Help with Ryukin Goldfish's Constipation, Food and Fungus!
I'm new here, forgive me if I make any mistakes- I just need a little help. Also forgive me if it seems like I'm writing the life story of my fish, I just don't want to miss anything!
I have a problem with my two Ryukin. I found out a little info that told me most egg shaped goldfish are prone to this kind problem so I think that's what it is... I think one is suffering from bloating/swim bladder problems and the other from constipation and maybe something else. (Or both from the same thing since I hear these problems are often related to each other?) Please let me know if you think otherwise though. I'm just looking for help ;)
So, my orange and white one (Truffle) often struggles to stay upright. Well, he has a hard time swimming in general (he flips on his side often, is more slow than even a ryukin should be, and can't maneuver well around things) but I often find him floating upside down. During these upside down episodes, if he manages to get upright, he'll swim to the bottom of the tank and soon end up flipping over again and, while struggling, will be floating to the surface upside down. To me this seems to have no bearing on the time at which I feed him, but I understand it may. I feed them around noon and he usually has this problem at night; I'm surprised he's not dead because of how hard it seems to be on him. He can be struggling hard for 30 minutes to 4 hours. It doesn't happen every night, but as he's gotten older it's gotten more frequent. I know it's not good to touch a fish because of their slime coat, but since he sometimes gets too worn out to do anything, I'll prop him upright in my hand so he can catch a break. (He's not afraid of my hand) I don't squeeze him, just give him a stable perch. It seems to help, but it's not something I can be there to do... all night long. Not that this might matter, but he also has an anal fin deformity. He has a full sized anal fin on the left and the second thick fin vein, but with no fin, to the right side of his bum hole. Here's a bad diagram that I drew of it.
The white one (Tig) often sits on the bottom, but has a much easier time swimming and has grown MUCH larger than the other, whom I think spends all his energy just trying to stay upright. There's another thing... perhaps unrelated. He's prone to injury (he has red veins in his tail, always has since he got sick right after I got him. Is it maybe Septicemia?) I'll find him with a small open wound on his tail from time to time (which will grow fungus unless I add salt to the water) It seems to be a small ulcer like wound; it's always between his top two tail fins: where they touch. He'll also get red speckling on his chest if he sits too long on the bottom. Here are pics of him getting better from his very early illness. Medication wasn't working, he got worse over 2 weeks until someone told me about aquarium salt, which cured him in 4 days. Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4
Here's the other fishy stats:
--I've had them a year, I got them (in unstable health) from Pet Smart when they were very small
--They're in a 29 gallon with 2 corys and 1 bamboo shrimp.
--For the first few months I had them they lived in a 20 gallon long, about the same set up as I'll describe below.
This link is them right after I moved them to their current tank: They're still about the same size here. This is them now, in the tank I describe, the white one is getting to be almost double the size of the floater, Truffle:
--Over hanging (40 gallon?) Whisper filter
--Eco Complete substrate I had left over from another tank
--Tank was cycled before they were place in it a few months ago
--fluorescent bulb that is on a timer. Dim natural light bleeds in from closed levler blinds that are never open
--real drift wood bought from fish store
--mostly fake plants; but there is a bamboo sprig, small amount of live water ivy
--stealth heater that keeps the temp steady at 72f (even with it off, this is about the temp water stays in my house)
--I try to keep it so, with water changes and all, there's about 2 tablespoons of salt in the tank at any given time.
--I do 25% water changes.. maybe every 2 weeks if I'm lazy. I try to do it once a week.
--PH a steady 6.8
--Ammonia 0.05ppm when measured, did a little water change and got it to 0
--Nitrate roughly 10ppm
--have not tested the GH and KH
Food: What is a good food for them?
--I feed them the same every day, around noon. They get about a 1 inch square of organic Sushi Nori and they were, originally getting flake food; I switched off that months ago when the floating first started. They then got Hikari Oranda Gold floating food, but I just switched off that to Hikari Lion Head because it's sinking food and I though maybe it would make a difference? I dunno. Since I switched the gold and white one hasn't been floating upside down, but he still seems to flounder to stay upright all the time. they also still get the Nori. (Corys get 1 of those tiny sinking Hikari cory pelets at night; so the goldfish don't gobble them up first)
Sorry for writing so much, I just really love them! Thanks in advance for any advice, suggestions and help!
