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Goldfish Upside Down Problem
     
Red and Black Oranda at AquariumFish.net, Tropical Fish stores.     This Red and Black Oranda is about 3.5" long, and it's typical of the beautiful Fancy Goldfish available in our facility. Our Fancy Goldfish rarely develop erratic swimming and floating upside down problems.
      
Some of the Symptoms
Goldfish floating upside down at the water's surface.
Goldfish swimming upside down on the bottom.
Swimming erratically.
     
Some of the Orandas, Black Moors, and Fantails that are sold to aquarists begin to swim erratically and seem to loose their equilibrium. This is sometimes called the Buoyancy or Swim Bladder problem, and the Goldfish often seem to bob up and down in the water.

Aquarists are often told this is caused by an infection in the Goldfish's swim bladder, which is an organ in most fish that controls the fish's buoyancy. Other times aquarists are told the erratic swimming is caused by Goldfish eating food off the surface of the water.

We have made many tests and concluded that these problems are not caused by floating food, although several fish forums on the internet mistakenly say that floating food causes erratic swimming problems.

     
Here is What Happens.
Many of these Goldfish are raised on fish farms that do not feed commercial fish food. The fish are fed vegetation. Sometimes the vegetation is composted on the ground before it is fed to the Goldfish. The fish also eat some insects, algae, worms, and other foods that naturally occur in the ponds.

When these Goldfish are shipped to wholesalers, retailers, and aquarists in the United States, they immediately begin to eat commercial fish foods such as floating flakes, floating pellets, and sinking foods.

These foods are often richer in protein, fat, and carbohydrates and are less digestible than the foods the Goldfish were eating in ponds. This change in diet causes problems, perhaps blocked intestines, and erratic swimming by the Orandas, often mistakenly identified as swim bladder infections.

All the Goldfish we sell have been raised on fish farms that feed commercial floating food, so there is very little change in their diet, when they come to our facility, and these fish have very few swimming problems.

It really makes no sense that fish would get swimming problems from eating food off the surface, when their ancestors have been eating insects and other natural foods off the surface of the water for a very long time.

We believe that the swimming problems are caused by the change in diet, not from eating food from the surface of the water. If you get Goldfish from us and feed them floating goldfish foods, you should have very few problems.

     
A positive consequence of raising Goldfish on commercial food is that they grow faster. The 2" long Goldfish that we sell are much younger than the 2" fish raised on the diet of composted plants and natural foods. Many of the 2" Orandas raised on a diet of composted vegetation are stunted fish.

The 2" Orandas we sell don't have the classical Oranda bump on their heads yet. That bump comes with age. The Orandas that we sell will eventually grow to be much larger and have an even bigger bump on their heads than the Orandas raised on composted vegetation.

The fish we sell are not old, small, and stunted. With some patience and tender care you can raise our fish to be magnificent specimens, and they have the potential to live much longer than the small stunted Orandas with large bumps on their heads.

 
 

Customer Comments

 
I do think there are many factors that can cause swim bladder problems: a quick change in temp, infections, poor quality fish, and the predisposition to problems because of body shape.
 
 
 
Reply. Hello. Yes. You're right. We should have included the comments that you made in your email. Thank you for reminding us.

Our Fancy Goldfish are raised in warm water. The idea is to match the conditions on the fish farm closely to the conditions here in our facility and to the conditions in our customers aquariums and ponds.

When the conditions are closely matched, stress is reduced, and the Goldfish are much less likely to have problems with their swim bladders and everything else.

 
 

Customer Comments

 
Hey guys, I wrote you several weeks ago because I had a fancy tailed goldfish that was perpetually upside-down. You weren't able to help me.
 
Well I found out from my daughter's biology teacher, who has a 17 year old fancy tail that has had the same experience, what my fish needed was fresh green beans because she was constipated.
 
I tried it and after several days, my fish is right side up again! Though I'd let you know so you can help the next person that contacts you with that problem.
 
Sincerely Jeannine
 
 
 
Reply. Hello Jeannine. Thank you for your comments. I started having the same problem with two of my beautiful fantails. In the meantime I'd heard about using frozen peas.

I take a few frozen green peas out of the freezer and put them in some water, so they'll thoroughly thaw out, before I feed them. I squeeze the peas between my fingers to kind of flatten them out and break the outer covering.

All four of my goldfish eat the peas, and the peas have helped alleviate the buoyancy problems with my fantails, like the green beans have helped your goldfish. I am not sure why it works, but it does.

     
We focus on the fish.
All we do is sell and ship fish, and we've been doing it for a long time. We try very hard to get the best fish.

We've found ways to avoid many fish problems such as the swim bladder problem in Goldfish, and we focus on avoiding and preventing problems.

If you get fish from us and you're not 100% satisfied, we want you to tell us why you're not satisfied, and give us an opportunity to make an adjustment.

     
Click here to read more about buying Fancy Goldfish from us.
 
Books about Goldfish
The books shown below are listed on Amazon.com. You can click on the title or on the image of a book to go to the page at Amazon.com, where that book is listed and discussed. In some cases you can preview several of the pages in that book.
 
 
Click on this image to go to Amazon.com, where you can learn more about this book.   Fancy Goldfish
A Complete Guide to Care and Collections
By Erik L. Johnson and Richard E. Hess
Fred Rosenzweig (Photographer)
Hardcover
176 pages
 
 
Click on this image to go to Amazon.com, where you can learn more about this book.   Goldfish Breeding and Genetics
By J. Smartt, J. H. Bundell, E. Bundell  (Contributor)
Hardcover.
 
 
Click on this image to go to Amazon.com, where you can learn more about this book. The Official Guide to Goldfish
By Goldfish Society of America
Paperback.
126 pages
 
 
Click on this image to go to Amazon.com, where you can learn more about this book. Goldfish: Everything ...
By Marshall E. Ostrow
Paperback
94 pages
 
 
Click on this image to go to Amazon.com, where you can learn more about this book. Goldfish, Keeping and Breeding them in Captivity
By Spencer Glass
Paperback
64 pages
 
 
Click on this image to go to Amazon.com, where you can learn more about this book.   The Goldfish: An Owner's Guide
By Carlo De Vito, Gregory Skomal  (Contributor)
Hardcover
 
 
Click on this image to go to Amazon.com, where you can learn more about this book.   Chinese Goldfish
By Li Zhen, Ouyang Caiwei (Editor), Yan  Qiubai (Translator)
Hardcover
100 pages
 
 
Click on this image to go to Amazon.com, where you can learn more about this book.   The Essential Goldfish
By Maddy Hargrove, et al
Paperback.
92 pages
 
 
Click here for a complete list of books about Goldfish at Amazon.com.
 
 
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