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    sheribo's Avatar
    sheribo Posts: 53, Reputation: 2
    Junior Member

    Dec 4, 2006, 01:37 PM
    Floating fish
    I have 6 goldfish in a 30gallon aquarium for 3yrs now. They eat floating pellets. I noticed over the couple days that one fish is swimming with its tail towards the top (almost fighting to stay down). Yesterday morning I thought it wa sdead as it was at the top of the water belly up. I went to move it and it starting swimmng. It keeps floating to the top and even does "rolls". I researched and it seems like maybe it could be swim bladder or dropsy. Dropsy requires medication but swim bladder does not. (the fish looks fine - no swollen belly). How do I know what to do for this fish... and will treating one fish affect the others?
    AKaeTrue's Avatar
    AKaeTrue Posts: 1,599, Reputation: 272
    Ultra Member

    Dec 4, 2006, 07:48 PM
    Hello Sheribo,
    This could possibly be swim bladder disease. It certainly sounds like it to me. Swim bladder disease is a multifactorial illness which primarily affects ornamental goldfish which have a round body shape, like orandas, ryukins, and fantails.
    There are a couple of causes for this illness such as a virus or a bacterium, but the most common reason is diet and anatomy - round-shaped fish like ornamental goldfish are predisposed to problems with the swim bladder because their insides are crammed up in their abdomen. This arrangement predisposes food impactions.
    Fortunately it is treatable.
    To cover illness related causes, use a product called Mela-fix. This will not harm your other fish. It's a natural and safe remedy.
    Feed your goldfish thawed frozen peas with the outer skin of the peas pealed off (inside of peas only). This will act as a fiber laxative and push out the clog. Feed peas until the condition clear and use the Mela-fix for the recommended time for illness treatment indicated on the bottle.
    Please let me know how things are going.
    Some people debate that simply fasting the fish will clear the condition, however I dislike that approach as the fish have a less survival rate.
    You can prevent future occurrences by soaking your pellets or flakes in water before feeding and periodically feeding peas.
    Let me know...
    sheribo's Avatar
    sheribo Posts: 53, Reputation: 2
    Junior Member

    Dec 5, 2006, 09:00 AM
    Only one goldfish out of 6 is sick and they are still in the same aquarium together. So do I stop all regular food and feed all of them frozen peas? I usually feed them morning and at supper time everyday. How many frozen peas should I give them? They are about 4inches long each (fantails) I have treated my fish in the past for infections with maracyn2 and have some tablets left over. Do you recommend using Mela-Fix over Maracyn? Are they different?
    AKaeTrue's Avatar
    AKaeTrue Posts: 1,599, Reputation: 272
    Ultra Member

    Dec 5, 2006, 04:50 PM
    Hi Sheribo,
    Yes, stop all other food. It will benefit your fish to have some greens about 3 times a week.
    What has probably occurred is that the fish has reached or is close to reaching it's max size. This tends to happen more after the most quick growing stages are over.
    I feed my goldies peas 3 times a week to avoid swim bladder issues. Sometimes even gulping air at the waters surface while eating will cause a problem, so I also like to sink the food as well.
    Peas: I would take 6 thawed peas, take the skin off then divide into tiny pieces then feed. Let this take the place of your normal feeding until hopefully you notice a difference.
    I prefer melafix because it's a natural remedy - it's safe for all fish at all times. You only have one fish that does not seem to be feeling well, so I wouldn't treat the whole tank with a medication just yet. However, if you feed the peas and do not notice an improvement after the third feeding on the next day with the sick fish, then give the medication a shot.

    Do you have hard or soft water?
    How is your water testing?
    sheribo's Avatar
    sheribo Posts: 53, Reputation: 2
    Junior Member

    Dec 6, 2006, 09:50 AM
    Ok I tried the medication and the peas yesterday. I already notice a difference today with my sick fish... not floating anymore and seems to be swimming fine! I have never tested my water at home. I took it in to a pet store last spring to get tested and they said the levels were fine. I usually don't add any chemicals to my water except the occasional plant food and of course to remove chlorine from tap water when doing water changes. Thanks for all your great advice!
    AKaeTrue's Avatar
    AKaeTrue Posts: 1,599, Reputation: 272
    Ultra Member

    Dec 6, 2006, 02:17 PM
    Your welcome...
    That's great news!
    sheribo's Avatar
    sheribo Posts: 53, Reputation: 2
    Junior Member

