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Bulge On Abdomen


Roano

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My fish has a bulge in his abdomen on the right side: it?s not visible from when I?m viewing him directly above, but from a ? top view, the bulge is squarish and distinct; a few scales kind-of are raised near the edge of the bulge (not over the whole thing.) It happened really quickly; this morning there was a slight ?bump? there; not really obvious at all but by this night, it developed into what it is now. My first guess at what is causing this bulge is constipation, as he?s had some constipation/poo problems for approximately the last week and a half to two weeks.

Prior to the constipation problems (which I will detail later), I was underfeeding my fish. I believe it was around the beginning/middle of May that he curved into a C-shape because of malnutrition. Trinket diagnosed this problem for me and with her help I got him to recover. Because he had this problem, he primarily has gotten a diet of peas and frozen brine shrimp.

Unfortunately, because I was worried about not feeding him enough, I think now that I overfed him a bit; for awhile he was having fairly thick poo, but there wasn?t really a problem until he started having thick curly poo. This happened about a week to a week and a half ago. The poo became curly before it passed out his vent, not after, so this put pressure on his vent and he had trouble passing it. I think it was around the 13th of this month that he had a really large, curly poo that was really tough on him, so much so that it enlarged his vent and caused some pink around it (I have a picture of the him with the poo attached; let me know if I should post it.) I fasted him for three days and added .1% salt to help with the redness. On the 15th, he passed it. I fed him small amounts of pea on the 16th and 17th and poo was still a little large for my liking, so on the 18th I fed him a few flakes of Omega One and the result was a small-normal sized, slightly curly poo. It seemed like the poo was attached for awhile and I didn?t want to put any pressure on his insides so I skipped feeding yesterday? I was going to feed tonight but I saw the bulge? He still has a tiny bit of small-normal sized brown poo attached. (I haven?t seen any white poo throughout this whole ordeal: it?s been normal other than its thickness and curliness.) When he was having poo problems earlier, there would sometimes be the slightest of bulges in the same area, but never anything like this? I?m really hoping he didn?t swallow a piece of gravel or something? although I think he?d be bottom sitting if he did? I feel like I?m walking a tightrope with this fish: I?m worried about not feeding enough, and feeding too much, and now this: I didn?t think I fed him enough these past few days to cause any constipation, but because of the recent poo problems I described it seems like this bulge would be the result of some sort of digestive/constipation problem. Here?s my info:

Ammonia: 0

Nitrite: 0

Nitrate: 5-10 (probably 7)

Ph Level, Tank: 8.1

Ph Level, Tap: between 7.8

Brand of test-kit used: Aquarium Pharmaceuticals, drops

Tank size (how many gals.) and how long has it been running: 20 gal., running for about 2?-3 years (?); tank has gravel which I am slowly starting to remove

Name and size of the filter(s): 2 Topfin 20?s (one very well established, the other just added so not yet established)

How often do you change the water and how much: usually I change out 20-25% a week through gravel vacuuming; yesterday I changed out 40%

Fish in the tank and their size: one comet (male); 4 in without tail

What kind of water additives or conditioners: Prime

What do you feed your fish and how often: as I said, primarily frozen brine shrimp and some peas; feeding has been sporadic because I?ve been judging the situation day by day; I have a feeding record (already described above in paragraph form) from the 13th to now, but before that I don?t.

New fish added to the tank: None

Any medications added to the tank: salt was added on the 14th/15th and I changed out 8 gal of water on the 19th so there?s 12 tsp in the tank now (so a little over .05%?)

Any unusual findings on the fish such as "grains of salt," bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus: the bulge, see pictures below; also, there is a tiny red spot on his operculum that?s been there for 5-7 days although I?m not sure about the timeline? it was something I was monitoring but nothing has come of it (I did a little research and the most I found that red spots on the fish could be caused by pH swings or ammonia spikes? as far as I know, everything?s been stable though.)

Any unusual behavior like staying at the bottom, not eating, etc.: Fins clamp-ish on 18th, and a couple of times he hangs around near the surface of the tank (not gasping) just swimming around, but otherwise his swimming seems normal. I saw one bottom sit (either on the 18th or 19th, resulting in the larger water change.)

