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merpig merpig
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  • Posted on: 23/8/2020 18:16
Re: Weird string of unrelated issues? Help with goldfish treatment #1
Hi - thought I'd give a quick update on what's going on in this tank.

I am overall in a better position than I was when I first started this thread - the loss of one of the ranchu not withstanding. The remaining three fish are all still with us.

The oranda has entirely recovered from the swim bladder issues I posted about on 17/07 that had me about ready to throw in the towel - I removed the floating plants and that seemed to fix her desire to forage at the surface. I added in a piece of wood with anubia planted onto it and piled up their large pebbles around it to give them something to forage around in the lower half of the tank, as I was worried that boredom was playing into the whole issue of her surface breathing as they lack enrichment (the tank being bare bottom because of the ranchu's suicidal desire to eat sand!)

Since 17/07 I have not seen her drift upside down or display anything other than normal active swimming 90% of the time. She does still bottom sit maybe once or twice a day - the issue I was trying to fix in the first place - but almost entirely at night time so I can't say it's not just sleeping behaviour.

The feeding schedule I've adopted is repashy super gold in the morning and new life spectrum pellets in the evening.

It's not perfect, because repashy seems to mess with the ryukin's digestion (go figure) - he is noticeably more floaty after the repashy. However, when I fed pellets twice a day or reduced feeding to once a day, I saw more bottom sitting from the oranda! I think I'll try a different brand of pellets next and keep tinkering with their diet, but none of them seem in any immediate danger and are doing pretty well!

The sand eating ranchu originally was lethargic/heavy breathing - that has completely resolved.

I feel like I'm now on the right track so a big shout out to fcmf for the help and encouragement over the last few months!


merpig merpig
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  • Posted on: 24/7/2020 13:38
Re: Weird string of unrelated issues? Help with goldfish treatment #2
Hopefully not jinxing anything here, but it’s been a full week since the horrible day where the oranda spent all his time upside down.

Since then, they’ve been absolutely perfect. Not caught the oranda upside down a single time, even late at night. The ryukin is having the same level of floatiness as he’s had for the last few months which is fine (he sometimes goes upside down but never floats still like that, always rights himself). Taking out the floating plants seems to have made a big difference in stopping the air breathing that seems to have affected the oranda.

I ordered repashy super gold to replace the soilent green, and will be feeding it alongside the new life spectrum pellets and peas. I’ll update again in a few weeks but fingers crossed we’ve cracked it!


merpig merpig
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  • Posted on: 17/7/2020 17:13
Re: Weird string of unrelated issues? Help with goldfish treatment #3
I think you might be right - the oranda can swim when he wants to so hanging at the top of the tank upside down would say to me that he’s exhausted.

I’ve ordered new life spectrum pellets as they’ve had them before and didn’t have particular issues and they come in tiny pellet sizes for easy digestion. I’ll soak them beforehand too.

In the meantime, I have bloodworms and tubifex worms neither of which I use much but would give them a protein boost, and I have an Aquarian brand flake food which I’m going to check will sink before using.

Calmed down a bit from wanting to throw the towel in earlier, we will solve it eventually! Thanks for your help again.


merpig merpig
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  • Posted on: 17/7/2020 15:32
Re: Weird string of unrelated issues? Help with goldfish treatment #4
Unfortunately today the oranda is floating at the top upside down 90% of the time. All parameters are normal (zero ammonia & nitrite, 5ppm nitrate, PH is 7.2)

Tbh I’ve turned the tank light off and stopped looking what’s going on in there. Horrible experience with these fish.


merpig merpig
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  • Posted on: 16/7/2020 15:01
Re: Weird string of unrelated issues? Help with goldfish treatment #5
Thanks! I had thought that the soilent green was a complete food but checking the packaging properly it’s recommended for algae eaters so I’ll definitely add a pellet in.

I’ll update once they’ve been on the new food schedule for a while. I’ll be thrilled if I can beat this with diet.


merpig merpig
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  • Posted on: 16/7/2020 13:11
Re: Weird string of unrelated issues? Help with goldfish treatment #6
I agree re oranda maybe not being conscious and that causing the swim bladder issues to show themselves - it always seems to be in the evening as they’re all winding down for the night.

They get repashy soilent green twice a day, morning and evening. This seems to support them being more active than the previous regime which was feeding only once a day. They get peas to replace one of the repashy feedings approx 3x per week, usually in the evening. I fasted them on Sunday and saw a bit of an improvement on Monday, so I’m considering adding in a regular weekly fast day.

The floating plants have been removed for a couple of days but they seem conditioned to be at the surface now so I’m worried air breathing is contributing - the ryukin clearly finds it easier to hang out there due to excess buoyancy but the oranda just seems to have got used to being there! I don’t think there’s an issue with oxygenation as my ranchu almost never goes near the surface, and I’ve plenty of surface movement...

It’s a bit of a puzzle. All three fish are likely under 2 years old. I know it’s luck of the draw to some extent with fancies and swim bladder but this is some very bad luck!


merpig merpig
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  • Posted on: 14/7/2020 18:45
Re: Weird string of unrelated issues? Help with goldfish treatment #7
Possibly the last update on this thread as I am out of ideas.

