We have a 4 year old goldfish that is still breathing but is belly up. I removed it from the tank and is in another

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Customer: We have a 4 year old goldfish that is still breathing but is belly up. I removed it from the tank and is in another tank. This happened yesterday.
JA: I'll do all I can to help. Can you tell me a little more about the goldfish's situation?
Customer: He's just floating upside down Belly Up but he's still breathing, he was like that yesterday and then I changed the water in the tank and he was still upside down.
JA: I know breathing problems can be worrying. Let's get you talking to the Vet. What's the goldfish's name?
Customer: Gary oh, it's my youngest son's fish
JA: Is there anything else the Vet should know?
Customer: He's been in the tank with another goldfish for the last 4 years, the other goldfish is fine. And Gary is about size of the palm of my hand
Answered by Anna in 21 mins 2 years ago
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Anna
30+ years of experience
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17,040 satisfied customers

Specialities include: Dog Veterinary, Cat Veterinary, Bird Veterinary, Reptile Veterinary, Exotic Animal Veterinary

Hello and welcome. My name is ***** ***** I’m a biologist with over 40 years of experience keeping fish. I’m sorry to hear about this problem.

Is Gary able to eat?

Have you noticed if he has pooped since you separated him?

Thank you.

Customer
There is a lot of brown in the bottom of where he is at. He has not eaten since yesterday.

Thank you for getting back to me.

It sounds like your fish is suffering from swim bladder disease. 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. There are a couple of things that may help. If you can get him to eat, give him a couple of thawed out and peeled frozen peas. If the peas are too large, you can smash them between your fingers before putting them in. Try holding them right in front of his mouth.You can also add one teaspoon of aquarium salt per gallon of water. Don't use table salt - it sometimes has toxic additives. Keep feeding nothing but the peas for a few days.

If you can't get him to eat the peas, it would be best to try to find a fish vet. The vet can use a fine needle to relieve pressure on the swim bladder. Unfortunately, aquatic vets can be hard to find. But here is a directory where you can try:

https://www.fishvets.org/tools/locator/locator.asp?id=30

Sometimes a local vet will work with a fish vet by phone to help a goldfish, so that may be another possibility.

If you have more questions, just let me know. I'm glad to help. I hope Gary will recover.

Anna

Customer
If I don't have aquarium salt what else can I use?

Any salt that has only sodium chloride as an ingredient will work.

Customer
The fish is very slimy, is that normal?
Customer
I don't have salt that has sodium chloride. I have sea salt and Himalayan salt

The sea salt should work. It has a few additional minerals, but nothing dangerous.

Being slimy is not normal, and it is not part of swim bladder disorder. I’m afraid he has more than one condition. Slime is usually caused by a bacterial infection.I hope you can get to a pet store. You’ll need some Melafix. Just follow the instructions on the bottle.

Customer
Ok, I will get some. If I have anymore questions can I text you bsck in a little bit
Customer
Thank you for your help, but Gary has passed. He's not breathing anymore �� ��
I am so sorry to hear that. How old is your son? How is he doing?
Customer
He is 14 and is a emotional special needs child. I haven't told him yet, he's playing a game with his older brother. Thank you for all your help! I really appreciate it.

You’re very welcome. That’s going to be hard to tell him. I was a teacher for a number of years, and I compiled a list of things kids can do to help get through situations like this. However, it is mainly geared toward younger kids. If you’d like it anyway, let me know.

Customer
Thank you very much, we are burying Gary today.
Just a note: If you plan to get another fish to keep the remaining one company, be very careful. So many are sick before they are even brought home. You don’t want to introduce sickness to your healthy fish. If possible, any new fish should be quarantined for awhile in a separate tank.Your son may like to design a small gravestone for Gary. You can use one of the decorative “patio blocks” sold in home stores. Depending on your son’s personality, you could have a little service, write a poem about Gary, make a clay model of him, draw a picture, or just share memories. Goldfish have a lot of personality. I’m sure Gary was loved and will be missed.
Customer
Awe, thank you so much for those idea's. I think I will have him paint a rock for Gary. I think we are just going let sodapop live out the rest of his day's with us and now he has more room to swim in.
Thank you again for all your help and great suggestions.

You’re very welcome. That sounds like a good idea for Sodapop.

Customer
Thank you again.
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Anna
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+ years of experience
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