FAQs About Goldfish Disease/Health
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Treatment System, Bloaty, Floaty Goldfish,
Disease/Emphysematosis, Pond Parasite Control
with DTHP, Hole in
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FAQs on Goldfish Medicines:
Antifungals, Antibacterials, Anti-protozoals (
Copper, eSHa, Metronidazole, Formalin, Copper,
Malachite Green), Dewormers, Organophosphates, Salts, Mela- et
al. non-fixes, Misc.
Goldfish Disease by "Types",
Environmental 1, Environmental 2, Environmental 3, Environmental 4, Environmental 5, Environmental , (Absolutely
the Biggest Category)
Floaty Bloaty Goldfish
Nutritional (Second Largest)
Viral and Bacterial, Fungal
Parasitic: (Ich, Protozoans,
Flukes, Worms, Crustacean/ Anchorworms/Lernaeids, ) Fish Lice (Argulus),
Goldfish Swim Bladder
Anomalous (Misc., Injuries, etc.)
New Print and
eBook on Amazon
What it takes to keep goldfish healthy long-term
by Robert (Bob) Fenner
Why is my Goldfish bent at a right angle?
Whatever would we fish people do without you fish people? Thank you for
always being there.
I've had this Fancy Oranda for almost 2 years now, and when
purchased, I was told that he was "show size" and was
probably 3-5 years old, but who knows.
Single BEAUTIFUL Redcap Oranda - about 7-8 inches, from tip of mouth to
tip of tail.
20 High tank - unplanted
<Mmm, too small a volume, and I would add some purposeful real
plants for reasons gone over on WWM>
Aqua Clear filter - regularly maintained
25% Water changed weekly
Air pump for up to 30 gallon tank with 2 long airstones
Water tested this week - Nitrate, nitrite, ammonia - all at
<Wow! No nitrate?>
pH approx. 7.8 - which is normal for our water.
Light hood is not functional - and has not been for several months.
There is adequate sunlight, both morning and evening, that comes
directly to the tank from East and West windows for several hours each
day, however, the light comes in at an angle - don't know if this
matters, just thought I should mention everything in case.
<Doesn't matter, but good to mention>
There is currently no overhead lighting in this tank. I have read that
the coloration can change with lack of sufficient UV. He had some dark
markings on his body and fins, which have slowly gone away since the
loss of overhead lights.
He's been healthy except for about a year ago, he developed swim
<Mmm, this is really "not a disease"... any more than
obesity is in humans... but a syndrome of several disparate
I followed the recommended therapies - soaking food, reducing protein,
feeding less, put on 2-3 day fast, and just when I was about to give up
on recovery and began to consider euthanasia, he became healthy again.
Also - a few weeks after we brought him home, from the fish shop, he
developed Ich, which was treated successfully and has not recurred.
I have maintained the new diet and feeding regimen and had had no
problems until about 10 days ago. I noticed he began to list to one
side, but only slightly - maybe a few degrees from upright. The next
day, I woke up to find him still swimming fine, but with his head
almost at a complete right angle to his tail. He is bent toward his
left side, if that makes any difference. On his right side, which is
extended, he has lost a few scales - probably from brushing against the
rocks too hard. I noticed that he would "swim" vigorously
around and not be able to stop and would bang into the glass, or the
rocks. I have since removed all the rocks as a precaution. When at the
top of the tank, his whole body is sufficiently submerged below the
surface of the waterline, so as not to concern me about any part of his
body being exposed to the air for a prolonged period.
He seems not to be able to find his food - probably from not being able
to swim on his own anymore.
My initial thinking was that this was swim bladder again, but the more
reading I do, the less I think so. He takes food when hand-fed, and
eats well. I have only been feeding peas, but will anchor some water
cress in this evening, to see if he can graze on his own.
<Look into a good staple food... The Hikari or Spectrum lines are my
favorites, what I use>
I am only feeding him every other day right now, and when fed, his
stools seem normal - and green. He does not seem disoriented as he did
with swim bladder. He does not, however, have complete control of his
movements - almost like a person with a severe stiff neck.....
Last week - about 5 days after this began, and after I put him on a pea
diet, and fasted for a day, he swam quite normally for a few hours,
even feeding fine on his own with sinking food, then went right back to
being bent again that evening. I have maintained the pea diet every
other day, feeding only once a day, and he has shown no more
I also noticed that his respiration, at times, seems extremely slow. I
can hardly see his gills moving at all - sometimes as little as 1
movement per 4 or 5 seconds. I therefore lowered the water level a few
inches. I read that it would help with the water pressure on the fish -
just in case it is swim bladder - and to create more splash from the
filter to help with oxygenating the water. Does this work?
This evening, I found a light hood from a smaller tank and just put it
on top of the tank and turned it on. He seemed to perk up a bit and was
a bit more active than he has been - we'll see if it continues to
I went to www.wetwebmedia.com and searched for what it could be. I
found a brief reference to one incidence of a bacterial infection that
could be similar to mine, but I scrolled too quickly and could not find
Do you know what this could be and how I may treat it?
<I would not "treat" this fish, water for what you
As pitiful as this looks, I am hesitant to euthanize as the last time
he was sick, I was about to euthanize and he made a complete recovery.
If there is anything I can do to help him, please let me know.
She looks like this, but the bend is more extreme:
I am grateful for any help you can offer.
With kindest regards,
<Such "bending" is most often due to nutritional
deficiencies... secondly to genetic issues... tertiarily to
environmental issues. I would change the food as mentioned, keep up w/
your stated maintenance protocol, and do have your test kit checked
against known values... Just in case. Such a large fish in a small
volume should register some nitrogenous accumulation. Bob Fenner>
Re: Why is my Goldfish bent at a right angle? 5/25/10
Thanks for your response.
On recall, the last time I tested the water was shortly after a water
change. I checked again before today's water change and Nitrate,
Nitrite and ammonia are all "0".
swim to his food - eye/mouth coordination are not so good right now, so
I had to hand-feed him, but he took to it fine...as expected.
I have already started adding some plants back in there for his
Do I then just see how this course of action goes for a while and hope
for the best? For how long?
I just hate to think that he will be like this indefinitely.
<Oh! Good choice of adverbs. Perhaps this fish had a piscine
Stroke makes sense - Re: Why is my Goldfish bent at a right
Sorry about the cut and paste error - I'm glad you figured it
I got your very quick reply and immediately Googled "Piscine
stroke goldfish" and came across this:
Some pretty fascinating stuff, but not much help to me. Describes the
science behind a piscine stroke, ischemia, etc. but not much on what to
do about it.... I read briefly - says not known to have any
survivors...he seems to be slowing down even more, but we will
persevere for the time being.
This makes sense when I think of a human stroke and how that can seem
to happen suddenly, but is in fact a series of events -
Re: Tank size - as I do not have the means to move him to a larger tank
any time soon, do you really feel that the 20 gallon tank is too small
Thinking out loud - perhaps I am just asking you to help me feel better
about his situation... I went and measured him holding a ruler against
the tank and his body measures 3 inches and his tail is 4 inches long.
I'm sure you are aware, the Aqua Clear filter is a 3-stage
bio-filter - mine is rated for up to 50 gallons - and I am diligent
about water changes and filter maintenance. I was under the impression
that a 10 gallon tanks is the minimum for a single goldfish. Please
<Well... some redundancy in "bio-filtration" is wise
here... Perhaps adding another outside power filter... or even an
internal one... will keep you out of trouble in terms of general
metabolite bottle-necking... This and water changes weekly... Do read
and as much of the linked files above as you have time, interest.
Thanks again so much.
Sick Oranda 5/23/10
<Hello Tamara, Melinda with you here today.>
I have a beautiful 3 1/2 year old Oranda male. He is in a 41 gallon
tank with a 2 year old Ryukin and a young Lionhead. About 3 or 4 weeks
ago I noticed the Oranda's tail was looking very red (the veins
look very red).
I know some stuff about fish so knew this isn't a good sign. I am
diligent on water changes (once a week without fail 25-50% water
changes each time)
<This is very good.>
and I treat the water with conditioner each time. So, when I saw my
Oranda was sick I didn't think it was the water, but I tested
anyway for ammonia, nitrates, ph, all the usuals. Every think looked
within healthy levels.
<I really prefer numbers to subjective terminology when it comes to
water quality. Hopefully, by "within healthy levels" you mean
Ammonia and Nitrite at zero, Nitrate under 20. If they're not
within these limits, then they are almost definitely the cause of your
A week later he was still looking sick, I tested again and everything
came out good, but I didn't trust myself so took a water sample to
the wonderful aquarium store in my area. They tested and said
everything looked right on and was all at good/great levels. The Oranda
has no sign of any scrapes or wounds on the outside, but I thought
maybe he cut his mouth or something on the inside and might have an
infection. So I treated with aquarium salt and also treated with
Melafix. over the next week.
<These don't do much good, as far as treatment. I'm thinking
your fish may have hemorrhagic septicemia, which is a condition that
arises due to poor water quality or other environmental factors. The
first thing I would do is ensure that your water quality is matching
what I outline above, and if it's not, you've found the cause
of the issue. It will need to be fixed before your fish will get
better. Once water quality is up to par, I would treat with Maracyn 2,
per the directions on the package. Really, it would be better to
quarantine the fish, but if that is not possible, just test for Ammonia
and Nitrite frequently in case the medication negatively affects the
Unfortunately, the Oranda is still looking red in this tails and
Here is the weird part though, I can check on him say in the afternoon
and he looks great, no sign of red, but I can check on him 6 hours
later and he is very red in the tails and fins. He does at times sort
seem like he isn't feeling well and will sit on the bottom for a
little bit or just sort of hang in the water mid-tank. Other times he
is swimming all around and seems to feel great, but just looks so red
in the tail. The other two fish seem just fine and no signs of feeling
poorly. What could be going on here? I thought maybe water temp since I
am in AZ and the temps are rising
now. But the highest I have seen the water get so far this year is 75.9
degrees (from 72 degrees in the cooler months). Any thoughts on how to
help my favorite fish feel better? Am I making much ado about nothing?
I am worried about him. Much thanks to you for any advice or thoughts
you can offer and thanks for being available to help folks like me.
<Tamara, I think you're right to be concerned. First, I would do
a search on Google images for "hemorrhagic septicemia," and
confirm whether or not you agree with my diagnosis. Then, I would
proceed to right water quality
and treat if you see no improvement in his condition fairly
Please do write back if you have further questions.>
Re: Sick Oranda 5/26/2010
Thanks for the thoughts on what might be going on with my Oranda. I
just really struggled to believe it might be the water quality since I
am so adamant about water changes, etc.. So I ran the gamut and below
are my results:
Ammonia - 0
Nitrate not quite 0, but less than 5
PH low 7.6
PH high 7.6
Carb/general hardness GH 120 KH 160
Iron non-chelated 0, Iron Chelated 0
<These all do look good. I apologize if I sounded like I didn't
believe you! The thing is, some fishkeepers think that low levels of
Ammonia or Nitrite are acceptable, when of course they're not; in
fact, they indicate big problems in the system. Thus, the beauty of
numbers when it comes to ruling out water quality as a factor in
I think these are all right in line to where they should be, but would
appreciate your input on the results.
<You are right.>
After reading online and looking at images of hemorrhagic septicemia I
definitely do not think this is what we are dealing with.
<Well, this is good news and bad... good, because septicemia can be
difficult to treat, and bad, because we still don't have a
diagnosis! Do you think you could send some photos?>
I am really worried about treating with Maracyn 2 because I do not want
to throw my whole system off. Is this an all natural product? I really
do not like to use things that are not "natural".
<It is not natural, in the way that Melafix is natural, but Melafix
really doesn't do much, so that's not helpful! It is an
antibiotic, and so on that level, is similar to what we would take if
we were sick. As far as throwing the system off, this is what I meant
by a quarantine tank being a good option, but Maracyn is not as bad
about this as other medications. In any case, frequent testing would
reveal any issues with the biological cycle. After you're done
treating, you'd just run some carbon and remove.
However, without a diagnosis, I wouldn't recommend using
And I am concerned about my using it with the baby Lionhead and my live
plants in the tank. Should I be worried? Any additional thoughts on
what else could be going on?
<The fish and plants should be okay, but if you could isolate the
sick fish, it's always a better option. So far, the symptoms
we've got are red streaks in tail and fins, and sporadic lethargy.
Red streaks often indicate bacterial infection; lethargy is usually
related to water quality (we've ruled that out) or improper diet.
For bacterial infection, I'd use Maracyn II, because that's
what I have had success with in the past, and for the lethargy, I'd
review feeding requirements here:
Thanks so much for everything!
<You're welcome! Please write back with any more questions.
Oranda... Mysterious origins of trouble, reading --
Hi, we have something going on in our 56 gal tank. One morning- Monday-
our one Oranda was fine- I just did a 30% water change and cleaned
filter machine and new filters, we were out of town for the night and
the next day Oranda's wren
had big hole, he shares the tank with 4 other Orandas, (it was whitish
in color around the damage area).
