Goldfish Distress

Goldfish Distress

Goldfish distress please help

Goldfish distress need help. We inherited a goldfish from a friend who was moving out of state. The fish lived in a bowl which I immediately upgraded, however, the kids wanted to add two very small tropical fish (I think red fin?).  Goldfish was very happy in 10 gallon tank and doing well for about 10 months, however, it was time to upgrade to a 55 gallon (still be very much a novice with aquariums) Please help goldfish distress

Goldfish distress

He was doing well for the first month or two in his new home, and we added a few more small tropical’s for the kids.  One day a neon tetra went missing.  Not sure what happened to his body.

I believe earlier the same day we had added 2 algae eaters and one immediately died in the tank, which I recovered.

One night my wife said goldfish wasn’t eating, and he was usually the pig in the tank!  (He was stretching his mouth out a lot).   The next day or two he appeared very scared of his surroundings and occasionally was darting around.  We kept an eye on things.   Very soon, it looked like his eyes were beginning to get Popeye.  We got him out of the tank with a net (probably bad idea looking back) and put him in a hospital tank.

Tried these medicines in this order.

API Salt



Maracyn 2


He seemed to be doing better then got white spots on his back fin.  I tried the 84F/salt for two week program.  About 11-12 days into this program, I noticed he was getting pop eye again.  I started with the Macacyn 2 but wasn’t seem to be helping.  I was doing 25-50 water changes daily.

Goldfish pouting

A few days passed and he was getting a black/ash like color on his top/back fin.  Then it progress to no swimming laying on bottom, then falling on side and staying there for days breathy heavy and not eating.

Still doing water changes, no salt now, as I read this type of salt could be bad for him.  And just focusing on Metronidazole.   He still is in bad shape and not upright on bottom often.  He’s gill bone and face area seem really puffy, as well as his tummy (could be a female too, don’t know).

Hopefully I will be able to attached a few pictures to this scenario.

By | 2019-04-01T18:36:09-05:00 June 7th, 2016|Categories: Goldfish Koi Health Issues|

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  1. Venus June 8, 2016 at 4:20 pm

    Okay, then opt for the garlic treatment without salt

    Do you have aquarium salt on hand? If so, a quick dip in a salt bath would be extremely beneficial. Fungus interferes with gill function

    If in a few days we see the fish is going to make a come back, I’ll recommend a treatment for organ function if the bloating is still an issue

    If the fish isn’t eating by tomorrow, let’s discuss force feeding, and here’s why; the swim bladder organ is connected to the intestinal tract by a tiny tube where gas is exchanged. This gas, created from waste in the tract is utilized by the bladder, giving the fish the ability to sink or rise at will. If there’s no food in the tract, there’s no gas, and the fish is unable to lift from the bottom. It’s not life threatening in itself, but these fish are also unable to tilt at a 45 degree angle to feed

    It’s possible the fish would like to eat, but can’t lift or swim to the food, and it’s also possible its condition was serious enough that its lost its appetite; it happens.

  2. DrumandFly June 8, 2016 at 3:36 pm


    He is not showing any signs of eating. He has not produced any waste as well. Although, last week he as long clear waste, but only once that I know of.

    He does seem bloated, and the garlic program says don’t not use if bloating. Confused what to do??

  3. Venus June 8, 2016 at 2:27 pm

    See my post below

    The little cotton balls are a common fungus that form readily in poor quality water; warm water low in oxygen, low in KH value. Goldfish and beneficial bacteria prefer the opposite, cold water, rich in mineral value

    The chemicals you’ve invested in not only injured the environment and possibly your fish as well, didn’t kill the fungus

    Here’s a few recommendations

    This sea salt and garlic combo will destroy the fungus as well as any other bad bacteria in the fish house. It will also improve its gill function, improve immunity, boost general health.

    This water treatment oxygenates water; good to have on hand, especially if you have a low pH in your tap.

    Here’s our pamphlet on cycling your fish house safely. Scroll down the page to find the SEMI Live fish free cycle

    Last but not least, read the 10 steps to goldfish keeping and learn about our methods; they work

  4. Venus June 8, 2016 at 1:53 pm

    I’m impressed. From the photo, I didn’t expect the fish to make it through the night, or the day, whichever the case may be

    Excellent work

    Are you performing the pitcher method? Is the fish at home now? or still in the hospital tank?

