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FAQs About Goldfish Disease/Health 44

Related Articles: Goldfish Systems, Goldfish 101: Goldfish May Be Popular, And They May Be Cheap, But That Doesn't Make Them Easy Aquarium Fish by Neale Monks, Goldfish Disease, GoldfishGoldfish VarietiesKoi/Pond Fish Disease, Livestock Treatment SystemBloaty, Floaty Goldfish, Gas Bubble Disease/Emphysematosis, Pond Parasite Control with DTHPHole in the Side Disease/Furunculosis,

Related FAQs:  Goldfish Disease 1, Goldfish Disease 2, Goldfish Disease 3, Goldfish Disease 4, Goldfish Disease 5, Goldfish Disease 6, Goldfish Disease 7, Goldfish Disease 8, Goldfish Disease 9, Goldfish Disease 10, Goldfish Disease 11, Goldfish Disease 12, Goldfish Disease 13, Goldfish Disease 14, Goldfish Disease 15, Goldfish Disease 16, Goldfish Disease 17, Goldfish Disease 18, Goldfish Disease 19, Goldfish Disease 20, Goldfish Disease 21, Goldfish Health 22, Goldfish Health 23, Goldfish Disease 24, Goldfish Health 25, Goldfish Disease 26, Goldfish Disease 27, Goldfish Disease 28, Goldfish Disease 29, Goldfish Disease 30, Goldfish Disease 31, Goldfish Disease 32, Goldfish Disease 33, Goldfish Disease 34, Goldfish Disease 35, Goldfish Health 36, Goldfish Health 37, Goldfish Disease 38, Goldfish Disease 39 Goldfish Disease 39, Goldfish Disease 40, Goldfish Disease 41, Goldfish Disease 42, Goldfish Disease 43, Goldfish Disease 44, Goldfish Disease 45,

FAQs on Goldfish Medicines: Antifungals, Antibacterials, Anti-protozoals ( Copper, eSHa, Metronidazole, Formalin, Copper, Malachite Green), Dewormers, Organophosphates, Salts, Mela- et al. non-fixes, Misc. Med.s,

Goldfish Disease by "Types", Causes:
Environmental 1, Environmental 2, Environmental 3, Environmental 4Environmental 5,  Environmental ,  (Absolutely the Biggest Category)
Floaty Bloaty Goldfish
Nutritional (Second Largest)
Eye Troubles
Lumps/Bumps/Growths (including idiopathic tumors)
Viral and Bacterial, Fungal Infectious
Parasitic: (Ich, Protozoans, Flukes, Worms, Crustacean/ Anchorworms/Lernaeids, ) Fish Lice (Argulus),
Goldfish Swim Bladder Problems
Anomalous (Misc., Injuries, etc.)

New Print and eBook on Amazon

Goldfish Success
What it takes to keep goldfish healthy long-term

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Gold Fish Parasite... maybe  03/11/09
I bought a gold fish from Petco. I notice that the fish had 2 white spots on its gill and another by its tail. I assumed it was parasites
and my local fish experts confirmed my suspicions.
<... did they actually see the fish? Look at some bits of the "spots" with a microscope?>
They recommended a product called Super Ick Cure an anti-parasitic medication.
<I would not...>
The gold fish doesn't appear to be getting any better. It hasn't eaten since I've had it
and hangs out at the top of the water. I placed it in a separate 10 gallon tank
<Needs more room than this>
with filter (carbon removed). I've not checked ammonia levels yet, but the PH is fine. I've added aquarium salt to the sick tank as well. Is it necessary to medicate the fish while the parasites are just barely visible?
Should I wait until they are big enough to remove with tweezers?
<Do you think this/these are Anchorworms?>
I worried that I could end up poisoning my fish with this medication that doesn't seem to work.
<Please send along some well-resolved images of good size of what you are concerned with... And when you have time, read a bit here:
and the linked files above... particularly re goldfish systems. IF you have a crustacean parasite... we'll chat re how to treat for this. In the meanwhile, I would not treat with anything... but do your best to provide good water quality. Bob Fenner>
Re: Gold Fish Parasite  3/12/2009

Thanks for the quick response. The good news is that I've gotten my fish (Mr. Pink) to eat brine shrimp.
<Ah, good... though as you know, will know, not a good full-time diet>
I also got him to move around a bit more by covering half the tank with a dark scarf. The answer to your question is yes. I took the fish straight to Elmer's Aquarium (good fish folks www.elmersaquarium.com )
<Oh! In Monroeville, PA? Have been there a few times... very nice folks, great old-timey full line petstore>
after I left Petco. The spots concerned me, because I had a fish that developed a white spot on its back. The spot grew into a worm, and my mother had to pull it out with tweezers.
Since Mr. Pink likes to hang out on the dark side it's almost impossible to get a picture of the spots. They're about the size of a pin head and have not grown since I bought him last Saturday. I have no idea what's wrong with this fish... Ich, worms, or he could just be stressed out. All I do know is that he acts more like a sick fish than a healthy one. Do you think I should finish the dosage in case he does have Ich or White Spot Disease?
<Likely a good idea to finish...>
You mentioned something that really concerns me. A 10 gallon tank is too small for one goldfish?
I tried hard to do my homework before setting up a new aquarium. Everything I've been told, read, and Google all gave the same advice.. Gold fish need at least 10 gallons of water per fish.
<Perhaps the operative words are "at least"... Ten gallons might well do for a very small single specimen of Carassius auratus, with careful attention to regular maintenance... but in the "real world" (where is this exactly?), folks don't adhere to upkeep protocols, "things" happen... Better by far to plan, have an adequate setting for our charges in advance of their need>
I've set up a 29 gallon tank that currently has one small black moor. My sick fish is a butterfly tail telescope (twice the size of the black moor). Is this not enough room to grow in or are you concerned about the water quality?
<This last... I would be making regular water checks (for nitrate if only one test) and water changes from the 29 to the 10... to keep under 20 ppm NO3>
I have an under gravel filter and an outside power filter. The PH level in the 29 gallon is between 7.4 and 7.8., but the 10 gallon sick tank is 7.4.
<This is fine>
The ammonia level is a little high in the 29 gallon.
<!? This is NOT fine... Must be zero, zip, nada... Please... have you read on WWM, searched before writing us here?>
I think it's due more to the dead plants I'm constantly picking out everyday.
<Mmm, no, not likely... plants have very little to do with ammonia production>
I also had to turn off the power filter for a couple of days. Moe (black moor) was having trouble swimming against the currents.
<I'd maybe move this filter to the 10>
I didn't want to stress him out any more than necessary. I've have both filters running now, and will do a water change this weekend.
<Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/goldfish101art.htm
and the linked files above as you have time. Bob Fenner> 

