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  • Profile photo of bluefoxedbluefoxed
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    Post count: 8
    #17348 |

    Hello! I am posting this as kind of a final hope. I have one large goldfish in a 5 gallon tank. I woke up yesterday to find my fish floating belly up gasping. I had thought this to perhaps be ammonia poisoning so I immediately moved him to a 1 gallon hospital tank treated only with a water conditioner and some freshwater aquarium salt. When I tested the old aquarium water I realized that the ammonia was actually ok while the nitrate was over 150. However to my surprise, within a couple of hours he was swimming again in the hospital tank. I have been meaning to up size the tank for a while so yesterday I set up a 20 gallon tank with hopes of moving him soon.Overnight he had been in the 5 gallon tank after I had completely changed the water. I had put an airstone in it overnight, but not the usual filter. This morning I found him on his side still breathing, but not looking good. Now he is floating at the bottom of the tank and having some balance issues occasionally tipping sideways. Is there anything I can do for him at this point? Thank you!


    Profile photo of Venus (Goldfish Master)Venus (Goldfish Master)
    Keymaster
    Post count: 129

    Was the fish on the bottom belly up? or closer to the surface? What type of fish is it? Are you using test strips or tubes?

    With nitrate poisoning, the fish normally loses its appetite, and stays on the bottom, if not pressed to it. If the fish has been poisoned by nitrates, moving it into water without nitrates would have injured it further. You wouldn’t see it swimming around

    An air stone doesn’t oxygenate the water, and all goldfish need oxygenated water. Do you know your KH and or pH levels? If not, can you obtain by picking up a master test kit, or taking a sample of your tap and tank (to compare the two) to the pet shop for a free test. If you do so, ask for specific readings?

    Let’s start by performing this 911 water change. Lower the water temps as instructed. Follow each step closely http://www.goldfish-emergency.com/911-water-change/

    Perform the water change in both the main tank and the hospital tank. Once you have nitrates down to 20 ppm in the main tank, then you can return the fish home. The water change will help oxygenate the water. We’ll discuss how to keep it oxygenated after the water change and after I see your readings for KH and pH

    Perform the pitcher method of oxygenating water (found in the 911 water change) in the hospital tank periodically throughout the day, until the fish can return home


    Long live our fish

    Profile photo of bluefoxedbluefoxed
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    Post count: 8

    When I found him yesterday morning he was belly up on the bottom of the tank, however when I saw him this morning he was on his side at the top of the tank. And as for exactly what type of fish he is that is hard to say as I actually got him from a fair about 5 years ago. He is not a fancy goldfish however, I would guess maybe a comet? The pH for the tank he had been in prior to yesterday was quite acidic… around a 6 and the KH was 150. Now howver as I had said I changed the water completely so the water he is in now should have a normal pH. You recommend that I do a water change in the 20 gal that I just set up? I can however I just filled it yesterday and treated the water with some conditioner so it should not have any nitrates. At the moment he is kind of just resting on the bottom of the tank floating but not really swimming


    Profile photo of Venus (Goldfish Master)Venus (Goldfish Master)
    Keymaster
    Post count: 129

    It sounds to me like he is suffering from constipation. The intestinal tract of a goldfish is connected to the swim bladder organ. The gas in the tract is used by the bladder, giving the fish the ability to sink or rise at will. If the tract slows or becomes impacted, gas becomes trapped in the bladder, and the fish loses the ability to rest on the bottom

    How and what do you feed your fish?

    Okay no, there’s no reason to exchange water in the hospital tank, but after reading the 911 water change, perform the pitcher method to increase the oxygen levels. KH (carbonate mineral) gives water the ability to support oxygen, and your levels are really healthy; not acidic, but alkaline. pH is a combined reading of KH and O2 (oxygen) If KH is healthy, this means oxygen levels are low

    Do perform the water change in the main tank however. Remove the top of the tank water, and feed the tank as though the fish were in it so we can avoid breaking the cycle. Because the fish isn’t in the main tank, you can perform one large water change. Be sure to eliminate supersaturated gases as instructed in the 911 water change

    You’ll see the pH rise after using the pitcher method. You’ll learn how to oxygenate water by following the instructions in the 911 water change


    Long live our fish

    Profile photo of bluefoxedbluefoxed
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    Post count: 8

    I typically feed once a day in the evenings with pretty basic pet store goldfish flakes. Should I still be cooling the tank as described with pitchers of cold water? or should I just be mixing the water already present by re-pouring it over the tank?


