Not Sure What Happened

by Rebecca
(Cleveland Ohio)

I have a 75 gallon aquarium that I have had up and running for over 2 years. I check the water every couple days, ph ,ammonia levels. Partial water changes, great filtration.

I have had these 3 goldfish for almost two years, 2 Orandas and a Black Moore. They all were huge. I feed them gel food, peas, greens. I read up on what's best for them.

We ran out of gel food so my husband picked up regular flake food from the petstore. That was Sunday. Today all 3 of them died. The fins looked shredded.

I'm just at a loss as to what actually happened. I even tested the water again and levels were normal. Any thoughts? Could it have been the food?!

Grant's Reply

Hi Rebecca

A very sad situation, as you are doing everything right.

Because you re-tested the water and found it was still normal, and nothing else has been changed, that eliminates quite a few possibilities.

The clue is the fin splitting.

I have not read it in any Goldfish publications, but from experience, I have found constipation will cause fin splitting.

You mention your fish were huge, so I suspect you fed reasonably heavily.

You also fed the perfect diet, gel food and vegetable matter.

I suspect by feeding flake food, the fish have become constipated because their digestive systems weren't used to dry processed food.

I personally haven't heard of such a severe reaction as this. I wonder if the flake food is stale, or the ingredients are poor quality. Some foods use chicken feathers for the protein content for instance.

If you do change the diet of Goldfish, it is best done gradually over a few days or even a week.

When you replace the fish, in future if you run out of food, just don't feed them. A few days without feeding won't hurt them, especially if you can feed them some vegetable matter.

I think the valuable lesson other Goldfish keepers can learn from this is, the diet of fancy varieties is critical to their health, and any changes should be made gradually.

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