Sick Oranda

Sick Oranda

Sick Oranda laying on bottom

Sick Oranda. Hello everyone. We have 5 goldfish in a 75 gallon tank. 2 of our fish are Orandas….both about 2.5 years old. We do water changes weekly (or more often as needed) and all parameters are spot on…using a master test kit always. About 3 weeks ago, one of the Orandas (Edward) started floating at the top of the tank…like the dead man’s float. He’s usually active, happy and always moving about. Then, he started laying at the bottom of the tank in an almost comatose state. He only comes out to eat…I hand feed him. While out, he does swim around a little. His wen has grown over his one eye and we’re thinking maybe it’s the reason he’s not hiding and retreating. We’ve asked everyone at every high end pet store and they all say as long as he’s eating not to worry. But, we’re very worried and so sad for our little guy. He’s really lifeless most of the time. I try to nudge him out and get his to swim about for a little but I don’t want to upset him more or scare him. So, yes he’s eating and able to swim a little bit but that’s it. Any advice would be so much appreciated…we’re here at a loss. No fish vets near us or we’d be there. He’s obviously very compromised at this point and we’re just wanting to get some opinion/advice/suggestion. Ty so much.

Sick Oranda

By | 2019-10-07T05:47:19-05:00 October 6th, 2019|Categories: Goldfish Koi Health Issues|

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  1. Venus December 28, 2019 at 9:01 am

    I think it would be okay to use a little MelaFix. As products in the industry go, this one isn’t half bad

    You say the tank is salted. Do you keep a consistent saline solution, or is this just a random treatment? It seems to be the latest trend, keeping salt in the tank. The idea is; keeps bad bacteria from forming, but as I’m sure you’ve read my words a few times now, bad bugs build a resistance to every substance. Being freshwater fish, salt should only be used as a remedy, or it’s ineffective

    What temperature is the tank water? Keeping the water cold reduces the need for oxygen. Goldfish are cold blooded, and their body temperature is the same as the water they swim in. They become dormant in low water temperatures, so we can use this to our advantage. Reducing the blood flow buys time

    Chill some tank water in the fridge and freezer. Pour in slowly all around the tank. Refill and repeat until temps are at 62 to 65f

    Be sure to perform the pitcher method daily, if not twice a day

    I appreciate how considerate you are, and I appreciate your confidence in me, however, there’s no need to pay for ONE on ONE because you’ve already made a contribution by posting on the site. The content helps our ranking. You’re also a customer, and we’re always glad to help

  2. Venus December 28, 2019 at 6:54 am

    He’s young, and that’s in his favor. I know you know this is a serious condition, and you may lose him even after all the hard work and the investment. That being said, no matter what happens, the other fish will greatly benefit from everything you do

    Did you see my email? I’ve recommended lowering KH value and further treatment

    • debbie December 28, 2019 at 7:54 am

      yes, my husband saw and responded to your email…ty. We’re ordering the recommended tonics now. So, 1 bottle of each? Is it ok to treat Edward with melafix and primafix for now until we receive our items? Should we move him to a hospital tank? I don’t think he can wait….he’s really bad today. 🙁

      Yes, we’re aware how serious this is and that the worst might happen. 🙁 But, we’re going to give our all for our little guy and with your help we at least feel like we’re now doing the right thing. We agree it’s going to help all our other fish no matter what.

      Also, there’s some aquarium salt in the tank now. Is it ok to add your tonic with the existing salt already in the tank?

      I just saw there’s a fee for this emailing…one on one. I’d like to pay for this. You’ve been so helpful and committed here. If I do that, will I still get to chat with you instead of someone new? I’m sure everyone is great but you’re so informed now about Edward. Please, advise. I’d even pay the 45.00 for phone chat….anything at this point.


  3. Venus December 27, 2019 at 7:59 pm

    That’s really a decision you’ll have to make for yourself; to treat medically or organically

    • debbie December 28, 2019 at 6:45 am

      We’d much rather treat organically. If Edward gets better, and if wen is still an issue as far as needing to be trimmed, we’d transport him only then. I wouldn’t move him now since he’s so sick. This morning, he’s barely moving. 🙁 We just want to treat him at home where we’ll do whatever we can to help him.

  4. Venus December 27, 2019 at 6:58 pm

    This too; if you decide you would prefer taking your fish to the fish doctor, I can instruct you how to transport the fish safely

    • debbie December 27, 2019 at 7:03 pm

      Thank you! I would greatly appreciate your help with that. I think it’s best to always be prepared just in case. Will you advise us if/when you think it might be time to take Edward to a vet? We’ll do it if we can safely transport and if you think it’s time for a more drastic approach.

