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Johnnyonthespot

Worried about the quality of my gel

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Of my two goldfish, Gabby is really prone to floating. She obsessively gulps air at the surface until she gets stuck up there. She doesn't do it too bad while on gel food until the batch is typically almost done, so I assume that's when the quality starts deteriorating.

I just made a new batch last week, ingredients were:

.5 cup bottled water

1/6 multivitamin

¼ lactobacillus acidophilus

¼ cup of spinach

¼ cup of peas

1/16 green pepper

1 baby carrot

2 shrimp

½ garlic clove

1 TSP paprika

1 scoop of bloodworm

1 pack of gelatin

½ TSP Koi Clay (only new ingredient)

The amounts are very rough, but I got the food to be exactly .5 cup. I use one pack of regular gelatin.

This past week, my golden child Bernie, who has had NOT ONE problem, decided to start gulping obsessively after his tankmate has since April. For the first time ever three nights ago, he gulped himself to a float. Then did so the next night. The following morning, they got peas, which also caused him to gulp and float.

I have absolutely no idea why he's not decided to float, but I do know it's the gulping that does it. But I wonder what's causing the gulping. I noticed that since switching to gel last summer, his poops are seemingly stringier. Recently, his poops have been really pathetic, just long and stringy. Two nights ago it was like...nematode thin. I'm wondering what's causing his assumed constipation.

My ingredients are mostly frozen, and some have been in there for a while. But I don't feed them anything that a human couldn't eat. Like the shrimp is roughly 1/2 year old, but people still eat it and it's fine. Same with the peas. The carrot, pepper, garlic and spinach were fresh.

So the stringiness I assumed was caused by over eating, is that possible? Or could it be some of my ingredients aren't agreeing? Or are there any other problems that stand out?

Thanks. Seeing him at the top is killing me, since he's always been my strong one.

PS - Gabby is fine lol. They've completely switched roles.

Edited by JohnnyOnTheSpot

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I can't edit again, but I wanted to add that the poop isn't white, it's greenish, the color of the food. Sometimes a very dark green, though.

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What brand of frozen blood worms do you use? Do you always use blood worms, or do you switch out to something else as well?

Edited by dnalex

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What brand of frozen blood worms do you use? Do you always use blood worms, or do you switch out to something else as well?

I use Tetra freezedried ones, but forgot to mention I forget them in the latest batch.

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Could you upload a video of him?

For now, just keep feeding peas for the next couple of days...

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Could you upload a video of him?

For now, just keep feeding peas for the next couple of days...

My videos always come out like poop, what exactly are you looking for? I can explain things pretty well typically, and his behavior is the exact same as my other idiot fish who decided to gulp: eat, rummage the bottom, dart up, rinse and repeat until floaty.

I'm going to work on a vid anyways lol.

Edited by JohnnyOnTheSpot

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OK. Thanks :)

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I'm so confused. He looks so calm and casual...this is completely new behavior. And of course, Gabby isn't doing anything. Two night ago I gave him more food to see if I was underfeeding him, today I gave him less to see if I was over...same result both times.

What would multiple days worth of peas do if he took a huge poop after one? Not arguing, just curious, I assumed he was completely flushed out.

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He's gotten himself floaty again :no:

He has literally never floated until 3 nights ago, now is gulping feverishly after every feeding, and Gabby, who loves nothing more than floating, is perfectly fine. I am baffled.

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We need to eliminate the following possibilities first:

1. water quality. To that end, could you go ahead and copy and paste that long string of questions and answer them?

2. food-relatedness. Fast him for a couple of days, then followed by peas. This should have purgative effect, and if the floatiness is food related, he should return to normal after the fast-and-peas.

