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FAQs About Goldfish Disease/Health 35

Related Articles: Goldfish Systems, Goldfish Disease, GoldfishGoldfish Varieties Koi/Pond Fish Disease, Livestock Treatment SystemBloaty, Floaty Goldfish, Gas Bubble Disease/Emphysematosis, Pond Parasite Control with DTHPHole in the Side Disease/Furunculosis,

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

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

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

New Print and eBook on Amazon

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

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Oranda unable to open mouth 10/1/07 Hi, <Hello there> First, thank you for receiving my question. <Welcome> I have a 15 year old black/orange Oranda who has recently changed behavior, seems unable to fully open his mouth, and is not eating. <A shame... I'll bet your Oranda is a beauty... with clear/translucent finnage...> Tank facts: 80 gallon with a 320g/hr Fluval external filter, 3 standpipe (back wall spaced) aerator, and 1 central disk aerator. Rock bed - large (bean sized). <Good> Water: pH 7, nitrites 0, nitrates <20ppm, ammonia 0, Temp 74-76 (maintained). Current salt level ~0.4% (please note that due to a chronic immune deficiency, he is prone to fungal outbreaks [never really clear] so the tank is kept slightly salted - 0.35-0.45. It has been this way for ~2 years and works well for him) Food: Variety - cycled. Green peas, brine shrimp, flakes (soaked), "floater pellets (soaked), and sinking pellet type. Two fish: "Fred" the 15 year old is approximately 12 inches nose-to-tail with a prominent Wen. "Rupert" is a 3year old Fancy. They have the run of the tank. <I see> Symptoms: about 9 days ago, Fred began hovering mid-tank with his head upright for a few minutes at a time with frequent repeats of the posture- in between he was cruising normally around the tank. Six days ago, he added on a head-up 'corner sitting' in mid water column with slow sinking to the bottom and then rising back up, and his eyes looked slightly cloudy. Three days ago I noticed that he is not opening his mouth well and I have not seen him yawn (previously a common occurrence). At the same time, he stopped feeding from the gravel AND from the water surface. He turned down shrimp and peas - unheard of! He is otherwise swimming normally (when he isn't hovering) and is alert and reactive to my presence. His respirations are shallow but regular. I gently checked his mouth and throat for foreign objects (rocks) and it is clear. Using a small padded forceps, I checked his opening range, and he can open fully with assistance but the left side of his mouth appears 'stiff'. On his own he is only opening about a millimeter. It appears that he does not have good muscular control of his mouth. Any idea of what it might be and any way that I can help him? <Unfortunately... degenerative... "age"...> Obviously, I've had this guy a long time and he is important to me - sure would like to be able to do something so that he can/will eat and return to normal. Thanks again for your time - much appreciated! Kind regards, Tezzie <I do hope your goldfish spontaneously remits... Bob Fenner>

Re: Oranda unable to open mouth 10/2/07 Thanks for your reply Bob. Not the news I had hoped to hear, but not unexpected. It's sad. I have attached a photo for you- thought you might enjoy seeing Fred. Thanks again, Tezzie (Robyn) <Ah, yes. Thank you. BobF>

My Oranda "Nemo" needs your help!! Env. damaged... poss. nutr...  -- 09/29/07 My Oranda Goldfish is in a 5 gallon tank alone. <Needs more room than this... period> He is bloated and not eating as much. <...> He at times is upside down on bottom of the tank, but then eventually rights himself. I reviewed your web site for advice and put him in a shallow bowl with his tank water, and began feeding him 2-3 peas a day. <Good steps> After 4 days I added his air pump tube to the bowl and a very wee amount of Aquarium salt, and he seems to be doing better. He does poop a lot of white fibrous stuff and sometimes a light green strand. I have tried to put him back in his tank, but when I do he goes back to being upside down. <Perhaps too damaged...> So I have 4 questions: 1. Is the white poop normal and a bad or a good sign?, <Not likely indicative of anything...> 2. Am I feeding him enough or too many peas?, <Can't feed too many> 3. How many days should I keep him in the bowl for treatment?, <... if a couple of weeks doesn't effect much change... infinity will not> 4. Is there anything else I can do to save my Nemo? <Better world... more volume, better filtration, water quality, nutrition> Thanks for any help, Janet <Bob Fenner>

Goldfish has swallowed stone  9/27/07 Hi, <Hello> I am Karthik from Bangalore, India, a Goldfish Enthusiast. I'd taken your valuable help a couple of years ago in treating goldfish with antibiotics. An unusual problem surfaced in my tank today. One of my male fantail goldfish (around 3 inches long) looks like he's swallowed a pea sized pebble. <I see this in your pix> He used to regularly get a stone stuck in his mouth, struggle with it and spit it out a few hours later. This time it looks as though its gone deeper in. His belly has bloated on the right side (just after the pectoral fins) and that is where I assume the stone is lodged. I assume this isn't any illness because he is behaving pretty normal. A couple of guys suggested that I remove the stone manually with a pair of tweezers. <Mmm, no> But I'm a little apprehensive because I don't want to hurt the fish while doing this. A few more guys said that the fish would eventually spit it out but after seeing the magnitude of the problem now I don't think the goldfish might be able to get it out on its own. Could you suggest some measure for this or will the goldfish die? <I don't know if this is actually a swallowed object... but I would try helping this fish "pass" it if it is... with the use of Epsom Salt...> I have taken photos of the goldfish with my cam and sent them to you as attachments. I have shot pics from the side view and top views to show where exactly the bloat has occurred. I have encircled the bloated part in the pictures ( in red color). Any kind of help would be appreciated. Expecting a reply at the earliest. Thank you <Please read here re use: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/saltusefaqs.htm Bob Fenner>

Re: Goldfish has swallowed stone -- 9/27/07 Hi, I will try adding Epsom salt to the water in a hospital tank and inform you about the results. Thanks a lot for the advice Bob, I really appreciate it. <Welcome my friend. Life to you. BobF>

Ich problem. FW, overcrowded goldfish... reading   9/27/07 Ok, I have a problem with my fish. I have a forty litre Juwel aquarium, with two fantail goldfish and a Pleco. <Need more room... what is the species of the latter?> One of my fish started out with a few white spots, so I bought medicine for it. <What medicine? How applied?> I measured the right amount and put it in, but over the next few days, the problem got worse. Yesterday (25th) I noticed there was much much more spots on the fish. The Pleco has the spots all over it's body and the other fantail has a few on it's tail. That day I did a complete water change, <Why?> made the water safe and put more medicine. Is there a fast effective way to help the fish? <Mmm, likely temperature elevation and... there's much more to this..> For two more are supposed to be being introduced on Saturday. Today (26th) The fantail which started out with the problem has much more spots, on all the fins and on it's body, becoming more like salt spilled on a table. (Not very helpful, but that is the only way I could describe it.) Regards, Georgina. <Please... read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwich.htm and the linked files above... and soon. Bob Fenner>

Mmmm, goldfish... hlth., no data  9/26/07 Hey. yesterday my fish got sick :(... my black comet (I think) was given to me about a month ago along with a silver one (both about 1 year old) and a gold one (only a baby), all fish have been doing fine.. eating well, swimming lots, etc. then yesterday and today the black one has been at the bottom of the tank on its side with its tail bent. its not moving and looks like breathing is difficult. I don't think it'll last much longer. I've taken it out of the tank away from the other two as they are still OK and I don't want them to get sick too. I did I pH test and it said that it was fine. this is the first time I've ever had fish so I have no idea what am doing or diseases that fish can get - I know nothing. could you please point me in the direction of information about everything fish, what they can get sick from, their symptoms and how to treat them. also about water conditions and what to buy. thanks very much, Skye <I have no idea as you haven't provided any useful information re the system, water quality, maintenance, foods, feeding... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner> oh no.. More nonsense w/o searching I already sent one email today, my black comet is still just breathing ... I have just noticed that the small gold fish has stringy white stuff instead of its normal more solid brown faeces.. is that bad!?!?!?! <It's bad for you to not follow directions... Use the search tool, indices before writing us... Read. BobF>