I?ve been feeling like I can handle this and thought we were over the worst of it until I saw this bulge this night. So thanks in advance for any help or advice.

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Here are the pictures... sorry if they're a little grainy.

Simpkinbump.jpg

Simpkinbump2.jpg

Simpkinbump3.jpg

Edited by Roano
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Could you please post the poo picture??...I will go through your post once more and let you what can be done until someone more experienced can check on you.. :)

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Trailing poo is usually a sign of bad digestive system...So yes I would say he is having some constipation issues...Umm...There are two main things here..

1) Variety in the food fed: The food you feed should have a lot of variety..Goldfish need a lot of nutrients..and depending on only 1-2 types of food can make their systems go bad...So I would suggest good variety of vegetables and good quality goldfish food...Veggies and fruits are a great way to provide nutrients..and they also help clear up their systems...My daily feeding regime was either Pro-gold pellets, or Hikari pellets or bloodworms/krill in the morning..and vegetables/fruits in the evening..That ensures you are not overfeeding..and also that the night feeding is light and flushes their systems... :) ..Veggies can include spinach, broccoli (which in my opinion is better than peas when flushing their tummy:), peas, carrots, cucumbers, zucchini...all preferably fresh and boiled.. :) ..Fruits can include bananas, oranges, lime, sweet lime, water melon...and try something new if you like..Also what almost everyone around here does is Gel food...This is an awesome way to feed your goldfish all the nutrients and in form of gel food..which tends to be easy on their tummies.. :) ..You can find recipes under the Food section..The secret is mix it up..spirulina flakes, krill, bloodworms, pellets, veggies, fruits..etc.. :)

2) Water quality: I know that all your water parameters are good..But it is always a good idea to have larger water changes every week...20-25% is too less..go for 75-80%..trust me it helps goldfish a lot..I always experienced with fresh water my goldfish pooed more.. :) ..which is good...I did 75-80% water changes twice a week...We suggest everyone to go for more water changes..and I would truly suggest you emphasize on that too.. :)

For now you can fast him...You can also do a water change on him tomorrow morning..add back the salt you have in there..and as far as I can see in pictures I dont think feeding him a biled spinach leaf would hurt tomorrow morning...So yeah either a feed a spinach leaf or a broc flower... :) ..It will help him.. :) ..I am sure until then someone more experienced like the mods would check upon you and help you diagnose further.. :)

Please keep us posted.. :)

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Great, thank you... I will do a water change tomorrow morning, add the salt and give him some spinach (if we have any... if not, should I give him any pea? I guess I'll just wait and see how he looks tomorrow and then check back here before doing anything.) I've tried to feed him broccoli before but he rejected it... Newbiefishgirl encouraged me to try gel food too, and I started to look into it, but since at the time there were no immediate problems and I was pretty busy with school, I put it off. I'll see what kind of foods I have tomorrow...

Thanks again... I feel better just having a plan.

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I am glad I could help a bit.. :) ..

I am not so experienced..but the poo picture does look like he is constipated.. :(

And sure you can feed him peas if no spinach.. :) ..I like to take the small soft ones and after boiling..squish them a bit so its easy for the fish to eat.. :) ..With broc yeah sometimes they dont eat it...but maybe you could try it once again..maybe a small flower...and boil it well..My fish wouldn't eat it unless they were soft enough...so maybe that is the problem.. :) ..just a suggestion.. :) ..

Let us know how he is doing.. :)

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I woke up and checked on him early this morning around 5 am and it was the same. But when I woke up the second time some hours later, the bulge had almost disappeared... it's slight and not squarish anymore. He looks alot better, almost back to normal. I'm a little confused, though: the small brown poo I've been seeing for the last few days I assumed was from the couple of flakes I fed him after I fed him pea for two days... but today he has some green poo (a little bit of the brown is still attached to the end of the green)... So was the brown poo I was seeing a couple of days ago from all the way from before the 13th?! That cannot be right, but I don't think I fed him anything brown (except for the flakes, which came after the pea) for about a week now... here's the feeding schedule as much as I can remember/have notes on:

