How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Anna Your Own Question
Anna, Pet Expert/Biologist
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 11508
Experience:  40 yrs.: herps, pocket pets, rabbits, poultry, dogs, horses. Biology degree. Vet assistant.
Type Your Pet Question Here...
Anna is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

why is my goldfish laying at the bottom of the tank

Resolved Question:

he''s an 8 yr old common goldfish. he keeps dropping to the bottom of the tank & just layting there. but if we feed him, he perks up & swims to the surface & looks quite perky again. he has been thru the wars in the past (blind...and got caught in between the filter about 6 mths ago) but has been fine since. the other goldfish, boght at the same time is ok. is he dying?? should we do a partial water change?
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Pet
Expert:  Anna replied 9 years ago.

There are a number of reasons why a goldfish might lie at the bottom of the tank. Regardless of the reason, it's a good idea to get it up off the bottom by putting it in one of those floating baskets or containers that hang from the side of your tank. Wounds and skin irritations can develop from being on the gravel all the time.
Sometimes one fish is being chased by another. That fish will then stay at the bottom to avoid them. A female might get chased so much that she'll stay low to avoid any males. With either of these problems, it sometimes helps to keep the chased fish in the separate area described above for awhile.

It's also very possible that there is a water quality issue, so yes, a partial water change would be good. It may seem logical that if that's the problem, more than one fish would be staying at the bottom, but some fish are more sensitive than others. If you don't already have testing supplies to check your water for various toxins, a test kit would be a good thing to invest in. If you find a problem, continue the partial water changes until the water is good. It may also help your fish to add aquarium salt (never use table salt - it has anti-caking agents in it). Farther down, I'll give you a link to a site that explains how to use salt.

There are other reasons a fish will stay on the bottom. Some kinds of parasites can cause this. Sometimes a fish that is just stressed will lie on the bottom. You could add a water conditioner such as Stress Coat to the tank.

Here's a link that explains "bottom-sitting" and tells you how to use salt:

This link will take you to a site that has lots of good goldfish information:

If you need clarification or more information on any of this, just let me know by clicking on REPLY.


(If you find my answer helpful, please click on ACCEPT. Thank you.)
Anna and 3 other Pet Specialists are ready to help you