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Anna, Pet Expert/Biologist
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 11546
Experience:  40 yrs.: herps, pocket pets, rabbits, poultry, dogs, horses. Biology degree. Vet assistant.
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My goldfish was laying motionless on the bottom of the aquarium.

Customer Question

My goldfish was laying motionless on the bottom of the aquarium. The other fish are fine. I removed him and put him in a separate container. There are no signs of ick or other "skin" ailments. He can now keep himself up without falling over, but he does not move, refuses to eat and swim. He has not pooped for the last 24 hours. Please help. Should the water be warmer? I put him in colder water when he was acting oxygen deprived. I blew air into his mouth and this perked him up. He still wouldn't and won't swim or eat or poop.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Pet
Expert:  Anna replied 5 years ago.

I'm sorry to hear that your fish is ill. Goldfish are cold water fish and do best with temperatures between 60*F and 70*F. You should never add warmer or colder water to a tank or bowl because it changes the temperature too quickly and the fish can go into shock. any new water should be added at the same temperature as what is in the tank. Also make sure the water is de-chlorinated if your water is from a municipal source. chlorine can quickly kill a goldfish.

Your fish may be constipated and the poop he can't pass may put pressure on the swim bladder, leading to swimming difficulties. The swim bladder is an organ that enables the fish to properly orient itself in the water. When something goes wrong, the fish may float, swim upside down, or at an angle. Poor water quality can be a factor. For both constipation and swim bladder disorder, the first aid is the same. You were on the right track with peas. Try smashing them between your fingers before putting them in, and then hold them right in front of the fish. You can also add one teaspoon of aquarium salt per gallon of water. Don't use table salt - it sometimes has toxic additives. Leave the airstone running all the time instead of turning it on and off. Here are some links with other ideas for treatment and more information:

If you have more questions, just let me know by clicking on REPLY. I hope your fish will recover.

Expert:  Anna replied 5 years ago.
Hi Geri,

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?