      Also, will these pumps fit in our 75 gallon tank? We’ll get 2 of them as you suggest.

      Thank you….over and over.

  5. Venus December 27, 2019 at 6:28 pm

    I’ve noticed the order of our comments is messing up, which means the thread is getting too long. I’ll start another thread titled, Edward’s wen, soon

    I see the pitcher method has told us the story. Your oxygen levels are really low, which encourages bad bacteria. You can use treatments such as MelaFix or PrimaFix, but these are just quick fixes. When water is properly oxygenated, they’re unnecessary

    Here’s the best pumps for the money. They may or may not come with sponges, which are used to cover the baskets over the intakes. The baskets allow you to slip the sponges on and off for cleaning with ease. The sponges are used to keep the pumps running smoothly and the water clear as well. You should rinse sponges with regular water changes

    If you choose to get the pumps, perform the pitcher method daily, until they arrive, and you get them installed

    I would open the entire tank. One advantage ponds or lakes have over aquariums; they have a great deal of surface area compared to the body of water. An aquarium has a very small surface area, so it’s a battle keeping the water oxygenated even with the top open. If you’re worried about a fish jumping out, lower the water table a few inches. Also, make sure the room has fresh air

  6. Venus December 27, 2019 at 6:13 pm

    I’m glad to help Debbie, and especially someone that cares so much. I greatly enjoyed your baby talk to the fish by the way. I know you love em all, but still, there’s something about an Oranda

    Good to know the remedy has helped. It’s possible the fish was a little constipated, and struggling because of it, but this wouldn’t account for the bottom sitting, and fish that are seriously constipated, can’t sit on the bottom for more than a moment, but is it possible your fish is wedging itself in a position so that it doesn’t float upwards? lol

    The hole says it all. A most serious ailment, we refer to as hole in the head, could be what’s happening here. The floating issue was just a distraction. Hole in the head is infection. This happens when the body’s immune system is low, and this can happen when the ecosystem has an unhealthy immune system. Heavily oxygenated water is the key to excellent health of water and fish both

    Water is oxygenated by method of diffusion. This happens when waves at the surface pulls oxygen from the air above, however, the body of water must be free of gases in order for this to occur. From waste, Co2 is created, and it hangs heavily in the water, keeping oxygen from entering, so this is the first order of business, making sure the water is free of carbon dioxide. The pitcher method removes Co2, and tells me if this is a problem

    The same waves at the surface help expel Co2

    Bubblers don’t oxygenate water. An air pump pushes air into the water. The air bubble floats to the surface, and burst, doing nothing to oxygenate the water. The only good thing about them; if the tank is covered, it helps put fresh air between the lid and the water surface, which is better than nothing, but not good enough

    Only a real pond creates the necessary action to eliminate gases, and action at the surface that pulls in oxygen from the air above. With a tank this size, you’ll need two pumps; one on each end of the tank. They sit on the floor, pulling water from the bottom, pushing it to the top. I would say you’ll need two pumps at 220 to 320 GPH

    You’ll learn all about pond pumps, and how to use them here

    If we see pH levels jump up after performing the pitcher method of removing gases, we’ll know for sure pond pumps will benefit

    Oxygen is the greatest healer for goldfish. Oxygenated blood makes for a healthy immune system. It’s critical that the water is in excellent shape if Edward is to improve. Some might say medicinal antibiotics are in order, but I would disagree. Antibiotics would kill the bad bugs, but they would also kill the good bugs, destroying Edwards immunity. Antibiotics have to be used again and again, as the bugs build resistance, and within a short time, the bad bugs take over, killing their host. If we treat naturally, Edward has a chance at building up immunity, so he can regain his health

    I think we should work on the health of the water and the fish before the wen is trimmed, so I’ll email you soon

    • debbie December 27, 2019 at 6:53 pm

      Wow….such a wealth of information here. We’ll get the pond pumps first thing in the morning and do as you instruct.

      I love that your approach is natural and all about the wellness of the water=the wellness of the fish. All this time we’ve been treating for various issues and probably doing more harm than good. Again, well meaning people trying to help us but never any concern about the water/environment. We test several times a week and always so a weekly water change. Sometimes, a few changes per week.

      I agree with making the tank as healthy as can be for the fish…especially Edward. We’ll try this approach at once and hope (pray) for the best for Edward. I wouldn’t want to trim the wen yet, either, until/unless Edward’s overall health improves.

