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Our goldfish just sits at the bottom of his tank, could he be ill or is he sulking?

(10 Posts)
claraquack Sun 08-Nov-09 01:39:47

I never imagined I would post in the pets topic, but am hoping someone out there has some experience of goldfish. Findlay is just sitting at the bottom of his tank, in the same place - he used to swim all around but now he only comes up to eat (and he doesn't seem as hungry as usual). Could he be ill, bored, sulking? Or perhaps he is a she and has laid eggs???? Any help appreciated, dd1 has just become obsessed with death and dying and what happens to you so I guess this could be the perfect opportunity to explain that no, you don't wake up after you die. But I would like to try and keep him alive for a little longer if possible. Thanks.

FanofFireworks Sun 08-Nov-09 02:46:02

what sort of tank and filter does he have? is there enough space and clean enough water?

Goldfish are notoriously filthy creatures and so need a large enough tank and filter to deal with all their debris!

BellaBonJovi Sun 08-Nov-09 09:20:09

Erm - don't think goldfish sulk.

Giving you a bump for the fish experts - sweenitanitro (sp?) and others.

Blondeshavemorefun Sun 08-Nov-09 12:49:39

might be swim bladder?

though you said does come up to eat

are there any small white jelly like blobs (eggs) near by where fish sits?

claraquack Sun 08-Nov-09 22:57:45

wow thanks for the messages, this didn't orignally come up in active convos so didn't think it had worked! he is in a tank we bought from a replutable store which claims it is big enough for one fish (or two small ones). Perhaps he needs some clean water. Will try and get that done and see if it helps, my dh usually does it but he has been very busy of late. No eggs that I can see...

PoppyIsApain Sun 08-Nov-09 23:01:40

Awww maybe he wants some more fishy ornaments pmsl grin
He could be needing more oxygen or just sleeping. They also eat the food throughout the day off the stones at the bottom of the tank.

BellaBonJovi Mon 09-Nov-09 08:55:45

Giving you another bump for the fish experts wink

sweetnitanitro Mon 09-Nov-09 09:47:30

Morning grin

Can you tell us more about the tank, how big is it exactly? Even reputable shops can be misleading (not always intentionally), many people don't realise just how big goldfish get. Common ones get to around 10 inches, so they are really better off in ponds and fancy ones get to around 8 inches. When I kept fancies I had 3 of them in a 37 gallon tank and I considered that to be full, so that gives you an idea of how much room they need.

Your fish is likely to be suffering due to water quality issues. This can be anything from high ammonia and nitrIte (usually due to inefficient filtration or too small a tank), high nitrAte, incorrect pH, wrong temperature or low levels of dissolved oxygen. You'd need a water test kit to confirm but if you tell me more about the tank then I might be able to narrow it down.

How big is the tank?
What sort of filter do you have?
How long has it been set up?

Don't worry, the mystery can be solved grin

claraquack Mon 09-Nov-09 14:58:31

Oh gosh now you're talking, I don't exactly know how big the tank is, about the size of a cardboard box if that makes sense? I think quite large, not like one of those tiny little bowls people used to have goldfish in. We have a Stingray filter. It has been set up for about 6 weeks. We use water from the tap but not sure what quality the water is as we live in St Lucia (you can drink the water). He has kicked over the only ornament he has in his tank, which is a Spongebob (he has some pretend weed as well). He is still alive but still just sitting at the bottom. We gave him some fresh water last night.

Thanks for this help, I had no idea you could get such expertise about something non-baby related on MN!

sweetnitanitro Mon 09-Nov-09 19:00:54

Well I was a fish geek before DD came along, don't get so much time for it now though! grin

If you have a rough guestimate of how long, wide and tall the tank is then I can figure out the volume for you. My 37 gall tank was 4ft long if that's any help to show you what size they need.

You can get water test kits off ebay that will tell you the ammonia, nitrIte, nitrAte, pH and hardness of the water. They are very easy to use, you don't need a chemistry degree grin and they are very handy for figuring out what is wrong with your fish, it could be something very simple and easy to fix.

Here's a couple of articles about water quality that may help you out a bit- CYCLE OF POO
GOLDFISH SIZES
WATER CHANGES

I am proper envy about you being in St Lucia, I'd spend all my time in the sea! Drinkable water is not always good for fish because of the added chlorine. Are you using any water conditioners before you put the tap water in the tank?

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