To achieve the beautiful traits we want in fancy goldfish, we have changed their body shape, which places excessive pressure on the swim bladder, making it harder for the fish to regulate their gas content and their level of neutral buoyancy.
When there is too much gas in the bladder the fish turns upside down. If there's too little gas the density of the fish's tissues is not counteracted and the fish continually sinks.
fancy goldfish, these guys are bred for their shape and are not affected by swim bladder now,. but could be if not kept in the right conditions and fed the right foods.
Swim bladder disorders are complex and it is unlikely that a single type of treatment could bring about a cure in all circumstances.
Animal husbandry is very important when managing swim bladder problems. Optimum water quality should be
*zero ammonia and nitrite.* pH stable between 7.0 and 8.5.* A well aerated aquarium.* stable temperature.
Check your water with a test kit for the pH and add the necessary ph up liquid or pH down to get the correct pH. This must be done over days, only adding exactly the recommended amount for your size aquarium. Add every day till the reading is correct when you test it the next day.
Add an air pump with air stone to the aquarium, goldfish love to play in the bubbles and it keeps bad bacteria of the bottom of the tank and sends it into the filter.
Check what temperature the tanks is. How much does that temperature vary during the day, is it next to a window, does it get very hot or very cold, Is it near a fan or heater move the tank if the temperature varies between day and night by more than 6 degrees.
Is this a new tank? is there ammonia in the tank, use a ammonia test kit and if there is ammonia do a water change depending on how bad the ammonia is, depends on how much water you replace. 10% for a low reading, up to 50% and no more for a high reading.
Ammonia destroys the health of fish, buy some live bacteria and make sure you do weekly water changes and don't feed to much. It takes time for a fish tank to cycle, when this happens you shouldn't have any ammonia in the water.
How to treat swim bladder disease
The swim bladder in goldfish is connected to the esophagus, via a small tube called the pneumatic duct. Continued feeding of any dry foods might eventually block this duct, hampering the fish's ability to regulate the gas content of the swim bladder.
feeding a wide variety of foods in most cases will mean your fish wont develop swim bladder, but if you have noticed that your goldfish floats on the top of the water all the time, or sinks and cant get up to the top of the water, then your goldfish have swim bladder problems.
What you should have been feeding! a variety of foods including frozen fish foods, Hikari Wheatgerm pellets, spirulina pellets , low protein pellets , a great food for goldfish is live plants that you buy at the aquarium or plant nursery and bugs that you would find in your backyard such as mosquito wrigglers, earth worms,tadpoles, Moths, grass hoppers etc.
re pot any plants bought in pots of dirt, to pots of aquarium gravel, you could use Chinese containers for the aquarium. You can take these out when eaten down place in a bucket of water in the sun and let them regenerate
If you feel you have been feeding too much protein to your fish, such as dry pellet food or a high protein flake, switch to low protein for 6 months only once a week.
1st change the diet to fiber based only for a least two weeks. feed a combination of wheatgerm base foods and live plants and live foods. This is the food we feed for wheatgerm. It does have protein in it, however is a different type of protein that derives from the wheatgerm kernel.
We also use our Australian wheatgerm product, dont worry about the size, it floats and goes soft so the fish will suck on it, they love it and its an easy and economical way to feed your fish the best food for them.
live plants such as Wisteria, Duck weed, Water lettuce, Barcopa or lace plant are good plants for them to eat. Algae growing on the side of the pond is great, if they are in an aquarium put a rock in a bucket of water in full sun, in a couple of weeks you will have a nice little garden of algae to feed your goldfish.
In some fish this small change will fix the problem. If after two weeks you fish is doing better, keep this diet going only feeding very small amounts at a time of protein once to twice a week only.
How the fish is no better, fasting ( not feeding the fish for 2 weeks or longer) when buoyancy problems arise, this is often seen as one of the most effective ways to manage the problem.
You can try this first, as the fish should still be in good condition, they can go without food for a extended period, up to a month. A healthy fish will be fine with this and will eat algae, microscopic foods on plants and bugs.
At the Windsor fish hatchery we are always saying its all about the water, and in this case, you can cure this problem by paying attention to your water parameters and your feeding habits of the fish.
Give your goldfish time to recover, if you change the diet or water and it works and he starts to get better, don't go back to old habits.
What if my fish cant get off the bottom of the pond or aquarium
Goldfish swim bladder can also lead to other problems such as the fish that cant get off the bottom of your tank.
Its likely that organisms that usually feed on rotting organic matter in the tank have opportunistically found their way onto the fish and are infecting its fins where there's a reduced covering of protective mucous.
You will see small white patches on the fins, that are like lesions, these can be easily treated with a broad -spectrum aquarium anti-parasitic medication.
I use salt, to cure this problem, I dose 1/4 cup of salt to 50ltrs of aquarium water. Don't go over 1 cup for the bigger aquarium. No need to buy the salt from the aquarium shop, Rock salt from the supermarket is perfect.
If you are treating the fish in a pond use 1 kilo of salt per 2000ltrs of water, you can use pool salt.
Toss the salt in one spot in the aquarium or pond and the filter and aerator will disperse it around the aquarium, this will help the goldfish with buoyancy, as salt makes water lighter.
Again the best water quality will help in this situation, make sure you siphon the gravel weekly to remove as much organic muck as possible, then do a 25% water change.
If the fishes fins are really bad and the salt isn't working well enough, treat with the anti-parasitic medication as directed on the product you buy.
Windsor fish hatchery breeding and selling koi & goldfish since 1984 https://www.windsorfishhatchery.com.au/