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FAQs About Goldfish Disease/Health 26

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 27, Goldfish Disease 28, Goldfish Disease 29, Goldfish Disease 30, Goldfish Disease 31, Goldfish Disease 32, Goldfish Disease 33, Goldfish Disease 34, Goldfish Disease 35, Goldfish Health 36, Goldfish Health 37, Goldfish Health 38

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

Black Moor w/ Wartlike Bumps   1/3/07 New Year's Greetings!  Well, Piggy made it through the septicemia scare and appears to be a very happy fish. However, he now has several wart-like bumps protruding from his tailfin.  I noticed two bumps on the right tailfin about 2 weeks ago. Much to my dismay, he now has the original 2 bumps and several more smaller warts on the right tailfin and there is a small one starting on his left tailfin.  The original two are each the size of a pin head and the smaller ones about the size of the tip of a ballpoint pen.  He also has a grayish/whitish patch of something on his dorsal fin and this is also on parts his tailfin. I have only done my weekly water changes.  Do I need to strip his tank of rocks, and plants; medicate or try to scrape off the bumps? <Mmm, medications won't help... this "viremia" or viral trouble... but pulling on these growths may be useful... in alerting the fish's own immune system response... as will be improving water quality, nutrition... unfortunately, unlike saltwater, there are no useful cleaner organisms to recommend here> He acts healthy but the warts are worrisome. <Really?> He is now the lone fish in his 10 gallon tank <Too small...> since his tetra friend <Incompatible...> died after I put back the rocks (not sure if Piggy did him in, because the tetra was trapped between a rock and the glass, and Piggy likes to nudge the rocks for fun) Please advise. Thanks for all your help. Tammy <Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/lymphfaqs.htm yes, though the examples are mainly marine. The principals involved are the same. Bob Fenner>
Black Moor Follow-up   1/4/07 Dear Bob, <Tammy> Thank you for the link to the LymphFAQS site it was very helpful; plus I was able to review some other of the WWM pages specific to goldfish.  Regarding the Lymphocystis - just how do I remove them causing the least amount of damage? <Mmm, having seen your images... I am given to suggest not doing such... the problem appears to be environmentally based... though perhaps more genetic...> I've had Piggy for over 4 years and would like to have him longer. I am frustrated with the recent problems over the past 3 months - would you please give me some insight into what may be going on - the septicemia and now the Lymphocystis.  Obviously, I need to get him into a bigger tank, what size do you recommend and would it be beneficial for Piggy to have a companion? If so, what do you recommend? <No companion till the "problem" source is identified, cured...> Thanks again for your help and for the WWM! Tammy PS: I've attached a few pics of Piggy - I tried to focus on the cysts of the right tailfin. <There appears to be something toxic that is mal-affecting your Moor... is there a "shell", rock of some sort in this tank? How do you treat new water before its use in water changes? Do you monitor aspects of water quality? What sorts of foods do you feed? Is there any fresh/live plant material present for this fish to feed on/augment its diet? Bob Fenner>
Re: Black Moor Follow-up II    1/5/07 Bob, <<Tamarama... I have other "Tammy" friends... obviously, please pardon my apparent over-familiarity>> "<There appears to be something toxic that is mal-affecting your Moor... is there a "shell", rock of some sort in this tank?>" For the past 4 years until this past October, I had river rock and a single ceramic coffee-type mug in the tank - he liked to "sleep" in the mug. <This should be fine>   Off and on he would get some Anacharis plants to chomp on. <Good>   One plastic plant for interest. <Also non-toxic>   When he had septicemia, I pulled EVERYTHING from the tank - it was just Piggy and 10 gallons of water w/ the uptake from the Whisper Filter and a bubbler airstone, which was replaced sometime last summer w/ a new one.  At that time (November) I treated him for 14 days w/ FishMox <Mmm... http://www.amazon.com/Fish-Mox-Amoxicillin-250-Caps/dp/B0002YF9UA Amoxicillin... 250 mg.s... 100 capsules!? This antibiotic use may well have interrupted nitrification... biological filtration... easily deadly in/with such small volumes of water, goldfish> per the advice of the local veterinarian. For the past 2 months there has been a layer of gravel purchased at Petco, the same river rocks which I furiously scrubbed, soaked in bleach, and then rinsed  several times. <Mmm, could be there was a bit of residual chlorine... Best to let such cleaning include a few days of sunny air exposure...> The rocks sat dry for about a week before I rinsed them again and placed them in the tank. <Oh! Good> And a new fake plant made out of some sort of cloth-like material.   "<How do you treat new water before its use in water changes?>" I change about 10 to 15% water and a new filter w/ fresh charcoal every week, except when he was being medicated w/ the FishMox.  The water is from the tap w/ the following treatments (1 tsp of API Stress Coat and 1 tsp Kordon AmQuel)   <Excellent practice> "<How you monitor aspects of water quality?>" I never have done any sort of water quality monitoring. <I encourage you to purchase/use a simple colorimetric assay kit for pH, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate... Perhaps the "Doc Wellfish" one by Aquarium Pharmaceuticals... very useful "windows" into what might be going on in/with your water quality, clues to causes/factors in fish health...> "<What sorts of foods do you feed?>" Wardley's Total SpectraMax, Wardley's Essential Goldfish Premium Flakes, Wardley's Goldfish Crumbles and sometimes I give him a treat of Tetra Sun dried Baby Shrimp.   Since I came across your site in October he also gets a little fresh spinach once a week.  His usual menu is the SpectraMax a pinch at 8AM, 4PM and 11PM.  I might substitute in the Premium Flakes or the Crumbles at the 4PM but that only happens once or twice a week. <Again, very nice> <"Is there any fresh/live plant material present for this fish to feed on/augment its diet?>" Just the weekly spinach since October and before that it was the Anacharis plants.  He would get a bunch about once every 3 to 4 months until it was stripped and then he would get a new one, however when he got sick I stopped putting in the Anacharis plants which were also purchased from Petco. <This is the very best choice of what is generally available... I would re-new this practice... good for your goldfish's diet, as well as helping with the bio-filtration issues> Additional Note: When he had the septicemia I did a drastic water change (85%) and then I changed about 10-15% of the water daily for the 14 day medication treatment of FishMox.  At that time he lived in a "naked" tank. <Mmm, and likely one devoid of significant bio-filtration.> Thanks again for your help. Tammy <Thank you for filling in so much of the background "blanks". Do please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm and the linked files above... to the extent that you understand the gist of what is mentioned here. Bob Fenner>

Goldfish- Everything Gone Wrong For the Poor Guy  1/2/07 Hi to the Wet Web Fish Saviour of the day!  :-) <Well hello again, this is Jorie again...I just answered another question from you!> I'm a saltwater junkie who is apparently now trying my hand at goldfish. <Excellent.  The books I previously recommend will all help in this endeavor as well.> I've got a 12 year old common goldfish here that hovers at the bottom of the tank, appears to have cataracts (cloudy eyes and bumps into everything), and poops either long brown poops that looks like a string of sausages or poops clear poop. <The former is a sign of a healthy fish, the latter is not...> Previous owner (14 year old kid who loves fish but apparently isn't ready to care for them yet)... <There are so many people out there who meet this criteria, sadly, regardless of their age...> ...had the fish (who is about 4.5 inches) in a 5 gallon tank for the last several years that was cloudy with debris and algae-coated on the acrylic of the tank. <Not good, obviously.  My boyfriend has a cousin (probably at least forty years old) who keeps her goldfish in similar conditions...I've even offered to set up a proper tank, but she won't let me...breaks my heart.> The fish is in a 12 gallon tank now (Eclipse with sub-standard filtration, I fear)... <Well, keep in mind this is a marked improvement from where the fish was kept! Also, you can somewhat combat less-than-ideal filtration with more frequent water changes.> ...that has rounded corners.  The ENTIRE tank was started from scratch: new rocks, new water treated with an old bottle of Stress-Coat, new filtration with new bio-wheel, etc. <This tank will have to cycle, as you likely know.  Read here for additional helpful info. on freshwater cycling: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwestcycling.htm > I'm not sure what to do to try to rescue this fish (yesterday I confiscated it from the previous owner). <Clean water will go a long way towards improving this fish's health...> I've read up a bit on goldfish on your website and decided to give the goldfish some defrosted brine shrimp. <Ok, but not the most nutritious (I've seen brine shrimp likened to potato chips for fish).  Try a quality goldfish pellet, such as one made my Spectrum New Life or Hikari.  Also, peas are a good alternative food source, and will help keep the fish regular.  Although I don't myself keep goldfish, I've always been impressed by this website: http://www.kokosgoldfish.com/ Planning to try a couple of peas or Nori tomorrow. <Peas will be great, not sure if the goldfish will accept the Nori or not...> Had to turn off the filter for a few minutes so the blind fish had a chance to eat a couple of them. <Poor thing...>   I stuck an ammonia meter in the tank and tomorrow am going to LFS to pick up some freshwater test kits. <Excellent.  Just stay away from the "dip stick" type kits, as they are notoriously inaccurate.  Liquid tests are preferable.  Also, the ammonia meter you refer to is likely useless...they aren't very accurate at all, generally speaking.> The fish just hovers at the bottom corner of the tank but occasionally flips out and darts around, bumping himself into the sides.  Keeping the lights off seems to keep him calmer. <He/she is likely getting used to his/her new surroundings.  No problem keeping the lights off for the majority of the day, if this comforts the fish...>   Previous owner said that the fish exhibited this behavior for the last YEAR. <Some people just don't have any common sense, I guess...you are doing a great thing by saving this poor fish!> I see nothing on the fish that indicates parasites or disease to me. <Remarkable, considering the circumstances - I'm glad to hear it, though!> Previous owner says there were a few other fish with the remaining one who died shortly after showing black marks on their bodies.  I couldn't find any disease that this sounds like, unless it's perhaps the healing of an ammonia  burn? <I think your instincts are likely correct - I've seen this referred to as "black smudge", and can indeed be scarring from ammonia burning on the skin. Check here: http://www.petlibrary.com/goldfish/smudge.htm > My questions are this: Previous owner still has old tank with old substrate, uncleaned.  Says change from one tank to the other took place earlier in the day that I took the fish.  Will the old substrate still be useful for beneficial bacterial purposes? <6 of one, half-dozen of another.  Honestly, if it were me and the old tank was truly as bad as you describe, I'd probably start completely over, using new gravel/substrate.  In all likelihood, bringing the old substrate into the new tank wouldn't alleviate the need for establish a new cycle, and it could very well be harboring lots of "unpleasants" you don't want to introduce into the new tank.  I'd suggest starting from scratch and very carefully monitor the ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels, doing as many water changes as needed.> I'll test for the usual suspects - ammonia, nitrite, etc. and do water changes accordingly- actually thinking of doing a small water change tomorrow but I'm worried about further shocking the fish.  Should I wait until tests indicate change needs to be made or just start doing small daily changes as this tank is uncycled? <I'd recommend the later.  Goldfish are notoriously messy fish, and it's very likely that the fish's waste are breaking down as we speak, causing the ammonia, nitrite and/or nitrate levels to rise dangerously.  With your 12 gal. tank, I'd say change at a minimum 3 gal. daily, more if needed.  As you mention, you don't want to further shock the fish, but the water changes are necessary.  Do try to match the new water's pH with the old as closely as possible, as well as the temperature...> Should I treat new water with dechlorinator (I don't like the idea of Stress-Coat but I'm not sure if the two different types of water treatments combined can cause a problem)? <If you are using tap water, yes, you do need to use a dechlorinator - I know the product (Stress-Coat) you are referring to, and know it contains a dechlorinator.  You can also buy plain dechlorinator, but it can be hard to find sometimes.  There shouldn't be a problem using the Stress-Coat according to directions; in fact, in this fish's case, it may even prove beneficial.  I don't usually use/recommend the product, but given the circumstances surrounding this poor goldfish, I don't think it can hurt, and it may perhaps even help.> Any chance this fish's cataracts can clear up? <Sometimes a cloudy eye can be caused by poor environmental conditions, so yes, it is possible.  Loss of sight can also be caused by a lack of proper nutrition.  At this point, best thing you can do you are already doing - improving the environmental and nutritional conditions may help, but I can't promise.  I will cross my fingers, though...> Should I treat this fish with anything?  Salts, meds, etc.? <I wouldn't recommend medication right now; you could use a small amount of aquarium salt, if you like.  It might help stimulate the slime coat.  It certainly isn't necessary, though.  The good water quality is truly the best thing you can do.> I've read every one of your goldfish FAQ's that I could find (I'm on vacation this week :-) ) but due to the cycling, or lack thereof, and health of this poor guy I want to double check with an expert.  My feeling was to not put anything else in the tank other than the daily water changes and see if he improves with a diet more varied than just flakes. <I think your reasoning is very wise, and I would probably adopt the same approach.  If the fish takes a turn for the worse, though, I'd suggest the aquarium salt as a first step.  Check here: http://www.goldfishinfo.com/salt.htm > Please advise, and thanks for all the help that the entire Wet Web Crew gives to all of us fish folks... truly an awesome educational tool that we are fortunate to have access to. <On behalf of WWM, thank you for the wonderful words, Stephanie - we truly appreciate it.  Again, I applaud you for being able, willing to help this poor little goldfish, and am confident with your care, he/she will improve in time.  Keep up the good work! Best regards, Jorie> Stephanie D.

