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Jack of Hearts

Ryukin Sitting At The Bottom Of The Tank

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Test Results for the Following:

Ammonia Level? 0

Nitrite Level? 0

Nitrate level? 20

Ph Level, (If possible,KH and GH and chloramines)? 7.2, KH & GH both about 70

Ph Level out of the Tap? 6.5

Tank size (How many Gals) and How long has it been running? 20 gallons, 2 1/2 years

What is the name and size of the filter/s? Whisper 20

How often do you change the water and how much? Once a week, about 40-50%

How many fish in the tank and their size? Two. One Oranda(4" body & 4" tail) & One Ryukin(3" body & 1" tail)

What kind of water additives or conditioners? I use Buff it Up to maintain proper pH. Also use Aquarium salt to keep salt content at 0.2%

Any medications added to the tank? No.

Add any new fish to the tank? No.

What do you feed your fish? Tetra pellet food, Pro-Gold, Freeze dried food from Goldfish Connection, & Peas.

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

bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus? No.

Any unusual behavior like staying

at the bottom, not eating, ect..? Yes staying on the bottom and not eating.

My Ryukin who has always been healthy and very active for the 3 1/2 years (I believe he was 6 month old when I got him) that I have had him, is now sick for the first time. :ill

He stays at the bottom of the tank and on an occasion will swim along the bottom to another location. Every once in a while he freaks out and dashes to the top of the tank and take a big gulp of air then sinks back to the bottom. He will hold the air for a while then release it little by little as evident by the air bubble coming out of his mouth.

He will eat, but very little.

He has been like this now for over 2 month now and it seems to be getting worse. My Oranda is healthy and will occasionally sit right next to his buddy to keep him company but then will swim off to do his acrobats.

I am starting to get very concerned. :( Can you guys help?

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Hi there J of H,

I'm sorry you are waiting and will just reply here till a Mod or helper can get to you. Your poor ryu!

2 months is a long time to be bottom sitting with no further symptoms so it may be a swim bladder or egg impaction issue, esp with the gulping.

A few more Q's that will help with diagnosis. 1.Do you have a heater in the tank and has the temp or weather been fluctuating..very cold suddenly, thunderstorms etc?

2.Can you take a look at his gills from behind and see if they are dark and red/meaty or pale? 3.Also you will prob. be asked about poop and what that looks like.

Any more details you can think of at all will be helpful as well as answering these 3 Q's.

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Hi Trinket! Thank you for replying. :)

I do have a heater in there and I usually maintain a constant temp of around 70-72 degrees at all times.

As for the gills, I am at work so I will be sure to check and post when I get home.

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2.Can you take a look at his gills from behind and see if they are dark and red/meaty or pale?

The gills seems to look fine.

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OK.. so the gills and temp seem fine. Really with this it is a case of eliminating all other causes. I hope that someone else will come along and offer some farther advice but I am thinking swim bladder. If you have 2 females in there it could also be impaction. I have found my female gulping air when shes gravid. What about poop is it stringy/white or contains a single egg?

Otherwise if not either of these she may be fighting an infection. Either way you will prob be advised to keep a close eye on your water and do more w/cs.

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OK.. so the gills and temp seem fine. Really with this it is a case of eliminating all other causes. I hope that someone else will come along and offer some farther advice but I am thinking swim bladder. If you have 2 females in there it could also be impaction. I have found my female gulping air when shes gravid. What about poop is it stringy/white or contains a single egg?

Otherwise if not either of these she may be fighting an infection. Either way you will prob be advised to keep a close eye on your water and do more w/cs.

The Ryukin(Jack) is definitely a male. He's one of the few goldies that have a very prominent male feature in his anal region. I am 99.99% sure that the Oranda(Sash) is a male too as they have been together for 3 1/2 years since the day I got them when they were little; and I have yet to find any eggs.

As for the poop, I can't remember seeing him poop in a long time as he eats so little. When I clean the tank, I see some very fine stringy white poop. I am assuming that's his. When he was healthy, he was very active with a very healthy appetite.

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I agree with others that 8 weeks is a long time to be bottom sitting. Are there any other symptoms at all? Does he hold his dorsal fin up or is a bit clamped? Anything external you can see?

A protruding vent is actually a female fish, not a male. Any swelling of the abdomen at all?

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I agree with others that 8 weeks is a long time to be bottom sitting. Are there any other symptoms at all? Does he hold his dorsal fin up or is a bit clamped? Anything external you can see?

A protruding vent is actually a female fish, not a male. Any swelling of the abdomen at all?

No the fin is not clamped. He occasionally seems like he is gasping for breath and opens and closes his mouth very wide and rapidly. His breathing in general seems to be fairly rapid but also settles down to normal. I don't see anything external, just looking at him, he looks like a healthy fish.

He always had somewhat of a big abdomen. Even when he was healthy. Always did. That has not changed. He is shaped like a heart on its side.