Goldfish with Very red & Swollen Vent -- Capitalization, punctuation, spelling, grammar. -- 09/25/07 <Hi Olivia, Andrea here with you> <Thank you for contacting WetWebMedia. We appreciate your email, but unfortunately cannot reply because it's in a format that we can't post on the site. Please correct your grammar, punctuation, and spelling, make sure the question isn't written in ALL CAPS or no capitalization at all and send it to us again. Please use complete sentences (see below where you have questions with fragments that make no sense as answers). We aren't trying to be the "bad guys" here, but we are ALL volunteers, and we get dozens of questions every day - we just haven't got enough time to correct questions that aren't formatted properly. Please take some time to fix your question and write back; we will greatly appreciate this respect. Thank you.> Hi. I'm a member of a goldfish forum and one of our other members is having a problem with his fish where in it's vent is grossly swollen and actually looks some what ulcerated. The following is the information he has provided : Ammonia Level-.25, <This is a big problem, I'd start here. -- Andrea> Nitrite Level- 0, Nitrate level-25, Ph Level- 6.8 Tank size 75gallons has been running 5 months filters are Fluval 450 and a peg c330 Change the water every week and filter every two water changes Tank is inhabited by 8 fish biggest one 2 to 3 inch others from 1 to 2 inches What kind of water additives or conditioners? stresses coat Any medications added to the tank? every month I add CopperSafe Add any new fish to the tank? no What do you feed your fish? top floating food by Hikari Oranda gold and wheat germ Any unusual findings on the fish such as "grains of salt", no bloody streaks, frayed fins or fungus? no Any unusual behavior like staying at the bottom, not eating, etc...? eat very good still the first one gets on top when I turn the lights on to feed them but sometimes he stays at the bottom The member also provided this attached photo <No attachment.> Many of the members of our forum have been scouring the internet for hours trying to find out what this is. I even emailed all this info to my own vet but I just found out he's out of office on a leave of absence. He is the only fish vet in my state!) I've been keeping fish for 20yrs. I "rescue" fish to great extent but I've never seen this in any of the hard luck cases I've had. We've already told the member how to fix his water quality issues, which he is now working on, but none of us have been able to find answers on what's going on with this fish's vent. Hope y'all can help. Sincerely, Olivia

Oranda - Eye Condition -- 9/24/07 Hi there, <Brian> I'm a big fan of what you all do with this website. You can really find amazing information, and it's nice to see people passionate about fish. <Life en toto> I've gone ahead and tried to find all pertinent information I could on the site, but I couldn't find anything that matched my fish's current ailment. <I see this... a physical trauma... "bump in the night"... but could have occurred during the day...> I have an Oranda that has seemed to develop a horrible eye condition. It's only affecting her left eye (see pics; not the greatest quality, but the best I could do). The physical symptoms have only existed for about two days now. It appeared that the eye slowly, but steadily, has filled up with blood and does not appear to be getting any better. The condition actually seems to be worsening. I feel like I'm pretty knowledgeable about fish conditions, but this is beyond me. I don't know whether to treat the aquarium for bacteria or parasites. <Neither> Please respond with any diagnosis or possible treatments that I can do. Thank you so much in advance, Brian Sebastian <Will take a long time to resolve completely (perhaps months to never), but general good care should see the blood, swelling diminish. Bob Fenner>

Missing fin please help! FW Finrot, infectious dis.  Gen. and goldfish   9/23/07 Hi, I hope you can help. I have 2 goldfish, from carnivals, so I don't know what kind. I've had them for 4 & 6 months. They seem to be very active, good eaters that get along pretty good. I noticed tonight that my older fish seems to have an extension on his one fin. Almost like it grew much longer and skinnier then the other. His eyes are kind of big, but he was this way for months, so I don't think it's an issue. I also noticed that my other fish seems to have that Nemo stubby fin thing going on. I just noticed this, it looks like the fin is gone except when he swims I can see the stub moving too. I don't know when or how this happened. I watch, and look at my fish daily & often, so this jumped right out at me as not being right. What is really weird is that both the growth and fin lose seemed to happen recently. Can you shed any light on this? I would appreciate any advice you have. Thanks, Becky <Becky, disappearing fin membranes (the clear bits) and protruding fin rays (the spiny bits) are classic symptoms of Finrot. This is a degenerative disease where bacteria eat away at healthy tissue. Potentially, it can kill the fish. It is very VERY common in tanks that are not properly filtered (or not filtered at all, like bowls). It is also common in tanks that are overstocked. So, the first things to do are confirm the basic conditions in the tank. Goldfish need an aquarium containing not less than 110 litres/30 US gallons. A filter needs to be provided, ideally rated at a turnover of 4-6 times the volume of the tank. For example, if the tank contains 30 gallons, the filter needs to have a turnover of 30 x 4 to 30 x 6 = 120 to 180 gallons per hour. You'll normally find this number either on the filter pump itself or else on the packaging it came with. Goldfish are hardwater fish, so you need an aquarium with water that has a general hardness of at least 10 degrees GH and a pH around 7.5-8.0. Other than these modest requirements, the only other thing you need to make sure of is water changes. These should be around 50% per week, with all new water treated with dechlorinator. You'll find plenty more articles on goldfish elsewhere on this site, so do have a read of them. Hope this helps, Neale>

Black Moor with infected ulcers  7/21/07 Hi. <Good Morning!> Any help is much appreciated. <Let me get my coffee...> I have a Black Moor <Cute lil' buggers.> that has been hanging on since the first week of June with a gradually worsening condition. <Oy, that is a long time.> I have done extensive research and followed the pet store advice <Gah!> and cannot cure this fish. It began with a protruding white mass from behind one scale which grew in size. I pulled him out of the water to inspect and brush <?!> it. The wound opened up with blood and solid white mass <?!>. The location healed while using Melafix for 5 days. However, a new mass showed up on the other side. The same thing happened. I then began thinking Columnaris. I then treated with Maracyn for 5 days, this appeared to help, but it returned again. I have also treated with Fungus Cure. Then tried a 10 day cycle of Maracyn and another Fungal Cure. He is now worse than ever. He has two-three peas size ulcers on each side that repeatedly fill with white mass. They try to heal, but stay irritated with what appears to be infection. The strangest thing of all is they he doesn't act sick. He has never stopped swimming or eating. He is the only fish that is plagued (other two fantails are fine). He has been in a hospital tank for several weeks. The water quality has been kept in check, though was poor quality at the onset of the condition in June. I feel as though if he isn't giving up neither should I. <That is good to hear.> I am currently pulling him out daily, <Please stop.> removing infection, <Please stop.> and putting Maracyn directly on the wounds. <Please stop.> It also appears to me that he has red tinged and white stools. I wonder if this condition is throughout his body. Maybe it is just his time though he is only 1 yr? < http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwdistrbshtart.htm> <Using the above link, designed by our very own Neale, I am inclined to think virus, specifically Lymphocystis, or possibly tumorous growths. Please stop pulling him out of the hospital tank. I think that the constant removal and treatment has more to do with the bloody stool than a possible Columnaris infection. I believe it is more likely viral or tumor. Just keep the water quality in there good and clean. Let the lumps heal over, and leave him be for a while. As long as he is eating and swimming normally, he should be ok. If he stops eating, or his behavior degrades further, write us back. By continually pulling him out of the water, and treating the wounds, you may be inadvertently causing more harm than good. Also, since his lumps may be irritated, it might be prudent to give him an antibiotic food for a few days. Look into Jungle formula antibiotic flake food. Keep the water very clean for him, and let him just heal and rest. No more removing him or bothering the wounds, please. Thanks, Andrea> Thank you-cym

Fancy Goldfish with Tail Tumor  9/20/07 I have an Ryukin Goldfish (Jessie) with what we now think is a tumor on its tail's right side (about the size of a pumpkin seed) located very close to the base of his tail (near his body). The portion on the top of his fins burst a few months ago (when I applied some pressure) and using Iodine and BioBandage it flattened out and healed up. However, the portion on the bottom of his tail became very full and rounded and we believe is now the cause of a ballast problem (causing our fish to sit on the bottom of the tank with limited swimming capabilities). Believing up until yesterday that this was some sort of cyst, our local fish store told us to try and lance it to drain it out. When attempting this, we discovered it was more of a membrane type of tissue. We were only able to remove a portion out of the middle (out of fear of hurting the fish further). There is now a hole in his tail, and the remaining membrane is located near the base of his body. We have him in a medicated tank, and are using BioBandage on the wound. He is eating fine, but unable to sit upright at this time (spending most of the day on his side) What should we do? Will the balance of what we now think is a tumor continue to grow up into his body? <Hard to say; possibly> Should we continue to allow this initial cut to heal, and then attempt to cut the remainder out (which will really cause a big hole)? Will the slit in the tail from our first surgery grow back together, and what if we cut the rest out? We need your advise.. <Could you send along a few pix? Bob Fenner>