    Goldfish are cold blooded. They become dormant in low temperatures, beginning stages at 64f. They reach full dormancy at 44f. In their natural habitat, it’s normal for them to experience lower temperatures in the winter. This is how they evolved. In their dormant state, their body functions slow. They need less oxygen. Lowering the water temperature saves lives by buying us time; time to get the things we need in order to improve the water quality of the environment

    It’s also true that lowering a temperature, and then raising it again of a fish will jump start the organ functions

    For many years we’ve been using our cold treatment on fish suffering from just about any issue; giving us time to instruct; time for the fish keeper to get the supplies they need; time to do the necessary water changes. It works. The first thing I do when I get a sick fish in to get it in cold water

    Now that we have the water oxygenated, it’s critical to keep it that way, so keep that KH up, and continue using the pitcher method until you can get a pond pump set up in your fish house

    Have you or can you obtain water treatment that converts ammonia and nitrite? From the looks of your test results posted on our facebook page, your tank hasn’t cycled, making it a dangerous place.

    Ammonia, the first toxin in the cycle is created by the waste your fish produces. From the ash coloring you describes, it sounds like your fish may have been burned by ammonia. Where there is waste, there will soon be ammonia. When ammonia is present, beneficial bacteria form to feed on it. They convert it to nitrites, another type of friendly bug forms to feed on it, converting it to nitrates. Nitrates is the final toxin to form in what we call, the nitrogen cycle. Nitrates is easily tolerated by goldfish in low amounts

    The only healthy environment for our fish, is a cycled one.

    The water needs to be treated so that your fish will be protected from ammonia and nitrite during this process. Amquel Plus or Prime are the most popular if you’re in the US. Hard to find out of the country

    Has the fish shown any interest in eating?

    • DrumandFly June 8, 2016 at 2:23 pm

      He is still in his Hospital tank. I will have to get educated on the “pitcher method” and will begin to chill him down a bit.

      Not sure what you mean by Pond Pump. He is an indoor tank guy.

      I have been doing 50 percent water changes mostly. So should I stop doing this? Also, should I discontinue the Medicine?

      Is Top Fin water conditioner ok to use, instead of Prime or Amquel Plus?

  5. DrumandFly June 8, 2016 at 12:43 pm


    The white spots looked like tiny cotton balls attached. Very random on the tails.

    I did the baking soda and Looks like the parameters about KH 140 and PH about an 8.0 now.

    I thought I read somewhere that dropping the temperature in the tank was not a good thing for a sick fish. Is this true.

    I have a general water conditioner by Top Fin. Oh, we are on well water too.

    So what do you recommend next. He at least seems more upright now. Very happy to see that.

  6. Venus June 7, 2016 at 2:52 pm

    See my post above

    I see your water is low in KH, so we need buffer asap. Once we do this, the pitcher method described in the 911 water change will raise the pH

    Remove a gallon of tank water; add one tablespoon of bicarbonate (baking) soda; mix it up good and pour it in slowly, mixing with your hand as you do so

    Wait for a half hour and test KH again. The goal is 140 ppm, so continue adding soda to a gallon of tank water, using more or less soda considering the results until you reach it

  7. Venus June 7, 2016 at 2:08 pm

    The white spots, were they dots, blobs or more white marks on the body? Perhaps the latter, because the ash coloration you describe is actually healing burns caused by ammonia or carbonate mineral poisoning. Fresh burns are white. Considering the new set up, ammonia is probably the cause. Either one will cause the fish to dart around in a panic. You may notice the fins pulled close to the body too. In most cases, when you see the dark areas, the ammonia is long gone

    Popeye is caused by low oxygen level in the water

    Your fish is suffering from poor water quality. The chemicals you’re using will worsen the fish’s condition, and will break the cycle, if there is one.

    Do you understand the nitrogen cycle?

    Do you know your water parameters? ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, GH, KH and pH? If not, pick up a master test kit, and let’s have a look. Provide actual readings of tank and tap to compare the two

    Are you prepared for some hard labor? Perform the water change found in the link below to improve the overall water quality and remove the chemicals you’ve added

    If you’re seeing some swelling, chances are the chemicals have poisoned the fish, compromising the organs

    Obviously you don’t have high nitrates if your tank is cycled, so there’s not need to perform the 5% water changes every half hour noted in the water change, but do lower the temps as directed

    Can you obtain water treatment that converts ammonia and nitrite to a safe form? such as Amquel Plus or Prime?

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