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Strange Goldfish Behavior - Any Ideas Anyone?

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Tank 55 - well established 3 years old

Fish 4

Ammonia 0

Nitrate 0

Nitrite 0

PH 7.4

Filtration eheim pro 3 & eheim Pro 3e

U.V w/ mechanical filter

API test kit

Salifert Test Kits

Hi All,

I have a question about one of my fish which I hope someone may be able to shed some light on.

I've had a large Butterfly (Broadtail) in quarantine for 3 weeks. She's been doing exceptionally well, showing no signs of illness or stress.

However when I put her into the 55 she heads straight to the bottom far left corner and lays on her back.

Her tank mates are 1) Blue Oranda, 1) red/white Oranda 1) Broadtail - all equal in size, 5.5" including tails with the exception of the Broadtail whose all tail at 7"

After watching her for a few days, this behavior continued. I tried lowering the filter output to reduce current but she'll still lay on her back.

Thinking something was wrong with her swim bladder I put her back into quarantine - which has the same water parameters as the 55.

Once back in quarantine she immediately changes. Swims perfectly and remains in proper balance. She has a ravenous appetite and is being fed a diet of shelled peas and shrimp .

After a few days, I put her back in the 55 and there she goes again, sinking like a rock and laying on her back. No clamped fins no heavy gill movement.

I read that a change in the depth of the water might be too much pressure for her. I placed her in 40 gallon hospital/quarantine tank with the same depth and she did perfectly well for a week.

So again, I put her into the 55 and bam! back down to the bottom, flat on her back.

She'll right herself to eat, but then it's back to rolling over on her back.

Short of dosing the tank with Valium, I'm not sure what to do, she's a powerful fish and only exhibits this odd behavior when there are other fish in the tank. Any thoughts?

Thanks!

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hi peterD, can you try this? when she is happy back in her qt tank , introduce one of the other fish and see what happens?

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This sounds very odd, I really have not been keeping goldfish for long but what if you lowered the level in the 55 gal tank and see if that has any affect? I have heard that depth changes can play havoc on some fish but if the rest of your fish are fine it makes no sense. I am not sure treating without knowing what is wrong is wise. How are you introducing her into the tank? you could try doing it very slowly, that might see some difference. Otherwise I hope some others can be of more help to you :)

Otherwise what mikroll said is a very good idea, it could be a behavioural issue with the other fish. If so, I am sure there are ways to try and sort this out...

All the best!.

Edited by Narny105

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How long has your tank been setup? Is it cycled? You say you have 0 nitrate, which is unusual in a cycled tank. Do the temperature and ph in the tanks match?

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This reminds me so much of my broadtail when I first got him. After the pet shop guy put him in a bag, he went vertical immediately, nose down tail up and he stayed like that the whole way home.

After I put him in the tank, he stayed vertical for almost 15 minutes, just floating not moving. Scared me for a bit but he was fine whenever I tap the glass so I was 'less' worried haha...

Whenever I did a water change, the second the gravel vac entered the water, he scurried into a corner and went vertical on me, like he was playing dead. i wish I would've video'd him and make it look like he's playing dead on command hahahaha....

This went on for almost 3 weeks. I think he did that because of stress, this is my own theory lol....

Now, he couldn't care less if I put the gravel vac or even my hand in the tank.

I'm not saying that's what's happening with your broadtail, just sharing my story =)

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Thank's to all who responded, here's an update on Lucy:

She's back in her QT and appears perfectly normal. I put one of my Orandas in with her and they've been just fine together.

My guess is her buoyancy problem is related to the increase of water depth.

It's just a conclusion as she shows no signs of illness whatsoever. The 55 I've been trying to get her used to has been up and running for 3 years and the fish in there are flourishing nicely.

Just another case of odd/crazy behavior these amazing fish torment us with. Any changes and I'll be sure to post - again thanks to everyone for your response.

