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beano129 07-25-2012 08:44 PM

Oranda bit of more than it could chew - Help!
Hi all,

My Oranda seems to get a bit 'floaty' when we feed her flakes. we vary her diet between Sera flakes, Tetra Fin orange ball things and then a pea every 3-4 days. This seems to keep her in check.

When i feed a pea I usually break it up into small bit-sized chunks but i recently found out that my girlfriend was feeding the whole pea... when you remove the skin form the pea, it's in two halves... she's been dropping the two halves straight in.

My Oranda is only young and still very small... she's about 4 1/2 - 5cm body and she's got a half a pea stuck in her mouth.

She has been a little more sluggish recently and spending more time just sat at the bottom of the tank and then i was have a look at her and noticed the half a pea.

What shall i do??

Will she spit it out?

I feed her once a day and give her 1-2 flakes and about 3-4 little orangey pellets.... is that too much for a little oranda?

thekoimaiden 07-25-2012 09:02 PM

First off, welcome to the forum! We'll do everything we can to get your little oranda back on track.

You should switch her food away from flakes as they are notorious for giving fancy goldfish trouble with digestion. The New Life Spectrum pellets are the best pellets. You could try her on those first, but if she doesn't get better then you can try making gel food. I've got a few recipes, but try the NLS first. Garlic guard is good as it contains a little more garlic which will entice her to eat.

The next thing I'm going to ask for is the water parameters and tank parameters. We need pH, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and hardness if you can get it. Physical size of the tank and specs of the filter are also good. Bottom-sitting isn't a good sign. Food is probably part of the problem, but we also want to eliminate environmental factors, too.

beano129 07-25-2012 09:13 PM

Hi there Izzy,

Thank you for the warm welcome and for the swift response.
I have completely fallen in love with my fish (although it’s been a rocky road in a short period of time) which I will explain in a larger post shortly.

I’m worried for my Oranda because she’s got half a pea in her mouth that doesn’t seem to be going anywhere and seems to inhibit her ability to eat additional food.
I’m going to fast her for a couple of days and see how she gets on but can you recommend how to get it out?

I will definitely move away from the food that I currently have.
I’m using Sera flakes and Tetrafin little orangey pellet things.

The water parameters as of the last test were pH 7.6, Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 10

The tank is 10 US GAL / 38 Litres

The filter is a Hush Elite 20 38-170 Gal tank hang-on filter

This is my usual routine.
Water change every 7 days.
I change approx. 1/3rd of the water and add Stress Zyme and Stress Coat
Between water changes I does with Stress Zyme and Stress Coat
I’ve recently changed the carbon cartridge after 8 weeks of use with the previous one.

I have a 153 Litre / 40 Gal tank ready to move into but my flat is currently too small so that’s why the small tank.

Mona (my Oranda) is currently about 4.5 – 5cm in length and she’s probably 4 months old.

Is there anything else you need?

Thank you so much!!!

thekoimaiden 07-25-2012 09:31 PM

Well the good news is a pea is a lot easier to get out than a pebble (which is another thing that can get lodged in a goldfish's throat). At this point fasting is a great idea if only because your fish will be very stressed in the next few days (it's also a good idea to do before a food change).

The bad news is you are going to have to handle little Mona. I understand if you are uncomfortable with it, but the only way to make sure that the pea gets out before it causes any more trouble. This goes a lot easier with two people. One person holds the fish with the gills under water. The other uses a pair of blunt-nose tweezers to gently remove the pea. After you are done with this, it's a good idea to turn off her tank light and leave the room for a while to let her recover from the stress. Do let us know how this goes.

Your setup sounds pretty good. It's great that you have a larger tank for Mona in the future. Most people don't realize just how big goldfish can get. And in the 40 gal tank you can get Mona a friend! I would recommend up-ing the amount of water you change weekly to 50%. With growing fish you want to make sure the water stays a little cleaner.

beano129 07-25-2012 09:42 PM

Hi Izzy,

what precautions will we need to take before we handle Mona? Do we need to wash our hands with soap or anything? would surgical gloves be a good idea?

Also, is there any chance that she may get rid of it on her own?

Thanks so much Izzy

I will make sure that I up the changed water too!!

thekoimaiden 07-25-2012 09:53 PM

When I've had to handle my fish, I wash my hands in rubbing alcohol first and then rinse them for about a minute in warm/hot water (but don't burn yourself!). Soap isn't good for fish and can actually poison them.

Surgical gloves have talcum powder in them, right? I don't think that would be a good idea. Bare hands are just fine unless you've put lotion on them recently. Plus, I've always found I have a better grip with bare hands than with any gloves.

There is a chance she will spit it out or pass it on her own as it's not a rock. If you can see it right now, I would certainly try to grab it. If her mouth looks extended like she is holding something in it, that's another good indicator that you should try this. Unfortunately I can't see her and can't make that final call. I wish you and little Mona the best of luck.

beano129 07-25-2012 11:55 PM

HI again Izzy,

she does't look like she's got her mouth open all the time but sometime she does what looks like a big yawn and that's when we see the half-a-pea in her mouth.

she does look quite well considering and still quite spritely but now and again she'll spend 10 minutes or so (perhaps longer at night) just sat at the bottom.

she always perks up when we turn the light on and gets really energetic when we go to feed her. She's a lovely little fish and i just want to make sure she's ok really.

I do have some blunt tweezers but mona's mouth is so small.. i'm worried about causing damage.... would fasting for a couple of days be a good start?

I'll try to get some photo's a little later.

Thanks again for all your help!

thekoimaiden 07-26-2012 12:12 AM

I forgot just how small a half pea is. My monsters can gulp a whole pea in a single bite. Blunt-nose tweezers might be just a bit too big. You could also use the blunt end of a bobby pin to try to coax it out.

Those big yawns are her trying to clear what is in her mouth out. Since it is a pea, it could decompose enough to be able to move one way or the other. Do her gills look like they are moving? Is water getting over them? If so, then it might be best to try to wait it out since her mouth doesn't look like it's protruding. She might be able to work it out on her own.

Either way, fasting is a great place to start. She might get hungry enough to try to eat that pea. A good rule of thumb for feeding goldfish is nothing larger than one of their eyes. That's about the amount of food they (especially the fancies) can hold in their digestive tracts at a time.

LyzzaRyzz 07-26-2012 01:57 AM

I really hope Mona gets better!
I've had to deal with fish "surgeries" it feels very daunting!
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thekoimaiden 07-26-2012 07:48 AM

Something I forgot in my sleepiness last night: peas are actually not that great for goldfish. They are full of sugary carbs and shouldn't constitute a major part of the diet (they're fine as a treat). Blanched spinach is one of the best things for pushing food through the GI tract. It's also a great anti-inflammatory. If she does swallow the pea, feed her spinach. I like to blanch it, roll it into bite-sized pieces and then freeze it to help it stay together.

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