Prior to 13th: mainly frozen brine shrimp, feeding sporadic (no record)

13th: day one of fast (I think this is when I saw the large poo that caused him so much trouble)

14th: day two of fast (around 12-1 am of the 15th I added salt)

15th: day three of fast (large poo finally out)

16th: fed small amount of pea

17th: small amount of pea

18th: green and brown poo, fed a couple of flakes, fins somewhat "clampish"

19th: no food (40% water change, small brown poo)

20th: no food (small brown poo)

21st: brown and green poo

His poo color doesn't seem to directly follow what I've been feeding him: brown and green seem mixed up. Do you know about how long it usually takes a goldfish to digest something? (Sort of how long from mouth to vent?)

Anyway, so he looked much better this morning, and I changed out 70-74% of the water (in two shifts so that any pH difference he could adjust to.) He is salted to .1% now and I gave him four pieces of boiled spinach. (I didn't want to overfeed him... so should I feed him some more pieces tonight or no?)

Maybe the broc wasn't soft enough, although I was trying to cook it to death in the micro, and thought I did... it always seemed to be a little tough (well, softish but not mushy soft like pea), but I think the texture might have been a bit unfamiliar to him too. (Trinket was telling me that sometimes fish might have trouble recognizing new food at first.)

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I am sooo glad he s doing better..yeah I think it was constipation..he is rather sensitive..and would be good to put him on gel food...or include more veggies in his diet to keep it clean.. :)

How big of a spinach leaf are we talking here??..is it baby spinach leaves??..if so you could feed 2 in the evening again...if not I guess 4 regular spinach leaves is good enough for the day...I feed only 1 regular big leaf at a time.. :) ..if you feed more..he might be over-eating.. :) ..you should start seeing deep green poo..Goldfish digest pretty fast...I have seen my fish making poo of the food they eat in the morning..by early to late afternoon...especially if its veggies... :)

I think it would be wise..if you cut back on the flakes you feed..maybe they are the culprit..have you noticed this happening with some other food as well?? Which flake food is this???

I would advice you invest in quality food like Hikari goldfish pellets..or Pro-gold from goldfish connection, Omega 1 spirulina flakes....and then mix it up when feeding..Pellets and flakes are advised to be soaked before feeding...Not sure about flakes..but pellets definitely...at least 4-5 minutes..as they absorb water and bloat up in size..and you dont want that to happen inside their tummy.. :) ...5-7 pellets at a time is a good feeding portion...and protein food in the morning only..and vegetables or fruits in the evening...this will make sure..that veggies flush his system at night...

Someday if you forget to feed him in the morning..or you skip it..just feed veggies at night..so that we ensure he isnt having proteins at night and then sleep..which could cause problems...

About the broc..Trinket is right..it does happen that fish do not recognise new food..come to think of it..it happened to me when I first tried bok choi..they hated it..twice..but then happily munched on it later.. :) ..So maybe you just need to try 1-2 times more..am sure he like it slowly... :) ...oh and good job on the water chnage..keep up with them as well.. :) ..and do keep us posted.. :)

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Well, now he's bottom hanging/sitting and seems to be having trouble passing part of the pea green poo I saw earlier today... Is there anything I can do for relief while he's having this trouble? I don't know if there's anything to do besides waiting (and making some lifestyle changes.)

Spinach leaves are regular, about 3 1/2 inches... but I only fed him four little chunks out of the leaf... so I guess that means I should feed him more when he's done with passing the green poo? Does feeding help push it out?

After he curved into a C-shape, I stopped feeding flakes, so he hasn't had them since the beginning/middle of May (except for the 18th.) The flake food is Omega One, recently bought (in the end of April, I think). But I think what caused the constipation and poo problems at the beggining of this week/the end of last week was too much frozen brine shrimp, and not enough peas/other veggies.

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He's taken a turn for the worse: he was up and swimming today but he's having alot of trouble passing poo... it comes out thick and curvy, and it seems to be tearing his vent. There's blood-red around the front part of his vent (the part furthest from the anal fin): he's not bleeding but it's bright red and definately worse than before when it was pinkish-red. I do NOT know what to do! It's obvious it's hurting him... I'm just trying to keep the water clean... ammonia is at 0 and I have .1% salt in the tank... it looks so painful.