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I don't think the depth would have caused this issue. Are you matching the temperature and the pH in her tank to the tank you are putting her into? Stress from a sudden pH change can cause fish to look lethargic. Make sure to test the water, and if you do not find the problem there, I think it would be best to lower your tanks water when you introduce her, and then slowly raise the water level over the next few days and see if that solves the problem.

Good luck :)

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As mentioned depth can have a big impact on a fish that is suffering from swim bladder problems. I did read somewhere that fancy goldfish kept in tanks that are 12 inch depth maximum will grow bigger quicker and very very rarely shown any swim bladder/floaty related problems.

That's some serious filtration you got running but i am also curious as to why all your readings are 0 ?

Edited by alistairw

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That's one beautiful Springer Spaniel you have, at least I think it's a Springer they're wonderful dogs. We have two Old English Bulldogs a six year old and a 13 week puppy.

About the 0 readings, my error the nitrate level is between 0 ppm and 5.0 ppm. I had tested after a large water change - add my poor eyesight and there you go. The API test kit isn't what I would consider exact.

Well, the good news is she's back in the 40 gallon and doing fine. I have a Shukin arriving today so after quarantine I'm hoping they'll make good tank mates.

I spoke to friend of mine who made your exact point. A lot of these fish especially imported and sold by resellers keep them in very shallow tanks and feed them like crazy to fatten them up for sale - hence we see so many problems with the deep chest, round bodied goldfish. It makes sense.

With this one exception, every fish I've bought over the past four years has been from Rain garden.

I have the utmost respect for Steve and have found his 40+ years experience as a Marine Biologist along with his absolute passion as a breeder ( he only breeds from his own Japanese stock- never imports) of Fancy Goldfish to be invaluable.

I've never had single problem with his fish and after care and support is second to none.

As far as Lucy is concerned, she's a magnificent fish, it was touch and go there for a while but her balance seems fine now, her appetite is great (knock on wood) so I'm confident she's turned the corner.

Thanks again for the help!

Edited by PeterD

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I have heard great things about rain garden! and their fish look great- I have checked their website out!

I usually get 0ppm for nitrate after a water change. It is best to test before, and when you test after, allow 30 minutes for the water to circulate to get a more accurate reading :)

Good to hear it's all worked out!

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Glad Lucy has made positive progress. Charlie is my Cavalier king Charles Spaniel :)

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I have heard great things about rain garden! and their fish look great- I have checked their website out!

I usually get 0ppm for nitrate after a water change. It is best to test before, and when you test after, allow 30 minutes for the water to circulate to get a more accurate reading :)

Good to hear it's all worked out!

Thank you for all your feedback and help - you're right about not testing after a water change, my mind must have been on vacation. As for Rain Garden you can't go wrong buying from them.

I've been keeping these fish on and off for about 35 years and can truly say I have never met anyone like Steve. Should you ever buy from them I assure you you'll never regret it.

Kudos to you for having such a great handle on these fish, especially being new to the hobby. I think once you fall in love with these guys, the fascination lasts a life time.

Edited by PeterD

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I have heard great things about rain garden! and their fish look great- I have checked their website out!

I usually get 0ppm for nitrate after a water change. It is best to test before, and when you test after, allow 30 minutes for the water to circulate to get a more accurate reading :)

Good to hear it's all worked out!

Thank you for all your feedback and help - you're right about not testing after a water change, my mind must have been on vacation. As for Rain Garden you can't go wrong buying from them.

I've been keeping these fish on and off for about 35 years and can truly say I have never met anyone like Steve. Should you ever buy from them I assure you you'll never regret it.

Kudos to you for having such a great handle on these fish, especially being new to the hobby. I think once you fall in love with these guys, the fascination lasts a life time.

Thanks! It truely does. The good thing about keeping fish is that it doesn't allow you to be slack, so you never have nothing to do! lol

I would love to buy from rain garden one day! They have beautiful pond raised fish, not sure if they ship overseas but I will look into it once I decide to get some more!