I am really at a loss. He is definetely not feeling well and it is getting worse. Do you thinkg any medication or medicated food will help? Is so, which kind?

His tankmate Sash the Oranda definitely knows something is wrong with his buddy. He will sit right next to him as to comfort him.

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Sorry- couldn't get back on. I would try medicated food definitely. Sooner the better. I would also try a very large water change. When did you last do a 70% change? Every once in a while its a good idea, esp with your cycle well established as it is. Don't do filter cleaning at the same time- just the water change. the fish may perk up with that- then try the medicated food. It is hard to recommend meds without more symptoms. You could try a broad spectrum bacterial med- and of course isolate her/him -it's your choice, but I wouldn't. Very hard to diagnose this one. I had a fish bottom sit for months but high nitrates were to blame and he got better with some larger w/c's and warmer water. Does the fish have any red marks in the tail- anything else at all? I just don't like to use meds with so little to go on in the way of infection symptoms, except loss of appetite and stringy poop. Has the fish lost weight?Looks thinner?

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Sorry disregard the last few sentences. I re-read and you say there are no marks in the tail and he isn't thin.... I wonder about the other fish occasionally sitting now and if he might in fact be affected too. I hope someone else will input here but for now I should try the medicated food ASAP. Can you get medigold? and feed it solely, before he loses his appetite any more.

(Also, on a side note, with a female you don't always see eggs unless she has been actively chased. The eggs can get impacted and are released as one large bubble in the poop)

Edited by Trinket

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Thank you so much Trinket. :)

I fed them Medi-gold for 2 weeks and it made no difference. The food was a year and a half old, and when I emailed Rick at Goldfish Connection, he told me that the meds only lasts 6 month. Is that true? It seems to be a very short lifespan for meds. Should I order some fresh Medi-gold?

I also noticed that the bottom of Jack's belly is flat and compressed from sitting at the bottom all the time. When he was healthy, his belly was very round.

Thank you. I will do the 70% water change. Should I maintain a certain Aquarium salt content? What about epsom salt? I think I will email Rick to ask him what he recommends for meds/med food.

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Oh the med food hardly keeps at all. It is antibiotic so once exposed to air its efficiency is compromised I suppose. Open for a year it would surely lose its potency. Rick will give you good advise. I'm sorry not to be better help. As for salt- personally I always salt to .1% when I have any fish worries just in case. It can't hurt. It's a tonic at that dose. Good luck. Let us know how it goes. I hope Jack gets back on his fins soon :)

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Oh the med food hardly keeps at all. It is antibiotic so once exposed to air its efficiency is compromised I suppose. Open for a year it would surely lose its potency. Rick will give you good advise. I'm sorry not to be better help. As for salt- personally I always salt to .1% when I have any fish worries just in case. It can't hurt. It's a tonic at that dose. Good luck. Let us know how it goes. I hope Jack gets back on his fins soon :)

I never heard back from Rick so I emailed him again. Should I just order the Medi-Gold? Jack is getting worse. He hardly moves at all and he eats almost nothing. His breathing is normal but on occasion he looks like he is gasping for breath.

The tank is usually at .15 - .2%. Should I salt to .3%? And is that OK for the healthy goldfish?

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I just ordered some fresh medi-gold and anti-bac bath from Goldfishconnection.

I hope this works. :)

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That sounds good. Check the bath can be used with salt. Full sized adult goldies can cope with .3% well. If this is a bacterial infection your other fish has been exposed too. Go ahead and salt. Have you done the large w/c first? It is very tricky keeping track of salt and salt creep will have your fish gasping at the surface...so do a large w/c before the salt.

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That sounds good. Check the bath can be used with salt. Full sized adult goldies can cope with .3% well. If this is a bacterial infection your other fish has been exposed too. Go ahead and salt. Have you done the large w/c first? It is very tricky keeping track of salt and salt creep will have your fish gasping at the surface...so do a large w/c before the salt.

It will probably take a few days for the meds to arrive so I will do a big water change and salt to .3% tomorrow. I have a salt test kit so I will be careful to not go too high. I have tons of green algae so the water quality is good. I just tested it. Ammonia & Nitrite at zero and Nitrate at 20.

Thank you for all your support Trinket! You are so sweet. :)

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You're very welcome :D Best of luck.

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I just got an email reply from Rick at Goldfishconnection.

He wrote:

"I'm sorry, once a goldfish's belly is flat from sitting on the bottom there is not much you can do to help them.

I would place the fish in a floating basket to prevent it from getting ulcers.

Click here to see the basket:"

https://www.goldfishconnection.com/articles...112&parentId=10

Is he going to die? :(

And why is he saying the fish may get ulcers?

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Hi again. I am so sorry that mail must have really shocked you.The ulcers are the next stage of internal septicemia. Often we don't know what is wrong with the fish until the ulcers appear. Then you treat the ulcers. Maybe someone else knows about the flat part. I don't think you should give up :exactly . Even internal infections stand a chance with perfect water conditions and medicated food. How is Jack today?