Goldfish... hlth.  9//15/07 Greetings Crew, <<Greetings, Lynnette. (Not far off from my wife's name -- Leanette.) Tom here with you.>> Neale has helped me with some problems with my Rainbow fish and I am so thankful for his help. <<Neale's helped a great many folks, Lynnette, and I'm sure he won't mind me saying, 'You're most welcome.'>> Now I have a new problem with Goldfish. <<Should have let Neale field this one, too, but now that I've stuck my nose in, let's see what I can do for you.>> I have a spare 46-gal. bow front tank and have decided to stock it with 4 Pearlscale Goldfish. <<Okay.>> No matter what I do I can't seem to get these fish to live past a day when I purchase them. <<Oh, I definitely should have left this one to Neale! :) >> There is not another retailer within an hour of my home. My next choice is to order them on-line. However, I'd like to know if it's something I am doing wrong. I have purchased the fish two at a time and brought them home to a 10-gal. quarantine tank that is fully cycled with two sponge filters rated for 40-gallon tanks. <<So far, so good, Lynnette. In fact, my hat's off to you for the quarantine procedure!>> My water surface is active with the bubbling filters. My water temp. is 72, pH 7.8, 0 ammonia and 0 nitrite and 10ppm of nitrate. I do 50 percent water changes weekly. <<Since nothing is 'perfect', let me say that, thus far, what you've described is nearly perfect.>> This tank was previously used to grow out and start plants for my planted tank. <<No problem there.>> The tank has a smooth river pebble substrate purchased for aquarium use. I cannot figure out why I am having the problems with Goldfish. <<Nothing you've shared to this point would indicate any reason(s) for problems.>> I acclimate the fish very carefully. I float the bag in the tank water 15 min.s., then add 1/2 cup of water to the fish bag every 15 min.s. for a total of five additions. Then I pick them up with my hand and release into the tank. <<Hmmm'¦ Let me come back to this a bit later.>> I don't dump in the bag water. <<Good.>> The fish look good the first few hours and then start hanging out at the top of the tank. <<A rhetorical question. You say that the water surface is 'active'. Do you notice bubbles that linger without popping or perhaps a film of some description on the surface? What you describe of the fishes' behavior sounds a lot like oxygen deprivation given a fully cycled tank. Frequently, a 'soapy' film is associated with dissolved organics in the tank water but the fact that you remove the fish from their transport bags by hand makes me wonder if this is something else.>> I don't see any obvious indications of disease on their bodies. I have added aquarium salt after reading the posts here but it has not made a difference. <<Likely wouldn't anyway, Lynnette.>> I don't want to kill any more fish. <<Completely understood.>> I use water from the same source as my planted tank. I have a heater set at 70 (in case of a cold snap). <<I like your thinking here.>> I really think these Pearlscales are interesting fish and would like to have success with them. <<Interesting and beautiful, if I might say.>> It seems they are sick when I am buying them but how can I ever know if they are healthy if there are no indications of disease until I find them dead. <<Am I misreading here, Lynnette? Perhaps you meant to say that it seems, ''¦they aren't sick'¦?'>> I have thoroughly gone over my tank from top to bottom and cannot find any way contaminates would have found a way in. I'm really at a loss. <<Do you wash your hands before handling the fish? More specifically, do you wash your hands with soap before handling the fish? Do you use hand lotion? Perfumes/colognes? Anything that you might be transferring from your hands to the fish and/or tank? Everything you've given us is practically 'textbook' regarding quarantine and acclimation with exception of this one possibility.>> Is it something I'm doing wrong? I'd appreciate someone's opinion, suggestions. <<Before ever handling a fish or, before placing your hands in the tank, rinse -- don't wash -- your hands/forearms in warm to hot water. Whatever you can comfortably tolerate. Whenever you touch a fish, you remove, from one degree to another, a portion of the fish's protective slime coating. How injurious this may be is, again, a matter of degree but it's never 'healthy' for the fish. In the same vein, chemicals that you might have on your hands can be transferred to the fish and the tank. Given your methodology, I, personally, don't see another explanation for the losses you've experienced, Lynnette.>> Thank you so much for lending your experience to us who need help! Lynnette <<Frankly, Lynnette, if you hadn't added that you transfer the fish by hand, I'd be scratching my head over this one. I'm repeating myself but everything you do is right by the book. There's nothing that you've done that's 'wrong'. If everyone else in the hobby took your care, we'd be out of jobs! This time, I hope that what I've suggested to you is as innocent a mistake as it might be. Best regards. Tom>>
Re:... goldfish... hlth.  9/20/07
Tom, <<Hello, Lynnette.>> Thank you for your reply. Your time is appreciated! <<More than happy to help out.>> I do move the fish with my hand and always rinse really well before I put my hands in the tank or near a fish. <<Sounds fine, then.>> I don't typically use lotions. I'd only been using my hands with the Goldfish due to their shape and not wanting to damage their scales. I checked the water surface and I don't see any type of film. I really want to keep these fish. I have started fishless cycling on my 46 gal tank and its progressing nicely. <<Good for you and I'm glad to hear it's going well.>> I am a bit discouraged about all the deaths in my quarantine tank. <<I couldn't agree more. All the more so when applying the excellent fish-keeping procedures/practices that you are.>> I purchased two Pearlscales over the weekend and was so excited to see they lived two days. I came home from work last night and both where dead. One had no visible signs of illness and the other had some red streaks on its fins and around its mouth. I had checked them before I had left for work and they both ate some hulled pea and looked great. I always do a 50% water change after a death. I tested the water last night before I did the water change and it had 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite and 5-10 nitrate. The temperature was 72. <<These fish aren't simply 'dying', Lynnette. Fish don't die, one after another, in what would be described as 'ideal' conditions. Something going on in your QT tank is 'killing' these fish'¦and fast!>> Are these fish prone to sudden death? <<No, they're not. They may have unique characteristics by Goldfish standards but they're not any more 'delicate' than other varieties. Less so than some, actually.>> I have not had an issue with any other fish I keep. I currently have various Rainbows, Corys, Farlowella catfish, Oto cats and a Pleco in my planted tank. I haven't lost any fish for over 8 months. I am really getting frustrated with the Goldfish but it's a challenge and I just have to figure out what's going on! <<I don't know that it really has anything to do with Goldfish, specifically, Lynnette. I have a couple of 'loose' suspicions, however.>> I plan to order some Pearlscales from an online retailer as soon as my other tank has cycled. I'll see how that goes. Total I have purchased 8 Pearlscales, two at a time and all have died. If you have any suggestions I'd sure like to hear them! <<Bear with me while I 'stretch' here a bit but, first, pull the heater out of the tank. This will eliminate the possibility of 'stray electrical currents' being introduced into the tank. Relatively rare for these to cause fish deaths outright but we need to think 'outside' of the norm. Second, the air pump for the bubblers. Since these draw in 'ambient' air, is there any possibility that the pump is located in a place that's in any way 'unique' to the remainder of your home? Sounds silly but is there a 'plug-in' air freshener nearby, for example? Something/anything of the sort? You've mentioned the shelled peas but have you purchased fresh fish food on the off-chance that commercial food you have might be tainted? (Might not apply but...) How about the dechlorinator for the water changes? These conditioners can become "unstable", i.e. ineffective. Something, NOT related to your practices, is causing these fish to die quickly, not just prematurely. There IS a reason for this and we'll figure it out.>> Thanks so much for what you do. I can't tell you how much I value this website and all the people that work so hard to give advice. A special thanks to you, Tom! <<No thanks necessary, Lynnette. (You'll make me blush!) I want to find a solution to this as much as you do! Please, keep me posted/updated. My best. Tom>>

Sick Goldfish... ten gallons, CAE... no useful info., Reading...  -- 09/14/07 Hello, I have a goldfish that is about 2 to 3 years old. He is houses in a 10 gal tank <Needs more room than this> with a couple of snails and a small algae eater. <What species? Hopefully NOT a Chinese Algae Eater> They have all been living together for the past year. Last night I came home and the goldfish was on his side and not moving much at all. I changed out about 30% of the water and changed the filter. <What re water quality tests?> The next morning he was swimming and moving much better. Now, three days later, the back third of is body is a white and he is unable to move his tail. <Env.> It is as if someone had taken him and blanched him in hot water. I have searched the internet and could not find what it would be. I was needing some help if you could please. Possible diagnosis and treatment? Thanks for your time, Michael <A better world. Read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Re: 3 dead 1 left, goldfish   -- 09/05/07 <<Still reluctant to reveal your true identity, I see. Understood, Lxxxx. Kind of a '007' thing, eh? ;) >> Thanks. <<You're welcome.>> They're goldfish. <<Well, that doesn't even put me in the right church let alone the right pew, then, does it? Goldfish are oviparous (meaning they lay eggs). Your shoal of little fish comes to me as a bit of a surprise now. Goldfish take some time to reach sexual maturity -- usually between the ages of one and three years depending on the conditions the fish are kept in. So, best guess? Your shoal of little fish aren't Goldfish at all or, if they are, how, in the world, did you come by them? (Having 'peeked' at the size of your tank, it's not even reasonably possible for your Goldfish to have bred in the short time you've had them or, more importantly, in the equivalent of a 7.5-gallon tank.) I sense, perhaps wrongly (?), some missing information here.>> 28.5 L tank. <<For a SINGLE Goldfish, Lxxxx, this should be tripled in size. The reason that your Goldfish are dying is that your tank is far, far too small to support them. The extremely rare hobbyist gets away with keeping a Goldfish in a bowl but virtually every problem we ever see with Goldfish is due to folks keeping them in tanks that cannot possibly provide these fish with the room they need to thrive in. They create too much waste. The water becomes toxic in such a short time that it's nearly impossible to keep the fish alive and/or healthy. Just isn't going to happen.>> Will get a test kit and get back to you!!! <<I'll be here but we're going to have another 'talk'. The test kit is a great start but there's much more to learn.>> Thank you L xxxx <<I'll be waiting to hear from you. Cheers. Tom>>

