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Sick Goldfish...please help, I don't know what to do

This is a discussion on Sick Goldfish...please help, I don't know what to do within the Tropical Fish Diseases forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Just added the salts..they sank to the bottom, he's not going for them. shaking worse than ever.......

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Sick Goldfish...please help, I don't know what to do
Old 01-23-2008, 03:40 AM   #11
 
Just added the salts..they sank to the bottom, he's not going for them. shaking worse than ever....
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Old 01-23-2008, 12:18 PM   #12
 
put in the epsom salts, just tested the PH (it was the only liquid testing kit available, I hate small towns) and it's exactly 7.0
He's still swimming/shaking quite a bit, if not just as bad..worse
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Old 01-23-2008, 01:15 PM   #13
 
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Unfortunately, there isn't a whole lot more to do for him. The shaking you're describing almost sounds as if it's a neurological problem, and for that there is no cure. I watched both of the videos you posted, and it was very obvious to me about the swim bladder problem. I have been keeping and caring for goldfish for over 10 yrs, and with the store situation, I saw this quite often. Knowing the pH in the water is important, but at this point, knowing the ammonia, nitrite, & nitrate is going to be vital along with pH. The nitrogen cycle is something we can't prevent unless we change 100% of the water every day, and even then there will be ammonia levels at some point because the fish puts out waste. An uncycled tank can't break down the ammonia, preventing it from hurting the fish.
Ammonia and nitrites can cause a lot of damage, especially in something as delicate as a fancy goldfish. Ammonia can burn skin, burn gills, and even affect the spinal column and brain. Once this damage is done, most of it can't be undone.
About the only thing anyone can do now is to wait, let the salts have a chance to help. Once the swim bladder distress has been relieved, we can then take a look at any symptoms that may remain, and possible causes. You can do a 50% water change daily, this will help. Keep the water room temperature, so as not to cause shock to the fish's system. If the water sits in the room for 1 hr it is typically safe to use. With each water change, attempt again to feed a few pieces of the epsom salts to the fish. Try doing it one pebble at a time, choosing those small enough for him to fit into his mouth. Add 1/2 teaspoon of epsom salts with each 50% water change. This will keep the salt levels steady and the water clean at the same time.
I wish you and your fish the best of luck, but please try to remember... this fish is a very young baby, and the stresses involved in moving from breeder to store to home can be just more than they can handle at that size. The small tank won't make things any easier for you or for him. He's weak, and he has some very serious problems. There is still some hope yet, don't give up. Keep up the treatment and cleaning schedule, and make sure his food sinks for him. Try feeding 1 pellet at a time, and if he doesn't eat it after a minute or 2, scoop it out and try again. This is going to take some time and careful attention for him to have a chance to survive... but he does still have a chance.
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Old 01-23-2008, 02:26 PM   #14
 
I sank a pellet of food and he's been pretty preoccupied with trying to stay down there and trying to eat it (which has at least solidified the swim bladder theory/reality)


Besides feeding sinking foods, is there anything else I could do/any idea of how long this could take? If I just changed 100% of the water yesterday because I switched tanks, should I still change another 50% or do less or not at all (because of bacterias)

The epsom salts that I have are fairly finely ground, and he pretty much just ignored it altogether. He's been fixated on this single sunken pellet for at least 10-15 minutes now...having trouble breaking it up, I think..but he's persistent and continually trying.

(and by the way, thank you for all this help, I seriously appreciate it)

also, if this is caused/worsened by 'airgulping' when he ate his food, should I be concerned about him going to the top and taking air/"swallowing" airbubbles caused by the filter?
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Old 01-23-2008, 04:44 PM   #15
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rae3988
I sank a pellet of food and he's been pretty preoccupied with trying to stay down there and trying to eat it (which has at least solidified the swim bladder theory/reality)


Besides feeding sinking foods, is there anything else I could do/any idea of how long this could take? If I just changed 100% of the water yesterday because I switched tanks, should I still change another 50% or do less or not at all (because of bacterias)

The epsom salts that I have are fairly finely ground, and he pretty much just ignored it altogether. He's been fixated on this single sunken pellet for at least 10-15 minutes now...having trouble breaking it up, I think..but he's persistent and continually trying.

(and by the way, thank you for all this help, I seriously appreciate it)

also, if this is caused/worsened by 'airgulping' when he ate his food, should I be concerned about him going to the top and taking air/"swallowing" airbubbles caused by the filter?

