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Buoyancy in Fancies

Subject: Buoyancy in Fancies
by Neilos on 18/11/2010 11:40:19

Evening all - another fancy question.

Had a problem before with my ranchu's balance, but this one is just general buoyancy. Both fish (my other is an oranda) are very buoyant, and spend a lot of time floating on the top of the water.

I feed them pre-soaked Saki-Hikari Fancy Goldfish sinking pellets in the morning ( http://www.hikari.info/gold/g_10.html ) and in the evening they have either blanched romaine lettuce or pea.

Sometimes they're fine, but other times they have a corner of the tank they go to and just float there, and especially the ranchu struggles to swim down - his tail seems to rise before his head and he just ends up floating back to the top. They're always the right way up, with a little bit of their back breaking the water.

I'm guessing it's a digestive issue, because on their 'fasting day' (I give them a day off food every week to let their tummies settle, as the ranchu has always had some sort of buoyancy problem which I put down to digestion) they don't seem to float at all.

My usual water change is 1/3rd every 4 or 5 days.

Water conditions (I use the API Master Kit)...

Ammonia - 0ppm
Nitrite - 0ppm
Nitrate - 20ppm (tends to be 20-40 between water changes)
PH - 7.8

180l (with just the 2 goldies)
Eheim Ecco Pro 200

Any ideas on what dietary changes I could make? I'd like to maybe add some live food (is it safe? I nearly bought some daphnia but wasn't sure it would be free of diseases or anything that could hurt them) but I wouldn't know how to feed them it. I've read lots of stuff about other stuff they like (broccoli, courgette, for example) but would that be any better than peas and lettuce? And how do you prepare those foods for the fish?

Just somewhat concerned and confused, especially as I don't like doing anything with them unless I'm totally sure what I'm doing - love them as much as anyone loves their cat or dog

Many thanks :)