Follow-up: 12 gal. tank w/ rescued goldfish, new FW tank.   1/3/07 Hi Jorie, Yes, I put the two different questions into different emails because I thought it would be easier for you to 'file' them on the website. <No worries, either way is just fine!> Thanks for the book recommendations and the informative links; I now feel much more hopeful about the goldfish... and I'm looking forward to setting up the new freshwater tank (might have to quit my day job soon so I can spend more time with my hobby!). <I understand - fishkeeping can be very addictive!> Thanks again, and Happy New Year to you and all of your partners at WWM! <Thanks, and back at you...> Stephanie D. <Hope the goldfish is doing well, and best of luck in setting up your new FW tank. Jorie>

Black Moor - Anchor Worm  12/30/06 Hi hope you can help, I'm new to fish so don't know much about them. I've had a Black Moor for 4-5 months now, this is my first ever fish and I don't seem to be having much luck. <Not much to do with "luck"... but knowledge in action> After 2-3 weeks of having Jet (Black Moor), I noticed a small insect <Mmm, not an insect, a crustacean> on the tail of his body and a few hours later it had moved <... not Anchorworm then... perhaps a fish louse? to his gills. I done some research on this and found out this was Argulus. <Yes... Fish Louse...> I went to the fish shop for help who said this was quite common? <Can be... seasonally, regionally... depending on where folks/dealers are getting their livestock mostly> and told me to pick this off with tweezers,  clean out the whole tank, and that should be it so that's what I done   (Although I wasn't so sure myself). <Mmm... no... should treat the tank/water for intermediate forms not feeding/on the fish host... With an organophosphate... DTHP/Masoten et al. names, or Dimilin likely> A few weeks later again I noticed a silvery tic tac shape attached to Jet with a string and I think this was an Anchor Worm? <Yes, possibly> I again went to the fish shop for help who purchased me with Omnipur. On the bottle it says 'with  broad range effect against the most common ornamental fish diseases'.  That day when I had came home I was watching Jet and at one  point he shook very hard and all of a sudden the Anchor Worm had came off and  lay at the surface, I scooped it out (I heard that you cannot pull Anchor  Worms from a fish as they are hooked under the skin)? <Not so... You can and should remove the adults in this fashion... with tweezers> Tonight when I was doing a water change a bit of the fish's toilet appeared and it looked like a very small Anchor Worm in between it.. Is this possible, can an Anchor Worm come out of Jet when he's passing waste? <No... this appearance is something else> I also have another 3 wee fish in the tank, I can't remember what they are called but if it helps they are small (red, brownish) in color and follow one another all the time. They seem perfectly healthy and I had purchased them before Jet. <They should be carefully observed over time...> Is there anything I can do to stop these Anchor Worms if they are breeding or any medicines I can try? My tank is a 17L and I change two and a half litres every 10 days. Hope you can help, Lisa :) <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/PondSubWebIndex/contrpdparasit.htm and the linked FAQs file at top. Bob Fenner>
Re: Black Moor - Anchor Worm   12/31/06
Thanks for replying. Do you know anywhere online that I can buy DTHP?   Thanks, Lisa <Mmm, yes... is sold under various commercial names... as listed on the link you were referred to... Write the etailers you deal with and ask re Dylox, Neguvon... likely most available as a component of Fluke Tabs... but this acetylcholinesterase inhibitor is found in at least a dozen products. BobF>

Re: My goldfish problem. Goldfish disaster averted - close call, but fine now!  12/30/06 Goldfish has made a full recovery and is totally fine, thanks for your advice. <Hi Emma, Jorie here.  I didn't originally respond to your query, but after reading what happened, I'm glad that all is well.  If your goldfish was healthy to begin with, it should make a full recovery.  Do be sure to keep water conditions pristine, as he's (she's?!) been through quite an ordeal, and as such, may be susceptible to disease for the time being. Hopefully you've talked to your son and he understands more about live pets now.  May as you can put the tank out of your son's reach, if he's really young? Best of luck and Happy New Year, Jorie> Emma
Re: Goldfish disaster averted - close call, but fine now! PART 2
 1/2/07 Thanks Jorie, have been keeping an eye on tank since incident, but all seems fine and he is back to his usual self.  I have spoken to my son (he is five) we have always taught him about being kind to animals and I think it was him showing off in front of a friend of the same age.  All sorted now fish are staying in our kitchen until he has proven that he can be responsible with them again. Kind regards and Happy New Year    Em x <Sounds great, Em - I'm glad to hear all is well. Best regards, and Happy New Year to you also! Jorie>

Black Moor With Growing Lump   12/29/06 Hello, <Hi there> I have a black moor that has a growing lump, on the right side just below the end of the dorsal fin, which is now about the size of its eye. I have read your FAQ section and it seems to be either cancer or a tumor, <Most likely, yes> both of which seems to be incurable or hard to cure. The moor has had the lump for about half a year, thinking that it would just fall or go away, and it was only recently that the moor began to stay close to the bottom of the tank. When the lump first grew, the scales that were on the lump fell off but the lump retained the usual skin color of the fish. Please help me to figure out what exactly is going on and how to best deal with it. For now, I have the moor in a separate tank but the two brown/chocolate Orandas in the original tank seems to have the beginning stages of the lump like the black moor; one fish has a small lump on the front of its dorsal fin and the other has it like how the moor does. The scales on the lump on one of the Orandas has fallen off. The lump on the two Orandas and the black moor is black. Is it by any chance contagious? Thanks in advance. <"Catching?"... not to a high degree likely... though, I cannot say to what degree... Virally mediated growths are a bit of a mystery in fish-keeping (as they are in/with humans)... How much environment (in what aspects), nutrition play in expression, growth... I don't know. However, there are reasons to suspect strongly that balanced nutrition, a dearth of protein content, vitamin supplementation... and "good", consistent water quality all help to forestall such genetic predisposition/s... You might consider "surgery"... excising the larger growth on the Moor... daubing the area with Lugol's, other iodine solution to stay blood loss... Bob Fenner> Julia S.

Goldfish Issues  12/21/06 Hey Crew, <Hi> I wrote to you guys a while back about my fantail goldfish Paco.  I'm proud to say he's alive, but he may not be well.  We upgraded him to a 12 gallon about a month or two ago. <Good>  He liked it a lot better than the 5 gallon we started him off in; but this time we decided to not do both the undergravel and standard filter (it's an acrylic eclipse). <Ok>  Recently for the holidays, we had to put him on an automatic dispenser because we'd be away for a few weeks.  Luckily, we have him on webcam so that we can monitor him.  For the past few days, he's been quite sluggish, so I had my boyfriend go back just to check him out.  He discovered a few bubbles at the water's surface and a lot of red algae.  <Feeder is probably overfeeding.>  He noticed Paco's poo had become red as well from consuming it.  The water chemistry was fine, but the water temperature was really really cold.  <Would explain the sluggish behavior.>  I don't know too much about red algae so I was guessing the red algae was affecting Paco. <Doubtful> Is it harmful to goldfish? <Most likely not.> Or is he sick because of the temperature.  <Yep.>  If it is the temperature, I don't know how to fix that... Please help. <Heater and thermometer.>  We've worked hard to keep Paco alive and well and it would be painful to see him go. Thanks, Julianne <Looking to maintain the temperature between the upper 60s and lower 70s.  Also sounds like a few water changes are in order to clean out the algae.> <Chris>

Help... more induced goldfish trouble   12/21/06 Hi This morning I noticed my goldfish on the bottom of the tank- which is something he has never done before. He is 2 years old. I tried to get him up,   and he did, only to get his food. He ate, swam around for a few seconds, then immediately went back to the bottom. I then did a 25% water change and put a new  filter cartridge in. The ammonia level was 0. I then gave him Melafix <... please, no... if there is something wrong with a/this fish's environment... adding such "teas" et al. will only further the trouble/s> and some  medicated fish food tablets. He has not sat on the bottom recently, however, I  notice his dorsal fin is down and he has regurgitated many of the medicated  tablets I gave him. Please any information about what I can do or what this might  be would be incredibly helpful. Thank You. -riss <... Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Help Please... iatrogenic goldfish env. dis.   12/21/06 I have two fancy goldfish.  One is black with the bulbous eyes and the other looks like a "regular",  all- gold,  fish.  I call them Fancies,  because they have grown very round and very large;  kind of like the size of a large potato. <Good description> Along with what I call a Sucky Fish  (to keep the tank clean),  they have been living in a 30 gallon tank,  together,  for almost 4 years. <I see> We have had water "issues" in the past,  but gradually learned to keep their tank as clean as possible.  When my husband became very ill about 7 weeks ago,  I was on the "run" and other than feeding 2x daily,  they were on minimal maintenance.  Suddenly,  their tank got cloudy,  understandably,  and the entire room the aquarium is in,  started to smell really bad.  A lot like a wet diaper!  The odor was terrible! <Yikes> As soon as my husband came home,  we did a complete H2o change,  new filters,  etc.  We cleaned everything thoroughly. <Mmm, "cleanliness is not sterility"... better to "ease into" such changes if not "too" bad> The black fish with the Eyes began to get sick first,  I thought he had swimbladder from reading on the internet about fish diseases.  He sank,  swam vertically,  and looked really ill.  I was told by PetSmart Aquatics,  to try the frozen pea treatment,  before accepting Swim Bladder as a self diagnosis.  He really got better and rather quickly. Then,  the Orange Fish stopped eating,  has no SIMILAR symptoms,  but,  he looks terrible.  He sits on the bottom of the tank,  almost seems blind and confused.  His ONE eye is covered with a white membrane and is swollen.  He doesn't have the pine-cone symptoms,  but his little flippers are always clamped to his sides.  Sometimes he dashes straight up and out of the water,  only to go back down and "sit".  His respirations are shallow,  but not rapid. <These fish are very likely suffering from the actual cleaning... along with the imposed env. stress from the filthy conditions previously> The black fish who recovered,  is always pushing him along in the tank.  He doesn't try to hurt him,  but he's showing either a lot of sympathy,  or he's waiting for him to die.  The Orange Fish looks very depressed and "lost".  I tried 6 days of powdered Erythromycin,  from PetSmart,  to no avail. <Antibiotics are not cure-alls...> My husband cleans their "home" 2 or 3 times a week.  Yesterday,  he found that their gravel and the residue on the filtering system,  was very mucous-like.  We took a lot of their gravel out and only replaced what we cleaned. <Is a bunch of decomposing organism populations... again, best to remove over a bunch of regular, routine water changes... not all at once> This is so damn sad.  I'm at my wit's end and have limited funds to pursue this Little Guy's diagnosis. I'm sorry to be so long-winded,  but any help or suggestions would be appreciated.  I feel like he's suffering and I love him.   Debbie Karst <Please consider getting/availing yourself of water quality test kits... Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Re: Floaty fish again... GF   12/21/06 Hi again! Once again my fish is starting to float upside down, and seems to have a lot of trouble swimming or staying upright. Now that it is his belly that is exposed from the water it is turning all red, just like the fish in your section on constipation. Now, as I've already mentioned I've put him on an all vegetable diet. <May be too late> But everything seems to go in, and nothing comes out. I'm starting to really worry. Will Epsom salt really make that big of a difference? <Can> I also thought of putting in a type of grid or net of some sort so that when he floats it will prevent him from being exposed from the water. <Mmm, don't think this will work> I somehow have a feeling that the redness and swelling he is getting from being out of the water is probably hurting him more than the constipation. Your help is very much appreciated. Thanks, Erika <Read again: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshmalnut.htm and the linked files above. BobF>

Re: Help Please. Goldfish health   12/22/06 Dear Wet Web: I made the mistake of sending my original email along with this Update.  This is the one I need help with.  You were kind enough to answer my first correspondence.  My error. The saga continues!  This is rather like Chapter II for the one sent yesterday.  Please respond if you are able to.  One Story,  two Fish,  one worried owner!  Thanks   Update:  December 20th   Hello!  My Orange Fancy Goldfish is still sick.  I followed your directions from the Website about smaller water changes (25%),  etc.  I was not able to find Siporax,  here,  in the US,  however. <There are other such media... to support useful biological filter micro-organisms> I added aquarium salt,  had the water tested at PetSmart and began using Maracyn-Two about 3 weeks ago.  He had developed symptoms of tail-rot with red lines in his tail.  His cloudy,  terrible eye is worse and he seems blind.  He's not eating that I can tell,  and virtually NEVER swims.  Once in a great while,  he darts upwards and breaks the surface,  only to go back to his "corner" of the aquarium to sit.  His little mouth is always "popping",  and sometimes protrudes in an unnatural way,  turning white,  instead of the natural orange color. <What water quality tests have you yourself done? Do know that water transported elsewhere can/does rapidly change in quality... The symptoms you list are most likely directly traceable to environmental stress> Although' the red streaks in his tail have gone away,  his tail looks "shredded"  like an old towel.  It even has a hole in it. <A normal progression> Because of his mouth problems,  I even got him out of the tank to check for an obstruction in his throat.  Nothing was there.   <Good> He is almost half the size of his Black Tank Mate.  It seems like he's fading away.  They were almost always identical in size and girth.  I have noticed that the Algae Eater (aka Sucky Fish),  never bothers him, <Good, thank you for this... Do keep your eye on the CAE... often become nasty>   but his Tank Mate pushes him around at times.  Not  in a fighting manner,  but definitely nudging him along. <Not likely a problem> I feel so helpless.  Is he suffering?  Do fish Suffer? <Perhaps and yes>   He won't die!  It's been almost 6 weeks and I can wait and try and try,  but I don't want him to Hurt. <Better by far to keep trying... Goldfishes (and most aquatics) take a seemingly long time to heal, recover from environmental complaints... but they are tough given improved conditions, nutrition...> I have 3 geriatric Furries that cost me a fortune in meds and Vet bills.  But I am a responsible pet-owner.  If he needs to "go-to-sleep",  in your Professional opinion,  please tell me.  I only want to do the right thing for this Little Guy. <I am of the opinion, standing that this fish might well rally... and would not euthanize it. Keep up the water quality here, the offering of food and faith. Bob Fenner> PS.  The water levels tested were within normal range and "fine",  per LFS.  I'm sorry,  but I lost the numbers I had written down I sound like a hysterical middle-aged woman.  I am.  This Fish breaks my heart. Thank you for your time and advise.    Debbie from Baltimore <BobF visiting in Lauderdale Lakes, FLA>

