Bottom Sitters: some of the causes and cures!
One of the most FAQ I receive is:
"Why is my Goldfish is sitting on the bottom"
There are many problems that would cause your goldfish to sit on the bottom of your goldfish aquarium. I will share with you the most common ones and the cures.
1- Water Condition:
Good goldfish care means keeping the water in your goldfish aquarium perfect.
High ammonia, nitrites, nitrates and a low pH will all cause your goldfish to sit on the bottom of your goldfish aquarium. If poor water conditions continue, for even a short time, it could cause permanent damage or even death.
Water testing must be done everyday on your new goldfish aquariums, then at least once a week after your goldfish aquarium has cycled. One of the best testing items on the market is our Ammonia Alert
. The Ammonia Alert takes the work out of testing your goldfish aquarium. Just stick it to the inside of your aquarium and read the color chart, it's that easy! What I like about the Ammonia Alert
is that it will read the smallest level of ammonia in your aquarium and alert you before the ammonia becomes toxic. Many testing kits will not read a very low ammonia level. Major water changes, up to 70% , must be done to keep the ammonia down to a safe level. Cutting back on your feeding will also help.
In a new goldfish aquarium, once your ammonia level is zero, your nitrite level will be high. High nitrites are deadly to goldfish. High nitrites cause a condition called "brown blood" disease. This condition is caused by the nitrites being absorbed through the gills and binding with the goldfish's red blood cells making them unable to carry oxygen. Major water changes, up to 70%, must be done to keep the ammonia down to a safe level. Cutting back on your feeding will also help. PLUS:
You must add salt at a rate of .3% (one tablespoon per gallon). The salt will block the absorption of the nitrites across the gills.
Once your goldfish aquarium has cycled through high the ammonia and nitrites, the nitrAtes will show up. NitrAtes should be kept below 40 to 50 ppm. NitrAtes can be corrected by major water changes and a nice growth of green algae.
Good goldfish care means treating all your new goldfish for parasites. Using our Prazi-Q
(for aquariums under 55 gallon) or our Aqua Prazi
(for aquariums 55 gallon) for flukes. Dimlin
for anchor worm and fish lice. Plus, a salt level of .3% for the small parasites, will solve your problem.
Strong Water Current:
Good goldfish care means taking that extra step.
Here's a problem very few Goldfish Collectors check. A strong water current in your goldfish aquarium will cause your
goldfish to stay on the bottom of your goldfish aquarium. They do not like a strong current, it would be like putting you on a treadmill 24 hours a day!!. Here's the best way to check the water current in your goldfish aquarium. Tie a button on an end of a thread and drop the button into your goldfish aquarium. This will show you where the strongest water current is in your goldfish aquarium. Just by moving the direction of the outlet of your filter can make a great improvement with the activity of your goldfish.
Some goldfish can be very aggressive! Aggressive Bullies can cause your timid goldfish to hide on the bottom of your goldfish aquarium. All it takes is just one bully to cause many of your goldfish to hide and stay on the bottom. The best cure is to remove bully or place the bully in a floating basket in your goldfish aquarium. Good goldfish care means watching your goldfish aquarium for bullies.
Aggressive males can chase your females to exhaustion and even death. The worst problem you can have is one female being chased by two or more males, they will chase her to death. Sometimes you can solve the problem by placing the female in a floating basket
for a few days hoping your males will lose interest.
6- Swim Bladder:
If your goldfish has a malfunction of its swim bladder, it will cause your goldfish to sit on the bottom. There is not much you can do to help a goldfish with a bad swim bladder. However, of the hundreds of e-mails I receive every year from Goldfish Collectors with swim bladder problems with their goldfish, 98% of their goldfish do not have a bad swim bladder. Something else is causing the problem, it is not the swim bladder. Many times it's constipation.
Good goldfish care means not over treating. The worst thing you can do is start treating your goldfish with all kinds of medications before you rule out the above causes first. All goldfish sitting on the bottom of your goldfish aquarium should be placed in a floating basket
to prevent them from getting open wounds, caused by sitting on the gravel, which allow serious bacterial infections to start.
Thank you for your time,