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Goldfish Swimming Strangely

Guest mclarenfan1

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Guest mclarenfan1

Ammonia Level?


Nitrite Level?


Nitrate level?


Ph Level, (If possible,KH and GH and chloramines)?

Ph Level out of the Tap?

Don't know

Tank size (How many Gals) and How long has it been running?

23 US gallons. A month.

What is the name and size of the filter/s?

Aqua-Flow 3

How often do you change the water and how much?

Once per week, 20-50%

How many fish in the tank and their size?


3-4 inches.

What kind of water additives or conditioners?


Any medications added to the tank?


Add any new fish to the tank?


What do you feed your fish?

Flake food.

Any unusual findings on the fish such as "grains of salt",


bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus?


Any unusual behavior like staying

at the bottom, not eating, ect..?

My shubunkin often stays near the top of the water. Or swims around messing with the gravel in a vertical position (EDIT: but not in a normal way like the comet does, he shakes more, as if he is having to swim towards the bottom to stay there). When swimming he often rolls onto his side. Once I saw him flip all the way over. He's always swam slightly strangely, I suspect he is blind in one eye, but his swimming has got even more unusual lately.

Both fish have had long trails of poo behind them. Once recently the shubunkin's poo was clear which I have never seen before.

I have also recently added the new filter, I think it might be too big for the tank? The fish seem not to swim naturally when it is switched on as though the current bothers them.

Any suggestions?



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  • Regular Member

it sounds as if it's a swim bladder problem, but the cause of it could stem from many different reasons. (of which i can't help you with.)

do you presoak your flake food before feeding?

sometimes if you just toss in some flake food, the goldfish will gobble up air as they're eating the food and the intake of air can cause SBD.

also, what color is their poo? is it the same color as the food you feed them? white? clear? clear with air bubbles?

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  • Regular Member

Swim Bladder can be aggravated by nitrates as low as 10 so I'd start out by doing a water change. What temperature is your tank? The long stringy poop is a sign of constipation so you should fast your fish for two days and then feed them de-shelled pea's. Gold fish cannot digest the shell of the pea so it is important that it is removed. Then you can mush/chop the pea up with your fingernail and drop it into the tank. Frozen daphina (water flea) also works well to purge their systems.

In a nutshell, I'd do a large water change, fast them for two days and then feed them deshelled pea's for 3 days. After the few days I'd start soaking whatever foods that you use to feed your goldie's for 10 minutes before adding it to the tank.

Hope this helps!

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While I agree that SBD may be a problem here, it may not be your only problem.

Fasting the fish along with feeding peas should help the SBD. I would recommend a 2 day fast followed by 2 days of shelled peas.

However if the stools are white in nature the fish could have a internal bacterial infection requiring medicated foods.

If you can get back to us on this we can recommend some things.

Also I am wondering about the shaking the fish does. Does he dart around the tank at all?

Spit out food?

Rub up against anything?

Yawn alot?

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