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Aquarius

Goldfish Sitting At The Bottom Of The Tank

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Hey everyone! It has been so long since I posted here, that ezboard made me re-register :( I don't know if anyone remembers me, but hopefully someone can help me.

One of my goldfish in my 29 gallon has been acting very bizarre lately. He is just sitting at the bottom of the tank. He will come to the top when I am feeding, but that is it. He spends the whole rest of his day down there. He just seems overall less lively. It's almost like he is less energetic, if that makes any sense.Now, I haven't noticed any bloating or spikiness (like dropsy) - although the only other symptom I can think of is that he seems a littler thinner than usual.

I have been doing weekly 30% water changes, and today I tested the water and added another air stone (I am grasping at straws now)

Does anybody have any ideas? I know this is probably hard with only the 2 symptoms. Odd thing is, my other fish are perfectly healthy and happy.

I appreciate all your time and input! Thanks!

Ali

Ammonia Level 0 ppm

Tank size(How many Gals) 29 gal

How long has it been running 2 years

Nitrite 0 ppm

How often do you change the water and how much? weekly, 30%

Nitrate 10 ppm (before water change) 5 ppm (after water change)

Filtration Penguin 330

Ph Level 7

Water additives/conditioners Proper ph 7.0

What do you feed your fish? Tetra Fin Goldfish flakes and Bioblend

Medications add to the tank? none

How many fish in the tank and their size? 3, small (2-3 inches)

Any new fish added to the tank? no

Any unusual findings on the fish? Just staying at the bottom of the tank all the time , lifeless, lacking energy. Color is normal, appetite normal. Seems a little thin, but other than that, appearance is normal.

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hmmmm... maybe its swim bladder? i would have suggested a water quality issue but everything seems fine in that department. sorry i cant help more. i hope hes ok.

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He really doesn't look at all well this morning. Now he is at the top upside down, just floating with the current of the water. I have had fish with swim bladder problems before, but they at least usually respond when touched -- they don't seem to lack energy like he does.

I thought maybe he was asleep at first, but he won't move - the only way I can even tell he is not dead is because every once in a while he flaps a fin or his gills move.

Is there anything I can do?

Thanks,

Ali

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Lethargy and weight loss often indicates severe internal parasites - have you already tried a parasiticide?

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emmahj - no, I haven't, What should I try? Is it too late?

And wouldn't my other fish be sick with it too? They all seem ok.

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I agree that it might be an internal parasite. Maybe you should do a search on the web to find out what matches those symptoms.

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Praziquantel is about the best parasiticide you can use; I'm not sure of the brand names where you are, but if you ask your LFS for praziquantel they should know which meds contain it and give you an appropriate one.

The other fish won't necessarily be infected, or they may be infected but to a much lesser degree; if your afflicted fish was already weakened in some way, such as by stress or poor conditions when it was reared, the parasites may have gotten a better hold on it.

If you use Prazi, remove any snails etc from the tanks first as they won't like it.

Apart from that, there isn't much else you can do apart from keep the water quality perfect and separate the fish if it looks like its being bullied by the others.

Is it too late? Well, if the fish is already floating and not really moving then I'm sorry but yes, probably. However, fish have been known to make miraculous come-backs given the right treatment, so it's definitely worth a try. :)

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Emma - Thanks for your help. I will try to find some of that medicine today then.

I am still confused a to how any parasite could have been introduced to the aquarium, though. I have not introduced any new fish, and I don't use live plants.

I have been reading through all my aquarium books, and nothing seems to match these symptoms. It is so frustrating. I have looked online too.

Could it be possible he is dying of old age? I don't know, after all, how old he was when I got him from the pet store.

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I am still confused a to how any parasite could have been introduced to the aquarium, though. I have not introduced any new fish, and I don't use live plants.

The parasites were already in the fish when you bought it. All animals carry a small amount of parasites in their bodies during their entire lives - even us! - but usually this isn't a problem because a strong, healthy animal is well able to cope with these. The problems start when the animal is weakened or compromised in some way and the parasites either increase to the point where they begin to drain their host's vitality or the host cannot even cope with the low level of parasites. It also depends on the parasite; many deliberately don't increase beyond the point where they would adversely affect their host because if the host dies then, naturally, so do they. But some DO kill their hosts because they are able to move on to other hosts, so the continued survival of one host is not important and therefore they will drain it of nutriment.

As for old age, this is unlikely - goldfish can live up to 30 years. 10 - 15 years is most common though. :)

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Emma - I have to thank you again for all your help and responses.

Ok- here's an update. I set up a 10-gallon hospital tank. I could not find the medicine you spoke of - but I did talk to a girl at the fish store who recommended something else.

I think you are probably right, however, that it may be too late for this particular boy. I feel just awful - if I had only known I would have done something before today. He was eating fine until today, but now he won't even eat. And as of today, he has lost his equilibrium and is swimming on his side, on his back, just lifelessly. He is still breathing normally for now.

I will just have to wait and see how he is tomorrow. Thanks a lot for everything.

Ali

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I think you are probably right, however, that it may be too late for this particular boy. I feel just awful - if I had only known I would have done something before today

Please don't feel bad about this; internal parasites are one of the hardest diseases to diagnose because usually there are no visible symptoms at all. By the time symptoms ARE seen -such as lethargy or weight loss - it's often too late to help as the parasites have done too much damage inside. Even the best and most experienced fishkepeers lose fish this way - it really isn't your fault.

Fingers crossed for you and your boy.

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Emma -

Well, he has progressively gotten worse. As of today, he was just lying on his side breathing very heavily and slowly. I decided to euthanize via the clove oil method. Poor guy. He suffered these three days quite a bit.

I have never had to euthanize before.

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