Help for our Oranda Gussie ... tap poisoning, CAE aggression... both?   12/21/06 Hi. We have an Oranda, Gussie who started acting weird yesterday. He almost seemed confused, swimming around fast, flailing, and staying in the same corner. I also noticed yesterday that he was missing quite a few scales, from all the flailing around I'm guessing. We did a 25% water change the previous night, which we do about every 7 days or so. <These events are likely related... your source water is not a consistent product... If you read... on WWM, you will find that I/we strongly suggest pre-treating, storing new/change-out water to discount the possibility of poisoning here> Not sure what was wrong we took a water sample to PetSmart <Too late...> and asked what they thought. They told us that our water levels were all where they should be and that it sounded like Gussie had dropsy <... no> . They sold us Fungus Clear, <... for what?> when we came home, Gussie was at the top of the aquarium floating on his side. We put the treatment in the tank and by the time we went to bed he was just kind of hanging out at the bottom of the tank, at least right side up. Now this evening he has been swimming like mad again, jumping around a lot and shortly after that, back to floating on his side. Also on his one side he seems to be bleeding a little. Is this swim bladder or something else? <Environmental "disease"... poisoning> He seems so stressed I don't know what to do for him. We've had him for almost a year now. We have him in a 10 gallon tank and the only other friend in his home is an algae eater. <Ah, keep your eye on this... Search, read re Gyrinocheilus on WWM...> We also use 2 tbsp of aquarium salt when we change his water. <Mmm, not a good idea to constantly "salt" goldfishes> He has been on a diet of pellets which I have learned today is not the best diet, so we will change that. I also tried giving him a couple of peas today. <Good> Any help that you could give us we would appreciate. Thanks a lot. Tracy <Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm and the links above. Bob Fenner>

My goldfish problem  12/20/06 Hi Guys,   I'm from the UK, and have a problem - its urgent!!!   My son (for some unbeknown reason) took one of his goldfish out of its tank tonight and dropped it (I presume it was flipping about) into a cardboard box, I found it and thought it was dead, so put it into the toilet, it then started to swim so I fished it out and put it straight back in the tank. <Mmm, yes... goldfish are tough in this regard... have a good deal of cartilaginous support in their gills...>   Its now at the top of the water level and has a number of small tiny air bubbles all over its body, <Leave these be> its not swimming much, but when you go near the tank it moves down to the bottom of the tank, however seems unable to stay or swim down.  Please help me - I am so cross with my little boy but he is really upset too. <I do hope this goldfish rallies... repairs and goes on to live a good long life. I would take care here to not do further damage by over-reacting... but would add a level teaspoon per ten gallons of system water of aquarium salt to aid in the healing. Bob Fenner>

Concerned about my Goldfish  12/20/06 Hi!  I have a goldfish, I've had her for a little over a year.  Lately she's been having some bouncy/swimming problems, so I've been feeding her peas.  This morning I noticed that she has pretty long string of thick black poop coming out of her.  What does this mean?  Is there something wrong?  Thanks for your help!                                             ~Leslie~ <Mmm, likely nothing wrong with the dark fecal material... probably is the peas... You have read here?: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshmalnut.htm and the linked files above? Bob Fenner>

Goldfish Illness - help required! Reading really   12/17/06 Hello <Greetings... seasonal if you'd like> I came across your web site, while surfing on the net trying to find answers for a rather urgent situation re. my goldfish pet. I check the FAQ section but could not figure out the correct answer to my query. Before I begin, I must admit that I am naive about fish care as this is my first pet. Excuse my ignorance, but I do not know what exactly is the type of my orange colored goldfish. It has two long tails. <Mmm, likely some sort/variety of "Fancy"...> This goldfish was gifted to me about 6 months ago and is about 9 months of age. Suddenly today, I noticed my goldfish (we call it 'Nemo") quite bloated under the fins (the stomach area) and swimming in a slow manner. Nemo appeared tilted and was lying low in the small bowl we keep her in. <... obviously you did not read all on goldfish on WWM...> I did not, therefore, feed her the whole day as she had some pellets <... nor for the nutritional problems caused by this...> left <... no> in the bowl from last night. We keep her in a small bowl - going by one of your FAQs, it is less than 16 cups of water, so less than one gallon of water in an average sized bowl. I don't know if it is below requirement. I, however, change the water twice daily filling it with normal temperature clean water. Just about half an hour ago (it is about 12:30 AM here, in Dubai - UAE) , the size of her stomach increased and she was lying nearly dead at the bottom of the bowl, occasionally moving her eyes and very occasionally swimming. Since she was not floating at the top, I kept my fingers crossed hoping she wouldn't pass away. I changed her water again, and miraculously she started swimming normally and the size of her tummy reduced a bit too, if not perfectly normal. I am hoping the night passes away with her alive. I am not sure if there are any vets specialized in goldfish care - here in Dubai. UAE, as we have recently moved here from the UK. Should I take her to the vet if I find one? Or should I visit an aquarium and buy aquarium salt or a fungus eliminator, or such? I am not sure what to do in order to save my beloved pet, as I am not sure what has gone wrong with her. I fell terribly guilty, as being a novice, I might have overfed her over these months. Please help! Thanks Shashank <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm and here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshmalnut.htm and the linked files above. Your pet is in too small, inadequate a world, mis-fed... Bob Fenner>

Fish with broken back?  12/13/06 Hello there,  I have a fish who seems to have broken his spine.  Ping, a white Shubunkin with an orange dot, has a dramatic curve in his spine to the right. <Mmm... these appearances can be the result of a few causes... injury, developmental/genetic problems, poor nutrition, pathogenic disease...>   He does not seem to be able to flatten himself out, let alone swing his tail to the left.  Thus creating a situation in which he swims forever in circles and crashes into everything.  This of course causes him to tire out very quickly.  He's eating "fine",  when dinner time roles <rolls> around he tries to go to the surface as usual but doesn't make it so he eats whatever might float down in front of him.  Fortunately he has a favorite rock at the bottom of the tank to lay on and I drop sinking pellets his way from time to time. <Ah, good>   Otherwise he still tries to greet people at the tank wall like normal, is breathing regularly, his eyes are alert, and his skin looks ok (no fluffy patches or color changes or scale problems).  The only visible problem is his tail being permanently stuck in "right gear".   I have a couple of ideas of what this MIGHT be... TB, Sporozoan, Costia, swim bladder disorder? <Mmm... possibly the first two categories> Do any of these sound correct or might he really just have broken his spine?  HELP!  -Genevieve <It falls on me to be the bearer of sorrowful news... that whatever the root cause here, there is very little "chance" of spontaneous recovery or cure... am hopeful that this is not a contagious condition... If the fish doesn't appear to be suffering... Otherwise there are methods of euthanasia... detailed on WWM. Bob Fenner>
Re: Fish with broken back?   12/14/06
Dear Bob Fenner, Thank you for the quick reply to my query.  I should let you know I am not the "primary caregiver" to this tank.  I am the one who feeds them but as far as cleanings, pH checks, etc. this is left to my husband.  Upon rereading my message to you and further discussion with him I realized there was a myriad of information that I had left out.  1) This is a 75 gallon tank with a Penguin bio-wheel filtration system. 2) The pH level had shifted; it generally hangs at 7, but a few nights ago my husband found it to be at 6 and did what he does to correct this. ("pH up" powder?) <Should be fine... this is a "big gap"... a whole pH point... is a base ten logarithmic expression... but well within a given "good" range for this species> 3) Ping is approximately 4 inches long and has tank-mates (they've all been together for about 2 years now.)  Rocco:5 inches Black Moor, George: 6 inches Goldfish, Fred: 4 inches Goldfish, Big Red: 4 inches Goldfish, Astaire and Ginger: 1 inch each both tetras, and Fen: 2 inches algae eater. 4) Rocco tends to be a "head stander".  About once a month or so he'll start eating bubbles and then does head stands or floats belly up and swims that way. <Mmm, yes, have seen this behavior... Goldfishes are amongst the "lower true/bony fishes"... and have a connection twixt the buccal cavity and their gas/swim-bladders (are physostomous)... and can/do take in, give out air from the environment... And, lest this go w/o mention, are indeed "characters"> He actually seems to enjoy himself so I never really questioned it. <Not a problem generally... can/will expel this air...> 5) THE GOOD NEWS!  As of last night Ping has flattened himself and with some effort is able to swing his tail to the left. <! Very good news> His movements are erratic, he tends to spiral when he swims and he does favor the right side, but he's moving closer to a straight line. <Mmm... perhaps this fish "just ran" into the side of the aquarium and is self-repairing> As of right now I'm inclined to believe I'm dealing with two cases of swim bladder disorder/ disease for both Rocco and Ping and maybe some constipation; all of which I know I can read up on so I won't bother you there.  I have also realized, even if my husband thinks I'm crazy, that we need a hospital tank set up- just in case.   <I am in agreement> Anyways just wanted to give you that information to see if it might alter your diagnosis,  please let me know what you think and thank you again for responding so quickly (PS- thank you too for the spelling correction- my fingers get away from me some days :) <Mine as well... esp. if/when it's cold here... Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Sick Black Moor Goldfish  - 12/12/06 Hi:    <Hello there>   I have two pet goldfish, an orange fancy tail and a black moor.  I bought both of them when they were very young and small and have had them for nearly 6 years.  The orange fancy tail has always been very healthy and she has spawned twice in the past year.  The black moor has always had swimbladder and constipation issues, but has recently developed some kind of sickness that I can't figure out.  I have literally spent days researching all over the web and can't find the solution.  First, a little background info - <Good>     I keep the fish in a 30 gallon tank with no other fish.  I do 25% water changes almost every week and monitor water quality regularly. <Very good> There is no ammonia, no nitrites, no nitrates and the pH is 7-7.5.  I also have a heater and keep the water temp around 75 F.  I have been feeding the fish a mixture of frozen bloodworms or frozen daphnia several times, peas, zucchini, oranges (as treats) and Pro-gold pellets.  I feed a small amount twice per day and fast one day a week.  I also had live plants, but the fish uprooted and ate most of them. <Yes... typical for Goldfishes> There was one snail, but I removed it immediately - I did dip soak the plants in salt water to try to remove any parasites before I added them to the tank.   The black moor (Gary) has been pretty sick for most of this year.  I'm not 100% sure what sex Gary is.  I think that Gary may actually be a she since no male-like spawning characteristics have developed, but Gary hasn't laid any eggs.  Gary has been having balance problems and ends up resting on his right side at the bottom of the tank, although he does manage to swim upright (although wobbly) to find food and eat.  He started to develop small wounds from lying on his side on the gravel, so I placed him in a floating basket. <Good technique> After a few days,  the wounds cleared up but he was still having balance problems and laid on his side in the basket.  He then started to develop light gray patches all over the side that he laid on - on his tail fins, body and bulging part of eye.  I physically inspected him and found that the left side of his belly was more distended than the right and a little squishy towards his rear/tail fin.  I then put him in a smaller hospital tank and gave him medications - Maracyn and Maracyn II to treat fungal and bacterial infections. <Mmm, these won't do for the internal complaint...> After two rounds of treatment with proper water changes, etc, nothing had cleared up.  The left side of his belly continued to become more swollen and distorted his body so that his rear end was no longer in the middle of his back side, but on one side.  I then gave him small amounts of Epsom salt and peas and had to go leave town for a week.  While I was away, I fed him dehydrated peas with an automatic feeder.  When I came back, his left side was less swollen, but he was still on his right side and still had gray patches all over his right side.  I finally decided to just put him back in the main tank with the other goldfish.  He swims around to eat, but hides all day and night on his side in a java moss bed behind a rock.  I am currently feeding MediGold - he loves it as a last resort for the gray patches on his side.  The orange fancy goldfish is just fine and healthy as can be. <Good>   What is ailing my fish?  Could it be internal parasites carried in by the plants/snail? <Mmm, doubtful> Is it Chilodonella or Costia? <Not likely... or the other Fancy would be infested as well> I can't tell what the gray patches are since their appearance doesn't meet the description of anything that I have read about.  It's gray and smooth, not fluffy or stringy, and is in spots/patches.  Could my fish be egg impacted? <Probably not... given the regimen of treatments and responses you're reported>   Please help as I really want my fish to be healthy again.   <This is difficult to state, first because of the large possibility that I could be in error... and secondly for possibly the unintended harm I might do you by suggesting such... but this Moor and many to perhaps most all that are produced in the U.S. (yes, as compared with the Far East) are beset by a host of "genetic anomalies" as you so-well review here... Sad to state/speculate, but I do have the opinion that your fish has inherent, heritable health problems... I would have treated it (with the exception of the Mardel antibiotics mentioned) in pretty much the same fashion... And would continue to try the Epsom salt, low-protein feeding approach. Bob Fenner>
Re: Sick Black Moor Goldfish  - 12/12/06
Bob & WWM crew, Thank you for responding.  Unfortunately, Wasabi passed away late Sunday night.  :( Lin <Sorry for your loss... And again, I salute your valiant efforts to provide good care/health for this animal. Bob Fenner>

