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A Lonely Fish?


Guest thecobra

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Guest thecobra

I had a pair of goldfish (been kept as a pair (never mated or anything) for about 6 years) and one of them got swimbladder, unfortunately it wouldn?t get better and ended up just listing on the bottom so after a lot of trying (over the course of several months he got a bit better then went back to showing symptoms) different foods (peas worked for a while then stopped working, tried bloodworms etc etc) and a couple of swimbladder treatments we decided to euthenase him as he just couldn?t swim properly and seemed to be suffering unduly, exhausted at the bottom of the tank from fighting the effects of swimbladder I think.

The other fish left behind used to be very placid and calm and always stay near the other one, now it?s mate has gone it has gone mental for the whole of yesterday, constantly pacing up and down the tank, speeding round and looking very stressed sometimes bashing itself against the sides. Before we took the other fish out it was behaving normally.

I do regular water changes and have tested all parameters with test strips, all seems fine and normal. I can only summise that the fish is showing some sort of stress reaction due to being used to being with another fish and now anxious about being alone, fish are schooling creatures so I assume he is now freaked out? He has actually calmed down a bit today relative to yesterday, but is still having periods where he seems to go into a stressed frenzy.

Is it cruel now to leave him on his own? Should I put another fish in with him? I am not so keen to do this whilst he still seems to be stressed, but maybe another fish will be the cure to the stress?

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hi there,

welcome to koko's.

i am sorry you are experiencing difficulties with your fish.. we often associate flukes with flashing behaviour, but there could be other issues..

are you able to advise what size tank you have? and the other questions we need answered for the moment are water parameters for the following:

ammonia:

nitrite:

nitrate:

ph:

test strips are really unreliable, do you have access or can you purchase API drop test kits? they are really accurate in reading the water parameters of your aquarium.

i personally am unable to advise what the problem may be as i am not experienced enough.. but, if we have the info i've requested asap, a moderator will be along shortly to help you and the information above will help them to get started.

regards,

helen

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Guest thecobra

Hi Thanks for the reply,

I am at work at the moment so can't do much. I have only ever used test strips to be honest. Tank size is 40 litres (shock horror I am sure I am going to get!)

The 2 fish are (were) similar size , both about 3.5" in length, I am now aware I maybe could have boosted the tank size, but to be honest they were given to me by my sister 5 years ago and she had them as 2 young goldfish in about a 15 litre tank so I upgraded it to the 40 litre one and didn't really have room for anything larger.

http://www.rocketaquatics.co.uk/tetra-test-test-strips-p-1753.html

^^^ Those are the test strips I usually use, get them for about ?9 on eBay, they test for pH, Nitrite, Nitrate, KH (carbonate hardness), GH (general hardness) and CL2. These are all showing in normal ranges on the test strips.

I will test again tonight and try to get an API drop test kit asap, I think the water quality will be fine but it's worth having a good test.

James

hi there,

welcome to koko's.

i am sorry you are experiencing difficulties with your fish.. we often associate flukes with flashing behaviour, but there could be other issues..

are you able to advise what size tank you have? and the other questions we need answered for the moment are water parameters for the following:

ammonia:

nitrite:

nitrate:

ph:

test strips are really unreliable, do you have access or can you purchase API drop test kits? they are really accurate in reading the water parameters of your aquarium.

i personally am unable to advise what the problem may be as i am not experienced enough.. but, if we have the info i've requested asap, a moderator will be along shortly to help you and the information above will help them to get started.

regards,

helen

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:welcome You sure in the right place for goldfish advice/care. Ha ha yeah I will have to say 10 gallons is too small for two goldfish :P My guess the fish were stunted as to why the one developed swim bladder. So yeah with the tank size 10 gallons is only good for one fancy, and 20 gallons is recommended for commons. I am a firm believer that goldfish have unique personalities and the behavior could be caused from the lost tank mate. He could be behaving this way when you are near the tank, for your attention. Try to observe when the fish thinks you are not there. Water tests will tell more of the story and for disease others will be able to help you along with that.
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I know my fish behaves differently when he thinks that I'm not watching.

