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Goldfish gulping air then swims erratically


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Hello, I have 2 goldfish and they turning bright red where their fins attached to their body. I did a treatment of API Fin & body cure and the redness is mostly gone. 

 Now one of them will slowly swim to the surface, take a gulp of air and then swim erratically. Doing twists, rolls. He’s eating and swimming around the tank. Some thing else is I think he has very poor eyesight. When I feed them green peas he has trouble seeing the peas on the bottom of the fish tank.

They are in a 75 gallon tank, There’s one fluval fx6, two aquaclear 110 hob filters, two air stones. I am also using 2 bags of Nitrazorb in the hob filters.

Water parameters are…

ph 7.1 ammonia 0.0 nitrite 0.0 nitrate 7.0



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It could be swim bladder most common causes are over eating and the stomach putting pressure on the swim bladder or constipation or bacterial infection or an injury what I would do  Epsom salt baths 1 table spoon for 2 gallons for no more than 15 minutes for a couple of days as Epsom salt acts as a muscle relaxants to relieve pressure on the swim bladder if you notice no improvement after after 5 days or he gets worse than I would do a course of kanaplex in food I missed the nitrates if it's 70 that would affect the fish immune system and effective the swim bladder I would do daily water changes and add prime to detoxify any nitrites


Edited by Colu
Missed the nitrates
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Thanks for all the help 😀.

For testing I’m using the API test kit (drops), my nitrate levels are between 5-10 ppm, 7 ppm.

I have 2 goldfish in a 75 gallon tank. They are about 9 years old and large. I’m not sure if I will be able to remove the Sick one from the tank. I have tried feeding him green peas and he seems to really enjoy them. He has bad eye sight and I wonder if it was caused by a severe ammonia problem I had 5 years ago when I lost power to the fish tank.

For medication I was wrong it was actually Kanaplex (not API fin & body cure) I added directly to the water. I’ve tried feeding Kanaplex, garlic guard, focus with frozen brine shrimp.

For filters I’m using a fluval Fx6 and two aquaclear 110 hang on back filters. I try to clean each of them once a month. The aquaclears have a foam prefilter on them. The tank is just a glass bottom so I can clean up after them daily. I am also doing weekly water changes to control the nitrate levels.

My other goldfish has red streaks in her tail. I was guessing it was Hemorrhagic Septicemia. She doesn’t seem bothered by it but I tried Kanaplex too with no effect.

I’m attaching a photo showing the red, it’s very hard to see but the muscles attaching the fins to the body were inflamed. It mostly went away with Kanaplex.

Also a photo of the other fishes red streaks in the tail.




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On 3/18/2022 at 11:07 PM, Agates said:

The tank is just a glass bottom so I can clean up after them daily. I am also doing weekly water changes to control the nitrate levels.

Did this start recently? If you live in the United States your municipality could be flushing the system which can make water changes hard on your fish due to added chemicals, that is a very interesting pattern on your comet goldfish it’s bright orangeness almost looks to be color change after a wound healing? Or is it actually red? 

those streaks in the photos usually are attributed to either nitrite in goldfish or high bacterial loads in the water column, but both are unlikely due to the amount of water changes your doing. 

id recommend stopping the water changes for now, add double dose of your standard water condition and see if conditions improve, 

Do you have a heater? I think it’s very unlikely to be a swimbladder problem, they usually become apparent in the first few months of the fishes life and since you have had them for almost ten years it’s unlikely to just pop up, and the erratic behavior is usually an irritant of some sort. Since you haven’t added anything new parasites are unlikely.

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Hi guys thank you your help.

My larger goldfish (comet?) there is a lot of red streaks in her tail. Her tail is white with bright red spots on her body.

The health problems with my smaller goldfish began about 1 1/2 - 2 weeks ago. I’ve been following my usual weekly water changes. On Monday I’ll call to see if there were any changes to my cities water.

I’m bad sorry here’s their names to simplify things, Pebbles is the larger goldfish with bright red spots (comet?) and Bubbles is the smaller one that is swimming erratically.

It is very strange to see, Bubbles will surface and grab some air. Followed by 2-3 times swimming in a figure 8 pattern. After that Bubbles will swim around normally. He looks like when he was healthy, all fins fully extended and not closed up. Before he would do that and crash into the glass and filters. So I padded dangerous areas with filter foam. Now the odd swimming pattern is more controlled and he doesn’t run into anything. I did notice something else, he tips slightly forward at ~30 degrees sometimes.

I’ll hold off on my water changes and tomorrow in the daytime try to inspect them for anything I could have missed.

and I wanted to say thank you everyone for your help it is very appreciated 

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Here’s a progress update. I used activated charcoal to remove all the medications for almost a week. Yesterday I started using API’s Pimafix and Melafix. Bubbles erratic swimming is still happening but it’s not so much violent and uncontrolled. Before he would run into everything around him. Now it’s slower and more controlled. Also the red streaks in their fins has lightened and is not so bright red as before. Bubbles is swimming around normal except for the occasional gulp of air and erratic swimming. I’ll follow up once I complete the 7 days of medication.

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