Possible Chilodonella??? 3/5/09 Hi. I am pretty much a novice when it comes to fish, so I apologise for not knowing what they're all called, I can only describe. <All Goldfish are the one species, so it really doesn't matter much. Carassius auratus to its friends, but call 'em all Goldies if you want!> We have had our 20L tank for only 4 weeks, it came with 2 goggle eyed goldfish. <Are you kidding me? Twenty litres? Seriously, this is FAR TOO SMALL for Goldfish. Nothing I say, do, or recommend can help these fish. For multiple Goldfish the minimum tank size is about 125 litres (30 gallons). Goldfish are big (20 cm/8 inches, minimum) and extremely messy animals. They CANNOT be kept in such a small tank. End of story! Any retailer who told you a 20-litre (5 gallon) tank was adequate needs his license to sell animals revoked. Please please tell me this is a typo, and you actually mean 200 litres. That would be a great aquarium for Goldfish.> A present for our 3 year old. <Nope. Don't buy animals for infants. They don't care about animals in any meaningful way and can't understand the responsibilities involved. By all means buy fish for yourself, and let the little ones enjoy them, but if you personally don't want to spend the time/money involved, then buy children toys they can break or ignore without lives being lost.> We changed the water, used water treatment and anti stress solution, set up the filter and cleaned everything. Everything was fine. <On day one, anyway...> We got 2 more small fish, a black moor? and a red cap? to join them. But sadly one of our original fish died. We have no idea why. <Tank is too small. Like trying to keep a Blue Whale in a garden pond. Honestly, this is cruel and wrong.> We got another black moor as a replacement and some live plants, we were told they were good for the fish? <Well yes, Goldfish eat plants and it's good for them.> But slowly all the fish have been dying. <No surprises at all.> We do a water change/treatment every time, in case it's something to do with the water. <Well, the "something" is the Goldfish. They're in too little water.> And we took out the plants as the water was turning green and we weren't sure if they were making the fish ill. <Nope; the green tint to the water was because it was basically sewage.> We have replaced most of the dead fish, but are now left with 3 very poorly fish. 2 black moors and a red cap. <Doomed...> The black moors are turning grey. One floats at the top, looking dead, with a fine layer of skin peeling off and it's tail disintegrating. The other lays on the floor with the same symptoms and is scratching against the stones. The red cap, mostly white so can't see if it has got the same grayness, seems to stay in the same place just wiggling? None of them swim around. <It's your fault for keeping them in a tank too small for them. They're being poisoned by their own wastes. Understand this please: they nee an aquarium A LOT BIGGER to have any chance of survival. The money you spent on a 20-litre tank, plus any other bits and bobs, was money flushed down the loo. As for the fish, they're just being killed by what you bought. Please please please understand I'm trying to be nice while horrified about all these dead fish (and if I didn't like fish, I wouldn't be volunteering here!). But until you've read up on what Goldfish need, you really shouldn't try to keep them. Do please see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/goldfish101art.htm> I have looked up their symptoms and it all seems to point to Chilodonella. What do you think? <Irrelevant.> What is the best treatment? <Bigger tank, then treatment for Finrot.> Or is it already too late? :( <Depends if you're prepared to buy a bigger (125-litre) tank. If not, yes, too late. These animals WILL DIE.> I would be very grateful for your help. I hate to see them suffering. <I hate to hear about them suffering, too.> Thanks. Lisa <Hope this helps, Neale.>

Re: Red telescopic gold fish- could it be Ick or fungus  03/04/09 Thank you for your prompt reply. <Welcome Sasha> we used an acceleration mix to get the balances right. Our Local PetSmart fish crazy person <Heee> assisted us with the chemicals. PH is 7.3 my ammonia and nitrate levels are 0ppm. we have a bubble wall which everyone including the Pleco likes to play in. And a double carbon water fall filtration system, my group gets feed 1 algae pellet 1/4 tsp of crushed flakes with blood worms and 8 floating pellets in the morning at 6:30 and in the evening around 6PM. My fishes have not developed a taste for vegetables. No one will eat lettuce pea or green beans ( all which had to be fished out of the tank.) I don't like zucchini. <They might if it was microwaved for a while> Oliver this morning developed a red gash/rash/slash about 1 cm in length and 2 mm wide it is not deep in his white velvet I have separated him from the rest of his guppy posse and Herman . Needless to say he is not happy with going from a 55 gallon play ground to a 5 gallon tank, <Mmm, too much at risk keeping this fish here... I'd place it back with the others> even though he has his little ball which he pushes. He will not stay still long enough for a good clear photo however I will continue to try. <Ok. BobF>

Re: Red telescopic -to Ick or not to Ick  03/04/09 The best I could do Oliver is not being overly co-operative. I'm sorry they are jpgs I don't know how to transfer them into a different file format. He is in the sick tank  <Don't see either the scratch/cut, nor evidence of Ich in these images... B>

White growth between eyes!   2/22/09 Hi Neale, My filter conked out in a weekend away, and when I arrived home today, the water was sort of murky. Now both of my goldfish, a comet and a common, have developed a white growth about 4 mm in diameter on their faces, right between the eyes. The common seems to have a slight red tinge around the exterior. I've put in two new filters to try to clear the water and I've done a partial water change but I'm very worried. What are these growths and what else can I do to help them? Thanks so much for your help, I hope my fishies will be ok! Katie <Hi Katie. Could be nothing more than excess mucous, something that Goldfish do when irritated. But to be on the safe side, I'd treat against Finrot/Fungus using a reliable (not salt, not Melafix) medication of your choice. In the UK at least, I use a product called eSHa 2000 for this sort of thing. It's an Acriflavine/copper medication. Works well, and doesn't seem to harm plants or filter bacteria. Equivalent products are widely sold elsewhere. Cheers, Neale.>

Accidental Death or Coincidence? Aquarist-genic. Goldfish, env., nutr. dis.  -- 02/19/09 Hey everyone, I hope all is great. I have a 29 gallon tank, with a 2" fan-tail goldfish, red wag platy, and 2-2" killifish. <... not a compatible mix> All water parameters including ammonia are at acceptable levels, temp is at a consistent 77 degrees F, <A bit high for the Goldfish to be in constantly> filtration is superb, and I syphon my gravel once weekly including a 25%-33% water change. Nutrition is mini floating pellets complete formula, with occasional flake food. <... need other food than dried> I have had my livestock disease free for nearly 12 months, and I'm confused about what happened to my fan-tail. My situation started 3 weeks ago when I noticed my normally cheery fan-tail laying lethargically on the bottom. I confined her to a hospital tank which was really a flat bottom 5"L x 7"W x 7"H live bearer trap that allowed 100% normal circulation within the normal tank water. I did this to prevent her from getting sucked on the filter inlet, and to help aid in the long journeys up for air incase she was to weak to swim. <Good thinking> Her swimming habits would be 80% on the bottom and 20% normal swimming in the hospital tank. Within the last 2 weeks of her life I noticed her floating at the top on her side breathing normal but seemingly paralyzed at random times, and then minutes later would swim normally again and go back to the bottom. I assumed this was a case of swim bladder disease, and since there is no real treatment, I put in fungus cure tablets into the tank <? For?> which had claimed to also cure swim bladder disease. <? No. Where did you read, or hear such nonsense?> I also stopped feeding for 3 days in case of impaction or constipation, and then I would only feed her bite sized peas as I heard this could be a remedy. <Good... but too late> Nothing really changed until the last 2 days when I awoke to find her laying on the bottom, but this time on her side, gasping for air, minor case of PopEye, and curved like a bow. Still she managed to swim around (cork-screwy now) and have an appetite. In the last hour before she died, she was laying curled up on her side like a bow, and had a gasp in her gill movements every 4 seconds. I tried on last time to revive her and added a recommended dose of STRESS COAT. <?> Within 5 minutes later she had passed on. My questions are, did I kill her with that STRESS COAT, or was it a coincidence? <The latter> And lastly does this seem like a swim bladder case, or could it be something else? <Can only guess... but likely environmental stress (the temperature) coupled with nutritional deficiency...> I didn't notice anything parasitic, and my other fish are perfectly fine, and all disease free for nearly 12 months. Thanks again. Tim <Agreed that the cause here is/was not pathogenic... But iatrogenic... environmental, nutritional... I encourage you to study the needs of the life you intend to keep... in advance of acquisition. Bob Fenner>
Re: Accidental Death or Coincidence? Aquarist-genic. Goldfish, env., nutr. dis.   2/19/09
Bob, Thanks for the input. Very appreciative. In regards to the "Fungus Cure" I used, Its a JUNGLE LABS product which is a 1 dissolving tablet per 10 gallon treatment which claims to cure cotton mouth, tail/fin rot, septicemia, clamped fins, dropsy, PopEye, Furunculosis, eye cloud, and yes even swim bladder disease printed right on the box( I'm not questioning you, I'm just telling you what un-educated consumers like myself are led to believe by a popular product). <Amazing... am surprised they don't list Eczema and the Common Cold!> Although I thought it was odd to claim to cure swim bladder disease, I tried it out of desperation. On another note, this is a very common product in the USA sold in most pet supply stores. <Yes... our trade (I am actually an individual of long relationship in the industry as well as an earnest consumer) is totally unregulated re such claims> Maybe it's worth informing other mislead consumers like myself that this popular Jungle Labs "Fungus Cure" is wrong to make such claims. <I do agree> I also had my same livestock for nearly 3 years, 12 months disease/illness free. If this goldfish death was due to environmental circumstances, wouldn't it have died years ago? <Mmm, no... a matter of degree... Goldfish, kept under ideal conditions can live for twenty or so years... Most, kept in less ideal settings, persist for days to weeks or more> Thanks Bob. Tim <Thank you for sharing Tim. BobF>