Black smudge, goldfish...  -- 08/31/07 Hi- I'm giving you permission to yell at me as long as you also give me advice on how to heal my fish! <Heeee!> I freely admit my ignorance on goldfish and how to properly care for them. I'm trying to become a better caretaker. <Laudable> I received a speckled type of goldfish (Poindexter) as a Christmas gift in December. For six months, he lived in a large glass bowl. <Mmmm> Poindexter endured overfeeding, constipation, and complete water changes (of course, we didn't realize the harm at the time). Amazingly, he survived all of this. <Yes> In June, we bought a five gallon tank with a hanging side filter. Poindexter totally loved his new surroundings and was much more active than in the glass bowl. <Still needs more room...> A month later, we figured he might like a friend. We bought an all gold color goldfish and named him/her Broozer. <... not enough room even for Mr. P. here> We also bought a fake plant and fake piece of coral. During our visit to the pet store, the owner discussed the harm of overfeeding. I had been telling my husband to stop feeding so much, but he just didn't seem to listen to me at all. <Men!> Broozer has been doing great for the last month. Two nights ago, I noticed a black smudge on one side of his tummy, a little black line near his lips, and a little black smudge near his eye. Last night, there were more black smudges on his body, some black outlines on the outer portion of his back fins, and his lips were outlined in black. This morning, he was completely inactive-just basically floating around and doing the bare minimum. My husband took him to the fish shop and the owner told him Broozer is stressed from overfeeding and dirty water. I hope my husband now finally understands that he has to stop feeding them so many crisps. <Good> We changed 50% of the water today. I'm getting a larger tank tomorrow <Yay!> and also getting some test strips for the water. I learned a lot online today about how to take better care of my boys. Poindexter seems absolutely fine and remains active. Is it true that overfeeding and water quality could cause the black smudges on Broozer? <Yes... may be "stress markings" for sure> I'm really concerned about him. How can I get the smudges to stop growing? <Improve their world...> What do I need to do to make him feel better? <More volume, better water quality and nutrition...> Is Poindexter doing so much better under the same conditions because he is a hardier type of goldfish? <May be an individual difference... with some developmental tolerance to factor in> Do I need to get gravel for the bottom of the tank if it is sitting on a brown desk? <Better to have this, yes...> Thanks so much for your help- Tammy <Thank you! Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
Re: Black smudge 9/6/07
Hi Bob- I just wanted to follow up with some unfortunate new developments. <Okay> On Friday, I went to the fish store to get a bigger tank and testing strips. While at the store, I talked to the owner for a while. It turns out my husband wasn't overfeeding the fish since they would eat everything he put in within a minute. There was never excess food floating around the tank when they were done eating. I tested the water when I got home, and everything was fine - nitrite, nitrate, and ammonia were all at zero. I don't have gravel on the bottom of the tank, so I know there isn't excess debris there. I figured since the water was fine, it would be better to set up the new tank and let it settle for a few days before putting the fish in. <Good... and move the old water and not clean the extant filter during the move> On Saturday, Broozer was very lazy with his eating and his black areas continued to get larger. We had to distract Poindexter (who loves to eat) so that Broozer could get some food, too. Sunday morning, my husband woke up to find Broozer stuck to the bottom of the filter. Needless to say, he passed away an hour or two later. The filter isn't strong, so Broozer must have been in a very weakened state to get stuck there. Just in case Poindexter starts to get sick, I put a piece of coral under the filter to prevent this from happening again. <Faux coral I hope... most real coral skeletons are too sharp to have around clumsy goldfish> My question now is---If the water wasn't making Broozer sick, then what was wrong with him? Thanks- Tammy <Not able to say from here... The S.O.P. procedure/suggestion to try successive (daily) partial water changes, add a "bag" of activated carbon in the filter flow path... Bob Fenner>

Ammonia problems! Five gallon, goldfish...  -- 08/31/07 Hi! <<Hi, Danielle. (My daughter's name by the way.) Tom here.>> First off, I want to say that this is a great site! <<Thanks, Danielle. Glad you like it!>> We bought a 5 gallon mini bow tank back in May from the LFS. Picked up 2 gold fish and a little frog. <<Danielle, I can't begin to tell you how much too small a five-gallon tank is for ANY Goldfish. 25-30 gallons is more appropriate for the fancy varieties and figure 50+ gallons for Commons, Comets, and Shubunkins. (Now, after you've caught your breath, picked yourself up off the floor and stopped disparaging the parents of the individual that allowed you to buy Goldfish for a five-gallon container, we can get to the details.)>> Everyone was great for about a week and then the fish started dying. <<Not unexpected though I'm sorry to hear this.>> Took a water sample to the LFS and they said to do a 50% water change, that the ammonia was high (2.5), but the nitrates and nitrites were 0. <<Not that your fish stood a chance, Danielle, but a 95%-100% change would have been my recommendation'¦daily. The tank hadn't 'cycled'.>> Bought my own test kit and kept an eye on all readings. <<Excellent.>> After 4 more fish died, I realized that my LFS was missing something so I did some research and learned all about cycling a tank. <<Something the folks at the LFS apparently had never heard about?>> Wish I would've known about that first! <<Indeed.>> Anyway, went to a Petco and they gave me some gravel from an established tank. I placed it evenly throughout the bottom of my tank and let it stay there for about 2 months. <<A good move. Not optimal but still good thinking on your part.>> Reading on 8/10 showed nitrite 2.0, nitrate 10., ammonia 1.0 and ph 6. I assumed my tank was cycled. <<Nope.>> We took our sons to a county fair and they won 2 goldfish. One is small about one inch and the other is about <<?>> inches. Well, I placed them in the (I thought) cycled tank. The next day I tested the water and now the readings are nitrite 0, nitrate 5., ammonia 2.0 and the ph is 7.5! <<They won't make it, Danielle. Even trace amounts, say 0.25 ppm of ammonia, is deadly. You can't possibly keep Goldfish alive in a five-gallon tank. They produce too much ammonia/waste for a five-gallon tank to sustain.>> I did a 50% water change. I'm guessing that I put in too much for the tank and that it wasn't fully cycled. <<Correct on both counts.>> How can I not lose these fish? <<Realistically? You can't keep from losing them. (Don't get me wrong. We've worked folks through worse but, the bottom line is that they had far bigger tanks.) A five-gallon tank has virtually no stability. Conditions can 'go south' in a few hours with a tank this small. That said, and given the fact that you've written to us (which indicates to me that you care), no more fish until we work out what you need to keep your pets healthy and thriving. Okay?>> Would doing 50% water changes daily be okay? <<I don't like coming off like a horse's patootie, Danielle, but you'd need to do 100% changes perhaps three times a day to stand a chance. Beside their waste products, Goldfish (like other fish) excrete ammonia from their systems through their gills -- very specialized gill filaments called lamellae. Without proper cycling for beneficial bacterial growth, room for dispersion/dilution and adequate filtration, your Goldfish might as well be living (?) in a septic tank -- with about the same chance for survival.>> Yesterday was the last time that I fed them. I read that I should wait a couple of days. Is this okay? <<Less feeding is better given the situation, Danielle. Not 'the' solution but a good idea nevertheless.>> Any help you can give me would be greatly appreciated! <<Inclined to take a shot at it, Danielle? Get a large Tupperware-style storage bin, or something similar, and fill it with dechlorinated, i.e. conditioned, water. Move the fish to it. They'll be better off than they are now and you won't have quite as many headaches. :) Purchase an aquarium of about 30-gallons, or larger, and start the cycling process. (I'll tell you of another 'trick' in a moment.) Goldfish won't need a heater but they will need lots of filtration. Double or triple the size of the filter that the manufacturer claims it will serve. Goldfish need 7-12 water exchanges per hour. GPH is what you want to look at, not tank size. So, for a 30-gallon tank, figure on a filter that handles, minimally, 230 gph. (There's about a 10%-15% loss from the manufacturer's claims.) Decorate the tank as you'd like but use a dark (black?) substrate. (There's a reason for this.) Once the tank is up and running, the 'trick' I suggested is BIO-Spira from Marineland. It's somewhat pricey but you can -- in fact, must -- add the fish to the tank within hours to preserve the live bacteria the product contains. (Should be added to the filter chamber versus the tank.) A long-winded description that I'll be happy to go over with you in shorter 'bursts', Danielle, but that's what you need to do. (Save the five-gallon tank for a Betta. Wonderful size but he'll need a heater (Hydor 'Theo' -- 25 watts) and a sponge filter (quite inexpensive).)>> Thanks, Danielle <<'Information overload'-time, Danielle. I realize this, which is why I'd like you to write back with specific questions you might have, if any. A lot to digest, certainly, but Goldfish can live for 20 years, or more, in the right environment. Best regards. Tom>>
Re: ammonia problems! (follow-up)
  9/1/07 Hi Tom, <<Hi, Danielle!>> Thanks for the fast reply! Maybe having your daughter's name got me faster service, lol! <<It didn't hurt! :) >> It would be nice if the LFS gave accurate info. <<In a 'touch' of fairness, Danielle, solving problems with fish/aquariums isn't the main thrust of their jobs. They're there to move merchandise, period. A shame, really.>> After I wrote to you, I did some more reading on the site and started doing 95% water changes. I have done 2 so far in the past 4 hours. Ammonia went down to .25 but from what you've told me, I'll be doing this everyday for the rest of the goldfishes' lives! Not fair to them and too much work for me! <<Good to hear about the decreased ammonia levels, Danielle. As you now know, even .25 ppm can be/is deadly but it's a far cry from 2.0! Good job and I certainly do agree that both you and your Goldfish will need relief from the water changes. A larger, cycled aquarium will do just that.>> I actually went out and bought a 92 quart plastic tub the day the kids won them to get them home from the fair (was 3 hours from our house, didn't want them to not make the ride home). Is it okay if I keep them in there for a day or two until I can get to the store to get all my supplies? <<Absolutely! Nearly tripling the size of the container they're in now will help a lot. You don't want to get lax about their care, obviously, but you'll certainly be giving yourself and your pets a 'leg up' on the situation.>> Again, thank you so much! Danielle <<You're most welcome. If you have any more issues/questions prior to making any substantial purchases, please get back to me/us. Hopefully, I've given you -- along with the information you've found here at WWM -- plenty to make an informed decision on how to go about this. No need for 'guesswork'. The better informed you are, the less chance that someone will pass off 'bum' information on you once you're in the store. Lastly (?), if you're in doubt about ANYTHING, don't make the move! From here on in, informed choices/decisions are going to be the key to success in our hobby. My best to you and your family'¦and fish! Tom>>

