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Still Sick: Spitting Out Food, Sitting At The Top Of The Tank

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Guest mattersville

I wrote to this forum back in November about my comet:


I used Prazipro in my fish tank in order to fix the flukes infestation. I followed the instructions on the bottle and used it three times, which didn't help really. I waited several weeks, and I tried the three doses again. He hasn't been scraping himself against the sides of his tank, the plant, or the gravel too much. I did notice him scraping himself against the gravel a few days ago, but that was the first time I've seen him do it in a while. He has been hiding behind his plant a lot, too, and when he's not doing that, he's up near the top of the water poking the top of his head out of the water. He hasn't eaten in months--I really have no idea how he's survived this long.

I washed his tank out completely today: I emptied all the water, rinsed out all the gravel, and scrubbed the sides. I added Prime and Cycle to the tank and let it sit for a few hours. When I put him back into the water, he seemed a lot happier than he has been in the past couple of months. He swam around a lot more for about an hour, and he seemed his old self. However, I tried to give him a little bit of food. He raced up to eat it, but immediately spat it back out again. He kept trying to eat the flakes of food, but just kept spitting them back out again. It seemed like he really wanted to eat, but just couldn't swallow. After this, he swam up to the top of the water again, and has stayed there ever since. Oh, I also noticed a small red spot on the end of his nose. I just put a hood lamp in the tank, so it may have been there for a while and I haven't noticed it before. I don't know whether it's just where he's been bumping his nose against the glass or something I should really be worried about.

I've been looking through books I've bought, and everything seems to be pointing to flukes. The medication I tried didn't work before, but should I try again? I'm really unsure of what to do at the moment. One of my friends suggested taking him to a vet's office, but do vets really treat goldfish? I don't think I've ever heard of that before. Any suggestions?

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  • Regular Member

Hi mattersville.

Last time you gave all your tank details, and we are going to need all those again: including temperature, amm, nitrites, nitrates, water change routine and pH from the tap AND in the tank.

I am wondering if you have some pH and other water issues going on here. Fish can flash with sudden temp changes or pH changes. I doubt its flukes this time since you have treated for those several times and your fish showed marked improvement after a large water change. The cycle of flukes tends to have a pattern that includes gasping at the surface but would probably by now have resulted/ended with the fish bottom sitting. So if its not flukes & he cant eat maybe he has some bacterial growth or ulcer in his mouth.

Have you seen him yawn at all? Can his mouth open wide? Have you seen anything unusual in there?

As Mads suggested in the original thread try & tempt him to eat some different foods. Flakes are not the best food for fish especially fish at the surface who may have some swimbladder problems. How old are the flakes? They tend to get damp and lose all nutritional value faster then pellet food and all opened packs should be thrown out 6 months form the time they are opened. Try some mushed peas, garlic soaked cooked rice grains, frozen pieces of shrimp, krill. Nutrition and vitamins are sometimes the best medicine when we cannot pinpoint exactly. Try hand feeding him teeny pieces of a variety of different things. I'm sure he'll take something.

I know its a pain but we'd still appreciate answers to the Qs from the white box above -as of today plse.

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Guest mattersville






TANK SIZE: 10 gallons, and it's been running for about a year.

FILTER: AquaClear; it has the number 20, and it is good for 5 to 20 gallon aquariums

WATER CHANGES: 25% every week; I changed it last night, because the orange made the water murky.

FISH IN TANK: Just him, and he's about five inches long now

WATER ADDITIVES: Cycle, Prime, and a little aquarium salt



FISH FOOD: I gave him a little garlic the other day along with a small piece of orange to try and tempt him to eat. He went straight for the garlic, chewed, and spat it back out again. He did the same thing with the orange; a little later he was pecking at the orange, but I didn't see if he was spitting it out or not. I gave him some freezedried bloodworms, but he wasn't interested in them.

UNUSUAL FINDINGS: A red dot on the tip of his nose, but I think that's from him bumping against the glass all day long.

UNUSUAL BEHAVIOR: His health seems to be fluctuating. Last night he was being extremely active, swimming around between the leaves of his plant, but now he's just sitting at the top of his tank again. A few minutes ago he started moving around the tank quite quickly, and stopped in the corner of the tank, gasped for air at the top, and then started flashing against all the sides of his tank and his gravel. Right now he's just gasping for air at the top of the tank.

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Your tank is still reading 0 for nitrates -one year after start- and I have to conclude that you are not familiar with the cycling process. No amount of medication will heal a fish suffering from a continued lack of tank cycle and the stress that causes. You say the fish seemed fine after a large water change that is the clue- perfect water means cycled water and until you learn about the nitrogen cycle and or at least how important second daily 50% water changes are for 2 months or more until your tank has created enough beneficial bacteria to protect him form continuous fluctuations of toxins your fish will hover and flash excatly like this. Only when a tank is cyled will it be safe for the fish.

Please read the link in my sig to learn about the nitrogen cycle.

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