Goldfish laying over--but not in the way I have read in the FAQs  2/10/09 Hi Crew, <Hello,> I have been searching and reading your website for several days trying to figure out what is going on...I have had no luck finding a post that is similar to what I have going on. It is a two fold problem Here are the details: We have/had three fancy goldfish--two Orandas and some sort of grey double-tailed goldfish all about 3 inches nose to tail-- in a 50 gallon tank. We have a small pond pump that is set up to filter through ammo-Carb. <Do understand that neither of these products is terribly useful here. A good biological filter is what you need. Ammonia remover (Zeolite) "dies" after 2-4 weeks, tops, and needs replacing. Carbon serves little purpose at all, and to do anything useful needs to be replaced every couple of weeks. Goldfish need a decent size filter, 6x the volume of the tank in turnover per hour. So you'll need a canister filter rated at around 300 gallons per hour.> We also have large pea size gravel and large rocks on the bottom of the tank Our nitrites and ammonia have been consistently 0 ppm. <If you really are filtering through just Zeolite and carbon, I'm surprised if this is the case, unless of course you are replacing the Zeolite regularly or have some other type of filter installed as well.> Our nitrates have been consistently below 20 ppm and our pH is around 7--I use the color charts so I am guessing on exacts--but they are always the right color. The temperature is also consistently about 68 degrees. We feed all fresh food: peas, grapefruit, zucchini, some dried Nori, blood worms, and sometimes a bit of egg. I am also usually very good about not giving them more than they can eat in just a few minutes. <OK.> The first part of the problem is that one of the Orandas, when we first purchased him about 6 months ago presented with some sort of whitish fuzz/fungus while in isolation. We treated him with salt and Melafix (which I have heard conflicting reports about the utility of). <Neither Melafix nor salt are reliable treatments, though both do have mild anti-fungal properties.> The white fuzz went away and we introduced him into the main tank. About a week ago the fuzz reappeared and we isolated and treated him again. During this time I read lots of posts on WetWeb and searched all over but couldn't find a satisfactory treatment option besides what we did--any thoughts on that front would be appreciated (I read about various antibiotics but was hesitant to treat so aggressively when I wasn't even sure what it was. He seemed to get progressively worse and died about 7 days after first showing up with the fuzz. <Par for the course when people use Melafix, I'm afraid. It's like treating a stroke with aspirin. Whatever beneficial properties Melafix may have, the simple fact is that it is easily outgunned by any established infection. As for treating "aggressively", what would you ask your doctor to do if you had what was effectively gangrene? Use an antibiotic, or ask him to stick with soapy water? Balance risk against benefit: fungal infections can kill, and kill quickly, so while copper or organic dyes are toxic, the risk of causing death through their use is a fraction of the risk from not treating at all.> The second part of the problem is now my other Oranda is showing some very slight signs of fuzz (basically just a slight opaqueness on his pectoral fins and anal fins). For the last few months he has seemed to have some sort of narcolepsy as well. He will be swimming along and then suddenly seems to forget what he's doing and just sink down to the bottom. Not violently or crazily, just gently down to the bottom. Now though, he has begun tipping over when he does this. He will gently float down to the bottom and then gently over onto his side. After a while he will "wake up" and start swimming around again. Additionally it seems that his swimming is more hectic than it used to be--sort of dashing around. This behavior started last week. He still seems to be eating normally and interacting with his tank mate normally. This usually wouldn't worry me too much--I have noticed goldfish are kind of odd little guys--but he seems to stop breathing or breath really slowly when this happens. <May be genetic, or due to the deformed anatomy of the fancy Goldfish in question. But could equally easily be a reaction to water quality, temperature or diet. Ammonia and nitrite should be zero, but often aren't. Given your filter system as described, I'm dubious water quality is as good as you think it is, especially given one fish has already died from a fungal infection, something commonly related to water quality. The temperature is perfect for Fancy Goldfish so not worried there. Diet should be okay, though would avoid egg because it does cause constipation in some animals (not sure about fish).> So the two part problem is this: could you please recommend something that I could have done to save the first Oranda for future reference and please tell me if there is something I can do to save this second Oranda. I really like goldfish, don't mind the weekly water changes and water testing, or the feeding of possibly better food than I eat myself--I am just getting frustrated at my little buddies dying and want to be a good goldfish steward. Thanks for any help you can give me, Kate <Hope this helps, Neale.>

Help Needed!! Goldfish, env. dis.  02/09/09 Hello! I have 2 fantail goldfish, 2 black moors, and a small dojo loach in a 29 gal aquarium that is NOT heated. <Mmm, is too crowded for long-term... perhaps these fishes are small currently... Heating may not be much of an issue if the area this system is set is relatively stable thermally> All was well up until yesterday....Jan. 24 we changed aquariums from a 20 gal to this 29 gal. <Oh! Likely a cycling (or actually lack of cycling) issue> I added a good deal of water from the old tank to the new tank. <Good> I also bought a new Marineland Bio wheel filter to use with the new aquarium. <Mmm, better to use an "old" one> a few days last week I noticed some poopie trails with the pellet food I WAS feeding them encased in something that looked almost like a sausage casing. I immediately switched back to flake food <And I should admonish you re all-dried food use> when I realized this was happening. Yesterday, the fish ( except for the dojo) were on the bottom very lethargic with clamped dorsal fins. I didn't feed them yesterday, and hoped today they would be better, One was, the other 3 are not, although there were times today that they all swam around like everything was fine. Tonight I set up a hospital tank ( 10 gal) with 1 tblsp of Epsom salt and a heater turned to 68, with the water level about 3/4 full. I put the 3 fish that weren't doing good in there, and immediately, the seemed to improve. They have been in there for about 30 minutes, and they are happily swimming and appear to not be stressed out at all, and at least one of them has pooped. I have NOT don't a water test except for ph which was 7.2-I will take in a water sample tomorrow....I have been reading lots of info on the internet, and am thinking this was most likely caused by the pellet food I was feeding for about a week, and I feel HORRIBLE!!!! I also read something about goldfish not liking tall aquariums ( which this one is twice as tall as their old aquarium) Could this also be the problem?? <Not really... no; not likely at all> If all is okay in the morning, should I put the 3 fish back in their 29 gal tank or should I wait a few days? <I would return them to the larger system... and look into/get your own test kits for at least ammonia, nitrite, nitrate> Should I do a partial water change in one or both tanks? <Likely so; yes> Thanks SO much for your help!! Sincerely, Kim <Kim, please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/goldfish101art.htm and here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm and the linked files above, as it pertains to environmental disease here. Bob Fenner>

Re: My Black Moor is losing her Black & Fantail has a crimped look on tail   2/18/09 Ok so the only thing I could find right away is Jungle Labs Fungus Clear tabs or API Melafix? <Well, the latter is garbage.> I've done two treatments so far of the Fungus Clear. After the first one, some of Mombo's black coloring came back under her face, so I did a 25% water change and the 2nd treatment. <Do make sure to follow instructions, in particular removing carbon from the filter.> Now the black is coming off her side scales, just a lil' bit. And Cheeky's tail looks the same. I don't know what to do next. <Need a photo. Difficult to know what you're describing here. But very broadly, when Goldfish get sick with "rot" or "decay" type infections, then treating for Finrot and then for Fungus should catch most possible problems. The trick is using reputable medications (not salt, Melafix) and following the instructions. Fixing environmental issues, such as water quality and carbonate hardness are also part of the cure. Cheers, Neale.>