Anytime a fancy goldfish is gulping air from the surface there is reason for concern. Typically they do this when there isn't enough oxygen in the water and when ammonia levels begin to rise. If you cnaged 100% of his water when you moved him, it is very likely that his entire system has gone through a phase of shock from the drasitc change in conditions. Most fish can adjust to slow and gradual changes, but fast ones are usually deadly. Because this new tank is uncycled and he is struggling, and the change that was made was so drastic, yes, the 50% every day will help a lot. When you do this don't clean the gravel or filter media, just take water from the top and replace it with room temp water that is cleaned and dosed properly with water conditioner. If you can find epsom salts that are a bit larger, that may help get him to eat a few. Also, even for food, if you can find decorations up high for the food to fall on, he won't have such a struggle to get to it and maintain his place while eating it.
I'll do what I can to help you through this, but I make no promises to his chances of survival or recovery. It still sounds to me like he suffered some type of shock that affected the central nervous system, and for that there is no treatment. If things get too bad with something like that I will usually suggest euthenasia because it's the most humane thing to do. Keep trying. Diligence, persistance, love... they go a long way!
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Old 01-23-2008, 06:50 PM   #16
 
His shaking has drastically diminished...but now he's a lot quieter overall. About 80% of the time it seems "back to normal" and the other 20% is split between occasional shakes and periods of very quiet.

He stays near the bottom a lot more, but he's not struggling to stay down.

Just making sure, so I should do the 50% change today (24 hours after the total change)?
I can't believe I was stupid enough to do a total change...

I'm watching him a lot of the time I'm in my room (and haven't done any work) and worry/think about him when I'm not here...I'm nervous that things are going to seem worse at night, again. Could that part (how things seem worse or weirder at night) be mostly my imagination/exhaustion talking?

He's not doing the up/down thing like crazy anymore...he definitely seems significantly more relaxed.

Also, he's starting to look somewhat bloated and I haven't seen him poop (excuse crudeness) in a while...when I was reading elsewhere online, it said it was likely he was also constipated and I should fast him for four days or so...

good idea/bad idea?
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Old 01-23-2008, 09:38 PM   #17
 
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The amount of attention that constipation in fish gets really concerns me. I won't say it isn't possible because it is, but the number of cases I see posted mentioning constipated fish really is way over the limit.
Bloating can be caused by a number of problems, constipation just one and usually not a common problem. Fish also get gas bubbles, and numerous other ailments that can contribute to bloating.
Most fish I have heard discussed as being constipated were fish that have been sick for a period of time, and appetite is down. I am marveled at the number of souls who don't add 1 + 1 and get 2. If a fish hasn't eaten a normal amount of food, or any food due to illness... what is there to be "backed up" as constipation would indicate? A fish's digestrive tract works basically the same way as ours does, so a decrease in food should also expect a decrease in waste produced.
With your fish, it didn't look like it was much able to eat over the past couple of days, so I wouldn't expect to see much for solid waste. The salt should also help to dispell the bloating, so keep up the schedule with 50% water changes and 1/2 teaspoon of epsom salts for a few more days and watch for improvement. To purposely starve the fish at this point could turn things right back around to a life/death struggle. Nutritious food is needed for the immune system to work properly, and a starved, weak fish isn't going to heal the way a well fed and strong one will.
Keep me posted and let me know if you need any further help. Try not to be paranoid, as hard as that may be. You're doing everything you can to help him now, he just needs time for the salt to work and healing to begin.
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Old 01-23-2008, 09:49 PM   #18
 
"I am marveled at the number of souls who don't add 1 + 1 and get 2."

Haha. Actually, he ate perfectly normally/just as eagerly as ever despite all the other conditons. It only took him a while to eat the pellets because they weren't breaking apart so easily, but he was munching on them sufficiently.

I'll do the 50% change now...actually, another question: I've been using spring water (from a bottle) and even when I leave it out to adjust to room temp, it's very cold. Should I just put it in a microwave or something?
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Old 01-23-2008, 10:22 PM   #19
 
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If you're worried about his digestive system you could also try feeding him a pea or something like that. A little vegetable matter can do a lot of good and keeping his diet varied and interesting will be good for him. Just make sure you remove any uneaten parts so that it doesn't create further waste problems in the tank.
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Old 01-23-2008, 11:34 PM   #20
 
Alright, so I did the 50% water change....
....and he'st starting to act shaky and strange again. I tested the water, it's pefect all around, and I did the BEST I could to keep the same temperature but somehow it's colder (and I'm furious, I spent forever trying to work that out).

What can I do to prevent this water weirdness, and should I be worried that it's coming back? (Yes, I added the 1/2 tspn epsom salts)
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