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Thread: Advice: fish move to bottom of tank

  1. #1

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    Unhappy

    Hello,

    I'm an amateur fish lover. Before I learned how to properly care for fish, I unfortunately went through multiple goldfish.

    From this experiance, I learned that some goldfish a day or two before their death would swim to the bottom of the tank and stay stationary in few positions. They may swim up when feeding time came around or when the aquarium was tapped. However, they mainly stayed in one spot at the bottom of the aquarium.

    Lately, I've seen this sort of behaviour from a goldfish I've cared for successfuly for 3-4 weeks now. Sometimes when I feed him I notice he barfs up the fish flake and eats it again.

    I have one fish in my tank and I try not to overfeed. I feed 1/4-1/2 a flake several times a day.

    What does this strange behaviour mean? Especially the staying at the bottom of the tank? The tank water is not clouded, it is exposed to the air, and doesn't reek. I think it's been a week since I've changed his water and the tank is constantly aerated with a pump.

    What signal is the fish trying to tell me?

  2. #2

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    How big is your tank? Chances are it is too small for long term keeping of a goldfish. We need more info on the tank size, temp, water conditions, any tankmates, if it is cycled etc. etc.
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    D. muscipula & D. muscipula 'Red Dragon'(barely)

    Sarracenia leucophylla(seedling)

    S. purpurea and Drosera filiformis filiformis/ intermedia seeds waiting to sprout.

    Drosera capensis

  3. #3
    StifflerMichael's Avatar
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    Goldfish can have a lot of problems since they have been inbred so much (like purebred dogs). You mention that you feed them flake food, does the fish swallow a lot of air? You may want to try a sinking pellet type food for goldfish. One thing that helps a lot with indigestion is mashed peas. I buy a can of peas, mash them up and freeze them. I then cut off a bit of the chunk, thaw it in my hand and feed the fish--they go wild for it and clear up their bowels at the same time. Another great treatment is antibacterial fish food--Jungle makes this food, feed them it exclusively for one week. One more thing--how big is your tank? Goldfish produce copious amounts of waste--this waste needs diluted and significantly filtered, most recommend around 20gallons per fish (mine is in a ten gallon, blah).

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    It's a 1 gallon tank, stored in my room, 1 air pump, no tank mates, water cycled every 1.5-2 weeks.

    Well, the fish just died. I noticed something weird too: sometimes when goldfish die they float to the top, sometimes they sink. I wonder: why?

    And yes, he did swallow lots of air. I let the tank aerate with pump for 2 days before inserting the fish. I moved the fish to another temporary water supply (2 liter bottle) a few hours before he died since I was concerned the water supply in the aquarium.

    <sighs> I think Beta's sound really good right now. At least I'll have something to feed it.

  5. #5
    StifflerMichael's Avatar
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    Well, a one gallon tank, that explains the problem (or problems, as you say this is not the first one)!!! Fish need to be in larger amounts of water to dilute their waste. I would recommend doing A LOT of reading before you start with any new fish, or they will quickly die also. Betta fish may be sold in those little jars in the pet store, but it doesn't mean they like it nor is it healthy for them (notice they also cram a ton of goldfish in those tiny tanks...how long do you think they would live there if they weren't sold?)

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    Yeah. Tank size would be the main reason. I've seen goldfish that you would have to cram into one of them to get them to fit and myself have a few that would have a tough/impossible time turning around.

    What do you mean by cycled? Thats generally used to describe the breaking in period when the tanks nitrogen fixing bacteria are getting established in the tank to provide biofiltration. Please tell us a little more about any tank maintenance you do. One no-no is removing all the water from the tank and "cleaning it."

    Gulping air from the surface shows that their was too little oxygen in the tank due to the # of fish...or that the amount of ammonia or nitrite was high(thats what you need those bacteria for). With little oxygen in the water they will resort to gulping from the surface. Ammonia and nitrite also are said to cause damage to the gills which increases the problem.

    A betta would be a good choice but please read up before purchasing one. They do like it warm so you should keep that in mind. Also, bettas do not each much at all so it is very easy to overfeed them.

    Keeping fish really isn't that hard once you get the basics...I'm sure you will succeed.

    Good luck! [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile.gif[/img]
    1 Nxventrata

    D. muscipula & D. muscipula &#39;Red Dragon&#39;(barely)

    Sarracenia leucophylla(seedling)

    S. purpurea and Drosera filiformis filiformis/ intermedia seeds waiting to sprout.

    Drosera capensis

  7. #7

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    I notice the fish was paralyzed shortly before it died. I interacted with the fish to encourage movement and it looked quite stiff.

    I've read up on caring fish. I'm now moving to a bigger (10 gallon) aquarium in hopes of being humane to these animals.

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    StifflerMichael's Avatar
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    Great! Keeping fish is fun but its not super easy. The more reading you can do the better--and especially important is cycling a tank, be sure you know.

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