3 years ago#1
Guest
Guest

My fish is just staying at the bottom of the tank all day and will occasionally swim to the top, very slowly, as if she's struggling. Then goes right back to the bottom of the tank again. She has no appetite. She also seems to be having a hard time breathing, almost as if she's gasping for air. Her belly also seems bloated. Is she dying?

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3 years ago#2
Jase
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Hmmm when you add water during water changes, are you using a good water conditioner to remove the chlorine/chloramines and the metals from the new water?

I would do a series of part water changes to this fishes tank. 15-20% per day for now. Ensure the water you put back in the tank is as close to the temp of the tank water as you can to prevent shockign the fish and also ensure you use a water conditioner as detailed above too. Let the water sit with the conditioner in for at least 15-20 mins as this ensures the conditioner has chance to do its job prior to the water change. I use boiling water to bring my new water to the required level (all done in the separate water container/bucket that you use for water changes)

Also, does this fish tank have a heater? is the temperature higher than normal? if you have a heater and its operational, check the temperature range that your fish species likes to have and ensure that the temperature is either mid-range for that, or towards the lower end of the range it likes but not the lowest tolerance. This will increase the oxygen content that gets held in the water column.

If you have a filter ensure the filter is also working efficiently, so many times filters get a bit blocked (mostly where the impeller is), and they need small amounts of filter maintenance to ensure the water flow gets through the whole filter. I have to clean mine every 2-3 weeks as i notice the flow rate drops if i don't.

Good luck, hope my advice helps your fish.

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3 years ago#3
Karen
Guest

We just got everything brand new two weeks ago (4 goldfish, tank, etc.). We haven't had to do any cleaning yet, as the lady at the pet store told us that we will only have to clean the tank in a couple of months. We have a Fluval Chi tank which holds 6.6 US Gal. There is a Min and Max line and when the water goes down to the Min line, we add more water (that has been sitting at room temperature) and add a little bit of Nutrafin Aqua Plus to the water just before adding to the tank.

I'm trying to understand the part where you add water to your tank to the required level...you said you use boiling water, so I'm assuming you let this water sit at room temperature until it cools down? Then you add the conditioner and wait 15-20 mins before adding to the tank?

The tank does not have a heater and I don't know the temperature of the water.

I just contacted the lady at the pet store again and she told me that it sounds like the fish isn't getting enough oxygen. The fish is just lying sideways now on the bottom of the tank and her belly is so distended...I was afraid to wake up this morning thinking I would find her floating on top, but she's still alive. I hope she makes it.

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3 years ago#4
Jase
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sorry, let me explain what i meant by the boiling water..

if you prepare water in say a bucket and you find the water is alot colder than that of your actual tank, boiling water is what i use to add to the bucket (not the tank) to bring the bucket water up to the correct temperature. I avoid using hot water from taps in case there is any chance of copper from the pipes/tank causing any issues in the water.



from your last reply though, there is something that is ringing a few alarm bells with me, and thats this:

Fluval Chi (6.6 US Gallons)

and this...

4 Goldfish

This is way too many fish for a fluval chi.. especially goldfish.

I'm also concerned that 'the lady in the store' has totally misadvised you about the cleaning of this aquarium too, with such a small tank and 4 fish swamping the bio-load of this tank the need to clean and refresh the water goes a long way to keeping the water quality of such a standard that the fish will not run into trouble.

So i'm afraid that due to poor advice from the lady at the store, your fish are beginning to suffer, likely from ammonia poisoning due down mostly to the 4 goldfish literally swimming in their own toilet. (such is the life of a fish). Your tank is also still cycling, did the lady in the store explain tank cycling to you? or did you get the standard line of 'leave the tank running for 3 days then add fish'??

thats where we as fishkeepers come in, and why frequent part water changes of 20-25% are essential. simply topping up the water level is not enough i'm afraid.