<Mmm, such damage can occur spontaneously... or can be resultant
from trauma, even being picked on by others...>
Gave him (Gregory) a q-tip w peroxide on wounded /hurt area. I did not
have a hosp tank as we have a bunch of baby Platies in there now, so I
put him in a 10 gal bucket that I use for water changes and added
<Not Melafix I hope... See WWM re>
I knew he would not make it in tank over night
and thought my only option. We did loose
him this morning.
Now my daughters prize Oranda Ralph was fine this morning swimming and
came up to see me when I turned lights on. I of course was on the look
out for any one else with bad wrens.
When I went up a few hrs ago Ralph was sitting on bottom. At first I
thought he was sleeping but sadly no. He was just sitting there while
the other fish were swimming all around him. I threw in 2/3 sinking
pellets by him to see
if he would go after them but, no. He is our largest Oranda and always
the food hound. I now know something is up. I put a divider up in tank
so no one would mess with him and did another 20% water change. Tested
water also and all is perfect!! What now to do is my question...
<Perhaps add a bit of activated carbon to your filtration... And
keep testing your water for issues with nitrification (ammonia,
nitrite) as the "Fix" can/does interrupt biological
filtration at times. Other than this, maybe setting out water for
change-outs a week ahead of use... As your source water may have some
issues, even be inconsistent in its make-up.
Read on WWM re "Goldfish, Environmental Disease"... the
search tool, indices... Bob Fenner>
Re: mystery goldfish illness 5/10/10
Dear WetWebMedia Crew,
I thought you might be interested to learn that this goldfish of mine
appears to have recovered. After spending several weeks, maybe it's
been two months or more (I have forgotten), in the breeding net, I
released it into the main tank yesterday and it has not yet gotten
stuck under a plant or by the filter intake. I've tried this
several other times but each time it got stuck somewhere and I ended up
putting it back in the breeding net where it could rest and not get
I am very pleased! I was worried that by confining it I was going to
kill it through lack of exercise. It seems however that the illness has
I have no idea what the problem was or whether it will recur, but since
I expected this fish to die before now and was prepared to euthanize it
to prevent extended suffering, I am delighted to see it swimming about
the tank with the others, apparently quite happy.
Thanks for your advice!
<Thank you for this update. BobF>
goldfish bent and corkscrew swimming 4/20/10
can you be so kind as to tell me of any disease that may cause a cloudy
ball to form in his one eye its about 2-3mm round. I was thinking a
because he had this before and since treating him for a fungus. it went
away and I discontinued after the 5 days recommended and about 10 days
later, it's back.
also I am going to school to become a vet tech and have ways of testing
is there any data you could relay to me on how to perform a culture
maybe from the mouth or even examining the blood because between me and
my teachers we can do those things. thanks for the help and
understanding. I really am trying here.
<... You need to work on your penmanship... or penwomanship... And
look into a copy of Ed Noga, "Fish Disease, Diagnosis and
Treatment. Bob Fenner>
Hello... Popeye... Ongoing iatrogenic prob.s... lack of
reading, understanding re GF sys., health, mis and over-medicating
Hello once again, I am the one that is so trying to clear a Popeye
problem in one of my fish, one other in different tank has cloudy eye,
I change water almost daily and it is crystal clear, readings all good
too, it is very alkaline, but always has been, I not long ago used Medi
gold medicated food, no help, then I waited cleared tank of meds, and
now am trying the first suggestion from someone, to try triple sulfa
powder in water, They are all still acting very well and eating good, I
wondered if you know anything about triple sulfa? Is it safe? I once
not long ago used med for parasites too, and also cleared tank of that
, but do you think this is safe to try? I was online and I think I read
something like, Use if no problems with scales, the one with Popeye has
scales missing and also some have changed color, do you know why it
might have said this? Thank you all again
<Mmm, is this FW, marine? Please read here:
and the linked files above. If unilateral, no treatment is
recommended/advised. Bob Fenner>
Re: Hello, Popeye, learning to use WWM 4/15/10
this is freshwater, and what do you mean by unilateral? Sorry for all
the questions! Thanks again
<... one-sided... Read here in addition:
Hello, I have been conversing with you for some time over the last few
months on my goldfish with Popeye, I mentioned I have tried wonder
YUK!! Melafix, didn't work,
and treated for parasites,
<Nothing to do with Pop-eye.>
Keep cleaning tank and readings are good, I put triple sulfa in today
and noticed that my healthy fish is swimming with head down, He will
straighten up when I come near but I wonder if I should start removing
med, I can add
carbon in filters and take a little water out now,
<Carbon not really needed, since filter bacteria break down
medications within a day or two anyway.>
but I just put it out to set for a day this morning, not even 12 hours
yet, Do you think I can remove the med and start treating with the
Epsom salt, Not sure if it can be used with the triple sulfa?? Thanks a
Pop-eye is essentially a symptom rather than a disease, and can be
caused in several ways. Physical damage is often the cause if only one
eye is affected, and poor environmental conditions often the cause if
both eyes are affected. Either way Epsom salt helps reduce the swelling
but isn't a "cure" as such. The fish may heal naturally
given optimal conditions, though antibiotics are usually required.
Beyond a certain point I've yet to see Pop-eye heal, and normally
the eye just falls off. Bob Fenner argues otherwise. Either way,
successful recovery depends upon the right water chemistry, excellent
water quality, and a healthy diet. Cheers, Neale.>
Re GF Popeye, ongoing treatment, sys., filtration ... Env. dis.
Hello ,Would you tell me if using two air stones in my tank with two
separate pumps for added aeration will cause any problems, I have a lot
of surface agitation and read that it can raise ph?? The ph is already
a bit high and I don't want to raise it! it is around 8.5 and all
other readings are good, I just wanted to add more oxygen as I read
that if using carbon in filters can reduce dissolved oxygen in tanks, I
change filter media about every 2-3 weeks and has carbon in it?? I only
wonder if using two air stones will hurt them or raise ph?? I better
mention that I have a 20
gallon freshwater tank after asking the question on aeration increase
Thanks once again
<Aeration drives off CO2, and since CO2 lowers pH, then yes,
aeration can cause pH to rise somewhat. In practise this is of no
importance unless you're deliberately adding CO2 for the benefit of
plant growth. The idea
you can "add" oxygen by increasing aeration is wrong. This
isn't what happens at all. Aeration improves water circulation, and
so ensures the oxygenated layer of water at the top of the tank by the
air gets mixed with the deoxygenated layer at the bottom of the tank.
This means bottom-dwelling fish will be happier. But the effect is
small, and far less important than [a] having a tank big enough for the
fish being kept and [b] having a filter with sufficient turnover for
the aquarium size and loading.
Messing about with airstones, carbon and other knickknacks is
irrelevant to the fundamentals of fishkeeping: the right size tank for
the fish being kept, the right choices of fish for your local water
chemistry, adequate filtration, regular water changes, and the right
diet for the types of fish being kept. Concentrate on those. Cheers,
Hello , I have been talking to you about 20 gallon tank with 3 goldfish
in it, one got Popeye, I added new larger hang on back filter for more
water flow, and wondered now about my Biowheel that I have had on the
tank for about 9-10 years. I change the filter pad but have never
touched the Biowheel, it looks ugly, turns slow but still turns.
<May well need cleaning or replacing.>
I mentioned I change the filter pads and I clean the entire housing
once about every two months, could this be a problem if I don't get
new Biowheel or larger Biowheel then what I have , I have a whisper 40
filter and Penguin 125 Biowheel filter.
<You should never replace more than 50% of the biological media
[sponges, ceramic noodles, BioWheels] within a 6-week period. You can
rinse these off in buckets of aquarium water as often as you want, and
the freer of silt
and debris they're kept, the better they work.>
I change water twice weekly and all fish act fine. water parameters are
Nitrates less then 20
Again I forgot some things I wanted to ask in last message, I know I
need a larger tank , is there any way possible to make this 20 gallon
environment well enough to house the 3 goldfish I have,
<Not really. Regular water changes and a beefy biological filter
such as an external canister filter rated at 4-6 times the volume of
the tank per hour [e.g., an Eheim 2213] will help. Ensuring the water
has adequate carbonate hardness will inhibit dangerous acidification
between water changes [aim for at least 4 degrees KH, and ideally 5-6
degrees, for a steady pH around 7.5]. But even a slightly bigger tank,
30 or 40 gallons, would make a huge difference.>
I would have a hard time placing any larger a tank in my house and do
not want to get rid of these fish, I have grown to really like them (I
know that is strange)
<Not strange at all. Goldfish are excellent pets and among the few
fish species that genuinely bond with their keepers. Did you know that
in some lab experiments, they appear to learn faster than
and I have had them so very long already, I will do anything if there
is anything I can do to keep them well in this tank??
One more thing I was reading about for freshwater goldfish, can you
tell me if it is possible to use UV filter on 20 gallon tanks, if so
would it help and how is it that they work. what actually do they do?
Thanks in advance
to all of you, if you only knew how hard it is to get answers for these
problems with fish you would know how much your appreciated,
<A UV filter is usually attached to the outgoing water from an
external canister filter. What a UV filter does is kill -- most, not
all -- of the micro-organisms floating in the water, including diatoms
and some types of disease-causing parasites. Their usefulness in
freshwater tanks is relatively low, and they don't suddenly make a
20 gallon tank as good as a 55 gallon one. They're also quite
expensive and require a new UV tube every 12 months or so. By far the
best value per pound/dollar/yen or whatever comes from a bigger glass
box, i.e., the size of the tank. After that, a bigger filter is a sound
investment. Everything else that supposedly improves water quality --
carbon, Zeolite, UV, ozone, etc. -- is just icing on the cake, and not
even useful icing half the time. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Fw: Filters
To increase the bio filtration I found an emperor 400 that I can take
the two filters off my tank and replace with this one if you think it
might help, it has two BioWheels and moves about 400 gpm , if I was to
do this how can I without disrupting the biological filtration I
already have on tank, as I would be removing my one whisper and one
Biowheel filters to make room for this one.
<If adding new filters, either move at least 50% of the mature
biological media from the old filter to the new one, or else have them
both running on the tank together for about six weeks [you may need to
reduce the flow rate a bit though, if you find the fish being buffeted
Do you think this would help with my bioload from 3 goldfish in 20
gallon tank, I read I need a lot of biological filtration and I only
have the small Biowheel on there now?? Thanks again
<Goldfish are messy fish, and anything that boosts biological and
mechanical filtration is useful. On the other hand, too much water
current can upset fancy Goldfish. Aim for 4-6 times the volume of the
tank in turnover per hour where fancy Goldfish are being kept, a bit
more for standard Goldfish [common, comets, Shubunkins, etc.]. Cheers,
Re: Fw: Filters
Okay, I think I understand about the turnover rate, you mention 4 to 6
times so the Biowheel 400 might be a bit much, it also sells a smaller
one with a 280 gph and if I add this to what I have the turns over 210,
that is putting me at more rate then if I purchased the one that turns
over 400 gph??It would then be 490, these are comet goldfish , can you
explain what exactly you mean by 4-6 times the volume in a 20 gallon
<If you're keeping Comets, which LOVE water current, then 6-8
times the volume of the tank in turnover per hour is good. In other
words, if you have 20 gallons, you want a filter rated at between 6 x
20 = 120 gallons per hour and 8 x 20 = 160 gallons per hour. This is
what we call turnover, and tells you how often, roughly, the water goes
through the filter per hour. The bigger and messier the fish, the more
you want it to go through the filter. Just going by the aquarium sizes
quoted by manufacturers can be misleading, in the same way as the
number of servings on cereal boxes, or miles per gallon of fuel for
motor cars. The manufacturers quote best case scenarios, which in the
case of filters is with small, clean fish like Neons. Obviously a 55
gallon tank with some Neons in it is a whole different proposition to a
55 gallon tank with a big messy catfish! So just because the filter
rated for a 55 gallon tank would keep the Neons healthy and happy
doesn't mean it'd work on the 55 gallon tank with the
Hence experienced aquarists look at the turnover rate as well. For want
of a better term, it's a "reality check" against whatever
the manufacturers put on the boxes. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Fw: Filters
So then which biofilter would be best? using one that turns over 400gph
alone, or adding one that turns over 280 along with my whisper that
turns over 210 gph?? Thanks so much , you've been very helpful
<The aim is to have one or more filters that added together come to
about 6-8 times the volume of the tank in turnover per hour. If you
need to run two filters together for a while, so the bacteria from one
can colonise the
other, then that's okay so long as the combined water current
isn't so high the fish get buffeted about. If needs be, turn the
filter flow rates down using whatever adjustment knobs they come with.
Alternatively, aim the outflow into the glass or a big rock, so the
water current gets spread out a bit. I don't know the precise
filters you're talking about since they're not ones I've
used, and frankly, I don't much care for hang-on-the-back filters.