Like the others, I recommend getting a larger tank before you add a new fish. Never forget to quarantine the newbie and treat for parasites though!

That said, I don't doubt that your current fish misses his buddy. I would still treat him like he has an illness though. Be careful not to over medicate him. The absolute worst thing you can do is dump in harsh medications for things he doesn't have!

I agree that this might be flukes. My fish T.F. was doing the same thing. He would swim so hard into the wall that I would really worry about him hurting himself. If you have any big decorations or rocks you might consider taking them out so he can't swim face first into them.

It might be worth it to purchase some Prazi, or PraziPro, but try not to add anything to the tank until you know for sure what's going on. A Mod'll be more than happy to help us figure it out!

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I agree, it sounds like flukes could be an issue here. Do you have access to Prazipro by Hikari? I have been able to find it in my area at some smaller local fish stores.

Definitely get an API test kit as soon as you can, those results will go a long way to helping diagnose the problem.

If you want to add another fish, make sure you do get a larger tank first. Also all new fish need to be quarantined for three weeks, because it's almost guaranteed that they will bring a parasite or bad bacteria with them. You really don't want this affecting (and possibly killing) the fish you already have. Just something to keep in mind. :)

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ahh to me it does sound like the fish were accustomed to each other. i guess it can sorta relate to people as well. being together, vs. being alone. is he gonna be "lonely" for a long time, or shall he one day be paired again with another fish or the fish buddy he used to have, if things go well. hopefully though, you can fix that medical issue, as i cannot help out : ( but we got tons of experienced members here soo :D

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Better for the fish to be lonely instead of over stocked. So I would leave him as a single and work on getting a larger tank use the one you have to QT him a buddy later after your fish is well and happy.

Good Luck and :welcome

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Try putting a little mirror on the outside of the tank where he can see himself. See if that helps settle him at all. (either way you need to get the Prazi!) AND a bigger tank as if you're like the rest of us you WON'T be able to resist getting another fish!!!

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Guest thecobra

:welcome You sure in the right place for goldfish advice/care. Ha ha yeah I will have to say 10 gallons is too small for two goldfish :P My guess the fish were stunted as to why the one developed swim bladder. So yeah with the tank size 10 gallons is only good for one fancy, and 20 gallons is recommended for commons. I am a firm believer that goldfish have unique personalities and the behavior could be caused from the lost tank mate. He could be behaving this way when you are near the tank, for your attention. Try to observe when the fish thinks you are not there. Water tests will tell more of the story and for disease others will be able to help you along with that.

Hi there

I think this reply was on the money to be honest. My sister had them both in a really small tank (I think it was about 15 litres) for about a year, so I think they were a bit stunted, I then put them in a 40 litre tank thinking this was a good size, but again they probably got stunted in this after a while. I think this may have caused the swimbladder as I was pretty good at water changes and keeping the aquarium clean and well filtered.

I am happy to say that the other fish has now settled down a lot, he very rarely darts around now, seems to have calmed down and got used to being on his own. The only treatment I did was some aquarium salt to calm him down and a couple of 20% water changes over the week. I go over to him more now though and give him more attention, but I won't be adding another fish for a while, I want to see how he does on his own for a few weeks. With the advice some of you have given I think this would be fairer on the little guy than having a new fish come in and them be overcrowded.

I don't really have the money or space for a bigger tank. I didnt do the flukes treatment as I just didn't think this was the problem, as he only displayed the behaviour at the exact moment we took the other one out of the tank. That would be too much of a coincidence for me, I will keep an eye on him though, if the behaviour starts again I will find the stuff you guys recommended, am just not keen to jump in with treatments every 5 mins cos I had enough fun treating the other one with swimbladder treatments/general disease treatments to try and cure him.

The one fish I have is quite an old guy now, he has faded a bit in colour over the last year and I think adding a new young whippersnapper to the tank might actually now be detrimental to him, if it starts picking on him or like people have said maybe brings in some fresh diseases it could kill him.

Cheers for the mirror idea I will give that a go!

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