Black Moor with Ick and bleeding eye.  Please help!  12/12/06 Hello WWM Crew, <Chang> I have searched your site for the answer to my predicament, and I thought I found the answer, but there were no instructions on how to administer it.   I have a Black Moor goldfish and an Fantail goldfish, and I've had them for about three months.  Recently I saw that my fantail seemed to have Finrot, <From what cause/s?> but it wasn't red or anything.  After I tried to treat it for that, and changed the water, I noticed that my black moor had Ick.  I started treating them this past Thursday for this, and Friday I noticed that Wasabi (the moor) had a bleeding eye, the same that was cloudy the day before.   <One-sided? Usually this is due to a mechanical injury... the fish swimming into something> What can I do to treat the Ick and get rid of his bleeding eye? <Aquarium salt, Malachite Green> Neither of them seem very inclined to eat, and I don't want either of them to die!  I searched on Google for a solution to his bleeding eye, and your site mentioned something about Epsom salt, but I don't know how much and how to give it to them.   Please help! Thank you for your time! Sincerely, Lin <Is posted: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/saltusefaqs.htm and for Ich: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwich.htm and the linked files at top. Bob Fenner>

Fantail Oranda problem  12/12/06 Hi WWM crew! I was wondering if you could help me diagnose a problem with my Oranda fish. You could say that the fish is playing dead in a way. It just floats around on the bottom of the tank lopsidedly breathing pretty slowly. It will not come up for food either. However, once in a while, it does work up the energy to swim just a little, but then goes back to the same state. I have tested all of the water and everything is safe, I have discontinued pellets and flakes, <Perhaps too late> and I have treated the tank with some aquarium salt (by the way, I have one Oranda fish in a ten gallon tank.) I have also done a 50% water change following standard procedures. The has been like this for 2 days. I have tried everything and just don't know what to do! Maybe you could offer me some suggestions? Deniz <Yes... read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshmalnut.htm and the linked files at top. Bob Fenner>

PM Employee (PcS) : Goldfish with massive"? puncture?" wound getting bigger?   12/9/06 Hi, my name is Alex and I work at PetSmart as a Petcare Spec. and my specialty is actually Fish - and I do focus on Goldfish because they are my favorite; <<Hello, Alex. Tom>> Anyways, I have an Oranda Cap Goldfish (all orange w/ white tipped tails) and he is about 3-4 years old and as big as perhaps a 14 yr. old's closed fist, maybe slightly bigger.  (I'll try to keep the info brief>>>) We have a massive snail infection <<infestation?>> at our store here and we refuse to use chemicals. <<Good to hear this'¦>> Anyways, we use the Goldfish, among other methods to keep the snail population in check. <<Come again? Not good fish management by ANY responsible standards! Snail-control be hanged, you don't want to mix unquarantined fish in disparate (hopefully) conditions. Think 'disease transmission' here'¦>> Well, "my" Fish was placed in the molly tank on a scavenge mission and the next day he had a 3-4mm wound - circular in formation and without any scales - on his side.   <<Was attacked/bitten'¦ Any chance that Mollies weren't the only inhabitants? Plecos, Chinese Algae Eaters, et. al. can/will attach themselves to the sides of larger, slow-moving fish and 'feed' on the fish's slime coat/flesh.>> That was 1 week and a half ago. Today the wound has grown to 10mm and I can see a white streak going down the centre, and I am not sure if this is pus or one of his ribs!!! Since day one {when I was on duty that is :( } he was removed and taken to ISO (our mini-hospital tanks) and treated with: QuickCure (anti-parasitic) & Generalcure (anti-fungal). I personally went and bought ointment for him (oil based; anti-biotic) to try to help and it was without success.  Plus was given a lot of food (fed once daily + vacation feeders)...I am not sure what to do and why it is growing.... I am not even sure how it started... <<You now know how it started and you now know why this 'practice' is beyond my comprehension. Assuming and, I know I'm going way out on a limb here, that these fish are being kept in conditions that they should be kept in, why, in the name of Heaven, would you place a 'cold-water' fish in a tropical tank? Okay, Goldfish are adaptable. Slowly and under controlled conditions. Couple that with the fact that Mollies are a brackish-water species and all I can do is shake my head, though I have little doubt that anyone at the store but you (now) is even aware of this.>> If it keeps it up I may have to put the Goldfish down (technically I can't do that, only a Pt. C. manager - anyways) I haven't tried Melafix - and I saw a catfish question that had a laceration and you recommended that - should I head in that direction and what else can I do??? <<In this case, keep your Goldfish completely isolated and treat with a combination of Pimafix and Melafix exactly according to the directions. Whether, or not, the animal will survive is up for grabs. (I'll keep my fingers crossed for the animal's sake.) Keeping the water temperature in the low- to mid-70's will assist the fish's immune system. Now, don't want a lecture? You caught the wrong fellow. You've got a lot of 'homework' to do if you want to be a 'specialist'. Start anywhere that you like but start researching the fish and equipment that you sell. A very good place to start is our FAQ's/articles.>> Thanks: Alex, Nevada: USA <<You're welcome. Sorry for the "lecture", Alex, but this was totally avoidable. Please, read/research. Tom>>

My sick fish - Oranda with a tumor?    12/9/06 Hi, <<Hi, Jim. Tom here.>> Don't know if you're the one to contact about my fish, but here it goes. <<Fire away'¦>> I have a Oranda goldfish with a bubble head type.  I think that's the way you spell the goldfish's name.   <<Yep.>> Anyway, it's developed a dime-size, white, tumor-looking thing almost looking like a weird wart.  We took it out to examine it partially and touched it so very gently and it started bleeding.  Is it something I can remove or medicate, or is it too late.   <<Not a 'given', Jim, but the fact that there was bleeding is a good indication that vascularity has developed around the site. It could be cystic in nature or it could be a tumor.>> The fish is still eating well and think this is going to be his demise.   <<That it's eating well is a good sign so let's not write your Goldfish off just yet.>> We had another one with a quarter size tumor and finally died.   <<Sorry to hear that, Jim.>> We have had him for almost 1 1/2 years.  Any suggestions would be appreciated.   <<If the growth is cancerous there isn't much to be done so let's pursue this based on what we can, in fact, do. Add 'aquarium salt' to your fish's tank at a ratio of one tablespoon per five gallons of water. If the lump is fluid-filled, the salt will aid in reducing the swelling by relieving the build-up. By way of explanation, freshwater fish more readily retain fluids naturally than do their saltwater counterparts. By modestly altering the environment with the salt, we're also altering the way the fish's system will function. The same osmotic action that will relieve the fluid build-up, if any, will also serve to aid in healing any external physical trauma (injury) to the area. You should know in a short time if your Oranda has a fighting chance.>> Thank you Jim <<I can't tell you this isn't the time for a little finger-crossing, Jim, but, with luck, we'll find that this isn't as serious as it might be. Best regards. Tom>>

Black moor with an prolapsed colon   12/6/06 I have 5 goldfish in a 50 gallon tank, 2 Lionheads, 2 black moors and a Shubunkin.  One of the black moors rectum is protruding.  I gave it Epsom salts <Good> and a pea as there is a hunk of p**p sticking out. I have never seen this before.  Will the fish survive? <I hope so> Is there anything else I can do.  I can find no info on this anywhere. Thanks much <Mmm, keep up the feeding with low-protein, and fresh foods... and the dosage of Epsom, perhaps some "aquarium salt" as well... Bob Fenner>

Re: Goldfishes and grammar... More Goldfish Questions  12/4/06 Well, you answered the questions I had but opened up so many more! <They never end, because we're always learning.> I have the 14 GF, and they're each between 1 1/2" and 2" long.  Now, I know my power filter isn't big enough for the tank, it only has one filter but we have two bubblers.  Now, do those help the filtering process or should I still get a larger power filter with two instead of one? <Bubblers only help dissolve O2 into the water, for better respiration.  Fish like to play in the bubbles too.  They do nothing for filtration.  By not knowing the make/model of your filter, I can't tell you if it's sufficient or not.  On a tank that size, with that many growing fish, I'd recommend an Aquaclear filter.  You can stack them with whatever you wish, rather than most premade cartridges.  Utilizing a sponge filter (for mechanical filtration--can be rinsed weekly), filter floss (to "polish" the water crystal clear--replaced monthly) & BioMax (for biological filtration--rinsed every 3 months or so).  When the fish reach about 3", you can add a canister filter, like an Eheim.> Also, we have tried using a specific chemical that says put in 5 ml for every gallon once a week and you clean every 6 months.  We probably won't stick with it on account of the size of the tank, but does that stuff really work? <Total bunk/rip-off!  There is nothing that can replace water changes.  "The solution to pollution is dilution!"> And also, you replied with having to clean the tank once a week and replace 90% of the water and the filter but I've also seen if you clean 15% once a month it prevents the uber cleaning every couple of months.  And couldn't replacing 90% of the water at once cause shock? <"Uber cleaning" is a bad idea on all counts.  You will remove all traces of "good" bacteria that eats waste from your fish.  To understand better, read articles here: http://www.thepufferforum.com/forum/library.php?cat=4 There are also excellent articles in that library that will educate you on the benefits of mechanical, chemical & biological filtration here: http://www.thepufferforum.com/forum/library.php?cat=6 Most serious GF keepers do 90% weekly water changes (which only involves stirring the gravel to loosen waste & uneaten foods, draining & filling.  Easily done with a Python drain & fill system) to lower the high ammonia/nitrates/nitrates--the end result of such dirty fish.> Thanks so much. <You are getting sleepy... you only hear the sound of my voice... you must do water changes... water changes... water changes... water changes... ~PP> Ashley
Re: Goldfishes and grammar
 - 12/04/06 No, unfortunately I didn't get a response.  And unfortunately I didn't save the email either.  Oops.  Do you even have a blip of me on the radar? <Hi Ashley - Jorie here. I wasn't the one who originally answered your query, but I did remember seeing it; turns out PufferPunk replied.  I don't know what's going on with the server, but you can always check the "Daily FAQ" page to see if a reply has been "posted".  I found yours here, it's the third one down: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/daily_faqs3.htm With regard to your point about grammar, well, basically, I think we just disagree!  I do however, agree with your words about "being kind", and there's no need to humiliate someone who has written in with poor grammar.  I myself do try to respond tactfully, and I only ask someone to re-send if the errors make the writing so hard to understand - as per your own example of "4's" "u's", etc.  Perhaps I am wrong, but I don't agree that "everyone is doing their best" - I think that our society has gotten to a point where laziness and just going enough to get by is the general rule of thumb; someone needs to teach (albeit gently) folks that this just isn't always acceptable.  At least, that's what I think.  To me, it boils down to an issue of respect - if you are asking for someone's help, wouldn't it be nice to make the burden on that person as little as possible?! Anyway, I do believe your substantive questions were answered...let me know if not. Best regards, Jorie>

Goldfish concerns, sys. env. dis.  12/1/06 Hi, I'm sorry to bother you, but I'm pretty new to raising goldfish and was wondering if you could help I think I've made some pretty big mistakes).  On Sunday, my boyfriend and I got a 10 gallon tank with a box filter, two plants, and a little rocky cave for our fish to play in.  The guy who was helping us told us that we only needed to let it run for 1 day (the kit came with some biofiltration, but it wasn't BioSpira).  Anyways, we foolishly bought 3 fish the very next day and brought them home. <... this system isn't cycled, ready...> That night we started to get a little worried about one of our fish, Conan. He was sitting on the bottom of the tank, and wasn't swimming around nearly as much as the other two, Bubbles and Shachi.  At that point, he was eating normally, and was the first one to the top of the tank to get food.  We were pretty worried that we hadn't let the tank sit for long enough, so we started searching the internet for what could be wrong.  The next day, he was still eating normally, and seemed to be swimming around the tank more, so we thought that he was alright.  Wednesday though, during the morning feeding, he would spit out anything he ate, and was either sitting at the bottom of the tank, or at the top gulping for air.  When I got home I noticed a long thin white stringy poo, and was worried he got some kind of bacterial infection. That night we went to the store and bought an air stone for the tank, some aquarium salt (we read that adding some could help), and some test strips, and somehow I talked myself out of buying any medication (I guess I thought it might've just been a string off of one of the plants... we have an Amazon sword that had some long fibers hanging off of it). <This system isn't ready for live plants either>   We tested the water as soon as we got home (it's been the same every day since), and the pH was about 6.5, Nitrates and Nitrates <? And ammonia?> were under 20 ppm, and 0.5ppm, respectively (we also have an ammonia tester in the tank, which says that the levels are safe, <Half a ppm of nitrite is not "safe"> but at this point, I'm not sure if I believe it). <You are wise to be suspicious here> We were a little worried about the pH being so low, <Actually is more than fine... better for this to be on the low side with the system not cycled> but thought that it was still in the range that goldfish could live in.  We did a 20% water change that night, <Further forestalling the establishment of cycling...> with some aquarium salt, and then installed the airstone. Bubbles and Shachi really took to the airstone, playing in the bubbles, but poor Conan, seemed to be struggling in the current it was producing around the tank.  We decided to switch it on and off for periods of time, so that the tank would have enough aeration, but Conan wouldn't have to work too hard to move around. The next day, Conan was much sicker, barely moving around, his breathing seemed pretty labored, and I noticed some red dots on his caudal fin, stomach, and head (I guess mostly from environmental stress?). <Yes>   Anyways, I decided to try some frozen, shelled peas, when I got back from class, but when I came home, he was dead.  One of his eyes seemed to have a blood vessel burst in it, but I'm not sure if this happened before or after he died, as Shachi was picking at him when I got home... Bubbles (usually very active) was hiding in the top corner of the tank by the plant and barely moving, but as soon as I took Conan out of the tank, Bubbles started swimming around again.  Conan also had a little bit of discoloration on his stomach. Then, last night Bubbles started sitting on the bottom of the tank, which is extremely unusual for him.  Even though the water seemed like it was alright (from the test strips, we decided to do another 20% change with salt and all. <...>   We fed Shachi and Bubbles frozen, shelled peas, last night (the flakes we have are 40% protein), <Too high...> and this morning, and Bubbles seems to be swimming around a bit more, but his dorsal fin is clamped, and he seems to have a white spot on his head and near his gills his poo is still black). <Environmental...> A lot of the other articles I've read on your site, make it seem like these spots are probably due to environmental disease, <Yes> but I'm a little confused about Conan's symptoms, because of the long white stringy poo.  I feel really badly that it was probably the environment that we had set up that killed Conan, and want to make sure the same thing doesn't happen to Shachi and Bubbles.  I guess my real question is, I want to use BioSpira tonight to cycle the tank, <Good! I would> but I'm worried that Bubbles and Shachi need to be treated for whatever Conan had (especially since Shachi was picking at him when I get home), and don't want to make an even bigger mess, or stress the fish out more.  Should I get some medicine, remove the carbon pads in the filter, and run it through the tank and then use BioSpira? <I would not... the further stress/strain of chemical exposure may well kill your fish> Should I just keep using the salt and BioSpira and assume it's completely environmental? <Yes, this is what I would do as well as keeping foods/feeding to an absolute minimum... testing for ammonia>   Is it ok to cycle the tank with the two of them in there? <... where else can you put them?> Is it too late for my poor little fishies? <Never too late as long as they're alive> Again I'm so sorry for bothering you, it's just all been really frustrating, and upsetting, that we made so many mistakes and jumped into it foolhardily.  Also, thanks for the site, it's been a lot of help in learning what we need to do, and should have done. -Helen <It is obvious (to me) that you've been studying, have an adequate grasp of what is going on here, what the likely causes/cures for the problems evident. You received initially inaccurate information, set-up this system w/o necessary cycling... Your goldfish may have pathogenic issues, but the root problem/s are environmental... Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm and the linked files above... for a further strengthening of what you already suspect and know. Bob Fenner>