But the basic rules outlined here and earlier on should help you
understand and make decisions yourself. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Fw: Filters
Okay, thanks again, I am confused a bit now, as if I use these filters
mentioned that turnover 400gpm or have two that turn over 490 gph
together, then with what your saying about 6-8 times turnover then it
sounds like I have way too much??
<At a turnover rate of 6 times per hour, a 400 gallon/hour filter
would be about right for a 66 gallon tank, or 8 times per hour for a 50
For a smaller tank than that, yes, it'd be overkill.>
Can this be a problem? I wont bother you anymore , at least for today!
I appreciate all the help
<If the filters have flow rate adjusters, simply set them to half
their maximum flow and you'll be fine. If not, then choose filters
with less turnover. The numbers don't have to be dead-on, but if
you're wildly out, that's bad. On a 20 gallon tank, a 400
gallon/hour filter is producing a turnover rate of 20 times per hour,
which is far too much for Goldfish.
Re: Fw: Filters... 4/17/2010
Okay I just ordered an emperor 280 Biowheel filter, smallest one, that
has gph of 280 , I will take off my whisper 40 with gph of 210 when it
arrives, I will leave my old Biowheel with 125 gph on until new one
seed so to speak, but with this I will have gph of 405 until new one
seeds, will this hurt the fish,
<Potentially yes, if the fish are buffeted about.>
this is the only way I can think to make the change and add more
biological filtration ,
<Hmm... can you not adjust the flow rate somehow? So each filter is
operating at 50% full turnover?>
I will remove whisper after new Biowheel is seeded but will have this
high gph for awhile, right now I am at 335 with the filters I have on
there now, I also need to know if using just the new emperor 280
Biowheel is enough filtration if I remove the others when seeded,
<Do read, review previous e-mails please. It's difficult for me
to remember everything we've discussed so far. The main thing, as
stated several times now, is to make sure the overall turnover at any
one time is 6-8 times the volume of the tank in gallons per hour. Above
that will cause problems.
Problems.... same env. induced prob.s w/ Goldfish... still in too small
worlds, repeatedly over/mis-medicating... - 4/19/10
Hello, I have been having problems with my comet goldfish housed in 2
twenty gallon tanks,
<Comets do better in ponds, to be honest.>
I have been treating one with Popeye to no avail and one with cloudy
eye with nothing as they say the water needs to be pristine,
<Yes, but "pristine" water refers to ammonia and nitrite
levels being zero. Medication is something else entirely, and if
required, should be used. Indeed, most of the time medications will
only achieve anything useful if used alongside pristine water
Also many suggestions on changing to larger tank, My water parameters
now are fine will ph being a bit high but always has been, 9.
<Yes, this is high, perhaps too high. You really want pH 7-8 for
Can you mix your presumably very hard tap water with rainwater or RO
On the other hand, if the water isn't all that hard, the high pH
could *easily* come from non-zero ammonia levels. Ammonia is a base,
and the more there is in the water, the higher the pH. Test the water
for ammonia: if it isn't zero, this could easily be the problem. A
big fish in a small tank, especially with a pokey filter, could easily
create non-zero ammonia levels.>
My question , it was suggested by some others that I need 180 gallon
tank, I CANNOT house this and cannot make a pond, I measured and can
accommodate 2 45 gallon tanks if I can find them to be atop one another
with stand of some sort,
<Not aware of commercial "racks" for fish tanks, but many
hobbyist fish rooms have precisely this sort of arrangement. Because
water is incredibly heavy, you need to approach this option carefully.
With this said, a single
40-50 gallon tank should house 3-5 Goldfish just fine.>
I wondered if this is what will fix the problems with my fish as this
is a big step for me here and don't want to go through it all if
this is not the answer.
<Without being in your house and looking at the sick fish and
testing the water myself, I can't guarantee anything. If this was
me though, and I wanted to keep Goldfish, I'd certainly be looking
to keep a small group in a 40+ gallon tank.>
I don't know if I can find this setup and hope I can, I want to
help my fish but cannot go to 180 gallons!
<You don't need 180 gallons. Sure, Comets would love that amount
of space, but it isn't essential.>
Please let me know all you can about this before I make the change, I
plan on using there old water to get new tanks cycled faster
<Won't do this.>
(as I take out with water changed I will put in new tanks, ) is this
<You need to move live biological media -- e.g., ceramic noodles,
sponges -- from one tank to the other. The water itself contains
virtually nothing useful. Cheers, Neale.>
My ammonia and nitrites are at zero, is this why the ph is high
<They're meant to be zero. If you have plain, hard water you
should typically have a pH around 7.5 to 8, depending on how hard it
is. A pH of 9 is quite basic (in the chemical sense of the word) and
rather unusual. Do
check you are using your test kits correctly.>
Okay so if I get new tanks and don't use the old water but use the
old media , this will help,
the filters I use now are overkill for the size of tanks I have, so do
you think I need to medicate too?
<The two things are not related. Treat the diseases *and* provided
correct, adequate filtration.>
I have been medicating the smaller fish , one with Popeye and nothing
is happening , I am thinking with all said that it is the size tanks
they are in, although the only parameter out of whack is the ph, fish
store said it is always like this and they are used to it, a change
might hurt them??
<Exposing fish to sudden water chemistry changes can be stressful,
that is true. But at the same time leaving them in poor conditions
doesn't help. If you need to acclimate a fish from one set of water
conditions to another, then do what you'd do with a new fish: put
the fish in a bucket a little more than covered with the water it
shipped in (or lived in before) and slowly add half a cup of water
every 10 minutes until the bucket is filled.
Then net the fish out and put into its new home.>
Why wouldn't you suggest using some of the old water in new tanks
to help with cycling
<Because the nitrifying bacteria live attached to solid objects,
primarily filter media. They aren't swimming about in the water.
Moving water from one tank to another is pointless.>
as when I moved them a long time ago into the 20 gallons they almost
died with spiking ammonia?
<Likely because you didn't have a mature filter -- or a new
filter with mature media -- in the new aquarium. Do please read and try
to *understand* what we're saying here. Rather than flailing about
looking for quick answers to random questions, think about the science.
The bacteria live on the media in filters. It takes 6 weeks for that
media to become mature.
Only mature media can process the ammonia produced by bacteria. If the
filter is too small for the number/size of the fish, there won't be
a big enough population of bacteria to do this job. Fishkeeping the
easy way relies upon careful cultivation of bacteria. It's really
VERY SIMPLE once you understand that.>
Thanks again I am so stressed and need some advice, I am nervous to say
the least about moving them but also have tried everything to help them
with the problems, acting fine otherwise. If moving to larger tank will
there conditions I am willing but not sure now if it will help??
Okay, then in that case I do have problems since I have been treating
them with different meds,
I have been changing the filter pads, so none have been left in for 6
<Arghh! Do please please read the instructions that came with the
I'm sure it states two things:  Don't change more than 50%
of the biological media (ceramic noodles, sponges) within a 6-week
period; and  don't clean biological media in anything other than
a bucket of aquarium water or possibly a cool to luke-warm running tap.
You can change Zeolite and carbon as often as you want, but they need
to be changed something like once every 1-4 weeks to do the job you
want from them. With that said, Zeolite ("ammonia remover")
is worthless in a Goldfish tank, and carbon only marginally more
I would have to wait 6 weeks for these to grow bacteria in order to
place them in new water correct?
<If you replace *only* 50% of the biological media per 6 week
period, there's little/no time to wait because the remaining
bacteria colonise the new stuff extremely quickly. But if you replace
more than 50%, then the filter performance drops accordingly to how
little mature media was left intact. If you change all the media, then
yes, it'll take 6 weeks or thereabouts. Likely a bit less because
there will be some bacteria on the gravel, but you'll still get
non-zero ammonia and nitrite levels for at least a few days while those
bacteria spread from the gravel into the
filter. UNLESS you have an undergravel filter, the number of bacteria
on the gravel will not be NEARLY enough to handle the ammonia from your
So you'll still have water quality problems in the short
The only thing I have that has not been touched is the wheel on my
Biowheel filter, it is not that big and I don't know if it would be
enough bacteria for a 40 gallon tank, I have read that something called
BioSpira is live bacteria, DO you know anything about that stuff
<At best, delivers mixed results. Will likely make little/no
difference here because you *already* have some bacteria on the gravel,
assuming you haven't cleaned the gravel under a hot tap or
something silly. Would save your pennies. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Problems... GF, ongoing lack 4/21/10
Hello again, I have a few more questions regarding biological needs for
my fish, I am getting a product called 'One and Only' that says
if added to aquarium it will help replace (quickly) any biological
bacteria disturbed through meds, lots of water changes, filter media
<Possibly. But understand this: your aquarium ALREADY has starter
populations of all the bacteria you need. Under most normal situations,
there is NEVER a reason to add new colonies of bacteria just because
you've done a water change. If money is burning a hole in your
pocket, then by all means try the product out and let me know what
happens. Would I buy such a product for this situation? No.>
all of which I have been doing with trying to help my fish with eye
problems, Now I still have good readings, no ammonia, etc, I wondered
why everyone is saying my fish will die if I don't get them into
larger tank 180 gallons!
<I didn't say that.>
they move and eat fine, but can you tell me why if I improve the
biological bacteria and have extra filtration in my tanks, that this
will surely happen?
<Correct. While an aquarium needs to be above a certain size simply
to be stable and provide the space Goldfish need, there is no reason at
all why you cannot keep two healthy specimens in 30 gallons, or five
healthy specimens in 55 gallons. Sure, 180 gallons would be nice, but
it isn't essential.>
Is it possible that if I fix my biological needs in tank that they will
<It's not an either/or. Without ensuring good water quality via
a working biological filter, your fish won't ever heal
again they do not have any issues with bad water parameters, except a
higher ph around 9, that they tell me if they are used to that if is
okay, the kH is around 200 and the dGH is around 25, with this said I
also wanted to know if they are needing minerals to help with osmotic
function? Could this be the problem?
<It isn't ideal, no. Firstly, find out if your test kits are
quoting results in calcium oxide, CaO, or calcium carbonate, CaCO3.
This makes a difference, and without units, it's like saying the
temperature is 50 degrees -- is that 50 degrees C or 50 degrees F? Just
so here. Carbonate hardness is normally measured in mg/l CaCO3, whilst
general hardness may be measured in mg/l of either CaO or CaCO3. Once
you know the actual measurements, you can compare them to the tables on
Read and try to understand this article. Goldfish generally want
moderately hard water, so around 200-300 mg/l CaCO3 for general
hardness is about right, and around 200 mg/l CaCO3 for carbonate
hardness is also good. If
the general hardness is rather low than this, as seems to be the case,
I wouldn't worry too much if the carbonate hardness is still quite
high, as also seems to be the case. What Goldfish dislike is soft
water. For what it's worth, I doubt water chemistry is the issue
here. Concentrate on filtration. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Problems (Bob, any common reasons for water of pH
9?)<<Likely additive abuse. RMF>> -- 04/22/10
Thank you very much, You guys are great!!
I don't feel so stressed when I talk to you! I did see that the
tetra liquid test I use is carbonate Hardness for the KH testing, it
requires you to put 5ml in a tube then add one drop at a time until it
turns from Blue to yellow, that is all it says, then the GH test is
performed the same way and it says drops until it turns from Red to
Green, then I just keep record of the drops used, on this test I get KH
<This is a fairly high carbonate hardness.>
GH 0f 4-6 (varies)
<While this is quite a low general hardness. Do look at the tables
and the rest of Ph at 9,
<This is rather high.>
Ammonia 0, Nitrite O , then I use the dip stick method and this is
where I get the reading of GH at 25 and KH around 200-300 (cant tell as
it is between colors) the rest is the same. Do I need to convert this
to use the chart you sent me link to?
<If you want. What matters is you understand what the values imply;
the measurement scale you prefer to use couldn't matter less. Just
understand that you have fairly hard, mineral-rich water overall (by
adding the carbonate and general hardness together) and that the pH is,
for some reason, unusually high. Are you using well water or something?
Sometimes unusual well water has above normal pH levels. Really, you
want to lower this to 7.5 or 8, perhaps by mixing 50/50 with deionised
water or rainwater. I wouldn't add "pH down" products
though; altering pH without reducing carbonate hardness creates
unstable, unhealthy conditions; if you are going to alter water
chemistry, alter the hardness, and let pH go down by itself.>
The part you said in the first message below, after I asked question if
this will surely happen, referring to the statement someone else on
another site, Foster and smith, said they will surely die, you said
correct, I wanted to make sure you know they are in a 20 gallon tank, 3
smaller ones in one and a larger one alone in another?
