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I Need Help, Dead Bloated Fish


Guest kbrowder

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Guest kbrowder

Hi my name is "kbrowder". I have a 65 gallon fancy goldfish tank. I have gone through many goldfish over the years. This year however it seems like I'm having very bad luck. For the past couple of months, I've been losing goldfish. Nothing is wrong with the water everytime I bring samples into a trusted aquarium store. Nothing is ever wrong before hand either. I mean, they don't act sick, no one swims at the bottom only, or not eating, etc. There isn't anything ever stuck in their mouth either. But I'll wake up in the morning to find one bloated floating at the top, or like today, Flo was fine this morning, all normal, then I went grocery shopping, when I came home she was dead, bloated, floating on the top. I'm crushed. I'm almost to the point that I don't want to mess with goldfish anymore. I don't know what to do anymore. Please someone help me.

I can tell you that the water gets changed twice a month, 50% each time. We use water conditioners, water acidifiers, etc. I have never had more than 6 goldfish at a time. The sizes range from 2" to 5". It doesn't seem over crowded. When I read the signs and symptoms of the goldfish disease, none of them fits the bill. The only thing I've noticed and this was the first time I did, last night when I fed them, Flo did have a long string of clear poop. I've read multiple posts that it means that they are constipated, and overfed. If I've been overfeeding them I'll be crushed. I feed less than a teaspoon of sinking pellets of the Spectrum brand fancy goldfish food. It came highly recommended by my trusted aquarium store. Other posts say that she may be full of eggs, I know how to sex them, and this has happened to males and females. So I'm not totally believing that they weren't able to pass the eggs, or they are trying to reabsorb them.

I don't understand that anyway. Why wouldn't they just lay the eggs? Why would they need to reabsorb them? If you have any help or advice to give. Please give it to me. I am tired of losing fish.

kbrowder

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Hiya and welcome to Koko's! There are tons of super-helpful and smart people here who will help you out.

They'll need precise information on your water parameters before they do so. The pet store telling you your water is okay isn't very reliable (they typically test with test strips, which aren't reliable and are often kept in questionable conditions).

You should try to get a drop test kit ASAP. (API Master Kit or similar). Knowing your water and keeping it healthy is the key to healthy fish. Try to get exact readings on Ammonia, Nitrates, Nitrites, pH (and KH/GH if possible, but those drops are not super-common in stores).

Depending on the type of fish you have (single-tail vs fancy) you may be slightly overstocked, which can lead to poor water conditions.

Also post info on the type of filter you use and your cleaning regimen. You might need to be doing large, weekly water changes to help your water.

Knowing the water condition is the first step before medicating, diagnosing, etc...

I kept a fish for 4 years before I really knew what I was doing (and it was because I almost lost him -- Fisher in my sig). The folks here taught me a lot...just hang in there and be as open as possible to learning... there's a lot of really amazing folks here!

Edited by uberleslie
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I have never heard that long clear stringy poo is from constipation or overfeeding. It can be a sign of bacterial infection or stress, but that can't be diagnosed until we have your water paramaters, as uberleslie said in her post. I'm also not really getting what you mean when you say you use a water acidifier. Maybe a ph booster?

Sometimes a female can become impacted with eggs, but that can't be happening to all of your fish.

As uberleslie already told you, don't listen a whole lot to the people at the lfs. Many of them are well-meaning but don't know a lot about goldfish and how to keep them. They are not the simple little bowl fish that many people think they are...at least not at first until you get the setup and water right.

Please post back soon with your water params, as there are a lot of knowledgeable people here who would be happy to help you!

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Anytime a goldfish's poop is "not normal" - usually meaning thick, chunky, semi-solid and the color of the food the fish has been eating - all you can be sure about is that something is not working correctly in the fish's digestive track.

This could be because the fish is full of eggs..... eggs and poop both use the same port. It could be because the fish is overfed or slightly constipated. It could be because the fish has a slight irritation with the food - some fish seem to have "allergic" reactions to some types of processed food. I have run into a few fish like this over the years. They just do not do well on certain foods - yet thrive on other things.

Or it could be a rampant bacterial infection.

There are some types of bacterial infections that act so fast and so deadly that a fish can appear nearly normal, yet die within hours. They are pretty nasty bacteria!