Anyway, good luck with your fish! :)

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:) glad to see your she is tolerating the aquarium better now :)

And I agree about rain garden, Steve's fish are beautiful! (although I may be slightly biased since both of mine came from him lol)

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I'm so glad she's doing well. :)

I look forward to getting a fish from Raingarden someday.

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Just an update on Lucy - She's doing great in her 40 gallon "Isolation" tank, I guess like Great Garbo she "Just Vants to be Alooone"

Here's a few pics of her:

LUCY1.jpg

LUCY.jpg

Thanks again for all the help and advice.

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Peter, Lucy is an absolutely gorgeous fish, and lucky to be so well cared for :)

I notice you have two canisters, so theoretically, the water volume in the 55 can be lowered considerably. Would you be willing to try this?

- Lower your 55's water volume to about 2/3 of the total, and add Lucy...I would like to see if she's able to handle that much...Then, if she is able, increase the water volume by about 1/2 inch every few days, and go up and up.

Of course, because you have decreased water volume in the 55 for a time, you may want to do WCs more often for at least during this acclimation period.

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Peter, Lucy is an absolutely gorgeous fish, and lucky to be so well cared for :)

I notice you have two canisters, so theoretically, the water volume in the 55 can be lowered considerably. Would you be willing to try this?

- Lower your 55's water volume to about 2/3 of the total, and add Lucy...I would like to see if she's able to handle that much...Then, if she is able, increase the water volume by about 1/2 inch every few days, and go up and up.

Of course, because you have decreased water volume in the 55 for a time, you may want to do WCs more often for at least during this acclimation period.

Hey dnalex, Thanks for kind words, I love Lucy she's really stole my heart but she's a truck load of crazy.

It's funny you mentioned this because yesterday after I took those pics I realized how awful looking those two intake tubes were. But because of the canopy I had no place else to place them. Anyway, I sawed through the elbows, rigged up some extra tubing and now they're where they belong and can do the most good - in corners!

About the filtration, I set both at about halfway last week and haven't changed it. Last night as I was working on the tanks I decided to put Lucy back in that 55 and see how she would do. For a few minutes she was fine, and I thought well, FINALLY she's ok. But no dice.

She dropped like a stone again, turned over on her back and just layed there - like for 40 minutes. So I put her back in the 40 again - which is the same depth and she's swimming around perfectly.

I really don't get it. So I'm chalking it up to deep rooted emotional problems :)

BTW..Is that a pic of your pooch?

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LOL. It sounds a tad crazy, but I had a somewhat similar issue with one of my fish before. Ulquiorra, my blue oranda, would sit in a corner most of the day in one 55 gallon tank, and at first I followed all the conventional suggestions to no avail. Having exhausted that, I decided to move him to the other 55, and didn't bottom sit even once :o

Both tanks were set up virtually identically. So I still have no idea what had happened in that case.

Yes, that's Dash in the pic :)

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LOL. It sounds a tad crazy, but I had a somewhat similar issue with one of my fish before. Ulquiorra, my blue oranda, would sit in a corner most of the day in one 55 gallon tank, and at first I followed all the conventional suggestions to no avail. Having exhausted that, I decided to move him to the other 55, and didn't bottom sit even once :oBoth tanks were set up virtually identically. So I still have no idea what had happened in that case.Yes, that's Dash in the pic :)

Alex, just think how much stress we could have saved ourselves if we simply dosed the tank with Prozac.

Dash is awesome! like a toy fox he's adorable. Harley and Elvis my Bulldogs love to go under the covers and peek out....it kills me every time. Anyway that's one great pooch you have there - I could never imagine life without a dog..or two...or thirty. :)

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Seriously, right? I am thinking perhaps we could even set up fish therapy! :rofl (Note the ambiguity of whether it's for the fish or for us LOLOL)

Thank you for your compliments about Dash. He's my baby :)

Have you browsed the somewhat new Koko's Kritters section of the forum? I would love to see more of Harley & Elvis, and perhaps see their pic(s) entered into the weekly contest! Bulldogs are favorites of mine.

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