<Goldfish don't generally do well in 20 gallons, so if you keep
them in a tank that small, and they're already sick one way or
another, then the odds aren't in their favour.>
If water quality is good will they die as one stated from this other
<Impossible to say. Let me restate the case here: Goldfish need a
good 30 gallons
<<More if these are Comets... and they are. RMF>>
if you're keeping 2-3 specimens, and anything less than that
isn't likely to be successful in the long term, however good water
quality might seem. Cheers, Neale.>
Just to let you know why I even bothered telling all this info to these
Dr.s foster and smith people, it that I was looking at the new
BioWheels thinking I might need new ones for my tanks, so I asked them
if I should replace my old one of nine years
<Well, to be fair, replacing filter media is something one would do
periodically. Changing sponges and wheels is probably worth doing every
5 years or so, though as stated before I think, you shouldn't
change more than 50% of the biological media within a 6 week
OF course the said yes need to buy new ones and bigger then after I
answered all the questions, they said the fish will surely die if not
in 180 gallon tank or give them away!
<Hmm... wouldn't do any harm to move them to 180 gallons, but
for 3-4 Goldfish, that would be generous rather than absolutely
I didn't need to here that as I have had them 10-12 years!
IF I was to try to move them to 30 gallon tanks, Could I take
everything in there tanks all the water,
<Wouldn't move *all* the water, but filling the new tank with
50% of the water from the old tank and then filling it up with fresh
tap water would be wise. Why? Nothing to do with bacteria, but to do
with minimising changes in water chemistry.>
filters, gravel and fish and put them in a 30,
would this work and I would slowly add the extra water needed to fill
the tanks? It would be 10 gallons short of water at first, would the
filters still work?
Just trying to think of a way to move them without any stress or water
chemistry change and still keep all the good bacteria?
<Bacteria are in the filter. THE FILTER! Not the water. So long as
the filter is switched off for no more than 20 minutes, the bacteria
inside the filter, i.e., on the sponges and ceramic noodles, will be
fine. Cheers, Neale.>
I know I am going to be told to stop mailing you !
I am sorry, I keep thinking on this and will try to move them to 30
gallon tanks, this is about all I can afford with space, It would be 2
-30 gallon tanks, I wondered with this idea, I get the new tanks, add
water, I already have 2 new emperor BioWheels in boxes, can I take the
wheels off these and lay them in the tanks they are in right not, 2-20
gallons, and let them get nitrified?
<I don't know these filters, so can't tell you if the
BioWheels on your existing, already matured filters would be compatible
with those of any new filters you may own or be about to buy. If this
was me, I'd run the mature filters and the new filters on the tank
together, and wait for about a month to six weeks, to the bacteria
could colonise any new filter media.>
It will take 6 weeks I know, then place them along with the gravel in
<Gravel without an undergravel filter carries very few bacteria, so
don't expect miracles simply by moving gravel. You need to have
mature filter media in the filters.>
I could then also take the OLD Biowheel that is running now on the 20
tanks, then place it in the new tank water too??
<Yes, you can have two filters running simultaneously if you wanted.
After 6 weeks, you can remove one of them if needs be.>
Would this avoid problems with ammonia?
<Provided there's at least one mature filter somewhere on the
tank, you shouldn't have ammonia problems.>
I almost lost them in last move years ago. One more thing I would need
to know, with the ph in there tanks now at 9 , I don't imagine the
new water would have that ??
<What new water? What's the pH of your tap water?>
So how do I avoid ph shock when I place in new tank?
<You avoid exposing fish to different water chemistry by keeping
water changes relatively small, maybe 25% during the normal 1-2 weekly
water changes. Cheers, Neale.>
Thanks again, Neale your very patient!!
<Would seem so.>
I wanted to clarify what I meant by the BioWheels, I wanted to take the
non established BioWheels off the filter and lay it in the bottom of 20
gallon tank already established, just let it sit there to nitrify,
<Just sitting in the aquarium will help, but it will take a long
time for a proper coating of bacteria. Remember, the filter works
because it contains running water and lots of oxygen, but no light. If
the object just sits in the tank, it will be exposed to light and not
so much water current, so you'll get more algae and saprotrophic
bacteria than nitrifying bacteria.>
then when I set up new tank with new water etc, I would take the
Biowheel from inside tank floor and place it on its filter holder and
start it running, just wondered if you think it would nitrify just
setting at bottom of tank for some time in the established tank, once
you say this is a good idea or bad,
<It might help, but it isn't the approach I'd
I was after setting it in motion on new tank, I would take the old
Biowheel off its filter holder (the one that is running on tank now, so
it is well established) and place it on the floor of new tank, can this
be beneficial along with of course using the filter media from
established tank once I get new tank started. Do you see what I mean I
was thinking of doing? Can this wheel I take off new filters from new
box , if set in old tank for awhile on tank bottom nitrify?
<Filter media only really becomes inoculated with filter bacteria
when somewhere dark, well oxygenated, and with a nice water current.
That's what a filter is all about!>
I am going to get the new tanks tomorrow but will still have to wait
some to nitrify some of my old media as I was changing it out some when
treating and removing meds, now they need to nitrify if I want them to
be beneficial to new tank, I will also add this one and only live
bacteria in new tank too, it was made my Dr. Timothy A. Hovanec
<Adding potions [allegedly] containing live bacteria to tanks that
have been established for more than a few weeks is, more than likely
redundant. But it won't hurt.>
Thanks again for all the help, one more thing I know it is not much a
change but I can afford with my space to increase from a 20 to a 30
gallon tank, will this help significantly with the problems I am
having, I cannot get 180 gallons as recommended by another site I wont
go back to!!
Oh I forgot about the ph , you ask what new water when I said what
about the ph change in new tank, they are in 9 now and my tap water is
7.8 , this would be a big change with new water in new tank??
<If the tap water has a pH of 7.8, that's fine, and good for
Goldfish. Why is the pH of the aquarium so high? Do you add anything to
the water? Are there calcareous materials, e.g., seashells, in the
aquarium? Something is
happening between the tap water going into a bucket and the aquarium
Sometimes tap water contains CO2 that lowers pH, and after it
"degasses" the pH goes up. Draw some tap water, test the pH,
and then test the pH again 12 hours later. If the pH has gone up, then
it is very likely this is the issue. Cheers, Neale.>
I've tried that test on my tap water , testing it out of tap , then
letting it sit , and testing again,
<Twelve hours later...?>
it stays the same, I don't have anything in the tank, not even
<Test the carbonate hardness (degrees KH) of the tap water, the tap
water after 12 hours, and then some aquarium water. If the carbonate
hardness is the same in all three, then something else is happening.
But if the aquarium water has a higher carbonate hardness than the tap
water, then there's something in the aquarium.>
Could it be too much filtration or changing water too much?
<No. Cheers, Neale.>
Filtration... GF induced troubles... more? Again? The same?
Hello, I am the one that talks to you about the
goldfish I have ,
<Believe me, you're not the only one...>
I have one with Popeye, and one in another tank alone with cloudy eye,
I wondered if I beef up the biological filtration will this help
improve the problems with eyes?
<Yes. But if there's too much water current for the kind of
Goldfish being kept, you can buffet them about too much. For fancy
Goldfish, turnover rates around 6 times per hour are good, perhaps up
to 8 times if you can
spread the water current out, e.g., by using a spray bar. In other
words, for a 200 litre aquarium, a filter rated at 6 x 200 = 1200
litres/hour would be appropriate. For fast-moving types like Standards
and Comets, then 8 times or more will be better.>
I have the following parameters
Nitrates less then 20
ph-8.4 or a bit higher
Shows 8.4 on one test and 9 on another
I add a bit of Epsom salt and aquarium salts
<No need for this in the long term, just while medicating for
specific things. Do read about the uses/abuses of salt in
I would like to know if this would help as I don't want to
That is good news, as this is what I am going to try to improve , the
biological filtration , could you explain how it would help with the
eye problems, and thank you again!!
<It doesn't "cure" Pop-eye or damage to the cornea.
But since these things develop under poor water quality conditions,
anything that improves water conditions will prevent reoccurrence and
speed up recovery.
Listless Oranda -- 4/12/10
<Hi, Trevor. Melinda with you here tonight.>
I have a mature Oranda fish I bought about 6 months ago. It is in a 200
litre tank, with two smaller goldfish.
<Okay. This is a good-sized tank for three goldfish. What type of
filtration are you employing, and often does it turn the tank's
volume over per hour? What are your Ammonia, Nitrite, and Nitrate
levels? I'm asking these types of questions already because I see
you haven't provided much information on the fish's
environment, other than tank size and tankmates, more information would
be helpful in figuring out what's going on with this guy.>
The Oranda had cotton wool infection, which I cured.
<Do you mean Columnaris? What did you use to treat, and how long ago
did treatment end?>
However, he has now developed a growth on the side of his head, looks
very unhappy and listless, and doesn't want to eat.
<First, I'd check water quality. When you say he looks unhappy
and listless, do you mean that he's sitting at the bottom? Or is
floating around and not swimming? In any case, what are you feeding?
I'd first read on WWM re: Goldfish, goldfish systems, goldfish
diet, and various common goldfish "illnesses," and see if
that gives you a better idea of what's going on: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/gldfshdisease.htm
and linked files below the title of the page. Ultimately, in order to
help you, a photo would be really useful, or at least a better
description of this "growth." Does it look cottony/fuzzy?
Clear and/or filled with fluid? Spongy? Red? Swollen?>
Any help would be appreciated
<I would like to help you more here, but I'll need more
information on the system, and also on the previous treatment for
illness, and as I mention, a photo of the area you mention would be
great. Please write back if you
have any more questions after reading.>
goldfish bent and corkscrew swimming 4/11/10
So I am new to asking but I have searched everywhere and am finding
nothing. My telescope goldfish has been having a rough time lately.
<How big is the tank? What is the water quality like? Do read
Most Goldfish are killed because people keep them in tanks that are too
small or not filtered. A single Goldfish needs at least 20 gallons, and
since they should be kept in at least pairs, 30 gallons is the minimum
for humane treatment.>
I noticed him floating oddly the one day, so I fasted him for 3 days,
he got better. But then when I returned to my normal feedings he
started doing it again so he went in the hospital tank. Where I
proceeded to treat him with erythromycin, and had no luck hoping it was
bacterial issue. Then I did a fungal treatment and it's when the
weird things started happening. He is currently bent in half like his
muscles had atrophied on the right side.
<Improper medication can do more harm than good. But more than
likely poor conditions are killing this fish, in which case medicating
will merely add stress to a bad situation.>
He still swims but it is no longer straight, he reminds me of a roller
coaster ride that spirals. I don't know what else to do?!?!
<Read. Almost everyone with a sick Goldfish is keeping that Goldfish
badly, often because they didn't read up on what Goldfish need to
Contrary to popular myth, they aren't "easy" fish and
aren't "cheap" pets.
Don't have space for a filtered 30 gallon tank? Don't keep
Another odd thing is I have limited his diet to peas for the last week
but one day I switched it up and gave him a soy bean, and it made him
better. NO LIE! he was better for about 36 hours then he went back
downhill. I'm so lost. help.
Re: goldfish bent and corkscrew swimming 4/11/10
Well that is the thing my water quality is great. And I do have 2 fish
the other one is perfectly fine. They ate kept in a 55 gallon tank and
I do know they are hard to take care of.
<Cool. But none of this information was in your earlier e-mail.
Since the majority of messages we get about sick goldfish involve small
tanks and no filter, that's what I tend to assume unless told
I am a great goldfish owner the only reason I think he is still alive
is because I hand feed him everyday to make sure he gets enough food.
So I am a very good fish owner I just need help with some ideas of what
this might be.
<Do read the floaty, bloaty article, here:
And do also read here:
Without stats on water chemistry, water quality, there's not much I
can say for sure. Do also consider whether the water could have been
poisoned, e.g., with paint fumes or children dumping stuff in the
water. Fancy goldfish are
predisposed to problems precisely because they're deformed and
misshapen, so to a degree they're more likely to suffer seemingly
random problems. Often what keepers consider "minor" pH,
ammonia and/or nitrite problems affect them disproportionally. Cheers,
Very Sick Fantail, poor advice, scant data
I have a fantail goldfish that has been sick for probably 3-4 weeks. I
noticed that she wasn't well when she started getting a puffy
"pine cone" appearance.
<A dropsical condition... can be caused by a few things... usually
poor environment of some sorts>
I tried treating her with Melafix on my own.
<Worse than worthless>
Instead of getting any better she got worse and started just laying on
her side on the bottom of the tank and not eating. I asked my pet store
what to do and they said she had swim bladder
and to try Metronidazole.
They also tested my water and told me it was the best quality water
they'd seen in weeks. I did the Metronidazole treatment and even
mixed it with some food pellets that the pet store gave me (I had to
bring the fish to the top of the tank by hand to help her eat) and that
seemed to treat the puffiness but not the lethargy. She was still
hanging around the bottom of the tank on her side and started to
develop a black coating on her head, mouth, and some parts of her fins.
I went back to the pet store and they told me to try Tetracycline. I
did this treatment as well and didn't see any result in my fish.
I've changed out the water pretty frequently between all of these
treatments etc. and I've put in a new filter. The fish just seems
to be staying the same/maybe getting a little worse. Now not only does
she have the black coating and lethargy, but her mouth seems to be
perpetually stuck open and her gills seem to be open wide which I
can't remember seeing her do before. I thought maybe the problem
was lock jaw and I've gently tried to close her mouth to realign
it, but that hasn't worked either. We love our fish and feel
terrible that she is in so much distress. If you could help shed some
light on what we can do for her, we'd really appreciate it.
<Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/dropsyfaqs.htm
and the linked files embedded there where you lead yourself. Bob
Pink Fish... GF? Hlth... 3/17/10
I have a fish that is usually white and orange but the white is now
turning pink around its gills, chin, tail and where its fins connect to
the body. I noticed it a couple of days ago and since then have cleaned
the tank but Sparkles is still pink.
<Without a photo, I can't be sure. At a guess, this is likely
Finrot. Goldfish may change colour as they mature, but that will be a
slow process across months as the skin and even the scales themselves
Finrot is distinctive because it's a bacterial infection. Instead
of a normal texture to the fin membranes and skin, you'll see it
looks a little swollen or inflamed. Finrot is usually caused by either
physical damage (e.g., when netting out the fish) or from poor
Just to recap, let's remind ourselves that two Goldfish need an
aquarium not less than 30 US gallons/115 litres in capacity, and the
filtration system should be generous, rated at a turnover not less than
4 times the volume of the tank per hour, and preferably more. Water
quality tests should reveal 0 ammonia and 0 nitrite, and water
chemistry should be hard and basic (a pH of 7.5 is ideal). If you
aren't providing all these things, then Finrot is almost certainly
the issue here.>
The second goldfish we have Goldie has not been affected however. They
are not acting as if they are sick and are both very active and when
either myself or my partner walk anywhere near the tank they nag us
thinking it is dinner time. I am not all that concerned that Sparkles
is ill however would just like some advice on what you may think is
causing this and whether it is life threatening???
<Most Goldfish get sick because people choose not to care for them
properly. Do read here:
All help is much appreciated.
<Hope this helps. Cheers, Neale.>
GF hlth., sans info. 3/15/10
I've kept a large variety of freshwater fish for ten years now so
I've dealt with my fair share of fish diseases but right now
I'm at a loss. The embarrassing thing is that of all the weird and
wonderful species I've kept in the past, my problem is with a
simple Red Comet Goldfish.
He's suddenly started to get extremely skinny but isn't showing
any external signs of illness. He does appear to have some trouble
finding food when I put it in but I know for a fact he isn't blind.
Most of the time he behaves as normal but other times he just
"sits" with his dorsal fin lowered like a sick fish
His three tank mates (all goldfish) are in perfect health and
there's been no sign of them fighting with each other so I
don't understand how a such a healthy fish can suddenly become so
He's one of my favourites so any advice at all would be much
<... need useful data to help you. System description, including
filtration, water quality tests, history of maintenance, pix if you can
send them... See here for examples of what we're looking for and
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
Further goldfish problems :( 2/25/10
Deeply sorry to bother you again but I can't work out what the
problem is... Single goldfish, about 12 or 13 years old in a 100-odd
litre filtered tank. Moved abroad last November, have had on-off
problems ever since, two cases of fin rot so I've been changing the
water regularly. Thought the tank had finally settled out, maybe
Now I'm seeing a dark red sore at the base of the anal fin, far
side of the fin from the anus. The fin itself seems okay but he keeps
it folded up at the moment. He hasn't had this before.
<Likely some sort of Finrot; assuming that's the case, standard
Finrot medication should do the trick. Avoid ones based on tea-tree oil
(they're unreliable) and instead use a proper antibiotic or
antibacterial. In the UK, I've found eSHa 2000 as being economical
and effective. Do remember to remove carbon from the filter (if used)
While the sore is red, there's some white on or in it, but not
outlining it, and something pale/white protruding from the red on one
side, not long and stringy like I imagine a worm would be but more like
when a potato starts to bud.
<Sounds like it's an ulcer.>
I can't tell if it's something growing out or like an infected
spot swelling up. Can't see any other symptoms. Behaviour as
normal, other fins open and he's swimming and eating as usual. The
only change in diet is I recently gave him some lettuce. Otherwise
nothing's changed. Do you have any idea what's causing the sore
and what I need to do?
My access to treatments here is quite limited and I can't get water
test kits to give you any values!
<Finrot is almost always down to water quality, so at minimum you
need to have the nitrite and pH tested. Goldfish need hard, basic
water, so a pH around 7.5 is good. Soft water isn't at all good for
them, and should be hardened before use, for example by using a quarter
to half dose of a Rift Valley salt mix (which is easy to make and costs
As for nitrite and ammonia, these should be zero.>
I've done a 20-30% water change about every other day for the last
Re: Further goldfish problems :(
Fabulous! Thanks so much. I have an old test kit but I don't really
believe what it tells me. Can I have Finrot if the stats are pH7, NO2
0-0.3 (lowest category it can show), KH 2?
<Sure. Indeed, the carbonate hardness (KH) is so low, that you
likely have soft water. This is common in some parts of the UK, notably
Cornwall, West Wales, much of Scotland. Really anywhere not on
limestone or chalk.
Goldfish hate soft water. Harden the water using a Rift Valley salt
mix, which as indicated in the last e-mail, is easy to make and costs
pennies a month.>
I think it must be past its sell by date... or maybe the softness is
the real culprit behind these recurring problems?
<In part, likely yes.>
I'll treat with Ektol for Finrot/ulcers but it kills the filter
bacteria- back to square 1. Again!
<Used correctly shouldn't kill filter bacteria. Cheers,
Re: Goldfish eye problem.. -- 02/24/10
Thank you for the expert advice. I have removed the Pleco to a
smaller tank and there is no more eye injury in the tank for last
two days which supports the doubt that it was the culprit. I have
also checked the tank and can
confirm that there are no sharp corners or objects. About the
injury, it is surely a physical injury and not cloudy eye. I am
attaching here a photo of that fish. Please have look and let me
know what you think of it. Also the water quality is good and
also chemically ok, to be sure.
<The eye is, as you indicated, completely gone. What's
left there on the fish appears to have healed quite well, and I
see no evidence of infection in your photograph, so that's
As for now the fish is still stable but moving a little slow and
not moving with others i.e. in group. But surely coming to top at
feeding time. It is slowly hovering at the middle layer rest of
<The photo also indicates some breakage/shredding of the tail
fin, and this, again, makes me wonder about water quality. Since
you're not providing the numbers corresponding to what you
test for, I can't make a determination on that. I would say
that if you're finding Ammonia and Nitrite at zero, and
Nitrate below 20, with a hardness of 5-19, and a pH which is
within range of 6-8, all would appear to be well, but those fins
sort of indicate otherwise. It wouldn't be a bad idea to have
your local fish store double-check your results. I think your
fish is looking great,
all things considered, but those torn fins do worry me a bit.
Good luck with your fish, and please feel free to write back if
you have further questions.
Problems with Goldfish 2/22/10
HI , I search and search to find some answers to goldfish
problems I am recently experiencing, I have had them for 11
years, 3 - 4 inch gold fish in twenty gallon tank, with excellent
extra filtration and air. One has a bulging eye, but has always
had bad looking eyes, but never bulging. It also has scales
<The short answer to damaged eyes is this: If a single eye is
cloudy, then the chances are it is physical damage, likely
bumping into something when scared, or else clumsy handling by
someone when the fish was netted. If both eyes are cloudy, then
the problem is almost certainly water quality.
Irrespective of whether you think the tank is clean and properly
set-up, if both eyes are cloudy, then there *is* something wrong.
I will observe at this point that a 20 gallon tank is really too
small for Goldfish, and when Goldfish are kept in tanks this
size, they may do okay for a while, but eventually something goes
wrong. Your specimens are very small, indeed, undersized, for 11
years, and that also implies chronically inappropriate
conditions, since fish this age should be around 20 cm/8 inches
Non-zero ammonia and nitrite levels could be to blame, or high
levels of nitrate, or water chemistry that isn't appropriate
to the species (it should be hard and basic, without salt added).
Do read here:
You can't really "treat" Exophthalmia or damage to
the cornea, though Epsom salt may reduce swelling. Mostly, your
goal is to optimise conditions so the fish can heal
Re: Problems with Goldfish
Thanks for the reply, however I hit the send button before I
<Oh, I see.>
If you don't mind I will do that now, as I am so frustrated
when I was writing this and thought oh why bother, others have
<Who hasn't answered? We do try to answer queries within
24 hours, but we are all volunteers with lives filled with stuff
other than fish, so can't promise to be any quicker than
anyhow the 3 smaller goldfish in a 20 gallon tank, I know is to
small, they swim and eat well and look to have enough room, I
cannot change them at this point ,
<Well, you're kind of stuck then. If possible, replace the
Goldfish with species better suited to such a small tank.
Goldfish are less easy to maintain than many tropical fish, and
even an unheated aquarium could be warm enough for subtropical
fish, depending on whether the house is centrally heated or
otherwise kept around 18 C/68 F at its coldest.>
I have no room for bigger tank and they almost died when I put
them from a 10 to a twenty years ago.
The one with the Popeye also has scales that look moth eaten, I
put in a medicated wonder shell
<Useless. This is essentially overpriced African Rift Valley
cichlid salt mix in a solid lump, so you pay in dollars what
costs pennies a time.
Used at about one-half the dose recommended for Malawi cichlids,
a standard cichlid salt mix will keep your Goldfish healthy in
terms of water chemistry. Of course it won't do anything
about poor water quality, but then neither will fish medications.
Yes, you can treat Finrot and Fungus, but if you don't fix
the water quality problems, the fish will keep getting
as my water was bad, no ammonia, no hardness, no nitrates, no
nitrites, HIGH ph at 9 (don't know why) there is nothing but
the same stones in there tank,) my tap water measures about 7-8
ph. after using this medicated wonder shell, the water all test a
lot better now, still high ph reading but at
least some hardness and KH.
<Sounds pretty awful, really. Overstocked tanks that have too
many, too big fish aren't going to have healthy
I was told to use salt (this is one reason for my frustration) I
read and get so many different answers ,
<See above; you need to raise hardness and steady the pH,
neither of which salt (sodium chloride) does. The ideal pH is
around 7.5, and the fact it is 9 suggests you have all sorts of
water chemistry problems, and quite possibly high levels of
this one fish with the eye and scale problem does eat well, very
swims around even more now that water is better, I ordered a #3
sponge filter to help in filtration and Spirulina food. they are
using a whisper 40 filter and air, and a BioWheel that also has
filter, I have triple sulfa, maracyn2 and Maracyn plus , NONE of
which I have used as in the past with other fish tanks, every
time I start to medicate I lose them, I am attached to these
fish, don't understand that!
<Medications that treat opportunistic infections won't
prevent losses caused by, say, ammonia poisoning or excessive pH
changes. You absolutely must concentrate on providing steady,
healthy water chemistry and quality.>
Should I just keep using the medicated wonder shells
for now and add new sponge filter, I clean 20 percent on
Thursdays and another gallon out on the following Sun every week
for along time now, I add water conditioner and salt but will
stop if this can be a problem,
<See above re: the correct mix of mineral salts to use. By all
means replace the marine salt mix with the tonic salt you have,
but note that it needs to be used *with* Epsom salt and baking
soda. Both costs very little, and this is a very cheap way to
steady water chemistry.>
I read somewhere that high ph can cause scales to peel off, his
scales are only missing a few but in a lot of areas it looks as
they are changing from orange to silverish and appears then that
he has lost them but they are still there, This one fish has
always had bad eyes meaning they looked like they were missing at
times, like he had holes there, then one day this appeared,
Thanks for your help, One person told me he is going to die, I
have photo downloaded if you would like to see him, Cathy
<A photo might be helpful; do please send along images no
larger than 500 KB though. Use iPhoto or whatever to resize, crop
the image if necessary.
Re: Problems with Goldfish
OH no it wasn't you folks that didn't answer!
It was other sites that may not even exist, and a lot of silly
answers and confusion from Yahoo!
<Ah yes, the Yahoo Answers "service". Always good
for a laugh, but I wouldn't trust it with anything
One of them told me to fry them up for dinner!
<Goldfish are edible, to be sure, but hardly a solution to
The water parameters are all good now with exception of pH,
I will send photo,
<Yes, I see. The white patches are skin, seemingly from
missing scales. The all-white eye would seem to indicate
blindness, through cause or causes unknown. The swollen eye on
one side is Exophthalmia, and a combination of Epsom salt and an
antibiotic should help.
The fish will be blind, that much is certain, but since Goldfish
can navigate and find food using their other senses, and happily
live in water so murky eyes are useless anyway, I wouldn't
worry too much about the blindness. The fact it's one eye
only suggests physical damage, and because the fins look good, I
don't think Finrot or Fungus is an issue here.>
thanks so much for your time, Please again don't think I was
referring to you and yours as the ones that didn't answer me,
What do you think of my adding the sponge filter?