Have you started the bath/salt/med food?

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Jack- I am PMing a Mod to take a look at this thread. I really want to see your fish back up swimming and we need the best advice and input here.

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Hi again. I am so sorry that mail must have really shocked you.The ulcers are the next stage of internal septicemia. Often we don't know what is wrong with the fish until the ulcers appear. Then you treat the ulcers. Maybe someone else knows about the flat part. I don't think you should give up :exactly . Even internal infections stand a chance with perfect water conditions and medicated food. How is Jack today?

Have you started the bath/salt/med food?

The anti-bac bath and the medi-gold has not arrived yet. I did a 70% water change like you said and salted to about .26%. I will add some more salt tomorrow to get it up to .3%.

I hope the meds work. :)

Jack- I am PMing a Mod to take a look at this thread. I really want to see your fish back up swimming and we need the best advice and input here.

Thank you so much! :)

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Hi there. :)

I just read through your entire thread and I have a couple of questions for you:

Most Importantly, do you, or someone you know, have a family vet that you could contact to buy a round of antibiotic injections? Often, if you are face to face with a veterinarian and you present your case to them with numerous web pages and professional/collegiate publications regarding sickness and treatment of ornamental fishes, you can talk them into allowing you to purchase antibiotic injections for your fish. You might get charged for the consultation, but 20 dollars should buy you enough antibiotics to complete a treatment regime. I can provide you with all the links to professional websites and publications at any time.

Were both of these fish introduced to the tank at the same time?

Have you added any live plants, ornaments, gravel or anything that was once in another fish tank?

Do you have gravel in the tank and if so, how many inches? Do you utilize a gravel vacuum during every waterchange?

When was the last time you did a good thorough tank and filter cleaning? By filter cleaning, I mean completely cleaning out the intake tube and impeller housing of built-up gunk?

Do you ever see any of the following symptoms;

rubbing sides or face on gravel ornaments or glass?

pacing the length of the tank while seeming to rub gill plates or sides on the glass?

Rapid mouth chattering or the fish equivalent to coughing?

Rapid fin shaking (dorsal or pelvic fins)?

Bouts of rapid breathing?

As for Ricks suggestion that a goldfish with a flat spot on the belly means "there is nothing you can do for them". I would have to disagree. I have seen several to many fancy goldfish bottom sit for several months or more while exhibiting the "flat spot" you are seeing. Including my favorite goldfish, Spud. Most or all of the fish went on to a full recovery. Some remained bottom sitters for life because they aquired some kind of malady that affected their swim bladders. While Rick is a very intelligent man who runs a very reputable business, I still question some of his statements to customers seeking advice. Of course, he is often making snap decisions based on very little information so we can't hold him completely liable for misdiagnoses and seemingly strange or out of context statements.

Try to answer all of the questions I posed for you. In your replies, I might find a bit of info that points to the smoking gun. Good luck and post back soon. :)

Paul

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Thank you so much Toothless for your detailed questions. I typed the answers next to it.

Were both of these fish introduced to the tank at the same time?

Yes.

Have you added any live plants, ornaments, gravel or anything that was once in another fish tank?

Yes, but that was two and a half years ago. I got the two fish and a 5 gallon tank setup as a Christmas present 12/25/2003. They were in there for one year before I realized that it was too small from reading this forum. I transferred the fishes, the gravel, fake plants, and the oranament to the 20 gallon, but that was 2 and a half years ago.

Do you have gravel in the tank and if so, how many inches? Do you utilize a gravel vacuum during every waterchange?

Yes. About 2 inches. Yes.

When was the last time you did a good thorough tank and filter cleaning? By filter cleaning, I mean completely cleaning out the intake tube and impeller housing of built-up gunk?

2 days ago.

Do you ever see any of the following symptoms;

rubbing sides or face on gravel ornaments or glass?

No.

pacing the length of the tank while seeming to rub gill plates or sides on the glass?

No.

Rapid mouth chattering or the fish equivalent to coughing?

Yes he does do that on occasion.

Rapid fin shaking (dorsal or pelvic fins)?

No.

Bouts of rapid breathing

Yes on occasion.

I do not know any vets. I ordered Medi-gold and Anti-bac bath from Rick. Will the Anti-bac do in lieu of the injection? Do I need to use a carbon-less filter?

The only other sickness that these two had was a year and a half ago, Sash(the currently healthy one) got dropsy and under the guidance of the gread mods at Koko, he recovered completely. I did all the things that you guys told me to do: Maracyn, Maracyn 2, Epsom Salt, Temp to 80 F, & Metro-med. I hope with your guidance, Jack can recover fully too. :)

Once again thank you so much!

Edited by Jack of Hearts

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Just want to wish you good luck, and I hope he gets better soon. It's so sad to see them sitting there, not enjoying life like we think they should. My Oscar is still bottom sitting, but less and less each day. Hoping he eventually gives it up. I'm sure your's will too! :)

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