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Mr.B

Digestion

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Hi. I have been keeping goldfish for the last year and have unfortunatly had terrible luck. I have bought six and four of them have died over the last few months. At first I thought that the black moors that i had been buying had developed swim bladder problems. They would be fine for a while and then they would begin floating to the top and tipping to one side, and then i would find them at the bottom of the tank and then they would die. I now believe that my fish have been dying due to the fact that I have not been feeding them a proper diet. One of my red fantails died a few days ago after going through the same symptoms that the other fish went through. I feel awful about not doing enough reserch soon enough, so I thought that I would post this and see if any of you think that i might be on the right track. I have a 75g tank. ammonia is testing at 0 and so is nitrites. I have not tested nitrates GH or KH. I keep the temp at 72 and change 50% of the water weekly. The tank is moderatly planted and the goldfish tank mates are 3 golden dojos and 2 bristlenose pleco. I was feeding the fish flake food four days a week fasting one day a week and feeding forzen food and peas twice a week. I am going to start feeding only frozen veggies and appropriate frozen foods (have to check which are appropriate) and continue to fast one day a week. I will probably also add some sinking pellets for the dojos. Sorry this is kind of all over the place. ANY input would be greatly appriciated. Thanks.

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I am only gonna answer about the food itself, but it might not be a bad idea to also post in the Diagnosis & Discussion forum, and fill the form out that's there at the top. It gives us a lot of different info about the tank and setup, and more than once helped us find out that the problem was something that no one even thought about :)

So you could try to find out why your goldfish keep dying, and if it really is "just" the food.

Switching to sinking pellets is a better idea. Floating flakes cause fish to gulp up a lot of air, which makes the fish floaty. You could also make home made gel food for them and alternate this with the pellets. Incorporating a lot of fresh veggies (steamed spinach and zucchini are my fishes' absolute favorites) brings variety into their diet and the additional fiber is excellent for their digestive system, which on the long run reduces buoyancy issues.

Edited by Oerba Yun Fang

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So just to make sure I have the numbers right: You have 2 goldfish, 3 dojos and 2 bristlenose plecos in a 75 gallon, right? That's not overstocked, and your water readings sound good (although testing for nitrates is a good idea so you're confident your tank is fully cycled -- also, high nitrates can cause swim bladder/floating issues in some fish, so you want to make sure they're under 20 at all times, even right before a water change).

A few things that jumped out at me -- 72 degrees is on the cool side, although not horribly cold. I keep my goldfish at 77-78 degrees year-round with a heater. Their metabolism works a little faster at that temp, and they tend to be more active, both of which are good for digestion.

Flakes aren't good, as you found out. They tend to be low-quality, and the fish gulp a tremendous amount of air when eating them from the surface, which can contribute to swim bladder issues. Sinking foods are best. Peas are great, so keep that up, and you might want to experiment with making gel food; it tends to be easier on the system for fish with floating issues.

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First off thanks for the posts so far. I will post this and my tank info in the disease and diagnosis secction. I didn't know if I should or not for sure. As far as the tempature goes I thought that goldfish and dojo loaches prefered way cooler temps, but I have a heater in there so I could raise the temp. Can find recipies for gel food here? Also thanks for the info on the nitrates. Will buy a test kit for them. Thanks again!

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I'm really sorry about your losses :(

What you are doing sounds good... Perhaps those were just unhealthy fish to begin with. 72 is a great temperature, although I always kept my tank at room temp, which is as low as 60 in the winter. I didn't notice any problems. Keep in mind that faster temperature means faster metabolism, which means accelerated and shortened life span, generally.

I don't want to sound contrary or anything, but I'll just share my experience with pellets and flakes. My fish seemed to do a lot better on flakes, although I did release them underwater (so they don't gulp air at the surface). When I started feeding them mostly pellets instead of flakes, one of my fish started getting digestive problems (which never happened before). I was even feeding them lots of vegetables at the time, but that fish had major issues with pellets. Since returning to flakes, he's been doing better. Generally, the ingredients of flakes can be as high quality as pellets, but there is a concern is that the nutrients will leech out into the water because of the greater surface area. I can't tell you if this is true, but I can only share my experience.

Here is a thread for gel food http://www.kokosgold.../2269-gel-food/

Edited by Calluna

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I have to agree, Calluna. When I drop Omega One flakes in the water, they sink faster than some of the "sinking" pellets. I got them for my babies since the small pieces fit well in little mouths. And they smell so good. When I open the jar it smells like I just opened a can of salmon.

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