Feeding my fantails, general care ect <no such word... etc>.... sys.    8/30/07 First of I just want to let ya'll know you have a wonderfully helpful website. I've had my fish since march (sons bday present) I have a calico fantail, an orange??? fantail with a black mustache, and a black moor, and two little maybe inch long sucker fish of some sort, not pleckys... <And I do hope not a Chinese Algae Eater... Gyrinocheilus aymonieri... please take the time to search the Net, WWM re... not safe to keep with goldfish> Hopefully living comfortably in a 29 gallon tank, <Four fancy goldfish... will need more room than this in time... I have four in a ninety> that's all I can afford for now, next mission is a 55 gallon... right now I have a veggie clip in their tank that always has lettuce or spinach in it since I am unsuccessful in growing aquarium plants, I feed them aprox 7 peas split in half per day, and flakes <Look into more nutritious pellets... I use Spectrum... with great success> on Sunday only. I don't know specifics on the filter but it is the kind you hang on the back of the tank, and I have a gravel aerator?...I change 30% water once a week, and clean out the gravel w/ water change. <All this sounds good> If it weren't for ya'll I'd be completely fish illiterate, everything in my tank seems to be fine, but they seem kinda lazy, they do swim around and suck on the rocks and drive me nuts but their are periods thru out the day that they just kinda go with the flow, sometimes I wonder if their tank is too warm? <Mmm, this is generally just the nature of goldfish...> would that make them lazy? it stays pretty consistent at 72-76, I don't have a light on their tank, but I wonder if they should be closer to more natural light, they are approx 50 ft from the closest window and get no sun from the back of their tank, besides the little that shows thru from the bathroom. <I would add some simple normal output fluorescent for your viewing pleasure> Ohhh and I wondered about my little orange guy/girl, the dorsal fin seems to have a curve to it... I guess I associated it to captivity cause when I seen it it reminded me of what happens to a whales fin in captivity where it starts to slump over, it can be picked up straight but when she/he is at rest it just kinda slumps over... well I guess all info is more than what I know right now...lol! <Is likely genetic...> thanks for all the great advise <advice> from the site... Keep up the great work ~Briana <Thank you... we're trying. Bob Fenner>

Problem with bubble-eye goldfish eye   7/25/07 Hi Have searched FAQ to no avail. My bubble-eye gold fish 'Bubbles' has an issue with both eyes. They appear to have what looks like cataracts. He has lived with a plain gold goldfish 'sucky sucky fish' for the last 6 months with no issues. This eye complaint has appeared very all of a sudden and he is very happy and healthy otherwise. What have I done wrong and how can I make him better? He is in a 9 litre tank and eats a variety of food. Look forward to your reply. Cheers from the centre of Australia. <G'Day mate! While I can't diagnose the exact problem, I can be fairly certain the underlying cause is water quality. Bubble-eye goldfish are exceptionally sensitive to opportunistic bacteria. They've basically been bred to have internal tissues swollen and hanging outside the protective scales and skin, the equivalent of a human walking around with an open wound. Needless to say, bacteria can set in very easily. The "trigger", if you will, is water quality. In a 9-litre tank you simply won't have good water quality. Goldfish, even the plain vanilla kind, require something around 100 litres before you even approach optimal water conditions. On top of that, they need heavy filtration because they are gross polluters with a high metabolism and a predilection for spewing silt all over the place as they root about the bottom. You also need to be doing 50% water changes, weekly. In other words, your aquarium is something like 1/10th the size it should be. Without fixing these problems, any treatment you offer the fish (such as antibiotics or antibacterials) will provide a short-term cure at best. Hope this helps, Neale>
Re: Problem with bubble-eye goldfish eye -- 08/26/07
Thank you very much for your advice. Will take advice and attempt to rectify situation. Will continue to look at FAQ also. Cheers thanks again. <Cool. Good luck, Neale>

Re: sick goldfish (more photos)   8/24/07 Thank you for your quick response. I will change out some water today and discontinue antibiotics, unless you indicate otherwise. I will also buy low-protein food and elodea today. <Good> In the meantime, I fed it skinned peas, but only 4 per day. The fish remains sluggish, swollen, hiding in corners, sitting somewhat upright, but tipped over onto his side. When it swims, it seems relatively normal, but also seems to tire easily. Yesterday, it began to occasionally swim suddenly to the top of the tank, just breaking the surface. Sometimes, it hits its nose on the glass cover. I am sending you more pictures. I would like you to examine the dark spots under the scales. There is one spot, about the size of a pea, right at the base of the tail, on top of his body. Other, freckle-like spots have appeared lately on his sides. I looked at an old photo, and these do not seem to be his former (normal) coloration. They look like dark bruises. Perhaps hemorrhages into the skin? <Perhaps> Any advice would be appreciated. Is this an after effect of tail rot? <Could be... and/or its treatment> Do you think that the rot has stopped? <Likely so> (The fish is no longer losing pieces of its tail.) Do you think that I ought to continue with Maracyn and Maracyn II or change to some other antibiotic? <I would cease with antimicrobials period> Could this be a parasite, instead of bacteria? <Doubtful> If so, how do I treat it? <With a certain diagnosis...> Please note from the photos how the rear part of his body looked before he became sick and how it now appears swollen. Thank you again for your help. Patricia <Good water quality, patience... BobF>