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3 years ago#5
Karen
Guest

I wish they would've told me all this at the pet store. I never would've bought 4 fish. I will do a water change now of 20-25% and add the conditioner before I add to tank. How many days will I have to do this? Then will it be every 2-3 weeks after that? I also have a Marina Easy Clean and a Marina Algae Magnet...should I use those now as well?

I added 5 ml of cycle each day for 2 weeks and was told to add it once a week after that. Is this correct?

Thank you so much for your advice! I really appreciate it.

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3 years ago#6
Jase
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No problem, glad to help. I'm afraid with so many fish and a relatively small tank you will likely need to do part water changes on twice weekly basis, and at best once a week. I'm afraid 2-3 week rotations for maintenance windows are almost myth for many aquarists as the reality is more a duty of care for many of us and many do weekly changes. Yes its possible to leave a tank for a few weeks on occasion, but its advisable not to make this too regular.

I use the gravel cleaner every time i do a water change, but can i advise you not to vaccum every bit of the gravel, perhaps just hover over the surface to suck up loose detritus for now, this will give the bacteria under the gravel a fighting chance.

You will turn this around, don't worry too much, just know that alot of folk working in shops are there to sell, and often don't give the advice they always ought to.

The algae magnet can be used any time, i usually use that just before i do a water change anyway. I leave it half an hour after using the cleaner magnet to allow things it cleans off chance to settle at the gravel level.

What i'd do with your chi is measure the distance from the top water level where it should be at most, and then do a calculation of what the water level would be if it was 25-30% less.. and perhaps put a small distinguisable mark on the back perhaps (crayon is great for this as it can be wiped off at a later date if you want), and then once you have this mark you know that this is the most you want to drain water out.

Then putting the clean water in, simply mix your supply tap water with the conditioner you got sold (its fine to use that product you mentioned earlier), and let it sit for 15-20 mins in the bucket just to allow the conditioner time to do its stuff, its not as instant as many believe.

then if you need to warm that bucket water up, use the boiling water added to the bucket (not the tank!), just to bring it to temperature.. get the water within a degree or two at most of the tank water and then you can syphon the water from the bucket in. (tip: i syphon it in from the bucket so not to **** my fish, and put my bucket at top of my step ladder)


Let me know how you get on.. you'll pick up things quick but i would probably consider the possibility of returning some of the 4 fish, or.. getting a bigger tank.

Bigger tank would be far far less cleaning and maintenance.. smaller tanks take alot of cleaning, especially with goldfish.

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3 years ago#7
Karen
Guest

Do you use the gravel cleaner before or after the water change?

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3 years ago#8
Jase
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If you look at that gravel cleaner its of the syphon variety anyway karen.

so you effectively are drawing water out all the time while you are cleaning the gravel anyway. hence my suggestion to just hoover the top surface of the gravel rather than dig into the gravel for now.

You can get bespoke gravel cleaners which do not remove any water but that one you listed looks very much like the first one i bought. Oh and a tip when using it? you can pinch the tube a little bit while using to reduce the power of the suction a little bit, i used a clothes peg on mine which worked a treat.. it only pinches a bit, but stops the syphon from sucking too much water out and meaning you can't keep up with it

To answer your question though, you use it TO do the water change rather than before or after it.

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3 years ago#9
Karen
Guest

I am in a town where there are no pet stores. We bought our fish out of town, which is a 6 hour drive away. If I lived in the same town as the pet store I bought from, I would return a couple of fish. I doubt she would take them back though. I just did the water change, it's alot of work! I hope it helps our little sick fishy. We'll see how things go now in the next little while. I'll keep you posted Thanks once again!

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3 years ago#10
Karen
Guest

Jase, should I separate the sick fish from the rest? Will it make the others sick? My friend was telling me that it sounds like our fish has dropsy.

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3 years ago#11
Jase
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to be truthful, its entirely possible you could have a case of dropsy, the tank is overcrowded and from the description the water quality is likely the cause too.

Apologies to you for not picking up on that, got my mind focused on the overcrowded tank when i was replying from in work this afternoon.