Just as no doctor would try to diagnose a serious disease without doing as good a workup on the patient, we really hesitate to advise you about your fish without as much history and information about your fish and their environment as possible. That is why the members above have asked about the various water parameters and tank conditions, etc. In general, it is difficult to get a really GOOD reading on the water parameters from a fish store. They will do their best - and it may be pretty good! - but it is like using a thermometer to take your temperature, but then running across town to get your doctor to read the thermometer. It is not always as accurate as you may wish it to be. In some cases we see, pH changes are the problem - and they can change every few hours (the problem!). We would like you to see the whole picture - not just one frozen frame of it when the store tests. :)

I think I would first suggest that you do see if you can get yourself test kits for the basics..... ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and pH. These readings can tell a lot. I am also assuming you are running a nitrogen cycle on your tank (nice sized tank, by the way!!!! - cool!) It would be helpful to know the type of filter you have - and what sort of media you are using. Some are more prone to problems - either bacterial or parasitical or ....whatever.

Often, just as in human medicine, problems cannot be solved simply. They are often layers of things that work in concert to give you problems. If a fish is stressed because of water parameters, has a few parasites or whatever, it may be far more susceptible to serious infection from an opportunisitc bacterial infection......

I hope you come back. Goldfish are truly swimming jewels - and yours should give you pleasure, not worry. I hope that we can help you bring the pleasure back to your fishkeeping.

:)

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I agree ith the others :) ..you need to get a test kit water chemistry can change on a drop of a hat ...somthing also stands out as well

I can tell you that the water gets changed twice a month, 50% each time

you need to change water once a week in a healthy established tank....an established tank should read 0 ammonia ,0 nitrites and a reading of nitrAtes..let the nitrAtes tell you at the end of the week what needs to be changed out as it should be the only thing rising ..so a good nitrAte level is 10 ppm (gives you breathing room)..you should never let it get over 40 ppm so if at the end of the week your nitrAtes are at 20 ppm doing a 50% waterchange is called for to bring it back own to 10ppm ..always give yourself that breathing room as if you cannot do wc right away , it does not hurt your fish ...here are things as to why a weekly change is needed ...nitrates do not breakdown they need to be removed by waterchange ...I cannot see your nitrATes being good with only 2 50% twice a month wc , high nitrAtes will cause a fish to flip and eventually do gill damage .another reason for weekly wc ,bad bacteria count is always lurking ..and multiplying like crazy in the water ,in the gravel and in hallow ornaments if you have any , giving you not one but multiple problems ..another reason is that fish release a growth inhibitor(spelling ??)..and the more that is released into the water the more it is slowing down vital growth ..the only way to remove this is by water change

doing twice monthy waterchanges can pose so many issues ..as water can change during this time

when you say water acidifiers do mean to try and stable ph ????

Edited by hi-d
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Guest kbrowder

Thanks to everyone who replied to help. I still have more questions. Where do I buy the type of tests/screening supplies to test my water. I changed 50% today and changed the filters too. I also removed about 50% of the gravel. How often should I replace gravel? It's probably almost 2 yrs old. Does that matter? I had mentioned a water acidifier, I was incorrect, it's called an Alkaline buffer to raise the pH. My fish lady told me to use that. My water is all cloudy right now. But it's usually cloudy like that after a water change. Hopefully it will clear up overnight. I guess that I've just been scraping by with my fish. I want to learn how to take care of them in the best way possible. Please help me guys. I need to know everything. Nothing is too basic for me. I've had Lucy my calico ryukin for almost 2yrs, she was my very first fancy goldfish i bought. She has seen many come and go over the past 2 yrs. I love the fancies. I want them to live and be as happy as Lucy. I bought her when she was maybe only 1.5 inches long and now she is probably almost 5 inches! She is my biggest right now. Then I have a 3 inch ryukin named Grace. Then two pearl scales named Toodles and Freckles, they are only 1.5 in long. I also have a copper/yellow lion head 1.5 in named colonel mustard. I have a 65 gal tank, so I don't think I'm overstocked. Live plants. As soon as I know what type and where to get the tests, I can answer more questions. Thanks again!