Help Please. Goldfish health   11/30/06 I have two fancy goldfish.  One is black with the bulbous eyes and the other looks like a "regular",  all- gold,  fish.  I call them Fancies,  because they have grown very round and very large;  kind of like the size of a large potato. <Yes> Along with what I call a Sucky Fish  (to keep the tank clean),  they have been living in a 30 gallon tank,  together,  for almost 4 years. <Mmm... keep your eye on this "Sucky Fish"... may be sucking on your Goldies> We have had water "issues" in the past,  but gradually learned to keep their tank as clean as possible.  When my husband became very ill about 7 weeks ago,  I was on the "run" and other than feeding 2x daily,  they were on minimal maintenance.  Suddenly,  their tank got cloudy,  understandably,  and the entire room the aquarium is in,  started to smell really bad.  Am lot like a wet diaper!  The odor was terrible! <Again, yes> As soon as my husband came home,  we did a complete H2o change,  new filters,  etc.  We cleaned everything thoroughly. <Mmm, best not to do such overt, 100% clean outs...> The black fish with the Eyes began to get sick first,  I thought he had swimbladder from reading on the internet about fish diseases.  He sank,  swam vertically,  and looked really ill.  I was told by PetSmart Aquatics,  to try the frozen pea treatment,  before accepting Swim Bladder as a self diagnosis.  He really got better and rather quickly. <Good> Then,  the Orange Fish stopped eating,  has no SIMILAR symptoms,  but,  he looks terrible.  He sits on the bottom of the tank,  almost seems blind and confused.  His ONE eye is covered with a white membrane and is swollen.  He doesn't have the pine-cone symptoms,  but his little flippers are always clamped to his sides.  Sometimes he dashes straight up and out of the water,  only to go back down and "sit".  His respirations are shallow,  but not rapid. The black fish who recovered,  is always pushing him along in the tank.  He doesn't try to hurt him,  but he's showing either a lot of sympathy,  or he's waiting for him to die.  The Orange Fish looks very depressed and "lost".  I tried 6 days of powdered Erythromycin,  from PetSmart,  to no avail. My husband cleans their "home" 2 or 3 times a week.  Yesterday,  he found that their gravel and the residue on the filtering system,  was very mucous-like.  We took a lot of their gravel out and only replaced what we cleaned. This is so damn sad.  I'm at my wit's end and have limited funds to pursue this Little Guy's diagnosis. I'm sorry to be so long-winded,  but any help or suggestions would be appreciated.  I feel like he's suffering and I love him. Debbie Karst <Really most likely an environmental issue or two at play here... I would add Bio-Spira to boost your bio-filtration, and perhaps a level teaspoon of aquarium salt per ten gallons of system water... Do you have water quality test kits? I would monitor ammonia and nitrite... and stop feeding if these exceed 1.0 ppm... effect partial water changes (25%) maximum... on a weekly basis. Bob Fenner>

Black Moor and Fin Rot?    11/28/06 Hi <Hello there> I have a black Moor who is losing the colour of two of his fins at the tip. <Happens at times>   I have read articles regarding Black Moor's changing colour, but his fins are losing all it's black colour so that the tips of the fins are completely clear. <Ditto> His other fins are all starting to look like they are thinning also around the edges.  Is this a sign of fin rot? <Mmm, not necessarily>   He is the only fish in the tank, we have had him for around 4-5 years, <Ahhh!> and he still appears very active. Rebecca <Well... I would be looking into other avenues of retaining color, finnage... improved water quality, nutrition... If it is the genetic disposition, destiny for this individual to have clear fins... this will happen... with age. Bob Fenner>
Re: Black Moor and Fin Rot?   11/28/06
How long does it take for fin rot to destroy the fins? The process of his fins turning clear has occurred slowly over the past 6 months. I thought fin rot will occur much quicker, is that right? <If this were a fungal complaint, it would assuredly have occurred in a much shorter time frame. This is a "natural change"... given genetics, environment... Not to worry... Old/er goldfish/es with diaphanous finnage are beautiful, healthy. Bob Fenner> Thanks, Rebecca

GOLDFISH Question - Mouth Fungus... ?   11/28/06 Hello! I noticed over the past month that my goldfish cannot open his mouth or it is gone. He goes after the food but never can eat it. I was advised by my local pet store to buy "Furan-2" for the treatment of a possible mouth fungus or whatever it is. <...> I have done 4 treatments and no luck. He still swims around and acts normal. He does not appear to be getting thinner but I am worried that he is starving. I guess my question is, can this poor fish survive without a mouth? <Ah, no> Will he learn to eat with what he has left? <?> It just breaks my heart to see him like this and not know what to do. Like I said, he swims all over like he used to so I don't know if he will heal and be able to eat without his mouth or am I kidding myself? <Don't know... but I would try making sure there is nothing occluding the throat of this goldfish (happens quite frequently... that especially a bit of gravel gets stuck, or causes an injury to the hinge-like mechanism in the jaw... A "Q" tip inserted (w/o the cotton, with the tip trimmed down to a wedge-shape) is best here... Catch the fish, insert this sort tool, articulate the jaw... look with a magnifying glass for an obstruction. Bob Fenner> Any help at all is greatly appreciated. Thank you! Adam

Bloated Goldfish With Many Problems   11/24/06 Hi there, We have seen (and appreciate) your knowledgeable answers to some difficult questions and we now have another one for you. Situation is as follows. 20 gal tank with 2 goldfish in it (we think you call them comets over here) one is about 8 inches in length and the other about 6 inches. < Tank is way too small for two fish of this size. Think 55 gallon at least because they will be bigger if they live.> The tank has medium gravel with several plants in it and has been established for about 18 months now. It has aeration ( under gravel circular type) and a filter ( Aqua Clear 100 bio filter type). About 1 month ago we had been on vacation, just for a few days and had left an automatic flake feeder with only a small amount of food being dropped in each day. In addition our pet sitter added some brine shrimp or bloodworms (both freeze dried) each day from a measured amount we had left for them to add. On our return the smallest fish ( called Venus) showed signs of stress and had a fairly large bulge on one side of her body. So we quickly checked the QT ( a 10 gallon with similar setup)  and put her in it to protect the other fish, and to treat her with what ever we thought might be the best. The bulge was  very pointed and also bloody looking under the scales, yet the scales themselves were not protruding as I have seen previously with Dropsy. Anyway, we decided to treat it as if it were Dropsy and  used Maracyn 2. Well we progressed with the treatment ( full 5 days as recommended) and Venus seemed to start getting much better , the lump retreated somewhat and she was acting almost normal. Once the treatment was completed however, she started going downhill again. So after 5 days we treated her again with the Maracyn 2, and added Maracide to the treatment regime as well, in case there was and internal parasite infestation as well as a bacterial infection. This time she did not improve very much at all and started to swim upside down a lot, stayed on the bottom of the tank and ate very little. The lump, however,  did reduce again quite considerably. Again we completed the 5 day treatment regime and  she still was looking a very poorly fish. The lump started to get bigger again and more blood was showing under the scales. In addition the scales started to look like they were protruding much more than before, which again seemed to imply a Dropsy situation.  We spoke to the LFS and they suggested it might be an ulcer so we decided to try Maracyn Plus as this seemed to imply it would deal with both Dropsy and Ulcerations. We did not start right away as we had only just completed the previous treatment, and as a precaution we treated her in salt (aquarium type) 3 times a day and this seemed to help her a lot as she started to swim properly and ate almost normally. This continued for 4 days and she was a lot better, The problem was that the lump was again starting to get bigger. She was still active and looking reasonably well apart from that though. So we ( actually I)  decided it had to be the Maracyn Plus treatment as the lump was getting larger again. Now we have a bigger problem! Maracyn Plus is used days 1, 3 and 5, and after day 3 she started to swell up to an enormous size (all over) again it looks like Dropsy, but would seem that she must have had an allergic reaction to the Maracyn Plus. We created another QT in case we needed to  move her quickly from one environment with the Maracyn Plus in it to one with out, but it is not quite ready yet. We may have to move her anyway if the Maracyn Plus is the real cause of her excessive bloating, and take a chance on the water quality in  the newly created tank. (This is another 10 gal tank by the way.)  In the meantime we have tried the Epsom salt treatment in case it is just a gas or blockage type problem, but we are a little worried that it might be too late as she is now so bloated her body is encroaching on her gill area and causing her breathing distress.  Any ideas you have on what to do and our approach and any possible causes would be much appreciated. We just hope we are not the cause of her current problems, but fear we may very well be. Thank you David < While you were gone the nitrates went through the roof and stressed your fish to the point that they are now very sick. In the 20 gallon tank you need to do a 50% water change vacuum the gravel and clean the filters. The disease causing bacteria have now built up a resistance to the medication so it is no longer effective. Treat with a combination of Nitrofuranace and Metronidazole. The key to a complete recovery is to treat them early.-Chuck>

Goldfish Allergic To Medication    11/27/06 Thank you for your quick response, however I think the main point of the current problem I have highlighted is one you seem to have missed, overlooked, or maybe thought it not a problem. My question now is therefore, why the problem with one fish and also the sudden bloating after the use of Maracyn Plus? <The Maracyn Plus may have affected the good bacteria and ammonia levels may have spiked. The high ammonia levels further stressed the fish and the infection took off.> It does seem to me to be a case of an allergic reaction as it only occurred after the use of Maracyn Plus.  FYI the 20 gal tank nitrate/nitrite and ammonia levels are all OK and in good condition and always have been so I feel this unlikely to be the cause. The first thing I did when I saw the lump on the fish was to take measurements and they were all good, and well within acceptable levels.   It is only one fish with the problem as I stated in my last email she had been put in a QT. away from the other fish, who is still fine and dandy. I have now put Venus in the second QT which has no chemicals or antibiotics in it at all so will see how she goes without  the influence of Maracyn Plus at all. I need to know where I get the 2 treatments you mention  and the quantities to use so please can you give me some pointers. The LFS doesn't even know what I was talking about when I mentioned  them. < The medications can be bought online at DrsFosterSmith.com> I still need to know though if the reaction could an allergic one and how to treat that condition, as that seems to me to be the most urgent item to address. She is still alive and  kicking but more swollen and breathing more rapidly by the hour. Thank you David < It is unlikely that your fish had an allergic reaction top the medication. More likely the fish was additionally stressed by the treatment and lost all resistance to the disease. Stress is the real culprit here. You say all you water conditions are fine yet your fish still got sick. If not the water then maybe the food is the problem.-Chuck>