    Jan 8, 2007, 09:23 PM
    Unfortunately I have come across another problem with my aquarium. My fish were all healthy and back to normal (after one was cured of swim bladder). On December 23rd I purchased 2 snails and one of those black algae eating sucker fish (sorry don't know the proper name). The sucker fish was doing fine and was very active up until yesterday when I noticed him floating around the top of the tank upside down. When I would move the plants around him he would start to swim again (almost exactly the same thing my other goldfish had gone through before). This morning when I checked he was dead. It happened very quick. What could have caused this? Would this be similar to the "swim bladder" my goldfish had before? What do you recommend I do? This is the 3rd NEW fish (the other 2 were goldfish) in the past 6months that I have tried to put into this tank... and all 3 have died within weeks. The snails are still living and doing well - but often they do not survive longer than a few months in that aquarium. The 6 goldfish I have in there have been there for 3 1/2 years. Please help! I really liked that algae eater guy and noticed an improvement in my aquarium the short time I had him.
    AKaeTrue's Avatar
    AKaeTrue Posts: 1,599, Reputation: 272
    Ultra Member

    Jan 9, 2007, 01:53 PM
    Hey there,
    Fish bought from pet stores usually have diseases that may or may not be seen and they end up dead shortly after you get them (within weeks). The death of all your new fish could be the result of an over stressed fish from the pet store you are buying from. In many cases, care is not taken to prevent stress in fish when transporting from the hatchery to pet shops and the pet shops own negligence is also a problem at times with causing stress induced diseases.
    Try going to a different pet shop next time you purchase a fish. Smaller pet shops usually have healthier fish rather than big pet shop chains.
    It is very unlikely that the algae eater had swim bladder disease and was probably close to death when you found him floating. A weak, ill fish will give up and float just before they die.
    Algae eaters also need wafer disks formulated for algae eaters so that they get all the vitamins and nutrition they need to survive and be healthy. Algae from a tank alone is not enough and they will starve to death (unless there is thick green algae growths present).
    Snails are hardy little creatures and reproduce like crazy. Do you happen to know what kind you have? Apple snail? Trumpet snail?
    Goldfish love to eat snails, baby snails and their eggs. They suck them right out of their shells. If you have tried snails before and discovered that they have disappeared out of their shells, then your goldfish ate them for a snack.
    Keep an eye on your goldies, if the algae eater was diseased it could have spread and you will want to treat immediately for any strange behaviors.

    sheribo's Avatar
    sheribo Posts: 53, Reputation: 2
    Junior Member

    Jan 9, 2007, 03:09 PM
    The snails I purchase are called "mystery snails". Whenever my snails die it does seem to happen just overnight. One day they are fine - the next day there is nothing in the shell and just the hard "plate type cover" (that was once attached to the snail) on the bottom of my tank. I just assumed this was how they died. I never considered my goldfish were eating them! Should there be some remains if they aren't being eaten? Do snails need any type of food. I do want to get another algae fish and I will have to get that wafer disk as well. I don't have much alge in my tank - I wonder if the alge eater died of starvation? I did buy my previous fish all from the same big chain store... I won't do that again. I will definitely keep a close watch of my fish to make sure they aren't ill. Thanks again for all your great help!
    AKaeTrue's Avatar
    AKaeTrue Posts: 1,599, Reputation: 272
    Ultra Member

    Jan 9, 2007, 11:27 PM
    Should there be some remains if they aren't being eaten?
    Yes. When a snail dies there will be decaying remains inside the shell accompanied by a very foul odor.

    Do snails need any type of food?
    In the wild, mystery snails eat algae, plant leaves, and anything else they find on the bottom. In captivity, they eat the same thing as well as fish food a much more nutritious menu. They do best in planted aquariums and chew on plant leaves a little bit.
    Mystery snails can "play dead" as well. You may see them floating at the surface of the water, then slowly release air bubbles and descend to the bottom. This is a normal behavior.
    Be careful if ever treating the water with medications as some can harm snails.

    I wonder if the algae eater died of starvation?
    If your tank has any amount or traces of green algae in it, chances are that he did not die of starvation. I'm sure he managed to eat something in the short amount of time that you had him. Starvation of algae eaters occur when they have completely cleared the tank of all traces of algae and new algae doesn't grow fast enough to keep them nourished. Wafers also have the benefit of providing vitamins that are essential for their health, but again I don't feel this caused his death.

