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The Goldfish Sanctuary

My goldfish has trouble swimming.

One common cause of swimming trouble is constipation. When a fish is constipated, gasses can build up inside the fish's stomach or intestines, and these cause the fish to lose equilibrium. If this is the cause, a change in diet to fare including more variety and roughage (live foods or tubifex are good) may solve the problem. Another alternative which works very well is feeding boiled peas (remove the skins before feeding).

Sometimes, a loss of equilibrium is brought on by more serious causes, such as internal parasites attacking the swim-bladder, serious bacterial infections, abrupt temperature changes, cancer, or tuberculosis.

If you are unable to correct the problem, a vet or pet expert should be contacted. Isolating the fish to a quarantine tank in which the water is shallow is a wise thing to do until the cause can be determined. The shallow water also provides relief for the fish. The fish may be treated in the quarantine tank by adding one teaspoon of salt (sea salt from your petstore is best) per gallon of water. After 1 to 2 weeks, a return to deeper water may be attempted.