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Dr. Margo
Dr. Margo, Veterinarian
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 504
Experience:  12yrs in mixed animal practice
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My Goldfish is lying on the bottom on his side. He is still

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My Goldfish is lying on the bottom on his side. He is still alive after 4 days. We have taken every measure we can think of to try and save him, but we don't know what to do anymore. He still manages to fight to stay alive, so we are willing to allow him to continue. He tries to move, but seems like he is paralyzed on one side and can't maintain swiming normally.


I am not a super expert in fish medicine so don't feel oblinged to accept any answers. I just notice that your questions has gone unanswered for so long that I would like to try and help. I saw it unanswered late last night and decided to polish up on my fish medicine.


Do you know what the ingredients were in the Ich medicine? How long did you use it for? Did you use it as a dip or bath?


I assume you have addressed your water quality concerns? pH, alkalinity, chlorine, temp, hardness, salinity, ozone ammonia and dissolved oxygen.


How long have you had this guy? Any new fish in the tank or is he alone?


Any other lesions on his body? You mention that his gills are red, is this more than usual? And do you notice any reddend areas elsewhere on his body?


Dr. M

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Well, the ich medicine has Formalin and Malachite Green as active ingredients. It is just a standard solution bought at pet store. Add 1 drop every 2 gallons of water. I have a 29 gallon tank, so approx 15 drops into tank. Only other fish in tank was a catfish which has been transferred to a different aquarium and appears to be healthy. We removed all decor from tank except for gravel. Still treating water, and removed carbon from filter. Also adding salt to water to promote healing. Will do a water change again today. I did some further research last night and suspect that the problem could be what is called Swim Bladder disease. Have not tried anything to treat that as of yet. Send me back if you have any other questions. Thanks for the help.


Yes swim bladder disease is also what I thought best fit his symptoms. The most common causes were parasites and bacterial infection. I noticed that you tried penicillin. Your treatment with formalin and malachite green is one of the best recommendations for parasites.


I would recommend trying a copper sulfate solution (also from pet shop) as this is a good general parasite and bacteriacidal treatment. Tetracycline antibiotics are used commonly in fish, but so much so that some bacteria are becoming resistant. But I would also try this as well. Also easily obtained at most pet shops.


Copper sulfate treatment is 0.15 to .2ppm (parts per million). You can gradually increase the concentration 0.01ppm per day up to .2ppm in sensitive fish. Also check the alkalinity of your water. A higher concentration of copper sulfate is needed as the alkalinity of the water rises. You want your alkalinity to be between 50mg/liter and 250mg/liter.


If I can help in any other way please let me know. Good luck to you and it is nice to see people devoted to pets that many people seem to think of as disposable.



Dr. M

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