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rubadub rubadub
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  • Posted on: 10/9/2009 7:08
Fish lying stationary on its side #1
Hi,

One of the new yellow comets is lying on its side on the floor of the pond, not moving at all unless I touch it. Any ideas what the problem might be or what I should do?

I thought it was dead this morning because it was flat on its side on the floor of the pond and went to scoop it out with a net and it swam off just as the net touched it. It was hard to see but it looked to be swimming ok once it moved. A little later I could see it again on its side flat on the floor of the pond. It is still there, with no noticable gill movement or anything else that might signify that it is alive.

I have just tested the water and it is 0.1 mg/l(ppm) ammonia, 0 nitrite and 0 nitrate. I have no way of measuring but the water felt very cold.

Here is the best pic I could take, there are no obvious signs of anything out of the ordinary to my eyes. Note that it is flat on its side, you can't really tell that from the photo.

Original Image

I still have the old bathtub that I could move it into if you think it should be separated from the other fish?

Any help appreciated.
rubadub rubadub
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  • Posted on: 10/9/2009 9:48
Re: Fish lying stationary on its side #2
Could the fish simply be sleeping?

I have been searching online and most of what I can find talks about fish who are "nose down" or similar, but my fish is simply lay flay on it's side on the floor.

Some searches talk about swim bladder problems, but my fish could swim off ok once I had touched him. I have been feeding them twice (sometimes three times) a day with all they can eat within a few minutes, and this one isn't one of the braver fish so doesn't eat as much as the greedy ones.

Other searches talk about infection and diseases but there are no marks, blobs or ragged edges to his fins.

Not near the pond at the mo so can't check the fish right now.
Fishadmin Fishadmin
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  • Posted on: 10/9/2009 13:20
Re: Fish lying stationary on its side #3
Hi,

Might be worth filling in your profile with info about the pond and inhabitants.. gives people something to start from when advising.
rubadub rubadub
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  • Posted on: 10/9/2009 13:47
Re: Fish lying stationary on its side #4
Thanks for the advice, I've been meaning to update it since I moved the fish from the temporary bathtub to the new pond.

Copied here to save anyone having to look:

A rigid fibreglass pond raised above ground.

Filtered by: Oase aquamax 6000 and filtoclear 6000 (which has a UV).

Pond set up in August 2009 though the filter was in use and cycled months before that.

Inhabitants:
3 goldfish fry
2 small yellow comets
2 small red comets
2 small shubunkin

Plants:
2 mature water lilies
1 clump of water hyacinth
6 bunches of Elodea Crispa
1 water soldier

The 3 fry were left over from looking after someone elses fish and were born sometime early this year! The other fish were bought from a LFS in August 2009.

Original Image

There are more bricks around the sides since that photo was taken, but it is nowhere near complete.
peediepixie peediepixie
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  • Posted on: 10/9/2009 14:57
Re: Fish lying stationary on its side #5
Hiya, how long has the pond been set up for? Did you do anything to cycle the pond before adding the fish? I'm just a bit concerned as your readings for the water aren't as they should be. You should have 0 ammonia and 0 nitrIte and a reading of 40ppm or less for nitrAte.
I'd do a water change asap to get some clean water in there, around 50% if it's feasible but I don't know much about keeping ponds, sorry!
Is the fish that is ill one of your new fish? Did you quarantine the new fish before adding them at all?
Sorry for all the questions!
Original Image
rubadub rubadub
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  • Posted on: 10/9/2009 19:32
Re: Fish lying stationary on its side #6
Hi,

Sorry for the late reply, I've been dealing with another emergency (what a day!).

When I came back tonight the fish was still on its side (the same side) in a different part of the pond. His mouth is moving but I can't see his gills doing much. Got a better change for a photo, see attached:

Original Image

I'm just doing a large (~40%) water change, the new water is going in now. I weekly pump out ~10% old water, then put enough Tetra Pond Aquasafe (a dechlorinator) in for the whole 850 liters then fill the pond with tap water (thats how it says to do it on the bottle).

