View Full Version : Sick fish...or just weird fish?

05-04-2008, 03:04 PM
I have a 5in fantail, and a 2-3in telescope goldfish sharing a 12g tank (bigger one on the way). The telescope fish has a bit of an unusual daily routine (and has done for about a year) ...

Mornings are spent snoozing at the bottom of the tank
Afternoons are for swimming around - acting normal!
Evenings are spent floating at the top of the tank, usually in the corner, often upside down.

The evening routine freaks me out a bit. When it first started doing it (not long after it came home) I was expecting it to die, but odd behaviour aside it seems to be doing well. It's eating properly, growing and while its floating there if I go up and say hello it starts swimming around fine.

Wondering if anyone thinks there's the potential for there to be something wrong with it. I figure it's just weird, but that's cool with me - after all, when my kids are teenagers I'm pretty sure they'll be following a similar routine - sleeping all morning and hanging out upstairs all evening :hmm3grin2orange:


05-04-2008, 03:11 PM
that is weird ive no explanation.............but im glad you have a bigger tank coming shortly you will need it:19:

05-04-2008, 04:40 PM
I have a floater like that...or at least he used to do it more often...now, in the year he's been in the 55g, I've rarely seen it...I think having more space to move and excercise in has helped a great deal...

05-04-2008, 06:25 PM
You get floater or sinker goldfish because of the shape of the fish, specially the fancy varietes. Their bodies are very compact and their intestines will push up against their swim bladder. If they get constipated or food gets stuck inside them or even high nitrates can cause the bladder to not work correctly. Feed them less of what you are feeding and if it is a pellet food be sure to let it soak in a cup of tank water for a few minutes or else it will expand an become stuck when they eat it. Also feeding peas popped from their shells works to clear out their digestive tract. Just make sure you get frozenand not canned because canned will have salt and things added to it that you don't want. I would say once they are in the bigger tank the problem should be less of a concern as it is most likely from high nitrates, goldfish produce lots of waste. Get a bigger tank, feed them less, and mix up feed with peas a few times a week should be better in no time.

05-04-2008, 10:26 PM
If it is a routine I would just keep an eye on it.

Do not soak food. That removes a lot of water soluble nutrients that they need. If the food is a problem then you simply need to get a different one. I use New Life Spectrum. Most importantly it should be the best brand you can get and sinking, not floating. Eating floating foods can cause them to take in too much air, which with their compromised digestive system can cause buoyancy problems. The idea of foods expanding in their stomach is really not true. They would have to eat so much so fast for that to even come close to being an issue, and even then they would simply regurgitate some. Not to mention that I have never read anything that truly showed any fact that supported this, just theoreticals. If anyone has any information that actually shows this to be true, please share.

Swim bladder problems are generally independent of digestive system problems. They are usually caused by infections due to stress and/or low water quality, not the diet or other problems.

When are you feeding?
What are you feeding?

05-06-2008, 12:06 AM
They get TetraFin Goldfish Crisps, I have some sinking granules too but they don't seem so keen on them. I just found out they can eat things other than goldfish food - oops must be very boring being a fish in my house.

I'll vary up the feeding routine and see if that changes anything. Other than that I'll just cross my fingers it stops doing it in the bigger tank.


05-06-2008, 03:30 AM
I would find a high quality sinking pellet. I only feed New Life Spectrum and have great results with it (see my blog for my experience with NLS). SO I would recommend either finding a LFS that sells it or buying it online. They do not necessarily need variety, just a balanced and complete diet. Usually that requires variety, guesswork, and hope. NLS takes care of it in one food.

05-07-2008, 12:56 PM
Update - I've stopped feeding the Goldfish crisps for 3 days and the fish is no longer floating at the top of the tank in the evenings!! I'm not sure who is dumber - me for not thinking there was a problem, or the fish for not realising it was the food ;-)

Thanks a million for the advice - now I just wish I'd found the forum a year ago!!!