<More filtration is always good. On the other hand, be sure
not to replace more than 50% of the biological filter media at
any one time, and always take care to wash biological filter
media in buckets of aquarium water, not under a hot tap. Cheers,
Re: Problems with Goldfish 2/22/10
Would it be okay to send you water parameters later after I test
And one more thing since I already purchased so many wonder
shells along with several other items (meds etc) and it looked as
though the recipe you gave is a lot the same as the shells, would
it help at all to continue them
until I've used them up then go ahead with your recipe?
<If you want. But if you can return the silly shells, then by
all means do so.>
I wont keep bothering you, but will send the parameter results if
it is okay, THANKS SO MUCH!!!
Re: Problems with Goldfish -- 02/22/10
Here are the water parameters I said I would sent to you , they
are from two test first one is a Tetra Laborett kit,
Other is test strip from API
These parameter were (tetra test) before I was told to add those
wonder shells, they have changed the parameters
Although I cant figure out this ph as it is good on one test and
not good on another,
<The thing with test kits is that they're cheap. Compared
to what you'd use in a lab, these are like comparing a
disposable Biro to a Mont Blanc fountain pen. They both do the
same thing, but one much better than the other, though at greater
cost and difficulty. The main thing isn't to worry too much
about the numbers, but at the trend. In all these cases, what you
have is very hard, very basic water. In itself this isn't a
disaster, and not something likely to stress or kill your
Goldfish. I'd actually check your tap water. Provided
it's in the healthy range (10-20 degrees dH, pH 7-8) then
I'd just use plain vanilla tap water, with nothing added
other than water conditioner. You might want to test the tap
water, and then test some tap water left for 24 hours, and see
how stable the water chemistry
is. Some well water supplies for example exhibit very strange
water chemistry changes after being drawn from the
I have one more question until I use up these wonder shells, If I
don't keep them in there now will the water parameters go to
where they were just above again?
<Without adding anything to the water, you will have whatever
water chemistry you have in your tap water. Note that you
shouldn't use softened tap water (i.e., from a domestic water
softener) and just straight tap water.>
And what do you make of the scales on the fish in photo,
<Not much. I think this is genetic, and not related to its
ill-health. As stated, I think the one case of Pop-eye is likely
caused by physical damage, though perhaps made worse by something
inappropriate with water quality or chemistry.>
Thanks again Have a good day Cathy
<Happy to help. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Problems with Goldfish 2/24/10
Hello again, I was wondering if it is okay to change water before
I add a new sponge filter I have and would you explain the
benefits of this type filter, I am adding this to my current ones
40 whisper and a BioWheel filter, I was just concerned with a
water change as it is due before I place it in water? Thanks
<Yes, you can change water before or at the same time as you
change up to 50% of the biological media in a filter. Contrary to
popular misconception, there are hardly any "good"
bacteria in the water. They're mostly in the filter. So
provided you don't remove more than 50% of the biological
media at any one time, you can change everything else all you
want. Cheers, Neale.>
Re Goldfish problem 3/26/10
HI I have been mailing you off and on now for sometime, mainly
about a goldfish I have in a tank with another and has Popeye and
<I do recall Cath>
I am treating it with Aquaprazi and Metro Gold medicated fish
food, Only been 4 days but seems well, However another larger
goldfish in another 20 gallon tank has cloudy eye and every once
in awhile looks as he has a tiny
red spot on him somewhere at times then goes away, today I
noticed he has one spot by his eye (see photo) and a few scales
looks as though the have red behind them or at least along the
sides of them, I cant get him to eat
the med food, and I had to remove the Aqua Prazi as with him not
eating the food, the tank got messy, He is acting better in
cleaner water and param.s are good, they were good even while
medicating, He sits at bottom and goes
after food but wont eat the med food, so I need to start over
with any ideas or suggestions on what to use, this has been going
on since January, Only thing I never noticed the red around a few
scales before now, Thanks again for all your help
<Such complaints are generally attributable to principal
environmental factors... In this case, perhaps also genetic (many
Comets have real troubles), and/or protozoan... But re the last,
of what nature? W/o sampling and microscopic examination, it will
be impossible to discern. I want to tell you, in the several
times I've given "pathology" of fishes one-day
courses, and used this U.S. sport, I've never NOT encountered
six, ten, twelve or so pathogens in and on them. Bob
better photo 3/26/10
Here is a better photo of the fish I sent with red spot on
<Still "could be anything"... perhaps just a sore
from a physical trauma...
I'd have you review the needs of goldfish, particularly
Comets, as they get so large, are so "messy". Take your
time, make notes if you have questions:
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
Re: Goldfish problem
Thank you for the reply, I have to say I have been trying to
figure out what you meant and I think your saying if it is not
the environment then he possibly has bacterial, if this is what a
<I can't state w/ any certainty what the root issue/s are
here... but I am concerned that ongoing "treatment" is
I cant do a scrape so I wont know what it is, Should I do
Something that might cover all the bases but not hurt him? How do
you clear cloudy eye, and these tiny red bleeds he will get
occasionally??? But they will always go away!! I sent a photo of
him or her?? Thanks again
<I would do what you can to stabilize and optimize the
environment, principally water quality, and provide adequate
nutrition. These are covered on WWM... and leave treatments out.
At my wits end with little comet 2/22/10
I hope you can offer me some advice.
Have tank big enough for 5 fish, have four, one is 11 years old, one 8
and 2 are 5 years.
<When you say, "big enough", precisely how big? Five adult
Goldfish would certainly need at least 210 l/55 US gallons, and Comets
really should have more space than that, given how much they like to
One of the last two has constantly had problems with white/orange spots
and have tried everything.
<Are the scales changing colour, or patches of white skin (Finrot)
or cotton-wool-like patches (Fungus). Genes can cause fish to change
colour, and among Goldfish, that's quite common, and totally
harmless. Constant problems with Fungus and Finrot almost always imply
poor environmental conditions. It's just as if someone had constant
headaches and tiredness, and then examination of their home revealed
carbon monoxide coming from the boiler, or mould on the walls. Given
good conditions, things improve by themselves, and it's almost
always the case when fish are constantly developing Finrot and/or
Fungus. Sure, you can treat the symptoms, but it comes right back again
a few weeks later. Why? Because the bacteria and fungi involved live in
all aquaria, and normally are beneficial, being part of the biological
filtration system. So you can't wipe them out. All you can do is
ensure good health. If the fish are healthy, these bacteria and fungi
mind their own business, and don't cause problems.>
All different kinds of medicine, the waters been checked over and
<Give me the numbers, not opinions. Specifically, Goldfish need
hard, basic water (10+ degrees dH, pH 7.5-8). The water quality should
be good (0 ammonia and 0 nitrite). If you don't have these, then
that's your problem.
Do read here:
Had him in his own tank for months at a time, then back.
<Where Finrot/Fungus are concerned, moving fish is largely
pointless, because the issue is environmental rather than contagious.
So the goal is the improve conditions, treat the symptoms, and then
hope everything clears up for good.>
The others are all fine.
<Keep an open mind here. If genetic, then yes, the other fish will
But if it's Finrot/Fungus, then do be aware the other fish may yet
The spots come and go and recently they seemed less frequent, I've
been changing more of the water more often and adding stuff to the tap
water recommended by the aquarium shop - I was just breathing a sigh of
relief when . . . . .
I noticed the little one (he's much smaller than the one I got at
the same time and golder - the other is now all white) is swimming on
his side a lot - both sides, just generally uncoordinated - is this
nearing the end or is there anything I can do? I've tried so hard
with the wee thing, if it's time for him to go fair enough but I
don't want him to suffer any more.
<The "time to go" thing is irrelevant here, since I doubt
the fish is dying from a disease but more likely having problems with
constipation. Such fish remain strong swimmers and alert, they just
can't balance properly. Do read here:
If it isn't diet, and the fish is lethargic and swims only weakly,
then it's more likely that it is stressed by the conditions
you're keeping it in. So it's crucial that you tell me more
about the aquarium: size and the type of filter (especially turnover,
which should be at least 6 times the volume of the tank in turnover per
hour). You also need to find out the water quality and chemistry, and
tell me those values. Without that information, there's not much
more I can offer beyond suggesting you read up on the maintenance of
Goldfish. You've kept these things for 11 years, so I assume you
know the basics, but that's still quite young, and obviously as
fish grow, and as you add more Goldfish to the tank, an aquarium that
worked fine initially may become less and less acceptable as the years
pass. So again, be open minded>
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
<Now, there are three things here. White patches on the fish may be
genetic, and lack of balance could be constipation. But do please
review environmental conditions, and improve them if necessary.>
Re: At my wits end with little comet -- 02/22/10
Thanks so much for getting back to me so quickly - I have had a look at
the pages you recommended and will see what I can do to improve
conditions further. I am aware of most of the stuff mentioned but
there's a couple more things I hadn't heard before, thanks
again I really appreciate it.
<Happy to help. Good luck. Cheers, Neale.>
Goldfish eye problem.. 2/20/10
Dear WWM crew,
Hope everything is fine & nice on your side.
<Hi! Doing fine here.>
Last night while feeding my goldfishes (6 of them, all of same size), I
was shocked to notice one fantail has one eye missing. Missing in the
sense the black ring is gone...and looking like the eye has been poked
<By black ring, do you mean the pupil? Can you see physical damage?
Have you ever had experience (well, with your fish, I mean) with cloudy
eye? If the eye becomes very, very cloudy, it can appear as if the
pupil is gone.
Just something to consider.>
What can be the reason?
<If it's a physical injury, then it's either trauma from
running into sharp decor, or injury from a tank mate. If it's
cloudy eye, that's usually caused by poor water quality.>
There is only one small Plecostomus other than these goldfishes...and
they are well with each other for last 10 months...the other fishes are
all healthy..and even the one-eye-less fish is also good..feeding
<It's good that he's still eating. There are plenty of
accounts of folks who keep Plecos with goldfish, which really can't
make either happy, anyway, since Plecos need warm water, and goldfish
prefer relatively cool water, but in any case, sometimes Plecos get a
taste for the slime coat on the fish. When you've got wobbly,
bobbly goldfish in the tank, then they're sort of a sitting duck
for this type of behavior. Have you ever witnessed anything like this
in the tank?>
What should I do now?
<First, please make it a habit to capitalize the first word of your
sentences. Second, check that water quality is pristine, and if
it's not, do the maintenance to get it that way. If this is an
injury, you need to do everything you can to ensure it doesn't
become infected, and that prevention starts with clean water -- Ammonia
and Nitrite at zero, Nitrates under 20. Keep a close eye on the problem
and if you see signs of infection, remove the fish to a hospital tank
with a mature, cycled filter, and treat with an antibiotic. However,
don't jump to conclusions and do this unnecessarily, as it will
only stress your fish more. Fish can heal quite well on their own, if
you take steps to make sure their living conditions are clean. Third,
do confirm this is an actual injury to the eye, rather than cloudy eye
-- if you're unable to determine this, you can send us a photo and
we'll help. Fourth, take a look around the tank.
Anything he could have injured his eye on needs to come out, and the
Pleco may need to find another home, as well, if you suspect he's
the cause of the issue. For additional information, please read here on
WWM about eye injury in goldfish by entering "goldfish eye
injury" into the Google search bar on the homepage. Lastly, if
this fish has lost his eye, he'll likely still be okay. You might
need to pay special attention to him at feeding time, but he'll be
just fine, otherwise, so let's just focus on fixing what caused the
problem so that this doesn't happen to anyone else.>
Thank You a lot in advance
<You're very welcome... do write back if you have any more
Goldfish with cloudy and bloody eye 2/20/2010
Hi.. I Have 9 goldfishes growing in a somewhat big tank...
<How many gallons? What type/s of goldfish?>
but out of the 9 their is one that has one of its eyes a bit cloudy
with 3 red dots that look like blood underneath...I saw some
information that said I should remove it from the tank and place it in
water with a certain amount of salt..
<I would not do this. Likely the problem here is environmental, or
better treated by improved environment for all>
I don't know if I should do this or not, but I mostly concern that
this fish will die and infect the others. I also read that maybe the
cause is that its not receiving quality food..but if that were true
than why aren't the other fishes the same? Please!! I need help
soon I don't want to lose them!
_ Kathy Garcia
<Please read here:
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
My fantail goldfish...hlth. 2/18/10
I have 3 goldfish. I had 4, and they were all infected with Ich, but I
saved the 3, but the fourth had died. r.i.p....
<No fish should die from Ick, it's really so easy to cure. In
the case of Goldfish, which tolerate salt quite well, treating with the
salt/heat method is cheap and reliable.>
One of the remaining fish has a reddish bump on it's lower lip, and
appears to have a little redness under his right eye.
<Would observe this for now, and only treat for Finrot if it is
obvious the wound isn't healing.>
also, his feces have been transparent since the day that I bought
<The transparent faeces may be down to an intestinal tract parasite
like Hexamita; treatment with Metronidazole should help.
