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FAQs About Goldfish Disease/Health 27

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

Related FAQs:  Goldfish Disease 1, Goldfish Disease 2, Goldfish Disease 3, Goldfish Disease 4, Goldfish Disease 5, Goldfish Disease 6, Goldfish Disease 7, Goldfish Disease 8, Goldfish Disease 9, Goldfish Disease 10, Goldfish Disease 11, Goldfish Disease 12, Goldfish Disease 13, Goldfish Disease 14, Goldfish Disease 15, Goldfish Disease 16, Goldfish Disease 17, Goldfish Disease 18, Goldfish Disease 19, Goldfish Disease 20, Goldfish Disease 21, Goldfish Health 22, Goldfish Health 23, Goldfish Disease 24, Goldfish Health 25, Goldfish Disease 26, Goldfish Disease 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, BiOrb - 01/25/2006 Hi, <Hello.> I recently bought a 30L BiOrb and was advised by the pet store that it is very suitable for a Black moor goldfish. <30 Liters is just shy of 8 US gallons; this is less than the 10 US gallons that we tend to recommend as a bare minimum per goldfish.> I have introduced a 1 inch black moor. Is this tank suitable? <He will certainly need a larger space as he grows.  Whether it is suitable right now will depend upon whether or not you can keep ammonia and nitrite at ZERO, nitrate less than 20ppm, in this small space.  Black moors, like all other goldfish, produce a great deal of waste - you might not be able to keep up with him.  Furthermore, the surface area of these and other "bowl" shaped systems is really inappropriate for fish.  A ten or fifteen gallon tank would probably be cheaper and more appropriate a home for him.  I really would have this social animal in a tank of 30 gallons or more (115 Liters or more) and provide him with another goldfish pal.> The instructions with the BiOrb claim the filter cartridge should be changed every 6-8 weeks, but I have since read that the stones in the filter cartridge can be thrown away (if this is true when should they be thrown away?) <If the "stones" are black (carbon), a week or so is fine; they lose their efficacy at that point or sooner, but in your case it won't be harmful for them to stick around for the time the instructions recommend.> and the sponge swilled in the partial water change tank water, and re-used time and time again until worn out then cut in half when introducing a brand new sponge (half a sponge at a time). Is this correct? <This would be fine.> Also how often should I be carrying out a partial (30%??) water change, weekly? Because the instructions only advise this to be done every 6-8 weeks! <Oh my.  With a goldfish (read: poop machine) in this tiny tank, weekly water changes of 20% would be effective at his current size.  Waiting 6-8 weeks would be asking for trouble....  Disease, toxic water conditions....> I am quite confused after purchasing a tank that is supposed to be a very simple and easy way to have a pet fish!!!! <Goldfish are not the easiest fish to care for.  They're serious waste producers.  Keeping their environment clean is a challenge, and in this very small system, it will be even more challenging, and impossible as the animal grows up.  You might consider smaller, less "poopy" fish; a single male Betta/Siamese fighting fish makes a great companion that's easy to care for.  Or if you like groups of fish, a few white cloud mountain minnows or zebra Danios might look nice.  I would go for a Betta; they're great on personality.> Also the black moor has an upturned right anal fin (I think its called this the two small fins at the back end bottom of the fish) <Good description - these are ventral or pelvic fins.> it sticks up against the right side of its body - will this cause him problems when he grows? <Nah, not at all.  It may be a genetic deformity, or maybe the fin was broken when he was quite young and grew funny.  This won't be an issue.> Someone please help, I don't want to cause any harm to this fish! <Please take a look here:   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm , here:  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshdisease.htm , here:  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshmalnut.htm , and here:  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwset-up.htm for some good information to help you out.  Wishing you well,  -Sabrina>

GOLDFISH (NOR ANY FISH, IN MY OPINION) DO NOT BELONG IN BOWLS!   1/23/07 Hi Jorie, <Hi again> I'm afraid my fish lives in a bowl. <Ok, this is not good for any fish, but especially a very messy goldfish (or two).  Read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm.  Another good goldfish resource here: http://www.kokosgoldfish.com/ > We don't use the term gallons but I think its about 4-5 liters. <Just about...WAY too small for even one goldfish.  One fancy goldie needs at least 10 gal. of water, plus proper filtration and regular water changing.  Do read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwfiltration.htm > I think that's one gallon. <I am under the impression that 1 liter = (approx.) 0.26 US gallons.  Even if your bowl is 5 liters, that's about 1.3 US gallons...unsuitable for any fish.> Well a regular bowl. <Terrible.  Read here; even though its an article about Bettas, the same rationale applies: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/bettasysart.htm > I don't know how much ammonia the water  has but I know we have hard water (I hope you understand my point). <Ammonia and alkalinity (hardness of water) are not the same thing.  Ammonia is a toxin and cannot be present in any amount in a fish's water.  Here's a good article explaining "ammonia, nitrites and nitrates and how they interact to establish the necessary nitrogen cycle in an aquarium (which, is virtually impossible to do in a 1.3 US gal. fish bowl) : http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwestcycling.htm > Oh, when I asked a friend who has some experience at this about my problem he said that its because I had different water from the pet shop,  or the fish was sick,  or he had a shock. <Bottom line, if your friend has any reasonable amount of experience, he would have told you that you need an aquarium of at least 10 US gallons (just under 38 liters), with biological and mechanical filtration.  Also, you should be doing regular water changes, matching the pH and temp. of the "old" vs. the "new" water as closely as possible.  What your friend tells you is all true and possible, but the key issue is that your fish is essentially swimming in its own waste, in highly polluted water, and this will eventually kill him.> He doesn't believe that the other goldfish was attacking the fantail. <Well, if I recall correctly, you saw a "bite" in the fish that died? Something had to have caused this...> Oh, and one more question. My goldfish is always at the surface for air so I want to buy an air pump. <GET RID OF THE BOWL. Get a reasonable sized aquarium, as mentioned above.  If you want two goldfish, you'll need at least an 80 liter tank...> Can I put one in the bowl? <You could, but this won't resolve your polluted water problem. Invest in a larger tank instead.> If yes, do you have some models to recommend. <No, I recommend a bigger aquarium. Read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwset-up.htm > Thanks you so much for your time. Sorry for all this questions. <Don't apologize for asking, but please understand, this truly is an essential.  Your one fish likely died from poor environmental conditions, and your other one will likely perish as well.  It is cruel and inhumane to keep any fish in bowls, esp. goldfish, who are notoriously messy.  Not to mention there are great temperature fluctuations in small bowls, little oxygen content, etc... Unfortunately, you don't have the luxury of taking all the time in the world to read the mounds of info. on proper fishkeeping; do your fish a favor, take my word on it, buy a larger aquarium with filtration, and get your fish in their ASAP.  All the while, be doing your reading, and you'll soon see why I'm so concerned for the health of your fish. Best regards, Jorie>

