Hi, i wonder if you can help. I have a red cap fantail who is ill. It stated that i noticed after swimming he would float straight to the top of the tank. The next day the other fish kept nibbling at his fins (black moor,2 red caps). He then started floating in the tank alot. Ive seperated him now to a seperate tank. He is floating upside down. Doesnt eat food. Ive given him some treatment for his fins can you advise anything else? Does he have a bladder infection? The tank he came from is very clean with good filter and partial water changes once a week. Any help or comments would be much appreciated. Why do they nip his tail? Will it grow back?
Hello telturbo and welcome to fishkeeping It sounds like your red cap has swimbladder trouble, it could be constipated, If it is constipation you can try starving him for 4 days then feed frozen garden peas "shelled and defrosted of course" or even a salt bath in epsom salts ( you can buy this at the chemist) and see if this helps, if not you can buy swimbladder treatment by Interpet. As for the fin nipping they will do that as the fish is not well and they will try to eat anything that floats past as they think its food, you can add aquarium salt to his water this will help with the ragged fins, can I ask if you test your water at all for nitrate etc as this can effect the swimblader too.
Read the information below and it may give you some Idea to his problem.
My fish are upside-down/ can't swim This is a common problem whereby fish lose their equilibrium and are unable to maintain their position. This can result in the fish swimming awkwardly, laying upside-down either on the bottom or top of the water, or unable to maintain a horizontal position in the water. This is often attributed to swim-bladder problems and indeed this is the most common cause of loss of equilibrium. The swim-bladder is an air-filled sac laying just under the backbone at the top of the abdominal cavity. By inflating / deflating the swim-bladder, the fish can adjust its position in the water and maintain neutral buoyancy.
The swim-bladder can be affected by bacterial or viral diseases. In addition the swim-bladder may malfunction, leading to over or under inflation. Clearly anything which affects the proper functioning of the swim-bladder will also affect the fish's equilibrium.
However, before diagnosing all equilibrium problems as swim-bladder disease, we should be aware that there are other conditions which can cause buoyancy problems. Disease in other organs such as kidneys and intestines for example can also cause problems. This can happen if there is any swelling of the affected organs leading to either a change in organ density or pressure being put on the swim-bladder. This is often a problem with fancy goldfish whose abdominal cavity is tightly packed.
Treatment is difficult, mainly because it is virtually impossible to diagnose the cause and secondly there are only a few conditions that will respond to treatment. It is always worth considering a course of antibiotic injections in case a bacterial infection is involved. An attempt should be made to see whether the fish is defecating, in case the problem is being caused by an intestinal blockage. If this is suspected it is worth either trying to feed the fish a few frozen peas, which act as a laxative, or else try baths in Epsom salts (70g / litre for 5 minutes) which has the same effect.
If these treatments do not work, there is little else that can be done. There is some work being carried out on exploratory surgery, but there are very few veterinarians undertaking this "cutting edge" procedure.
There are a few reports of fish recovering from balance problems, so it is worth giving the fish some time. One report suggested "wedging" the fish upright between two objects was helpful. If there is no sign of recovery after 7-10 days, the kindest thing is to euthanase the fish.
do you feed live food, i was told and I stand by this, that all fanfail goldfish should have live daphnia once a week, to prevent constipation which can lead to swimbladder infections. You can tell if it is constipation by the fact that it will produce stringy poops, and light coloured too. Also all dried food should be soaked for 10 mins in tank water before feeding and preferably you should switch to feeding sinking goldfish pellets. Its a common problem and is mainly due to the fishes distorted body shape. Keeping your water quality perfect is a must and by far the most common cause of swimbladder infections. Floating is by far more sucessfully treated than sunken fish, the floating is usually caused by air, due to either gasping air at the surface (bad water quality) or by bloating caused by the dry food, soaking up fluid inside the fish, hense making the fish lighter. I hope this and the excellant advice given by goldy are helpful. di
The only problem with feeding live food Di is that you run the risk of introducing disease or parasites into the tank, you are safer with frozen or freeze dried.
Here is something else for you to read that may help:
One of the commonest complaints the fancy goldfish can develop is that of swim bladder derangement, when the swim bladder retains too much internal gas and results in the fish being unable to leave the water's surface. Occasionally but less frequently the opposite occurs, and the fish is unable to get off the bottom without a good deal of energy-sapping struggling. The round-bodied fish are particularly prone to this condition, due to the congestion of their internal organs within the globular body profile. Good feeding is often the means of preventing this distressing complaint. The fact that it is possible to maintain a goldfish throughout its natural life with nothing more than one kind of dried food is its downfall. The dried food is dehydrated to a considerable degree, of course. When digested it will absorb water and swell significantly, pressing against already precariously positioned internal organs, which can in turn cause permanent swim bladder derangement. Soaking the food before feeding it is a partial remedy, but by feeding a much more nutritious diet, including some frozen natural foods of shrimps, insects, and other meaty products, the problem will most often be completely avoided.
I am very careful to avoid swimbladder trouble with my 2 Orandas and weekly or fortnightly give them a bit of a Pea Shelling the pea is very important i have found as my Oranda got some sharp shell stuck uncomfortably in it's mouth, it eventually spat it out...and then cleverly tried to eat it again I also give them Dapnia weekly now, as a treat - but have just read in another post this could be a risk of introducing infection