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She's Upsidedown!


Bubbleboy

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Ugh. I am so worried. Fiona's been exhibiting problems swimming for the past month. Some of you remember when I posted about her sleeping upsidedown. I thought this was a food problem so I switched to a gel food I made myself. This still didn't work so now she's on a diet of peas and thawed brine shrimp.

I thought she was getting better because she wasn't sleeping upside down anymore, but today when I came home from school, I saw her completely upsidedown at the top of the tank. My heart stopped. But she was breathing and moving a little. After she saw me come in she swam around a little and is now back to floating at the top of the tank. I have no idea what this could be. I've tried EVERYTING I can think of. I just did a water change 2 days ago of around 30%.

Ammonia=0ppm

Nitrates=5 ppm

Nitrites=0 ppm

pH=6.5 to 7.0

I know the pH is a problem, but nothing I can do will raise it sufficently. Any suggestions?? I don't know what could have caused this sudden problem so I'm very very worried about her. I need help asap. Thanks.

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First of all you need to get your pH stable. Is it? 6.5~7 contains some fluctuation. pH reading of your tank should be precise at all times. You need to know exactly where you are with it - tap and tank- and you need to know your kH reading so you can estimate the alkalinity/natural buffering capacity of your water.

So I would take a sample of your water to your LFS and have them write down for you the kH number (and pH) of your tap and tank water. They may be different.

You will need two vials or glass jars to take the 2 samples of water in.

What kind of fish is Fiona? How long have you had her? Has she ever been treated for flukes? Do you have an airstone/pump making bubbles in the water?

How did her most recent poo look? Food color? Stringy/grey/white? What size tank is she in and with whom?

Plse answer all these Qs best you can so we can help you most accurately.

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I have no clue how to test for kH so I'll end up bringing it to nnnn.

Fiona's a telescope eye goldfish. I've had her a little over a year with NO problems before now. He poo is always the color of her food but sometimes contains bubbles. It shouldn't though seeing as I don't just plop her food at the top hoping she gets it. I handfeed her. No other fish in her 30 gal tank and she has an airstone going at all times. Hope this helps....Also what can I do to stabilize my pH?

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pH fluctuations will certainly have the fish gasping at the top and hanging lethargically near the top. You need to get it higher and stable. But you really need to know what you are working with - how big a gap between tap pH and tank- as indicated by a high or low kH. A low kH (likely you have) means that you are going to need a continual "buffer" in the water at all times. Some people use commercial products like "Buff-it-Up" or bicarbonate soda but a more long term permanent and easier fix is to add coral gravel/chips, or sea shells or limestone pieces to your filterbox or tank . These release and absorb minerals and carbonates that over time keep the pH stable. Our kH here is under 40 -very low- so I have coral chips in my tanks. Works very well.

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Alright so I'll look into a testing kit for her pH. Tap pH is around 7.5 so it's perfect for goldfish....I don't know why it's changing so much. I just feel so bad for her listing at the top like that :( Ughhh. I'll look into getting some buffer if kH is bad. What's it supposed to be?

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If kH is above 80 you should be good to go. Some people say even higher is best- like 100. Sounds very like yours is lower.

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You have to use a buffer, as Trinket said. Like Buff-it-Up (from goldfishconnection.com) or coral (crushed), seashells, etc. If all you do is raise the PH, you risk it quickly crashing in low KH water. A fast PH crash will quickly sicken/kill your fish.

You should try to test your KH/GH with a drop test kit. The strips most pet stores use are very unreliable.

My KH is near 0, even though my tap PH is 8.8. So over time my PH in the tank goes down, down, down, which isn't good for the fish. I use Buff-it-Up and crushed coral to keep my KH near 80+ and that stabilizes my PH at 8.

Edited by uberleslie
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Most pet stores will sell a coral that you can use in place of gravel as your substrate. For example a customer came into my store today and needed a tank that would have a high Ph for a certain type of fish.. So instead of gravel on the floor, I sold him some coral. It will look like gravel but white. And it should say something on their, like calcium, coral... If you can't figure it out I'm sure someone at the store can point you in the right direction. You can also find crushed coral that can be used in your filter box, but i haven't seen that so I am not exactly sure where to purchase it. Maybe others can be of help there : )

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Ok. So my mom went to the store (bless her) and got me a kH tester along with other various water perameter testers. I tried the kH which seemed to be my main problem to people but here's the catch....it didn't work. The solution never changed color so I have no idea what her kH is. pH is 6.6. I'm gonna add some proper pH 7.5 tonight to raise it.

My mom also grabbed me a 15 pound bag of ground coral. So now I need to know how much to add to act as a buffer to keep my kH high enough. Also, are kH and gH the same thing? Can I test for gH instead of kH to get the same results? It's all greek to me when it comes to kH and gH and hardness. :blink:

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got me a kH tester -I tried the kH which seemed to be my main problem to people but here's the catch....it didn't work. The solution never changed color so I have no idea what her kH is. pH is 6.6. I'm gonna add some proper pH 7.5 tonight to raise it.

My mom also grabbed me a 15 pound bag of ground coral. So now I need to know how much to add to act as a buffer to keep my kH high enough. Also, are kH and gH the same thing? Can I test for gH instead of kH to get the same results? It's all greek to me when it comes to kH and gH and hardness. :blink:

Well done on all the tank goods. You will need to rinse the coral very well in a bucket before adding. Its very important that the water runs almost completely clear before you add that. Some people have found their fish have gotten sick when they added it straight without rinsing it. If its crushed/ground coral its best placed in the filter box. How much you need depends how low your kH is and since yours I suspect is zero (off the charts-no reading at all) you will need as much as you can fit in the filter box and maybe more than that. The commercial pH buffer used with a low/zero kH will struggle to raise your pH a few points at best and I doubt it is able to raise it to 7 which is the minimum a tank pH should sit at safely really in my opinion.( My kH (overall pH buffering control capacity of tap water)is low and those pH up products do ziltch in my water.. they barely raise the pH 1 point. I hear some of the more expensive commercial buffers are much more efficient but I have always relied on coral. Coral has raised my pH to a steady 8 in my 2 tanks from a slipping 6.5 -and thats a good pH, not too high I think.)

Basically kH measures the total alkalinity= buffering capability of your water (the carbonate hardness)and gH measures the general hardness or in other words all the other minerals not carbonates. Fish need the minerals and carbonates not just for pH balance but also for their health. Coral will provide some, as will the more expensive pH buffers that are loaded with minerals.

Coral releases minerals into the water that prevent the pH from falling. It or a commercial buffer is really essential for any tank owner whose kH falls below 80~100.

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Ok so I'll add as much dried coral as possible to my filter box as well as the bag of it I've got in my tank at the moment. I just wanna get a reliable kH test kit. I don't know if my readings are too low to show up or if it's just faulty.

What's an efficent way to slowly raise the pH? I'm adding 1/3 of the reccomended dose of proper pH to her tank per day for one day and it's raised a little now. Around .2 ish. I don't want to add too much and totally screw her pH up and have her freak out or get sick.

Any suggestions appreciated.

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Alright I just changed her filter media and added some dried coral to it. I remembered to keep some old filter media in though because of beneficial bactieria. So that's about a half a cup or more of coral in her filter box and a cup and a half to two cups in a panty-hose in her tank. Is this too much?

Is there a way I could conceal the coral in the tank in the panty hose? It's just sitting there like a giant brick and looks really weird. I know it's for medecinal purposes but if my kH is low I'll have to keep it in there for a while. Any Ideas?

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