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3 Year Old Oranda Floating At Surface


Guest JamesJozef

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Guest JamesJozef

Nitrate: 24ppm

pH: 7.4 (wardley drops)

20 gal tank runnign for about 8 months since last full cleaning

Filters are 2 whisper quiets, don't know exact models.

I do about 7 gallon changes once a week

2 fish, one 3 year old oranda, and a 4 year old black moor

Recently my oranda started floating at the top, belly up. He has been eating relatively well, but it has been hard for him to get to most of the food, as he has a hard time bringing his mouth to the top of the water. Today he ate very little, and seemed weak. Possibly a swim bladder issue as he has a very hard time swimming down? I have tired feeding peas, but they sink and have been very hard for him to get to. Any help with diagnosis/ treatment is much appreciated.

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Guest JamesJozef

Also, a small piece in the middle of his wen seems to be hanging off of the rest of it, is this cause for worry? I would edit my first post to says this, but cannot find an edit button, nitrite and ammonia are both zero.

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  • Regular Member

Hello James. Welcome to the forum and Im sorry to hear your oranda is floaty. As fancy fish get older they often get swimbladder problems, particularly if they are fed a diet of commercial bought food only. Many people also find with flake food in warmer weather, it really doesn't keep longer than 3 months or so. All nutritional content is lost and bad bacteria can grow in old fish food - causing GI tract infections- when did you last buy new fish food? Also, flake food encourages gulping of air which can cause gas and bloat over time.

Fish really thrive on a variety of foods. Oranges, peas, kiwi (for vitamin C which is needed daily and does not keep long in commercial food) krill, frozen shrimp etc. If you have been feeding this kind of variety to your fish than you can most likely rule out diet as a cause of the swimbladder.

Other causes of swim bladder malfuntion are infection, high bacterial load or high nitrates and egg impaction.

The wen issue may be caused by low immunity- fish fighting to stay upright experience high stress levels which impairs immunity. The wen problem is not the main issue here.

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Guest JamesJozef

Thank you very much. I think the food may be the issue. I bought it about 6 months ago. What do you recommend to help him? I've fed them commercial food and peas mixed in regularly until the last few months when I've been very busy. I'll try hand feeding peas, do you recommend steaming them or just pulling the skin off? Do you thik this swim bladder issue is permanent? Thanks.

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Guest JamesJozef

Update: I just tried hand feeding peas, no luck. His mouth was right at the peas, and he would not open it. I'm starting to fear this little guy is weaker than I thought.

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Concentrate on getting those nitrates a little lower. Sometimes fish will develop a nitrate insensitivity that causes flipover. The blood vessels constrict and cannot transport oxygen and essential electrolytes causing balance problems. In very low nitrates (5 and below) these kind of fish have the best chance of recovery.

Can you see any marks like small red spots on him at all? When did he last "go" and what was his poop like then..normal -food color looking or not? How is his breathing, are his gill covers moving fast?

Some swimbladder issues are permanent yes. Others are not. Give him some time. Can you see any bloat, any swelling at all?

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Guest JamesJozef

Yes nitrates were high because it was the day before a water change. I changed it today and I'll test them tomorrow morning. No small red dots, and a very small amount of bloating (hard to tell, he always was kind of "chubby"). The last time I saw him go his it was food coloured with small air bubbles in it, which is pretty normal for him. His breathing is relatively normal, fluctuating between slightly slower and slightly faster than normal. Any ideas on how I can possibly get him to eat?

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Guest JamesJozef

Over the last few hours his condition has really deteriorated. He is barely breathing, barely moving, making no response to touch. I cannot see him getting any better and unfortunately will be euthanizing. Thank you for the help, trinket, I'm sorry, but I don't see him getting any better, and can't bear to see him suffer.

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Oh dear, I am so sorry to hear that. Very fast. When fish dont respond to touch then they are often very near the end I think. If only he would have eaten, can you try one more time? Softly cooked pea or something?

Epsom salt is good for bloating... (just a 1/4 teaspoon per 10 gallons).

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Guest JamesJozef

I tried feeding him a steamed pea twice that night, and he never even made a an attempt to move away from my hand when I brought his mouth to the pea. When I came in a few hours later he wasn't even moving his eyes very much and was getting blown around by the filters completely limp. I'm really upset over this one, I have no clue what caused him to lose his appetite in the last few days, because before that he was eating the peas I was feeding him, and seemed to love them, and almost seems a little less floaty, and then this. Off to the 1000 gallon in the sky...

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I am sorry. It is very hard to say what was going on when its so sudden with so few symptoms. It was probably a septic issue inside that often cannot be seen and moves swiftly. You did what you could.

:rip: JJ's oranda.

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