As with any medication, be sure to follow the instructions carefully,
especially with regard to dosage, frequency, and removal of carbon
during usage (if you use carbon).>
On top of the fact that her seems to not have many scales other than
some random shiny spots . Other than that, the fish's activity
<The lack of scales is VERY odd. Need a photo really to understand
Haven't seen a Goldfish without scales before. They sometimes lose
one or two, but to lose them all is very odd.>
Could you maybe diagnose the problem, and possibly help me find a
<Do review the basic needs of Goldfish, here:
Re: My fantail goldfish -- 02/19/10
sorry that didn't have the pictures. this one does. but I have to
resend the other 2 pictures on a different email thank you for all the
feedback. I have attached some pictures... the singled out shiny scales
in pictures 1 and 4 are the only shiny parts on the fish besides around
<These are genetic; nothing to worry about.>
And pictures 2 and 3 are visuals on the bump on it's lip.
<This is some sort of wound, perhaps from rough handling if the fish
was recently netted, or abrasive (i.e., sharp) gravel rather than
smooth gravel or sand. Should heal by itself, assuming water quality is
good. If you want to add something like Melafix, that wouldn't do
any harm. If the wound gets worse, treat against Finrot with a suitable
<Happy to help. Cheers, Neale.>
Black Moor sick 2/9/10
I have a black moor that up until now has not had any issues.
<Almost always this "up until now" statement reveals an
aquarium that is too small for Goldfish. In other words, the fish was
fin in small aquarium when it was a baby, but once it reached a certain
size, the aquarium became
overloaded, water quality dropped, and the fish got sick. I'll
remind you that two Goldfish will need a tank around 30 gallons in
size. Nothing smaller will work reliably.>
I have kept it in a tank with his Oranda buddy and never had any
All of a sudden, the other evening I noticed over his eyes it looked
like blue-ish tinted patches. They were so light that I thought maybe I
was seeing things and I'd keep an eye on it. The next morning, I
found my poor black moor trapped in a plant, almost dead.
I released him and he was covered in white patches and had also gotten
a puncture wound and split his dorsal fin. I immediately moved him to a
hospital tank and all I had at the time was Tetra Lifeguard.
<A scattergun medication that doesn't work reliably against
Finrot, which is likely the problem here.>
I added the tablet and also used MelaFix and PimaFix.
<Even more useless than Lifeguard.>
He is eating and swimming around but I'm still concerned. His color
went from black to a rust color, the end of his fins are still a bit
ragged and I have no idea how to tell if he acquired any kind of
infection. Am I doing everything right? I want him to make a full
recovery, especially as he is my favorite little guy. At what point can
he be returned to his regular tank? Can salt be used in addition to the
MelaFix and PimaFix?
<Salt isn't what you need here. Goldfish want hard, basic water,
not salty water. Aim for pH 7.5, 10+ degrees dH.>
He is currently recuperating in a 5 gallon tank. Thanks for your
<5 gallon tanks are lethal. Treat him in the main aquarium, against
Finrot, remembering to remove carbon first (if you use carbon in the
help... GF dis. 2/8/10
<Hi, Perie. Melinda with you here tonight.>
I have a problem with my gold fish I think he has a disease and I can
not find what he has on any website and I was wondering if you could
help me please.
<Have you read on WWM?>
My goldfish has little red spots staring at his head and down his back,
it looks like chicken pox or white spot (but they are red spots), hope
you can help me thank you.
<I'd like to help you, but you give no information as to water
quality, system specifications, etc., and the majority of goldfish
problems begin with environmental issues which then manifest themselves
as physical problems with the fish. Please read here, and any linked
file you see above... just read, read, read.
After you read, if you have further questions, please feel free to
write back. If you do, please be thorough (I just information!). I know
you're worried about your fish, and want to help him. So do I, but
I can't do much with what you've provided. Are you testing your
water? Before you even delve into what I've provided above,
I'll go ahead and warn you that that's information I'll
want to know -- Ammonia, Nitrite, and Nitrate readings would be great,
and pH and KH readings would be even better (actual numbers, please).
Tank size, filtration, and tankmates are also great pieces of
information to furnish. Anyone who can help wants a "picture"
of the system, and these are included in that picture.>
help: my goldfish has dropsy -- 2/5/10
my 3 year old goldfish (Ryukin ~ 6-7 inches long in a 20 gallon
aquarium) appeared to be a little swollen on the right hand side and
would not eat her food (pellets in the morning, peas in the evening) 3
days ago. day before yesterday (3rd Feb.) I noticed her scales
pineconing (matches with the pictures of dropsy). I clean her tank and
change 3 gallons of her water once a week. she also has a filter rated
for a 20 gallon tank.
<I see. Well, the fish is rather too big for this aquarium, and by
far the most likely cause of sickness is poor water quality. That you
are doing regular water changes is good, but 3 gallons per week for a
20 gallon tank is too little given the size of this fish. I would be
changing 5-10 gallons per week. When you buy a filter "for a 20
gallon tank", that assumes small fish, like Guppies. It also
assumes the tank is lightly stocked.
Manufacturers work this way because it makes their products look good.
For Goldfish, you want an extra-large filter because they are so big
and so messy.>
I read on your site about dropsy and removed all the pebbles from her
aquarium bed and all decorative plants too. I am also doing water
changes (~ 2 gallons) everyday and added 4 tbsp Epsom salt + 4 tsp
baking soda + 4 tsp aquarium salt over the course of 2 days as per your
recipe in the FAQ section.
<This will help water chemistry, but I think water quality is the
she is showing no signs of improving. she has still not eaten anything
and now her tail is drooping and looking lighter colored than usual. I
am afraid of raising the water temperature as I read that temperature
shock can make the fish stressed and die. what should I do? please
<I think the problem is water quality. Adult Goldfish really need
big aquaria; 30 gallons or more. People do keep them in smaller tanks,
yes. But as you see, what normally happens is the Goldfish gets to a
certain size, then becomes ill, and then dies. Sad really, given
Goldfish can live 20-30 years. Antibiotics (e.g., erythromycin or
Minocycline) can sometimes help, but this assumes optimal water
quality. Otherwise, euthanasia is necessary if the fish doesn't
Re: calico fantail goldfish -- jaw problem
I wrote to you a couple of weeks ago about my goldfish's jaw
problem. He (at least I'm assuming it's a he) overextended it
or something, and it stopped functioning properly. You told me that he
may have swallowed gravel or something, but he's too little to pick
up the stones. He's practically a baby. The man at Petco suggested
<?... from what cause/s?>
and gave me some fish pills to drop into their tank every day.
His mouth improved slightly, becoming a little more mobile. He's
mastered the scoop, in order to scoop up food from the surface of the
I've had the two of them for about a month, and the other goldfish
is getting bigger (he's pretty chubby now) and seems to be doing
fine. Bean (the ill fish) is the same size, if smaller, as when I got
He's been looking a little off for a week or two, and recently I
noticed some white stuff on his back that wasn't there before.
<... the environment almost assuredly; though this one fish could be
He also keeps his dorsal fin flat against his back, and today he
stopped swimming around. He already had a deformed tail (he has twin
tails, but one side goes up instead of down like the other. It looks
like something he was born with: there is flesh in between the two
tails.) and had some trouble swimming, but nothing like this. He's
taken to hiding under the filter, behind the part that extends down and
the glass. He floats either at the top of the water or the bottom. He
isn't eating, and appears to have gotten smaller.
The area of his back near the white stuff looks like its sunken in a
little, but that could just be my imagination.
Help! I don't want him to die.
<... Need data re the system, water quality, testing for same...
Fin rot? Plus gray-ish spots... --
My roommates and I bought this goldfish out of a feeder fish tank
for a quarter when we were in college. It has spent six years in
a very small tank, grew about three inches, and was always
low-maintenance (no pH testing, no diseases, just tap water,
etc...). I bought a plant for its old tank a few years ago, but
it looked like it scratched itself, so we removed it. I recently
bought it a larger tank, and it has been in the tank for about
two weeks. It's showing signs of fin rot, and some of the
scales, mostly near its tail are turning grey-ish (it now also
has a little bit of darker colour at the ends of its fins).
They're not black; they don't look like pictures I've
seen of ammonia burns, they aren't raised, it's as if the
scales are changing colour. It doesn't look like there are
any problems with its slime coat; its gills look the same. I know
it takes time for a new tank to stabilize, but I just want to
make sure that it's not bacteria or an infection; I'm
very attached to the fish! There was a decoration that came with
the new tank; I took it out as a precaution. Also, the
filter/pump is different from the one in the old tank. The old
tank had an under gravel filter, and this one is attached to the
side of the tank; when the fish was first in the new tank, it was
hanging out under the new filter
- could it be an injury from that?
<Probably not. The most likely issue here is the
"newness" of the system...
that it's likely not biologically cycled... along with
whatever stress there is from so much new water>
The fish doesn't seem distressed, it is eating and its
behaviour is normal.
Thanks so much for your help; I scoured the posts already on your
very informative site, but nothing quite matched what my poor
fish looks like!
PS: The pictures are pretty terrible quality-wise, sorry!
<I'd be putting a good deal of the old gravel and possibly
the filter in the new system. Please read here:
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
My Goldfish... beh./hlth., no reading 1/13/10
I woke up this morning and found my goldfish facing the top of the
water beside the filter. He looked like he was stuck and I was worried
so I set him free.
<Fish don't get stuck when healthy. A fish with its fins in the
filter is a weak, probably sick, fish. Review water conditions.>
he started swimming around the tank but he was facing the bottom and
having a tough time swimming. That's when I noticed that the bottom
of his primary swimming fin (the back one) was off.
<Could be physical damage from the incident with the filter, but
that won't be the immediate problem. Be open minded, and check the
aquarium is big enough, that the filter is adequate in size, and that
water chemistry and
water quality are appropriate.>
He's having a tough time swimming. I normally feed them about this
time so to help him get some food I made some of it drift to thee
bottom of the tank. He ate it. That made me extremely happy to see that
he was ok enough
to eat but then he spit it all back up.... is there anything I can do
<The thing with Goldfish is that most people make no effort at all
to keep them properly. A single Goldfish needs a tank above 20 gallons
in size, and the filter should be robust and water changes regular. Do
read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/goldfish101art.htm
Without any additional information, I have to assume that your problem
here is likely environmental.
Re: My Goldfish -- 01/13/2010
Thank you for your help. It was greatly appreciated.
<My pleasure. Good luck. Neale.>
Exploded goldfish... Hlth., sys., reading
So I promised my little brother we'd get a goldfish... Started with
2 goldfish and ten gallon tank
<Need more room than this...>
and some bamboo. Then got a algae eater <Please see the Net re
Gyrinocheilus... if this is the fish, it is unsuitable as a
and a snail. My black moor head always picked on my algae eater. Until
I came home 3 days after buying my little algae eater and he was
I noticed both my rycken (sorry about the spelling)
and my moor head were not swimming moving nothing. Just chillin
depressed looking at the bottom of the tank.
<What re water quality tests?>
My brother (mind you he's 5 I'm 21 tank is in my room) dropped
6 algae tablets in the water. I immediately cleaned the tank and bought
a filtration system. Only to come home to a dead rychen. Then Day after
my moor head was happy again swimming all around eating etc. I came
home 2 days later and my baby was being tossed around by the filter.
Dead and looked like he exploded from the gills. I noticed the day
before he had a long " string" hanging from his behind almost
all day. Transparent white long "string" then exploded next
<Perhaps internal parasite/s, infectious disease... very
I made sure I had conditioned the water and fed him 2 times a day a few
crisps? What happened to my baby? He literally exploded out the gills.
Red "vein" looking things hanging out of his gills. Really
disturbing... I want to get more fish but will this happen again?
Chey-Anne (fish novice 101 please)
<Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/goldfish101art.htm
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
Goldfish ? Data? 1/3/10
We have a goldfish that is about 4 yrs old. Lately he/she has been
banging his head on the gravel/tank. He eats/swims normally and we have
another fish in the water that does not seem to have any problems. Can
you advise as to why he/she may be banging his head in the
<Not w/o useful information... the size, shape of the system, water
quality test results, foods used... Please read here:
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
older goldfish... Hlth., reading 1/1/2010
I have a question, it's not an emergency though. I have a fantail
that's seven years old.
<Not old... these fish live 20-30 years, so this one is really in
the prime of its life, equivalent to the 20s, 30s in humans. If it
isn't looking 100% healthy, review conditions, diet and act
She is developing cataracts so she has been having a bit more trouble
finding food than the others.
<If both eyes are cloudy, this typically implies water quality
A Ryukin mix, a Ranchu, and another seven year old fantail (whom is her
best bud). She was losing weight, but not rapidly so I started giving
her bits of fat (fish, chicken, egg yolks.) here and there in addition
to hand feeding her.