I took a Ph test before the water change and it has risen to ~8.5 since the last reading when it was <8 on the 31st August. This is a worry.

This pond was set up at the very start of August but I had a temporary pond before that and the pump and filter had cycled in there many months ago. When setting up the new pond I pumped in lots of the old ponds water and just moved the pump from the old pond into the new one. I assume that keeps all the good bacteria in the filter and the new pond starts off already cycled.

My normal test results in the old and the new pond have always been very low ammonia, very low nitrite and just a little bit of nitrate, and every now and then I get a 0,0,0 result like this morning.

I do have the old pond (waterless now), so I could quarantine the poorly fish if anyone thinks that is a good idea?

The new pond started off with just three fry (~1 inch long) in there, and after a few weeks we got the 6 new fish. The new fish were from a LFS where the water seemed to flow between all the holding tanks for the new fish so I saw little point in keeping the 6 separated from each other for quarantine. We put the new fish straight in to the pond, no quarantine
Fishadmin Fishadmin
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  • Posted on: 10/9/2009 20:43
Re: Fish lying stationary on its side #7
I wouldn't move the fish.. the stress will probably finish it off.

How deep is the pond?

Are there any cats that could have been stressing the fish?

I'm not sure that you should be putting in enough Tetra Pond Aquasafe for the whole volume of water in the pond but maybe ponds are different.
rubadub rubadub
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  • Posted on: 10/9/2009 20:53
Re: Fish lying stationary on its side #8
Hi,

There are cats around and they were very interested in the old pond. I haven't seen them around the new pond, but I bet they still come around.

The pond is completely netted against the cats and there is little to no place for the cats to sit and watch the fish. The water level is about 3 inches below the tightly stretched netting.

The pond is over 2 ft deep, about 2.5 ft maybe.

The instructions on the Tetra Pond AquaSafe say that if filling directly from the hose then add enough AquaSafe to treat the entire volume. I don't have enough buckets to pre-treat the water before it goes in the pond.

Thanks for the advice about moving him, I will keep him in the pond and see how he is in the morning.
rubadub rubadub
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  • Posted on: 11/9/2009 6:20
Re: Fish lying stationary on its side #9
Hi,

A quick update for this morning, the fish is still lay on the bottom of the pool motionless apart from its mouth opening and closing. It is pretty much in the same position as last night but is slightly obscured by vegetation so I can't see too clearly, but there still doesn't seem to be any marks, lumps or bumps on it.

All other fish that I can see are swimming around and look normal.

I have the chance to go to the LFS this afternoon to get anything that might help, any ideas? Apart from the advice not to move it, would bringing the poorly fish inside into a new aquarium and warming it up a bit help (I would have to buy the aquarium etc!).
Otter Otter
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  • Posted on: 11/9/2009 9:42
Re: Fish lying stationary on its side #10
My guess would be a swim bladder problem. If a fish can't maintain neutral buoyancy, it will either float to the surface or sink. Your fish sinks, and then it falls over on its side because comets, unlike fish that naturally have a small swim bladder, are not designed for benthic parking. If your fish always falls on the same side, then the upside probably has slightly higher buoyancy. When it swims, the fish keeps off the bottom using the power of its muscles. But because it's ill, it settles back to the bottom to rest again instead of treading water all day. Does this theory fit what you've seen?

The usual advice for buoyancy problems is to fast the fish for a few days and then feed it peas. This is based on the assumption that the problem isn't actually the swim bladder, but the an obstruction in the GI tract. However, comets are a lot less likely to have this problem than fancy goldfish. And it sounds like your fish isn't eating anyway.

I don't want to tell you how to treat your fish because it's not clear to me what's causing the problem, and an irrelevant treatment would just put more stress on your fish and perhaps interfere with its natural healing process. Nature is wise, hence if you've got no clue, it's best to let nature go on doing what it was doing. If I were you, I'd post on all the goldfish forums until I found someone who knew more about heavy comets.
http://www.kokosgoldfish.invisionzone ... ase-diagnosis-treatments/

Best of luck.