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Guest clive02

Swollen Abdomen In Outdoor Goldfish

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Guest clive02

Hi there. Can anyone help please. We have an outdoor pond stocked with numerous varieties of goldfish and koi. One of the goldfish has an extremely swollen abdomen and has been getting worse all year. To be honest we thought it was dropsy but the scales do not protrude and it is active and eating well. There are probably something like fifty fish in the pond and only this goldfish is affected although a smaller fish may be showing the first signs of swelling. The fish is quite large and has been in the pond for over 4 years. They are all fed Tetra dried pellets and nothing else although there is quite a lot of weed for them to nibble on. Their is a green genie pump on 24 hours a day and all the fish appear to love life in the pond, some of the koi are probably 2 feet long.

Any ideas please. It may be a little late for the very sick one but can we prevent this occuring in the other fish?

Clive

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Hi Clive and welcome to the site.

We will need you to provide some more info on the fish and the pond.

Please answer all the questions at the top of the page in the red box.

This will give us insite into what could be going on.

Thanks

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Guest clive02

Hello Laurie

Thanks response answers as best I can to your questions as follows:

We have never tested the water quality. The pond has been in place about 15 years. The water is pasted through a green genie 24 hours a day. The fish are generally very happy and in perfect condition.

The water is never changed as it is an outdoor pond. It measures about 10x4 feet and upto 3 feet deep.

The green genie filter is cleaned every other day and the bottom is pumped out every 2 weeks. As I say the fish are very happy and the water is clear.

There are around 50 fish in the pond including 4 koi that are between 18 and 24 inches long. I would say there are slightly too many fish in the pond which is why the green genie is left on.

We do not use water conditioners or medications ever.

No new fish added to tank in last 3 years.

They are fed tetra pellets and have been for last 2 years. Can't advise the full packet desription as have thrown packaging away.

There are absolutely no marks on the fish they all look extremely healthy as they always have in fact.

The bloated fish is near the surface of the water most of the time although it is still able to dive to the bottom if it wants to and is still startled so acts quite normally.

This one goldfish is like a tennis ball in shapebut this has been a slow process over theis year.

Hope the above info helps and look forward to your response

Many thanks

Clive02

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Clive, this is only a guess but they may have digestive problems or swim bladder disorder. The swelling/bloating you mention can be symptoms of high nitrAte levels in the water and/or overfeeding.

I just did a quick calculation and your pond is roughly 540 gallons (based on an average depth of 2 foot). You could comfortably home around 50 medium/large goldfish in there, or your 4 koi. To keep the 50 fish and the koi makes the pond stocked at double the recommended amount. With goldfish the recommended water volume per fish is 10g each, for koi the recommended water volume per fish is 100-200g each.

With the heavy stocking levels there is going to be a huge bioload and without water changes the nitrAte levels are going to be through the roof. I'm not familiar with a "green genie", it doesn't sound like a regular filtration system if it needs to be cleaned every 2nd day.

I suggest doing a water change of around 30-50% at least monthly, it wouldn't be necessary except that there are so many fish in the pond. I would also think about running another biological filter alongside the "green genie".

So I think that your fish are basically showing symptoms of being overstocked and poor water quality. Remember clear water doesn't necessarily mean healthy water.

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Guest clive02

Thanks Annette

You sound as though you are very experienced in the art of keeping goldfish so thanks again. I would say however that generally the fish are very happy. the green genie is an ultra violet filtration system to keep the alfae at bay. The water is well aerated and they never ghasp at the surface. I reckon you may be right with the over feeding or is jusy that goldfish is perhaps overly greedy? I've been reading about constipation and people say to feed green vegetation so we are having a go at that and if that's not the answer we will try replacing the water. Apparently we did a test a couple of months ago and all is well.

Once again

Cheers a lot

Clive

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Clive I am glad to see Annette has helped you.

