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Joan, Vet Technician
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 18197
Experience:  Vet Tech for 35+yrs. Small Animals and Fish
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I have a 4.5 year old goldfish. Last year he had a near death

Customer Question

I have a 4.5 year old goldfish. Last year he had a near death experience with dropsy. He was very ill but fortunately made a full recovery after many days of care. A few months later he started to lose his ability to control his swimming until finally he would just lay on his side. He never stopped eating and would swim sideways along the bottom. Because of the gravel, he started getting scratched up so I removed him from the 75 gallon tank and put him in a 30 gallon tank with no gravel. Both tanks are completely cycled. Ammonia and nitrites read 0 and nitrates are around 20ppm. I thought perhaps he had a gas bubble or some sort of bacteria infection with his swim bladder however as I observe his movements, I notice his tail will sometimes flutter and go completely still. I think perhaps his tail is the issue as he is unable to keep himself upright to swim. His tail appears thickened. He doesn't look to be in pain but seems to be severely handicapped. Is there a way I can help my fish swim again?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Pet
Expert:  Joan replied 2 years ago.
I would add one teaspoon full of aquarium salt per gallon of water. It actually is a good tonic and will also aid with drawing out fluids fro the swim bladder.
There are several possibilities that can cause this type of erratic swimming behavior. They can range from a Bacterial infection that can be treated with an antibiotic like Marcacyn Plus:
Another issue we see quite often that I hat to think about is a possible tumor in the swim bladder that may be in there causing the problem with staying upright. Tumors usually have to be surgically excised, by an Aquatic Vet if the feel like it is feasible.
Lastly there may be a genetic defect causing what you are seeing. The best solution would be to have an Aquatic Vet look Druggie over and evaluate him. They may choose to do one of several treatments like draining the swim bladder with a needle puncture or the Vet may choose to treat with a prescription medication dip.
These are Aquatic Vets:
I hope this information is helpful and you will consider rating my service positively, so I can be compensated for my answer by the site.
Expert:  Joan replied 2 years ago.
Hi Alina,

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