Sick Ryukin

Sick Ryukin

Sick Ryukin floating

Sick ryukin has been floating off and on for over a month. He has 2-3 good days then 1-2 days when he hangs at the surface, dorsal out of the water, looking miserable, with limp fins. I think it’s digestion related. He doesn’t appear to be pooping much at all.

Cure sick goldfish

I’ve tried:
tonics: astralagus, mint, ginger, aloe.
oiling: I oiled him a few times and the last time, about 2 weeks ago, he flipped upside down for about 8-9 hours. I thought I had killed him. When he flipped over, I saw bloody areas under the skin on his abdomen. I threw him into an antibiotic tub thinking he was septic. The blood cleared up, I cleared him and put him back into the tank. It was while he was in the tub that I noticed very little pooping going on. He eats and not much comes out. I’m feeding him only gel food – tiny bits at a time so as not to overload him. 4 times/day.

Goldfish bobbing surface

I just ordered the floating remedy. Maybe I should have chosen digestive therapy? What do you recommend?

Same 48 gal tank, now with 3 fish. Parameters are good. I have tons of algae now, both in the scrubber and on the tank walls. Temp 71-73.

Goldfish floating surface


  1. Venus April 29, 2018 at 3:09 pm

    A very good assumption. My thought is, his treatment will be ongoing for the rest of his life. When the ryukins are young, they don’t have any issues at all, but after a couple of years, it slowly begins until it becomes a serious issue

    I would guess the tract gets more and more squished over time, because your fish and mine little Spike had the best diet. I know that waste can get built up in the tract as the years pass, but it’s more than that

  2. Cricket April 29, 2018 at 2:55 pm

    My guess would be that he’s got an issue that causes him to float each time he eats, or actually, it looks more like if he gets too much at once, his tract becomes blocked. I doubt that he’s eliminating normally, still, but it’s hard to tell. I could only tell when he was isolated in the tub.

    Or maybe food isn’t moving through him normally and builds up to the point that he’s blocked every couple of days…

  3. Cricket April 29, 2018 at 2:50 pm

    I see, so my guess would be that

  4. Venus April 29, 2018 at 2:49 pm

    When a fish is stuck at the surface, the intestines are impacted, causing the gas to become trapped in the swim bladder. When the bladder is full, the fish goes up. If a fish can rest comfortably on the bottom, the intestines are clear or processing waste normally

  5. Cricket April 29, 2018 at 2:43 pm

    Sorry, what was it that made you think the track was blocked and now isn’t?

  6. Venus April 29, 2018 at 2:41 pm

    Maybe I’ll send an extra one ounce bottle of the float remedy to administer as a bath. This way you can have something on hand for emergencies

  7. Cricket April 29, 2018 at 2:41 pm

    Hi, thanks for your quick response and for switching the remedy. He’s suddenly up and about, swimming normally. This gives you an idea of how off and on this is. Ten minutes ago he was at the bottom and looking miserable.

    I’ll lower the water table. I’ve turned up the pumps a bit as well.

    When I oil him, I push the dropper in as far as I can, til I meet some resistance. Is that too far?

  8. Venus April 29, 2018 at 2:39 pm

    I wonder if when he’s at the surface, he’s unable to get oxygen from water normally, and feels deprived. Once they become deprived, it takes a few days for the oxygen levels in the blood to get back to normal. I wouldn’t worry about it unless it continues; keep me posted

    Obviously the tract was blocked, and now it’s not. That’s good; meaning the tract can’t be too inflamed if at all

    Still…let’s do the digestive therapy. The way you’re feeding, there should never be any constipation. You can either feed it orally or add it to a 10 day batch of gel food

  9. Venus April 29, 2018 at 2:22 pm

    Hi Cricket, Sorry to hear your fishy problems. I know you know that ryukins are prone to these issues, due to breeding. To date, I’ve never seen one live past seven to eight years, and that’s quite a stretch for them. So many of the fancier types have issues due to breeding; it’s sad really

    The question is, what can we do for them? It’s helpful if you reduce the water table, as this takes some of the pressure off

    Do you think the fish is constipated? If this was the case the oil would do the trick, and everything would get back to normal in a jiffy. I wondering if the tract is inflamed, which would cause the same symptoms as constipation

    The fish may have gotten some oil on it’s gills. This remedy isn’t safe unless you’re aggressive enough to get the tip of the dropper into the throat. I’m thinking of removing it. The digestive remedy is completely safe. Depending on the fish, I sometimes slip a little bit of Castor oil in it, but not enough to cause a problem

    I think you’d be better off going with the digestive therapy in this case. I know you’re capable of feeding orally, and this way the fish is treated for inflammation and constipation. Inflammation is mostly caused by bad bacteria in the tract

    I wonder if that redness you saw could have been related to the added pressure a fish feels when it’s bladder is inflated, and it tries swimming to the bottom; possibly. It’s hard to believe any of your fish would be septic…unless a the tract has torn from becoming impacted. Unfortunately, they’ll eat even if they’re constipated

    Let’s trade that float remedy for the digestive therapy. It’s cheaper mailing, so don’t worry about changing your order. For old time’s sake

    Hope it helps. I’ll get it out first thing in the morning. Don’t forget to lower the water table. If you do; let me know if it helps. In some cases it makes all the difference

  10. Cricket April 29, 2018 at 2:10 pm

    Forgot to mention that he is bottom resting today. He did this once before, about 2 weeks ago, for a day. He is able to lift to eat. He just now started porpoising (sp?) to gasp at the surface. Never a good sign.

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