      Thank you so much for sharing your wealth of info with me…for your time and follow up/follow through. Edward thanks you too! 🙂 I’ll keep you posted.

  7. Venus December 27, 2019 at 5:16 pm

    Okay. I’ve watched the videos more than a few times. Besides Edward, the fish look healthy. The set up needs some improvement. With a KH reading (thanks so much) of 120 plus, you should have a pH closer to 8.ppm. In most cases, tap water is heavily oxygenated because of the movement, and your tap water should be closer to 8.ppm as well if the KH value you tested in the tank, is the same as the tap

    If you haven’t tested, could you test the tap KH value to compare? With a pH reading of 7.4 in the tap, the KH value in the tap should be 70 to 80 ppm. If this is the case, KH may be higher in the tank due to water evaporation. Water evaporates, however, minerals do not

    Is your tank covered? If so, remove the top so the water is exposed to fresh air

    Perform this test for me; using a pitcher, push it deep into the aquarium, filling it. Bring it up, and pour it back in. Repeat this process 10 to 15 times, and then test pH again. Did it jump? If so, oxygen levels are low due to poor water movement; something I noticed in the video

    As for the fish; I believe the problem is the wen; not a floating disorder. Do you see the abnormal coloration on the top of the wen? I believe there may be infection setting in. If you agree the wen looks pink, and it’s not just the photo, then we’ll have our diagnosis, and we’ll discuss treatment

    • debbie December 27, 2019 at 5:42 pm

      First, thank you for your generous time in watching the videos. Funny, after adding your float tonic (2 days) and feeding as you suggested, Edward was up, swimming and eating most of the day….not much floating going on either. He was as good as he’s been in a long time.

      I’m very open to any advice on tank improvement. We have 3 bubblers in the tank…thought that was enough. Maybe not? What can do to improve the tank? We’ll do it.

      Great to know the parameters need adjustments. All our testing makes us believe the tank is fine. It’s so confusing at times.

      Tank is 80% covered. Lid on top is open to allow the filters to work properly If we open the tank lid, might our fish jump out? I’d be so worried they might….especially the black oranda. He’s a jumper.

      Ok, I’ll need to get a pitcher and we’ll absolutely do the test as you suggest. Also, we’ll test the tap KH and report back here.

      As for Edward, I knew you’d be able to see his compromised, delicate condition. I called about a dozen vets today and no one does wen trimming/cutting. The only vet who does is about 2 hours away and we’re not sure Edward would survive the trip…given he’s so fragile. We DO agree the wen looks discolored. Last week he had a small hole in it and he’s had a few abrasions, too. We usually treat with melafix and primafix…we try to as natural as we can. We were told by a fish store it wasn’t hole in the head disease and to just treat as we were doing. It cleared up in a day. We’re anxious to know any course of treatment that might help our little Edward.

      I really can’t adequately thank you here. This is so much more help than I ever imagined. Thank you!

    • debbie December 27, 2019 at 6:03 pm

      After the pitcher test the ph was 8. The ph out of the tap (we retested) 7.2. The KH out of the tap was 180. We slightly opened the tank lid….propped open just a smidge.

      I hope this helps. Thank you so much.

  8. debbie December 27, 2019 at 2:53 pm

    I sent 2 videos to venus 911….I’m not sure you’ll get them. Should I send here to site? If so, could you instruct me how to do it? I’m not tech savy at all. Ty so much.

  9. Venus December 27, 2019 at 2:24 pm

    KH, or carbonate mineral is one of the most important parameters, yet, it’s the one most people know nothing about. This mineral gives water the ability to support oxygen, or I should say, the oxygen molecule. If your tap water is low in this mineral, pH will be low also. Most people don’t understand the true value of pH (potential of hydrogen) We have testers, but it’s not actually a parameter. The pH testers the industry produces pick up oxygen and KH value, which can be confusing

    Could you also test pH of tap water? Comparing tap to tank readings will tell me if your water is properly oxygenated

    • debbie December 27, 2019 at 2:40 pm

      Hello again. We just tested the water and readings are as follows…ph-7.4 in tank and tap water is 7.4. KH-between 120-180…closer to 180. I’m trying to send video here as well….hope it works. Will send as soon as we figure out how to send.

  10. Venus December 27, 2019 at 7:33 am

    I understand just how you feel. It’s amazing how attached we can get to a goldfish, and losing them is just as difficult as losing a cat or a dog

    If Edward is able to swim down to the bottom at will, he doesn’t have a floating issue, and if he’s able to swim up at will, he doesn’t have a sinking issue, but it’s obvious something is bothering him

    Let’s take a look at your water parameters. We’ll start with whatever tests you have on hand. We know nitrates, but do you have a pH and or KH test?

