Goldfish Gulp Air After Feeding

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Bob Clark

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Dec 30, 2018
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Hello fish people, I have a planted 55g tank, 2 HOB filters with biohome media and sponge pre-filters, a power head for aeration, 5 medium-sized comet goldfish. My water quality always tests great....I do weekly water changes.

My goldfish swim normally until I feed them varied foods. ( frozen brine shrimp, blood worms, bug bites, dried seaweed, sweet peas, etc) No floating or flake foods! After consuming the food, the fish will gulp constantly at the surface...one actually becomes buoyant. The same fish also enjoys 'swimming through the powerhead bubbles, gulping air'..strange!

By the next morning, the fish are perfectly normal , peacefully swimming through the water, rarely going to the surface! Are my fish just strange? Anyone else experience this? Anything I can do to stop my fish from gulping?
 

FreshyFresh

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I've read it's best to feed goldfish sinking foods to help prevent them from ingesting too much air. Usually applies to fancy goldfish though. I understand your food is mostly sinking and you don't have fancys, so I suppose that rules that out.

You generally don't need that high a protein diet for goldfish because of how their digestive system works. The first three foods you list are very high in protein. I'd stick with a quality sinking goldfish pellet food for your main staple feed.

I know it's been suggested, but a 55g tank is not appropriate for a single comet or common, let alone 5 of them. Your commons are not medium sized, those things are tiny yet. I kept a single beauty of a commet in a 55g along with 2 fancies. The commet grew to nearly 10" in a few years. Unfortunately, when that tank sprung a leak, I rehomed all my goldies into a family member's huge pond.
 
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Bob Clark

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I'm so confused...I see people keeping many beautiful, healthy goldfish in tanks for years! I feed a variety of foods for good health.(I noticed that blood worms really seem to make them gasp for air..sweet peas are least likely to cause gasping.) What is a great brand of sinking goldfish pellets to feed? I have Hikari...is that poor, good or great?What is a good feeding routine?
 

FreshyFresh

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I fed omega one goldfish pellets to mine. Like people food, read the ingredients on your fish food. The first 3-4 should be whole plant or animal products, not corn, grains or fillers. Lots of fish foods are pretty bad in that regard. The only hikari product I like is bio gold plus, but that's mainly because of how it drastically reduces waste in my oscar and severum tank.

You can indeed keep the commons going. It looks like that's what you have as comets have big flowing fins. Problem is, stunting will occur. Their internal organs keep growing, but externally they stop growing. This eventually leads to an early death. Plus with 5 of them in a 55g, you will likely get to the point you will have to do 2 fin level (~80-90%) water changes per week to keep nitrates in check.
 

the loach

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Aug 6, 2018
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I'm so confused...I see people keeping many beautiful, healthy goldfish in tanks for years!
Bob what Freshy wrote is correct... I would advise you to read the link I've sent you in another topic to learn the truth about goldfish. They can live up to 30, 40 years but not in an aquarium. Either you do the water changes described and they will physically grow out of the tank or you stunt them and they die very prematurely. They are great for ponds.





As for the feeding... you might be overfeeding. How much do you feed?
 
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Bob Clark

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I feed twice a day. Usually dried seaweed in the morning and then one cube of frozen food in the evening. Everyone is saying that my tank is crowded with goldfish...

I use to keep koi in this tank! I suppose that was worst than keeping goldfish! They would thrive and grow quickly. I would give them back to my LFS when they would grow too big and become aggressive. What is an appropriate, colorful hardy fish that doesn't require a heater for a 55g tank? Or should I only' properly keep' tropical fish in my 55g?
 

the loach

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You had 5 tiny goldfish right? Half a cube would probably be more than enough, try it and see what that does. If you want to grow them out quickly it would be better to feed smaller portions more often.

Like I wrote in my other post, there are excellent alternatives to goldfish, rosy barbs:


and golden barbs


There are several colors, with fantails as well. They don't require a heater and you could easily keep like a dozen because they only grow to 3 to 5". And they easily can be kept with any plant...

Then there are a ton of other small colorful peaceful subtropical and temperate fish that don't require a heater and are easy to keep.

And for example native fish like red shiners

I have those as well they are great, you can hand feed them as easily as goldfish.

Also rainbow shiners are very popular nowadays for unheated tanks
 
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