    Profile photo of Venus (Goldfish Master)Venus (Goldfish Master)
    Keymaster
    Post count: 129

    That’s a tough one. If the nitrates were at 180, the fish was affected, and it will need less oxygen in colder water, but if the fish is constipated, cooling the water will slow its metabolism, slowing the tract. Let’s hold off until we can treat the constipation

    You’ll need an eye dropper and high grade oil. Do you have Castor or mineral oil on hand?

    Do you know your water temperature?


    Long live our fish

    Profile photo of Venus (Goldfish Master)Venus (Goldfish Master)
    Keymaster
    Post count: 129

    See my post above

    Here’s what I want you to do; scoop the fish up along with some tank water in a container that’s appropriately sized.

    Fill an eye dropper with oil halfway, and warm it under a faucet; just lukewarm

    Now, catch up the fish, and lift it’s head above the surface. In a moment it will gasp, giving you an opportunity to administer the oil. Don’t be bashful, push the tip past the mouth into the throat and squeeze. The fish will spit, so give it a moment, then hand carry it back to it’s tank, so as not to contaminate the water

    The oil will lubricate the tract, clearing it. It may take a few hours or a few days depending on the severity of the condition. Repeat the oil treatment morning and night until its swimming normally

    In the wild, goldfish are constant grazers, and this is how they’ve evolved, without stomachs. Feed a minimum of four times a day, feeding less more often. Be sure to feed the same amount you normally feed in a day, just spread out in smaller portions. Include peas in the diet. Buy the frozen kind without additives. Cook until soft and remove the shells. Squeeze the pea before feeding to make extra sure it’s soft

    When feeding flakes, hold a pinch between your fingers below the surface, rubbing them together to release in a sweeping motion. Make them work for their supper


    Long live our fish

    Profile photo of bluefoxedbluefoxed
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    Post count: 8

    The nitrate was definitely over 180, likely somewhere around 200. As for water temp, I don’t have an accurate reading but I would guess around 67 degrees or so. And for oil do have oil intended for treating nails… it is mainly mineral oil but does include quite a few other various chemicals.


    Profile photo of Venus (Goldfish Master)Venus (Goldfish Master)
    Keymaster
    Post count: 129

    That oil won’t work. You need pure oil; no added ingredients. If you don’t have any, I would suggest picking up a bottle of Castor oil, found at the grocery store in the pharmacy

    Pick up a thermometer while you’re at it. If the temps are low, that in itself could be causing the constipation. Goldfish are cold blooded, and their bodies slow in cold water. Although they can easily tolerate temps of 67f, overfeeding at this temp could cause issues

    So, you need peas, oil and a thermometer. While you’re at it, pick up a bottle of 3% hydrogen peroxide with no additives. We’ll use this to keep the water oxygenated until you can improve your set up

    Sorry for the delays in my response. Internet is fuzzy today


    Long live our fish

    Profile photo of bluefoxedbluefoxed
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    Post count: 8

    I have gotten the oil and I already have some hydrogen peroxide… I also have a water heater I had used for some tropical fish a while ago, should I set that up in the hospital tank to warm the water a bit? I had heard that cooked and unshelled peas were good for constipation and I have tried to feed him a few however he is completely uninterested. He was swimming erratically for a bit and now has calmed down again and is lying on his side with his gills seeming to work very hard.


    Profile photo of Venus (Goldfish Master)Venus (Goldfish Master)
    Keymaster
    Post count: 129

    Okay, he’s definitely affected by nitrates. Is he closer to the surface or on the bottom now?

