Goldfish with I think empacted eggs

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.




  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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?

  15. 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

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