He finished passing the pea poo and is now "working on" the spinach poo (which is from the pieces that I fed him yesterday afternoon.) The thing is, I don't think I overfed him in the least for either of these things: in terms of the pea a few days ago, I fed him a total of 1/2 a pea over two days because I didn't want to overfeed and give him constipation! (I divided each 4th into 4-5 bite sized pieces and hand fed him (after the peas were softened and deshelled).) Yesterday with the spinach I gave him four boiled pieces around .75 to 1 cm long... but because it's curly when it comes out, it's so hard for him to pass it! I feel like I'm underfeeding him but he still gets constipated/has trouble passing the poo... the strange thing is, of all the food I've tried recently, the flakes I fed him several days ago made the most managable, normal sized poo and it seemed like he had the least trouble passing it.

I feel so helpless and terrible. Poor fish.

From a few hours ago:

PoorSimpkin.jpg

From a few minutes ago:

Spinach1.jpg

Spinach.jpg

It looks worse in real life.

Edited by Roano
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He's about the same this morning. My only plans are to fast him for the next two days...

Can anyone please help?

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Ohhhh..yeah he does look bad...

Umm..lemme PM one of the mods...and lets get some expert help on this..meanwhile..keep changing water and yeah fast him for now...Lets see what the mods have to say...HAng in there..

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Thanks, SunshineGurl...

I just got home from work, and he's gotten more out (a straight piece but it angles inward (away from the anal fin) so it still puts pressure on his vent.) His sides are less bulgy now than in the picture... but I can't for the life of me figure out how he has so much poo. What's coming out now is brown (not spinach like I thought before) but I haven't fed him anything brown since the 18th, and then only about four flakes (which I was certain he already passed!) I've really been trying to control his diet but it doesn't seem to do much good.

He's still bottom sitting with dorsal clamped.

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Hi Raono,

I just wanted to update you that I have PMed a mod asking for help in your case..I really hope your fish can hang in there...Just keep the water clean..and let's wait for someone...I ll PM Koko and Sue as well..Take care..

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Thank you so much for helping me...

Tonight he seems a little better. Still bottom-sitting/hovering (I can't really tell which it is as I have his tank light off: I turn on a light in another room so his eyes can adjust and when I enter the room he's usually hovering.) His vent is still red but he has a thin poo now that doesn't look like it's pressing on him too bad... his sides have thinned out. His dorsal is more erect when he's up than last night and this morning... but it still looks so painful, and I'm worried about internal problems. Plus, as he had something similar (although not nearly as bad) happen before, which I thought was a one time problem, I have a feeling things are going to go bad again...

This is the end of the second day of fasting... I have no idea what to do when the third day is over.

How does all the waste get so twisted and stiff? Is this something based off malnutrtion/nutritional problems, or could there be something wrong inside him? Prior to when this all started, as I recall I was seeing thick poo... nothing happened between then and the time that it got curly so it makes me think the cause was prolonged feeding of one type of food that was high in protein (which I thought would be alright, since I was worried about malnutrition) but I would have thought that fasting and pea would have cleared him out and made things better... although what might have happened was that the thick poo pushed against the walls of the lower intestine/tract leading to the vent, then allowing the incoming waste room to curl? And then things just turned into a positive feedback loop making things worse? It just seems like the poo should be soft enough not to hurt him like this, but it's clearly not.

A side note that might have nothing to do with anything: it seems like the crest/bump in his spine (before the dorsal fin) could be getting a little more pronounced (you can see it in the second picture.) He's always had a little bit of a bump/crest there, and maybe it hasn't changed, but something made me notice it several days to a week ago. It seems like if this is the case (and it's hard for me to tell) it may be directly pointing to nutritional problems. When comparing recent pictures to those taken in the beginning of April, the bump looks the same however. So maybe this is nothing; I just thought I'd add it in case.

I'm still confused on how there is so much brown poo... it doesn't seem right.

