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*Amanda*

Persistent, intermittent floatiness in deep-bodied telescope

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Hi all,

I was hoping you could help me with an issue my Gordo has been having - details below. Thanks in advance!

Test Results for the Following:

* Ammonia Level(Tank) 0ppm

* Nitrite Level(Tank) 0ppm

* Nitrate level(Tank) 0ppm

* Ammonia Level(Tap) 0ppm

* Nitrite Level(Tap) 0ppm

* Nitrate level(Tap) 0ppm

* Ph Level, Tank (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines) 8.0 pH, 13 drops gH, 10 drops kH

* Ph Level, Tap (If possible, KH, GH and chloramines) 8.0

Other Required Info:

* Brand of test-kit used and whether strips or drops? API drops

* Water temperature? 70F

* Tank size (how many gals.) and how long has it been running? 50 gallons, 1.5 years

* What is the name and "size of the filter"(s)? API Filstar XP-L canister

* How often do you change the water and how much? ~70% every week

How many days ago was the last water change and how much did you change? Sunday, 50%

* How many fish in the tank and their size? 3 adult fancy goldfish, fairly large (probably around 5" body)

* What kind of water additives or conditioners? Only Ultimate and Praziquantel (standard maintenance dose, per label) currently. Normally also add Excel and Flourish for the plants, and koi clay, but not adding these during Prazi treatment.

* What do you feed your fish and how often? Primarily Soilent Green and also NLS Thera-A, twice per day, with occasional frozen bloodworms and nori.

* Any new fish added to the tank? No

* Any medications added to the tank? Prazi semiannual maintenance dose.

* List entire medication/treatment history for fish and tank. Please include salt, Prazi, PP, etc and the approximate time and duration of treatment. Prazi has been in the tank for 1.5 weeks. No other medications have ever been administered to this fish or tank.

* Any unusual findings on the fish such as "grains of salt," bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus? White patch at base of dorsal fin from exposure to air caused by floating. I have been applying Vaseline to the area to prevent it from drying out too much. He also has cataracts in both eyes, but has had them since I got him when I set up the tank.

* Any unusual behavior? Gordo, my butterfly telescope, has been more and more floaty lately. I am sure it is genetic since he is very deep-bodied and has had intermittent floating issues since I got him, but the episodes have become more frequent and long-lasting over the past month or two. He is a "senior" fish, probably around 6-7 years old. He has difficulty swimming down most of the time now, but every day there is a period of several hours during which he is able to swim perfectly normally. I have been unable to identify exactly what precipitates the trouble (it doesn't seem to be food, but I can't be certain), but I have noticed he becomes more floaty immediately after the Sunday water change. I have begun changing a bit less water (50-70% instead of 90%) in case this is part of the problem. Still, that doesn't explain why it happens the other six days of the week. Neither of the other fish (a pompom and a veiltail) have ever had any floatiness; only Gordo.

Do you have any suggestions? If this is something that is unlikely to improve, is there anything I can do to make his life more comfortable? I was considering adding some netting (or something) a couple of inches below the water line to keep his whole body underwater, but am not sure how I would do this so that it doesn't go across the entire tank. When he gets floaty, he likes to anchor his tail between the top of the filter intake and the glass to keep himself upright ... smart fish! So, he always goes to the same corner when he's struggling.

Thanks!

Amanda

Edited by *Amanda*

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Let me poke the mods and see if they have any wisdom. That sort of congenital floatiness that has worsened with time isn't my specialty - I'm better with wounds and pathogens :)

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Have you considered putting him into a more shallow QT with little current to see of the floating subsides?  You call also experiment with fasting in a QT to see if it is food related.

 

The fact that he gets floaty right after the water change might indicate that his swim bladder is slow to make adjustments.  This can be the result of constipation, high nitrates, physical damage, congenital defect or infection.

Edited by Jared

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Have you considered putting him into a more shallow QT with little current to see of the floating subsides?  You call also experiment with fasting in a QT to see if it is food related.

