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Floaty Fish

Guest Ziggymom1

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Guest Ziggymom1


I have two fantails in a 60 gallon tank with two top fin 40s for filtration and a long bubble strip in back. Here are the stats:

Weekly 20-30% water changes

nitrates - 10 ppms and below

PH - 7.4

Nitrites - 0

Ammonia - 0

Test kit - ? - drops

Water temp. - 64-68

Tank running 6 months

Stress coat and buff it up used weekly with water changes

Feeding - Once per day with Progold or Omega one (Omega one sinking pellets are always soaked first), once per week I feed peas and one day per week I fast.

My biggest fantail has always liked to gulp air from the top, particularly when I feed him. I have tried to get him to eat from my hand, and I always drop the food after putting my fingers under the surface of the water, but he appears to be too stupid to realize this and just gulps at the top as soon as I open the top. This morning I noticed that he is having trouble swimming to the bottom of the tank and keeps flipping upside down and floating to the top. He is still able to get down there, but is spending most of him time at the top gulping air. My other, smaller fantail is having no trouble. The only difference in the tank is that, now that the temperature outside is falling, the tank temperature fell from 68-69 degrees to 64.5. I have turned up the minimum heat temperature on my programmable thermostat to 70 from 69 ( I don't want it too hot) and fed him nothing but peas today (he fasted yesterday). I also did a 30% water change and changed one of the filters. I plan to feed peas a couple more days and then fast him a couple of days. I don't like to use heaters in the tank, because I seem to have more trouble keeping the temperature stable with a heater than without one. Is this swim bladder because of the way he gulps air or could it be something else?

Does anyone have any ideas??

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A few unrelated comments first. I'd probably up the amount of water changed each week to at least 50% with a 100% change monthly. There is an issue of keeping down bad bacteria as well as ammonia and nitrates, etc.

Because you completely changed your filter media, I'd keep a close eye on your ammonia and nitrate levels to make sure you don't get a bump or crash.

Your ph is great, but does the Buff It Up keep the ph stable? Do you test mid-week once or twice to check for ph stability?

Although fancies can handle temps of 64 degrees, their metabolism slows down at lower temps so you need to modify how much you feed at those temps, so keeping the temp up around 70 degrees will make your feeding routine easier. If the temp has been 64 for a while and you've continued to feed the same amount of food, this could be constipation. If that's the case, peas, broccoli, oranges and fasting might be good for a bit.

Anyway, it's possible that your fish is floating because of gulping air, but fish can oftentimes float because they are intolerant to a type of food. My ranchu is intolerant of gel food and will float nose down for a while after eating it, but the rest of my fish are fine with it. So, sometimes gel food can do it too. And it can be just a personal intolerance that only one fish will have. How does your fish react/behave when he eats the peas? Try feeding a food that has not had an opportunity to capture air in the product, i.e., frozen foods like bloodworms, brine shrimp, mysis shrimp, krill or spirulina for instance. Take a cup of water from the tank, dissolve the frozen cube in the water and pour it all back in the tank. And feed more fresh veggies and fruit, such as steamed broccoli and orange. See if that changes anything.

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