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Foaty Fisg--Anyone Tried Switching To A Plant Diet?


spillie

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[*]Test Results for the Following:

[*]Ammonia Level? 0

[*]Nitrite Level? 0

[*]Nitrate level? 10

[*]Ph Level, Tank (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines)? 8.4 or so

[*]Ph Level, Tap (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines)? 7.4 or so (it rises in tank)

[*]Brand of test-kit used and whether strips or drops? API drops

[*]Water temperature? 72

[*]Tank size (how many gals.) and how long has it been running? 50 g/9 months

[*]What is the name and size of the filter(s)? 2 eheim 2217 cannister filters

[*]How often do you change the water and how much? 50% once a week

[*]How many fish in the tank and their size? 1 large, 2 med, 1 small oranda and 1 small ranchu

[*]What kind of water additives or conditioners? Prime, Phospure

[*]What do you feed your fish and how often? homemade gel food, small amounts, onceor twice a day

[*]Any new fish added to the tank? no

[*]Any medications added to the tank? no

[*]Any unusual findings on the fish such as "grains of salt," bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus? no

[*]Any unusual behavior like staying at the bottom, not eating, etc.? upside down at top

Oops...title should be "Floaty Fish" Argh.

Anyway here's my situation. My two round/deep bodied orandas have serious floaty issues (and I have written about this on this forum before. BTW, the longer body oranda and the ranchu are fine). The one spends almost all time time upside down, the other seems to go upside down whenever she is fed, even in small amounts. And stays floaty for a long period of time. For example, both were last fed a small amount yesterday morning (mouthful or less of food), and the one is 100% upside down, and the other hangs upside down--swims a bit when I go near the tank--and then goes upside down again at rest.

This has been going on for months. I presume it is a swim bladder issue. The only other thing I can think is it is the high ph, which of course they have been in since the beginning, e.g., many months--but I have been reluctant to mess with that (though could). I should note that other than this, they are quite fine and no pineconing or acting sick. and when they swim, they look just like normal fish and happy.

On the assumption it is related to digestion, I have tried everything I can think of. I used to feed them hikari lionhead. Then tried mazuri low protein high fiber gel food (on the advice of their nutritionist). Then I started making my own high fiber gel food from fresh veg (arugula, peas, red pepper, zucchini, carrot, sometimes a few beans or garlic, plus gelatin, a bit of brine shrimp in spirulina, Acidophilus, a bit of unsalted sardines, a bit of those tiny hikari frozen shrimp for fish, Nothing works. If I fast them for a few days, the lesser-floaty one gets sorted out, until she eats again, but the other guy is always more or less the same. (He swims periodically, but as soon he rests, upside down he goes. He is also having a harder and harder time eating as he cannot seem to control his body well. Rather like a balloon. So when he goes for food on the bottom, he ends up flipping over. I have been hand feeding him, but lately he has trouble with that, too).

So, I read somewhere that this can get sorted out over a few months if you put the fish in a planted aquarium and make those plants the primary food source (I'd guess with some protein here and there). I have a spare 29G tank, and am wondering if I should try this. If I could manage to get green water, I'd try that in conjunction (not sure if I can get green water, but maybe if I move the tank next to the window it would in time) . Has anyone had any experience with this? I hate to see these fish upside down all the time...must be uncomfortable for them...

:(

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They would probably end up starving, they need more protein in their diet rather than plants. It's like with being a vegetarian you'd have to make up all of those lost nutrients from not eating meat somehow. What are your fishes' healh histories? It seems like it could be more deeply linked than the food itself? :(

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They're both good quality $$ ones. No other problems at all... I have them both in the QT in 6" of water at the moment, but I sure wish I could find a solution to this problem. My other oranda (biggest one, longer body, the only one from the LFS) is fine, as is my ranchu. But..maybe it could be the PH? I can't help but think, though, that it is the swim bladder. Both these fish have VERY round bellies from the bottom (which I get to observe fequently, as they are both upside down so much). Either could pass as Santa with the addition of a red hat and white beard...

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Do you think you'd be able to get a pic of them? If it is their swim bladders, have they even been treated at all for bacteria? Otherwise are they happy and healthy?

