General Question

Kingkamandi's avatar

What does it mean when a gold fish sits on the bottom of the tank and only swims around when it is time to eat?

Asked by Kingkamandi (149points) January 19th, 2008

We are glad it is not floating on top, of course, but we are worried that it is sick. Any thoughts?

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15 Answers

simone54's avatar

He could just be ill. Just take care of him as you usually do. Get the water tested see if anything could be causing the illness. I’ve seen it happen to fish before they’ll just snap out of it an get back to normal.

totty's avatar

Fish use a swimming bladder to control the depth of themselves in water. Sometimes they may lose control of this bladder due to excess gas. As far as I know this is usually attributed to fish floating at the top of the tank, but it may be similar. When floating on top, it is recommended to feed the fish a fresh pea in order to relieve the gas.

skfinkel's avatar

Could this be a depressed fish?

simone54's avatar

I don’t think fish brain complex enough to be depressed.

jonjon71's avatar

perhaps yon goldfish tis retarded

hossman's avatar

Clearly, you have created a welfare state in your aquarium. The fish lacks any incentive to provide anything back to its society. You should cut off your support net, then the fish will be compelled to seek employment and become a useful, taxpaying part of society. : )

xmen24's avatar

an old saying to emphasise the importance of patience.

breedmitch's avatar

“Sassy is not thought.”

artemisdivine's avatar

i am sorry. i used to have goldfish. i even took one on a plane once (WELL before 2001 craziness). its tough to see them in distress.

A goldfish lying at the bottom of the tank or aquarium can be a cause of concern to its owner and can be a sign of disease in the goldfish.

A goldfish lying at the bottom of the tank is often a sign of swim bladder disease. The swim bladder allows the fish to stabilize its depth in the water.

Swim or air bladder problems sometimes occur in freshwater fish. When the bladder is affected, the fish will experience problems with equilibrium. Diseased or inflamed internal organs, poor water conditions or nutrition, and wounds received from fighting can also affect the equilibrium of a fish. Constipation is a common cause of swimming difficulty.

The fish will have problems swimming correctly. They may appear to be standing on their head, or floating to the surface and struggling to get to the bottom, or possibly even have problems removing themselves from the bottom. At the later stages of the disease, the fish could lose its balance and swim upside down.

There is no specific treatment for swim bladder problems, however, you can try isolating the fish to a quarantine tank where the water is shallow – this will provide some relief for the fish – and add one teaspoon of salt per gallon of water. If you suspect constipation is the cause of the problem follow the treatment for constipation listed in “Goldfish Diseases – Symptoms and Treatments”. After 1–2 weeks try returning the fish to the main tank.

Moegitto's avatar

Is your fish trying to swim? Or is he just sitting there breathing? You need to look at him to see if it’s swimming lightly, or struggling, or maybe not swimming at all. The sad part of being a fish owner is that most of us think that the fish is OK because it’s not floating on the top, but there are so many reasons to why it would be sitting on the bottom…

Storms's avatar

Test the aquarium water. You want your pH between 7–9 and low nitrates and ammonia. If you don’t want to buy stuff, many fish stores will test water that you bring in for free. Also bring in a bottle of the water you use to fill the aquarium just in case there’s a problem with your tap water.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@Storms between 7–9 are you serious!? the fish would long dead by around 8.5. You want the Ph around 7.5

Storms's avatar

@uberbatman Some fish prefer pH as low as 5.5 and others prefer their pH to be over 8.5 but most fish thrive in a surprisingly wide range of pH values. What will make your fish dead is if the pH changes very suddenly. You’re more likely to kill your fish trying to get a good pH than by leaving it “too high” or “too low”. But if it’s really high, add a piece of wood to the tank. If it’s really low, add a seashell or a coral skeleton.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@Storms Yes, fish coming from the amazon will thrive in lower pH whilst fish from marine systems prefer the higher 8’s. And you are correct, about fast changes causing bigger problems, but believe me, no gold fish will live in water anything close to 9.

btw there are much more efficient ways to controlling pH than just throwing wood and dead coral in a tank

MissAnthrope's avatar

What happened to the fish? Will we ever know??

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