Fish Emergency! Help if you can - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
 
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post #1 of 9 Old 03-19-2007, 09:32 PM Thread Starter
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Fish Emergency! Help if you can

I need some quick help. I have a 20 Gallon tank, a great filter, I do 20% water changes and have never had fish problems. Good food... all that jazz. I have two silver dollars and one of them is having some serious problems swimming. The other day I noticed him swimming very vigorously in what seemed like he has gas or some sort because when he stops swimming, he shoots to the top of the tank. Something inside of him that makes him float! He is getting very stressed out and I'm wondering if there is anything that I can do before he dies from stress/A POSSIBLE DISEASE?/ floating sideways. Let me know if there is anything that anyone can recommend.

Thank you
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post #2 of 9 Old 03-19-2007, 09:34 PM
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when you say it seems like he is filled with gas, i know thats because he floats but is he also bloated? ie does he look like hes filled with gas or just act like it?
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post #3 of 9 Old 03-19-2007, 09:35 PM
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Welcome.

You might find that providing more information makes it faster to diagnose the exact cause.:)

1. Size of aquarium (# of gallons)
2. Is your aquarium set up freshwater or saltwater?
3. How long the aquarium has been setup
4. What fish and how many are in the aquarium (species are important to know)
5. Are there live plants in the aquarium?
6. What make/model filter are you using?
7. Are you using a CO2 unit?
8. Does your aquarium receive natural sunlight at any given part of the day?
9. When did you perform your last water exchange, and how much water was changed?
10.How often and what foods do you feed your fish?
11.Is your aquarium light incandescent or fluorescent and how often is it kept on?
12.What specific concerns bring you here at this time?
13. Water are your water test results for:
pH, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate?

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post #4 of 9 Old 03-19-2007, 09:56 PM
its either dropsy or swim bladder problems, i dont know if its possible but it might be both
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post #5 of 9 Old 03-20-2007, 05:31 AM Thread Starter
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When you look at the fish, it actually does look a little bit like he is bloated. I'm starting to think that it could be either dropsy or just something internally wrong which isn't fixable. I did a 30% water change and also added pH decreaser because the pH was high at around 7.8 I believe. All I could see is that on the bottle it said a higher pH could lead to fish swimming awkwardly/stressed out.

Must be dropsy? He just shoots to the top like a rocket when he stops swimming and I think soon he'll die because I don't see him coming back to normal yet and it's been at least half a day. All I can do is give it time I think
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post #6 of 9 Old 03-20-2007, 05:46 AM
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You might find that pH adjusters are not recommended. They simply will harm your fish as they tend to swing the pH uncontrollably. Use peat, driftwoods or almond leaves when lowering your pH.

Pls answer these questions:
1. When did you perform your last water exchange?
2. How often and what foods do you feed your fish?
3. Water are your water test results for:
ammonia, nitrite, nitrate?

If it has problems with its swim bladder organ, surely it could have lost its buoyancy which in your case, is not.

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http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=48&dateline=125741997  2
I'm ready for the pressure.
The drama and the pleasure!
If there is one thing I want to see here, it's HUMOR.
I believe I can fly!
I believe I can touch the sky!
I think about it every night and day!
I stand in awe of my body.
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post #7 of 9 Old 03-20-2007, 11:22 AM Thread Starter
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water exchange was last done 3 days ago.
type of food used - Ocean Nutrition Community Formula
how often fed - once a day (never too much)
ammonia - N/A - no tester
nitrite - 0 mg/L safe
nitrate - ~80mg/L little high (could cause stress in fish, but not a loss of buoyancy) - I will get a bacteria/enzyme product

The water hardness is around 300 ppm though, in which desired aquarium fish hardness should usually be between 50-150ppm. Problems that arise from water too hard can affect the fish's ability to maintain correct balance between it's internal body fluids and the external environment. I should probably go buy a water hardness adjuster while I'm at it.
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post #8 of 9 Old 03-20-2007, 03:50 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by euphQria
water exchange was last done 3 days ago.
type of food used - Ocean Nutrition Community Formula
how often fed - once a day (never too much)
ammonia - N/A - no tester
nitrite - 0 mg/L safe
nitrate - ~80mg/L little high (could cause stress in fish, but not a loss of buoyancy) - I will get a bacteria/enzyme product

The water hardness is around 300 ppm though, in which desired aquarium fish hardness should usually be between 50-150ppm. Problems that arise from water too hard can affect the fish's ability to maintain correct balance between it's internal body fluids and the external environment. I should probably go buy a water hardness adjuster while I'm at it.
stop buying products to change water parameters, use natural ways like use driftwood or something to soften the water and in turn lower the ph, or do water changes to lower nitrate, ammonia, or nitrite, products nowadays dont correct the problem, they just delay it. Buying a ph adjuster will lower the ph for maybe 1 or 2 weeks but after that it will shoot back to the normal ph since the KH and GH stayed the same, constantly changing ph is worse than the wrong ph for the fish.
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post #9 of 9 Old 03-20-2007, 04:38 PM
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mush has hit it square on the head... the constant change will surely kill the fish if the original issue doesn't.
I agree with mush, stop buying all of these products to alter your water quality. If the water is too hard then try the peat moss, which will work faster than the driftwood without staining the water, and will keep a more constant pH level in the tank. Every water change will cause things to fluctuate if you continue on the track you are on now, and it sounds as if its already doing more harm than good.
How is the other fish? Are there any other symptoms?
Please be aware that high nitrate can cause many problems, and some fish are more vulnerable to it than others. I would for sure try to get something veggie into the diet... anacharis is a good option as it will help cut through some of the nutrient level until the fish consume it, won't pollute the tank while waiting to be eaten. The flake food is ok for some feedings, but doesn't contain enough of what a silver dollar needs for roughage to stay healthy.

Dawn Moneyhan
Aquatics Specialist/Nutritionist
Juneau, WI
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