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Hi I'm From Melbourne And My Goldfish Is Floating To The Top Of His Tank !


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Hi, not sure when I first started noticing it, but one of my goldfish floats to the top (ass end first) when he tries to swim. He'll swim down and then his tail end will float back up again.

I read some of the forum topics and tried to feed him the mashed inside of a pea. Wasn't really interested. I think I'll give him a rest from any form of food for a day or two.

I'm a bit scared about using the epsom salts. He is in a 20L tank with one other fish. I'm not sure what they are called as my boyfriend bought them for me for my birthday.

They are small white goldfish with gold on their heads. (The one that is sick has a gold spot shaped like a love heart)

To date, have been feeding them floating pallets which I can see now was a bad idea. I don't know what food I should switch to ? My other goldfish seems to be perfectly healthy ?

I lost my Oranda a few months ago... he had an upside-down swimming issue... use to love swimming on his bubble (upside down) along the bottom of the tank. He died out of no where.

Anyway, need help asap ! I don't think he'll last long if I don't act now !

Appreciate your assistance !


Edited by Beti
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Hi Beti!, welcome to Ausaqua :)

(we might zip this over to the hospital forum later, but lets get it sorted first)

20L is a very small tank for goldfish. The goldfish sound like red cap orandas (goldfish are very much not my thing, so I could be wrong). How many fish are in the tank all up?

Do you have ammonia and nitrite test kits? If so, the readings on those would be very handy.

If it is *just* a buoyancy problem then that isn't such a pressing matter, however in a confined space with other pushy fish, and probably a waste problem, it could be more complicated. Lets start with simple first though, how long has he been floating?

For now, don't feed. Just give them all a day or two off until we figure out what is going on. ;)

Don't do the epsom salts in the tank either ;) That is the sort of thing where you are best off using a short term bath (mix up the solution in a separate holding container/tank) rather than stressing the fish that don't really need it.

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Hi Lilli,

Yes, there is a filter and a bubble stone. The filter I think may be a bit too powerful. It's an Elite 10 50Hz filter. The ones that sit on the outside of the tank (motor on the outside, hose on the inside)

the air pump is an Elite802. 2 air exits. It blows bubbles via a long airstone against the back wall.

I have a live plant in there too.

Products I use are: Seachem; Flourish for Plants, Seachem water stability, Aquaplus conditioner and Aquasonic water conditioner (hardener)

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Hi Callatya,

No, these ones aren't Oranda's. I use to have an Oranda and yes he was very messy.

These are little white goldfish with a gold spot on his head. I'm not sure what type they are, but there is ample room for the 2 of them.

I don't have any testing kits, too many different kinds I kinda gave up.

I noticed the buoyancy thing last week, he's been floating for about 3 days now. He'll swim off every now and then but still ends up floating to the top.

Yeah didn't like the idea of putting the epsom salt in the tank but was planning on doing the short term bath. I have no idea of the dosage. Everything I read is based on gallons.

Oh I forgot to let Lilli know that I half water change once a fortnight and add only as much conditioner/product as needed for the water that I have added.

I rang living jungle, OMG I nearly died when the guy told me to poke my fish with a thin needle !!! What the ???

He seems worse today, yesterday he was floating on his side... today he is floating belly up but still breathing and swimming away if I get close.

I'm thinking it can't be the water otherwise my other goldfish would be sick too.

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it's not a question of how much 'room' they have, it is a question of how much waste they produce and how well the filtration removes ammonia from the water. Goldfish are notorious for creating far more waste than you'd expect.

I do suggest that you buy just the one test kit - an ammonia test kit. even if the other goldfish seems ok you need to know if they are in clean (ie, non-toxic, as opposed to 'not dirty') water or not.

Your fish may simply have a damaged swim bladder, which you probably can't do much about.

There is a sticky post in the Clinic forum about dosing with Epsom salts.

PS can you please use the "Fast Reply" or "Add Reply" buttons, not the "Reply". Otherwise it quotes the entire post above and people on dialup or slow downloads have to load more info than necessary.

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