Hi, I have a problem with one...possibly two, of my 7 week old goldfish fry. They are in a 30L tank with a heater set at 24°C. I have been feeding them baby brine shrimp, but a couple of weeks ago also started feeding them crushed dried daphnia and Liquifry No3. They have their tank vacuumed each day, when I change 60-70% of the water. A couple of weeks ago I was having issues with pH, and this led to an ammonia spike...this was rectified by adding crushed coral. They had been doing fine, although some were growing much faster than the others, and two of the bigger ones have now gone to live in the big boys tank. Sadly, the smallest one died...one minute he was swimming around just fine, and then a few minutes later his little body was stuck to the filter :( But I'm thinking maybe the ammonia spike was too much for him as he was very small compared to the others. Sadly one of them, Button (I have four remaining in the fry tank) has spent the last week lying on the bottom. He does try to swim about and manages to swim with a very zigzaggy motion, he'll swim up to the top and do a few loops of the tank, then sinks to the bottom, where he can't maintain a stable position. He usually ends up on his side, or on his head...poor little thing. I did take him out and put him in a separate box, but the water was getting so cold (my house is like a freezer!) and I don't have a spare heater or filter...or a spare socket, so I ended up putting him back in the fry tank. Now his little brother Seven has started to show the same signs...lying on his side on the bottom...although, he is still very active. I have continued to check the water daily...ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrates 5-10, pH 6.8 (still low, but much better than it was, and a stable 6.8 now). I've tried feeding him mashed peas (which my adult fish have every week and love them), but he didn't seem to know what to do with it. I've lowered the level of water in the tank, so he doesn't have to swim so high to reach the surface, and I've cut down on the food...but he's not getting any better after a full week now. Am I being cruel to him by leaving him like this, I keep looking at the clove oil, but he looks so determined when he's swimming I don't want to put him to sleep if he still has a chance of a happy life. Any other suggestions of what to do, or if it could be something other than a swimbladder disorder. Many thanks in advance.
Just a thought, but the dried daphnia may be causing problems as it can swell after it's been eaten and block up the digestive tract causing pressure on the swim bladder. Try starving 24 hours then offering peas again to unblock him, and switch to pre-soaked flake or pellet food in place of the daphnia.
Thank you for the reply, I'll definitely try that. I have reduced the amount of food, but didn't want to completely stop as they're so young. But if you think they'll be ok, I'll definitely give it a go...fingers crossed. Thanks again :)
Well...I tried not feeding for a few days, and tried peas again. Little Button is still lying on the bottom flopped over on his side. He does swim every so often, but has to wiggle about to swim...and it seems to make him tired very quickly. I've tried some swimbladder treatment, which has made no difference so far. I now have two others lying on their side, little Seven likes to sit on the heater, wedged between that and the side of the tank. The other little one sits flopped over on the top of the filter. The bigger one, Fry, is fine and swims around all day and is clearly growing...the others haven't shown any significant growth for the past four weeks. I'm really worried about them :( Any ideas would be welcome, thanks.
Sadly I can't think of anything else to suggest. Unfortunately, a lot of goldfish are born with deformities affecting the swim bladder and these become evident as they grow. There is little you can do if it's congenital.
I did think that...I was just hoping it would be something I could treat. I've grown attached to the funny little things over the past two months and even at this age they have their own little ways. That's very sad news...but thank you.
The only other suggestion I can think of, and I don't want to raise your hopes, but I vividly recall at least one person on another now-defunct forum who swore by Repashy Soilent Green for swimbladder problems in goldfish. Although the formula is/was not created for goldfish, she did have success with it - spirulina is an ingredient in it which is meant to be beneficial for swimbladder problems. If it's not too late, I wonder if that might be worth a try.
Thank you so much for your help. I will try for one of them, he's only shown signs of problems for a few days. The other two have sadly just gone down hill fast...I keep putting it off, but I think it will be kinder to put them to sleep :( I can't stand watching the poor little things suffer anymore, they just lay there looking up at me...and it makes me sad to see them like this. I just also feel sad about being the one to end their days. But I'm hoping that at least with clove oil it will be quick and painless :( Thanks again though...I really appreciate your help.
Sorry to hear they've deteriorated so fast. That does indicate that it's likely to be a congenital deformity. You've done your best for them so although this is very sad, there really wasn't anything more you could have done.