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Swim bladder Help

Discussion in 'Coldwater Aquarium Advice' started by Hikari, Jan 30, 2017.


  1. Hikari

    Hikari PetForums Newbie

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    Hi i wonder if anyone can help i have a fish that is floating upside down (yes its alive) and i have been treating it for swim bladder for about 8 weeks now and he isn't getting better. what can i do to help it recover is there anything other treatments that would help?
    i've been using swim bladder treatment from the pet shop but can't remember the brand.
     
  2. ellenlouisepascoe

    ellenlouisepascoe PetForums VIP

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    Have you tried the starving for 2 days to ensure it is not just constipation? Feeding shelled peas can also help get things moving if it is.
    Good idea to do a water test and make sure the levels are ok too however from previous experience if the fish is neither constipated or improving with the medication there is not a lot can be done.
     
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  3. Hikari

    Hikari PetForums Newbie

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    Yes i starved him for 2-3 days in the beginning and tested the water even changed all the water the other day in hope it would help but no change
     
  4. NaomiM

    NaomiM Love my furry, feathered and finned family

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  5. Hikari

    Hikari PetForums Newbie

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    I tested with one if those test dip sticks and now i cant find them but trying to think what was on there it was at the top of the normal ok range so nearing a water change if that makes any sense at all . Ill have another look for the strips as i want to test it again but there not where i Left them (as usual).

    A salt bath might help ill look into it a little more thank you.
     
  6. NaomiM

    NaomiM Love my furry, feathered and finned family

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    The only "OK range" for ammonia and nitrite is 0, as anything else is harmful to the fish, so if you have even slight readings for ammonia and/or nitrite this is probably causing (or at least adding to) the problem.

    A few questions that can help us to identify any underlying issues:
    1) How long have you had the tank? Did you cycle it before adding fish, and if so, how?
    2) How big is the tank?
    3) What type of fish is the poorly one, and what tankmates does it have?
    4) How often do you do a water change, and what do your water changes involve?

    On a side note, it is worth investing in a liquid test kit such as the API master kit, as the paper test strips are not very accurate.

    Make sure you use Epsom salts, not normal salt :)

    Best of luck! :)
     
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  7. Hikari

    Hikari PetForums Newbie

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    I admit i know little on how the test strips works all i know is there are green marks for ok and red for not ..... Bad yes i know

    1. He got too big for his old tank so Ive had this tank about a month or 2 before this problem but its second hand off a friend and i only washed it with sponge and hot water.... :( ... I was thinking the tank might of had something to do with it
    2. 65litres
    3. Its a goldfish cross (either with a shubunkin or carp my bet is the shubunkin) it lives on its own. Rescued it over 7 years ago from a friends pond as it had swim bladder then it recovered and was happy in tank until now (didn't put him back as a cat helped itself to most of the fish in the pond)
    4. And here is where everyone goes omg ..... Honestly the water dont get changed that often but i never let it get really bad and hes never shown signs of ill health etc until now after 7+ years so cant be doing too badly.... (Please dont beat me up i know). Anyway when doing water change its either suck half water out clean plants and pump or scoop fish out change all water clean stones plants and pump put water back same temperature as what fish was in before add tap safe put fish back....

    Feel free to write me a routine that i should be doing with fish tank maintenance etc as i sound like a bad fish owner.
    I will look for a liquid test kit i know the pet shops by me dont have it as they basically have nothing for fish so will look online

    Yes i know not normal salt i just missed the epsom off. Question on salt does aquarium salt go off? I found my old box of it but its like 7+ years old. Going to get some more anyway but wondered if its ok to use the old stuff as well?
     
  8. ellenlouisepascoe

    ellenlouisepascoe PetForums VIP

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    Goldfish are a lot harder to take care of than most other fish in my opinion, they are big eaters and big waste producers that play havoc with your water parameters.
    Firstly the best liquid kits ( in my opinion of course ) are the API Freshwater , the cheapest I have found them is here: http://www.completeaquatics.co.uk/api-freshwater-master-test-kit
    Pets at home they are around £35 if I remember correctly!

    What I do for my goldfish once a week I turn off the filter and remove all the decorations from the tank and put them in a bucket, I siphon some of the water out into the bucket and give the decorations and any fake plants you might have a good scrub down.

    I then use an algae scrubber on the side of the glass, I have one from pets at home that is basically a stick with a sponge on the end, make sure there is no algae on the hood or light if there is I clean that too.

