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sarahplymouth82 11-23-2009 04:55 PM

Poorly fish sitting on bottom - help!
I have 3 fancy goldfish and have had them for 9 months. All has gone well with them and have seemed happy and healthy. Until the last couple of weeks I have noticed one of them isn't acting normal. I noticed last week that he didn't seem to be eating properly - he would eat it, and then spit it out again, over and over again. And then during the end of last week he would stay at the top corner of the tank, just hanging out there....

I have just got back from a couple of days away (a friend fed my cats and fish) and he is now worryingly sat underneath the bridge. My friend said that he was doing that, but coming out to feed - he thought he is going blind as his eye is a bit red. He is seriously looking ill now, I am very worried.

I'm not sure if this is relevant or not - or whether this is normal - but when I got him 9 months ago he was gold, and he slowly turned silver a few months ago....

Any advice would be appreciated - anything i can do to help i'll try. The only thing i have done differently is buy a different brand of the stuff you put in to make the new water ok. But the other 2 are fine, so that may just be a coincidence?

Thanks, Sarah.

Angel079 11-23-2009 05:04 PM

Welcome to the forum!!!

Are you able to check your tank water for Ammonia, NO2, 3 please? If the 1 is already a older or weaker fish he'd be the first to notice any water changes that are bad for them, so check the water, if levels elevated do a good water exchange.

If that doesn't check out and like you said the other 2 being all healthy & happy, it could well be this is a old fish who's not going to be around too much longer, sorry to say that.

sarahplymouth82 11-23-2009 05:22 PM

Hiya. Thanks for replying so quickly. I have checked the ammonia and it is fine. I haven't got any other testing kits to check the other ones you said.

I guess it could just be age...i don't have a clue how old he is. Do you know how old fish are generally when you get them from pet stores??! I've only had him 9 months so I assumed he'd be young. Is it normal that he changed colour?!

I just hate seeing him so lifeless and unhappy...wish I could do something right now! I'll go to the pet store tomorrow after work where I got them from - they seem to know what they're talking about there too. I'll get whatever kits i need to check the water. Although at the moment I honestly can't see him lasting the night....fingers crossed he'll have perked up tomorrow morning.

Twistersmom 11-23-2009 06:56 PM

Hello and welcome to the forum!
If you are buying a water test kit, the API liquid freshwater testing kit is a good one to have.
Any chance, that you can post a picture of the ill goldfish? The red eyes, makes me wonder if it has some type of infection. When you go to the store, take some water with you. Most stores will test for free. Post the results, when you can.

Angel079 11-23-2009 06:59 PM

There's no telling how old the fish may have been when you got him.
Did it just rapidly change color or was this a slow change? There's several suggestions to offer, which only you'd know if it applies to your fish or not; As said one reason (if its a slow process) would be aging. If its a more rapid process it could have to do with lack of proper nutrition or too little light/ no light which both factors often make once very colorful fish "pale".

A very good investment and cheap in the long run is the drip test set kits from API, most LFS carry them. The strip tests are inaccurate and over time much more expensive then the API set.

sarahplymouth82 11-24-2009 05:21 PM

I'm happy to say he is still alive today. Was still under the bridge this morning but got quite active when I started feeding them- came out and swum around as normal -he does seem to be having trouble finding the food though, which makes me think his eyesight is deteriorating. He then sat back on the bottom for a bit, and then I went to work. When I got home he seemed a lot better - although he is still hanging out a lot in the top right hand corner of the tank....which seems a bit strange.

I'm going to take some water into my local pet store tomorrow to be tested for free, so will let you know what the results are.

Another thing I forgot to mention is that he has a slight black mark on his mouth which has developed over the last month or so. The colour change of the rest of him was very gradual.

I just tried to take a picture but he's very camera shy, and he kept hiding from me! Which is a good thing I suppose as he's very active tonight. Not as worried, but will post the results tomorrow.

Twistersmom 11-24-2009 08:01 PM

It normal for goldfish to change color. Is the black mark around the mouth raised, or do the scales look any different?
Glad to hear he is acting better!
Do post the water test results when you can. Don't give up on the picture taking. A picture could help. If only we could teach fish to pose!

sarahplymouth82 11-26-2009 03:52 PM

Hiya, i'm happy to say he's still looking a lot better. Still think he's going blind as when i feed him he seems to be THAT close to some food, and then he doesn't quite get it! Also, the biggest of my 3 fish has recently got FAT....seriously, he's massive!!! I think he's eating for both of them! He's active again and isn't sitting on the bottom anymore - this only happened for a couple of days so maybe he was just a bit under the weather. He is still hanging out a lot at the top though - it's like he's eating invisible food, that's the only way I can describe it...but then he'll swim around as normal for a bit.

The black mark isn't raised and the scales don't look any different. I think it could just be his change in colour generally which has resulted in the black mark.

I got my water tested today:
pH: 7
Ammonia: 0
Bacteria/nitrite - 0
Bacteria/nitrate - 0

So all fine on the water front. Not worried too much now, but i still think he's going blind. This is quite ironic actually as I named him Goldie after a fish I had as a kid, and Goldie#1 went blind and spent about 8 years alive and blind, and used to sit on the bottom of the tank all day long...we'd have to push his food down to the bottom of the tank for him to pick up each stone in turn in order to find it! He outlived the healthy fish Bubbles by about 5 years!! Now Goldie#2 I named after him as he looked the same... (i.e. gold...)...and now he looks like he's going blind too.....but now he's turned silver...oh well!!

Twistersmom 11-26-2009 07:16 PM

Can I ask what size the tank is? Have these goldfish been in this tank for 9 months?
That is great, that you have 0 ammonia and nitrites, but zero for nitrates is a bit odd. Do you have plants in the tank?

sarahplymouth82 11-28-2009 09:00 AM

Hiya. It's a 17 litre tank. I do have a couple of plants in there. Yes they've been in this tank since i got them 9 months ago.

He's been sitting under the bridge again today. He came out when i fed them (although he didn't eat a lot as he kept missing the food that was right there in front of him). He then went back under there. Maybe he's weak as he's not eating a lot. Also, last night he seemed to be stuck up by the filter - as soon as I switched it off for a few seconds he swum out of that corner. Bizarre.

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