My little Nemo... Goldfish health   11/19/06 Hi Bob, just by accident I discovered your web-site, what a stroke of luck, so much to go through, I just went through you faq, so now I have one for you. <Okay> I have just upgraded to a 20 gal, from a 10, I had two black moors, and one fancy goldfish, so I went out and bought a small black moor I just love there faces, look like Boston terries or pugs, I think) <An apt comparison> anyways after I got him home and did the proper procedure of introduction with the water etc, I sat and watched him and noticed one of his little fins is not quite developed, and one eye is bigger than the other, a true Nemo, then I decided, I wanted another orange as they look so beautiful with the blue stones, so I bought a Pearlscale (didn't know it at the time and thought he had a disease), and I noticed this Pearlscale (named Nippon) was constantly nipping at the Nemo and the two other black moors constantly, so I let this go on for a week, thinking he had to work it out, to no avail, and one morning I woke up to Nemo looking like he had something popping through his skin like something was pushing it's way out, so I packed the Pearl scale and him up and went to the pet store, they took the Pearlscale back, and they looked at Nemo and said he could possibly have worms or a parasite, and told me to but this Mela-fix, it has tree tea oil in it, I was not comfortable adding two capfuls to my tank, <You are wise here. I'm not a fan of using this homeopathic under/for most any circumstance> so I put in a half of one, I still could not relax as I needed to know exactly what I was treating him for, so I found a vet and went to see him, he figures it was a wound that has gotten infected, so he gave me liquid Baytril and a bill for $85.00, with the instructions to put 3cc. of this in his hospital tank and put him in it for an hour and back to the main tank, when I spoke to him the other evening he said I could put the charcoal filter in when the fish was in the hospital tank, now this doesn't sound right to me, <Me neither> so tonight I put the Baytril in and took the charcoal filter out and will put it back after the hour is up, NOW DOES THIS SOUND RIGHT TO YOU? <About so... I would have treated with just "aquarium salt"...>   #2 one of the moors was pooping last night and it looked like pearls, beads that were iridescent, and then later a longer poop that looked like it had silver in it, what the hell is going on, have you any idea, <Might be indicative of internal parasitization, could be nothing> so to night I steamed them some peas and put them in when cool and he pooped all peas, so is this good or bad, and also how many peas to I give to five fish two small and the two larger moors, they seemed to enjoy them, I was freaking out that one seemed to be having a problem, and then it dawned on me I think he was chewing, Do gold fish chew???????? <Just keep the water clean, small water changes, with ongoing testing, keeping/assuring it's cycled...> Anyway I have many more questions, but Nemo and his Baytril and charcoal is my main one, okay I guess the other s are also, I thank you for any help and suggestions Judy <Best to have time go by, for you to read more: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshdisease.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Re: My little Nemo... Goldfish dis., gravel-sys.  11/20/06 Hi Bob, Thank you so much for answering my questions, my little Nemo's wound seems to be healing, I am pleased. <Me too> I am fairly new at this having an aquarium, so I really don't know about the salt thing, What is it good for? How often should I add it, to the main tank with all the fish,? and how much for a 20 gallon? <... Please read: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/saltusefaqs.htm and the linked files above> When I set up this new tank about a month ago, I bought some new stones same size as my other ones, but very smooth, because I spend so much time watching my fish I noticed one of my Moors get two together stuck in his mouth, of course I panicked, but he managed to get them out, and it happened again yesterday and he couldn't get it out, <Yikes...> I phoned the vet and I had to get a pair of tweezers and I got them out, now this really scares me, as I am not here all the time, what happens if it gets stuck and I am not here, how long can a fish live with the gravel stuck in his mouth,? <Perhaps minutes to hours to days... depending on how large> I cringe to think that I will have to change the gravel, because it does cost a lot. Thanks again bob, I wished I found your site before I took him to the vets. Judy <Thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner>

Goldfish cancerous tumors?   11/19/06 My Oranda, suddenly has a tumorous looking growth out his right side, it's very big, and now his left eye looks a bit swollen.....is this some sort of internal infection or a mass of sudden cancerous tumors suddenly appearing? Help! <Can/could be... root causes? May be almost entirely genetic/predetermined... Could be to an extent allowed, brought-on, triggered by aspects of the environment, nutrition... Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshdisease.htm and the linked files above, and/or the search tool. Bob Fenner>

Sick goldfish need some advice   11/17/06 Dear Bob, <Cindy> We have two very pretty goldfish, Molder & Scully.  Scully is very healthy, but Mulder is not able to open his mouth to eat.  We can see him trying to use his muscles to open his mouth but they just aren't working.  The poor fish is starving. My husband took Mulder out of the tank and opened it's mouth a little   He was able to keep it open for a second but then it snapped shut.   Nothing was in Molder's mouth except what appeared to be a tongue. Is this lockjaw? <Of a sort, likely... Perhaps this one goldfish has run into something, or gotten a rock et al. stuck in its throat, damaged the jaw hinge> We tried treating the goldfish with MelaFix for 10 days and Molder's mouth seemed to  open a little so he could eat tiny bits of flake food..  After the treatment period the mouth went back to the way it used to be and now we see only a bubble of air coming out every now and  then. <Goldfish are of the group that can "gulp" in air (and expel it) through the mouth enroute to their gas bladder, principally as a hydrostatic mechanism (allowing the fish to stay at the same level)> Is there anything else we can do?  Any other medicine you would recommend to help treat this problem. Thanks for any help you can give me with this problem. Sincerely, Cindy Sinatra <What you and your husband have done thus far (checking for damage, a stuck object) and being patient, are about the only things "to do"... Unfortunately, only time can/will tell whether this investigative partner will heal on its own. Some folks might suggest the administration of Epsom Salt as a cathartic... it wouldn't hurt. Bob Fenner>

Goldfish With Red Dots   11/15/06 Please help me. I have a Shubunkin in a 10 gallon tank with a black moor. I realize the tank itself is too small to house two five-inch fish and I am looking into roomier accommodations. I run an oversized filter (for 20 gallon tank) and have an airstone for proper aeration. I do 30%-40% water changes, vacuum gravel, clean filter, etc. every week. A couple weeks ago, I noticed an area on the body behind the Shubunkin's left gill that was slightly swollen as well as a red spot below the left pectoral fin, almost at the joint where the fin meets the body. There was white cottony material coming out. From reading other postings from your site, I believed it to be an internal bacterial infection, so I treated with Maracyn Two. Even though the swelling, red spot and white cottony material disappeared within two-three days, I followed the full five-day course of treatment as recommended by Mardel. I followed with my weekly water change. Two days later, a red spot with cottony material developed on the right side directly below the joint of the pectoral fin. I followed another five-day course of treatment with Maracyn Two. Again, the red spot went away well before the five days. I proceeded with my weekly water change. It has now been two days since the last water change, and yet another red spot with white cottony material appeared, this time above the right ventral fin. I also noticed what may be a red mark slightly above the left pectoral fin, although due to the coloring of this particular Shubunkin, I'm not sure if it is indeed a red mark or just a dark orange marking that I haven't noticed before. Anyway, my question is, since I have used the Maracyn Two twice already, is there anything else you would recommend or is it safe to do another round of treatment? Is this indeed an internal bacterial infection? He seems healthy otherwise, no clamped fins, he's active, eating as normal and dorsal fin is upright. The black moor is also very healthy. I hate to keep medicating the entire tank since the black moor has exhibited no signs of ill health. At this point, should I move the Shubunkin to a hospital tank and try something else (salt perhaps?), or do you believe with more frequent water changes (2-3 times/week), this would rectify itself? Also, I would greatly appreciate your opinion on one more thing. I have five goldfish total, the two in the 10 gallon tank and three in a much larger tank. I was contemplating purchasing a 125 gallon tank so that all of them could be together with sufficient room to swim and grow. The three larger fish (two fantails and a Shubunkin) are approximately eight inches in length already (including tail). Do you believe a 125 gallon tank to be sufficient for five growing goldfish? I would greatly appreciate your input before I make the investment as I could go larger if necessary. Thank you so much for your time. I'm grateful for any assistance you can provide. - Melissa < Treat with Nitrofuranace in a hospital tank. It is effective against a wider range of bacteria as well as many types of fungus. A 125 should be able to hold 5 fancy goldfish.-Chuck>

Shubunkin with Recurring Red Spots  11/15/06 Please help me. I have a Shubunkin in a 10 gallon tank with a black moor. I realize the tank itself is too small to house two five-inch fish and I am looking into roomier accommodations. <Good> I run an oversized filter (for 20 gallon tank) and have an airstone for proper aeration. I do 30%-40% water changes, vacuum gravel, clean filter, etc. every week. <Very good> A couple weeks ago, I noticed an area on the body behind the Shubunkin's left gill that was slightly swollen as well as a red spot below the left pectoral fin, almost at the joint where the fin meets the body. There was white cottony material coming out. <Environmental> From reading other postings from your site, I believed it to be an internal bacterial infection, so I treated with Maracyn Two. Even though the swelling, red spot and white cottony material disappeared within two-three days, I followed the full five-day course of treatment as recommended by Mardel. I followed with my weekly water change. Two days later, a red spot with cottony material developed on the right side directly below the joint of the pectoral fin. I followed another five-day course of treatment with Maracyn Two. Again, the red spot went away well before the five days. I proceeded with my weekly water change. It has now been two days since the last water change, and yet another red spot with white cottony material appeared, this time above the right ventral fin. I also noticed what may be a red mark slightly above the left pectoral fin, although due to the coloring of this particular Shubunkin, I'm not sure if it is indeed a red mark or just a dark orange marking that I haven't noticed before. Anyway, my question is, since I have used the Maracyn Two twice already, is there anything else you would recommend or is it safe to do another round of treatment? <Mmm... better to cut to the chase here and strongly suggest you upgrade as much as you can... to at least twice as much volume...> Is this indeed an internal bacterial infection? <Only secondarily> He seems healthy otherwise, no clamped fins, he's active, eating as normal and dorsal fin is upright. The black moor is also very healthy. I hate to keep medicating the entire tank since the black moor has exhibited no signs of ill health. At this point, should I move the Shubunkin to a hospital tank and try something else (salt perhaps?), <Any such microbial-reducing effort/s would only be short term in their effect/s> or do you believe with more frequent water changes (2-3 times/week), this would rectify itself? <Mmmm, no... once a week is about maximum in benefit here> Also, I would greatly appreciate your opinion on one more thing. I have five goldfish total, the two in the 10 gallon tank and three in a much larger tank. I was contemplating purchasing a 125 gallon tank so that all of them could be together with sufficient room to swim and grow. <! Yes> The three larger fish (two fantails and a Shubunkin) are approximately eight inches in length already (including tail). Do you believe a 125 gallon tank to be sufficient for five growing goldfish? <Yes> I would greatly appreciate your input before I make the investment as I could go larger if necessary. Thank you so much for your time. I'm grateful for any assistance you can provide. - Melissa <Ahh... "the sweet one"... Yes to your plans for this larger system, blending all your goldfishes. Bob Fenner>

Goldfish problems (obviously)... BiOrb metabolite poisoning incident/s  - 11/13/06 Hi I hope you can help me. I have a BiOrb tank <These tanks are unsuitable for keeping goldfish... too small, under-filtered...> and have 1 gold fantail and I just bought a black googly( not a technical term!) fan tail yesterday. I did all   the usual introductory procedures and it was happily feeding and swimming last  night. When I came down this morning it is lying on some of the tank weed on  it's side and just flopped over. It is very strange. <Mmm, define "strange"... is actually quite common... to the point of being expected> The other one is perfectly  fit and well. <Not for long> I have had fish in this tank for many years successfully and  cannot understand why this has happened. I had another back fan tail in there  last week but he died of swim bladder disease. I did a water change before I put  the fish back into the tank just in case. Can you please tell me what to do I don't want to lose another one my daughter will be devastated. I am eagerly awaiting your reply. Thank you Carole From England <Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm and here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshdisease.htm and the FAQs files linked above.

Tank Going Bad - Wrong Fish Combination  - 11/13/06 Hey there, I am having problems with my fish tank and I am unable to determine what the problem is.  I was hoping you might be able to help.  Let me preclude this by saying that we have never had any problems with water quality and test if regularly to make sure. I have had to Orandas, 2 panda Cory catfish, on Pleco and some snails in a tank for the past year and all have thrived. About 2 months ago we had a catfish die - it looked like it may have been injured (I thought probably by the Pleco who will whap the others when they get too close sometimes).  Now I wonder if it might have been sick. We added a plant to the tank that week - Elodea or something like that... One month ago one of our Orandas who we had had for 3 years (was in a smaller tank for 2 years alone before adding the other fish a year ago) started having trouble swimming and started bumping into things and had buoyancy issues.  It started having trouble digging through the pebbles for food, and lacked the motor control to even get the food when it was floating down towards the bottom.  The fish started turning black around it's bum and we put it in a nurse tank.  I emailed for advice and was told it was probably congenital or recovering from an injury.  The fish, originally all orange, continued to turn black (not a healthy black) and 3 days later was mostly black and dead.  We removed the plant when the fish died as it wasn't doing very well. The others in the tank were doing great and a week later we added a new panda Cory catfish and 3 small goldfish (all together not as big as the one we had lost) with plans to get a bigger tank in a few months as they reached a bigger size. Yesterday, our other mature Oranda started acting funny - less mobile than normal which is funny because he has always been a very mobile and aggressive fish.  Today we found him going the way of the last Oranda - floating on his side at the bottom of the tank, poor mobility and trouble getting food.  Also, he is turning orange/red at the bass of his dorsal fin and his tail fins are getting frayed.  Also, we found our Pleco - who seemed fine yesterday  - dead. All 3 small remaining goldfish and the 2 catfish seem fine. Water quality is still great, so it must be some sort of bacteria or infection... right???  We want to get some sort of medication for the fish in the nurse tank though I don't think he has much hope at this point.  What type of medication should we get though?  And should we be adding medication to the tank of the healthy fish to try to prevent this from happening again?  It seems that once this infection hits it kills them pretty quick and it has been hard to catch in the early stages. Thanks for your time. Matt < The goldfish are cool water fish and prefer water temps in the upper 60's. The catfish and Pleco are tropical fish and prefer water in the upper 70's to low 80's. Sounds like your tank was on the cool side and it was just a matter of time before the catfish and Pleco would die. When they are getting sick they can spread diseases to the other fish and make them sick. When a fish dies there is a big spike in the ammonia which further stresses the fish, making them more susceptible to infections. Try using weather loaches instead of Cory catfish next time.-Chuck.>

