I have a 240 gal tank with 4 fancies, 2 boys 2 girls. Before Christmas one of the girls was experiencing buoyancy problems floating 45′ with tail up, this went away then soon after I found some baby fry. I didn’t see the eggs I guess most were eaten. I now have 2 baby goldfish in a separate 90 gal tank and they are doing very well and growing quickly.
Not long after the girl started to get the same 45′ floating and was also being harassed by the boys (spots on gills) so I guessed she had another load of eggs.
But since then her problems have been getting worst and worse. she started bulging on one side and starting to sink. Now she is mostly lying on the bottom of the tank. she can wiggle swim a little when she wants, but other wise just lays there. She has a protruding lump one side that’s fairly firm to the touch.
She kept being hassled by the boys even in this state, and nothing happened, so I have moved her into the tank with the babies.
A, N and N all 0, PH 7.5. external filter on the large tank. Feed adults Japan gold, peas and bloodworms, Babies are on liquify powder and no 1, first bites and baby daphnia.
I’m doing weekly 1/3 water changes on both tanks.
Any suggestions very welcome on how to treat her.
Please keep us updated on color changes in the babies. This could be very interesting
Wow…………..those babies are huge now, and gorgeous. Interesting that their body types are different than the other fish in the tank, and that may be a very good thing, as the shortened bodies (as you’ve seen) do cause health issues
I just love their coloring
Yes. I agree. Mom is doing much better, and this is probably as good as it gets, which is pretty good. You’ve done a great job with the fish, and I know you must be enjoying them
Thanks so much for sharing
Sorry I haven’t posted for a while. I just wanted to give a quick update and say I think mum is now fully healed.
Here body shape is a little lop-sided and still swims slightly nose down, but I think thats just how she is now. She can swim eat and play quite independently. And I have just reintroduced here to her ‘now very big’ babies.
This is great news. Well done
Yes. By all means put her back home. I hope she uses the jets to her advantage, but now that you’re practiced at releasing eggs manually, you’re ready. If she shows signs of tilting forward, you’ll know what to do. Let’s hope this isn’t an issue
You’re so right about high maintenance pets being rewarding. Speaking of fish, these are the ones that have taught me well
I think I call this success! :
She is now swimming almost perfectly, she is still a little lopsided but can get everywhere in the tank she wants.
It’s amazing what a few peas could do. I think a lot of owners would have given up on her for no reason.
(Unless you think it’s a mistake) I’m thinking of putting her back in the big tank at the weekend, with the pond pump. This way she has more room to swim and the babies smaller tank will get less adult poop, therefore stay a better water quality, as this tank only has an internal filter.
But keeping a very close eye on her to see what happens. Yes she may well start being a high maintenance fish. But out of all my pets, the high maintenance ones also tend to be the most rewarding.
I’ll keep up the pea routine I think from now on even if anyones at 100%. It’s actually very enjoyable. One of my other males is now very into hand feeding. I might try with some defrosted bloodworm cubes.
All signs point to impacted eggs, although, it’s possible the eggs were released at some point and time. She’s got some gas building up in her swim bladder now, and if she had impacted eggs, she would be tilted nose down, but then again, impacted eggs could cause tilting to one side. It’s also possible when she’s got developed eggs, some other issue is aggravated; hope this isn’t the case
When we say impacted, it means she’s developed eggs on top of eggs that haven’t been released, and this is what causes the buoyancy
I wish it was as easy as keeping her separate from the males, but female fish need the males. Some can release eggs on their own, but most need the help. I’m so proud of you for performing the procedure; the pump and the manual method
It would be great if we could take our females to the vets to be spayed. Sadly, most females that live to a ripe old age will die from female issues; some sooner than later. She’s young, and shouldn’t be having any issues. I wouldn’t be surprised if this isn’t an ongoing thing, but now you’re ready. Wait until you see her tilting nose down before trying the procedures again
It’s likely she’ll have issues whether she’s in with the boys or the babies; a high maintenance fish. I look at it like this, and most of us around here do too. She has a will to live, and you have the will to help her…it’s beautiful
Her bladder is MUCH better. thank you for the help with this. I was worried that after 4 days of constant pea duty, she might be worse as I was at work today and so less peas. But she’s still improving. She swims round a lot then when she has a pea to hew she settles down again, but is trying more and more to stay upright.
I’m still waiting for a plug for my pond pump, so I plucked up the courage to try holding here and pressing as the video link you posted. she’s not a fan of being caught, but once help upside down she was quite calm. When I pressed I really coudln’t see anything come out, I tried 3 times, then stopped as I didn’t want to stress her too much.
