Lionhead Progress (8th Month)

With Pocky's swim bladder issue becoming more noticeable over the past few months I do worry about his struggle in terms of health as Ramen seems to cope better with this issue in comparison. I do find it odd that both of these fish started showing swim bladder issues around the same time and yet Sumo seemed perfectly fine until this week. This could all be bad genetics which means some bred fish are more inclined to have issues such as swim bladder. I have tried changing their pellet food over the past several months now to possibly remedy this swim bladder situation because I really don't have time to be thawing and pre-soaking food to give to them several times a day in hopes that it may have a positive impact on them.

So this week I did purchase some new sinking pellet food by Cobalt and I am honestly hoping to get some results with this (in terms of swim bladder issues) because unlike the past sinking pellets I have tried (Hikari, New Life Spectrum, and Omega One) this stuff actually sinks as soon as it hits the water... there is no floating at the surface briefly and then it sinks, this stuff just straight sinks to the bottom. So in terms of keeping the goldies from gulping air at the waters surface (which in turn can have a negative impact on their swim bladder) this keeps the food under the water. Honestly I feel like after this many different types of sinking pellets for goldfish that if this doesn't help with their swim bladder problems (even a little bit) than I am pretty much done trying to combat the situation with diet. I do plan to do a more in-depth review of the Cobalt fish food in the near future just to let everyone know how it's working out.

It has been 2 months (roughly 60 days) since I did the last weigh-in for these fish (hope you didn't miss my lil trio too much) and they have had some pretty big weight gain results.
Pocky, Sumo, and Ramen (left to right)
Pocky is no longer that fastest growing of the 3 fish (due to issues mentioned previously) but he has managed to put on 18g (0.3g daily) regardless and now weighs in at 86g. Sumo has managed to gain 39g (0.65g daily) since his last weigh-in and is now 116g. Ramen has had the biggest weight gain with a whopping 49g (0.82g daily) which puts him at 121g.
Below you'll find the goldies 8-month growth chart.
Growth Chart (click to enlarge)


Tetra ColorFusion LED Light - Review

As I was browsing through the fish isle of WalMart around the start of this year (which means this light is still working today after lots of use) I came across the Tetra ColorFusion LED light for around $20. This light clips onto the inner tank hood rim of the aquarium (cord has an additional clip to go around the side) and gradually rotates through several colors which allows you to pause the color rotation and keep the light on a shade of your choosing (and to turn it off you hold the button down).
2.5 Gallon Aquarium Setup with the Tetra ColorFusion LED Light
This LED light has 3 primary colors (blue, red, green) and 1 neutral color (white), and you also get a few various shades in between during the light rotation (purple, turquoise). This is a true led light so it brings out any metallic sheen, neon, etc on fish and/or decor (it's actually quite nice). This light in my opinion isn't that bright so I don't feel it would be enough to adequately grow plants (or cause algae growth) or use effectively on a large aquarium as this mainly makes for a nice night time aquarium mood light. This unit is waterproof which allows me to top off my little 2.5gal betta tank (pictured above). Overall I would give this 4/5 stars, and I'm going try this on my goldfish tank because mine don't really care for bright lighting.


Best Fake Plants for Fancy Goldfish

From my experience with fancy goldfish they do seem a little picky about what fake plants they take an interest/liking in. Mine seem to go for more colorful varieties such as those that are pink, rather than the more realistic green plants. For mine the below fuchsia colored plant seems to attract their interest the most thus far as they'll swim by and occasionally try to nibble at its leaves.
National Geographic flower plant @ PetSmart
When I asked others what type of fake plant/s they felt were best suited for fancy goldfish the most common response was along the lines of.. "silk plants" as to prevent goldfish injuries (so avoid fake plants that look spiky). Another person suggested low/short plants with really big leaves, they claim it helps catch food which goldfish will eat later. Also fancy goldfish can be a bit clumsy at times so I'd suggest that the fake plant has a wide and weighted base as to help prevent the plant from tipping over. Based on everything here I put together the below image of the types of fake plants which fancy goldfish may like best (these are all from Petco, PetSmart, and PetMountain).

What type of fake plants do your fancy goldfish like?


Lionhead Progress (6th Month)

This month I mainly fed the lionhead (or as I have been told they are ranchu not lionhead.. or lionchu, whichever you feel these fish are) Saki-Hikari fancy goldfish (green bag) which has consisted of 3 feedings a day and 1/8 tsp per feeding (which is a lot less than these fish were eating the previous month). I also spent the month researching, designing, doing water changes (which is much easier now with a pond pump), etc to figure out why Pocky and Ramen both appeared to be having sudden swim bladder issues most the month. I figure the issue was due to escalated nitrate levels (which you may have read about correcting nitrate levels in my previous post) because after I did several big water changes the two fish appeared to make a quick recovery within 2-3 days (although some days they still seem to have issues), and the nitrates were really the only thing off when I tested the tank water (why we are often told to neglect our nitrate levels is now beyond me).
Sumo, Ramen, and Pocky (left to right)
My little Sumo currently weighed the most for a second month in a row now at 77g, which is a 10g gain from last month. Ramen weighed in at 72g with a 13g gain from last month allowing him to put on the most weight this month, surpass Pocky in weight, and have the average weight between the three. Pocky whom was the fastest growing of the three just 2 months ago only weighed in at 68g with a tiny 2g gain from last month (what's up with that??).
Click to Enlarge
The average gain this month was 8g (0.3g daily) which is half of what it was last month, keeping in mind that I did halve their food intake this month. As usual while the food was halved the weight of fish was not divided equally, although I am surprised to see Pocky falling drastically behind. Pocky has had a rough month in terms of swim bladder issues (same for Ramen though), but it could also be he doesn't care for the new Saki-Hikari as much as the others (because both Pocky and Sumo practically weighed the same last month while Ramen was tailing behind).

Based on my findings from this month and last month this shows me how much weight will be gained by my fish as a group, since half the amount of food is also half the amount of weight gained as a whole. I also feel that each fish has better weight gain depending upon their favored pellet food, I don't think it's one type of pellet food that really works for all the same type of fish. Also by halving their food intake Ramen and Pocky both noticeably were having some type of swim bladder/equilibrium issues, is this affected by high nitrate levels only or perhaps is this some type of hunger pain issue?

For next month I am going to go back to feeding the lionhead 1/4tsp of pellets per feeding, and I am going to put them back on a mixed pellet diet. I will also insure my nitrate stay at 40ppm or lower on a weekly basis. Since my fish are getting rather big for my tank setup I do plan to remove the large barnacle decor in the tank ('Eval' the pleco won't be happy about it) and I will probably just add in some fake plants (doing this will give the lionhead more swimming room as this currently takes up around 1/4 the tanks length, and it will increase water volume).