Re: sick goldfish (update)   7/25/07 Thank you again for your advice. Yesterday, I changed about 25% of the water and put Ammo-Lock in one side of the filter, in case ammonia was building up. I did not replace the carbon yet. I bought elodea, but could not find Ocean Nutrition Formula Two, although I looked for it at four different pet shops. So I fed the fish peas last night, and the inside of a skinned blueberry this morning. At one fish store, they told me that goldfish love orange slices, but I haven't tried that yet. I did feed him a little antibiotic food last night. All in all, he seems to be slightly improved this morning. Thank you for your comments about the dark spots. I will watch closely to make sure that they do not ulcerate. <Okay> I did some research yesterday and found an aqua-culture website that mentioned hemorrhagic septicemia. The interesting thing is that my fish has or had most of the symptoms, except that he did not have ulcers that broke through the skin. The most notable symptom of systemic infection with Aeromonas hydrophilas (the gram negative bacteria that causes hemorrhagic septicemia) was swelling around the vent. <Mmmm... could be chicken/egg sort of order here... Aeromonads are most everywhere... opportunistic... effect, not cause...> That, to me, was my fish's oddest symptom and the one that made me think that perhaps it was egg bound. According to their packaging, Maracyn II (which I used) supposedly cures the condition, but this website mentioned terracyclin (Oxytetracycline) and something called Romet 30, which is a "potentiated sulfanomide". (Please excuse my spelling. I didn't take very good notes.) As you suggested, I discontinued antibiotics, but I wanted to let you know what I learned about a "swollen vent," in case that information might help others whose fish have similar symptoms. If my fish takes a turn for the worse, I may try one of those other antibiotics, but only as a last ditch effort. Yesterday, there was a long (6") thread-like string of feces in the water. The feces was on the clear side and slightly green, perhaps from the peas he's been eating, so at least he is defecating. To sum up, I will take your advice: keep the water clean, feed him low-protein food, and be patient. <Real good. BobF>

Euthanize sick goldfish with bent tail?  8/23/07 Dear Folks, <David> Thank you very much for a great website. Do you have time to answer an urgent question? <Looks like it> Spot the Sarasa comet is really sick. His tail is bent up at a 40 degree angle. At the bend there is a bad looking red spot in his belly. His anal fin appears gone, all other fins normal. Sometimes he swims with his body straight and tail bent up, other times with tail flat and head bent down. <From what?> Two fish stores told me two different things: Swim Bladder Disease or internal bacterial infection. Neither offered any product except brine shrimp. <What?> I isolated him in a hospital tank with salt. He eats peeled frozen peas with relish. <Yummy!> The big question: Is he in incredible pain with his bent tail? I only want to do the right thing for my friend. <Doubtful there is much pain here> Thank you for any advice you can provide. David Murphy <Mmm, what re the system, maintenance... What sort of world do you provide Spot? Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Pearlscale Goldfish Question, with Tetras in unheated, unfiltered bowl...    8/22/07 Hi there, great website. I've browsed a lot of your articles and found some good information, but wanted to run my problem by you. <Okay> A week ago I setup a new freshwater tank. Two days later I added 2 small Pearlscale goldfish, some small tetras <Stop! These fish species are not compatible, behavior or water quality-wise...> and a snail and a bunch of freshwater plants. After about 5 days I noticed one of the Pearlscales had some puffiness around his eyes. They look dilated for lack of a better word (large black pupils) and have what looks to be loose scales or general puffiness of some clear tissue bulging out around the eyes. He also looked a bit swollen. We immediately discontinued the flake food we were giving them (tropical crisps) and gave them some blanched cucumber and peas. The eye swelling seems to have gone down, but he has trouble swimming. He seems surprisingly active actually, but has trouble fighting the filter current and floats at sort of a 45 degree down angle. I thought he might die today, but hasn't. After reading more on your site, I've pulled him out and put him in a hospital tank so I can continue to run the filter in the other tank without making it hard on him. It's basically just a bowl (fairly shallow) with no filter or heater. <...> Room temp is about the same as the other tank. I gave him some peas again tonight, but I think I might skip a day or two of feeding. It seemed as though he hadn't pooped in about 2 days (the other Pearlscale had very noticeable poop). Today he had some stringy clear stuff I'm assuming was poop. The tank is a bit on the small side, but the fish are currently small. I ran some test on the water with strips. Says nitrates 10ppm, nitrite 0, water hardness was between soft and very soft, alkalinity and pH were normal. Currently at 76-78 degrees with 12 hour light cycles. Wondering if I should try some sea salt and antibiotic etc from the pet store? Thanks so much. <Am able to discern from the data proffered, what the problems are... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Injured tail, Goldfish    8/22/07 Hi, My goldfish's tail got caught in the filter and a piece broke about a month ago. I did nothing but observe him. I now notice that the rest of the tail and some fins have jagged edges. Upon reading, I think that he may have a parasite or bacterial infection. I want to try using aquarium salt. Should I quarantine the fish or treat the whole aquarium? I have a 55 gallons with only 2 gold fish. If I use salt, will it hurt the cycle or live plants? There is a discrepancy in dosage from the book 'Fancy Goldfish: A complete guide to care and collecting' and the instruction on the salt box. The book says one tablespoon per gallon and the box mentions one tablespoon per 5 gallons. Could you please clarify? One treatment for Finrot is Melafix. Same question as with the salt. Should I do both tx and how long is the treatment? Otherwise, the fish looks healthy, feeds well and water testing is ok ( Ph, GH, KH, nitrite, nitrate and ammonia). Thank you for your reply, Carole Gauthier <Hello Carole. Stop using the salt, and stop using the Melafix. Neither will be of any use here. Let's recap: salt was an old-time treatment useful when people didn't have the range of medications available that they do today. While salt can fix certain problems, it only does so at reasonably high concentrations, at the same time it puts stress on the fish. Goldfish aren't brackish or saltwater fish. They're freshwater fish. What they ACTUALLY NEED is nice hard FRESHWATER (15 degrees GH upwards) with a fairly high pH (around 7.5 to 8). Salt provides neither of these things. Far, far better to use something that will actually raise the pH and water hardness, such as crushed coral in the filter. Melafix, like salt, is something that sells itself because its cheap. On the downside, the reason its cheap is that it doesn't contain anything very special (tea tree oil) and isn't very effective, either. Leave the Melafix, Feng Shui, and healing crystals to the New Age loons. Kick into gear and buy some anti-fungus/Finrot. Remove the carbon from your filter and bury it in the garden, never to be used again. Carbon is another "cheap treatment" that neither helps nor does anything useful. Indeed, carbon is a hazard, because it removes medications letting your fish stay sick however well you medicate the tank. Dose the tank according to the instructions. Let me make this 100% clear: without treating for fungus/Finrot your goldfish will get sicker and will eventually die. Salt and Melafix will do nothing to prevent this. Cheers, Neale.>

Goldfish wont or cant open mouth   8/19/07 is there a sickness that causes a goldfish to not be able to open he's/her mouth???? or is this a mechanical problem such as hitting bowl or broken bones <Can be a developmental disorder... and/or genetic. There are some protozoan and bacterial problems that can result in this as well... but none of these are rapid-onset. BobF> Re: gold fish wont or cant open mouth... search tool, cached views...   8/20/07 hi, thanksforyour response. What is the outcome and can anything be done to save the fish? Alex <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/WWMAdminSubWebIndex/question_page.htm Try the search tool... BobF>

Sick Oranda, Flukes?    8/19/07 Hi. My Oranda died today. Gills were blue so I assume it was from the gill flukes. <Mmmm, not necessarily> How do I decontaminate the tank before putting in new goldfish? <Best to bleach, dump, dechlorinate... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/clnornart.htm The same protocol...> I read that gill flukes aren't susceptible to high salt concentrations. I was thinking of overdosing the tank with Jungle Labs Parasite Clear and then let the tank run with just water and the filter going for a couple of weeks. Do I have to get rid of my plants, too or OK to keep in tank? Thanks. YM <Mmm, the plants, actually anything wet could be a vector here... I would at least isolate these, treat them with an organophosphate... Bob Fenner>

Save my black Moor please! Read please   8/18/07 Hi WetWebMedia crew member, <Jennifer> First of all thanks for all your tips on pet fishes, and for the extra help on my two black moors; Chocolate and Pudding from last time. Unfortunately, Chocolate didn't make it. Now it's Pudding's turn. Like last time, I went on vacation for two weeks. This time I left my black Moor to my mom to take care of. The instructions were simple enough and she said she followed them. It was just to feed four to five pieces of a certain pellet food <Trouble> I had for Pudding twice a day. But when I came home, Pudding was swimming upside down, and resting on his side at the top of his tank. According to my mom, he was upside down for about a day or two. From what I have read on the website, I've tried feeding him peas thinking he was bloated, to changing his water thinking he had ammonia or nitrate poisoning. I have not tried the special salt that was suppose to relive some of the common problems. I have also been fasting him for two days before I tried the peas again. It doesn't seem like anything I have tried except for the salt that I have not tried has worked. Is there anything else I can try to help Pudding? <Mmmm> Pudding is about 3.25 inches long, .75 inch in width, and 1 inch in height. He is living in a 10 gallon tank right now <Too small...> with one of those waterfall looking power filters. Sincerely, Jennifer Kang <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshmalnut.htm and the linked files above. BobF>

