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Author Topic: Fish swimming sideways?  (Read 5495 times)
kyautumn
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Fish swimming sideways?
« on: May 24, 2010, 09:39:02 AM »

I have 3 goldfish that was rescued. I have had them for about a month now but they are starting to act odd. They are swimming at an odd angle, they are swimming almost completely on their side. They are getting really aggressive and ripping each others' scales off. Two of them are getting red marks on their "upper lips". The fins on all of them are fine and they are using them all. I have checked every where to find what could be causing it but none of the diseases are giving any of these as symptoms. Please help I am new at this. Undecided
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kyautumn
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Re: Fish swimming sideways?
« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2010, 10:23:05 AM »

I just cleaned their tank and it appears that the two that had red on their "lips" are also bleeding from the missing scales. Please offer any kind of advice. I would hate to know that I rescued them just to let them die, plus I think have grown attached to them. Cry
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kyautumn
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Re: Fish swimming sideways?
« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2010, 11:54:14 AM »

Could the sideways swimming be a swim bladder problem? Huh
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Nossie
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Re: Fish swimming sideways?
« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2010, 01:41:01 PM »

First, and most importantly, what size of tank do you keep these in? If it's any smaller than a 40 gallon, this might be the reason why they're aggressive towards eachother.
You should also test the water parameters to see if the water is okay. That's important for the fish to recover in the first place! Test the pH, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. pH should be around 7-8, ammonia and nitrite should be 0, and the nitrate should be as low as possible! Anything above 50ppm might be harmful.

Red lips can be a sign of mouth rot, which is a bacterial infection, and should be treated with an anti-bacterial remedy, naturally Wink
And you should absolutely not leave their wounds untreated! They might end up infected with fungus or bacteria, which may be really dangerous |:

So for now, I would suggest the following:
1. Test the water immediately!
2. Buy some medical salt and dose it according to the instructions on the package.
3. Add an anti-bacterial remedy, usually on this forum Melafix is recommended.
4. Wait and see if the fish are getting better, observe their behavior and make sure that they eat well.

And do tell me the size of your tank, and what kind of filtration you've got (: Other than that, good luck with your fish!
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kyautumn
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Re: Fish swimming sideways?
« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2010, 06:00:22 PM »

Thank You So much! Grin I will buy every thing asap. Their tank is a five gallon tank. Would 3 small fish really fight over  five gallons, I did not know that. I have not had a chance to buy a really good filter yet a friend lent me hers so I'm not sure what it is but I change a quarter of the water twice a week. Thank you again for the advice!!! Cheesy
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Nicole
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Re: Fish swimming sideways?
« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2010, 11:00:56 PM »

That small of a tank?  YES.  10 gallons is the absolute minimum for one fish to be physically and mentally healthy.  You need at least 30 gallons, if not more.  Even the water changes aren't enough, because small spaces stress a fish out.  They like to swim and excercise, and can't do that in a tiny space.  I would seriously reccomend at least 30 gallons and only changing the water once a week once the tank is established.  And if you want to make your fish super happy, get them some hollow decorations they can hide in and some plants (live is best).  Hope this helps!
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Nossie
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Re: Fish swimming sideways?
« Reply #6 on: May 25, 2010, 02:09:10 AM »

I would suggest 40 gallons. An adult goldfish needs 20 as minimum, and then you can add another 10 per fish.
The reason goldfish need so much water is because they grow BIG, and they are the dirtiest fish around! So they need a filter with twice the capacity as the tank! 40 gallon tank = 80 gallon filter.

And I would actually advice against getting any decor with holes in them, as the fish can get stuck and hurt themselves (especially since you've got fantails, and they grow pretty round). Rather go for plants and some decor that is safe for your fish.
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Hanna
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Re: Fish swimming sideways?
« Reply #7 on: May 29, 2010, 04:25:33 AM »

I always get confused with gallons and litres, maybe my "old" age doesn't allow me to remember...

But yes, swimming sideways is a sign of swim bladder problem and red lips a sign of mouth rot or mouth fungus.
Swim bladder problem is a sign, it is secondary,  this means it is caused by other illnesses, the primary ones, like internal bacterial, viral or fungal infection.

Please do like Nossie recommended, and the best to buy your own test kit. And we do recommend Melafix and Pimafix for treatment.

Towards the decorations with holes I like to add: please keep away from rocks with holes where you can put your thumb or 2 fingers in. Our Humphrey got stuck once, I had to move and slightly "shake" the rock to get him struggle out backwards. He lost quite a few scales. I removed the rock. Now I do have a teracotta "vase" big enough for half a dozen goldfish to swim through. Ours they like it so much and they seem to use it as their "bed" at night, both cuddling in there.

All the best for your fish
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