Welcome to the forum, Melora.:wave:
There's no need for apologies.:) A lot of mistakes are bound to happen.
I've never seen a goldfish with yellow coloration.:shock2: Would you believe my lfs stock only usual red ones?:shake:
Truffle has a damage in his swim bladder. I don't think there is any way to fix this problem.
Tig has the same situation as Truffle's. He indeed appears to have septicemia. He seems alright to me when you mentioned that the aquarium salt managed to work along with the food.:)
Bloat is dropsy which is different from swim bladder damage. Swim bladder damage is not a disease but rather an injury or damage to the internal organs. Constipation is a different case. Green peas are recommended here.:)
Thank you for the quick reply Blue! I really appreciate your answers! Although Truffle's swim bladder damage does make me understandably sad :< It's at least good to know and be able to accept. I'm not surprised considering the condition some of the pet store stock is in. Thank you.
Do you know if that is just something that might heal, or get worse, over time? (seems like it's getting worse X( poor guy!) I've had no experience with it, or floating GF, except for when I was like 6 and over fed my comet. Heck, these are my first ryukins :)
Do you think that maybe Tig is just constipated then, since he seems to have no problem swimming, just sits? I read that was a sign of it, but I didn't really know and only half trust some books. I'll try pea's! They'll prob. love them anyway.
Yeah- Tig's red veins, the septicemia, never seems to go away. Just with salt it stays at a "stable" state and the white fungus doesn't grow on his tail injury. When he first got sick right after I got him is when the veins first appeared, and I tried about every kind of standard, safely mixable, petstore medicine over 2 weeks back then. (nothing worked) Should I maybe put him in a QT tank and try to get rid of it again? It's a little scary for him to have it- or do you think should I just let him be unless he gets worse? I'd be cool with that too
Oh yeah, if Bloat is dropsy, I'm sure they don't have that! (Thank goodness) thank you!
You've never seen one with yellow color before? Yay- I showed someone something new ;) When he was a baby he was really white though:
Actually, one of my comets (long time ago) was all white and when I put him in a pond outside he got more yellowish like Tig. I dunno if it's the same, but this tank has a left over plant friendly light and I think the food helped with the color too.
I don't think it might heal if it is getting worse. I hate the word 'euthanasia' if it keeps struggling.:sob:
Well...my older, bigger fantail has had a swim bladder problem for several years (4?) ...and it was really quite bad when he by himself...but it's gotten better since I got him a friend...now he swims upright much more often...although he still has issues, esp. during certain turns...not sure whether it was coincidence...or whether having a friend helped keep him focused on what he was doing...
I never feed floating foods anymore though...and that's helped greatly...
What you are seeing here in this goldfish is not likely to be septicemia... that is not common in fancy goldfish, and I don't see enough evidence of such a disease to safely say this is what you are dealing with. I have seen enough cases of septicemia to see the difference. Also, for future reference about septicemia, most places (most countries) have specific laws requiring the reporting of suspected cases of septicemia to a local DNR or other animal health organization. That disease is highly contageous and very deadly, and the most common fish to get it are cold water native and wild species. The Great Lakes region in the USA, parts of Canada, and a lot of other countries have had issues with this disease getting into local waterways and wiping out entire fish populations.
There is possibly some help for the goldfish, but it is also very possible that, as blue has suggested, there is by now some permanent damage to the swim bladder.
The upside down swimming is commonly caused by feeding floating foods. This causes the fish to gulp air while feeding, which can create an air bubble in the swim bladder. Aquarium salt in the water can help some, but epsom salts is a better solution for dispelling the air from the swim bladder and aid in healing. The trick will be to get the fish to eat at least a few pieces of the salt. The most effective way I've ever found to coax the fish into eating the epsom salts is to stop feeding for 1 - 2 days. Then, instead of food, sprinkle a few pieces of epsom salts into the tank and wait for the fish to eat them. Most fancy goldfish will catch the salts and eat them as they sink in the water. Once the fish has successfully eaten a few pieces of the salt, then go ahead and give a small amount of sinking pellet food. Slow the feedings down to every other day there after.
The red veining in the fins and the red on the body that was shown in the pictures looks to me like a combination of issues.