Is there any way to know for definite if she has impacted eggs, or if it could be something else?
I took a video to show her lop sided body shape:
It looks to me like the swim bladder is functioning now, however, I believe being impacted with eggs is still an issue, and causing her to roll. The only other reason for tilting is loosing consciousness. Her mouth and gills would still be moving if the latter is the case. She’s exhausted, which could be what we’re seeing. If the bladder wasn’t holding gas, she sink to the bottom again after the swim. Hopefully, we’re seeing improvement
Have you given some thought about expelling the eggs by hand? If you’re not ready, set up the pond in the big tank; scoop her up in a container, and then hold her over the jet. You’ll have to estimate how much pressure is needed. Your fingers will feel it if it’s too much or too little
I don’t think she’s ready to stay in the big tank with the boys, so I would return her back to the baby tank after the procedure. It’ll be hard to see the eggs release due to the moving water from the jet, but look for a faint cloud in the water. Hold her underside over the jets
Here is an update after many many peas.
She is now floating a few cm from the bottom. When she is resting she still lists to one side and its fairly still, then every several mins she has a little swim around then comes back to side floating.
Hi Blink, I watched the video of your little beauty and didn’t think so, but still want to ask: does she have any raised scales/pine coning at all?
Otherwise, from all I’ve read and seen here, it looks like she’s improving. Good to hear.
I hope that she makes it though
Hope she will be ok
It did cloud the tank up for a few days, but once that dissipated the water has been really clear.
Its not sharp, it looks like the coral fragments have been tumbled to take off any sharp edges. I did get two different types with small and large piece. The large looks nice as you can see a lot of the shell shapes, but I chose not to use the large size, as they did feel a bit spiky, the small was absolutely fine.
It sorted out the PH crashing problem immediately, and also looks really nice.
I’ve never heard of using crushed coral as substrate; good to know. I heard it made a big mess by clouding the water. Is it sharp or smooth to the touch? Coral is great for raising KH
The KH was heigher before the water change.
Ive retested the PH and it’s still at about 7.5
In the large tank when It was first set up for about a year I suggered with repeatidly dropping PH. I couldn’t find the cause, and had never experienced this in other tanks. I replaced the substrate with crushed coral. Now the PH is stable at the current level.
Watching the videos is very helpful
It looks like she’s building up some Co2 in the tract, which is great. She’s a fighter, and she’s close
Great. KH levels are good at 6 to 7 drops. Is that where it was or did you lower with water changes. So glad you don’t have to fight high KH levels in the tap; very fortunate. If this is where the levels have been, could explain the mid range pH level. A reading of 100 is good, and should offer pH results of 7.8 to 8. ppm if oxygen is good
It’s not how much water your filter is pushing, it’s how it’s being pushed. It’s just not designed to eliminate Co2. As you know, a pond pump sits on the floor, close to the waste, and is centrally located. The pump pulls water from the floor pushing it up ward to the surface. This is the action that carries gases to the surface where they’re released
I only use pond pumps in my fish tanks, but I have used small HOB filters in freshwater buckets
Treat your aquariums just as you would a pond. Open them up and get that water moving
You might add some sea shells to your substrate to help boost KH
Wow that’s quite hands on releasing eggs. I definitely need to get more practice with handling my fish.
I managed to get a video if her wiggling about so you can see how she’s doing:
For KH my tap water is 6 drops (so 100 ppm). After their water changes the small tank was the same, 6 drops, and the large tank was 7 drops (so 110ppm). I will keep on testing to see how this changes and how quickly.
The pond pump I have unused is a Neptune 600 with a variable flow rate. It says the flow rate is up to 600 liters per hour.
My tank is 240l (62 Gal). width 4foot, depth 16 inch, height 20 inch.
Do you think this is suitable?