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Regarding food, here's my issue. I mean, I know his poop is stringy and I only feed him gel. He always returns to normal after pooping, unless by normal you mean not gulping. He gulped after the peas, too. I can honestly say this scenario makes 0 sense, especially since my other fish is now fine. I can fast him for a few, but I'm not sure what that would do if peas clear him out. Like, I know it's "food" related in the sense that he gulps after eating, but he does it with everything now, ya know? Even peas. I'm wondering if it's an attention thing, or something else. He won't do it with me standing by the tank. I could easily blame it exclusively on the food if my other fish was actually doing it too, that's the worst, most confusing part! Like, I understand everything. He's floating because he gulps excessively, and he gulps excessively after eating anything, just not sure why :/

I can easily eliminate water conditions, here ya go:


    Test Results for the Following:
  • * Ammonia Level - 0
  • * Nitrite Level - 0
  • * Nitrate level - 6
  • * Ph Level, Tank (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines) - 76
  • * Ph Level, Tap (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines) - 76
    Other Required Info:
  • * Brand of test-kit used and whether strips or drops? API drops
  • * Water temperature? 75
  • * Tank size (how many gals.) and how long has it been running? 29, a year
  • * What is the name and "size of the filter"(s)? Biowheel 150, Aquatech 15
  • * How often do you change the water and how much? x2 weekly, 12 gallons each

  • * How many days ago was the last water change and how much did you change? Yesterday, 12 gallons
  • * How many fish in the tank and their size? 2, not sure of size
  • * What kind of water additives or conditioner? Pro-Ammonia Detox, also adding some koi clay
  • * What do you feed your fish and how often? Gel, x2 daily
  • * Any new fish added to the tank? Nope
  • * Any medications added to the tank? Nope
  • * List entire medication/treatment history for fish and tank. Please include salt, Prazi, PP, etc and the approximate time and duration of treatment. Jeeze, um, Prazi, Maracyn I/II nothing else major I don't think.
  • * Any unusual findings on the fish such as "grains of salt," bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus? Nope
  • * Any unusual behavior like staying at the bottom, not eating, etc.? Yep

Edited by JohnnyOnTheSpot

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Great! Thanks! :)

I always have a hard time with differentiating these two possibilities: 1) is the fish floaty because he's eaten so much bubbles? or 2) is the fish eating so much bubbles because he is floaty?

Anyway, let's fast him for a couple days and then peas.

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Great! Thanks! :)

I always have a hard time with differentiating these two possibilities: 1) is the fish floaty because he's eaten so much bubbles? or 2) is the fish eating so much bubbles because he is floaty?

Anyway, let's fast him for a couple days and then peas.

Yep, no problem. I mean, I know for a fact he's getting floaty because he's eating bubbles. I fed him at 9:45 and watched him the whole time. Started off fine, then kept gulping. He gradually got floatier as he gulped, noticeably getting a bit floaty after around an hour. This is the EXACT same thing my other fish usually does, but isn't doing now.

And thank you. I'm so frustrated because these fish...they just make no sense. No problem affects them both simultaneously.

Edited by JohnnyOnTheSpot

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Ok, question. I read once that fish gulp to aid themselves in digestion. I tried big pieces and small pieces. Is it possible that my food is just too dense and they're having a hard time digesting it? If so, what do I do about that? That's why I originally shared my recipe, to see if maybe the 1:1 ratio of food to water was possibly an issue.

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I didn't comment about the recipe because nothing seemed to jump out at me as being problematic. I thought it looked good, actually. The only thing I would suggest to do in regard to that is to remove the koi clay to see if that had any discernible effects, since that was the only thing new you did (and forgetting the blood worms).

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I didn't comment about the recipe because nothing seemed to jump out at me as being problematic. I thought it looked good, actually. The only thing I would suggest to do in regard to that is to remove the koi clay to see if that had any discernible effects, since that was the only thing new you did (and forgetting the blood worms).

Yea, I got it off of here and had success with it before. The thing confusing me the most is if there was a real problem with something, wouldn't both fish exhibit problems? Bernie being the "sick" fish is new in my tank. He can fight floatiness better and can get down whenever he wants, but when he stops swimming he looks like he's being abducted and just floats up.

Could this be some lingering issue he just needs to flush out? I was under the impression that their digestive systems weren't all that complicated and that once they're flushed, they're flushed.

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The thing about catching an infection is that both of us could be in the same room, exposed to the same virus, but one of us will go on and get a terrible cold, while the other one barely even noticed he's sick. I think the same principle works in this case.

The thing with buoyancy problems is that it could come from a variety of causes, including high nitrates, overfeeding with food pushed against the swim bladder, constipation with consequent swim bladder issues, swim bladder infection, or something else entirely. So we just have to try to eliminate the possibilities. Right now let's try to purge him to see if that will fix the problem :)

Edited by dnalex

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No that makes sense, I just don't associate this with a sickness as much as I do just...dumb goldfish behavior.