My suggestion would be to increase the oxygen supply to the tank, and increase circulation, also... especially at the surface. This will also help to cool the temp of the water if the cover is allowed to stay open. Lowering the temp is the other suggestion... and besides increasing circulation to do it, small (5 - 10% water changes every 1 - 2 days) will also help to do this. With the extra water changes, the red should begin to disappear within a few days. As for the veins in the fins, it is possible that you are also looking at permanent damage that has been done, and it may always be obvious.
To avoid secondary infection, it is probably a good idea to add a dose of Melafix to the tank, also. Follow the instructions on the bottle.
I beg of anyone keeping or thinking of keeping fancy goldfish... stick to sinking foods for them to avoid swim bladder damage, and keep their temps as close to the low to mid 60's as possible.
Oh, and one other thing... bloat and dropsy are 2 different illnesses. In the pictures posted here, I have seen no sign of either of those illnesses in these fish.
So floating foods really do have an effect...? X( I hate products like that- and all the misinformation that's out there. I thought I was buying something good because of the packaging and price, but hell, that happens a lot with reptiles too, you end up learning more from other owners than you do from (outdated) books X(
I will certainly try the epsoms salt, I have no doubt I can get him to eat a piece or two. Thank you very much for the suuggestion, even if it is too late, I still want to try to do what I can. I hate giving up on anything living.
To clear up any confusion, the pictures where the white gold fish is really ill, and all red, are really old. They're back when I got him, while he was still recovering from his poor health state from the pet store- he got nipped by another fish and the small wound on his fin started the infection, which grew even though he was being treated with medication(s) -it's why the water looked like crap in the tank: It was clean and had a whisper filter and bubble wand. Salt cured him. He hasn't looked like that in months, he still just has had the red streaks, veins, in his tail since then (he did not have them before the injury and illness) and either somthing like ulcers or hemorrhages from time to time. He gets one on his tail all the time, where the veins are, and will often have splotchy red areas on his chest, where he rests on the bottom. From what I know, which may be very little, it sounded exactly like septicemia- like this: http://www.angelfire.com/blues/fish_...EPTICEMIA.html
the fish health chart that came with some medication called red veins that. It's not that I don't believe you, it just seemed to be the only thing that matched up perfectly. Except- I don't believe it has anything to do with ammonia. Besides the fact that they're never gasping for air or breathing rapidly (or flicking around), the water conditions in my tanks are always good. I test regularly, I was actually shocked to get even a small reading of ammonia the last time I tested, it was a first, maybe I had just been lazy that week or over fed a little.. *shrugs* I dunno :/ I do regular water changes and syphon the gravel at the same time. It also has good circulation, the seaweed I drop in floats around really quickly, just not too quickly because too much of a current and they have a hard time swimming, and the bubble wand is up pretty high. I'll lower the temp as much as I can. It's just that my house stays pretty warm X/ *sucks* No AC here
The reason I suggested added circulation and water changes was because of the water temp, not the water params. Those 2 things will be the most helpful, along with keeping the cover open, when trying to lower the temp in the tank. If your room temps are averaging low 70's, it will be more difficult to keep the water cool enough, but those are 2 effective ways to do it safely. When adding new water, it should be cool, but not "cold", so it doesn't shock the fish.
What kind of gravel is in that tank? You may find that switching to a smaller size of gravel prevents the tummy sores when the fish rests or scrapes against the bottom. Also, look at the gravel before you buy it, it should have smooth edges, not sharp.
As for the symptoms of septicemia, the one big one that your fish didn't have was the rupturing of blood vessels behind the eyes. That is a very common symptom in most cases. I have seen septicemia infected fish, it is very sad to look at.
And... yes, the floating foods have a huge effect. Packaging and price are all about business. One of the biggest fights I've been having with the many manufacturers over the years is the problems with packaging. It is meant to be appealing enough to tempt people into buying it... and spending the money. Most packaging has absolutely no thought in it for the animals it is meant for. There are requirements that have to be listed, by law, but that's is all they worry about other than pretty pictures, catchy phrases... I also fight with them about changing the feeding instructions on most fish foods. No fish needs to be fed 3 times/day except a fry, and then more water changes need to be done to make up for that. The containers don't tell you that because that means people won't use it as fast, thus they don't spend as much money. It's a nasty cycle, and maybe some day one of the manufacturers will get it right and set an example for the rest.
We can only hope...
Good Luck with your goldfish!
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