Pet Questions? Ask a Vet and Get Answers ASAP
When the goldfish does swim, is it swimming in a normal manner?
Do you normally keep the water temperature around 70f degrees, if not, what is the usual water temperature for the water?
How are the zebras behaving, normally?
Thank you for the information.
Based on the symptoms I would say the fish is suffering from something called Swim Bladder Disorder (sbd) which is a disorder that affects a fish's swim bladder. The swim bladder is responsible for a fish being able to swim upright and maintain its buoyancy. When it becomes blocked, infected or too full of air it ceases to function properly as you are witnessing with your fish.
Goldfish are highly susceptible to this disorder mainly because of the odd shapes of some species, genetics and poor breeding practices.
There really does not exist a fool-proof way to prevent sbd but by maintaining excellent water conditions and soaking flake food prior to feeding can lower the prevalence of the disorder. The reason for soaking flake food, prior to feeding, in tank water set aside, is that the flakes will absorb water thus lessening the amount of air the fish intakes when gulping the food
The traditional way to treat this is by isolating the affected fish in a quarantine tank using water from the main tank so as to not change the fish's environment too much.
If you cannot seperate the fish then the treatment can be administered in the main tank with no harm to the zebras.
Once seperated begin to feed the fish canned peas without the husk/shell. Feed 2-4 peas twice a day making sure to clean out any uneaten portions. Peas are well known to clear out a fish's swim bladder. It's best to feed the pea diet exclusively. If the pea diet does not work then try the pea diet with intermitent days of fasting.
In addition to the pea diet you can try treating the fish with a medicine called Maracyn-Two (USA) which could prove helpful in curing sbd as some cases are caused by bacteria. Maracyn-Two can be easily found at mosy major pet stores. Follow the directions on the product label for dosage amounts.
It would also be helpful to not fill the fish's quarantine tank up to the top with water leaving about 2-3 inches from the top free as this will lessen the amount of water pressure on the fish.
Please keep in mind that sbd can sometimes be very difficult to cure and is one of the
most common problems fishkeepers face.
Listed below are 2 links which will further elaborate on sbd.
Best wishes and please let me know if you have any questions.