The salt is still at .1% and I did a 40% water change tonight. He swam around while I was gravel vaccuming and seemed fairly curious/interested when I was setting up the siphon... so I suppose that's good.

I feel terrible about this... first I wasn't feeding enough and then I gave him too much protien... I kept meaning to make gel food, try more veggies, etc. when he was having thick poo for the first time, but I put it off to deal with school and because I had no idea it would cause such a serious problem... poor, poor guy.

Recent pictures; both are kind of blurry in places, (sorry), but I think they illustrate what's going on.

Red.jpg

Highbump.jpg

Let me know if I need to repost the pictures in a bigger size...

Edited by Roano
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I didnt realise this before..but the salt is at 0.1%..umm..you could bring it up to 0.2%..Lets see if that helps...

If that does not help...then my hunch is to try epsom salt..I havent suggested epsom cause I want to first make sure that this is constipation...

Umm for now bring the salts to 0.2%..and lemme check with someone on Epsom in the meantime...Hang in there hun..I am sure he ll get better.. :)

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Okay, he's at .2% now...

Sometime in the night he got rid of the big poo he had attached but now there's more coming: it's small but it looks like it'll be in a loose spiral (better than really curly, I guess.) He's bottom-sitting alot though, and his fins are clamped.

Again, today is the third day of fasting... how long can fish go without food? I wish I could make sure he was completely cleaned out before feeding again.

I still don't know if I've seen any spinach poo (although I suppose I could have missed it)... it all seems small and brown and I'm not sure where it's coming from... When I had the first poo problem, do you think because it took him so long to pass it that it backed up the rest of the waste which curled/hardened/aged and then in trying to pass that he is still backed up? Can poo age in a fish's intestine and get really hard? (I've heard of it stagnating before...)

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I cant find my Fancy Goldfish book, if someone could look up "wasting away", that is what is going on with this fish, it could also have flukes that is causing this, Im sorry I cant look it up for you hun, just got done moving and cant find things in the home :o

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"Wasting away" from malnutrition/underfeeding? (And not the same as the wasting disease? I looked up a little about wasting disease and I've seen some of the symptoms in him, but they're also symptoms that can come from other problems too.)

Prior to this I haven't seen any flashing, although he used to swim through the bubbles which might be to itch himself... but I'm not sure how he would have got them, although I suppose it's possible it came from another tank although I'm careful about using different equipment and rinsing my hands/arms from tank to tank and then allowing them to dry so nothing crosses over... The other fish I have (if I recall correctly) had all been treated with Prazi and haven't exhibited any parasite symptoms that I've seen. There is a new fish that I got this month that is in a seperate tank and has not been treated with Prazi (I'm currently treating for possible ich there) but any water changes I do with him are after I have done other water changes to prevent any possible cross contamination... I only got that fish (a ryukin) at the beginning of this month though, and the malnutrition problem I had with this commet occured before that.

Should I add the PraziPro I have (made by Aquarium Solutions) to his tank water? It probably can't hurt, and any water changes I make I can up to 50% so I can easily readd any lost medication.

I have Metro-Meds too, and Goldfish Connection says they're good for treating skinny goldfish?

I'm still planning on doing a 40% water change today.

Edited by Roano
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Should I be feeding? This is his third day fasting and I need to know what I should try feeding him tomorrow... I don't know what to do because it seems like everything I feed him comes out wrong and hurts him but because you say wasting away do I need to try something?

Today he's just been sitting at the bottom of the tank the whole time... he hovers when I get close to the tank but settles back down when I leave. When I changed water today (I did a 45% change and replaced the salt) he got up and swam around from the time when I first put the siphon in to when I was readding water. His dorsal would be upright sometimes, down other times. He seemed to sway to the sides a bit sometimes too, like his balance wasn't working properly... nothing to extreme, just a little tipping a couple of times.

When I changed out the water, I noticed some of those harmless flatworms in the bottom of the bucket... but it seems like they should only be there if I was overfeeding, right? There's not a lot of waste coming up from the gravel: just little bits and pieces and I can't find any of the long curly pieces of poo...

