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Has My Fantail Got Swim Bladder Disease?


Guest Janet Payne

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Guest Janet Payne

:( I bought 2 fantails and a oranda three weeks ago from a reputable source.

I only have 1 fantail left. The others died of swim bladder disease(I think). The remaining fantail is now exhibiting odd behaviour. It's dorsal fin is clamped down and it is not very energetic. It is now staying at the bottom a lot and is very still. I have bought a water testing kit and done all the tests and they are all normal. I had the two gallon tank up and running for a week before introducing the fish (with water safe and safeguard). Since the fish symptoms began I introduced Gold Disease Safe (15 pipettes - as per instructions). I repeated this again yesterday. I have withheld dry food and introduced a small piece of lettuce and peeled cucumber. The fish is definitely getting worse. I called at a large pet shop tody and they recommended not to introduce any more chemicals at this stage and to offer frozen bloodworms and just wait and see.

Hoping you can help - ManyThanks

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  • Regular Member

Your tank should have been 30 gallons.It's 10 gallon per fancy goldfish.So 2 gallons was overstocked.Did you soak the fish food?When the goldfish come up to eat ,it swallows air as well.So that may be your problem.Right now get the biggest tank you can get.It should be at least 10 gallons.

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  • Regular Member

Hi Janet and welcome to Koko's. Gold Ryu has made a good point about water volume per fish and the size of your tank. It is almost impossible to keep 3 fish alive and healthy in a 2g tank. Even one very small goldfish needs at least 5g plus a filter. The reason we recommend 10g per fish is to allow the fish room to grow.

I suspect that the deaths of your other 2 fish were due to water quality. Water goes off very quickly in a fish tank, fish poop etc and make ammonia, this in turn is converted to nitrITes, both of which are very toxic. Although your tests are returning good readings now a week ago the water could have been toxic.

It sounds to me like your remaining fantail has symptoms of nitrIte poisoning. Can you tell us how often you change the water and how much you change each time? Do you use a water conditioner to remove chlorine, etc.

At the top right hand of the page there is a heading "Cycling Tanks". Click on this and read all about how ammonia/nitrIte in your tank water, it is very useful.

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The above posters were right on with their observations. I would also suggest that you do a very large water change of about 80% asap. Replace the removed tank water with water the same temperature that has been treated with a good water conditioner that treats both chlorine and chloramine. I have had good success with Prime. You could also add two teaspoons of salt to your tank. Use aquarium, kosher, pickling, coarse or sea salt (a salt without additives). Dissolve the salt in tank water before adding. The salt will act as a tonic for the fish.

We have to remember that besides the things we can measure with test kits, harmful bacteria can build up to very high levels and cause internal bacterial problems in fish, the symptoms of which can mimic swimbladder. This is particularly apt to happen in smaller tanks.

I hope this helps and please feel free to ask questions.

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Guest Janet Payne

:( Thank you to Gold Ryu, Mesmerised and Touchofskye for taking the time to reply to my desperate plea for help. Unfortunately my fantail has now died - poor thing. I had hoped it might survive after doing the tests and withholding dry feed.

The recommendation that these fish need a larger volume of water has been taken on board and I will remember this for the future. None of the stores I have purchased my other fish from have ever given this advice - so many, many thanks once again.

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Guest Inasoso

I was just like you. I got a 2 gallon from vvvv (a goldfish starter kit) and 2 goldies. One died the day I found out They needed at least 10 gallons EACH fish. My other one survived as I got a 29 gallon the day it died. I know what youre going through. Its tough. And yes, A Betta should live very well. I might get one myself, But not in the same tank. The filter doesnt work. So, good luck and I'm soo sorry to hear all 3 of your fish died. Dont give up!

Oh and, :welcome ! If you need help, This is the place to get it. I am glad you are here and I hope the Aqua Mods and others help you save your fish. Enjoy it! :heart

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  • Regular Member

A betta doesn't need a filter. They can do well in filtered tanks, but can also do well in unfiltered tanks. I have a 2 gallon tank without a filter with a betta. He has thrived in that tank for about 1 1/2 years now. I do a 100% water change once per week. I rinse out the tank, rinse off the river stones and silk plant with hot water. Then I refill with water that has been sitting out in a large watering can I keep for that purpose. I let the water sit out for about 24 hours, so it is the same temperture as the tank, and to let any CO2 dissipate (sometimes dissolved CO2 in the water can cause the ph to be lower in water right out of the tap. My tap water is that way). I use Prime as a water conditioner. This little guy has done very well with this routine, and has been just as healthy as my bettas in 5 gallon, filtered tanks. Just my experience :)

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Guest Inasoso

Thnks for our experience. I did relize my fault. I just posted this in Tanks:

I n this case I will need a filter. But I could et a male in my 2 gallon too. Thanks sooo much!

Cory Catfish (1)

neon tetras (4)

Betta (1 and female)

zebra Danios (3)

This is a 5 gallon selection for small active fish that do not breed easily. If this works out, I also Have many 29 gallon/55 gallon combination for anyone who wants some."

I n this case I will need a filter. But I could et a male in my 2 gallon too. Thanks sooo much!
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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest philcam

jesus you should NEVER change more than 25% of your water in one go!!! ESPECIALLY an 80% change. If this happens again do 505 TOPS if things are looking bad but more than that will just finish the fish off anyway.

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I have to respectfully disagree, philcam. I have done 80% water changes in tanks with fish that are very ill with nitrite problems, and turned them around by doing that. I have also done 100% water changes with goldfish by doing bucket to bucket methods, without dire effects.

I do weekly 30 - 40% water changes on my goldfish tanks and my goldfish have been healthy and happy for years :)

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