I’ll start another treat for the babies 🙂
I accidentally stumbled across this video, and it’s really the best I’ve seen for manually releasing eggs, and it may come to that
What fun; unexpected babies. I’ve always hoped, but never experienced it with my own fish. I’ve wondered if it’s because I have larger schools instead of just a small handful. The eggs don’t stand a chance. Funny, when I first started to get the hang of fish keeping, I found eggs all over the roots of some water hyacinths. At the time I had no idea what they were. Another time I found tiny things swimming around my small pond, and thought they were tiny goldfish, but nope; they were mosquitoes. LOL
I’m not sure when the coloring will change. I hope you’ll share; perhaps start a new post just about the progress they’re making. That would be awesome
If you were sizing a pump to do the job of eliminating Co2, you would figure roughly 100 GPH for every 10 gallons, however, taller, narrow tanks need less action as well as outdoor ponds. The surface of a pond is large compared to the body of water, and exposed to fresh air with movement. The taller more narrow aquariums have less floor space to consider
I wanted to warn you about your KH levels. Water evaporates from fish houses, however, mineral so not. Considering your KH value is so high, there’s little room for error here. Keep a watchful eye over these parameters. Don’t let the levels climb or you could be in trouble. Lower levels by adding white distilled vinegar to freshwater before a water change. I can’t tell you how much, but you could start with 1 ounce of vinegar per 20 or 30 gallons. If this doesn’t lower levels enough, pull a gallon or three to four liters; add more vinegar; mix it in with your hand
Better to move slow so as not to lower KH too much. If this happens you’ll see your fish at the surface gasping. I learned about minerals not evaporating the hard way
Test KH in tap water or freshwater source to compare, and see if the levels in your tanks aren’t high for this very reason, although, this is along shot considering pH is the same. Let’s check to make sure
I learnt me lesson with black algae in a previous tank a few years ago. Same with brown and new tanks. I’m now more relaxed and patient with algae patterns.
It’s water change day tomorrow for both tanks, then I’ll see how she goes with the pea routine in the baby tank for a few days then decide.
I think get the pond pump anyway, I guess the others will hopefully enjoy it. The babies to seem to enjoy swimming into the smaller jets from their filter sometimes.
BTW do you know when babies start to get their colour? They are both still quite a silver grey. Mum is a schubunkin and dad is a red and white semi Ryukin. They are starting to get dads shape a little.
Type of lighting has a great deal to do with the color of algae, and how fast it forms. Hopefully, you’ll see less of the black. I should also add, kudos for working with it instead of eliminating it as grunge, which is all too common in the industry. It’s the end result of the nitrogen cycle, and all important
This is a tough one. Putting her back with the boys; they could injure her if she’s emits hormone, because she’s a sitting duck, and on the bottom. If she’s up in the water when they bump against her, injury is unlikely. The fish’s swim bladder is located just beneath the dorsal fin
She’s making good progress, so I think I would give her a few days with the fry, and try keeping the temps stable in the meantime. It’s exciting when a fish starts to show signs of recovery. You’re doing great with her
I suspect she’ll be up and swimming in no time at all
Place the pump on the opposite side of the filter, and you’ll need a sponge to cover the intake just in case you didn’t realize. I like the pumps with baskets over the intake because you can fashion a sponge to slide on and off easily. They should be rinsed in old tank water once a week. Use an aquarium safe filter (black) sponge or a real sea sponge
You won’t need a fountain head on the pump. Most females as well as males enjoy the water movement, and swim over the jets. I had a fish that used to ride it to the surface over and over again. When you plug it in, the fish may be nervous, but in most cases the fish come to life. Goldfish just love moving water. So do I
Well good signs from the peas. I can’t quite hand feed her, but she is getting round the bottom of the tank ok to any left for her and she has twice swam a little that I have seen, once up to half way up the tank, only for a single zoom, but at least a slightly positive sign. And each time I see her wiggle looking for food I give her pea which she eagerly slurps up when she’s in position.
I won’t use the meds. Thanks for the info.
(unless you think any of this is wrong) I was thinking of returning her to the big tank (keeping an eye for the boys bothering her). Getting a suitable pond pump (any suggestions for capacity for a 240l?), and lowering the water level.
The reason for moving her back is I think a pond pump would be to strong for the babies.
And obviously continue with the pea routine.
Does that sound like a sensible care plan?
The lights in the big tank are a fluro tube and the small tank has blue and white LEDs. I increased the light in the big tank and started getting a lot more green algae, the old black algae is still there, but I think not spreading any more.
Woudl you havethe pump at the base on the same side as the external filer in and out, or on the opposite side?