Sick goldfish, egg-bound?   8/18/07 Hello, Mr. Fenner, <Patricia> I saw information that you placed on a goldfish website, and I wonder if you could give me some advice. <Will try> I have a rather large Shubunkin (about 10 in. long, including a veil tail). For the past few weeks, he (or she) has been somewhat swollen in the abdomen and began to have problems swimming. I started treating the fish for bacterial dropsy with Maracyn and Maracyn II, but this has not done much for it except to slightly diminish symptoms of popped eyes. The eyes weren't very bad and I wasn't even sure that they were popped. Now his or her body seems more swollen right around the anus, where there are bulges on either side. There are no scales sticking out. I do not at this point know what's wrong with the fish. <Sounds like "egg blockage"... the production, w/o release of gametes...> If it is egg bound, I can't determine. <Maybe so> If it is constipation, ditto. I simply don't know what's wrong. I have been feeding it skinned, cooked, frozen peas, interspersed with Aquarian Goldfish Flakes, which I first soak in water. I've reduced the amount of food I feed it, because I don't want to make the swelling (or constipation, if that's what it is) worse. I did, once, see feces, about an inch long and green, like the peas However, I don't usually see feces from this fish, even though I know that he must "poop" sometime. Throughout the past two weeks, the fish eats eagerly, but now it cannot swim upright. It floats, head downward, near the bottom of the tank. It's tail--the fleshy part--seems to be pointing upward and backward now, as if it is arching its back. I believe this is due to the swelling around the anus. The fish's entire profile is sort of bowed, like the keel of a ship. The swelling appears to be confined along the bottom part of the body, from the anus to the front fins. That is, it's not rounded, like a ball. It looks more like a flattened arc. I would like to help the fish, but at this point I am stumped. I have to add that I have had him for 8 years, so perhaps he is reaching the end of his normal lifespan. But if there is ANYTHING that I can do to help, I would like to try. <Epsom Salt...> Do you think that if I soaked some fish flakes in the oil from an Omega 3 fish oil capsule, it might help? <Mmm, worth trying, but one must be careful not to have the oil coat the water surface...> Do you have any idea what could be causing these symptoms? <I do think it is "egg bound"> Do you know how a fish that is egg bound looks? <Oh yes... bilateral bulging, difficulty in swimming, orientation...> I haven't been able to find any photos on the web. I would greatly appreciate any advice you might be able to give me. Thank you. Patricia Topolski <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/saltusefaqs.htm Epsom... Bob Fenner>
Re: sick goldfish, egg-bound?    8/19/07
Thank you so much for your quick response. <Welcome> Today, the fish seems a bit more active, but also more swollen, although no scales sticking out. <Ah, good> I neglected to say that I did add Epsom salts and also aquarium salts to the tank this past week. It seemed to have no result. <Often takes time...> It's a 25 gallon tank. I did not add as much aquarium salt as recommended on the package (1 tbls/5 gals.) because I had added Epsom salts already (probably about 2 tbls. in total). <I see> A few days ago, before beginning a new round of antibiotics (and after removing the carbon from the filter), I did a 25% water change. So at this point I have no idea how much of the salts are still in the tank. <There are means of testing... but best to be safe... keep diluting through periodic water changes... replacing as a percentage> I have test strips and they indicate hard water. I have a problem with keeping the PH up, so I have added a little baking soda, but not much so that I don't shock the fish. <Okay> I also put in a little ammonia remover, again not much, because without the carbon I'm afraid that ammonia may be building up. <You should test for> In any case, the fish now lays on its side, instead of standing on its head. Whether this is an improvement or not, I don't know. When it swims, it looks like its old self, but it seems to tire and then flops over on its side, as if to rest. <"Only time will/can tell"> He looks a bit more swollen today, but perhaps that's because it ate this morning. I gave it some antibiotic food, instead of the peas. I also tried a little spinach. How much it ate, I can't tell because it's hard for the fish to maneuver, but it does seem interested in eating. The rest of the time, it lays over on its side, gasping. If, as you suspect, it is egg bound, is there any hope or treatment for the fish? <Mmmm, have you read re "gentle" massage?> It is painful for me to see it so seemingly miserable. But with a fish, it's hard to say if it is suffering or not. I wish there were something more that I could do for it. I was told variously things by people at different pet stores. Some say it cannot be cured. Others say to try the antibiotics for a few weeks. But if it is egg bound, will antibiotics help or hurt? <Likely neither> Thank you again for your advice. Patricia <Do consider the hand rubbing... along the sides... applying pressure, toward the vent... Bob Fenner>
Re: sick goldfish, egg-bound?   8/20/07
Thank you so much. Again. I really appreciate your feedback. <Welcome> Today, my goldfish is more active than he has been for quite a while. He (or she) now is spending more time upright and seems to be gasping less. In fact, the fish was so still this morning that my husband thought it had died during the night. But it was only resting, apparently. This morning it eagerly ate its antibiotic food and foraged on the bottom for quite a while. It does seem to have to rest in between spurts of activity, though. It's hard to tell, but it looks a bit slimmer today. That swelling near the anal fin also seems a little smaller. <Ah, good> I did a 20% water change this morning and put more antibiotics into the water. But I didn't add charcoal to the filter. I don't know whether the antibiotics build up or dissipate over time, because the package simply says to add them every day for five days, but it also says that I can repeat the full treatment. <Do change a good deal (25% or so) of water twixt re-administering> So I don't know whether I need to first remove all the water that was previously treated or else use carbon to remove the antibiotics, and then start over with the treatment. <Ah... just a portion> The fish seems to be responding to all that I'm doing, so I don't want to discontinue the antibiotics too soon, before it is totally recovered. I will try gentle massage, if the fish does not continue to improve, in case it is an egg bound female. I had thought of doing this before, but I was afraid to hurt its internal organs, in case it is swelling from an infection and not impacted eggs. <Yes> I did not see eggs in the water, but I don't know what they look like. There was something on the intake tube for the filter this morning, but I thought it was uneaten antibiotic food, because that food consists of small pellets that float around as they absorb water. Perhaps the sulfa in the antibiotic food has helped the situation, because ever since I took a chance and started feeding it to the fish, it has gradually improved. Or seems to improve, at least. At first, I was afraid to overdose the fish, since I was already adding antibiotics to the water. But the food packaging does say that it can be used concurrently with antibiotic treatment of the water. <Yes> At that point, I believed there was nothing to lose, since the fish seemed to be dying anyway, no matter what I did. However, today I am hopeful that perhaps it will eventually get well. Thank you again, so much, for your help. Patricia p.s. I forgot to tell you that yesterday I covered the outside of the tank with Kraft paper, to keep us from startling the fish. I had noticed before that it seemed to be "happier" at night, when it was dark. So maybe the "quiet time" helped a little bit, too. <I do agree with you. BobF>
Re: sick goldfish (a setback)   8/22/07
Hello, again. My fish has had a setback. Yesterday, after having eaten well the day before and seeming to be on the road to recovery, the fish again began "head standing" and hiding in a corner. He or she appears more bloated. I am puzzled. The only thing that I did was to change out 20% of the water and give him a little more antibiotic food. Thinking that I removed too much of the Epsom salts, I added back about half a tablespoon yesterday afternoon. I fed it peas last night. Today, he won't eat his peas, which he used to love. I am keeping up the Maracyn and Maracyn II. I am at a loss as to what else to do. I was planning to buy some Ocean Nutrition Formula Two, which you recommended elsewhere, thinking that perhaps it IS constipation. I also planned to buy elodea for the tank. But now I don't know whether it will eat. <Good to add nonetheless> I took photos this morning. I am attaching them. (I hope that you are able to receive attachments.) I tried to focus on the area of swelling. I believe that you might be able to see the part of his tail that was affected by what I assumed was the same bacteria which also caused his (previously) popped eyes. The tail rot, if that is what is was, appeared only after 3 days of the original Maracyn II treatment, which I administered for the bloating. I believed that the tail rot was a secondary infection, so I added Maracyn to the water concurrently with Maracyn II. Immediately thereafter, the tail stopped "rotting." I believe that his eyes are no longer "popped", but perhaps you can better judge that for me. At this point, I do not know what to do next. Do you believe that he would be better treated by a Furan antibiotic? <Mmm, no> Can you diagnose from the photos whether this IS an egg bound fish or whether this is dropsy or constipation? <Does not appear egg-bound... perhaps gas-bladder damaged internally> I am still hesitant to try "gentle massage" because I am afraid to cause internal injuries. I also cannot find a page on your website that refers to such massage. Thank you for any advice. I truly appreciate your assistance. Patricia <I would continue to feed low-protein only foods... Keep up the Epsom and finish with any/all antibiotic exposure after two weeks. Bob Fenner>