However I would make the investment of a few tests, ammonia, nitrites, nitrates and PH. These are essential in keeping gf healthy. Many times tanks or ponds can go a very long time with know changes or water condtioners added, but all it takes is a few days to kill a pond of fish.

There is a master kit by aquarium pharmacuticals that has what what you need, usually it is around $20, and lasts a long time.

I would feel better if you and we knew what they were.

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Wishing your fish all the best, Clive. Hmmn, the 'green genie' sounds like a wonderful thing to have, some people run smaller versions on their fishtanks and it does keep algae and excessive bacteria, parasites, etc, at bay.

I'm wondering if your pond is well planted? This would recycle some of the nitrAtes but I still don't understand how you manage without a biological filter. Once again, if the pond is well planted that would help.

nb. I'm not really an expert on ponds but thanks.

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Hi Clive,

Annette asked me to drop by and have a look at the thread. :)

2 issues. You are very overstocked. I'm not too sure of the shape of your pond. You mentioned that the maximum depth is 3ft but it sounds like it slops down to that depth so taking a discount that you don't fill to the top and the bottom is a bowl shape, I would guessimate your pond to be around 650gal. Even if it was a perfect rectangular pond, you are only looking at max 900gal.

Maybe you are lucky that your fish are happy and healthy but it is a bit of a time bomb. If anything goes wrong, like nasty bacteria or parasite then it will go through your pond like wild fire. :( A comprehensive testing of your water would be advisable, indeed.

Now, with your goldfish. If she does looks like a tennis ball and it has been slowly growing over many months and you can see the bloating only in the belly area, i.e. the top half of the fish is still lean and trim then I would venture that it is a tumor. Fish can carry a tumor for months and even years and seems to be unaffected and then they go downhill quickly when the tumor spreads to more vital organs. :( A vet can use ultrasound to check.

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Guest clive02

Hi Annette

Thanks your good wishes for the fish. Just for your info the pond is planted with lilies and 2 floating plants.

Thanks also for consulting with captk.

Kind regards

Clive

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Guest clive02

Hello captk

Thanks a lot for your input to our problem.

I realise the pond is over stocked but we are not in a position to enlarge it hence the water is aerated via the green genie 24 hours a day.

The tumour idea sounds very feasible as you have described the fishs' condition perfectly. It would be unfortunate for the goldfish but in a way I hope you are right as this condition would obviously be non-contagious!

Thanks again for your help

Kind regards

Clive

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Hi Clive, captk has advised me that the 'green genie' is a UV steriliser and biological filter combined, so sorry for the confusion. :)

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Guest jstock6

Clive, You have exactly described the same problem I wrote in question on Sept 27. I'm glad to see you were able to more suggestions and responses than I have. Like you I have goldfish in outdoor pond for over 5 years. All apparently happy & healthy except for one which grew an enormous belly over about 16 mo. So far it is still able to swim & eat, but kind of rolls over, seemingly unexpectedly. I think the tumor suggestion is probably the closest to right. I have photos of the condition if anyone wants to see it. I suspect it is a condition more prevelent in common goldfish or pond goldfish. Good Luck. If you get any confirmation, I'd be interested in knowing

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Hi jstock,

I'm sorry that you didn't get a good response the first time around. If you post the pics I'll have a look for you. :)

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Guest jstock6

Please tell me where/how to send pictures I have. I know how to email pics, but I'm not sure how your site works for that.

Thanks

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You can send them to me at misc2071@captk.org and I'll put them up for you. :)

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Guest jstock6

Thank you. I have sent you a couple pictures. I appreciate your help. They may be of interest to others.

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Here is the best pic from jstock (sorry, the second one didn't really added much more).

From the pic, I would say it is a tumor. Possibly ovarian (might have spread to other organs as well). The fact that it has been getting worse over a long period of time tends to rule out egg impaction. Sorry.

post-4742-1131752914_thumb.jpg

Edited by captk

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