<Do NOT feed fatty foods to Goldfish. Concentrate on plant-based
foods plus some protein. A good rule of thumb is to think about what an
animal evolved to eat. These fish fed on algae, organic detritus, and
tiny invertebrates sifted out from mud and among aquatic plants. Not
fat or chicken eggs! It's the same with people. The stuff that
keeps us healthy (and at a healthy weight) is the stuff we evolved to
eat on the plains of Africa: fruits,
vegetables, nuts, seeds, small amounts of protein. When we eat too much
of the stuff we didn't evolved to eat, fatty foods, sugars, etc.,
we get unhealthy (and fat). Do read here re: feeding Goldfish:
She has since plumped back up and is more energetic. Anyway my question
is will hurt her in the long run of having a little extra fat in her
<Yes. There is a good evidence from autopsies of ornamental (pet)
fish that fatty deposits around internal organs are common among fish
that die prematurely. On top of that, you have to remember that fats
that are liquid in warm blooded animals (like chickens) congeal in cold
blooded animals, causing blockages. There are no good reasons to use
Goldfish Finrot question 12/25/09
Hi- I hope you don't mind me asking about my goldfish- I've
been Googling for about an hour and can't seem to find what I need
to know. I'd be grateful for any help.
One old and beloved goldfish (about 12 years) in about 100L of
conditioned water, filtered, no other fish.
<W/ regular water changes I hope/trust>
Tank has been running since mid Nov. Fish appears to have Finrot on
front fin. Treated tank with 40% water change and Interpet Finrot med.
day before yesterday. Since then, fish has been lying still on the
bottom and not moving at all, no appetite.
<Mmm, not too surprising... large water changes alone can elicit
Old test kit shows ammonia under 0.3
but I'm starting to doubt its reliability... Can't buy
replacement test kits here unfortunately (in Finland), they're not
available, so can't get any readings.
<Be very careful re feeding in the presence of ammonia>
Temp is 21C without any heater- we have one but we're not using
<I keep my goldfish heaters turned low, but still on, lest the
ambient temperature take a dive>
Had trouble when the tank was new (we moved here from abroad and set up
the new tank), it seemed to have settled out but obviously not. I
don't remember him lying still at the bottom like this in previous
cases of Finrot
though- is that normal after medication?
I'm not sure whether to change the water again (maybe the meds
killed the filter or something?)
<Is possible, but I would not change the water... lest the ammonia
rise even higher here>
or leave it for the meds to do their thing.
<Ah yes... This is what I would do>
How long should it be before we see some sign of recovery in
<A few days>
I'm inclined to change the water but I'm not sure whether that
will make things worse... Any advice?
Many many thanks
<Mmm, yes. To read re others similar experiences. Here:
and the linked files above. Happy holidays, Bob Fenner>
Re: Goldfish Finrot question 12/27/09
Thanks for the response over Christmas! I didn't think anyone would
And always good to hear there are namesakes doing well in the
<Jack actually rec'd a Presidential award for bravery... for
pulling folks out of a burning aircraft!>
I should have explained that 'below 0.3' is the lowest level
this nitrite test can display- it doesn't have a colour for zero
(and it tests for nitrite rather than ammonia as I said, sorry for the
mistake). But as I said I'm not convinced it's working
Since then the tank has gone insane, so cloudy white we couldn't
see the back. I'm afraid we panicked and did a 30% water change.
It's actually cleared an awful lot now but still a little cloudy.
I'm guessing the Finrot meds at least partially killed off the
filter and maybe now it's re-cycling?
<Very common; as well as just interacting chemically and physically
with other materials>
The fish is moving again now though but the Finrot looks terrible.
<Patience, oh and reading:
and the linked files above>
So ought I to do regular water changes starting now to improve the
<Yes, I would>
or do I stick with the water that's in there and make up the
medication we had to change out (and then do regular changes after the
treatment week is up to try and manage the toxin levels)? Sorry to
bother you again, I'm just not sure which is the priority- clean
water or meds. We already stopped feeding. Many many thanks
<Do keep monitoring ammonia/nitrite... and keep below 1.0 ppm via
what is written here:
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
Re: Goldfish Finrot question 12/28/09
Will do, many thanks, especially from the fish! You can spend hours
reading and seem to find completely conflicting advice... It really
helps to get a yes or no answer from someone.
Hey- have you ever thought of putting up some general flowcharts- might
save you some repetitive questions where people aren't sure which
FAQs apply to their situation? Just a suggestion! Thanks for the
<Thank you for this input. Yes to such
"direction"-"decision" charts... I do think they
have their place, utility. There are such in bound volumes (in-print
works) in the aquatic life health/disease fields, and I will urge
others, note to myself to generate summat like them for/on WWM.
Re: Goldfish Finrot question 12/28/09
Will do, many thanks, especially from the fish! You can spend hours
reading and seem to find completely conflicting advice... It really
helps to get a yes or no answer from someone. Hey- have you ever
thought of putting up some general flowcharts- might save you some
repetitive questions where people aren't sure which FAQs apply to
their situation? Just a suggestion!
Thanks for the help.
<Thank you for this input. Yes to such
"direction"-"decision" charts... I do think they
have their place, utility. There are such in bound volumes (in-print
works) in the aquatic life health/disease fields, and I will urge
others, note to myself to generate summat like them for/on WWM.
<<We do in fact have something along those lines already... do
Is this what you're after?
Re: Goldfish Finrot question -- 01/03/10
I am so, so sorry to bother you again!
<Not a bother. If you are concerned, write>
I've been doing 20% water changes every day, not sure if the Finrot
is clearing up or not to be honest but I'll keep going with the
changes. But now there are what look like eggs and tiny white threads
(larva?) washed up on the side of the glass and flies under the lid of
<Mmm, these are "other issues"... Do check your house
window screens... and simply net or siphon out such matter>
There's nothing attached to the fish, just on the glass and I think
they don't move but there's quite a lot of them. What am I
doing wrong and what should I be doing?
<Not likely anything you are doing "wrong">
Do I need to cut back food again- I'm already feeding less than I
normally would and vacuuming the gravel every day so I'm shocked if
there's excess food lying around. How do I get rid of the
<... "a swatter", really... and preventing new adults from
getting into your home; their use of the tank for reproducing. They are
very unlikely to be causing harm here>
Many many thanks,
I have never had a nightmare with a tank like this before.
<Not to worry. Please. Patience is key here... and simple routine
Take your time and all will likely be well. BobF>
Re: Goldfish Finrot question 1/3/10
Fantastic! That's really reassuring. Will look elsewhere for the
Thanks a lot!
<Welcome Jessica. BobF>
Please help! I cant diagnose what's wrong with my
goldfish. The usual lack of reading, data 11/20/09
Please help me.
<Will certainly try.>
I've been having a lot of problems with my goldfish recently.
<Almost always come down to the environment; or more specifically,
the fishkeeper making unwise decisions.>
And can't seem to find a solution to my problem.
<Let's see if we can do any better.>
I used to have just 3 goldfish (of which I have had for a few years)
and all were healthy.
<Don't forget these fish grow. Since they live for up to 30
years, and in that time get to more than 30 cm in length from babies
only a few mm long, as the years pass, the workload on the filter and
aquarium gets greater. A tank that works for a couple of baby Goldfish
3 or 4 cm long will be hopelessly overstocked by the time they're a
couple of years old and pushing 10-15 cm in length. Hence the
observation that everything was fine for a few years, but now
everything is going wrong. So let me direct you to this article that
summarised what you need to know:
Deviate from the recommendations there, and you'll be setting the
stage for trouble. I draw your particular attention to aquarium size,
filtration, diet, and water chemistry.>
Till one day one of them died and I decided to get 3 of those goldfish
that are like janitor fish along with 6 other goldfish.
<No such thing as a "Janitor Fish". Anything anyone sells
you to "clean up" your aquarium is a con trick. I'm
guessing these are the golden morph of Gyrinocheilus aymonieri, a big,
aggressive, tropical fish that has NO business being kept with
One of the janitor fish died that night and later on in the week I lost
3 more of my new fish. Then the smaller one of my old fish started to
look sickly with a darkening face and died. Then another of the new
fish died leaving only 2 new ones left and my large old one. I soon
realized, that my big old fish had white spots on its head as well as a
reddening tail, as well as a few bites on its body from the gold
<As is their wont. Gyrinocheilus aymonieri is a very bad fish for
tanks like this for multiple reasons. In some cases, yes, they will
attack slow-moving fish and feed on the mucous. This is most common
when the aquarist has no idea what Gyrinocheilus needs to eat, so the
poor Gyrinocheilus is half-starved, and forced to try out other ways of
But they are also aggressive fish, and will buffet (rather than bite)
I then went to some fish specialists and they told me that my big fish
was sick with white spot disease and that the gold janitor fish were
biting him because he is ill.
<Doesn't sound much of a diagnosis to me. Whitespot (Ick) is
very specific, and looks like salt grains on the fins and skin.
It's easily treated, and generally shouldn't kill fish. Bloody
sores, shredded fins and so on are likely to be Finrot, and this is
indeed triggered by physical damage (as well as poor water
They gave me some medicine called TCD to treat it and to separate my
janitor fish and gold fish. I did as I was told and the next day I came
home to find that all my fish had bloodshot red vein like looking tails
and fins, and the fins started looking shredded as if it was
disintegrating and getting shorter.
I called the specialists and they told me to take out half of my water
and replace it with a new batch.
<Is this really what they said? Or what you think they said? Sounds
pretty dumb to me. Water quality is critical to avoiding Finrot, but
once established, you have to medicate, and if you're doing that,
you DO NOT do water changes until the course of medication is concluded
(see the instructions that came with whatever medication you're
I did so and since then their fins and tails seemed to stop
Apart from my big old one as he now almost has stubs for fins and his
tail is so red and shorter. I am really worried as this is my oldest
fish. And the white spots that were on its head have now seemed to
scabbed over or something as the spots look slightly brown. Another
worrying thing is that my big old fish has scratches all over its body
and his face is darkening to an almost purple red colour and some
scales seem to be missing and the fish looks paler than usual. In
addition to that all of my fish including my big old one have started
doing some crazy swimming in continuous patters.
The big one keeps swimming round the whole tank and under the filter
where it gets pushed by the water and another fish keeps swimming up
and down and the other just stays still. I find this very strange and
I really love my fish and I have done some research but I cant seem to
diagnose what is wrong. And another thing is that the water has gone a
milky colour even though I changed it a day ago.
<Bacterial bloom... again, tends to imply chronically poor
I don't know whether or not I should keep medicating them.
<Don't know where to start answering this! You have a huge
Likely an overstocked tank that is inadequately filtered, so if
that's the case, you'll need to upgrade the tank and upgrade
the filter. If you are dealing with Finrot, you need to treat
appropriately (e.g., with Maracyn, Paraguard, eSHa 2000 but not junk
like Melafix or salt). You have to follow the instructions on those
medications *to the letter* paying particular attention to things like
when to do water changes and whether you need to remove carbon, if used
(carbon removes medications). Obviously, Gyrinocheilus aymonieri cannot
be kept with Goldfish, so these species need their own, appropriately
large, aquaria. Three Goldfish need, let's say, 30 gallons, and
Gyrinocheilus aymonieri isn't suitable for tanks less than 55
gallons, and even then, just one specimen alongside semi-aggressive,
fast-moving tankmates, such as Central American cichlids.>
Please help me and my fish.
<I want to, but I'm not a mind reader or a miracle worker. I
need data on the size of the tank, filtration, water quality, and water
I would really appreciate it.
<I'm always happy to help so far as I can.>
Large ball of puss on common goldfish??
I got my son 3 common goldfish Christmas 08'. Well, about 2 weeks
ago, one of the fish had a large ball of puss oozing from its side.
<Very likely a bacterial infection caused by some environmental
stress. The common mistake is to buy three Goldfish, throw them in a
bowl or a small aquarium without a filter, and hope for the best. The
almost inevitable result here is sick or dead Goldfish. So just to
recap: three Standard Goldfish would need a 30 gallon/115 litre
aquarium equipped with a filter rated at not less than 6 times the
volume of the aquarium in turnover per hour, and ideally 8 times. In
other words, for a 30 gallon tank, you'd want a filter rated at not
less that 6 x 30 = 180 gallons per hour. You'd be doing 25% water
changes weekly, and the water chemistry should be hard (10+ degrees dH)
and basic (pH 7.5-8).>
The ball is now gone but it looks rough, like rocks, under the scales
on both sides of the fish now. The fish became somewhat bloated too.
Now another one of the fish has a large ball of puss oozing. Once the
puss had oozed out, there was a hole in the fish's side What is
going on?? All fish are acting && eating normally too.
<You will need an antibiotic to fix the immediate problem, something
like Maracyn. This must be done alongside fixing any problems with the
environment. I'm stressing this latter point because a lot of
people buy Goldfish for their children without doing any research at
all. Let's be crystal clear here, children shouldn't be given
animals of any kind until they're old enough to take care of them;
anything less that this leads to neglect and sick animals. Have a read
here of what these fish need, and act accordingly:
I don't recommend parents buy Goldfish for children at all, because
they are difficult and expensive to keep (much like children, in fact).
New Print and
eBook on Amazon
What it takes to keep goldfish healthy long-term
by Robert (Bob) Fenner