How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Vet Your Own Question
Vet, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 83
Experience:  I have spent many years in mixed practice, dealing with all the major species.
Type Your Vet Question Here...
Vet is online now

Our goldfish who is about 15 months old, is barely moving and

This answer was rated:

Our goldfish who is about 15 months old, is barely moving and gasping at bottom of tank. We've had him for a year and change a third of the water and clean the filter every fortnight. We are all very worried. I can't see anything different in his colour or scales. He's been like this for about 72 hours now.
Vet : Hi there, vet Andrew here. I'm sorry to hear you're having problems with your fish. Are you at your computer?
Vet : Vet Andrew here again. There seems to be some glitch that has repeated my initial greeting four times. Hopefully everything is working now.
Customer: I am it's a bit tricky I'm typing on the phone
Our chat has ended, but you can still continue to ask me questions here until you are satisfied with your answer. Come back to this page to view our conversation and any other new information.

What happens now?

If you haven’t already done so, please rate your answer above. Or, you can reply to me using the box below.
Hi, I've switch to Q and A format as it might be easier for you. Have you recently changed the water?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Yes we changed the water tonight and cleaned the filter
The most likely cause of the problem, assuming there are no swellings or other ill health on the fish itself, is ammonia poisoning. A small goldfish needs to live in about 20 gallons of water; any less, and ammonia can build up too quickly. This can happen, paradoxically, even quicker if you clean the stones and other ornaments in the tank as these harbour bacteria that break down the ammonia.I recommend that, in the short term, you change 50% of the water and don't clean anything else. This should be done weekly anyway, but continue to change 25% of the water every other day until you see signs of recovery. . If you have any water conditioner, use it. Tomorrow, go to your nearest pet shop and get a decent water test kit which can tell you how the levels of ammonia, nitrite and nitrate are behaving. I find this website helpful for goldfish owners: let me know if you have any further questions.
Vet and other Vet Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
But we only changed a third of the water every fortnight as instructed and the tank looks filthy to me but apparently it's meant to... We've just been up to check and he's still listless poor thing. Is there anything I can do?
Sorry, I updated my response above so please check that. As I say, a 50% water change, with conditioner if possible, should give him immediate help but he may not be completely back to his old self for 24 hours or so. How big is your tank?