Please Help My Goldfish Bandi 2/7/09 I have had my Oranda (Bandi) for about 1.5 yrs and she originally came with 2 other tank mates. 1 Black Moor and another Oranda (Specks) . The Moore (Jack) died about 4months after my bf 1st got him, and then 6mo or so later (this was about 2mo after I started caring for the last 2 fish) Specks died due to issues with the swim bladder. After the death of Specks, I decided to wait a bit before introducing any new fish to the tank (originally a 10 gal -- I made sure my bf got them a 30gal a.s.a.p. with a real filter system not just bubbles -- likely the cause of the 1st fish dying and probably did not help the last months of the 2nd one) because I did not know if Bandi would make it. I notice a couple months later that Bandi has a small patch of white stuff on her side and was starting to have cauliflower like growths on her fins (see photo). I have had fish before (mainly Koi) and did not think it was Ich but after talking to my LPS owner he seemed to think it was and suggested treatment for what was on her side and said he thought what she could have is LYMPHOCYSTIS which causes what was on her fins and said unless she is a show fish -- no cure, to keep water very clean and that was all I could do. I treated the tank and changed the water out after the meds ran their course, but it did not seem to do anything at all. It just looked like she was a little sick from the medication and whatever it was on her side was still there! After reading up on things I knew at the start the water conditions at one point (I did not live where the fish were housed originally. I lived in SF and my bf in LA so I only cared for them when I was in town! This is normally when I would change the water if he hadn't or just to be safe) were really bad, and my bf did not change the tank as often as he should have! I now have had him move her from LA to my place in SF where I can better care for her. The trip went well (she was in a 5 gal bucket filled about half way or so, for the 6hr ride) but she did have some stress when she got here. I cut out feedings for 3 days, changed her water at 75% when she arrived and placed some of her old water in to keep bio levels somewhat normal. Once she got here I noticed that the small patch on her side was now much larger and noticed the cauliflower growths on her fins where larger too. About a week ago she seemed to get really sluggish and her buoyancy was totally off and I thought I was going to lose her. I changed her water, lowered the level of water and cut back on feedings (also fed her much less) since when it started was after an algae chip was given to her. I also removed most of the plants (fake ones) in her tank because she seemed to be bumping into them (she also has gotten much bigger since the larger tank -- about double in size) and wanted to make it easy on her since she was obviously sick. Never had any issues with her feedings before, but with this being the 1st month after her move, I guess it could have been that. I test her water about every 3 days, I change her normally about 25% every 2 weeks, sometimes if I happen not to change her for 1 month, I have done as much as a 75% change. I have her in a 30gal tank with a 70gal filter system using AquaClear media/foam & BioMax. And I have never changed the gravel but was told to do so about once a year (she has standard white gravel) which I am now getting ready to do. As far as her being sick I am not sure what do. I was thinking it could be Velvet on her side and probably is LYMPHOCYSTIS on her fins. But other than water changes and treatment for the Velvet (which I was going to get General Cure"¢ or CopperSafe) I am not sure what I can do for her. Any suggestions would really help! I will try and take some more photos (if needed) and get one of the white patch on her side. I would appreciate any info/feedback you can give me. I don't want to lose her too! Thank You. Sylvar <Greetings. Actually suspect the speckles on the pectoral fins are merely breeding tubercles, implying this is a sexually mature MALE. Nothing to worry about, and these will come and go around about the same time each year. Can't say anything much about the white patch on the side of the fish because I can't see it from your photo. A better one would help. Would mention that both Velvet and Ick come into aquaria on new fish (usually) or plants (sometimes) if taken from a tank/pond with infected fish. Neither comes out of nowhere, and if you haven't seen Ick or Velvet in an aquarium for, say, two months at coldwater temperatures, then both are gone from the aquarium. (Unless reintroduced, of course.) Goldfish will produce excessive amounts of slime sometimes. It is off-white in colour when seen against the black scales of Black Moors or in the red head growths of things like your Lionhead. It's a warning something isn't quite right, and will normally go away if things improve. Consider issues such as pH changes (should be steady around 7.5); ammonia/nitrite levels (both should be zero); or the wrong dechlorinator (check you have one that removes Chloramine if you're in an area where the water supplier uses it). Finrot and or Fungus are both distinctive, and should be treated with specific medications for either, and not so-called "cure alls" such as salt or tea-tree oil (e.g., Melafix). Goldfish tolerate copper/formalin medications well when used properly, so these are useful here. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Neal - Help My Goldfish Bandi 02/09/09 Thanks Neale! <Unfortunately he's "out"> Here are better (recent as of today!) photos but still not the best (bad camera) photos, hopefully they help. I treated (based on what I saw and was told by the owner of this aquarium shop) her/him (really him? wow...) with Fungus Cure (I was going to do the General Cure for parasites <Mmm, I would use neither of these here> but was not sure and when I told the owner of the store, they said sounds like it could be both but do the fungus cure 1st!) so the color of the tank water is green hopefully you can make it out. <Are you referring to the growth on the forward edge of this fish's left pectoral fin?> Also as to the growth - all it has done was get bigger! Never went away or got any smaller and they have been there for about 1 yr straight... and today I noticed that she has some deep stress marks on her fins right at the base - where the growths are. Any info would really help the poor fish (and me). FYI: I normally change about 25% of the water every 2 weeks - and if I let it go 1 month (or more - which is hardly ever but my bf has let it go longer than 30 days in the past) have changed up to 75% <I would change a quarter or so out weekly... Is what I do with my goldfish systems> I treat with the following products: * AmQuel * Cycle * API Aquarium Salt <Mmm, not necessary, or advised to use such salt/s on a continuous basis> * When needed Alkaline Buffer (to raise ph) by Seachem I feed my fish: Hikari Lionhead sinking pellets (About 5-8 small pellets per day). <Mmm, and I'd expand this diet... to include greens at least> I have a 70 gal AquaClear filter and use their products (carbon, media, sponge - should I start using the ammonia remover filter packs? Is the Amquel not enough?) <Yes> I just tested (using Mardel 5 in 1 test strips) and here are my levels: Nitrate: 40 <Much too high, by at least twice... I'd keep NO3 below 20 ppm> Nitrite: 0 Hardness: 120 Alkalinity/Buffering: 180 ph level: 7.2 Any suggestions? (\ /)( . .) C('')('') Sylvar <Yes... I suspect that this growth is viral... in hobby parlance, that it's "Lymphocystis"... and that much like common warts in humans, that some physical stimulation (along with improved water quality and nutrition) may spur this animal's immune system to defeat it... I would carefully, gently scoop/net out this goldfish, and scrape off a good bit of this growth with a fingernail... while the fish is underwater in a container outside the system... and possibly daub the site with a mercuric compound (e.g. Merbromin, Mercurochrome...) on a "Q-Tip"... and place it back in the main system... Do read on WWM re Lymph, Nitrate and means of lowering, limiting it... and goldfish nutrition... Oh, and please keep us informed of developments, questions, concerns you have. Bob Fenner>


Re: Please Help My Goldfish Bandi Could it be a Flexibacter infection? Sylvar <Flexibacter, what we often call Columnaris or Mouth Fungus can be a nuisance among Goldfish. It usually starts as slimy, often discoloured growths on the mouth and face. It's called Mouth Fungus because it looks like fungal decay. It should clear up nicely when treated with (reliable) Finrot medications. Now, contrary to what Bob said earlier, I'm not aware of Lymphocystis being common among Goldfish. But a very similar disease called Fish Pox (Cyprinid Herpes virus) is common among Goldfish and Koi, and looks fairly similar. Usually what you see is something like hard wax on the body and fins, as if a candle was dribbled on the fish. It's viral, so essentially untreatable, though there are medications supposed to help. It usually goes away by itself, and whether or not its caused by the environment is debated. One thought is that temperature is a critical factor. In any case, it usually isn't fatal. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Please Help My Goldfish Bandi Yeah I did not think it was but I am racking my brain to try and cure or help this poor fish. I just sent another email a min ago, please respond. And I really don't think it is Fish Pox. There is nothing that looks like that on her. It is more like 4 of her scales turned white. 1 seems to have cleared about 80-90% but there are still 3 other scales effected. Should I continue to treat with the 2nd dose of fungus cure? Sylvar <For want of anything better: treat successively for Finrot and for Fungus. Re: Finrot, most medications should deal with Mouth Fungus at the same time. If using an antibiotic like Maracyn, understand it treats one subset of bacteria; if the infection persists after full course, switch to Maracyn 2 and try again. Organic dyes tend to work on all (external) bacteria equally well. Fungus can be treated alongside in some cases with the same medication (e.g., eSHa 2000) but otherwise finish the Finrot medications, do a big water change, and then run the Fungus meds. DO NOT discontinue any medication halfway through. ALWAYS finish the full course of meds. NEVER combine courses of medications at the same time UNLESS you explicitly know they are safe to use together. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Neal - Help My Goldfish Bandi You got it! And I made a mistake the "growth" I 1st made a comment about was not on the pectoral fins, it was actually a white patch. With the fungus cure, <Mmm... I wouldn't "treat" this fish for "fungus"> it seems to have diminish but just faintly! I don't want to do the 2nd treatment with this fungus cure if that is not what she has. I am not sure what to do because it is now at the 48hr mark when I am "supposed" to be adding in the 2nd dose. I will start doing more cleanings for sure! And am getting a testing kit for the ammonia - I will also get one of those filter inserts to remove it. Did you see the white patch on her (it is a her right? <No> I think Neal said it was a boy but if this is (which is what I thought it was) Lymphocystis that it would have no barring on the determination of sex correct?) side? <... no> That is what I was using the fungus cure to get rid of. Please get back to me a.s.a.p. I am leaving in about 30min to go get some things from the aquarium shop. (\ /) ( . .) C('')('') Sylvar <BobF>