Fantail goldfish problem please help!   5/8/06 Hi We have had my fantail for 10 years and there has never been a serious problem before.  Now, for the past couple of days she has been lying on the bottom for long periods of time.  After a closer look I noticed that she was breathing rapidly.  When she did swim she tried to eat her flakes <Mmm... not a good diet...> but would end up spewing out little pieces a little later.  After each attempt to eat she lies on the bottom of the tank again and continues breathing heavily. Can you help? Please write back quickly. Thanks <Not enough information presented to respond here... what re the system make-up, maintenance... water quality tests? Other livestock behavior... Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshdisease.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

4 goldfish in a 5 gal aquarium = recipe for disaster    11/4/06 Please help me with this. <I will sure try...> I have never maintained an aquarium. My friends have left theirs with me and have gone for a 1 month vacation. The only instruction they gave me was to feed the fish dried flakes once a day. They did not tell me to change the water. <Well, by the end of this you will likely know more than your friends about fishkeeping...hopefully you can educate them upon their return.> There are 4 goldfish and I think its a 5 gallon tank, with a filter. <Waaaaay too crowded.  See here for a helpful article on goldfish requirements: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm > My friends also told me that normally one fish dies within 3-4 weeks. Is this true? <In such a small, overcrowded system, it doesn't surprise me.  Obviously, though, this should not be happening...goldfish can live many years in proper conditions...> Anyhow, after 3 weeks, I noticed one of the fish jumping out of the water and gasping for breath. I searched the web, and did a partial water change two times a week. I also started feeding them frozen peas. The fish that was gasping has stopped doing that, but it remains on the surface with its tail out. It also keeps opening and closing its mouth in water. It is eating normally otherwise. Why is it doing that? <It's likely that toxins such as ammonia, nitrite and nitrates are building up in such a small system and poisoning the fish.  You were very smart to do water changes.  Sounds like your friends didn't leave you with a test kit (heck, it sounds like they don't even know what that is) - ideally, you should be measuring the ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels in the fishes' water.  All should ideally be zero.  With such a small aquarium, I'd suggest you do daily 50% water changes - be sure to match the temp. and pH of the old and new water as closely as possible, so you don't shock the fishes' systems.  Also, if you are using tap water, you either need to add a liquid dechlorinator (de-Chloramine agent as well), or let the water sit out for at least 24 hours prior to using.  Here are some additional helpful beginner articles: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/taptrtmnt.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwestcycling.htm How many times should I feed them peas? <Perhaps once or twice per week.  Also, in general, please know that you should only feed the fish as much as they can consume in 3-5 minutes; in your situation, since the fishes' tank is so very small, feeding less is better...you don't want excess food and fish waste to pollute the water.> Thanks for your help! <You're welcome.  I think with regular water changes you can help these poor little guys pull through.  Ideally, your friends should invest in a tank with a minimum size of 30 gal. to accommodate four goldfish.  Please pass your new-found knowledge along to your friends and advise them if they have further questions, we are here to help... Best of luck, Jorie>

Black Moor Very Sick  11/01/06 <<Hi! Tom with you this afternoon.>> You have a great site and I've been reading through pages of your info for hours. <<Thank you. Glad you've found so much of interest'¦>> My Black Moor (Piggy) is not doing well - he only has one telescopic eye and today it is HUGE and very red. In fact, it is getting redder by the hour. I've already called the local vet who instructed me to go online, since we live in a very rural area and order a broad spectrum antibiotic for him. She states he must have some sort of bacterial infection. <<The doctor's correct. Goldfish are susceptible to bacterial infections and this sounds, to me, like bacterial hemorrhagic septicemia.>> His eye is red and there is a red spot behind the eye as if he has been injured.  He also has red spots on his tail and his flat eye is also reddish. <<Doesn't just 'sound like it' any longer. The 'red spots' on the fish's tail are an indication of internal bleeding, which, almost always, indicates septicemia.>> However, what type of broad spectrum antibiotic should I order and WHERE do I get it from? <<Nitrofurazone, Metronidazole and Oxytetracycline can all be effective against this disease. 'Google' any of the above medications and you'll come up with a long list of vendors. Wish I could tell you that one's 'faster' than the others but I can't. I might suggest Marine Depot as I've, personally, had good success with these folks.>> He lives with a little pink tetra which has lived with him since I got him.  The tetra is not showing any signs of infection. I probably shouldn't have, but I just did a drastic change in his tank - 85% clean to 15% established water.  I've removed everything from his tank - the rocks and the cup he likes to sleep in, so it is bare bones - just the aerator bar, heater and filter.  I've scrubbed everything and now I am worried that I've done too drastic of a change, but he seems a little happier. <<Maintain the high water conditions. You've done nothing inappropriate given the circumstances.>> You mention Epsom salts in other postings - should I being doing something with Epsom salts until the antibiotics get here? <<No. We refer to the addition of aquarium salt as a treatment for, primarily, external problems/diseases. Epsom salts are very useful as a purgative when a fish has a problem like swim bladder disorder. I wouldn't recommend it in this case.>> Piggy is over 4 years old so he has been a very lucky fish in my care. I've never done a pH test on my tank, however, I am sure that is what started this mess.   <<Stick with maintaining the best water conditions possible. pH 'poisoning' didn't start the 'mess' so don't blame yourself for this. (An entirely different critter!) As I mentioned, Goldfish/Koi are woefully susceptible to this disease. You don't mention what size tank you have but 20 gallons is the absolute bare minimum that I would ever recommend and 30 gallons (plus) would be far better. The fact that you've had Piggy for over four years is to your credit. You've obviously done well so far.>> Any help is most appreciated!! <<I won't 'blow smoke' at you. This is a devastating condition. It can be cured, though. A lot will depend on how strong Piggy is. I wish the best for you and your pet. Tom>>

Worried about my fish!  - 10/28/06 Hi there, I hope you can help. We have had 3 fantail goldfish for over a year now. We had a lot of teething problems to start with and your site helped a great deal in finding out what was wrong, but I haven't been able to find an answer to my current problem and am quite worried now. Our fish were finally happy and settled in a nice new big tank and with proper ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and pH levels. However, I changed the filter in their tank a few weeks ago. Then last week I noticed that the water was looking a bit cloudy and all of our fish were looking unhappy. Their dorsal fins were generally laying flat and they were spending a lot of time lying listlessly at the bottom of the tank. After further inspection we discovered that the top of the filter had come loose and so it was not working properly. We hurriedly did a 50% water change and replaced the filter. <good!> I also tested the water, and although the ammonia and nitrite levels had risen ever so slightly,<not good...you don't want any nitrite or ammonia readings!> they were still low, and these poor fish have dealt ok with much higher levels in the past!! Can the chemicals in a filter poison fish? <there should not be any chemicals in the filter...should just be a piece of filter media that collects debris...(mechanical filtration).> A few days later our fish are still looking unhappy and 2 of them are in a bit of a state. Remus is now constantly lying upside down on the bottom of the tank, Romulus is floating sideways, he has a swim for a bit but as soon as he stops he floats sideways again, and Milo is still spending a lot of time at the bottom of the tank. Also Milo appears to have a small fungal patch on the very tip of one of his tail fins. Remus has had a lot of problems in the past with his swim bladder and so we try to feed them with peas regularly. However now none of them seem to want to eat anything at all. <I would begin doing 50% water changes daily until you get the water chemistry back to normal....the water changes will stress the fish much less than the ammonia and nitrite will. Ammonia burns the gills of the fish while the nitrites deprive them of oxygen! Also do not treat the fish for diseases etc...the fungus or whatever he has on his fins is likely to go away once the water quality is back to normal> We are really concerned about them but don't know what to do. I have asked our local pet store for advice before and they have only given bad advice which has ended up with us spending lots of money and not solving the problem!<sounds like your average LFS...which is quite sad!> I hope you can help. Thank you very much for your time<my pleasure, IanB> Regards Laura M PS I have only ever used advice on your site that you have given other people so am not sure how this works. Will you reply to me in an email or will it just be put on the site? <BOTH :)>

Ailing Goldfish  10/27/06 Hello WWM Crew, <Hi Anthony, Pufferpunk here tonight.> First off, great site!   <Thanks, we aim to please!> I have a 20gal long with one blue Oranda and one red Ryukin.   <Sounds a bit overstocked.> It's planted with an Aquaclear 30 HOB filter.  The pH stays around 7.0 with no ammonia and less than 0.05ppm nitrites.  The temp is a constant 75 (high I know but I like my house warm). About a month and a half ago the blue Oranda started to turn white, became lethargic, breathing slowly.  First I thought fungus so I treated the tank with MarOxy.  No change and the fish is no longer a deep blue, but stark white with yellow blotches.  Then my red Ryukin started flashing on the rocks, but the blue Oranda didn't. So I treated for parasites with Copper-Safe. No change.  Blood red streaks appeared in both fish's fins, so I figured bacterial.  Treated with Maracyn-Two and followed up with Maracyn just to be safe.  Everything was okay for a while, but the blue Oranda is still ghost white and not as active.  The Ryukin is a male and Oranda is female, they have bred before and I have raised the fry.  He doesn't constantly harass her for lovin' and hasn't tried to mate since the Oranda has been lifeless.  I started to notice a lot of flashing from the Ryukin and large white bumps on his tail that looks like some sort of weird crustacean. So I went and got some Para-Clear Tank Buddies (all my local pet store had), the weird bumps are gone and the flashing has decreased.  Now the red veins in his tail are back, but not in the Oranda.  She is still white, lifeless and looks like she is giving up on life.  I've been going weekly water changes and I am running Zeo-Carb in the filter to keep the ammonia low.  I put in one tablespoon of aquarium salt per 5 gallons of water, should I increase this?  Now whenever I enter the room the Oranda perks up, but when I'm out of her field of view she sinks again.  I have been feeding them sinking Wardley's pellets, peas, and chopped up broccoli.  Only enough that is eaten within 3 min and I do this in the morning and evenings.  Any help would be greatly appreciated. <It sounds to me like you are having problems with your fish's immune system, due to poor water condition issues.  You are using a lot of meds, ammonia removers, etc., where big water changes could be the answer.  I'll bet you're not doing enough large water changes on that tank.  Most serious goldfish keepers do 90% weekly. If these fish are large enough to spawn, they should be in a much larger tank, about 40-55g. A great site for GF: www.goldfishconnection.com. > Thanks a million, <You're welcome!  ~PP> Anthony

Problematic Goldfish 10/23/06 Jorie, <Chris with you tonight> Thanks once again for the help. I did find the post on FAQ (didn't think of looking there to begin with, my mistake on that one!). I've read Bob's article on pH (http://wetwebmedia.com/marphalk.htm) and found it somewhat hard to understand. But I understand the basic idea of keeping a stable pH as per your post.  <Can be a confusing topic.> My question is this: I'm trying to reduce the ammonia (.25) and nitrite (.25) levels in the tank with water change. The pH in the tank is 7.8, while the fresh water pH is 7.4. Is this too great a difference in pH to change the water? <A fairly large change, probably a result of the ammonia.> If so, how do I raise the pH of the fresh water before adding it to the tank? <Not a problem with small water changes, better to lower the Ph of the tank with frequent small water changes.>  I may have been just traumatizing the poor fish all along. <With the ammonia and nitrite, yes> I'll fill you in on the salinity as soon as I can find a refractometer. Not sure the hydrometer I found at PetSmart is really worth anything. <Not at low levels, ok at best at higher levels.> I truly appreciate all your help. Most of my daytime hours are tied up with work and can only make it to the pet store one day a week for help there.  <Not a lot needed except to correct the ammonia/nitrite levels, need to be 0.> Your time and assistance has been a tremendous supplement between those intervals. Thanks, Pam B. <Will pass along the thank you.> <Chris>

