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SmAnimalVet, Veterinarian
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Experience:  Practicing vet with focus on advanced medicine and surgery.
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We have 52 goldfish, all types and sizes, in a large 7x4m outdoor

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We have 52 goldfish, all types and sizes, in a large 7x4m outdoor pond. One of my large goldfish is lying on it's side at the bottom of the pond, trying to swim and going around in circles. One eye is protruding more than the other. The pond is due for a vacuum, do you think it is the quality of the water causing this, or some disease?
Hi there and thank you for using JustAnswer-

Based on what you are describing, this sounds like an issue with the fish's swim bladder. This is almost always hallmarked by abnormal swimming behavior, going to the bottom of the pond/tank, and sometimes completely going flat. There are multiple causes of swim bladder issues, and one of them is water quality. However, in this case I would expect many other fish to be affected, and most of these being the smaller ones. Often, they are more susceptible to water changes than the larger fish.
For swim bladder, you have done a lot of the right things. Isolation is the first step. With the symptoms you are describing I worry about either constipation or inner ear infection. For constipation, there are a lot of sources that recommend actually removing the fish from regular food and feeding 1-2 frozen peas. You do this on top of getting them into a new environment.

I hope that helps, please let me know if you have further questions!
Dr. B
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for your advice. Do you think I can put the goldfish back in the pond in a cage, to keep it isolated from the others, after I have cleaned the pond? I am worrying about it being stressed and running out of oxygen in the bowl, it is a large goldfish. Jan

I would keep it isolated until it is swimming properly. On the off-chance that it is an infection or other issue, it is best to keep the goldfish separate. You shouldn't have to worry too much about loss of oxygen if you keep it in a container about 2-3 times its size and do a 25-50% water change every 12 hours. Keep the temperature between 75-80 degrees (room temperature) as well. Your best shot of getting it through this it to keep it in a controlled environment until the symptoms have resolved.
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