Frank is one of the 6 fish that I got, back when I started keeping goldfish in December 2022. We got him, and the other 5) off a breeder who lived just an hours drive from us, and felt very confident that they were all of good quality and healthy. They were the smallest goldfish that I had ever seen (at the time) and they felt very misplaced in the large 720 liter /190 gal) tank that I had prepared for them.

They were so small, that one of them was sucked into the canister filter! Two of the fish we bought there, died within a few weeks. I was very frustrated, and confused, because I felt that I had done everything right! The breeder told me that it was ok, and that sometimes this happens when you move so young/small fish.

A few more more died after a few months, but the rest was doing well. Especially one (Scarlet) was doing really well, producing eggs almost every 10 days and growing very fast!

Frank was one of these fish. He was a small calico (orange, white & black spotted) veiltail with fairly long fins, but too small to really tell anything about its future. Although he never really grew as fast as the others, he looked quite promising. About a year after we got him, he had grown a fair bit, but then started growing a very long tail. It almost seemed to affect his swimming but nothing that I felt was concerning. He would occasionally rest on the gravel and rest. He would often stress me with concerns of bladder issues, and negative buoyancy. In the end, I concluded that he simply was strange this way, and that nothing was really wrong with him. He would some times lie in between plants and sleep. Sometimes he found a corner under some rocks, where he could sleep. It looked very cute, but none of the other fish that I have seen would do this.

Recently though, I noticed that he would struggle with balance. To start with, I simply thought it was his tail pulling his real part downwards. He would simply float looking upwards! It did not feel like swim bladder issues, but more something to do with balance. I suspected something neurological.

The video above, is him in a treatment tank, along with Hermesetas and Gilbert. Its not as such because I treat them with medication, but I simply keep a closer eye with these as they are next to my PC. I also have the temperature slightly higher than the other tank. Frank seemed to become more and more affected in his swimming, and as his tail no longer was growing, I could not blame it on that

Interestingly, my partner is very passionate about guinea pigs, and has the past 3-4 months helped a young lady with a litter that had had some complications. Even though she did a few home visits to help identify the gender of the litter and help with some feeding advice, she never realized that she also had goldfish in a different room! It turns out, that the young lady, had been in a relationship with the breeder that we god our fish from. She was actually the one who had goldfish, but her boyfriend had simply kept the babies after they split up! The ones we bought, had been from her batch!

It turns out, that they had been 8 months old when we bought them, even though they were so tiny! When we bought them, they were in a large plastic tote container, with no filter. She could also tell us, that she had kept 20 of these babies, and they had all died, except for two. They had all died due to similar swimming issues as Frank, or due to some strange internal infections.

This started making a lot more sense. I have felt that I have had very bad luck with goldfish, since I started, but it turns out that the fish have had very bad odds to start with.

Although Frank has slowly been getting worse at swimming, I feel like his condition in accelerating now, and he is becoming worse faster and faster. The good things about this is, that I won’t put him through a whole lot of treatment when it gets too bad, as it seems to be some genetic disorder that all of the fish from that batch eventually die of.


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