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  • Regular Member

Have posted on here a couple of times re swimbladder but I think there is no easy solution for my 6" black moor Ruby.

I have tried all the diet suggestions but none really work 100% She may be ok for a couple of days but always ends up floating listlessly on top of tank. It got to the stage where I was feeding her more veg than substantial food just to see her swimming round normally, even the veg did'nt completely ensure that she would not float to top of tank

I may be imagining this but I really think she looks thinner since I have been feeding more veg. Am I feeding her enough protein?

I guess what I want to know is does this floating on top of the tank cause any pain or discomfort?

I don't think she looks too happy floating on top of tank compared to when she is swimming around but I think I would rather feed Ruby a tasty and nutritious diet rather than worrying about what will make her float on top

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  • Regular Member

When you say "floating" do you mean upside down - or just at the top and unable to swim down or around?

FLoating issues can have loads of reasons they occur. Usually the reasons occur in groups - there is no one solution to the problem. Often, you can find a workable solution by altering just one or two of the commonest reasons, but there are often more.

You have attacked one possible reason for floatiness.... the food. When you say "feeding just veggies", though - how do you mean this? Yes - the fish DO require a rounded diet - they are omniverous - meaning they eat meat and veggies alike - everything. They cannot exist on just one of the types of food for long. That said, many MANY of the processed diets that are on the market right now for goldies consist of mostly grains and such. Many individual fish cannot process these grains well - and some, in partnership with other problems - will become floaty because of it.

Most common is a large, deep bodied fish that was raised in a warmer pond in Asia - fed fresh food - live insects, etc. The water is large, the sun is plentiful and the grains are few and far between. The fish is then scooped out and imported to a colder climate, kept in much smaller volumes of water and fed mostly a processed food diet. The fish often reacts with stability issues - or flipping.

Have you tried feeding the fish a gel diet? Make your own food. You can incorporate high quality fish food into the gel - but avoid the ones that are heavy on the grains - particularly corn. Add in plenty of greens and feed this exclusively.

Perhaps you are feeding too much. Fish cannot eat nearly as much as many seem to think they can. They will TRY, but cannot process it properly. Much of it simply ends up coming out the back end of the fish. If the water is cooler or any number of other things occur, the fish can become constipated - leading to flipover - from gas as the food ferments in the fish to bacterial infection as the fermenting food harbors bad bacteria.

What is the temp of your water? Cooler temps will slow a fish's metabolism - making them more susceptible to stability issues.

Was this fish at any time exposed to ammonia or nitrite in the water? Did you get it from a store that may have exposed it to higher ammonia or any nitrites? Nitrite poisoning, particularly, can cause a fish to have stability issues the rest of its life. IT does not take much - but can have severe consequences.

What about nitrate? If the fish was exposed at any time in its life to higher ammonia or any nitrite, it may be extra sensitive to nitrAte. In some fish, nitrate of over 5ppm in the tank can cause flipover. Nitrate is not really as benign as many think. It can cause many problems - particularly when in concert with other things.

What is the pH of your tank? A fish with a history of ammonia/nitrite/nitrate poisoning can be extra sensitive to pH swings - as well as lower or higher pH values. They tend to need a more "middle of the road" type value.

I think I would suggest making sure your water is warmer (72-78F), has zero ammonia, zero nitrite and under 5ppm nitrates. Clean out ANY waste pockets in the tank- cleaning the filter box and hoses, and DEEP DEEP gravel cleaning. Take it all out if you think you need to. Check ALL ornaments - clean 'em out. Make some gel food. FEed SMALL amounts of gel food, exclusively. Fast at least once a week.

SEe if this may help your fish. I hope it does. But if we cannot get her stable with just veggies, there are many angles to tweak to see if she can be helped. All is not impossible. You can do this!!!


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Hi Daryl, Thanks for replying

When I say floating, she does'nt ever turn upside down. She just rests listlessly at top of tank. She is able to swim around but does have difficulty swiiming to bottom of tank. This tends to happen immediately after feeding and can last for couple of days depending on what she has been fed. If fasted she returns to normal and can sometimes be ok if fed only lettuce peas brocolli etc

I use frozen worms and daphnia. I also use hikari sinking wafers, even soaking them for 1/2 hr before feeding. I dont use any kind of flake food. I have made gel food in the past, mixing tuna with veg, but nothing seems to work

No amonia or nitrites in water. I struggle to keep nitrates below 10. PH 7. I do 25 to 50% water change twice a week. Doing everything more than need to really to see if it makes any difference and I always hoover the gravel and is only approx 1" deep

2 things you have mentioned could be the cause of her problem. She was almost certainly exposed to amonia and nitrates when I first got her about 5 years ago when I did'nt know how to look after goldfish properly............too small a tank, not enough filtration, didnt cycle the tank, not enough water changes, feeding dried flake food etc etc. This could go a long way to causing how she is now but I think she has got worse recently.

Another thing is temp of water. I have never used heater in tank as water never really got very cold but we have had a more severe winter than normal this year

I have got a heater here somewhere if I can find it. I could put that in and stabilise temp more and see if that helps

Thank you so much for all your advice

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There are two other, slightly less common things that may also be contributing. I have fish (2) that always seem to be hovering just under the output of the UV. They are strange, I thought, but after some investigation it seems that there is a fair amount MORE oxygen under that output than in the general volume of water - being as it just tumbled back into the tank. YET... it does not have the currents produced by the regular waterfall of the main filter. They like the oxygen....

I checked gills - and found that I have gill flukes. Those are nearly the most insidious of all fish parasites. Even in a closed system, I cannot seem to rid them completely, it seems. These were relatively new fish - I picked them up from a friend's pond who was keeping them for me while I was out of the country. So.... flukes are being treated.

Have you studied the currents? The oxygen replacement? Scoped for Flukes?

Those are, by themselves, not usually causes for surface floating. But they may be contributing factors.

Is your fish really a "she"? Could she be gravid with eggs?

Sorry...... just trying to think of everything.

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