    Is it possible for you to take a video with your phone? Photos are great, but a video is even better

    Also, we’ve treated a lot of fish with swimming issues that were being fed Repashy. Of course we can’t directly link any issues with this food, it’s suspicious. There are a few ingredients in the food that can cause side effects. It’s also wise not to feed gelatin consistently, as it can thicken the blood. Gel food should be fed occasionally

    If you switch to pellets, pre soak in tank water until they’ve softened

    • debbie December 27, 2019 at 8:52 am

      It is amazing how attached we become to these little swimming bundles of love. I’d do anything for them just as I would for anyone needing help.

      I’ll attach a video later today and anxiously await your response/input along with water parameters….we tested last night and the ph was fine…I’ll give exact number when my husband gets home. May I ask what KH is? You don’t know how much I appreciate this. I’ve gone far and near with videos of Edward only to become more confused by what I’ve been told. I appreciate everyone trying to help me and it’s I can ask for, although, none of their advice has helped us much….actually confused us more.

      It’s so funny you mention about Reashy because almost immediately Edward had an odd reaction to it….almost immediate change in swimming behavior. One or more told me it could be too much for him to digest as they had fish who didn’t seem able to digest it, too. So, I give him only a few (hand fed) smidgens of it every few days. I think I’ll stop completely with him and only sparingly feed it to the others. What an insight to hear you say it can thicken the blood. That’s enough for me to seriously cut back on it.

      Also, I’m making some calls today to again try to find someone to trim Edward’s wen. I keep thinking it has to be a major issue since as soon as comes out he seems to drop immediately down….head first. Also, he often seems a little disoriented. Very concerning to watch him like….and, of course, sad.

      Thank you so much. I’ll post video and water parameters as soon as possible.

  11. Venus December 26, 2019 at 12:42 pm

    Hi Debbie, I hope we can help Edward
    It sounds like the swim bladder just isn’t functioning well. Besides nitrate issues, the only other reasons for a fish to sit heavily on the bottom is there isn’t enough gas in the intestinal tract to keep the swim bladder organ functioning. I refer to this as a sinking issue. This normally happens when fish aren’t fed regularly, for whatever reason. You may already know that the swim bladder is attached to the intestines by a small tube where Co2 is exchanged. Carbon dioxide is created from waste, and if the fish isn’t eating normally, there’s little waste, so there’s also little Co2

    When fish are bottom sitting due to high nitrates, they often lose their appetite, which can lead to a sinking issue, but you say the fish is eating, so this tells me nitrates are not an issue

    What foods are you feeding, and how often do you feed? It’s important to feed goldfish several small meals a day, as this keep a steady flow of Co2 in the tract. This is replicates how they eat in the wild, as they evolved. I feed five meals a day. The norm is one to two meals a day, which causes the fish to gorge, which leads to constipation

    To use the remedy, add one ounce for every 10 gallons of water in your aquarium by premixing in a gallon of tank water, or freshwater just before a water change. In your case, leave the remedy in, and remove naturally with your regular water changes. Go ahead, and use both bottles in your tank. There’s no risk of overdosing

    If the fish is constipated, it will clear the tract. This remedy is safe for all the fish in your aquarium

    As for the wen, sorry to say, it’s important to keep it trimmed. Wens can grow so large, they weigh fish down, keeping them from lifting properly. The wen can also be top heavy, turning a fish upside down. Could this be the case here?

    Wens can cover the gills as well as the eyes, obstruction breathing. The Oranda is a special fish. They seem to have more personality, and connect with their fish keepers than the other breeds, not to mention; they’re adorable. You may be able to find a vet in your area that does wen trimming, or perhaps a local pet shop knows someone. You might know someone that would do it, that isn’t squeamish. Feel free to post a photo or email one, so that I can judge how critical the wen issue has become

    When the fish turns upside down, does it float upwards?

    • debbie December 27, 2019 at 7:09 am

      Thank you so much; I appreciate all your advice, input and insight. We used 1 bottle of Float Remedy yesterday,,..wasn’t quite sure if we were doing it right, so we did only use 1 bottle for our 75 gallon tank. We’ll add the 2nd bottle today.

      Our little Edward is definitely in need of wen trimming but finding someone is our area has proven impossible. The only goldfish vet is almost 2 hours away and we’re not so sure Edward would survive the trip. He’s quite fragile these days. I’d do anything to help this sweet little guy but I don’t want him to die in transport. I continue to look for someone who can and would be willing to help us with our wen issue. I was told not to do it because Edward would likely die. That scares me so much…I’d be devastated to lose him during a wen trimming, however, his wen continues to grow and I know it’s weighing him down.