They are now all back in the tank, the ryukin having finished a round of kanaplex.

His swim bladder issues seem to vary in severity by day. Sometimes he's fine, sometimes he's upside down at the top of the tank. His eating is good and his general behaviour ok.

The bottom sitting and weird behaviour I was concerned by with the oranda and ranchu have resolved. Unfortunately the oranda now is also showing swim bladder symptoms - bit different to the ryukin who is clearly struggling with excess buoyancy, the oranda just seems to occasionally pass out and float around upside down for a while before 'waking up' and swimming perfectly fine. This seems to get worse at night so I assume it's food/surface breathing related but honestly I don't know.

I'm going to remove my floating plants to discourage any foraging at the surface. This makes things boring for them as they have to have a bare bottom tank due to the ranchu's habit of eating substrate. Food wise I might try the repashy gold or other brands but given they're already eating a gel diet don't expect to see much improvement.

I don't really intend to do any more treatments as they've now all been through multiple rounds of antibiotics, anti fungals, and anti parasitics - the remaining issues are swim bladder in two of the three which I suppose could just be down to physiology, and fungus on the ranchu's mouth which is immune to all treatment and doesn't seem to be getting any worse so I can't really treat further. But honestly this tank is so disheartening and I'm very much tempted to abandon keeping fancy goldfish and move onto something more robust once my current stock pass on.


merpig merpig
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  • Posted on: 19/6/2020 16:38
Re: Weird string of unrelated issues? Help with goldfish treatment #8
Keeping this thread updated in case I eventually find a solution to all this!

We finished the course of metroplex and left the two treated fish in the medical tub with no meds for around 4 days before replacing them in the tank.

They've been in there for six days and they're ok so far.

The problem is the ryukin. He'd been fine throughout most of this, then yesterday was having a bad day for flipping upside down and really getting quite distressed that he couldn't swim to the bottom of the tank - putting a lot of effort into trying to chase food then floating to the top exhausted. We decided he couldn't be left in the main tank and put him in the medicine tub with a dose of kanaplex, thinking that whatever the other two had could be at play with him since he's never been treated.

Last night he wasn't able to get off the surface of the tub and his top fin was clear of the water.

This morning, the swim bladder issues seem to have completely resolved, but he's alternating between bottom sitting and swimming around frantically. His swimming is now perfectly controlled. I can't think why he's distressed as the sides of the tub are opaque, he has floating plants for cover, and the whole thing had actually been pushed under a desk overnight so he should have felt relatively secure.

This behaviour (sitting, followed by mad swimming, repeat) has continued all day. Levels in the tub are all at zero and there's a large air stone in there with him, water was treated with prime, and I drip acclimated him from the tank to the tub.

The rapid resolution of the swim bladder issues points to something digestive to me, maybe compounded by whatever was going on with the other two and causing the continued stress behaviour. Which points to soilent green not being helpful, despite being considered one of 'the best' foods for swim bladder.

This is all a bit discouraging. For almost a week I thought the tank was on the right track and now we're back to the tub!


merpig merpig
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  • Posted on: 4/6/2020 16:27
Re: Goldfish: sizing, company and types #9
No problem at all - I was one of those novices that won their first goldfish at a fair and had to do a lot of quick learning! Kudos to you for doing your research first.

Any questions on filtration etc I'd be happy to have a go at!


merpig merpig
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  • Posted on: 4/6/2020 14:38
Re: Goldfish: sizing, company and types #10
Hey ☺️ Hopefully I can answer a few of these!

Sizing - generally the slim body types of goldfish need more room as they’re more efficient swimmers, so things like commons and comets do well in a pond. Round bodied varieties like oranda or ryukin are less good at swimming and less hardy, and do well in aquariums.

Usual rule of thumb for fancies is 20 us gallons per fish - that’s about 75 litres each. For commons and comets, some people say 40 us gallons per fish which may be where some conflicting info comes from.

Others also argue they need less space (I think I know the site you refer to!) Respectfully I think that’s extremely poor advice. They are messy fish with a high bioload and the capacity to grow very large. You need sufficient space and heavy filtration to keep them in good health. 150l for two should be about right, but you’d need to resist temptation to add more, although a third could be possible with sufficiently heavy filtration and a strict water change schedule, unless you upgrade to a larger tank.

On that basis, they should be able to live out their lives comfortably in an aquarium and won’t require a pond.

In terms of adding baby fish to a big tank, just ensure there are areas for them to hide or shelter. It’s best to go with smooth decor or live plants, as goldfish are clumsy and can damage their fins or get trapped in things like caves and on rocks. Also ensure the filter intake is sized appropriately so they can’t get sucked in or stuck.

They are social but not schooling. Two would do fine together. I personally wouldn’t keep them alone as they do interact together and company provides enrichment. They are generally peaceful.

I hope this was helpful! They are great fish with a lot of personality ☺️



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