If its dropsy then treat early, i've read that medicated foods are better treatment for this... an antibiotic treatment for dropsy is available i'm sure.. and reading a few sites they mention a 1% antibiotic in food.

I've not had a case of dropsy yet, *touch wood*, but i would treat early if i discovered it.

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3 years ago#12
Jase
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bloat can be caused by one or two other issues too, digestive issues being one, and blanched garden pea chopped and fed often helps with that.


As for quarantining the fish if dropsy, hmm i would if i had the quarantine facility available and the water conditions were perfect. (eg. cycled tank) If i did not, i would like treat my entire tank if it was a small tank.

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3 years ago#13
Karen
Guest

Jase, the fishy is still alive

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2 years ago#14
Coraline.
Guest

IS it ok? now... and what did you do to help it... my fish is kind of doing the same... :'( Idk what to do....

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1 year ago#15
Lauren
Guest

Goldfish do not have stomachs, as strange as that sounds. My goldfish named Bubba did the same thing yours did. If you feed them every day they cannot cycle all the food inside them and they float because of it. I do not feed my Bubba two separate days of the week to give him time to empty his bloated belly. Also, as others have said, it can be lack of oxygen. They breathe water from the surface with an organ called the "labyrinth organ". Despite this, Goldfish are messy fish and the common 'goldfish bowl' is not suitable for any fish except possibly a Betta, IF large enough. Therefore they need a tank and a well-working filter that cycles a good amount of water every day. My goldfish hardly ever floats now, and I change the filter cartridge every month.
- Lauren, vet assistant

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1 year ago#16
Lauren
Guest

I also just noticeD that you said you have a 6.6 gallon tank for four goldfish. The lady at the pet store did not provide you with accurate information. Goldfish grow, and I have my Bubba in a 10 gallon tank. He will probably grow out of that tank. With you having FOUR goldfish, it is most likely the amount of waste in the water. Please try getting a 30 gallon tank for your four goldfish, because that lady is not giving you good advice. - Lauren, vet assistant

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6 months ago#17
Sad Fish
Guest

I Have a fighting fish... It is doing the same thing now?
he is sitting there... I have changed the water and put in the ammonia stuff... And also made it warmer as it was too cold... His still not eating
Does this stake time...

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2 months ago#18
Tammy
Guest

I have a very bloated goldfish. It is staying at the bottom of the tank. Easily flips upside down and doesn't try getting upright. If we use the net we can get her to almost look at us and we can see her gills move and mouth. Poor thing is new to the tank. But she wasn't like this at first. Is she dying? Is she sick? I'm at a loss on this.

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2 months ago#19
Bonnie
Master
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Hi Karen,
First I would like to thank Jase, who gave spot on advice.
Secondly for you and all the other posters, poor water quality is the number one cause of illness and death in aquarium fish.

If I was you, I would be looking on Craigs list and find the largest tank you can. Goldfish are terrific fish, but as mentioned they produce massive amounts of waist. A 6.6 gallon would be a wonderful tank for a single Betta or a small school of some micro fish, such as Celestial Pearl Danios or Scarlet Badies. But even one Goldfish is to much of a Bioload for that tank. Until you can upgrade the tank, I would continue daily partial water changes of at least 30%.

Good luck and don't feel bad, most of us started out making huge mistakes, due to poor advice given to us by Pet shop employees.

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1 week ago#20
hayley
Guest

Why my fish staying at the bottom I'm about to cry I don't want it to die or I will die

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1 week ago#21
Fantastic Four
Guest

Your fish is constipated all you need to do is not feed it too much get a frozen pea thaw is out cut it into little pieces and feed it to your fish every few days this might have to include half starving your fish but it will help your fish

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1 week ago#22
Sandy
Guest

May I add?...Goldfish can grow to over a foot long with proper conditions. This fish is never suited to a tank smaller than 15 gallons which is so ironic given the term "goldfish bowl" - which should never have been associated with goldfish!

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