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Dorsals indicative of happiness/health?


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  • Regular Member

So when I first got into fish a year ago, I remember reading that the dorsal was a good indicator of happiness/health, and that an erect one was great and a clenched one showed stress.

My fish are usually swimming around with little periscopes popping out of their backs, at I'd say a 90º angle. Well I added koi clay to their food and tank, and I SWEAR they've someone gone up more.

Is this my imagination or could it just be a coincidence? Or is the dorsal really a good litmus test for their overall well-being?

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  • Regular Member

A raised dorsal is always something that is great to see, because I think that it's a good sign of a fish that is not in distress. However, having the dorsal not raised isn't necessarily indicative of a stressed or sick fish. Some larger goldfish are "lazy" and don't necessarily fully raise their dorsals all the time.

I think that overall, you are better off looking at how the fish holds ALL of its fins. Is it clamped or relaxed, etc.

I'm glad you are using koi clay! I love that stuff.

Should I start putting it in my food? :P

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  • Regular Member

I can't speak about anything other than what I see, and what I see in my fish is that they have different styles of dorsal fins. When the biggest fish is healthy and happy, he has a nice, upright dorsal. But two of the other fish have never had a dorsal that was pert. They always are a little floppy. One of those fish has grown well and both seem healthy. And never have their dorsals been straight up. Maybe it's a flaw, but since they are always like that, I think it's just the way their dorsals are.

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  • Regular Member

Sally has a flopped over dorsal, too, and I think it's freaking adorable. :heart

Bob and Night Fury will lower theirs a little when they're swimming fast, and when they're still it goes back straight up. Rosie's is always straight as an arrow.

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  • Regular Member

I've been hemming and hawing about posting something in this thread cause I have a theory that I can't seem to collect information on OR prove. I THOUGHT that during chasing and other mating procedures when there is competition the males (or whoever chooses to do the butt bumping) there is a stiffness to the dorsal. Now I've looked through tons of youtube and haven't found anything conclusive so I'm just going to set that thought aside and say , "I give up/fleeting thought' but if anyone else has witnessed this then maybe it's not just my imagination.

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  • Regular Member

I don't think that you are wrong. I think males will flash/display their dorsals to attract females also, although this is a more generalized fish statement, rather than pertaining to goldfish. :)

Like I said before, I think we can easily interpret raised fins as signs of general well-being or, at the very least, non-distress. However, a lowered dorsal, does not necessarily indicate sickness or stress. It's better to read the entire fish for all the signs, anyway :)

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  • Admin

I agree. See when Charlie is sleeping her dorsal fin goes down. Even when shes in that "Im not sleeeepy, Oh Im awake mode" her fin will go up and down.

Think of there Dorsal fins as the stabilizer, not necessarily how they feel all the time. Yes a Happy fish will normally have it up, and in breeding time to, but just like you get tired of your arm up, well thats there arm in a since :thumb:

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  • Regular Member

Another thing to consider is the lead spine in the dorsal fin, is it actually there? I've had goldies in the past with broken spines and the dorsal would/will never go up, even if the fish was happy to see me. I'd repost a pic of one with this, but I'm not sure where I moved it to. If you archive my posts long enough :krazy:, it should turn up though.

Paul

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  • Regular Member

Another thing to consider is the lead spine in the dorsal fin, is it actually there? I've had goldies in the past with broken spines and the dorsal would/will never go up, even if the fish was happy to see me. I'd repost a pic of one with this, but I'm not sure where I moved it to. If you archive my posts long enough :krazy:, it should turn up though.

Paul

This is absolutely true. I accidentally broke Ulquiorra's lead dorsal, so now it doesn't raise fully anymore :(

Paul, why are you a fry at 3,788 posts? :o

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  • Admin

Another thing to consider is the lead spine in the dorsal fin, is it actually there? I've had goldies in the past with broken spines and the dorsal would/will never go up, even if the fish was happy to see me. I'd repost a pic of one with this, but I'm not sure where I moved it to. If you archive my posts long enough :krazy:, it should turn up though.

Paul

Hey paul... :hi So true I broke one of my fish's fins years ago and it never went back up right again. :(

@Alex its cause of the new system, if a member has been inactive for over a year they go into In active. Once they post they move into fry until I can move them back or they email me :thumb:

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