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Finra 01-28-2012 04:52 PM

Young Goldfish goes 'meh' at food
Hi All

I'm a new owner of two new young goldfishes, got them yesterday and they are at the moment seemingly doing well - but I do have a worry here.

I fed them this morning starting off with pellets. These pellets are quite small, I can put 4 pieces of them in 1 centimeter on my ruler so it should be quite alright for their little mouths(though the pellets expand in water).

One of my fishes are quite aggressive, she darts around much more than my other fish, and she seems to also have a bigger mouth. She's able to keep sucking in the pellet I dropped in even tho sometimes it goes out of her mouth on its own, but always been able to swallows it over time.

However with my other fish, it seems that his mouth is smaller, and when he tries for a flake or a pellet he merely reaches the food and pushes them further away towards the current, and then gives up on even trying to get food in his tummy.

I tried breaking down the flakes, even smashing the pellets into almost invisible to the human eye - but he just won't work harder to eat it. He does swim for it, searches, but goes 'meh' when he fails.

Are the pellets still too big? I mean it seems alright for the female (the aggressive one) but not the male (rather timid to me) and its just a little bigger than its black of its eye. I've also tried soaking the pellets into water first, then squish it a bit so its softer and it sinks a little so he'll have a chance to charge for it - but he doesn't seem to have any 'strength'. He seems to not be able to get floating food..

He's always been a calm fella, even in the bag where I had him he was swimming very slowly and swiftly as if there's not a worry; whereas the other one was 'kissing' the plastic bag's walls and making a lot of movements.

I've broken the flakes into little pieces too, but perhaps not little enough? He goes up to them but fails at catching it with his mouth, goes meh again and gives up on food -.-;

Don't know what's wrong, anyone know? D:

Thanks in advance.

Ogre44 01-28-2012 06:24 PM

It might just be that he's used to a specific food, and is being picky.
Give him a day or two to get hungry, he'll eat when he's hungry.

Finra 01-28-2012 10:31 PM

He doesn't seem the picky type though...

I've looked at both of the fishes in comparison, and I've realized that the female fish (the one that's doing really well) has a 'normal' looking mouth whereas the male's mouth is much smaller or having difficulty even opening his mouth for sufficient breathing. Perhaps their mouths are in different shape/structure? I find the male always at the top of the tank but he's not gasping for air - just like floating to the top. He does swim down and even sit on the gravel sometimes and is fine staying there - but he just likes to swim just below the surface around the tank and he isn't really active as the female.

I wonder if I bought home a sick fish.. :(

Finra 01-28-2012 11:48 PM

Okay I know what's going on now - He's constipated.

I've made some peas - the female fish ate alot of it and is loving it but obviously the male ain't eating it becoz he's constipated! ><

After doing some research I'm told to leave the pea in there for an hour to get him to gradually eat it when he gets hungry. Else I can't do much if he refuses to eat =(

thekoimaiden 01-29-2012 04:33 PM

Goldfish need variety in their diet; peas and other greens should be a regular part of their diets. You should also try offering him spinach, zucchini, or oranges. Cooked slices of shrimp are also a good enticement. Fish can go a while without eating. My advice to people with bettas who do the same thing is to withhold food for a few days. Fish often go through an adjustment phase.

The other option is that your male (which I'm not sure is a male because goldfish can't accurately be sexed until they are fully grown) does have a deformed mouth. I have a koi with a deformed mouth and she has lead a normal healthy life. If you see that one fish is consistently getting more than the other, you might want to try teaching your fish to eat from your fingers. It is a great way to control food intake.

Finra 01-29-2012 05:53 PM

It was only the first day that I've bought him, and I had only one chance to feed him so I couldn't give him that variety.. I would assume the pet shop ppl did though; but apparently the one I went to probably don't, because when i bought him I'm sure he was already constipated. dear male fish (I say he's male because he's got a sharper tail with sharper fins and his anal is smaller) died last night. This morning I showed his corpse to the shopkeepers and I asked what was the reason he died whilst telling them his eyes are bulged out, his tummy (swim bladder area) was rather swollen, and his scales are slightly sticking out. I'd say it was either constipation leading to swim bladder disease, but they kept on asking me to give them my tank water to test and gave me a disgusted look.

Before I put him in the water I already gave them the water to test. They told me everything was alright except the pH was a lil high, and gave me some alkaline remover. Having said that any ammonia that was built up on the night he died wouldn't be the culprit of his death unless its so deadly that it killed him immediately - that; I doubt, because my other fish is surviving happily and eating normally.

Now I'm trying my hardest to make sure the water is at its best, and I already gave her peas to eat just incase she gets constipation a day ago.

Lupin 01-30-2012 06:32 AM

What species are your other fish? High ammonia tends to get more toxic the higher the pH. So that would contribute to its untimely death.alkaline remover? I've never heard of this before. Did you mean ammonia remover? Even if it does the trick, water changs compensate better to dilue the wastes contributing to high ammonia level.

I've noticed you never quarantined these fish. Goldfish should ALWAYS be quarantined since they do carry a lot of diseases especially flukes. I would have suggested to keep them separated and treat with prazi for a month to destroy possible flukes since these od exist practically with almost all goldfish unless already with treated with prazi prior to introduction.

There is no such thing as swim bladder disease. Swim bladder itself is an organ used to keep its buoyancy in check. If it suffered dropsy overnight, chances are good the fish was unable to cope with stress eventually weakening it. Dropsy cases are almost always water quality issue related. Kindly post your water parameters. What test kit was also used?

thekoimaiden 01-30-2012 11:31 AM

I'm really sorry to hear that you lost one in the night. It is heartbreaking to wake up to that. (hugs)

Lupin makes a valid point. What breed of goldfish do you have? The long and slender single tail? Or the chubby-bodied double tail? What size tank are they living in?

If you don't have a test kit I would recommend the API Master Freshwater kit. Ideally the drop kits are more accurate than the strips, but right now either one would be good.

I mean no offense by this, but what is your previous experience with fish? I'm trying to gauge your knowledge of the hobby to avoid bombarding you with information you may already know.

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