Kbrowder

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did you replace ALL filter media ??????if so you lost your cycle..benifical bacteria lives in the filter media which breaks down waste you only need to rinse out the filterpads in a bucket of tank water and replace gradually ...you do not need to replace gravel but if you want to get rid of it take out 1/4 a week until gone ...gravel needs to be vacumed with a syphon weekly ..removing things from the tank all at once will set you back so you need to get a test kit asap ..you can get them at the local fish stores you need a test for ammonia ,nitrites, nitrAtes and ph (are the most important ) also kh as it stabilizes ph ..never add any buffers if your ph is stable mine is high at 8.3 and my fish do fine ..you are going to have to cycle again if you replaced all the filter media and gravel so daily waterchanges until you get back on track ...get the test kit and post back your readings as soon as you can ..6 goldfish in a 65 is not overstcked ..however they are waste machines and need lots of filtration ..(10X) so on a 65 g tank you would need 650 gph turn over ..I'm going to post a link about the nitrogen cycle give it read (sorry if you have ) but I want to try and cover all basis :)

http://www.kokosgoldfish.com/cycle.html

hope this helps :) ...sorry if I missed any questions....it was a late night ;)

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Thanks to everyone who replied to help. I still have more questions. Where do I buy the type of tests/screening supplies to test my water. I changed 50% today and changed the filters too. I also removed about 50% of the gravel. How often should I replace gravel? It's probably almost 2 yrs old. Does that matter? I had mentioned a water acidifier, I was incorrect, it's called an Alkaline buffer to raise the pH. My fish lady told me to use that. My water is all cloudy right now. But it's usually cloudy like that after a water change. Hopefully it will clear up overnight. I guess that I've just been scraping by with my fish. I want to learn how to take care of them in the best way possible. Please help me guys. I need to know everything. Nothing is too basic for me. I've had Lucy my calico ryukin for almost 2yrs, she was my very first fancy goldfish i bought. She has seen many come and go over the past 2 yrs. I love the fancies. I want them to live and be as happy as Lucy. I bought her when she was maybe only 1.5 inches long and now she is probably almost 5 inches! She is my biggest right now. Then I have a 3 inch ryukin named Grace. Then two pearl scales named Toodles and Freckles, they are only 1.5 in long. I also have a copper/yellow lion head 1.5 in named colonel mustard. I have a 65 gal tank, so I don't think I'm overstocked. Live plants. As soon as I know what type and where to get the tests, I can answer more questions. Thanks again!

Kbrowder

Welcome to Koko's...I am sooo sorry about your loss...everyone here would understand the pain you go thru at a moment like this..

I agree with Heidi here...if you changed all of your filter media then all the useful beneficial bacteria is lost...The ideal way to change filter media is to introduce the new filter media at least a couple of weeks (I plan 4 weeks ahead) before you plan to change your filter..that way the new media gathers some of the bacteria and that does not disrupt the cycle..Ok..maybe I am not able to explain this properly..others might be able to help you more when the elaborate on this fact..

Also the gravel has a good amount of bacteria...so the ideal way to go bare bottom or remove all your gravel is over a time of several weeks...so that its not a huge change for you fish...

A kit to check ammonia, nitrites, nitrates, pH would be awesome..these are available very easily at any pet store..ur trusted one or any chain lfs like mmm, nnnn or nnnnnn in their pet aisle..etc...and as Heidi says get it asap, cos your tank has gone into cycling at the moment and you need to keep up with water changes..Also please follow the link Heidi has posted regarding Cycling the tank..very helpful..

Cleaning a tank should be once every week..an excellent post to read..

http://www.kokosgoldfish.invisionzone.com/...showtopic=14157

I can include a link to effective cleaning of a tank with care taken to not lose any beneficial bacteria..I will have to look it up..I will edit the post with the link later...

take care..

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I feed less than a teaspoon of sinking pellets of the Spectrum brand fancy goldfish food.

I also feed New Life Spectrum food. I have six goldfish and I generally feed between 1/4 - 1/2 tsp per day. I have found that using a measuring spoon helps me to make sure that I am not feeding too much. With goldfish you should err on the side of under feeding rather than overfeeding.

I suspect your lack of weekly water changes and feeding too much is the source of your problem. The fact that your tank gets cloudy after water changes suggests that there is gunk (i.e. harmful bacteria and fungi) in your gravel.

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