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Ryukin Remaining Stagnant At Back Of Tank


Guest izgoblin

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Guest izgoblin

Current readings:

Ph - 7.2

Ammonia - 0 ppm

Nitrate - 10 to 20 ppm

Nitrite - 0 ppm

Sorry this is a long post - I feel the more details I give, the better.

We have 4 fancy goldfish in a 55 gallon tank plus a bristlenose pleco. For quite some time, our calico ryukin has been swimming upside down, sideways, and right side up (at times), but most of the time she chooses to hide at the back of the tank and sort of stay stagnant with her head facing down and her tail up. This behavior was observed mostly after all of our fish were diagnosed with ich, but with the great help of people on this forum, salt treatment and increasing water temperature seemed to kill that off.

Though it doesn't sound like much of an excuse now, an extremely busy work schedule has kept us from changing the water as much as we should. We normally change out about 10 gallons, sometimes once a week, but more often it has been once every two weeks. We tried keeping live plants, but the last time we put anachris in the tank, our fish dug them up and destroyed them. As time went by, our tank became more and more overrun with algae. I hadn't tested the water in a while, but I assumed the nitrates were high. All of our fish were rather lethargic. At one point, I found what looked like white pimples on my bubble eye's fins, but they no longer appear.

As I began to get concerned for our fish, we moved all 5 of them to a 10 gallon quarantine tank for two days. During this time, we did not feed the fish, as I was concerned about messing up the water quality in that small tank. I know we're not supposed to do this, but we completely gutted the 55 gallon tank; we replaced the filter with a Penguin model rated for up to 80 gallon aquariums (sorry I don't know the exact model), we replaced all of the gravel with the biggest aquarium stones we could find. At the same time, we scraped the algae off the sides of the tank, which of course ended up in the remaining water. By this time, I had removed 50% of the water (I would have done more, but we simply didn't have enough buckets and such to keep more than 20 gallons of water around), and filled the tank with tap water along with Stress Coat to dechlorinate. While the fish were in the quarantine tank, I let the filter get most of the algae. We let this water filter through for two days, and we just put the fish back in the big tank this morning, as my girlfriend thought our ryukin seemed to get worse while in the small tank.

The readings you have above are from the 55 gallon as it is now. Personally, I suspect two major contributors to my ryukin's behavior - she could have suffered from poor water quality which made her sick, or perhaps she has a bit of the old gravel stuck in her mouth. Earlier she was upside down looking like she was trying very hard to breathe. I don't see anything in her mouth, but I'm really afraid to try to handle her to check, as I'm afraid of hurting her more.

I guess at this point I have to wonder what is best for me to do. I'm not sure if she has an infection I can't see, if I kicked up bad bacteria when we overhauled our tank, if she does have something in her mouth, or if she's got swim bladder disease and just overly stressed from the two moves in the past few days.

Should I put her back in the quarantine tank in case she's infected? I really have no idea what to do, and I've already lost two fish in the brief 16 months that I've had them. Ho hum. I realize I'm not the perfect fish keeper, but I'm so saddened by the fact that I seem to be doing several of my little guys (or gals, who knows?) such a disservice. I hate to seem them die.

Any thoughts whatsoever are much appreciated!

-- just a quick update:

As I finished this post, I found the ryukin swimming at the front of the tank, right side up. I don't get it - if she were terribly sick, I don't think she'd do that. I dunno if I can explain this properly, but my other ryukin's top fins are kinda firm and upright. Hers is sorta limp and not. I seem to remember my other sick ryukin's fin appearing the same way shortly before he passed. Is this a sign of sickness, or is it in my head? :)

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  • Regular Member

Hi iz,

Where to start? I suppose the first thing you need to watch out for is the new tank syndrome. You have effectively started a new tank with a new filter so you can expect ammonia to rise and then nitrIte to peak as in a brand new cycling tank. Best to get some ammonia binders on standby and some aquarium salt as well.

Now, just to clarify something, how long has the fish been upside down?

What does her poop looks like?

What is her gills looks like? Fresh meat red? In good shape?

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Guest izgoblin

I understand that the ammonia levels can rise, except that they only entered the tank this morning, so it should be good for a while. Also, we found the first time we cycled this tank, with weekly water changes, the ammonia and nitrite levels were 0 ppm or ever so slightly higher.

She is now back to just sitting in the back of the tank, nose to gravel, though after my first post, she was swimming quite normally for a couple of hours. As for her poop, I can't say I've seen it recently. I've seen the others poop, but not her. Doesn't mean she hasn't been - I just don't get to spend a lot of time watching them. We feed them peas once a week, just for reference. And she did eat some Tetrafin flakes this morning (the feeding was sufficiently light which I felt was the best thing since we just moved them back to the big tank).

Her gills look fine to me, not that I'm an expert. She's a calico, so she's fairly colorful, but I don't see any discoloration or anything at all that stands out. The only thing I think which is different is what I mentioned about her top fin being kinda limp. Otherwise, she looks like she's healthy, she just doesn't act it.

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  • Regular Member

If she is eating, you can try some medicated food like medigold or Romet B. It might be a bit of bacteria infection in the gut.

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Guest izgoblin

Thanks, I'll look for them. She's still up and down throughout the day, but definitely nowhere near as bad looking as she was when she was upside down on Tuesday. *phew*

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