One of my fish,a blackmoor, has had a few problems with floating, on and off for a while now. He seemed to be ok for about 4 months after i moved them into a bigger tank but recently has been doing it again. There have not been any changes in water conditions etc which are all good.
The only thing I have changed is their food to try and rectify this but not had any luck.
The thing which causes this is him gulping air at the surface and then he swallows it which makes him float. He only does this after he eats. Not at any other times,when he is fine and swims normally. The oxygen levels are all ok (as are ammonia,nitrite,nitrate ect) and he is the only one who does it. The other 4 are all fine and dont gulp air at all.
I have tried lots of different foods which I can find in my local fish places etc inc the usually mentioned peas.
The only thing which I have noticed with him is that he has not grown as much as the others. Not by a huge difference and could be that he does not eat as much as the rest maybe?
Any ideas why he may be doing this?
Thanks in advance
Fish can often accidentally swallow air from the surface in their haste to get to the food. Maybe only feed sinking food pellets for a while to see if that makes a difference.
When you see your fish gasping at the surface, this is an indication of oxygen deprivation; in other words the fish is suffocating. A couple of things can cause this; low pH level, not enough surface action or supersaturated gases.
If you have a lid on your tank, remove it or raise the flap so your water is exposed to fresh air.
You probably have a top loading filter; these types of filters are designed for tropical fish, not goldfish. See if you can add a pond pump to your tank. They produce a great deal of surface action without creating too much current in the body of water. They come in all sizes and are affordable.
Not to mention the mechanics sit on the bottom of the tank where the nasties are; this increases your friendly bug population.
Increased surface action not only increases oxygen levels, and eliminates supersaturated gases, but it reduces harmful bacteria and stabilizes pH levels.
You say the fish is floating; can it control it's swimming or does it swim to the bottom only to float back up again?
Sometimes we see more than one problem in a tank. If you answered yes, to the question above, try lowering your water table. The new tank may be adding too much water pressure to the fish's swim bladder and the lowered table reduces this pressure. You might find that 3 to 6" makes a big difference, but in some cases it takes much more.
Perform smaller, but more frequent water changes because large changes cause additional stress.
Best of luck, Venus
Thanks for the replies
I have tried all of the sinking pellets I can find at various fish stores. They have always been fed on sinking pellets since I have had them (8 months or so) so they are used to them hopefully.
The ph is 8.2.
Not sure what you mean by a "top loading filter"?
My tank is a juwel which has the built in filter,pump etc in the corner. A while ago I made up some pipework which goes on to the outlet of the pump and drops the water onto the surface via approx 20 small holes. I did this to help the oxygen content as well as to prevent too much turbulance in the water. Also there are 2 air stones so lots of surface movement. I did an oxygen test and that seemed all ok.
What do you mean by "supersaturated gases"?
He only does this after eating not at any other time.When he has got over it which takes a few hours at least, he can then swim normally etc and does not show any signs of a problem till he eats air again! which is only after he eats. (you can see air bubbles in his feces) When he has done this he can swim to the bottom but it takes a little effort but will then float to the top again.
The other 4 fish are fine and not had any similar problems at all which was making me think the water/tank etc was ok.
The tank they were in before this one was shallower but he still had the same problems.
I think you tank is fine, he may have a genetic problem, a mouth or intestinal/gastro-intestinal problem if it is something he has always had a problem with after eating. If he isn't loosing weight, is healthy apart from his gas problem, that is good. What did you feed them during those 4 months when everything seemed OK?
He does seem ok all the rest of the time And when he is floating it does not seem to bother him too much which is the main thing.
I fed them Hikari pellets for the time when he was ok but ran out (or at least the use by date did! Didnt notice the date till it was almost up!) and could not get any more for a while so got some new life spectrum which seemed to disagree with him straight away. I got some more Hikari and switched them back to that but he still seemed to struggle a bit.
At the moment they are having TetraFin Gold Japan sinking pellets which he has been fine with so far (only a few days) Occasionally they have some of those little sachets of gel food which seem fine but I was not too keen on them having that every day.
Thanks for all your help and advice
Last edited by james7; 05-06-2009 at 09:54 AM.
I had an oranda that had exactly the same problems and unfortunately died. I wager that it is not the tank conditions but the fish. 'fancy fish' as people like to call them are often bred intensively and selectively however aesthetic qualities are often chosen over the fish strength. This selective method often results in digestion tracts being 'squashed' up and prone to impacted bowels. The buoyancy is controlled by the swim bladder which can be filled or emptied to adjust buoyancy. Impacted bowels then affect the swim bladder creating this floating problem. Unfortunately i dont think the situation can be rectified as it is genetic however try soaking the food before or useing a gel based food. It has also been suggested that peas can ease bowel impactions. Sorry to be the bearer of potentially bad news