View Full Version : Help for sick fish

06-29-2016, 01:20 PM
I'm having a problem with two of my fish and despite doing lots of reading, I can't figure out what to do. Fish 1 story is maybe relevant to Fish 2 so will relay both. I think Fish 1 is beyond help.

Fish 1 - Yuki a Lionhead goldfish (was sexed by the breeder as female)
Started having problems about a year ago with flotation issues. She was stuck on the bottom, then the top, then seemed to recover somewhat with antibiotic food and peas, but then started floating at the top again. She was in a 37 gallon tank with 3 other goldfish (Oranda, Black Moor, Dragon Eye or Telescopic Eye). I started to wonder if her problems were related to Nitrates even though the other fish were fine. I bought a 75 gallon tank since my fish were all growing bigger, but by then she was floating all the time upside down at the top. Tried the fasting, peas, kanaplex and more antibiotic food along with a salt dip bath. She is pooping so no constipation. Called a fish vet and they said probably just her shape was compressing everything. If it was bacterial wouldn't she be dead by now? Also she has not grown at all since I got her 3 years ago and is only 2.5 inches long. Is there anything I can do? She floats at the top and I hand feed her, but I feel bad that she can't swim normally. The fish vet said no surgery could be done.

Fish 2 - Valor a Black Moor (sex unknown since he/she came from Petco)
About two weeks ago Valor started head standing, but could still swim up to the top and down to the bottom of the tank normally. Didn't think much about it. Then was stuck at the bottom, but would occasionally head stand. Then a few days ago started floating at the top of the tank rolled over on one side. I do weekly water changes, Ammonia is 0, Nitrite is 0, Ph is 7.3, Nitrate is 20 and water temp is kept at 75 degrees. New water added is 75 degrees to prevent shock. I use Seachem Prime and sometimes Gold Trace and occasionally Gold Buffer if the Ph dips down. Now the funny thing is I started using API Leaf Guard to help my plants grow and used a little API Allgone for some black hair algae on the plants (which by the way didn't work and had to manually scrub them). That is about the time Valor was acting funny (related??). I've done water changes so that should be all out of the tank now. So now I have done fasting and peas and have seen pooping, so no constipation. Did a few salt dip baths with no improvement. BUT now as of yesterday I saw two red almost blood like streaks on the tummy. This is the part that is not covered by water so could that be why? However, the streaks are under the scales. Is that a bacterial infection? Should I kanaplex or feed antibacterial food? Help I'm super sad about having another floaty fish.

06-29-2016, 04:39 PM
Swim bladder disease. There is no cure for it. Fish that float at the top, if you can hand feed them, can live several years with it. I had one that lived about 5 years with swim bladder disease. First he floated at the top, then last few years he was only at the bottom. At that point gave him a 10 gal bare bottom tank with just a few plants to kick around and he did fine. He even figured out how to flop his fins to make the flakes float again so he could eat them. He died totally unexpected after a water change. Never figured out why. Goldfish, the fancy variety are prone to this disease. Most likely there was nothing you did to cause that.

However, your nitrates are too high and goldfish are cold water fish. 75 is too warm for them. If you are using a heater, stop using it.

How many goldfish do you have in this 75 gal tank? Feeding them antibacterial food is not going to hurt. Read streaks are worrysome as they could be a sign of septicemia.

06-29-2016, 05:17 PM
Thanks Garfieldnfish for the reply. I have 4 fancy goldfish in 75 gallon tank. No heater is being used - that is the temp of my house. What is a good temp for the fish? What is the acceptable amount of nitrates? I use the API drops to test and they are in the orange color range which is 20 something or other or .20 not sure.

06-29-2016, 06:27 PM
Got home and checked the Nitrate test and they are at 20ppm. Is the too high? Also put Valor in a hospital 10 gallon tank with Kanaplex and fed some antibiotic food. Attaching a picture.

06-29-2016, 06:48 PM
If that is your room temps there is not much you can do short of getting a chiller. They are expensive and goldfish can handle the 75 even so they would prefer it a little cooler but they will be ok during the summer with it. Common and comet prefer it cooler than the fancy type and yours are all fancy types. 4 goldfish in a 75 gal is optimal. Are there other fish in the tank? Do you like to overfeed? I do and I keep MTSs in all my tanks as a indicator of overfeeding. If they increase in numbers I cut down on the food and sell the MTSs on AB. That keeps my nitrates down as the snails eat the left over fish food.
This is a good article I found that talks about nitrates. How often do you do water changes and how much water do you remove each time?


The picture of your fish does look to me like septicemia but I am no expert in fish diseases. Kanaplex is one of the many treatments for it. So you're good there.

06-29-2016, 06:58 PM
No other living creatures in the tank but the 4 goldfish. I do a water change once or twice a week and do 25%. What are MTSs and AB? Snails? I have cut back on overfeedind because I used to do that when those cute little faces would look at me and wiggle around. I'll read the article and really appreciate the help. I've blundered along for several years and read as much as I can to try and get fish keeping right. Also should add that I scoop out the fish poop everyday from the tank bottom, I have a sand bottom and use a canister filter for 100 gallon tank.

06-29-2016, 07:16 PM
MTSs are Malaysian Trumpet snails. Very good to have especially in a sand bottom tank. They sift through the sand and eliminate toxic pockets as well as eat all the food the fish missed. AB is Aqua Bid a website to buy and sell fish and other aquatic critters on line. If you want some MTSs, I have plenty to spare. Just let me know.

06-30-2016, 04:43 AM
The only other thing I've heard of is trimming the wen as a large one can make some fish float upside down. I've also read that red streaks can be septicemia (blood infection) so antibiotic may well be worth a try on the second fish. IME, feeding antibiotic food seems to work better than putting it in the water.

Good luck.

06-30-2016, 06:53 AM
Garfield is right. its swim bladder issues, and the antibiotic food may help. we see this a lot in the pond business, and the fancy goldfish are the ones affected almost always.

Its just part of what happens.

06-30-2016, 11:16 AM
Thanks for the input everyone. I'll think about getting some snails, but in the meantime I'm going to do small water changes in the 75 gallon to get Nitrates as low as possible. This morning Valor was still floating, but the red streaks are fading away. The kanaplex and antibiotic food must be helping. I hope the floating will go away too so going to continue to keep him in the hospital tank and see what happens and keep the treatment up. I'll keep posting and hopefully will have some success at least with one fish. Yuki is just going to float, but she seems at least happy and always gets excited when she sees me.