Goldfish... fancy, orientation...  -- 08/17/07 I have a calico Oranda with a very severe swimming problem. I thought it may be a problem with the swim bladder. I tried to use the green pea trick and it just seemed to be a temporary solution. Currently, she has issues with staying submerged. She goes down just to float to the surface again. When she swims in general, she tends to flip upside down and struggles a lot. Is there anything else that may help or some information I can use? <Read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshmalnut.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Goldfish in a bowl in ill health...  -- 08/17/07 Hi wonder if you can help me I have a 1yr old normal goldfish he lives with one other in a normal fairly smallish round bowl within the last week its stomach has swollen more and more and to be honest it looks like the fish is pregnant which I am led to believe can not be the case. am struggling to find an answer to what the problem could be. any help on this matter would be gratefully appreciated Regards Vanessa <An inappropriate world... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm and the linked files above. BobF>

Discoloured Shubunkin  8/16/07 I am currently extremely concerned about my Shubunkin. <OK...> Approximately two weeks ago he developed a red lump on his side that then developed a fluffy white head. Within an hour of the fluffy white head's emergence it was gone. The next morning I went down to the local aquatic specialist and asked what should be done, the man there said that it was probably a parasite and now that the head was gone I should leave it a week to heal unless he started to deteriorate in which case they would examine the fish for me. <Hmm. Not what I would have done. Any time there is a mysterious growth on a fish that could be either fungus (which is fluffy) or Finrot (which is red), I treat at once. Both these diseases are easy to cure early on, but virtually untreatable when advanced. Since medications are cheap and safe when used properly, there's nothing to be lost by "jumping the gun".> However we got onto the subject of the tank that I was keeping my fish in. I had bought a 25litre tank at another local pet store and had been assured that it would safely hold 4 goldfish, and was more than spacious enough for my goldfish and Shubunkin. I was informed that this tank was far too small for my fish and ended up buying a 65litre tank. I fully intended to cycle the tank before I used it but was told that as long as I added all the water from the previous tank that there should not be a problem, in-fact the extra water would help the parasite problem which it did and now the red lump has disappeared. But that I should wait a few days before adding plants. <Even 65 litres is borderline for 2 goldfish. Regular goldfish are really pond animals, and need something around 100 litres each; fancy goldfish are certainly aquarium fish, but need only marginally less space. The problem is goldfish are [a] big and [b] messy. In a small tank they can't swim about much and their constant sifting of the substrate overwhelms the filter and makes the water murky. You might be fine for a couple of years with what you have, but once the fish reach around 15 cm long (and they will) you'll see very clearly where I'm coming from here. Retailers are UTTERLY useless on goldfish. Many retailers would happily sell goldfish in bowls without filters and a little pots of ants' eggs for food. So read, learn, and make your own mind up.> When I went to add the plants I was told to remove the bubbler from the filter, however the fish started surfacing a lot more than usual (especially the Shubunkin) so I decided that I would rather lose the plants than the fish and decided to put it back in which seems to have alleviated the problem. <When the fish gulp for air, it means water quality has dropped. Do you have a filter?> However the Shubunkin has now developed a red discoloration on his main body and along the base of his dorsal fin, which I am assuming is down to ammonia poisoning because the tank was not cycled properly. <Correct. Treat for Finrot and fungus immediately.> Normally I would perform a large emergency water change. However we have had extensive flooding in our county which has meant that all the water in the treatment plants has been contaminated and the water has been cut off for potentially 7-14 days so it is hard enough to get hold of 2 litres of water let alone 20 and I don't think that the emergency services or armed forces that are currently assisting us would provided me with that kind of amount on the basis that I think my fish might be sick. So I was wondering if there was any substance that could be added to the water already in the tank that might help temporarily neutralise the ammonia and the damage that it is doing to my fish until I get the opportunity to perform said water change? <Non-iodised cooking salt can be used to detoxify ammonia over the short term, at a dosage of around 3-5 grammes per litre. Increase the salinity in the aquarium gradually, perhaps by adding the salt in batches across 4 days. A better solution is to buy some Zeolite ("ammonia remover") and fill a bubble-up box filter or similar with the stuff. This removes ammonia directly. You will need to replace it every couple of weeks, but it's cheap, and as a stop-gap, very effective.> Any help would be appreciated Tamara x x <Hope this helps, Neale>

Follow up after rescue from Goldfish Auschwitz 8/15/07 Good afternoon Bob, Neale and anyone else who noticed our problem when we wrote in last month. <Hello Sarah and Oliver.> As you may remember, my partner and I rescued her Veiltail goldfish (Smudge) from the accidental mistreatment of her parents (through ignorance rather than malice, but of course it's all the same to the poor fish!). <Indeed I do remember.> When we got him home, he was suffering from obvious stress, slight pop-eye and pretty nasty Finrot. We treated him with combined fungus and Finrot medication, which stopped the spread of the Finrot and eliminated what looked like patches of fungus on the tail. Since then, we have been trying to aid the healing process with water changes every second day, to keep water quality as high as possible without crashing the tank's cycle (this has happily got rid of the stress and pop-eye, hurrah!). We were wondering what will happen with the white tips of the tail? The usual orange of the tail is (very) gradually growing back in, but hasn't reached the tips yet - we wanted to know if we should leave it be or treat again for Finrot (I'm not sure this is a good idea, as the situation's improving rather than degenerating). It's been about a fortnight since we stopped medicating, if that helps your diagnosis. <OK, two things here. Water changes have no appreciable effect on cycling or for that matter an established biological filter. So feel free to do generous water changes. I'd perhaps be doing 20% a day in this situation, until I was happy the fish was well on the way to being fully healed. Of course, you can't do water changes while using medication unless the medication explicitly says so. Now, fins take a while to grow back and oddly they sometimes have "the wrong colours". No idea why this is. Think of it as the fish equivalent to scar tissue on humans. Provided the fin is actually healthy, there's no real need to add another round of medication. You might consider using Melafix, which is a mild antiseptic useful in fish tanks. Tonic salt could be used, too, at a dose of around 3-5 grammes per litre. Neither of these things will do any harm, and as a first line of defense they will certainly inhibit the growth of pathogens. Once the fish is healthy, you can stop using them. Healthy fish generally resist pathogens very well (though it often seems otherwise to aquarists). If you think about it, they're swimming about in a nice warm, watery bacterial culture -- they should be veritable Petri dishes of disease! And yet, for the most part, they're not. It's really only when we goof up that their immune system is overwhelmed and they get sick.> We also would like to know if there are any foreseeable problems with adding Smudge to our new, larger tank (27.5 UK gallons) where he will be sharing with our fantail Horatio (with whom you're also unfortunately very familiar!). We were thinking that it'd be a good idea to leave Smudge in his treatment tank until he was entirely better (worries about transmission to Horatio/worsening of Smudge's condition/Horatio picking on him) - but the treatment tank really isn't big enough, so the sooner we can get Smudge in the bigger tank, the better for him. When in your opinion would this be a good idea? <Goldfish generally do better in groups than singly, and aggression is rare. I'd certainly put the two fish together after about 6 weeks, which should have provided enough time for both healing and any other background diseases to become apparent.> Finally - since we're writing in anyway - we would like to ask you one of those questions which you guys seem to get on a regular basis (of the "I already know the answer but I need someone to tell me firmly" variety)...we have another fish, a Black Moor called Spook who was another rescue - seriously, our soft hearts will bankrupt us! He's also technically still in quarantine, though can be taken out in a day or two - we wanted to know if Horatio (4" fantail), Smudge (2" veiltail) and Spook (1" Black Moor) - all measurements without the tail and obviously approximate! - could go in the 27.5 gallon tank together for a while until we can arrange something better. Obviously they're all fancy fish, which is good, and I know it won't do them for long, but we wondered if they would be okay together for a few months as long as we do frequent water changes. We just don't want to put Spook in solitary confinement for the next few months if we can avoid it. <They should be fine together, at least in the short to medium term.> Thanks very much in advance for your help and, as ever, our sincerest thanks for the wonderful service you provide. Have a great weekend! <I did have a great weekend, and apologise for not replying sooner.> Sarah and Oliver <Cheers, Neale>
Re: Follow-up after Goldfish Auschwitz (for Bob and Neale)   8/18/07
Good evening to both you fine gentlemen! No questions this time, just a note to thank you once again and very sincerely for all the help you've given us, both on this subject and the numerous others we've pestered you with previously. We really can't thank you enough for your patience and dedication, both to the FAQs and maintenance of the WWM website. Both of us have learned huge amounts from you and continue to do so every day via the FAQs and stored articles, and happily we have three healthy goldfish (well, Smudge is well on the way at least!) to show for it. We haven't made a contribution to you yet as we're horrifically broke, but September brings student loans so we will be as soon as possible - you deserve much more than we're in a position to give you! Once again, many thanks and stay well, Sarah, Oliver, Horatio, Spook and Smudge <Glad your fish are all doing well. Thanks for the kind words. Cheers, Neale>

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