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i think our poor fantail goldfish is dying

10 replies

shelley72 · 18/07/2012 14:07

he didnt look too happy last night, and now he is kind of swimming on his side, gills are still going but he's on his way out isnt he?

what can i do? have part changed the water this morning in case it was that. he is only fish we have. our 2 original fish which were 4 - 5 years old died in march and since then, despite cycling with empty tanks, one fish only, being careful not to overfeed so as not to push up waste levels and having water tested every bloody week we have been through about 5 fish.

DS will be distraught and i think ive had it with fish now and wont bother again - we clearly must be doing something wrong - although we are doing nothing different than we did with our original two fish. they are teeny fantails and we have never had more thn two due to tank size.

any suggestions please?

OP posts:
Marne · 18/07/2012 16:30

how big is the tank?

Do you cycle the tank before adding the fish?

BonnieBumble · 18/07/2012 16:32

No suggestions I'm afraid we had the same issue. I'm not sure they are a great breed.

shelley72 · 18/07/2012 17:12

hi the tank is a 45l biorb (which is not ideal i now realise) and when our original 2 died, we cycled for a month before adding anything else in, then just one fish at a time. it tended to be the newer one that died first. the one that appears to be dying now is our original one from april time so we thought he would make it Sad. when the last one died last month we didnt even bother trying to replace. we have had the water tested in between as i say (at 2 different places and at all times it has tested ok).

just dont know what to do with him, i dont like the idea of him suffering, but dont like the idea of killing anything either Shock

OP posts:
EauRouge · 18/07/2012 17:31

Can you get him into a more suitable set-up? That will help. 45 litres is far too small for a goldfish and biorbs have very crappy filters that don't cope with much waste.

When you cycled the tank, what did you add to it to start the cycle?

shelley72 · 18/07/2012 17:51

ooh hes not very big (about an inch at the minute) and our other two never got bigger than about 1.5 inches - is that because the tank was too small then?

when we started the cycle we didnt add anything - the pet shop advised not too as there would already be bacteria in the filter gravel? i am aware that biorbs have rubbish filters, am just not sure whats gone wrong with it after 4 and a bit years of it running smoothly.

i dont have anywhere else to put him (apart from bath!) will that help at all? have already changed water and thats made no difference?

OP posts:
EauRouge · 18/07/2012 18:35

Yes, if the tank is too small then it can cause stunting which can lead to health problems and premature death. :( If you imagine a tennis ball with fins, that is about the size a fantail gets to.

There will have been good bacteria in the water in tiny amounts but it needs a source of ammonia to multiply enough for the filter to work properly. If you didn't add ammonia or fish food during the cycle then nothing will have happened. It sounds as though the staff at the fish shop are a bit confused about how to cycle a tank.

The filter might be functioning as it always has, it might just be that the fish has an illness or is becoming stunted. Do you know what the water readings were when you last got the water tested?

If you don't fancy sharing your bath with a goldfish then a plastic storage box is OK as a temporary home, you'll need a filter as well with the sponges from the biorb filter in there to get it going. Make sure it's food grade plastic and bigger than the biorb is.

shelley72 · 18/07/2012 19:17

goodness i had no idea they were supposed to be that big - again pet shop said 2 inches max!

he is now in the lego box on the kitchen worktop. he really doesnt look good though. he has white spots on fins and it looks like he has a bulge in his tummy Sad. have told DS that he is very poorly and that we are trying to make him better. this sounds silly but woujld a vet be able to help?

we definitely wont be getting any more, which is a shame as i quite like talking to him of an evening Sad

OP posts:
EauRouge · 18/07/2012 19:23

Depends on the vet, there are some specialist fish ones but not loads. Try here. Don't ask the aquatic store for help, that's for sure! 2 inches max my arse, trading standards should slap them on the wrist for that.

Is there any chance you could post a photo? I know it's tough to get photos of fish but it might help.

shelley72 · 18/07/2012 19:38

thank you. cant do a photo, have googled and it came up with swim bladder disease? and suggested feeding peas?! so i am at the moment defrosting some peas to see if that helps - i guess by making him eat something and therefore poo?

OP posts:
EauRouge · 18/07/2012 20:02

There's not really such a thing as 'swim bladder disease'. The swim bladder is an organ that helps a fish to balance and some things can cause it to stop working properly. Bacterial infections and deformities can affect it, as can constipation which is what the peas can help with. It's worth a go, fancy goldfish are pretty prone to constipation because of their shape and because they need more veg in their diet than they normally get.

Just bung a couple of peas in the microwave in some water and zap them, squeeze them out of the skin and chuck them in for the fish.

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