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Black Moore Floating At Top Of Tank


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please help!

I have had my blackie for more than a year. Always very active and curious. I went away for the weekend, so I dropped in a weekend feeder (Wardley) for the 3 days I was gone.

When I got back, my black moore seemed really bloated and more round than usual. Almost to the point where I'm scared his scales might start popping out, or seem like they slightly almost are (I do hope it's not dropsy...)[i could be imagining the popping scales as I'm quite paranoid and very worried about my favorite fish....]. He seems to keep floating at the top of the tank perfectly content. Floats more in place and doesn't quite swim around. Isn't flipped or upside down in any way, normal orientation.

Blackie is in a 20 gallon tank with another goldfish (red cap). Tank has an AquaClear 20 power filter and a PennPlax bubbler filter (with carbon & ammonia remover). I do partial water changes weekly, about 5 gallons - water sits for 24 hours and is Brita filtered water. I don't have ph test kits or etc. They've been in the 20 gallon tank for almost 5 months (they used to be in a 10 gallon). The red cap looks healthy and lively. Both fishes are about 4-5" not including the tail. For food, I alternate between Wardley floating pellets & NutraFin floating pellets (I soak them for a bit before putting in tank), bloodworms, sun dried tiny shrimp, peas.

His poop is VERY long, thin, clear and a bit like it has air bubbles. It's been trailing him for more than 10 min, I think. I cheked the site and it says that this means a fish is just reabsorbbing the eggs. But just a couple months ago, he developed white 'pimples' on his front fins and around the gills, so I always thought blackie was a male. And I'm pretty sure he is...so it can't be eggs?

Is this something I should be very concerned about? I can't tell if it's constipation or swim bladder...the swim bladder link in the topic isn't working. I'm worried if immediate action needs to be taken?!?! :unsure: Salt baths? I don't have the materials to do a hospital tank...unless it's ok to put a black moore in a bucket...

I hope this wasn't too long...

Any help would be much appreciated.


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  • Regular Member

Hi there dknygrlie and :welcome

To be honest, i'd never leave a feeder in the tank - especially as fish can survive for 3 days without food.

They tend to leave resulting problems with everyone I know :(

I think the best thing you can do for him is

1) A 50% waterchange (using temp & ph matched, dechlorinated water) - to remove any excess and refresh his water... perfect parameters will be your biggest help

2) fast him for 2-3 days so his system has a chance to remove the food buildup

3) on the 3rd day, feed him a shelled pea, this will help as a gentle laxative

Hopefully this will show some improvement soon.

Hope this helps :)

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thanks for the suggestion jenw!


i fasted blackie for 3 days...but he doesn't seem to have slimmed down. i rarely see him poop, and when he does, it trails him for up to an hour. it's extremely thin, clear on the outside, sometimes there's white inside the clear outside. (internal infection????)

i gave him peas today. unfortunately, the red cap got most of the pieces. but blackie was able to get a few bites. i'm not sure if this is due to his poor eyesight as a black moore or just doesn't have an appettite. red cap still shows a very healthy appettite and is swimming around normally.

my concern is, his left side seems more plumper than the other and his odd poop. there's even a slight small bump on his body on the left (near gill plate - not a protrusion) - recent development, or maybe i didn't notice till it's now more visitble. he doesn't float at the top of the tank anymore, and sits at the bottom. very lethargic.

the other fish has taken a habit of chasing and nudging him... i woke up yesterday to find the tiniest piece of 'skin' missing on blackie. looks like some sort of wound...i wonder if it's from the red cap picking on him. i put some Melafix into the tank.

i'm really, really worried about blackie. he's my first fish and i've had him for almost 2 years.

i am hoping this is all due to the wardley weekend feeder & his system will push out whatever is bloating him. he seemed perfectly healthy before i left. i'm going to make a trip to the pet store to pick up some test kits...would this be more helpful?

btw...is it common for black moores to develop a black 'cap'. he seems to have some cap growing on his head...this is normal?

also...how long can goldfish go w/out food then? i'll be taking a 2 week vacation in november and i'm not sure if i need someone to come and feed them. seeing how the feeder idea is definitely not an option anymore....

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is the black moore floating?

so it must be the floating diseas...

i lost one of my fancy goldfish to floating diseas a week ago :crp so i know how you feel but i always hear peas are good for it.

and if the tank water is very terbulent then try making it calmer if the fish cant control his swimming.

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thank you all for your help!

blackie is showing MUCH more activity. he swims to the front of the tank when i go up to it and isn't sitting at the bottom of the tank, or floating at the top anymore. his poop is green from the peas and it doesn't seem to be trailing him for an hour anymore.

hopefully he will have a full recovery within the next couple days.


but can they go without food for 2 weeks? it's a really long period...should i be looking to get someone to feed them while i'm on vacation.....

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