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A Treatment For Swim Bladder?


Guest animalluver897

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Guest animalluver897

I have two goldfish in my fishtank whom I love very much. one is a fantail and the other is a comet. Recently, my fantail has developed swim bladder disease. She is now completely upside-down and I have been researching treatments for this. I have tried fasting her for 2 days, hand-feeding her shelled peas for a week, aquarium salt, and special flakes called Spirluna flakes that are supposed to help prevent upside-down floating. Nothing has worked. I am considering taking her to a fish vet, but first, I would like to know if anyone here knows a treatment for swim bladder that does not include spending hundreds of dollars at the vet's office. Are there any other treatments that someone knows?

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  • Regular Member

If you could help us out by answering the questions in the big white box, we can better give a plan to help treat your fish in need. :) I'm guessing it's your water quality based on all the other things you've done so far.

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I agree - totally - you need to examine all the parameters and such - and we can help you if you post up the answers to the above questions.

Also available as ADDITIONAL information is this WONDERFUL explanation provided by Trinket:

http://www.kokosgoldfish.invisionzone.com/...=66210&st=0

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Guest animalluver897

OK. Umm... I've checked my water just now. Ammonia, nitrate, nitrite, and Ph are normal. my tank is 20 gallons and I have had it for about 2-3 months. I'm not sure what kind of filter I have specifically, but it is an Aquaclear brand and is for 10-20 gallon aquariums. Usually, I change my filter once every 2-3 weeks (the filter takes care of the rest), but now i have to change it more often as I separated my two fish, and the dirt and muck from one side of the tank can't get through the divider to the other side where the filter is. There are two fish in my tank. One the fantail) is about 3 inches. The other is a comet and is approximately 4 to 4 1/2 inches. I add Ph balancer, water clarifier, water conditioners, and tap water dechlorinater. I've also been adding some aquarium salt ever since I read that it may help fish with swim bladder. The medications mentioned previously are used only for water changes. No new fish have been added, and I feed my comet ProGold and a little bit of Spirluna flakes once a day. My fantail just gets hand fed the Spirluna. I have noticed some frayed fins on my fantail, but I think that is because my comet had a habit of picking at her fins a bit, which is why I separated my fish. My fantail is upside-down. What behavior could be stranger than that?

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Hello Animalluver and welcome to the board - you may be the youngest person here, I think. My daughter, Inkfish, was but she is 11 now.

Anyway, back to the fish. There are a few things I have noticed about your set-up and it would help to explore them a little more.

First let's take water quality. I am wondering if you are familiar with the concept of the 'nitrogen cycle'? If not you can read the link below my signature.

Can you tell us your exact number readings for amm, nite, nate, and PH? It would help us get a better picture. 'Normal' can cover a wide range of readings, all of which can affect your fishes environment in different ways. For instance it would be good to know why you are using a PH balancer. What is the PH from the tap before you add this, and what does it change to afterwards?

Next, Filtration. I notice you are using an AquaClear which may be a problem, as I think the filter cartridges contain an ammonia absorber - this prevents a natural nitrogen cycle developing. Instead of the ammonia being eaten by beneficial bacteria in the tank and being converted into harmless nitrate, the chemical media in the filter grabs it and stores instead. This is OK as far as it goes, but the trouble comes when the waste load exceeds the power of the filter and the media become exhausted. At this point, the stored ammonia will begin to be released back into the tank, which makes the environment toxic and can eventually drop the PH into acidity. These filters are fine for tropical fish who have a far lighter waste load, but for goldfish who are very big producers of ammonia, these type of filters are usually no match. The best type of filter needs to have something like sponge or ceramic stars which the good bacteria can grow on and a turn over rate of x 10 the tank capacity per hour. Do you know how many gals your filter pumps p/hr? If you can get the right type of filter media, you will not have to constantly replace cartridges. Instead you simply rinse any gunk from the filter media in tank water from time to time and the good bacteria take care of the fish waste for you.

Lastly, feeding and floating . It is a good idea to pre-soak in tank water, any food you feed the fish. This prevents the possibility of air being taken inside the fish to later expand and cause bloating. Daryl has already posted Trinket's wonderfully clear piece about the many issues affecting a fishes swim bladder (previous post), so hopefully you've already seen it and may have some new info for us..

Strictly speaking, your tank is rather small for your fish. They are getting bigger now and really need a minimum of 30 gals (10 for the fancy, 20 for the comet) and 40/50 would be even better. But we can talk about that later.

For now, the best next step would be to tell us about your exact water readings and which type of testers you have. Then the filter details, if you can find them anywhere.

Hope to hear back from you :)

Edited by Pixiefish
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