Type in hand feeding oranda in youtube, and you’ll be delighted
Okay good to know. I wouldn’t use it. The product relies on Magnesium to flush the intestines, so this is for constipated fish. She’s having the opposite issue
Using a magnesium based product is somewhat risky if you don’t know GH levels. GH or general hardness is made up of one part calcium and two parts magnesium. Most of us have generous amounts of calcium in our water, however if you live close to Epsom, you may have high levels. lol
Open slats just aren’t enough unless you fix up a small fan; something like a computer fan to clip on the edge. In most cases, standard filters just don’t get the job done. They’re designed for tropical fish that don’t create a lot of waste
What type of lighting do you have set up; if any? I just set up a tub a few months ago, and it went through a black algae stage, but there wasn’t any light on it. After lighting it up, it turned brown, and now is turning green. This is the best kind of algae because it contains chlorophyll, which makes the already nutritious algae even more so. I think it may be more appealing to the fish as well
ps Ive spend half my evening playing with hand feeding my fish, which I have never tried before, Both males are now into this, so for anyone else reading this, then give it a try, it can be quite rewarding.
I have been watching her successfully eat the pea I tried to hand feed her. she can wiggle roll onto her side (not tail up, more of a side roll) and eat from the bottom, so as long as there are pea parts around her she is now eating! And she can wiggle round the bottom of the tank to more peas.
This is the swim bladder control I’ve been recommended. Not much info on their site though:
Active Ingredient: Magnesium sulphate 33.33% w/w, Sodium chloride 11.11% w/w.
I’m not sure how I have low oxygen (though I do believe you) the large tank has two large volume bubblers and is very heavily planted.
The tank has a loosely fitting lid of just slats, so it’s not sealed.
There is an external filter (fluval 405) with a reasonably strong jet.
The lights are on from 2pm till 11pm which I thought was ok for the plants, but maybe as it’s so planted they need more light? I have also been struggling with black beard algae, if that’s of interest.
The water looks crystal clear not foggy
For holding her near the jet stream what direction should she be in. face/side or rear towards jet?
I have a spare Oase 3000 from my pond. Would that be too strong if used in the big tank? (I’m sure to strong for the babies to be about). If this isn’t suitable I’m happy to get another ,any recommendations for spec?
I Will try the pitcher method. Do you also recommend lowering the water level as the feeding article suggests?
You’re welcome to attach a link to the swim bladder remedy, and I’ll look it over
I think your KH is okay. It’a little high, but better too high than low. It’s obviously not high enough to cause issues, however, pH levels would be well over 8.ppm with KH so high. This tells me oxygen levels are lower than what they should be. Your pH is riding off KH
The article, pH misunderstood will walk you through the why’s if your curious, and this article will tell you how to get oxygen levels up
Are the aquarium tops open? This is important, as the surface pulls oxygen from the air above, so enclosed tanks are notoriously low in O2
You may need a pond pump for more than just helping out an impacted female. Nothing eliminates Co2 (gas created from waste) like a pond pump
You would cup her loosely in your hands, so that she can’t swim out of them, but you’re not holding her, and then hold her a few inches away from the jet stream of a pump that pushes a minimum of 150 GPH, however, if you want a pump to eliminate gases, you’ll need much more for the big tank, which I’m sure anyone that comes along and reads this will be drooling over
You just sort of part your hands so that she feels the pressure of the water
Try the pitcher method of eliminating Co2 to raise pH. You push a pitcher deep into the tank, filling it. Bring it up; pour it back in, and repeat once for every 10 gallons of water. This pulls the gas from the bottom where it hangs out, and clears the body of water
Open those tanks if they’re enclosed, and make sure the room is filled with fresh air. I keep a fan on in the room where the fish are, so the gases don’t hang over the surface, blocking the water from getting O2
It’s always a good idea to get your fish used to your hands. You never know when you’ll need to handle them. As for the swim bladder meds; if all natural worth a try. I’m not a fan of antibiotics unless prescribed by a vet
Have you seen her lift up her rear end and put her nose to the bottom? If so, she’s able to feed herself
If she’s not eating on her own, and afraid of your hand, we can discuss force feeding. It’s easier than it sounds. When you lift a fish’s head out of the water, it opens its mouth and gasps, giving you a chance to administer food. I use a syringe and fill with mush made up of fish food; peas or whatever. The syringe needs to be pushed into the throat or the fish will spit it out
Thanks for the article. That does make a lot of sense.
I tried hand feeding her some peas. She wasn’t really impressed. She tried to swim away with more effort than I have seen her use in days. I managed to give her a few bits, and there is more at the bottom I think she can reach. I will be persistent and hopefully in a few days she will be happier with the idea of hand feeding.
Out of interest I tried hand feeding the others in the big tank. 2 of which just swam away from my fingers until I had dropped the pea. But one if my males seemed very very happy to be hand fed, so I may try to keep this up for future peas.
