Goldfish issues

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LittleTally
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Goldfish issues

Post by LittleTally »

Hi everyone,

I am desperately seeking advice as to how I can help my poorly goldfish, so after months of looking about online and speaking to people I have joined this forum in the hope that someone can help. I apologise now for the long post but I don’t know how else to explain the problems we’ve been having.

I have a single goldfish. He’s just a bog standard goldfish, the type people win at the fair (I didn’t win him at the fair, someone else did who didn’t look after him and so he ended up with me). I’ve had him now for six years and up until maybe Christmas time he was what I would class as healthy and very active.

Around that time he seemed to really slow down. He became very lethargic, looked quite bloated and he would often stay in one place, bottom of the tank, and generally seemed really unhappy. I did a heap of research and it seemed that it was likely he was constipated and/or had swim bladder issues related to this. I followed some online advice and stopped his food for a few days and offered him peas. He soon went back to his old ways and was fine. A month or so later it happened again. I tried the same thing but this time he refused to eat. I noticed he didn’t seem to be eating or passing anything at all, and would go extended periods without moving at all. During my research I realised that he was now in a tank much too small for him after growing into a big lad in six years. He was at the time in a 20 litre tank.

I bought a 60 litre tank with a filter, heater and put an air stone in there too. I transferred Michael over hoping it would lead to him improving but I’ve not seen that happen yet. In fact things got more complicated. I’ve had the water tested at the local pets at home store and was told the levels are all fine, if anything slightly too clean but that would make sense as I still haven’t seen him eat or pass anything. He must be though as how on earth would he still be alive otherwise?

He is now the sole goldfish in the 60 litre tank, with appropriate levels as far as I know (this is the first time I have ever monitored that after learning about it online). I swapped to a sinking pellet food to avoid too much air swallowing. I tried peas again. I have added aquarium salt as per the instructions to try and help him. He has not improved at all. The tank was second hand and I cleaned it when I got it home, but he has since developed cotton wool disease. I got a treatment (Internet anti fungus and finrot) and treated the tank. The disease cleared up within 24 hours and the most startling thing was that my fish seemed to come back to life for a good few days too. He started moving around a lot, very active, not distressed at all. Then sadly after maybe five days he went back to lethargic Michael, back in the corner on the gravel. I STILL haven’t seen him eat or pass a single thing. The cotton wool disease has also returned so I did a 30% water change and then retreated this afternoon. Back came the active fish!

I have absolutely no idea if I’m doing right or wrong but I really don’t want to give up on my fish. He’s really awesome and it’s breaking my heart that he’s struggling. I am really hoping to learn more about how to keep him healthy and would love to know if there’s anything more that I can be doing for him. I’m sorry this is long and that I am such an absolute novice at this, I just want to try and help him have a happy and healthy life. Thanks to anyone who can offer up any advice for me.

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Re: Goldfish issues

Post by Martinspuddle »

Greetings. :]

I noticed you said in your post after you did a water change your goldfish brightened up.

So without further ado, here come some questions...

If you don't mind me saying so 60l for goldfish is a little small, how big is your goldfish?

How often do you do the water changes?

Do you use dechlorinator, do you check the temperature of the water you're putting back into the aquarium?

How often do you clean your filter and do you use old tank water to clean the filter media?

How long have you had the filter running?

Have you got any test kits for testing the water?

Lastly, we hear Aquarium Forums UK like pictures, if possible try and take some and post them on the FORUM as it would be helpful.

Sounds to me that your problems are being caused by a mixture of bacterial and general maintenance issues. If you wouldn't mind coming back to us with the answers myself or the rest of the Gang will shortly will surely help. :]
Last edited by Martinspuddle on Wed Mar 25, 2020 9:12 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Goldfish issues

Post by plankton »

Welcome to the forum. :)
Sorry to hear about your goldie, but I think you may have a major problem if he was in a 20l tank for around 6 years.
They need the right space in a tank in order to grow properly, and are "stunted" if they don't have it. This causes their internal organs to squash into the "not big enough space" of the body which hasn't grown at the same rate.
A normal goldie will grow up to around 12", live for 40+ years in the right conditions.
A single common goldie will need at least a 4' tank to grow properly.
You don't actually say whether you have a filter running or not, but if you do (as Martin has asked), how are you cleaning it? How often do you normally do water changes?
Do you clean the tank or just change water (I asked this as I went nuts once when I saw someone putting the goldies - who were already in a tank that was way too small - into the sink and using washing-up liquid to clean the tank and filter!!!)?