Re: Neale - Help My Goldfish Bandi   2/11/09 As of now the ONLY thing I have treated the fish with was "API Fungus Cure" I did do the 2nd dose. <Finish that course of medication before starting any more. This only treats fungal infections. Not Finrot, and not Mouth Fungus (a bacterial infection), and not anything viral. Do not pick and choose how many doses you want to use (unless you're a vet or an MD of course).> And that was yesterday - I just did a 13% water change (because the nitrate was at 40 or at least this test kit seems to show that - is there any test kits that don't cost an arm and a leg I can get that actually give accurate reads? <The margin of error is fine for our purposes. Goldfish are tolerant of nitrate up to 50 mg/l or even higher, so not really a big deal.> Not like these strips which say "Nitrate 0 - 20 - 40 etc. It makes it hard to tell sometimes...) and added about half spoon of buffer plus to bring up the ph since it was a bit low. Here are my current levels: <Please understand the pH is immaterial, it's the HARDNESS that matters. Aquarists often cling to pH because it's easy to understand, but the reality is that it doesn't really tell you very much. It's like judging someone's health by their weight; unless you know their age, height, gender, occupation, etc., it's not really all that useful by itself. Goldfish like hard water, and that means aiming for a hardness upwards of 10 degrees dH ("moderately hard" to "hard" on whatever general hardness test kit you are using). If you get the hardness right, the pH will go to the right level all by itself.> 2/10/09 10:50am (PST) ammonia 0 nitrite 0 nitrate 30 ph 7.5 alkalinity 140 hardness 120 Temp is 61 degrees. Salinity is 3/ with a specific gravity of 1.002 <Hmm... Goldfish don't really need salt.> I am going to do a 75% water change tomorrow (which will be at the 48hr mark which means the meds ran their course) and add the carbon. I was told by Rick from GoldFishConnection.com to do a 75% water change to remove all meds, treat for flukes (he said because of the flashing it is parasites, but the fish does not always swim sideways on the gravel, just sometimes - mainly during the day) with Aqua Prazi and that the fish should be treated with Medi-Gold for bacterial infection. He also suggested I NOT change out the gravel at this time, and to use river rock and only a thin layer. <Okay, we're getting a bit crazy here. A 75% water change all at once is a bit much UNLESS you are ABSOLUTELY sure that pH and hardness are going to stay the same before and afterwards. I don't know "Rick", but I'm sure he'd agree with me that if you don't know if the water chemistry is stable, changing that much water would be nonsensical. 25% a day, 50% tops, would be my recommendation. Aqua Prazi is a medication for worms and flukes, I believe, and as such utterly irrelevant to treating an external bacterial, fungal and/or viral infection. Fish will "flash" for a variety of reasons, and most commonly it IS NOT worms or flukes, it's almost always either irritation (ammonia, chlorine in the water) or else early stages of Ick/Velvet with the parasites damaging the gills. Medi-Gold doesn't declare what antibiotics it contains, and to be honest it makes more sense to *know* what you're using that to add stuff in the hope it'll work. Folks will sell you all kinds of stuff, but there's no point buying medications until you've identified the problem. Over-medicating is as likely to kill a fish (or human!) as anything else, because you have no idea of the interactions between the drugs.> Any other suggestions? Also is 75% water change (after today's 13% water change) enough to then run another cycle of meds? No matter which meds I use? Or should I put in the carbon and wait a couple days? This patch has been on the fish for a few months now so waiting a few days would not be too much, though I want to clear this up a.s.a.p. <Please understand it's impossible for me to follow what's going on here. You appear to be soliciting information from at least two different sources, and while that's fine, it makes it really difficult to recommend a course of treatment. As I've said, mindlessly throwing carbon, salt, worm-killing medications into the system without any particular logic isn't going to help. There's an order of probability in the sort of fish sickness you described initially, i.e., fin/skin discolouration and decay. The list runs firstly through environment stresses, then through bacteria, then fungal infections, and then to viral infections. So the best way to treat the fish is systematically consider and where appropriate treat each of those. Check/fix the water quality. Run a suitable and reliable antibiotic/antibacterial, for gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria in that order (Maracyn first, then Maracyn 2). Recognise fungal infections by their cottony, thread-like filaments, and use an anti-fungal. Viral infections are untreatable, but review Fish Pox and Lympho as the two most common in ornamental fishkeeping.> Also I have now included in the diet Tetra Spirulina and plan to get a veggie clip and try some lettuce (which type is best?) and some shelled peas here and there. Try and broaden the diet a bit. Sylvar <No need to feed a fish while dumping all kinds of random medications in the tank. The filter bacteria are going to be flaky enough as it is. So lay off the food for a while. Also gives a chance for any water quality issues to subside. As/when you get to feeding greens, curly lettuce is best, red/iceberg lettuces the worst. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Neal - Help My Goldfish Bandi (RMF, thoughts?)<<Mmm, no>>   2/11/09 From what it says on the box ( http://aquariumpharm.com/Products/Product.aspx?ProductID=60 ) the API Fungus Cure does in fact cure fin & tail rot. It says so on the box. I am a little confused. <Don't be confused. Reading through the ingredients. This product contains Acriflavine and Malachite Green ("Basic Green 4"). Both of these are anti-fungal medications. While Acriflavine has some antiseptic properties as well, it isn't an antibiotic as such, and isn't as effective for treating Finrot as a dedicated antibiotic or antibacterial medication. In other words, put aside the marketing, and go by the ingredients. This product is a good anti-fungal, but at best a mild anti-bacterial. Science is our friend!> At any rate, for now I am going to just change the water at 25% tomorrow once the meds are done running their course and add back the carbon to my filter system, and after things level out a bit will go with the suggestion of using Maracyn. <Sounds fine. But personally I wouldn't use carbon through any of this. Few benefits. Most medications will be metabolised (i.e., broken down) by the biological filter within 24 hours, and water changes will get rid of the rest. The risk with carbon is that you forget to remove it while treating, and end up removing the medications. I've done this myself more than once!> As to the hardness of the water when the fish was in LA it was much harder (about 225), but it is always at the same level (in both cities it stayed the same) which is 120. The ph has not changed much if at all since the 1st time I replaced 75% of the tank water to the last water change - it was only by .5 at best. The normal ph for the tank has been 7.1 - 7.5 nothing less or more. I was told that it should be at 7.5 so when I saw it at 7.1 I only added a little buffer up to bring it to 7.5 that's all. <A pH change of "0.5" doesn't seem much, but remember, the pH scale is exponential. pH 8 is ten times more basic than pH 7, and pH 9 one hundred times more basic than pH 7. So what seem like small changes can be significant. pH changes often cause "flashing" in fish, because their gills are irritated. Moreover, pH alters their blood chemistry, and this can, if severe, cause symptoms such as heavy breathing and skittishness.> The salt I had added to reduce stress (the fish has red veins on the tail and pectoral fins - I only used this because the aquarium shop said it would help that. I know in general they don't need salt. Was using this hurting? <A little salt won't do any harm, since Goldfish are very salt-tolerant by freshwater fish standards. But it's always worth remembering *why* you're adding stuff. What does salt do? When you ask people this, they spout all kinds of vague, unscientific nonsense about "increasing slime layers" and "reducing osmotic stress". Has any of this been tested? No. Salt was useful in the past because it was the lesser of two evils. Salt (by which I mean NaCl) reduces the toxicity of nitrite and nitrate, both of which were problems when people were using inefficient filters and avoided doing water changes. Those days have passed, and there's no now reason to have toxic levels of either nitrite or nitrate in any aquarium. Hence salt is, at best, redundant. It doesn't stabilise the pH and it certainly doesn't mimic the natural environment of freshwater fish. What it *is* good for is taking money from your pocket and putting it into the pockets of the salt manufacturers. So while I'm all for using salt as a specific therapy, e.g., for treating Ick/Whitespot, I'm absolutely against routinely adding it to freshwater aquaria.> I also did NOT think that the fish has any worms or flukes and was not clear as to why he suggested that other than assuming the flashing was from that. <I'm not clear either.> Both ammonia and chlorine levels are 0 and from what I can tell the gills look just fine. <OK.> And thank you Wet Web Media for all your help. I am doing the best I can to get as much info on helping this situation and you guys have been great! Thanks. Sylvar <Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Neal - Help My Goldfish Bandi    2/11/09 Got it! Thanks for the sound advice! I will keep you guys up to speed on things! And won't use the salt anymore. Nice to know about the ph too - I guess it is more important than I thought it being 7.1 one day and me needing to bump it up to 7.5 the next. <The thing with pH is that fish can adapt to a very wide range, often 6-8 without any problems. But what they can't stand are sudden changes. Slight changes over the weeks are fine, but the problems occur when we try to "fix things". For example, say your fish tank is normally at pH 8. You're away for a couple weeks, and you get back, and it's at pH 7. You think, Oh Dear!, my Guppies won't like that, so I'll repair the pH to where it should be. As it happens, the Guppies adjusted fine to the slow drop in pH even though it was now at a "bad place" for them in terms of preferences. But when you go an up the pH to 8, thinking that's their optimal range, the pH change is so sudden, it sickens them. This is why we always stress the important of hardness over pH, especially carbonate hardness. Aquarists often assume hard water is bad: but it's not! It's a blessing in disguise, because "liquid rock" like you get in London or LA is actually great for inhibiting pH changes. Once your fish have adjusted to the hard, basic water (which your retailer has done) then pH is something you never need to worry about ever again, assuming you're doing your water changes every week or two.> But in general the ph and hardness (which I guess as you put it goes hand in hand) is pretty much the same on each water change. But for now, I will just do the 25% and in about 5-7 days will do another 25%. <Cool.> As to the carbon, trust me at this point I don't think I will forget ANYTHING lol. I have a journal now of each and every thing I put in the tank and what the levels are. I also only used the carbon filter insert because that is what the filter system suggests to use. Sponge, Carbon and then Media. It is the AquaClear 70. <If you remember, so much the better. My memory is appalling; the family joke is that if I ever got dementia, no-one would notice.> I do have 1 more question. It is about the filter - is the 70gal filter too strong for the 30 gal tank? I normally keep it at the lowest setting and the current doesn't seem too strong...but I am curious. <The filter is likely fine. So long as the fish are being pressed against the sides of the tank, then the water current is acceptable. Go look at a river sometime. Then compare the water flow to your filter. Goldfish in particular are good swimmers and appreciate a bit of exercise; active swimming also keeps them physically strong and helps avoid problems with constipation. Sure, Fancy Goldfish are less capable swimmers than, say, Comets (the real Greyhounds of the Goldfish family) but you're more likely to cause problems with insufficient filtration than too much.> Thanks! Sylvar <Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Neal - Help My Goldfish Bandi    2/11/09 Great advice! Thanks Neale. And yeah that is pretty funny about what your family said. We will just hope that never happens ;0) (\ /) ( . .) C('')('') Sylvar <Happy to help. Indeed, no particular desire to have dementia. But in life, you have to take the laughs where you find them, even if the thought behind them isn't all that comforting. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Neal - Help My Goldfish Bandi    2/11/09 hehe yeah I agree ;0) Sylvar <Then my work here is done. Good luck treating the fish! Neale.>