Now I have a question, I mentioned his poop being very thin but colored as the food. I read on the poop guide on here that it means stress or poor diet and to monitor the fish. But I'm not sure what the problem is. Can you shed any light on what could be the stressor/problem? I can't fathom it being poor diet unless I'm feeding him too little/much, but would that cause it? Also...I honestly have no clue what could be stressing him out. The water quality if superb, and the only new addition is koi clay, which I thought was a huge help. Maybe not?

I put a smidge of koi clay in the food, and I put some in the tank, as well, pre--dissolved.

Edited by JohnnyOnTheSpot

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I am now out on a limb and guessing here, but it could easily be something like the change in the content of the food. For example, you left out the blood worms and added koi clay. That significantly changed the composition of the food.

The thing about stress is that it's not always easy to identify the cause, if at all. It could be something environmental, it could be the food, or it could be some accompanying infection. Without intimately knowing the system, I don't think I would even begin to make a guess.

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I am now out on a limb and guessing here, but it could easily be something like the change in the content of the food. For example, you left out the blood worms and added koi clay. That significantly changed the composition of the food.

The thing about stress is that it's not always easy to identify the cause, if at all. It could be something environmental, it could be the food, or it could be some accompanying infection. Without intimately knowing the system, I don't think I would even begin to make a guess.

Yea I understand, that makes sense. I'm just so confused about which course of action to take. It's really hard for me to blame anything due to my other fish being fine and not reacting at all.

Ok, so if the food is the stressor, does he just need to get used to it, or does he need a new batch of the old recipe? I'm pulling out my freakin' hair here lol. I want to blame the koi clay so bad, but I'm pretty sure I'm the only reported case of problems with it, AND my other fish is fine. That's the worst part, SHE'S FINE! Ahhh, fish are infuriating. I'm so tempted to just maintain the normal course of action for another week to see if it's just a need adjustment period.

PS, I started feeding them this batch 2 weeks ago, and no problems until 3 days ago. He also looks good right now, swimming around happily, maybe a hint of floatiness.

His poop also stresses me out. Not I'm stressed and I'm going to have stringy poops lol. I am beyond flustered. Thanks for your help so far, hopefully I can get this resolved before I have a heart attack.

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TMI TMI TMI TMI :rofl :rofl :rofl

Now I'm going to have stringy poop from sympathetic stress :yikes

These are my suggestions:

1. fast for two days and then peas. This will give his digestive system a rest, and then you purge.

2. Make another batch without the koi clay, and using exactly the old recipe.

3. Once you've established the norm, you can go back to the koi clay food to try again.

Incidentally, what brand of koi clay did you get? For now, just mix and add to the water, and not food :)

Edited by dnalex

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TMI TMI TMI TMI :rofl :rofl :rofl

Now I'm going to have stringy poop from sympathetic stress :yikes

These are my suggestions:

1. fast for two days and then peas. This will give his digestive system a rest, and then you purge.

2. Make another batch without the koi clay, and using exactly the old recipe.

3. Once you've established the norm, you can go back to the koi clay food to try again.

Incidentally, what brand of koi clay did you get? For now, just mix and add to the water, and not food :)

Hahaha, my apologies. Ok, but I'm only going to fast him. If I fast Gabby, she bottom sits the next day :/ Don't get me started on her. I'll make the batch tomorrow as well, and get fresh shrimp so I can exclude that as the problem.

I bought Ultimate Koi Clay, for the record. Thanks for your help so far. Stupid fish, lol.

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Lol. What are you apologizing for? You haven't done anything to offend me.

Fasting only him is a good idea.

I also have the Ultimate koi clay.

Edited by dnalex

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Lol. What are you apologizing for? You haven't done anything to offend me.

Fasting only him is a good idea.

I also have the Ultimate k

For giving you stringy sympathy poop, of course!

And he is going to be so pissed. He already constantly stares me down...this isn't going to be a fun two days for me haha. I guilt so easily.

Edited by JohnnyOnTheSpot

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Imagine how I feel when I put all 18 of mine on a two day fast! Those days I creep lightly around the tanks, without much success :rofl

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