      Often, he seems almost in a comatose state; he’ll come up for food but plunges right back down. I hand feed all my goldfish and mostly give them Rephasy gel food. They get organic peas and some bug bites occasionally. I’ll start to feed them as you suggest….sounds like a great feeding plan to me.

      To answer your question…when Edward turns upside down he often is belly up and will (only) occasionally float upwards. We have a few bubblers and he seems to enjoy letting the current take him upwards for a few moments. He just lays down almost all the time with his little head buried in some décor. It breaks our hearts to see him like this…seems almost cruel. I’d never put him down as some have suggested to us. At night, he’s smart enough to put himself under a log to keep him self weighed down.

      I can’t thank you enough for your help and your passion for helping us help our little loves. I’d give anything to help and/or save any of my fish but especially my Edward. I’m open to any advice and/or suggestions. I’d like to purchase some more of your products…if there’s anything you recommend, please let me know. Again, thank you so much. I greatly appreciate it.

  12. Venus October 7, 2019 at 5:40 am

    Hi ya catlady

    Pain? No, but discomfort due to vision loss. I have seen cases where the wen grows so large, it covers the gills, which of course keeps the fish from getting oxygen. Sadly, most goldfish die before maturity due to ignorance in the industry, so the fish keeper doesn’t encounter the issue. If you’re Oranda lives long enough to develop overgrown wen issues, kudos

  13. catlady October 6, 2019 at 6:31 pm

    Sorry your poor fish is sick. Too bad they can’t tell us what’s wrong. I hope the wen isn’t causing any pain. Could this happen Venus?

  14. Venus October 6, 2019 at 1:57 pm

    Floating issues are caused by constipation, or a slow moving tract. The intestinal tract of the fish is connected to the swim bladder organ by a small tube where gas is exchanged. The waste in the tract creates this gas, Co2 or carbon dioxide. When the tract slows, gas can become trapped in the bladder, causing the fish to rise or float. You may see it struggle to get to the bottom, but when it stops trying, it floats aimlessly to the surface again

    Is this what you noticed?

    If a fish is unable to get oxygen, you’ll see it at the surface gasping, but it has full function of rising and lowering

    When you say spot on test results, it sounds good, but spot on to you could be very different as spot on to me. What are the results? High nitrate levels cause a fish to bottom sit, but too large of a water change does the same. You see, nitrates get high towards the end of the week, or right before a water change. The fish keeper removes a large portion of water, which changes the pressure the fish feels. If the water is high in nitrates, so is the blood of the fish. I call this nitrate shock. Most fish recover quickly from nitrate shock, depending on the size of the water change, how long it was in shallow water, and just how high the toxin levels were

    If you believe the fish hasn’t experienced high nitrates or nitrate shock, it’s likely the fish developed a bit of s sinking disorder. This is when there isn’t enough food in the tract to produce enough Co2 for the bladder to function. This sometimes happens after constipation has passed (pun intended) It’s not easy for fish with floating issues to feed properly

    Would love to see a pic of the fish. Large wens can obstruct swimming, and even weigh a fish down, but considering the floating issue, this probably isn’t the case. I doubt there’s a connection. A product of man’s messing with nature, these types of fish need a wen trim now and then. Do you think you’re up for it? It’s pretty much like cutting hair or fingernails. If not, you may know someone that would tackle the task

    • debbie December 26, 2019 at 11:32 am

      Thanks so much. I’m just seeing these responses now….not sure why I didn’t they were here long before.

      So, my little Edward is still not well. He’s suffering from both bottom sitting (most of the time) to floating upside down when he comes out to eat. I just ordered and received “FLOAT REMEDY” today. I’m so anxious to try this but need some instructions more than what’s on the bottle. Also, it seems like he’s completely comatose when he’s bottom sitting….again, most of the day. I had feed him to ensure he eats. He’s in a 75 gallon tank with 4 other goldfish who are very well. It’s so upsetting to see him like this….not really able to enjoy his surroundings at all.

      We check the nitrates often….consistently around 5 and 10ppms. I can send pictures if anyone wants to see him. His wen seems to have grown a lot on the one side of his head….slightly obstructing his eye. We were told to leave it alone. And, no, we’re not comfortable trimming it ourselves. He’s so fragile I’m not sure he’d survive it being trimmed by anyone. So sad for our sweet little Edward.

      Thank you so much.

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