Re: Neale- Help My Goldfish Bandi (RMF, thoughts?) <<Nary a one additional.>> -- 02/12/09 Very odd, today I noticed a small dot of white fungus (cottony) almost floating like on the font of the face, by the eye and it seems the area in the front corner of the eye is irritated and also shows sign of a bit of white film of fungus (this too looks a bit cottony unlike it being "wax dipped" or film coated)there is another dot that looks about the same on the opposite side of the face. This one is not floating but is more attached to the side of the face. <Cotton = Fungus, so treat accordingly. Often occurs alongside Finrot. Some medications treat both; shop around in your region. Here in the UK, I recommend eSHa 2000.> I am about to do the 25% water change but is it possible that this now just comes up WITH treatment in the tank? <Used correctly, medications shouldn't cause any problems, though a Finrot medication may have little/no impact on Fungal infections.> Oh and there is NO other change in the white scales (the patch on the side) of the fish. There is also what almost looks like a skin tag (very tiny) which is red on the tip of the tail. Is this normal? <No, but wouldn't panic just yet. Worry about the other stuff.> I saw it before but forgot to mention it with all that is going on. Any suggestions? Sylvar <Nothing beyond what I've already said. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Neal - Help My Goldfish Bandi (RMF, thoughts?) -- 02/12/09 So the treatment I just did (API Fungus Cure) would have no effect on this fungus? <I've forgotten where we're at. But in a nutshell, Fungus medication cures fungus, and fungus is the white fluffy stuff that looks like cotton wool. Fungus treatment won't (normally) have much impact on either Finrot or Mouth Fungus (that, despite the name, is bacterial).> I just got the Maracyn and will do that treatment next week. It says that it also cures fungus as well, so do you think that it would knock this out? <Maracyn does say that it can cure Fungal infections, but I don't really understand how. It's Erythromycin, and that's not really an anti-fungal medication so far as I know. I'd use it if nothing else was available, but in all honesty I'd sooner go for a Malachite green, Acriflavine type thing.> Or should I go with something else before I use the Maracyn? <I would, IF IT'S FUNGUS.> The white scales look totally different from this, this looks like fungus, I am still at a loss as to what the patch on the side of the fish is. A bacterial infection possibly or a fungus which is not "cottony" as most seem to be. <The two things can, do occur together. It's important to understand this. Both Fungus and Finrot are what we call opportunistic infections. Healthy fish are essentially immune, but if there's a break in the skin, both move into the wound and "eat" the decaying flesh. If the fish is weakened and it's immune system can't fight them off, both move from eating dead material to eating healthy material.> Here are my current levels: I did a water change at 7gallons (aprox 23%) without disturbing gravel Added 1 1/4 teaspoon Amquel, half cap of cycle....no salt (;-) ammonia 0 nitrite 0 nitrate 25 ph 7.5 alkalinity 140 hardness 120 Sylvar <Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Neale - Help My Goldfish Bandi (RMF, thoughts?)  2/12/09
Hi Neale, <Hello,> I just got through with a 4 day treatment of Acriflavine & Victoria Green B (that was the API Fungus Cure) and just yesterday (final day of treatment) this white fluffy bit of fungus pops up. I am just confused as to why this came up AFTER I treated the fish for fungus... <Wouldn't read too much into it just yet.> At this point all I can think of is to wait a few days, let the filter do it's thing to rid the tank of meds and then start the Maracyn. Unless you have another idea that would be better.... I am all ears :0) Sylvar <Sounds like a fine plan. Without seeing the fish in the flesh, it's not easy to diagnose problems reliably, and many can't be positively diagnosed without access to things like tissue smears. So the best you can do is run through the options, from most to least likely, using the most versatile and reliable medications you can find. Cheers, Neale.> Will do! Sylvar <Good luck, Neale.> 

