better? if this doesnt work then i will buy some swim bladder medicine which i saw in the shop today. if that doesnt work than i will seriously concider euthinasisa! i dont want her to suffer like my friends moor that floated upside down and ended up with fugus on its belly and died.RIP :o

p.s oh yeah i forgot to say when pebles does swim down all of her fins are spread out for the first time ever she looks very pretty.ahh

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Please don't euthanize your fish. It sometimes take a while for a fish to recover, but they can come back :)

I would start with a low dose of salt. I would start with 1 tablespoon per 5 gallons of water. When you do your water changes, replace the salt for the water changed. So, if you change 5 gallons of water, add another 1 tablespoon of salt. Dissolve the salt in tank water before adding.

I would give the salt a bit of time to work before medicating. Medication can be very stressful to fish and can crash your cycle in your tank.

Also, does Pebble float all of the time or is it after she eats? What do the white patches look like? How big are they and are they in the same spot or developing in different spots. Has the original patch gotten bigger or stayed the same?

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  • Regular Member

amandas white patch how now gone fuzzy false alarm i hope the one on the other side has disapeared and the origanal one has got alot whiter and fuzzier! i dont think i could ever euthinase my fish i just went a bit crazy there sorry. she floats all the time at the moment but she can swim down when she reaches the bottom she turns upside down and floats back to the top. she only floats on her side when she is too tired to keep herself up right and chalky keeps nipping her thinking shes food. im just feeding her bloodworms and peas so i can see if there is an improvement. im worried about using the salt how long should i use it for and how much should i put in my tank if it holds 28 gals? will it help with phill who still has the right line around his lips? how will it affect the others and the butterfly loach? im worried about her i dont like to see her like this i was told swim bladder cant be treated in fancy fish! thankyou for your help :)

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Have you tried fasting her for a couple of days? Sometimes the problem with floating fish is constipation and gas. If you find that a fast helps, then the problem is probably gas and constipation. Usually diet can help this. If fasting doesn't help, then the problem could be swimbladder. I would try fasting for two days, then feed peas and see if it helps.

For the salt, I would start with 1 tablespoon per five gallons of water. So, if your tank holds approx. 28 gallons, we will drop it to 25 to take gravel and ornaments into account. So, add 5 tablespoons of salt. Dissolve in tank water first. With a low dose like this you don't have to add the dosage in three stages as you would if you were adding a higher dose to combat parasites.

I am not sure about using salt with the loach. You called him a butterfly loach, what does he look like, i.e. size, colour, shape, etc.

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I have done some research on salt with hillstream loaches (also known as butterfly loaches), and it seems that they might not tolerate salt well. So I would do the salt treatment in a separate tank from the loach.

Now that you think that the fuzzy tufts could be caused by wen growth, it probably isn't necessary to proceed with the salt anyway.

I would probably start with the two day fast and see if there is an improvement in the floating fish.

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  • Regular Member

well my loach sort of looks like that same shape but has dots and is sort of lighter. im going to fast her and see what happens if i have to use salt then the loach can go into the tank with my common goldfish temporarily(excuse the spelling) and then ill try peas what about bloodworm along with the peas?

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hey great news the fasting had started to work i did'nt feed her yesterday morning and she has improved alot already she didnt float at the surface of the water for a while she stayed about an inch from it she even swam down without turning upside down. but then someone in my house fed them and shes floating again so how long should i soak the flakes for before feeding in the future once she has been fasted properly.

theres a big sighn on the tank saying not to feed them starting the 14th may ive got my fingers crossed for her.

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  • Regular Member

It is great that you have determined what the problem is, then it is easier to figure out how to treat it. Food related problems won't respond to medications or that kind of thing. Some fish seem to have problems digesting certain foods and those foods cause them to float. Eliminating those foods can sometimes solve the problem.

I would suggest eliminating flakes if they are causing your fish to float. You could try putting your fish on a natural diet for a week and see if it helps. Feed only veggies, frozen foods, rice and homemade gel food. I feed blanched zucchini (I microwave zucchini cut in wedges in water in the microwaved until cooked. It won't float if it is cooked). My fish also like tiny bits of broccoli, cauliflower and potato. All of these I feed lightly cooked. With the rice, use white rice and cook it very, very well until it is quite mushy. I make a gel food that has a large pea component and tuna. The fish love it and this really helps the floaters.

The best processed food that I have found is ProGold pellets which is only available mail order. It doesn't seem to cause floating problems, although some fish who are very bad floaters can't tolerate it, either.

Here is an easy gel food recipe that I use for my fish. They love it, and it

is really good to feed to fish that having floating problems Especially the

one with 1/2 peas as the vegetable component.

Please keep me posted how your fish are doing.

GEL FOOD

1 cup lightly cooked vegetables (I used a half cup frozen peas, then the

next half cup was a mixture of frozen spinach, frozen green beans, green

pepper, & parsley, but you can use other things such as asparagus, mustard

greens, broccoli, carrots, whatever you have on hand) If you use frozen

vegetables, you don't have to cook them, since they are already blanched.

1/2 can tuna or shrimp

- liquefy the veggies and the tuna or shrimp in a blender,

- dissolve 2 packets of unflavoured gelatin in half a cup of warm water,

microwave till clear, and stir into the veggie mix.

Pour into a standard oblong cake pan that is lined with saran wrap and

chill.

Once set, cut into bite sized pieces with the dull side of a knife. Remove

enough for a week, then freeze the rest. When it is frozen, you can use the

saran wrap to lift the whole slab right out of the pan, double wrap it, and

return to the freezer. It will easily break along the cuts that you have

made. Just break off a chunk of the frozen food, and let thaw a bit, then

feed. It thaws very quickly. You can keep a few days worth, unthawed, in the

fridge wrapped in saran.

There is also another very easy gel food that is made with a small can of

tomato paste, a couple of peeled, lightly cooked, chopped carrots, 1/2 can

tuna or shrimp, 2 packets unflavoured gelatin dissolved in half cup warm

water and heated till clear. This mixture is then liquefied in the blender

and treated the same way as above for freezing. This is high in vitamin A

and C :-)

The fish love these and these recipes make a huge batch, so it lasts a long

time.

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  • Regular Member

bad news pebbles isnt looking very good shes stopped floating but now she just sits on the floor and tries to hide behind the plant pot shes still eating but she hardly moves and to top it all of they've got white spot again!! :crp i think that there is something seriously wrong with her she hasnt grown since ive had her and ive had her for about four months the others have doubled in size. :krazy:

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  • Regular Member

I am going to be away for a couple of days on business, but I posted a message for one of the other mods to take a look at this thread. I hope they can give you some help. I'll check in when I get back and good luck :)

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