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
Hi - there are several things you can try so don't worry First off I'd not feed them for a couple of days and see what happens. Then when you do feed them keep a diary of what they have and what the effects are.
I'd also try switching from the Hikari stuff to a different brand to see if that makes a difference. Tetra Gold Japan is another very good sinking pellet and it might agree with them a bit more. Peas are a laxative for goldies so best kept to once a week
Frozen bloodworm is very good, as is frozen daphnia and brineshrimp. They come in little cubes so you just defrost one in a cup of tank water and plop it in (if you feel brave you can rinse them first in a tea strainer to rinse off the solution they come in which has got a bit of phosphate in it).
Mine also have broken up and soaked algae waters, I use Ocean Nutrition ones which have spirulina in them which is meant to be good for their digestion. I also give them Nutrafin Max spirulina tablets with garlic, Tetra Pro vegetable 'crisps' and JBL spirulina flakes. They have dried food in the morning, usually sinking pellets or algae wafers (when I say dried I do soak them for ages first) and then frozen food, veg or one of the other things in the evening.
What time in the evening do you feed them? When they poo does it have bubbles in it?
If any of the bits poking out of the water get a bit sore you can smear vaseline on them to protect them. Do they have lights? If so it's best to keep them off if the fish are having a floaty day in case the fish get a bit toasty.
Do you have live plants in the tank? If not try getting some elodea, hornwort or mossballs. All of these are good at removing nitrates as well as providing a snack for the fish. Nitrates over 40ppm can affect buoyancy. If you are interested in mossballs I've just bought some from eBay and they are excellent quality. I've bought from this seller before but they don't always have the mossballs so I've bought from someone else as well. The ones I bought recently are by far the best, link here for info: http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dl ... &ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT
Thanks for the reply - had a fish shop visit earlier and I've now got some of the Tetra Gold Japan and Ocean Nutrition wafers - shall see what sort of results they provide after a few days of fasting. Shop had none of the recommended plants, and the ebay seller was out of moss balls (I've bought from them before too, but it got cancelled as they were out of stock of the stuff I ordered then as well), so I've ordered with another seller who looked pretty good.
I feed them around 6.30pm-7pm, and lights out for them is around 11pm.
I never see bubbles in their poo, but they do love playing in the bubbles from the spray bar - could they be swallowing air when they do that? Today the ranchu was fine, then he went playing around chasing broccoli which was in the bubbles and five minutes later he was upside down (which hasn't happened for a long time). Righted himself but didn't seem too happy.
And funny you should mention sore backs... the ranchu (always him, Flump (the oranda) just gets on with it but little Chub seems to need more attention) seems to have developed what looks like fungus on his back where it pokes out of the water when he's buoyant - looks white and a little bit 'fluffy' (seems to have come on just in the last two days, he's never had it before). I'm guessing that bit of his skin is a little bit damaged from being out of the water so much... ah, more expense! I guess just a standard fungus treatment would be the best course there. Unless it's fishy sunburn from the light (he picks a spot right under it to float :() so shall leave that off too.
Hopefully they'll perk up a bit in the next few days, thanks again for the advice :)
Just to second what Suey says about nitrAte reduction - it can have a very significant effect on buoyancy for some fancies. If your tap water is high in nitrAte you should maybe consider a nitrAte reducing filter - otherwise increase your water changes. Floating plants e.g. baby duckweed can be helpful too.
Neilos wrote: And funny you should mention sore backs... the ranchu (always him, Flump (the oranda) just gets on with it but little Chub seems to need more attention) seems to have developed what looks like fungus on his back where it pokes out of the water when he's buoyant - looks white and a little bit 'fluffy' (seems to have come on just in the last two days, he's never had it before). I'm guessing that bit of his skin is a little bit damaged from being out of the water so much... ah, more expense! I guess just a standard fungus treatment would be the best course there. Unless it's fishy sunburn from the light (he picks a spot right under it to float :() so shall leave that off too.
I'd try just a little melafix and pimafix. It could just be that his slimecoat has thickened up so have a good look at him and see if it's that before you try and meds
Maybe try moving lights out to a little earlier. Mine have lights from 11-4, then 5-9pm. They often faff about long after 9 but sometimes they are sparko as soon as the lights are off! If you have room lights on they are are quite happy pottering about in the gloom in late evening
He seems much better today, swimming about happily 99% of the time with occasional stop-offs at his favourite floating spot (I'm sure he's watching TV sometimes, as the spot he picks has the best view in the whole tank). Flump is sulking because he hasn't been fed, but I'm sure he understands :D
The whiteness on his back isn't visible without the light, I'll keep an eye on him though.
Actual lights out is 8pm or so (when their aquarium light goes off), room lights stay on til 11pm, then I cover them (they have a modified curtain which I fit over the glass to block out light at night, as I'm often awake til the early hours and they'd not really have a night time otherwise).
Hope no one minds the double-post, just a quick update on them.
Both have settled down nicely, and spent the day swimming around like normal, with no floaty episodes.
Moss balls from ebay arrived today and I put three in just to see what the fish thought - didn't seem impressed for a while, but after about 6 hours and once their lettuce had run out Chub realised he might be able to eat them and had a closer look, Flump joined in and they spent most of the evening gumming them and poking them around
White patch on his back seems to have faded, so going to keep watching and hold off treatment for now. The pet shop I went to had Pimafix, but all their bottles expired in July 2009 (no one buys it apparently, but I let them know and it all got thrown out) so maybe ebay if it comes back.
Hopefully they'll keep the good behaviour up when proper feeding resumes in the morning :)