Ugh, I really don't know if I should feed him tonight or not... he's had so very little to eat and his past malnutrition problem and the words "wasting away" make me want to give him something... but on the other hand, he's still pooing, and his vent's still red... I'd thing if he were starving he wouldn't have any poo but I don't know anymore. I guess I won't, since I can feed him later but once I fed him I can't do anything to reverse that... so I'll wait until tomorrow and hopefully someone can help answer my question about whether/what to feed him.

I'll check back here later tonight but I'm feeling really tired so I don't think I'll be up too late...

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I just want to group all my questions together in case any get missed (since they're somewhat strung out over a couple of posts):

1. Should I feed him? (Today was his third day of fasting.)

a. If so, what? (The thing that seems the least painful has been regular fish food (Omega One) although it really varies on whatever the shape of the poo is... peas are rather bulky and don't seem to clean him out too well... I still haven't seen any sign of the tiny bits of spinach I fed him three/four days ago.)

2. Should I add PraziPro to the tank?

3. Koko, when you said "wasting away" did you mean wasting away from malnutrition/underfeeding or the actual wasting disease that can be caused by TB?

I really feel stuck between a rock and a hard place... it seems like feeding really hurts him but it has to be done, especially if this is malnutrition. Looking back at the pictures, I was struck by how small his body looks in comparision to his head... :(

Thank you both for your help... no matter how this turns out I'm so very grateful.

Finally... can clove oil expire? I'm not planning on doing anything before all possibilities are exhausted but I didn't want to start another thread in this forum section to ask the question and think I should find this out just in case... :(

- Jamie

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I just want to group all my questions together in case any get missed (since they're somewhat strung out over a couple of posts):

1. Should I feed him? (Today was his third day of fasting.)

a. If so, what? (The thing that seems the least painful has been regular fish food (Omega One) although it really varies on whatever the shape of the poo is... peas are rather bulky and don't seem to clean him out too well... I still haven't seen any sign of the tiny bits of spinach I fed him three/four days ago.)

Finally... can clove oil expire? I'm not planning on doing anything before all possibilities are exhausted but I didn't want to start another thread in this forum section to ask the question and think I should find this out just in case... :(

- Jamie

First of all please no clove oil!

I have had a good look at the pics and I remember your original thread some time back too. I feel this fish has been stunted in his early days. Either from malnutrtion or cramped space. Probably both long before he came to you. What happens next with single tail fish especially since they grow so huge so fast, is the organs grow faster than the body. So you end up with curved intestines. This would explain the curly poo too. It can be "managed". By feeding mainly vegetables and keeping his poo soft.

You need to get EPSOM salt into the water and the other salt out. This would be my path of action:

70% water change. Carefully matched for pH and temperature using your finger. This is the ESSENTIAL start point. Not just to clear almost all the salt but also because 20% weekly as Sunshine says is not enough over time and one really good large change is overdue.

Then add your first round of epsom. Max half teaspoon per 10 gallons.

Tomorrow you will need to do another water change. 30% so the salt is cleared and add back one eighth of a teaspoon of epsom.

Feed him by all means. But feed only peas, brocolli, greens.

Then let us know how he is doing...he recovered before, he will do again.

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Okay, thank you Trinket. I'll feed him some pea or spinach tonight (although the pea he had before did have trouble coming out but I guess the salt should keep the red/torn part of his vent clean...) Do you have a suggestion about how much I should feed him (just for tonight)? I want to take it easy but because this is probably a malnutrition problem should I feed more than I feel is necessary? (I have trouble gauging the amount to feed him, especially now.)

I can do temp matching... I don't know about pH. My pH out of tap is 7.8 and my tank water is 8.1... Can I do the 70% water change in two steps? (First, 40%, then 30% with some time in between?)

Edited by Roano
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I would never put him down unless I and everyone helping me thought we were out of options... But I didn't want to be caught unprepared, and I admit I was jolted when I looked up "wasting disease" and wasn't sure if that was what Koko meant or not.

Something that seems strange to me is that the poo that I've cleaned out during water changes is soft... I don't understand how something so soft is causing so much trouble!

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