    Buying from the big chains isn't always bad. For one, they have better prices, but sadly, they take little pride in the animals/fish they carry and it usually shows in the quality of health of the animal/fish. Smaller shops can carry ill animals/fish as well, but chances are better care has been given increasing the chances of survival.

    A few things to take notice of when shopping for new fish:
    1. Are there any dead fish in the display tanks?
    2. Do you see any obvious signs of disease on the fish for sale in the display tanks - fungus, ick, sores, wounds, clamped fins, cloudy eyes, waddlely swimming, resting at the waters surface, resting on bottom of tank, lethargic?
    3. Does the fish department smell "fishy"?
    4. Watch the fish carefully for a few minutes, find one that appears to be healthy and active, then request to buy that particular fish, double check to make sure the sales associate caught the right one.

    All tanks in pet shops (with the exception of some ma&pop shops) are running on one filtration system per type of environment. Salt, brackish, tropical, and cold water aquariums will each have only one filtration system (sometimes tropical and coldwater are combined as freshwater). This means that even though the fish are in separate tanks, the water is shared between all the tanks and filtered out and back into the tanks by one filtration system. So if a good number of fish appear to be dead or ill but are in a different tanks, still don't buy at that time.

    sheribo's Avatar
    sheribo Posts: 53, Reputation: 2
    Junior Member

    Jan 10, 2007, 01:03 PM
    WOW! I didn't know any of that! Thank you so much for the information. I have never had any remains of the snails and never any odor... my fish must be eating them! I will definitely be more cautious when purchasing my next fish as I know what to look for now! Thanks again!
    AKaeTrue's Avatar
    AKaeTrue Posts: 1,599, Reputation: 272
    Ultra Member

    Jan 10, 2007, 07:19 PM
    Your Welcome:)
    joeinfro's Avatar
    joeinfro Posts: 1, Reputation: 2
    New Member

    Jan 23, 2007, 11:17 PM
    Thank kae SOO much!! I just joined this forum after I googled this problem and... it seem I have exactly identical problems with sheribo! I have, actually, two black fantails with the same problem. Thank you Kae!!

    nmeekin's Avatar
    nmeekin Posts: 2, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Mar 7, 2007, 08:17 AM
    I also had a fancy goldfish with swim bladder - couldn't stay down in the water. It took 3 weeks of removing him to a small tank at feeding time and just feeding him canned peas (skins removed) to cure him. If I tried regular food sooner, he just started floating again. Now he's had regular food for 3 days and no floating!

    Also, I bought 2 new fish, one a brown fancy fish with a big head. He was dead the next day. I didn't know why, so I bought another same kind. Lo and behold, next day his eyes were gone and his head was chewed up. Turned out the other fish chewed on him - thought he was food. He is OK in his own tank now, but just thought I'd warn you. My fish are not aggressive, just got confused I think.

    I also have new snails, and the goldfish often pick them up then spit them out, but so far no snail bodies missing.
    Larkemett's Avatar
    Larkemett Posts: 66, Reputation: 3
    Junior Member

    Mar 7, 2007, 08:29 AM
    I'm sure this has already been suggested but my fish do that on occasion and I just give them shelled marrowfat peas. Not only do they love to eat them it helps with swimbladder troubles.

    Also if your fish is one of those round ones, not sure what their called but they often have huge buggy eyes, then it will most likely be prone to swim bladder problems as almost all of those kinds of fish are.(Says an aquarist I asked about my fishy troubles, I'm not just waffling, this stuff is substantiated LOL).
    Carjack's Avatar
    Carjack Posts: 1, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Mar 27, 2007, 12:48 AM
    I had a tank with goldfish in it and bought a pleco(black sucker fish). It died as soon as I bought it. I took it back and they said goldfish tanks sometimes get high ammonia levels. I think all I had to do was fix the ph or something. But definatally algae wafers help eith the suckers.
    chloelang's Avatar
    chloelang Posts: 6, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Dec 4, 2009, 08:42 PM
    I'm so glad I stumbled across the site. I just noticed today that my largest fantail seems to be struggling to swim downwards. Like she's full of air or something. I'll try the thing with the peas too and see if that helps! I do notice that one of my other fantails has a new black mark on one of her fins. I had this problem before with previous goldfish. I treated it with a parasite treatment and it cleared up after a few treatments.
    However, I've tried a few parasite treatments in the past weeks and the black mark (while not getting larger) doesn't seem to be going away? Any ideas? Thanks!

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