Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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Julie's Julies 07-08-2008 04:46 PM

Goldfish on bottom of tank
Tank size: 29-gallon
Ammonia - 0
Nitrite - 0
Nitrate - 10-15
GH - 5
Temp: 78F
Occupants: 2 fancy goldfish: one is about 3" and the other is about 2"
Three live plants

My smaller goldfish has been hovering near the top of the tank, and now he is flat against the substrate. The tank is too warm for goldfish, so I am floating some ice packs to try to bring down the temperature. The goldfish is over a year old and has a deformed mouth, so he's been rather sickly on and off. Both fish were in a 10-gallon tank until three weeks ago when I got the chance to upgrade.

I don't know whether the heat is getting to him (we've no air conditioning and it's nearly 100 outside), if he's constipated, or if something else is ailing him. The transition to the larger tank went smoothly; no ammonia spikes since I put the old filter on the new tank to let the bio-bugs gather on the new filter.

He has no outward signs of illness other than a clamped dorsal fin. No red marks, open sores, bloating, fin rot, etc. The other goldfish is just fine, so I don't think it's a lack of oxygen or poor water conditions, but I could be mistaken.

okiemavis 07-08-2008 05:29 PM

It sounds like he may be having trouble with the lower oxygen content in the hotter water. It's also possible the drastic temperature changes associated with floating ice is effecting him. There are effective and safe ways to cool an aquarium down, but I wouldn't say that's one of them.

Check this out:

Julie's Julies 07-08-2008 05:29 PM

Just an update - he tries to swim up to the top, runs out of energy, and floats as the current carries him, bumping into rocks and plants as he goes. He cannot stay vertical either; just rolls from one side to the other. It almost looks like whirling disease or swim bladder trouble, but either way, I am afraid he's a goner. :(

okiemavis 07-08-2008 05:45 PM

:( it does sound like swim bladder- but if it was a quick onset, it may be something that's not permanent.

The most important thing right now is to keep the tank stable and the water temperature/parameters at optimal levels. Also, try to get him to eat a pea or some grains of epsom salt if you can.

Julie's Julies 07-08-2008 06:08 PM

The ice had no effect on the temp - unless it kept it from getting even warmer. I didn't put enough in to cause a drastic drop, but I'll try some other methods of keeping it cooler in there.

I can try to get him to eat a pea, but his mouth is so deformed that it might be impossible. The opening is about the size of a pin head. Maybe I can try Gerber pureed peas if I can find some that don't have any additives.

I will keep an eye on him to see if anything else develops. I think it must be the heat, but it got really hot two weeks ago and he sailed right through that. Unless he develops other treatable symptoms, I'll just have to do what I can to keep him comfy. I'll do an extra water change just for safe measure, too.

Julie's Julies 07-09-2008 10:52 AM

He didn't make it - right after I posted the previous post I went to check on him and he was gone. I've lost many fish in the past year and a half I've been keeping fish, and I've never seen a fish go from symptom-free to dead in under 4 hours. So far my other Ryukin is fine, so hopefully whatever claimed my first one won't affect my second one.

southafrica1001 07-09-2008 11:08 AM

sorry to hear that :(

Little-Fizz 07-09-2008 12:56 PM

Sorry to hear about your fish :cry:

It does seem very strange how quickly he went. Just keep us updated if anything changes with your other fish friend!

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