Ryukin Goldfish has swimbladder issue, Petsmart no help.. - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 16 Old 12-08-2008, 02:17 PM Thread Starter
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Post Ryukin Goldfish has swimbladder issue, Petsmart no help..

Hi ~
I've had my Ryukin goldfish for a couple months now, I've previously kept fish. She's a medium size. In a 20 gallon tank, alone, with 20gallon filter. Tank temp 69.7 F, ammonia tested yesterday 0, 0 nitrite, 7.6PH, we have hard water here. I don't have a nitrate kit, is the nitrite an indication? Should I get a nitrate kit too?

Petsmart told me to give her Omega-One goldfish small pellets. Later, she got swimbladder and floated completely upside down for a while (for 30 seconds, I thought she died), then it got better. I now know fancy goldies are prone to this. Petsmart guy recommended HBH Super Soft Spirulina that helps their goldies when they get like this. I tried it - it make her WORSE. Even after soaking it, it still is bad. So I am not using that anymore.

I tried the pea tactic and it works wonders, but I am afraid to feed her peas ALL the time, I am sure it's lacking in something they need. Today I tried the Omega-One food presoaked again and so far, no floating.

Is there a premium food out there that prevents swimbladder? Can a fish recover from this? Should I supplement peas daily with the fish food or leafy greens?

And I am very confused. The back of these fish food containers says 'feed 3 times daily, as much as can be consumed in 2 minutes'. I think that leads a novice to overfeeding. I feed twice a day and am giving her 6 pellets per meal + peas. Is that okay? After the 6 pellets she won't eat anymore and it's waste on the bottom of the tank.

Should I give her some freeze-dried bloodworms as a treat? Or no..?

I do a water change every 2-3 weeks and replace the filter every month and a half. Is this good?

Thanks in advance.
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post #2 of 16 Old 12-08-2008, 05:05 PM
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hello and welcome. :)
the filter shoould only need washing in old tank water,when you do the water change.
you can completly cange one filter pad at a time,leaving a long gap between changes.
i would advise for any Goldfish that the food is always pre soaked,so the fish don't gulp
in a tonn of air when feeding.
to help with food on the bottom,only feed very small amounts,and twice a day is plenty,
haha they can be such piggies when it comes to food,they would eat all day.
the other question was about the Nitrate tester,yes i'd get one.
the kit most if not all of us here use is the API master test kit. :)
hope i've been a help.

when you set up a new tank,hide an extra
sponge or two behind some decor,that way you have
something seeded for you next filter.
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post #3 of 16 Old 12-09-2008, 12:19 PM
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I could be wrong so someone correct me if so, but I think you need a stronger filter and a bigger tank for one thing. Get a filter that's rated for more than your tank size. Not sure how to help with the swimbladder issues.
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post #4 of 16 Old 12-09-2008, 06:45 PM
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I also have a goldfish with swimbladder disease. He has had it 4 mounths now. I give him peas daily and a small amount of flakes in the morning. From what I have read, 1 pellet a day is enough to keep a goldfish healthy and growing. Jungle Labs makes Fungus Clear which claims to cure swimbladder disease. They sell it at DoctorsFosterandSmith.com. I think I may try it.
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post #5 of 16 Old 12-10-2008, 08:12 AM
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There are no preventative foods. From what I understand peas are the only treatment that yields good results. I would keep feeding peas, she doesn't need much.

Your tank size and filter sound good to me. Although, I would suggest gravel vac-ing more often. Taking out about 10 - 15% each time. That way your fish gets more clean water.

I hope your fishy feels better!
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post #6 of 16 Old 12-10-2008, 10:07 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Chrisseh View Post
There are no preventative foods. From what I understand peas are the only treatment that yields good results. I would keep feeding peas, she doesn't need much.

Your tank size and filter sound good to me. Although, I would suggest gravel vac-ing more often. Taking out about 10 - 15% each time. That way your fish gets more clean water.

I hope your fishy feels better!

I've heard 10 gallons per goldfish is enough, but I surely hope 20 gal. is good enough for one goldfish, medium size. I don't have any big decorations in the tank, only a few fake plants. I may eventually get a 40 gallon filter, as I have heard that double the tank size is better from many people. Petsmart said 2 goldfish this size would be okay in 20 gallons, man are they always off. Whatever it takes to sell more fish!

I did the peas and it helps when she's floaty. I figured out it can't be actual swimbladder because it went away for a day now. I heard actual swimbladder can be permanent. It must have been constipation/bloatiness. The peas got her back to normal. Then I soak her food twice a day for 20 minutes before dumping it in. So far, after 2 feedings, no floatiness after giving her the soaked food.

I setup my calendar to vacuum/siphon every 11 days. If I vacuum every 11 days, should I take out 15% or 20%, or how much?

She's doing better already!


Last edited by green2727; 12-10-2008 at 10:11 AM.
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post #7 of 16 Old 12-12-2008, 11:00 PM
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just for everyone, DO NOT ASK FOR ANY ADVICE IN PETCO OR PETSMART, they're amatures and will only mislead you and you're fish is gonna die. better go to a store where they specialize / breed fish people who work there atleast know what theyre doing.
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post #8 of 16 Old 12-17-2008, 08:31 PM
Well, swim bladder disorder can be caused by bloating/constipation because both these conditions put pressure on the swim bladder which leads to the symptoms that you see. If what you are doing seems to work, then I would continue doing it. There was a post in the freshwater pictures section where a goldfish was eating some brocoli. Your fish may like this as well.

I think your new maintenance schedule sounds much better. I would do a 20% change personally. Your nitrate test levels will really tell you how much you should be changing and how often to keep nitrates as low as possible. Even though your tank is cycled, nitrates can still build up and cause problems for your fish, so finding a good schedule by testing nitrate levels will be the best for your fish.

And yeah, pet store people for the most part know nothing about fish. You wouldn't belive how much bad advice I've gotten or heard of from those places. I don't even bother asking them ANYTHING anymore. Just do your own research, walk in, get your stuff, and walk out :)

20 gallon long: 3 adult Neolamprologus similis + about 11 fry of various ages; low light planted tank
20 gallon long:2 freshwater dwarf puffers (Puff Puff and Poofer); medium-light planted tank
10 gallon: 1 male betta named Wormy; low light planted tank
10 gallon: 1 male betta named Dante; low light planted tank
2, 5.5 gallon tanks that are currently empty (I see more fish on the horizon )
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post #9 of 16 Old 12-18-2008, 04:25 AM
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:( I work for PetSmart. I don't give bad advice. I usually know the answer (not guess) and if I don't I look it up in a book. Otherwise I tell my customers I don't know, or don't have enough information to help them. Mom and Pop stores aren't all that great, either. I have seen goldfish with bloat not just in the tanks but decorated and prazed, being called the "upside down goldfish". I have it on good authority that nothing was done to help the fish. So, I would judge each store separatly and not just lump everyone together. Sorry about my off topic rant, it's just a hot button of mine. On a lighter note, I am glad that fishy is feeling better.
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post #10 of 16 Old 12-18-2008, 08:05 AM
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Chrisseh, my petsmart has 2 great people working in the fish department. Think the store has a high turnover rate with their employees. Always new and untrained people working there. Sounds like you are one of the good ones! Keep up the great work! I bet you have saved a lot of fish lives, and you can be proud of that!
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