The PH of both tanks and my tap water is 7.5
For KH (sorry I only got the test today so not sure how to interpret) 10 drops for the big tank, and 9 for the small tank. The chart says 6-11 drops = 100 – 200 ppm – so I guess they are about 160/170 ppm. Is that acceptable?
With the pond pump, how would you treat hold her e.g. hold her in the jet at her side?
Do you think it’s also worth treating her with something like “King British Swimbladder Control”?
Don’t worry about the babies, they are far to big to fit into her mouth. But I will return her to the big tank as soon as I can anyway. I just wanted the boys to give her some peace.
Thank you in advance for all your ideas and advice.
Here’s an article on sinking issues. The fish in featured in the article was a rescue fish. It was my first experience with a sinking disorder; my first realization there could be such a thing. The fish came from a tank that had never completed the nitrogen cycle, and was burned badly. At first I thought it was injured to the point of no return, and then the light bulb clicked on
It took close to six weeks for him to recover from the burns and the sinking issue
Looks like a sinking issue to me
Hand feeding is the only way, and I warn you, it may take weeks. I should also warn you, when she’s able to lift, she may set her sites on the small fry. You may not have any warning. You’ll just walk in one day, and she’ll be up and swimming around
If you have a tank divider, separate her from the little ones
If possible, keep the water temperature stable. She’ll develop eggs every time the temperature rises four to five degrees, whether she has eggs or not. This is where the problem begins
Do you have a pond pump? This is a great way to help her release eggs. Some experts do it with their fingers, but this is risky. The pressure of the water coming from the jet of a pond pump works well, and most females with this issue will use the jets once they get the idea the water relieves the pressure
The article below was written after a member did a study on the effect of Chinese herbs on female goldfish; specific herbs of course. She had some success with younger fish, and your fish isn’t considered old by any means
Here’s another article if you haven’t read it already
It’s critical to make sure the water quality is excellent; KH 120. ppm min which should push pH up to 8.ppm or over. Do you have a KH test?. Increased oxygen levels in the water will help her from getting infected. This is what kills impacted females
Read this article to learn more about pH; what it means and how to use it to your advantage
What is pH reading in tap water or freshwater source?
I think she’s about 5 years old – nose to base of tale is about 10cm
When I disturb her she can swim only about 2cm off the bottom in a wiggling motion, but settles quickly back down.
She started off with a very floating rear end but then the whole fish dropped to the bottom after a couple of weeks.
For her first batch she used to sleep 90′ vertically in plants, but could swim fine when disturbed.
Here are a couple of vids before her first batch
She also has a clef lip which may make eating difficult in her current state, so at the moment in the baby tank. I’m making sure there is plenty of baby food in the water around her and trying to feed her adult food near her mouth.
At the moment I’m trying to feed about 4-5 times a day,
I can post a video tomorrow if that helps.
Also the lump on her side is much more protruded than the lumpness she had with the first batch.
thank for your advice and help, it’s very much appreciated.
Very good info. Sorry to hear about female issues, as these are often difficult to treat. How old is the fish in question? If you don’t know, what is her size?
The symptom of lying on the bottom doesn’t go with impacted eggs. Fish impacted with eggs have very buoyant rear ends, and can’t stop floating at a 45 degree angle. As the condition worsens, the fish can literally become vertical. I just wonder if she hasn’t developed a sinking issue that’s making it difficult for the boys to get their job done; expelling the eggs
Some females can expel eggs on their own easily, and others can’t
A sinking issue happens when a fish doesn’t have Co2 in the digestive tract. Carbon dioxide, a gas created by the waste in the tract, is utilized by the swim bladder organ, giving the fish the ability to sink or rise at will. The bladder is connected to the tract by a small tube. Fish digest their food very quickly; within a few hours. This is why it’s important to feed several small meals a day. It sounds like you’re giving them a great diet, but how often are they fed?
During a spawning session, fish will go several hours without eating, which may put them at risk. The females in particular become so exhausted, they may loose their appetite, however, this is a necessary evil. The event happens as Mother Nature intended. Separating fish that are spawning puts the females at risk for becoming impacted
Other risk factors are age. Most females experiencing menopause stop emitting hormone, and continue producing eggs, however, obviously isn’t the case here if the boys are interested
She may have eggs she’s unable to release due to a sinking issue, so let’s try ruling this issue out
To test her for sinking issue, spook her or try poking her gently with a finger. If her bladder is empty, she’ll be able to lunge forward or shove off, but will sink again or even drop, according to the severity to the issue
Post a utube video if you’re unable to tell