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Upside Down You're Turning Me...


Guest MrMatt

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Guest MrMatt

I have an Oranda that seems to be having some kind of problem that I can't figure out. For about 3 weeks now he has been turning upside down and floating at the top. He will do this for a little while and then eventually turn himself back over for a while. I thought it might be his wen on his head at first - thinking it was too big. However, no one in my area trims wen and I'm too scared to try. Then someone suggested to me that it might be "bladder disease" or air in his stomach. They told me not to feed him for at least 4 days. I did and nothing has changed. Below are some pictures of "Snorkel" showing what I'm talking about. Can anyone suggest any avenues I should take other than what my dad says which is - "Iwould kill him and not let him suffer anymore."

Fish1.jpg

Fish2.jpg

Fish3.jpg

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Awww no! Don't listen to dad! lol There's many things that can cause this and many options to try and treat it. To get a better understanding of what might be the cause, can you copy & paste the box of questions at the top of the page and fill out as much info as you can? That will help the moderators/members know the basics of your tank and then they will be able to help the best they can! : )

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Awww no! Don't listen to dad! lol There's many things that can cause this and many options to try and treat it. To get a better understanding of what might be the cause, can you copy & paste the box of questions at the top of the page and fill out as much info as you can? That will help the moderators/members know the basics of your tank and then they will be able to help the best they can! : )

Absolutely! He may not be suffering at all! Just upside down! Suffering means pain and upside down does not necessarily mean pain. There are many fish that live like this for a long time. In fact, there was another user just posted yesterday on his little upside down fish and how he has learned to live with it and does just fine! It's just disturbing to us because it doesn't seem "right." Please fill out all the information to the questions asked and we will do everything we can to help you figure this out.

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Guest MrMatt

I'm sorry everyone. In my haste to discover the remedy I forgot to post the specs. And thanks for the quick replies.

Ammonia Level? 0

Nitrite Level? 0.25

Nitrate level? 30

Ph Level, (If possible, KH and GH and chloramines)? Ph level is 6.4

Ph Level out of the Tap? 7.8

Tank size (How many Gals) and How long has it been running? 30 gallon/4 Years

What is the name and size of the filter/s? (1) Whisper 60 Power Filter (2) Aqua Clear 20 Power Filter

How often do you change the water and how much? Once every week or two.

How many fish in the tank and their size? 2 Fancy Goldfish. Oranda & Black Moore. Size ?

What kind of water additives or conditioners? I use no additives or conditioners.

Any medications added to the tank? No medications.

Add any new fish to the tank? No new fish in over 2 years.

What do you feed your fish? Pellets, peas & sometimes blood worms.

Any unusual findings on the fish such as "grains of salt", bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus? None

Any unusual behavior like staying at the bottom, not eating, ect..? Velvet (Black Moore) seems to be fine and Snorkel (Oranda) problem described in previous post.

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You mention you do not add anything to your water. I just want to clarify, no water conditioners at all? What is your water source? If it's regular tap water, you need to use a water conditioner to clear up the chlorine and other additives most cities put in the water. Without a good water conditioner, you're fish can get very sick. I would strongly recommend looking at getting Prime, it is in my opinion, the best water conditioner out there.

Also, it looks like you may have had a bump in your cycle; since you have Nitrites showing. Ideally, you want your water parameters to read: Ammonia-0, Nitrite-0, Nitrate- less than 40. What type of tests are you using? I've had this happen with an Oranda years ago, and the cause of it stemmed from the water quality. Once my nitrates went above 20 he always flipped over. I would recommend doing daily partial water changes until your cycle straigtens out.

You mentioned that you feed them pellets, what kind? Floating or sinking? If they're floating, your fish may be swallowing air, as previously suggested. You said you've fasted him for 4 days, yet he is still floating. Have you fed him since then? I would recommend feeding him peas after fasting, that way it will clean out his digestive system. :) My Oranda that floated would remain upright if fed fresh fruits, vegetables or frozen food like bloodworms, krill or brine shrimp. The minute he was fed any pellets you could bet he would be upside down within the hour. Sometimes this is the case, and you just have to adjust what you feed them.

Hope that helps! :)

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Desiree gave you some excellent pointers there, and I just wanted to add that from the looks of your pictures, snorkel looks pretty big. If both your fish are about that size, I would really suggest water changes once a week (also as needed depending on the water parameters). Although you're not overstocked, the bigger your fish, the more waste production.

The huge difference between the pH of your tap water and your tank also could be cause for some trouble. However, I've not had experience with pH issues, so hopefully one of our mods can help you there.

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Guest MrMatt

I want to thank everyone for their insightful suggestions. A special thanks to Desiree for all the great suggestions that I haven't tried yet. I have been feeding them floating pellets, so maybe that is the problem - and he is gulping too much air. But why isn't Velvet in the same conditon, I wonder? More frequent water changes may also be a good idea. I will try these approaches and see if they work. If not, I'm sure I will be back for more great advice. This forum is a life saver...for my fish! If anyone else has any more suggestions or advice on something more I should be doing, then I am all ears. Thanks everyone!!! By the way, can a fish die from being upside down too much - like a turtle?

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I don't know if they'd die... but since it's definitely not the healthy position for a fish to be in, they might start developing more problems.

For the most part, I think I would worry about the belly getting dry or irritated... that plus it's just not "normal".

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In fact, there was another user just posted yesterday on his little upside down fish and how he has learned to live with it and does just fine!

Here's the thread: http://www.kokosgoldfish.invisionzone.com/...showtopic=71313

Ferrero was mostly fine, but a little tippy, until I left for a week and all she got to eat was floating pellet.

What helped Ferrero is to get back to her regular diet. That's vegetables (mostly broccoli), and quality proteins (brine shrimp and bloodworms). She also gets a bit of floating pellet every other day, but just 25% of the whole day's feeding. Oh, and a couple good water changes.

I'd say get at least 50% of their diet as fresh green veggies (parboiled) like broccoli and peas.

Good luck,

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I also have a fish that spends a lot of time upside down and he doesn't seem bothered by it. He eats like a pig and still follows me around watching what I do.... just upside down.

I've read that when people have inverted vision for a little while their brains automatically adjust so that it's right side up. It's also thought that for the first few days babies see everything upside down as their brain adjusts to images on the retina being upside down. I know fish are quite a bit different than people but I don't think it's too far fetched to think the same happens for them. Especially since there are fish that have adapted to actually live inverted(like upside down cat fish).

Of course it would be preferable to resolve the floaty issues, but unless the fish is developing painful belly sores or is in obvious distress I personally wouldn't consider euthanasia.

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