Re: Help My Goldfish Bandi (Maracyn Treatment Question/Airstone Needed?) 2/16/09 Should I be using an airstone along with my 70gal AquaClear filter? I am treating the fish wt Maracyn and there are all these bubbles in the tank and they are reminiscent of oil bubbles, it is quite strange looking. I have heard this can be an issue if they get into the gills of the fish. But I asked my LFS owner and he said it is fine and just that it's a sign the treatment is taking effect in the tank. Said to treat it with the 2nd dose of Maracyn (he said maybe Maracyn2 may be better for this fish due to the details I gave him - there is a small red dot on the belly and also what looks like a piece of Wen growing on the scale of the fish which looked odd to me!) and to call him tomorrow. I think I may bring the fish into the store to have him take a look. I also am including new photos taken today! Any suggestions? My water levels from yesterday are below: 2/14/09 11:08pm temp 60 degrees ph 7.5 140 Alk 120 hard nitrite 0 nitrate 30 ammonia 11:20pm - placed 2.5 packages of Maracyn to tank (aprox 26gallons in tank) 2/15/09 10:40pm Placed 2.5 packages of Maracyn to tank (aprox 26gallons in tank) (2nd dose) Sylvar <Hello again. It's always a good idea to add additional aeration when using medication. At the very least, it helps ensure good circulation and distribution of the medication in the tank. Your retailer is quite right that Maracyn 2 will work in situations where Maracyn doesn't, but please do finish the complete course of one before starting the other. The water chemistry seems fine to me, so I am hoping your goldfish gets well soon. Having found out how much fish medication costs, not to mention the stress levels involved for the keeper, I think you'll agree with us now that spending the extra money up front on a bigger (and therefore healthier) tank when keeping goldfish is money well spent. As/when things settle down, please do consider upgrading to something above 30 gallons, especially if you intend to keep more than one goldfish, as you should do. Good luck, Neale.>

Re: Help My Goldfish Bandi (Maracyn Treatment Question/Airstone Needed?) Treating Goldfish With Bloody Fins   2/16/08 Yeah I live in an apartment and they actually state on the lease no more than 25 gallon tanks, so I am already cheating with the 29 gallon tank I have. But I do plan on a 70 gallon once I move into a house. Which should be soon. I will then use this 29gallon as a hospital tank. Do you think the streaks of blood in the fins is from lack of oxygen and if I add an airstone that it should help rid the fish of the streaking? I just was not aware of the need for that with such a high powered filter system I already have in play. < Bloody streaks in fins usually is a symptom of a bacterial infection.> The treatment on the box says 5 days - the owner of the store said I should have probably just used the maracyn2 from the start, to do the treatment today (which I did) and call him tomorrow with an update, I assume I should just buy the maracyn2 anyhow, but should I use both (I know it says it is safe to do so, but I think I am over-doing it with all the meds over the last week+) and run the full 5 day course of Maracyn while starting the treatment of maracyn2 ? < These medications are different variations of erythromycin. Many different strains of bacteria have become resistant to this antibiotic so the second version may be better. The store owner probably has had experience with this medication before. You already have the Myacin. I would recommend following the recommendations on the package. If you don't see any improvement in a couple days then make the switch or go ahead and add the second version. This will have an effect on the biological filtration. Check for ammonia and nitrite spikes.-Chuck> (\ /) ( . .) C('')('') Sylvar

Re: Help My Goldfish Bandi - UPDATE -- 03/07/09 Update: My fish now has a tiny red hole on the white patch on it's flank. I bought some Aqua Prazi (Prazipro) and was going to start treatment for parasites since I have done both the API General Cure as well as the Maracyn and nothing has changed. <I would NOT do this... the hole is not likely to be parasitic... and further med. application is likely to just toxify the fish, system> The water is better and stable and I did not change out gravel *the fish still flashes a bit <This may well be just natural> which I am starting to think may be what has caused this white patch which is some type of lesion* <Yes> but can try doing just the marbles if that would be better. <No. Is not... marbles are too smooth... not enough surface area for useful bacteria culture> I have had a lot of info on changing the gravel and most say it is not necessary and not advised in a tank that has stable conditions due to the disruption of good bacteria. Any advice? <No... you understand already> I am actually thinking of sending out a culture of the fish and see exactly what the source of this issue is. My most current water levels: 3/1/09 - 7:30pm Moved tank from dresser to tank cabinet. Removed fish, placed in 1 gallon mini transfer tank. Removed all water (totaling 18.5 gallons) and replaced 15 gallons of tank water. Then placed 5 gallons of fresh treated (with Amquel & Cycle) water into tank. Brought ph from 7.3 to 7.5 with buffer up (tank ph was originally at 7.5) <I would NOT change the pH here... leave as is...> tested water with ammonia test kit as well as 5in1 test strips all levels were normal. Added fish to tank, replaced the 1 gallon from mini tank into main tank. ph 7.5 nitrate 25 <Too high... I'd look into adding more filtration... biological... perhaps a hang-on outside filter> nitrite 0 ammonia 0 alkalinity 150 hardness 120 60 degrees Attached is a photo from a few moments ago, you can see the white patch, but the hole (or cut which sure looks like a hole to me) is not visible. The only other shot I got of it is too out of focus. I will charge my camera and take more if need be. (\ /) ( . .) C('')('') Sylvar <Just "hang in there"... All will likely be fine. Bob Fenner>

Re: Help My Goldfish Bandi - UPDATE... Still not reading before writing... hlth., iatrogenic...  -- 03/08/09 Ok, I will not do any more meds (honestly I did not want to do any other treatments!) and will try and get the nitrate levels down more. I believe it was at a 40 to start with so having it at about 20-25 now is much better but still not what I want it at. <... please read on WWM re nitrates, control...> I purchased a airstone and I do use a 70gal AquaClear filter (I have a 29gallon tank) <Too small... this problem is self-caused> so the filtration seems like enough, but I will start the airstone and see if that helps. I do changes now 25% once per 7 days. <Good> What else would you suggest to get the nitrate levels down under 25? <...: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwnitrates.htm and read the linked files above> P.S. Someone suggested there is something that can be used on the flank where the white patch it which is pretty much an anti-bacterial? <... not the root cause... which is environmental> Another person suggested Betadine or iodine on a cotton swab. What is your take on this? <... That this is evidence of hypochondria. B> Thanks Bob! Sylvar

Re: Help My Goldfish Bandi - UPDATE   3/9/09 Wow - I honestly swore that 70gal filter in a almost 30gallon tank with FOWR was fine. Everyone I spoke to (even some at WetWebMedia) said it was fine. I got the airstone to help with the oxygen. I just got it yesterday and am letting the tubing air out a couple days before I wash it and put it together. <Mmmm, how large is this goldfish? I am of the opinion that the "troubles" you have been observing are environmental... not pathogenic... and further, that "medicating" is harming more than any help here> I will read that link and won't do anything at this point except try to improve the water conditions and continue to expand the diet of Bandi. Thanks for helping me keep the last bit of my sanity and my poor fish from becoming totally toxic. (\ /) ( . .) C('')('') Sylvar <Okay. B>

Re: Help My Goldfish Bandi - UPDATE   3/9/09 And sorry I did not mean FOWL - I only have 1 fish and have standard gravel, not live rock. <Ahh, understood. B> My bad. However I do have 1 shell (I had about 4 but removed 3) which has been in the tank for about 1yr. (\ /) ( . .) C('')('') Sylvar

Re: Help My Goldfish Bandi - UPDATE   3/9/09 It is 1 Tigerhead Oranda - large. He is about 6.5 inches by about 2.5 wide. He's a big boy :0) (see photo). <Ah yes dear... I do fear that thirty gallons won't be sufficient to dilute its wastes... even with your good weekly water changes... I have three goldfish... about four inch body length, in a ninety... And they even get too messy to wait a week... I use Eheim Professionel (corr. spelling) canister filters... You might "get by" with adding redundant outside power filtration... but there has GOT to be ZERO ammonia and nitrite... and 10-20 ppm MAXIMUM nitrate at all times... Do you understand? B> (\ /) ( . .) C('')('') Sylvar

Re: Help My Goldfish Bandi - UPDATE   3/9/09 Wow...yep, I got it loud and clear. I am in an apartment and my current lease states no more than 25 gallons (I have a 29 gallon now) and I am in the process of moving but it will be a while before I get to another place, even there I fear I may run into the same issues as far as the lease stating maximum gallons. I will have to work out something and get a larger tank. My ammonia and nitrites have always been at 0 but I do know for sure that my nitrates have to be lower. I will get to work on that! <Mmm, if you can store some change-out water... in advance of next need... this would really help> Thanks Bob - you have given me the BEST info from all of the sources I have called upon. I really do appreciate it, I am going to do my best to keep this little (pun intended) guy in the best shape I can. He has come a long way and I want to make sure he has the best life possible. Even if I have to move! (\ /) ( . .) C('')('') Sylvar <Ahh, I see a bigger home for you and your sweet Bandi in the near future. Cheers, BobF>