Goldfish health question Hello, <<Hi, Daniel. Tom with you.>> My comet goldfish Ichigo (5.5 inches + tail) lives with two other comets in a 29-gallon tank. <<I'd really like to see you upgrade your tank, Daniel. A 29-gallon tank is marginally sized for one Comet let alone three. These critters can grow to 12 inches in length!>> We're in Florida and the tank's water temperature is typically 86 degrees during the day. We feed the fish twice a day (TetraFin Goldfish flakes). <<Variety in their diet is important here, Daniel. Even the highest quality food can ultimately lead to long-term health issues if the diet isn't 'switched up' now and then. Vegetables are particularly important since algae is the mainstay in the diet of Goldfish in their natural habitat. Foods high in protein should be avoided since the digestive systems of Goldfish aren't designed to handle it. Spinach and zucchini are very good choices of veggies among others.>> We've had the fish for a year and a half. They've always been active and healthy. Two days ago Ichigo suddenly fell ill. He breathes rapidly, opening his mouth widely, and mostly rests just under the surface and has no appetite. Last night we put 5.5 table spoons of aquarium salt in the tank. <<I don't want to 'assume' how, exactly, you added the salt, Daniel, but this should be dissolved in water before adding to the tank. Salt should never be added directly to an aquarium since the undissolved salt can cause 'burns' on fish. Along this same line, the ratio is about correct if you choose to go this route but I would advise slowly acclimating your fish to this level of salt rather than hit them with it all at one time. Salt has its benefits, certainly, but like any other changes made to your pets' environment, we suggest a gradual transition to avoid stressing the animals.>> I touched him and it doesn't feel like he swallowed a rock. <<From what you describe, he may not have actually swallowed a rock. A rock, or something like it, may have become stuck in his throat.>> We don't know what to do and I couldn't find an answer from your previous cases. Ichigo looks healthy but the fast breathing worries us and the fact that he opens his mouth so widely and that he's inactive and not eating. What do you think might be the problem? <<As I suggested above, it's not uncommon at all for Goldfish to suck in gravel/stones and spit them back out while foraging in the substrate. Occasionally, a rock goes further into the fish's mouth than it should and becomes lodged in the throat. This would account for the wide-open mouth behavior and, though it doesn't affect the fish's breathing directly, it will stress the fish significantly resulting in the labored breathing you've observed. Likewise, you can count on your Goldfish not having much appetite under these circumstances. In a lot of instances, the obstruction will free itself and all will return to normal. If not, the obstruction will have to be removed manually. Easier said than done, right?>> Thank you for your attention to this matter. Regards Daniel <<I'll offer a small 'disclaimer' here, Daniel, in that what I've suggested is based on my best 'diagnosis' of what I believe the problem to be. It's certainly consistent with what you've observed. If you can, see if there something 'obvious' blocking your pet's throat. If so, you'll know exactly what the problem is. Best of luck to you and your pet. Tom>>
Re: goldfish health question
 10/23/06 Dear Tom, <<Hello, Daniel.>> Thank you so much for your response. We really appreciate it. <<I/we are always happy to help, Daniel.>> We will inspect Ichigo's mouth and see if there is a foreign object lodged inside. <<Odd as it seems, Daniel, I hope something is lodged in his throat. I couldn't care less about being "right" as much as I care about your Goldfish getting back to good health.>> Thank you for your helpful tips and advice. <<You're more than welcome, Daniel. I hope everything goes well.>> Regards, Daniel <<And mine to you. Tom>>

Bumps On A Goldfish, Now Not Eating  - 10/22/06 Dear WWM  have 2 Orandas (1 calico, 1 red/white) in 29 gal. tank for over 1 year.  Approximately 6 months ago the red/white Oranda has been getting raised white bumps on her body (1-2) at a time.  They go away in a few days.  Local pet store said this can be normal.  I am concerned now because about a week ago the Oranda got a large raised white bump behind her eye.  Within a day a white substance was protruding from it (didn't look like anchor worm) and redness was around area.  This went away after several days, then a white raised bump appeared on body near tail.  Now the fish lost appetite and sits on bottom of tank.  Don't know what to do for fish.  Please help! Thanks,  Vicki   < Sounds suspicious. To be on the safe side treat with Clout or Fluke-Tabs to treat for parasites.  The not eating thing may be an internal infection. The Clout may have some effect on that too. Do a 50% water change, vacuum the gravel and clean the filter. Go with the Clout for now and see if things improve.-Chuck>

Goldfish with Ich - Treating w/ Heat and Salt - 10/18/06 Hi, Jorie. <Hello again, Pam - sorry for the delay in replying...> Okay... Here we go again. <OK!> 1. Began 75% H2O changes daily as per your instructions. <Wonderful.> 2. Medicated each day for 2 days w/no filter. <As per the medication's instructions?> 3. Every third day, I put the filter back into the pump for 1 day, changed water and allowed to filter for 24 hours before medicating again. <Again, hopefully you are following the instructions of the medication.  I do not know right off the top of my head what the dosages/times are, but I can tell you that if you are placing the carbon back in to remove meds, you should be doing a substantial water change at the same time...> 4. Finally was able to obtain liquid testing kit and have found ammonia levels to be WAY too high. <Ammonia needs to be at ZERO.> Fish is now gasping at surface for air. Did a 100% water change, rinsed gravel/the 1 plant in tank and rinsed/wiped inside of tank. Refilled fresh H2O, tested 0 ppm ammonia. Replaced ichy fantail. Still gasping for air at surface. <Some medications can remove oxygen from the water - try adding an airstone or two.> 5. Up to this point, the Ich seems to be getting worse. More pustules have formed on tail fins, but no ulcers or slime on body. No discoloration of scales, fins, gills or eyes. However, she keeps trying to scratch on substrate and her appetite is diminishing. <I would honestly try adding going w/o medication and adding salt/heat - see here: http://www.pondsandpumps.co.uk/artichparasite.htm . Also, look at the previous link I sent you. 6. The calico fantail which had no signs of Ich has been in the main tank since your last email, and seems to be doing extremely well. Still no signs of Ich. <That's great.> 7. Ichy fish seems to be continually going down hill in this small tank. Should I just bite the bullet, put her in the main tank and treat for Ich in a more comfortable environment? <I wouldn't recommend it.> I am now prepared to treat with heat/salinity so both fish wouldn't have to be exposed to the quick cure which doesn't seem to be doing anything anyway. <Why can't you do heat/salt in the QT/hospital tank? So long as you do daily H20 changes (do make sure the new water has the same pH and temp. as the old...if not, this could also be adding to the fish's trauma...> Honestly, once you introduce the parasite into the main tank it will *always* be there...I know you want to do what's best for all the fish, but I do believe keeping them separate is the way to go.>   Any info you could provide would be wonderful. Really worried about this fish. <Am sorry, and understand how worried you are.  Was literally sick over my last sick fish.  I know the 1 gal. is small, but if I recall correctly, so is the goldfish now.  Increase oxygenation (add an airstone or two), get the rest of the medication out if you haven't already, and see the two articles re: salinity and heat as an Ich treatment.  Continue w/ daily water changes - ammonia and nitrite must remain at ZERO.  Nitrate can go up to 20 ppm, but lower is better.  Also, don't overfeed - excess food in the tank will further pollute the tank.> Thanks a bunch, <Good luck- Jorie> Pam B.

Goldfish Lockjaw - 10/20/2006 Hi, <<Hello, Ellen. Tom>> I have a fantail whose mouth will not close. The people at the pet store say this is due to the ingestion of food up near the surface - bloating. The people at the fish store say they have seen this and don't know the cause - probably neurological and there is nothing to be done except euthanize him or wait for him to die of starvation. <<Interesting couple of explanations'¦>> What I have found on your site suggests that a mouth constantly open could be the result of injury to the mouth. I don't think that is the case here. His fish mate recently died because of parasites and I treated the water with Maracyn II and copper. I discontinued this treatment about a week after he died. Would the copper cause neurological problems such as the constantly open mouth in this remaining fish? <<Unlikely.>> I had 2 comet goldfish that lived for 14 years and they had some problems but nothing like I have experienced  lately. I have had 3 fantails die in the last 2 months - all from the same store if that makes a difference. Are fantails especially difficult? <<Not if they come from healthy stock, which makes me question the store.>> This fish seems healthy otherwise. He wants to eat but can't seem to manage it. I put him back on Maracyn II, though I don't really think his problem is bacterial. Still, he seems like he might be more vulnerable now than otherwise. I just hate to see him like this and want to try everything to save him. <<Do yourself a favor if you haven't already and check down the animal's throat. Goldfish can be pretty indiscriminate about what they take into their mouths and spit out if it isn't to their liking. This is particularly true of substrate materials like gravel/pebbles since they forage regularly at the bottom of the tank. Should a piece of something foreign become stuck in the fish's mouth/throat, you'll observe the fish swimming around with it's mouth open. Might not necessarily be the case here but it's a heck of lot easier to 'diagnose' than a neurological issue. Besides, I can tell you, first-hand, that the little buggers can/will do this. :) >> Thanks so much for any help! Ellen Reitan <<You're welcome, Ellen, and I'd advise discontinuing any medications until you know exactly what the problem is. I'm betting your Goldfish is pretty stressed right now and med's can magnify stress. Best of luck. Tom>>

Fancy Goldfish and Discoloration - 10/19/2006 Hello, <<Hello, Susan. Tom>> I have two goldfishes (growth on top of heads), not sure what they are called.  I notice one has a black outline to it's mouth and the other has it on it's tail.  I have recently been treating them for Ick.  What are these black marks and how to treat? <<Typically, though not always, black marks on fish are a sign of a wound or sore that's in the process of healing. Since you're currently treating for Ich, I might surmise that your fish suffered some irritation to the skin around the areas that you've mentioned. This won't call for any further treatment but keep an eye on it as well as keeping water conditions at their best. This will benefit your pets more than anything.>> Thank you. <<You're welcome, Susan. Tom>>

Goldfish With Fin Rot  10/15/06 Hi Bob, I'll get right to the point so I don't waste your time.  I have a 20  gal tank.  Two small (approx. 1.5'') goldfish.  An orange fantail  "Crazy" (named by my six yr. old) and a black moor (Shadow). I realize the  tank is too small and I will be getting a larger one soon.  I have provided  extra oxygen with a bubble wall.  But I did a stupid thing after getting  some bad info on the net. Not from your site of course.  I've had my  tank for about 6 months.  All was well except I noticed Crazy wasn't so  crazy for a few days.  She had been resting on the bottom way more than  usual.  Other than that, no visible (physical) signs of distress.  I  have never put any chemicals in the tank.  I let it cycle and put the fish  in. But after a few days, I started to get a little worried as she started  to isolate herself.  I got online and started to do research.  Found a  site that said I needed to clean out the tank and put in new water.   UGH!  (You can imagine the fiasco I started.)  I removed the  fish.   Saved about 25% of the water.  Cleaned out the tank (did not  use any chemical cleaners), put in all new rocks etc., fresh (tap) water, and  the old water and fish right back in.  Well, they started with the gasping  and being in "shock" behavior.  Realizing I had screwed up and trying to  correct my own stupidity, I started testing everything.  Chlorine level way  to high.  Rectified that.  All other levels are good (according to what I read.  General hardness-low-around 30, KH-120, Nitrite-0,  Nitrate-0.5, pH-7.0, Amonia-0, however...Crazy has developed (from what I read)  a bacterial infection, and fin-rot.  Her tail is almost completely  gone.  She is near death and is in a hospital tank now.  Shadow  looks like Mr. Magoo and like she's been splashed with white paint and her  beautiful tail has red streaks and is frayed as well.  I have used  Maracyn-two for 7 days.  This seemed to make them worse.  This has  been going on for about 4 weeks.  I can't believe they are still alive  (we've prayed really hard over them) The water seems to be about cycled now but  the fish are still in poor health.  This morning Crazy is a little more  perky and she did eat where she had not been.  Shadow is very frisky, has  been eating the whole time, still looks like she's been splashed with paint and  her tail is in bad shape.  I've tried the chat forum but one of the first  things I was told was to put in salt (which I read on your site, you don't  recommend).  I need expert advise, which is why I'm writing you.  I  apologize if I was too long winded.   Do you think I can save the  fish? Thanks! Marcella < Take an Exacto knife or very sharp single edged razor blade. Catch the sick fish and lay him on paper towels that have been wetted with the aquarium water. Cut off the infected part of the fins down to healthy fins. Do not cut into the meat of the fish at the base of the fins! If you do then the fins will not grow back! Then place back in the hospital tank with Nitrofuranace and treat as per the directions on the package. Fin rot can be very stubborn to treat. By removing the infected part of the fin your fish will have a better chance at a full recovery. The fins will grow back but not as straight or as long.-Chuck>
Re: Fin Rot Better  - 10/15/06
Dear Chuck, Wow, when I first started reading this I thought you were being  sarcastic. But, as I continued, I realized you were not joking. I am  not so sure I can do this but will see if maybe my husband will give it a  shot. Since it has been several days since I wrote to you, I have received some good advice from a few people in the forum. Both of the fish are better. Crazy's tail stopped disintegrating and she seems to have  recovered very nicely. The "paint splashes," (which you did not comment  on) are starting to go away. I am still concerned about Shadow's tail, but  the "sloughing" does not seem to be progressing. We did find some  antibiotic food and they are eating it well. If I see signs of the fin rot continuing I will be sure to attempt the tail amputation you described. Thank you so much for getting back to me. You guys have a cool web site and as a first time tank owner, I have learned a plethora of information which  has been very useful. Thanks again, Marcella < Sometimes it takes awhile to get a hold of these stubborn infections. You don't amputate the tail, you just clip off the damaged fins down to unaffected fin tissue. If it was just a little at the tips you could use toe nail clippers. The color splashing goes hand in hand with the bacterial infection. The Nitrofurazone would take care of both. Glad to hear things are getting better.-Chuck>
Re: Fin Rot Getting Better II  - 10/15/06
Chuck, Okay, I have a better understanding of it now. Well, my fantail's tail seems to have done that on it's own, but the moors tail is still questionable. I'm not so sure where I would stop clipping/cutting as her tail seems to be blood streaked down to the body (not sure what that is all about). It has stopped sloughing as I said, and they are very active and  playful today. < The bloody streaks that run through the tail fin that run parallel to the filaments is a different bacterial infection and technically isn't considered tail rot. The burning or eating away of the edge of the fins is considered tail or fin rot.> My husbands fear is squishing the fish as he tries to hold it in place. And fish seem to be quite panicked when they are out of the water even for a few seconds. I would imagine you have to be quick, no? However, I will do what I have to do. What do you  think? Thanks, Marcella <If the fin infection is so bad that it doesn't respond to medication then you need to remove the infected tissue. Get a dish towel wet with the aquarium water. Catch the infected fish and place him in the wet towel. Fold the towel over to just expose the infected part of the fin. Cut the fin down just past the ragged infected area. The fin should now be neat and clean across the edge. The edge could be dabbed with a bit of iodine on the end of a Q-tip. Replace the fish in a clean hospital tank and treat with Nitrofurazone. When the fins start to grow back he can be placed back into the original tank.-Chuck>

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