My fantail fish has been sick for around 2 months now. At first I thought he had swimbladder, as he has been floating on top of the tank and one side of his stomach appears to be swollen. I have tried everything to help him, including adding marine salts to the tank, treating him with Interpet Swimbladder Treatment and feeding him mashed up cooked peas, but nothing seems to help him. He does eat what he can in his position (which is quite difficult) and I have even been hand feeding him. Can anyone help or give any advice, as now I am wondering if maybe its something other than swimbladder?
Re: Sick Fantail - Swimbladder or something else?
Hi again - it would be great if you could get their water tested by your fish shop. Most places will do tests for you if you ask them, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate are the most important ones to get. If you can get them done ask the shop to write down the exact results for you as 'fine' can be a little vague
I'm afraid 25 litres is somewhat on the small side for them, brace yourself and have a read of the link in my signature about size and life expectancy. I'm guessing the fish aren't very big either, if they are 3 1/2 years old they should be pretty big by now. Goldies can get stunted if their tanks are a little small, unfortunately this can sometimes result in swimming problems as their internal organs don't develop quite as they should and it all gets a bit squashed up. So it's possible that is part of the problem
Are you familiar with the nitrogen cycle? If not have a read of the link in my sig about it. It's basically about how good bacteria grow in the filter and process the waste from the fish from toxic to non-toxic. When you say charcoal filter do you mean it has carbon in it? If so, carbon removes medications from the water so any medications you've added won't have had much effect if there was carbon in the filter. Generally speaking it's only really needed to remove meds, if you have a sponge or ceramics in the filter that will do just fine
Cleaning wise - it's better to do frequent smaller changes than one big one, usually 25% a week is enough. If you test the water weekly then you'll know if there is a problem or if nitrates are building up a bit.
So ... it's possible that the water quality isn't as good as it could be which can can contribute to swimming problems. Nitrate over 40ppm can certainly cause issues. A larger home for them would help alleviate any water problems as the larger body of water will help keep things diluted
The red streaks can be a sign of a few things including bacterial infection, water quality problems and stress. No fluff and no sticky out scales is a good thing though Some water test results are the only way to rule out whether the streaks are water quality related or whether he's perhaps picked up an infection.
Flakes quite frequently disagree with fancies, for some reason they just don't seem to get on with them. I'd recommend a sinking pellet such as Tetra Gold Japan and make sure you soak it well before feeding. Peas are good, they act as a laxative and help clear things out. But too many can be a bit, well, much
Ok, so what to do for him now - don't feed them at all for a couple of days. If he has a problem with his digestion he might need a while for his guts to calm down. He might have inflamed guts which could be producing gas, thus causing the swelling and floatyness. Fasting for a couple of days will help ease this. Try pellets instead of flake.
Change your water change routine to 25% weekly, make sure you give the gravel a good swoosh about too to get all the griff out of it.
Check out your filter and remove any carbon in it if possible - if you get stuck on this a pic of the filter willh help us figure it out When you clean the filter make sure you only use tank water and not tap water as tap water will kill off the good bacteria. Check out the nitrogen cycle link and make sure your filter bacteria have developed.
Re: Sick Fantail - Swimbladder or something else?
Oh bless him, he doesn't look too chipper does he I'd definitely try fasting for at least a couple of days, maybe longer. He'll be fine with no food for a while even thought it does sound a bit mean. That sort of floating is often digestive, they get air/gas trapped in the guts and so they float. Plus they get tired trying to sort themselves out all the time which only makes them worse
Good news on the possible upgrade, I can't say it will magically make him better overnight but it will certainly make your life easier and will give him a bigger body of water plus better surface area of oxygen exchange And a test kit is a great investment, you'll be able to keep track of things so much more easily
Love his name btw! Also, he's a red cap oranda as opposed to a fantail. Doesn't really make much difference as they are all variations on a theme of goldfish but thought you might be interested Orandas tend to have a slightly more compressed body shape than fantails who tend to be a little more streamlined, not much. So orandas can be very slightly more prone to buoyancy issues anyway, their innards can get a little squished at the best of times. He does look a little on the small side for a fish of his age, I'd say he's possibly a little smaller than my ranchu who's just over a year old.
Hope he pulls through for you, let us know how he goes and don't worry if you need to ask anything else, just let us know