Re: Help My Goldfish Bandi - UPDATE 3/12/2009
Hi Bob,
I finally got my nitrate levels to 20 (Woohoo) and while I am still trying to get it down more, I think it is going well (seeing how it was 40 before - yikes!) I do have one question though; the alkalinity has dropped from about 120 (normally this is what it was from Dec till about 2 weeks ago (the last 2 water changes) I noted the drop) and is now between 110-115.
<No worries>
Now I have been adding Seachem buffer up (not much just about 1/4 tsp), and that works and does not bring the ph above 7.5 which normally it is but again, since the drop in alkalinity the ph is now at about 7.0 I know that boosting the ph too quick can be harmful but what about the alkalinity?
<I would leave both these alone... the change/vacillation is not a big deal. You are much more likely to cause troubles/harm by trying to modify... Just keep up with regular (likely weekly, which is what I do with my goldfish) water changes... if you can with pre-stored water>
At 1st the alkalinity was fine 120 - steady. Just last week though after the drop in ph I noticed a steady decline in the alkalinity.
<All natural... too-small, unbalanced (i.e. typical aquariums) are "reductive"... go acidic with time... Not a worry with regular water change-outs with some alkalinity, "decent" pH>
Is it safe to continue to add the buffer up and monitor?
<Again... I would not add buffer to the water you list>
Should I make sure it stays at 120 with a 7.5 ph or is the 110-115 alkalinity ok with the ph at 7.0?
<One last time... the latter>
I ask because the strips I am using (Mardel) say to add "buffer up plus" when at these levels.
<And get out of the "strip" business... Really... do invest in a simple colorimetric test kit set>
Oh and I tested my tap water and it is about 100 - 110 alkalinity and the ph is about 6.8 - 7.0 Is there a filter head for my faucet I can use that would help aid this process of keeping levels more normal?
Sorry if any of this is confusing :0) Here are my current levels:
ph 7.0
nitrate 20
nitrite 0
ammonia 0
alkalinity 100 - added 1/4 tsp. buffer up to bring it to 115-120
hardness 120
(\ /)
( . .)
<Isn't this discovery of what we "learned" in H.S. et al. chemistry, physics classes fascinating when it becomes "re-live" to our conscious? You're doing fine here. BobF>

Re: Help My Goldfish Bandi - UPDATE   3/13/09
Ok got it - I will continue to change out the water weekly and not add any buffer up. Can you recommend a good colorimetric test  it?
;... see WWM re. Most any will do here... API, Wardley's...>
And honestly, I did not go to H.S. and am just now getting my G.E.D. (and am learning all about chemistry and physics - at least what I did not already know) and a lot of this stuff is new, but I find that it is all useful information and I am more than willing to learn all I need to in order to keep the fish healthy and happy.
<Ah, good>
Thanks a bunch Bob!
(\ /)
( . .)
<Welcome. B> 

Re: Help My Goldfish Bandi - UPDATE 3/30/09
My poor fishy (Bandi) still has this huge white growth on it's flank. It looks about twice the size it was when this whole issue started (since Dec aprox) and I am really worried. My water parameters (from the 24th which is my most current read) are as follows:
3/24/09:  ph 7.2, nitrate 20
<... again, see WWM re... you want this lower>
nitrite 0, ammonia 0, alkalinity 115, hardness 120
Water change: 5 gallons (treated with Amquel, and 1 cap of cycle)
Attached are photos from today, which show the growth/patch on it's flank. What should I do?
(\ /)
( . .)
<Improve the water quality per the NO3... and hope... This definitely appears to be viral, or virally mediated... not much to do w/ such growths other than bettering environment, nutrition. B>

Re: Help My Goldfish Bandi - UPDATE...   4/1/09
I know, I keep doing water changes every 5-7 days. I have not gotten it lower than 20 (this IS on a TEST STRIP not kit so is not exact!) no matter what I do. I am not sure what else I can do -
<... is this a broken record? How many times have I referred you to reading re NO3?>
I can't get a larger tank! I guess I could change out the water (is 5 gallons enough per change? It is a 29gal tank but only has about 26gal of water if you add in the space at the top and the gravel) every 4 days. Also today I see that the "red dot" I spotted before on the white patch on Bandi's flank, may be some type of worm. I really can not tell 100% but it looks more prominent and seems to be protruding, which makes me think that it was there all along and I just thought it was a dot instead of it being a worm.
I do have PraziPro
<... stop. What does an Anthelminthic have to do with anything here?>
but when I look at the Mardel leaflet which says what to do in case of worms it says use CopperSafe. I have been told in the past NOT to use anything copper with freshwater fish.
<... Read, don't write. B>

Re: Help My Goldfish Bandi - Recovering From Dropsy   5/13/09
Thanks Bob!
I did not want to give up either, I was just told it is highly unlikely that he would recover so I had to prepare for the worse. The algae was on the tank glass about 2 weeks ago but I cleaned it off, it was not much. I don't have the tank with much direct sunlight (which is the only time it seems to grow noticeable signs at least) but I will not scrub it off next time I see it.
And yes it is quite sterile now (but I do have in a Aquaclear system which has BioMax along with the sponge filter and carbon so that should help with the healthy bacteria no?)
<Maybe in time... See WWM re>
just because I have been doing the cichlid salt mix and thus removing water every few days (by the way I did the last salt mix water change yesterday, so now should I just do regular once a week water changes?
Should I slowly turn the heat down and then remove the heater as well or leave it?
<I'd leave the heater, but turn down... oh I see this below... leave it where it's set>
The temp is at about 68 degrees right now!) on top of the 1st change of 75% which I did after the Maracyn 2 had been finished. So I have been doing a ton of water changes over the last 2 weeks.
<I would not change more than half at any given time... More harmful than helpful>
So the black specks on his scales and the lack of color on them (looks like someone knocked the gold dust off his scales on some of them) is from stress?
Anything I can do other than letting the tank get some good algae on it?
Also how long does that normally take?
<Weeks to months>
I know in LA where the tank got a decent amount of natural sunlight it was there within 1 week. Here in San Francisco, it can take 2-3 weeks.
<Add some live plant... Egeria/Elodea would be best... aka Anacharis>
Also the MetroMeds seems to be working well and he really likes it! I have about 1.5 weeks left of the 2 weeks I will be feeding him this. I really think these meds are what saved him for the most part.
<The recovery from apparent dropsical condition is remarkable. What is in "Metro Meds"?>
As soon as he started eating them (which took 2 or 3 days of feeding before he actually ate one pellet) he got better and better each day! I started him on them about 1 week after I started the Maracyn 2.
Anyhow, I am happy and a lot less stressed which is great for me, he is better which is fantastic and I am hopeful this will be a thing of the past and the help you guys at WWM have given me has been A-1. Thank you!
(\ /)
( . .)
<Again, very welcome. BobF>

Re: Help My Goldfish Bandi - Recovering From Dropsy 5/18/09
Today I woke up to find Bandi dead on his side at the bottom of the tank.
<I'm sorry to hear that.>
He was doing so well, I don't know what happened! I noticed he didn't eat yesterday and had some head jam (white stuff on his Wen) and had passed a bowl movement and was not really swimming around much other than to sit by his airstone, so I am not sure why he died but now I am not sure if I should just do a water change, continue to filter the tank etc. or totally clean out the tank and change out the substrate, plants etc. and start from scratch. Any advice?
<Depends what you want to do. There's a good argument for sterilizing the system, but you will of course need to cycle the tank once more before you add any new fish. Alternatively, you could sterilize the tank but leave the filter running in a bucket of aquarium water, to which you add a small pinch of food every 48 hours (if you don't "feed" the filter regularly, the bacteria will die. This second approach means you could add new fish as soon as you want (in which case stop feeding the filter) but the downside is that if there is some virus or parasite in the system, there's no guarantee you'll have eliminated it.  I am just happy he is in peace and didn't look like he suffered (he looks peaceful and at rest) much if at all, he will be missed. - Sylvar
<Good luck, and do keep reading on what Goldfish need. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Help My Goldfish Bandi - Recovering From Dropsy      5/15/09
Cichlid yes, sorry. Dyslexia! So are you saying I should ONLY use the buffer up or use that AND the salt mix? Sorry, a little confused :)
<Just the buffer... and thoroughly mixed in with change water> 

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