 

The fact that he gets floaty right after the water change might indicate that his swim bladder is slow to make adjustments.  This can be the result of constipation, high nitrates, physical damage, congenital defect or infection.

Thanks Jared, I can try this out. I have a spare 10 gallon I can set up for him to see if it's a water depth issue. My tank is 21" deep - I have been lowering the water level by several inches the past few months, but it hasn't led to any improvement. Good to know about the water changes; I wasn't really sure what that meant. I was worried it might be something in the replacement water, but it wasn't affecting the other fish and my test kit shows absolutely no difference between the tap and tank water - no drop in pH, etc.; our water is really hard here. It would make sense if Gordo's swim bladder is just slow to adjust.

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Hope Gordo feels better.

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I agree with what Jared said but will go a bit farther.  I have seen breeders recommend putting a floaty fish in a large pond where it gets more exercise.  Pond fish behave quite differently from those in aquariums.  They spend virtually every waking minute nibbling on algae and other goodies on the sides and bottom of the pond.  Furthermore, they do this as a group -- a rather loose group if you compare them to schooling fish.   Everyone may be foraging on the north end of the pond when one of the more dominant fish decides the east side looks better and starts swimming in that direction.  In short order, the rest of the fish meander to the new site and foraging there.  If you have a pond fish bottom sitting or hanging out  at the top of the pond,  you get that fish in a hospital tank.

 

I point out this behavior because you hardly ever see floaty fish, long-bodied or fancy, in a pond.  I've had fancy goldfish in my ponds for four years, currently I have ~25 adult fancies, and have probably re-homed about the same number.  How many have been floaty?  Exactly zero.  I feed dry, floating koi pellets to all my fish -- exactly what everyone here says not to feed.  When I feed the fish, they act  like aquarium fish -- wildly excited, scarfing up the food and settling down to chew.  when they finish, they go right back to natural behavior -- steady slow motion and continuous consumption of tiny amounts of natural food.  

 

If you put your fish in a 10 gallon aquarium with shallow water all you get is a fish in bad water.   If you get a shallow container with lots of swimming area, you will encourage some exercise.  If you put some tasty potted plants in each corner of the box you give him a reason to keep moving.  A friend in there gives even more stimulus  for motion.  

made from an underbed storage box.  

 

Someone recently reported that her floaty goldfish stops floating when fed duckweed.

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Thanks, I can try the duckweed and see if I can set up a large container. I might have room on my patio (I live in a condo, so no room for a large pond unfortunately ... one day!).

I do have a tank full of plants, but my fish don't pay any attention to them - not even to the ones they're supposed to like, such as elodea. But if I were to lay duckweed across the surface, if nothing else that would at least keep him below the water line.

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From the mod team - I'm not going to try to summarize because it's said best as is:

Sadly, this is how the fish will be till the end. My ryukin is the same and all other fish that I have cared for that display mild floaty problems become progressively worse as time goes on, unfortunately.

All the OP can do is to feed light meals, but natural foods such as steamed zucchini, carrot, pumpkin, peas and leafy products such as steamed spinach. the fish will continue to float after each meal, however the floating period will be shortened. She will still need to provide protein, so frozen blood worms or shrimp etc. she may want to make a very basic gel food with peas and add a probiotic to it and add that to the feeding routine also. just to make sure that the fish is still getting everything it needs.

Adding an obstacle between the fish and the surface of the water is a bit extreme and can cause stress. Fish do like to get to the surface whether they are floaters or not. IE, if the water chemistry is not right, it may not carry enough oxygen despite the bubblers. If a fish cannot get to the surface, then it may stress and end up with other health issues.

The only other thing the OP can try is antibiotics, however, since this is a persistent problem, I doubt that the fish would have made it this far should it be suffering from infection. So in all honesty, I don't believe that there is anything the OP can do other than regulate the food a little better and perhaps if they are able to consider keeping this fish in a shallower tank (most ppl don't have the space or funds to accommodate a separate setup.)

:oops: I posted this to another thread of a user having similar issues. Please forgive the delay.

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