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Re: Goldfish issues

Post by LittleTally »

Hi guys,
Thanks so much for getting back to me. Working through your questions here’s the info you asked for...

I agree (now that I’m better informed) that even the 60L tank is too small. I’m really not in a position to buy anything bigger at the moment so stuck in that respect. It was suggested I try to find someone with a pond that might take him but not investigated that yet.

Michael is now around 6” from nose to tail tip. He’s pretty solid (have attached a photo).

I do a 30% water change every week, and yes I use a dechlorinator. I haven’t checked the water temperature before putting it in but it’s never freezing cold.

I clean the filter probably every month. Is this something I should be doing more/less? I didn’t use to (in the small tank) but have since been using old tank water to clean the filter.

The tank has been set up maybe 6 weeks, with the filter running from day one. I believe it is the right size for the tank as they cane together.

I change the water only when I do the 30% changes but I have a little glass cleaner magnetic thing that I use to periodically clean the inner glass. I use zero cleaning products (that’s disturbing that someone used washing up liquid?!)

I hope this offers some clarification. I appreciate now the difficulties of having him in such a small tank for so long. I wish I’d been more informed earlier but hoping I can do my best for him from now on.

Many thanks.

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Re: Goldfish issues

Post by LittleTally »

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Re: Goldfish issues

Post by plankton »

Thanks for the pic. :)
He looks more like a comet than a common, so that's one more thing to note, and he does have a strange shape as though he is either constipated or even a tumour (assuming it's not internal organs pressing against the skin).
His gills look more brown than red, so it could be lack of oxygen, you could do more water changes for now, maybe get extra surface movement on the water, either from the filter or get an airstone when you can.
You don't appear to be doing anything wrong as far as maintenance goes with the filter.
If the fungus has returned then re-dose.
Will he let you touch him? See if the bulge at the lower back end (behind the pelvic fins and before the anal fin) is solid or movable if you can, that will indicate more as to what it is.
IF you can get live food from a pet shop, try that. (I don't know whether they will get it in at the moment)

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Re: Goldfish issues

Post by LittleTally »

Hi Plankton,

Thanks for that. Hasn’t considered he was anything more than a common but that’s helpful.

His bloated shape has been that way since Christmas I think. Sometimes it seems to bother him and other times not. He’s not keen of being touched but I’ll give it a go when I can and see what it feels like.

I’ve attached another picture, although maybe not the clearest. It’s inside his mouth. Whilst looking at him more closely I’ve noticed that the opening inside is really small. I don’t recall it being this way forever but would that make sense if the oxygen intake is an issue? Could it be a problem with his mouth?

I already have an air stone but could change the angle of the filter to force water upward if that would be good for the surface movement?

Thanks
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Re: Goldfish issues

Post by Martinspuddle »

Seeing the pictures, don't know what you think@plankton but apart from the bulge to me that mouth doesn't look right, what do you think Plankton?
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Re: Goldfish issues

Post by plankton »

It doesn't look at all right to me - I have not seen anything like that before. Maybe it is also tumourous?
Although....how big is the gravel? Could he have eaten some, and therefore cut his mouth?

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Re: Goldfish issues

Post by LittleTally »

The gravel is small but I’m not sure he’s eaten any. I’ve never seen him ever bother with it or as mentioned, I’ve not seen him consume anything or pass anything for months. He must be getting some sort of sustenance from some where though as presumably he wouldn’t last long without it? Is there anything I can do to help him if it looks like it’s closing? 😟

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