    I then go over the gravel/ sand with a gravel cleaner or siphon and make sure all the larger bits of waste are clear, I rough the sand or gravel up with my hand to make sure it is not building up any air pockets and it also dislodges any muck you might miss and I keep cleaning the gravel until I've removed about 40% of the water from the tank. I clean the sponges from the filter in the water I've removed and replace them back into the filter and the decorations back in the tank.

    I will then get my replacement water , as close to the temperature that the fish are already in, use a water conditioner ( dechlorinator ) and carefully put it back in the tank and turn everything back on.

    Every 4 weeks ( ish ) I will perform a larger water change up to about 50% and replace the carbon in my filter ( if my filter at the time uses carbon )
     
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  9. NaomiM

    NaomiM Love my furry, feathered and finned family

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    Just to add to this - make sure you don't let any untreated tapwater come into contact with your filter media, as the chlorine will kill the good bacteria that process the fish waste. Always add dechlorinator first. Above all, don't rinse out your filter media with untreated water, or replace all the filter media with new media at the same time.

    When you changed your fish's tank, if you got rid of the old tank's filter with its media, you also got rid of all the good bacteria, which could be why you are now having problems. It takes a new filter several months to build up a colony of good bacteria which process the ammonia and nitrite from fish waste and turn them into harmless nitrate. In the meantime, it's definitely worth getting yourself a decent liquid test kit and testing the water regularly, as you'll probably need to compensate by doing extra water changes - you should do a water change any day that the ammonia or nitrite reading is higher than 0.25. Adding a daily dose of an ammonia detoxifier such as Seachem Prime can also help.


    You probably already know this, but just to clarify - aquarium salt isn't the same as epsom salt. Epsom salt can generally be bought from pharmacies.
     
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  10. ellenlouisepascoe

    ellenlouisepascoe PetForums VIP

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    Definitely this! When I was younger ( like 7years old ) I had a tank of goldfish and I used to wash the filter out under the tap :Muted I am surprised the fish even survived.
     
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  11. NaomiM

    NaomiM Love my furry, feathered and finned family

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    Goldfish used to be pretty tough before all the strains were weakened by excessive in-breeding. When we were kids, my brother used to have a goldfish called Goldie who lived in a tiny, unfiltered bowl that rarely got cleaned out. It lived for 10 years. I know goldfish should live 20+ years if kept correctly, but under the circumstances I think ten years was pretty amazing!
     
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  12. Hikari

    Hikari PetForums Newbie

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    Thank you everyone for your help i've started up my better management of fish keeping and started the weekly part water changes and getting myself a liquid test kit (also i found the test strips don't even have ammonia on it!). whats the best algae scarper? i had a magnet one but it never worked.
    I've always used tap safe but never knew about not washing the pump filter under the tap !! and that using a new tank and pump might also be bad as i thought my other pump would be too small for the tank :(

    just so you know i knew. i do know the difference between epsom salt and aquarium salts i just wondered if the aquarium salts can go off :)

    I've also managed to find a vet that knows about fish and is helping I've sent some photos for them to look at but i think there is something other than swim bladder going on as there are two lumps on his side/belly :( i hate to think i may of caused this by changing his tank etc.... but he is eating really well and don't seem too stressed dispite the floating so i hope there is something that can be done for him.

    wish him a full recovery and i can keep you you updated if you like.
     
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  13. ellenlouisepascoe

    ellenlouisepascoe PetForums VIP

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  14. NaomiM

    NaomiM Love my furry, feathered and finned family

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    I just use a bit of spare filter floss to clean algae off the glass - it does the trick! :)

    You did the right thing by getting him a bigger tank, but if you ever move him again, it's best to keep the filter media from inside the old filter and put it into the new filter so that you don't lose the good bacteria :)
     
  15. Silly Tilly

    Silly Tilly PetForums Newbie

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    Sorry to jump in. Can I please ask if anyone has any other ideas for swim bladder. 1 of my fish has had it for weeks now. I've starved him, using swim bladder treatment, feeding shelled peas, tried bloodworms. He's in a tank on his own, that way I can keep a closer eye on him. I just don't know what to do next. Hes about 3 years old
     
  16. NaomiM

    NaomiM Love my furry, feathered and finned family

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    Hi Silly Tilly,

    As above, Epsom salt dips can sometimes help; but as swim bladder issues are often caused by poor water quality, it's important to eliminate that as a cause. Have you tested your water for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate? (If possible, use a liquid drop test kit rather than the paper test strips.)
     
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