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I have wondered about the high pH recently. After the crazy fish deaths I just had, I suspected the pH might have been a factor. Then Sarah (ryukingirl) said her vet told her that her high pH was the thing that caused so many goldfish deaths for her, and I suspected the high pH even more. But... this is all just circumstantial of course. I don't have any hard proof that the high pH causes problems. I think I'm going to email my fish vet and ask her if pH of 8.4 could cause any problems with goldfish, including floaty problems. I can let you know what she says if you want. :)

I'm sorry you're having these issues :( Maybe you can try something that Lionchu suggested. He says you can confine the fish to a shallow body of water (six inches or so like you have now) with .1% aquarium salt. You can use sponge filters to filter the water and do changes as necessary. After a week or so the fish should be able to swim to the bottom, and then you can raise the water level by a few inches. You just keep raising the water level as the fish makes progress until the tank is filled all the way. He says he has cured many buoyancy problems this way. Something to consider.

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You know, I have never given them antibiotics. I'm afraid to use them when they do not seem sick, as they seem to weaken the fish unless just the right thing for the right situation. But I don't know anything about about bacterial causes of swim bladder, maybe there is something going on in there. But, other than floating. they seem fine, eat, poo is normal.

I'll try to get a pic.

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I'd love to know if the high PH is part of the issue, because I really am at a loss. Thanks, Sakura! [And I hope the info you get--and your UV sterilizer --helps with all the fish issues you have had. It's been so sad to see you go through all that.]

Yes, I'll try Lionchu's cure. I tried it before with the one, and she got better--but a few days back in the main tank, and we were back to floating. But I think it sure helps get them get sorted out. This is the first time I am trying it with the other "perpetually upside down" guy. I hope it helps him, as he has not been free of this really at all for months and months--even a break would be good for him.

:)

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I've never seen any evidence high pH is responsible for this. 8.4 is not exactly high enough to do any damage. Note that the only fish with floaty issues are the roundbodied orandas. Does the ranchu have a deep body structure? It does not make sense in any way to consider high pH as the culprit here in this situation. It does NOT affect ALL fish here at all.

I do agree however that the solution to this issue is get them in a shallower water area to ease the pressure on their bladders. In this case, this should be a PERMANENT solution though, not a temporary one. Unfortunately, bear in mind, not all goldfish are designed to live in deeper waters. Not even tosakins notably are kept in tall tanks due to their fin structure hampering their balancing buoyancy.

I noted you used the shallow water method before. May I ask what foods you fed them during that period? This is to see if those foods you gave them are also contributing to the issue.

No labored breathing?

Still great appetite?

No pale gills?

Do they gasp at the surface?

When you bought them, how deep was the original holding tank (previous source's)?

The issue, based on my own personal assessment aside from the assumed fact that the ONLY issue here is floaty problems with no other external abnormal signs, is that these fish are NEVER designed to withstand great pressure from deeper water. I could be wrong in my assumption however if the original holding tank is deeper than at least 12 inches. If anything, the change in depth is the solution for them. Nothing else can permanently do the job. I noted you tried acidophilus and fresh foods to no avail which could have helped otherwise.

Causes of floaty issues:

1. High protein

2. High nitrate

3. Nitrogen gas

4. Bacterial infections

5. Parasitic infections (primary cause of bacteria)

6. Water pressure

7. Air trapped in the tract as a result of gulping or wrong food diet (floating, high starch and sugar)

8. Food allergies

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have you tried frozen foods? I have a couple of fish that get floaty and fresh veggies such as spinach and broccoli and frozen krill and daphnia seem to do the trick.

as for the shallow water not working, did you maybe raise it too fast? or not raise it all the way so that when you put it back in the main tank it was sort of like a shock?