    Peas don’t eliminate constipation, but can get a slow tract moving. Do the oil because there’s no time to waste. Can you manage? Be brave. Handling a fish is kinda scary, but its you can do it

    Pull a quart of tank water out; premix 1 ounce per 10 gallons of water the tank is holding; pour back in slowly and all around, mixing with your hand as you do so. Repeat again tonight before bed, in the morning, after work and before bed; three times daily


    Long live our fish

    Profile photo of Venus (Goldfish Master)Venus (Goldfish Master)
    Keymaster
    Post count: 129

    See my post above

    If possible pick up a pond pump that pushes 200 to 300 gallons of water per hour (GPH) You can find them at your local lawn and garden center; any place that sells pond supplies

    Or you can order one online
    http://www.pondplanet.com/pumps/Pond-Boss-225-GPH-Pond-Pump

    You’ll need a cylinder shaped sponge to slip over the basket, or you can buy square filter sponges from the pet shop to fashion a cylinder shaped sponge yourself


    Long live our fish

    Profile photo of Venus (Goldfish Master)Venus (Goldfish Master)
    Keymaster
    Post count: 129

    See my post above

    If possible pick up a pond pump that pushes 200 to 300 gallons of water per hour (GPH) You can find them at your local lawn and garden center; any place that sells pond supplies. We recommend a min of 100 (GPH) per 10 gallons of tank water

    Or you can order one online
    http://www.pondplanet.com/pumps/Pond-Boss-225-GPH-Pond-Pump

    You’ll need a cylinder shaped sponge to slip over the basket, or you can buy square filter sponges from the pet shop to fashion a cylinder shaped sponge yourself

    The pump will get your tank water oxygenated if the surface is exposed to fresh air


    Long live our fish

    Profile photo of bluefoxedbluefoxed
    Member
    Post count: 8

    Now he is resting on the bottom… I did give him the oil with the dropper, it was concerning how little he seemed to care that I was handling him and it did take a bit of work to get his mouth open.

    What do I mix the quart of tank water with? the hydrogen peroxide? and when I add it again later tonight do I continue to add another 1/2 oz? or just mix the water?


    Profile photo of Venus (Goldfish Master)Venus (Goldfish Master)
    Keymaster
    Post count: 129

    Whoops….H202 hydrogen peroxide

    It’s a bad combination, constipation and nitrate poisoning. A constipated fish can’t stay on the bottom, and a fish poisoned by nitrates stays on the bottom; the depth relieves the pressure caused by the toxin

    The H202 will oxygenate the water. Nitrates robs the blood of oxygen, so a fish is more likely to be affected by nitrates in water that is low in oxygen

    Fingers crossed


    Long live our fish

    Profile photo of bluefoxedbluefoxed
    Member
    Post count: 8

    Thank you so much for your help… I will continue to add the H202 3 times a day and hope for the best.


    Profile photo of Venus (Goldfish Master)Venus (Goldfish Master)
    Keymaster
    Post count: 129

    Glad to help. Yes, the H202 three times a day, and twice a day for the oil until you see the fish can remain comfortably on the bottom. Keep us posted with your progress


    Long live our fish

    Profile photo of bluefoxedbluefoxed
    Member
    Post count: 8

    Sorry to bother you again, but at what point should I stop upping the H2o2 concentration in the tank? It seems dangerous to just continue to add more.


    Profile photo of Venus (Goldfish Master)Venus (Goldfish Master)
    Keymaster
    Post count: 129

    Although the H202 you buy at the grocery store isn’t the best, it’s oxygenated water, and safe to use. Until you can get a pond pump set up in your main tank, continue using. If your fish is still alive this morning, you can think the H202. Test your pH levels after adding, and you’ll see what I mean

    Most of us use it daily, myself included, but we use a higher quality
    http://organic-goldfish.com/organic-water-treatments/oop-boost/

    No fish house is complete without a real pond pump. A pond pump sits on the floor of your tank, pulling water from the bottom, pushing it to the surface where gases are eliminated. These gases, mostly carbon dioxide, created from the waste your fish create fill a body of water, keeping oxygen from entering. The top loading filters you probably have in your main tank just can’t get the job done. They’re designed for tropical fish that don’t create a lot of waste

    Once you have a pond pump, you won’t have to perform the pitcher method to eliminate these gases, but you might want to continue using H202. Your fish’s blood stream has been compromised by lack of oxygen, so the fix….is heavily oxygenated water

    It’s also beneficial to open a window or two, and get some fresh air in your home. Did you remove the top of your tank? Good. Did you set up a fan so it skims the surface of the tank water? Even better

    If your fish survives, I’ll recommend a few treatments

    You can’t bother me. That’s why I’m here :good:


    Long live our fish

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