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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 23477
Experience:  General practice veterinary surgeon with extensive experience in a wide range of species.
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i have 10 goldfish they start resting at bottom of the tank

Customer Question

i have 10 goldfish they start resting at bottom of the tank all together but they see ok when swiming around
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 4 years ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee ones today.


How long have they been doing this?


Have you recently done anything to your tank?

(ie change water, move the tank, change the filter, etc)?


Have you checked your water parameters since this started?

What are your readings for nitrites, nitrates, ammonia, pH?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

i have done nothing to the tank no change the water etc about 3 day this happened

Expert:  Dr. B. replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for the additional information about your fish.

If you have made no changes and we have a group of fish bottom sitting with no other signs then it is quite likely that something is amiss with the tank's husbandry. The reason is because bottom sitting is a common non-specific sign of stress in the fish. That said, it can also be a feature of nitrogenous waste toxicity (where the nitrogenous toxin binds their blood cells and prevents proper oxygenation) and low water oxygen (where bottom sitting is a means of lowering the body's requirements for oxygen to sustain life).

Therefore, in this case, I would strongly advise reviewing your tank set up. To start, you will want to test a water sample at this stage. Ideally, checking nitrites, nitrates, ammonia, and pH. If you don't have a water parameter test kit, then you can often take a sample to your local aquarium store and they can test it for you (often free of charge). Depending on the findings, you will likely need to do some partial water changes but knowing what parameters are off will allow you to understand what has gone wrong and can guide you on any specific toxin blockers that may be appropriate here.

Further to this, you do want to check your filter to make sure it is working properly. And you do want to make sure that there is adequate oxygen in this tank (either via an aerator/airstone +/- the water flow from the filter. If something has shown amiss on the water parameter check, do consider using a biofilter (the good bacteria that break down these nitrogenous wastes) bolus to make sure your biofilter is working as it should.

Finally, double check your water temperature. Goldfish are quite tolerant but prefer temperatures between 68 to 75 degrees. So, you do want to make sure the water is within this range ( perhaps on the lower end since this will lower their oxygen requirements and buy time if that is the trouble).

Overall, to see all your fish showing bottom sitting at once without any signs of overt disease is highly suspicious of a break down in the tank homeostasis rather then a disease process. Therefore, you do want to check each of these parameters in a step-by-step approach to identify what has gone wrong. Depending on your findings, you will be able to repair the breakdown in the tank's balance and restore it quickly.

I hope this information is helpful.

If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!

All the best,

Dr. B.


If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need. Thank you and hope to see you again soon! : )