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Last time I had the Often Floaty Fish (Sophie) in the shallow tank, I fasted her for 3 days and then she righted. Then fed peas. Then put her back on my homemade gel food, which I usually hand feed. But, she goes floaty again. I cannot remember if I gradually raised the QT tank water after that (though that makes sense)--but for sure, my main tank is much deeper than my little QT. It seems no matter how little I feed, I have flippy fat bodied orandas. I think it is right that the problem is their body types,. They were both OK when they first came, but they were relatively small. The Almost Perpetually Floaty Fish (Scooter) is much bigger now (though Sophie is probably just a wee bit bigger.--I haven't had her as long). I'm afraid I do not know how deep their original tanks were as I bought them at auction...

Scooter and Sophie are now in the QT in about 6 " water. Sophie is now half upright and half floaty (that is to say, upside down at the top) , but Scooter is 100% floaty/upside down. Thus far, I have fasted them for 3 days, tonight gave 1 pea each. Will fast again for a few days. But generally, both very enthusiastic about food, red gills, no labored breathing, etc. Scooter, who is usually very cheery despite being upside down most of the tme, seems unhappier in the 6" of water as he cannot swim at all--in the big tank (50 gallon/18" high water), he floats then swims and plays in bubbles and then floats. He has not been right-side up at all since I put him in the QT on Tuesday. Also, he seems not too interested in food in the QT, but that may be because he is upside down 100% now--he is always enthusiastic, if incredibly clumsy, in the big tank, and was until I put him in the QT.

But, I'm going to keep them both in the QT for awhile and once both are righted (if ever--I do have concerns about Scooter, who is my absolute favorite :( ), and I'll try gradually raising the water. I have a second tank that is 29 G and that is now in use as a QT for my new fish, but I am thinking of putting Scooter and Sophie in there with shallower water once that tank is free, maybe permanently...to see if that helps.

May also try planting it, just to see if that helps, too--wth protein supplements, as I do realize they need some. Right now, what they get is my homemade gel food (mostly fresh veggies--some of the harder ones and the arugula blanched,others not-- pureed with a bit of krill, sardine, brine shrimp, spirulina, acidophilus--and gelatin to hold it together) and once in awhile they get just a cube of frozen krill instead. The veggies I use are carrots, peas, arugula, red pepper, cucumber, and zucchini usually. Are any of these contributing to the problem? I know some veggies (like broccoli) can cause problems.

With these fat bodied orandas, once the swim bladder is damaged (which I presume it is as they are floaty even when fasted--esp Scooter), is there any hope of making it better? I do not know if it is damage or rather just that the organs are all squished up in there...If the latter, I cannot see what to do, other than making them as comfortable as possible in shallow water (if indeed, that is more comfortable for them). Poor fish...

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Gosh I really wish I had some answers for you. I know how frustrating it is to have floaty fish issues. I have a feeling Trinket may be able to answer some of your questions, maybe you should try PMing her. These fish are from Dandy Oranda's right? Have you tried calling either Rick or Ken? I bet they could help you too.

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Gosh I really wish I had some answers for you. I know how frustrating it is to have floaty fish issues. I have a feeling Trinket may be able to answer some of your questions, maybe you should try PMing her. These fish are from Dandy Oranda's right? Have you tried calling either Rick or Ken? I bet they could help you too.

Thanks, Sakura. I just read the article Dennis posted on swimbladder and sure wish I knew an aquatic vet nearby (I am sure there is none), because if there were one, I'd be willing to try aspirating the swim bladder. My vet might be willing to give it a try, but ...I guess I'd feel better if there were someone used to doing it. I did talk to Ken a few times (since the floaty thing has been going on for a long time), but mostly we talked about food and such, trying new ones. I'm afraid, though, that this is permanent. Well, maybe the shallow water will work. Scooter is deeper water in the QT now (10") but Sophie is in just 4". Still upside down, though she rights herself time to time for a little swim, and no food but for a pea since Tuesday. I added some espom salt to her water, too, but it doesn't seem to have an effect one way or the other. I may switch the water out tomorrow and try regular aquarium salt and see if that helps..Scooter is pineconing per my other post, and completely upside down, no swimming.

If nothing improves on the floaty side, I may talk to my vet and see what she would be willing to try. But I am a bit scared to try aspirating, to be honest...Though I guess the floaty thing must be related to the swim bladder--whatever the cause is (body type, food, infection possibly... though poos are normal.)

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