Gold fantail thyroid tumor? Likely Simazine poisoned  - 1/22/07 Hello crew, <Rachel> I have a one-eyed gold fantail named Polyphemos, <Ahh!> about 5 inches long from nose to the end of his tail.  A few months ago I bought a 5 gallon Regent acrylic tank for him (up from his old 2.5 gallon) <Yikes... needs even much more room than this> with a built-in filtration system and bio-wheel.  After reading the FAQs, I realize he should have twice that much space, <Easily... better four or more times> but I have nowhere to put a 10 gal. tank until I move out of this apartment.  Having lost several goldfish in years past due to poor water quality, I've been diligent about changing Pol's water - 20-30% weekly. <Good> I had a friend feed Pol over Christmas break.  He seemed fine when I got back, although there was a lot of algae build-up, and his dorsal fin and tail had changed to black - I chalked this up to the dark algae-covered environment. <Mmm, both more likely due to declining water quality> I scraped some of the algae off the tank, did a partial water change, changed the filter, and added the recommended amount of "Algae Destroyer Liquid." <... Simazine... toxic... I do NOT endorse the use of this compound for/in ornamental aquatic use>   Pol seemed fine for the rest of that week, and soon began to change back to his normal gold color.  However, he has now lost his appetite completely, and as far as I know has not eaten any of his food for close to a week. (Until yesterday his tank was bare except for some river stones, which made keeping track of and disposing uneaten food a breeze.)  He now spends most of his time sitting in the corner of the tank with his nose in the air and is breathing heavily. <Start... changing the water... daily... a gallon or two... stored from days previous...>   He occasionally darts to the surface and swims normally when disturbed but soon settles back in the corner.  He doesn't seem to be in danger of starving just yet; he was perhaps overfed while I was on vacation, and his fins and scales are all normal and healthy. But when he first lost his appetite, I noticed a small reddish-white bump on his throat (see picture, attached).  I thought at first from his symptoms that it might be flukes, did a partial water change, and treated with Parasite Clear, which involved a 20-30% water change before the second dose.  48 hours after the second dose of the medicine, the bump was still there, and the area of redness appeared to have grown to 2-3 mm in size.  I did another 20-30% water change, tap water as usual properly treated with a dechlorinator, hoping that it was a water quality problem, perhaps tied to the algae remover chemicals.  Nothing seems to have helped.  Ammonia levels are undetectable, pH is at 7.5.  I don't have a nitrite/nitrate test kit, but I'm assuming from these recent water changes every couple of days that it's as close as I can get it to optimal. Usually he eats Tetra Exotic sinking mini sticks for dinner alternated with Tubifex worms for breakfast, and has always until now been extremely interested in food.  He doesn't show interest in it at all now, even when I drop the pellets directly on top of him.  Since reading the info on these pages, I've tried feeding him a thawed frozen pea, without the skin; no response.  I added a layer of gravel and some live plant bulbs last night, hoping that they could help create a more natural environment eventually, or at least a more comfortable surface for him to sit on.  Although it's been fine until now, I've also added a bubble stone in case there's a problem with oxygenation.  Besides this bump, the rapid breathing, and constant sitting in the corner, he looks healthy, but refuses to eat. From looking at the charts at www.fishyfarmacy.com, I thought it might be a thyroid tumor, Chilodonella, or maybe even a rock stuck in his throat.   <Mmm, no... these are distant possibilities... Your fish has been poisoned... by the initial questionable water quality... next, the Simazine...> I've thought about trying salt, but the last time I salted a tank my fish died - I was using table salt without iodine as recommended by some other website, and wasn't sure whether that death was due to using the wrong type of salt or the inevitable progress of the infection. <More likely by far the latter> I've got a bag full of meds from my disease-ridden poor-water quality days, but I didn't want to dose him up with more chemicals before I knew for sure what was wrong.  Any advice or diagnosis you have would be very much appreciated!  I think he could hold out for a few more days to a week without eating, but I'm out of ideas for what else to do to help him. Thank you, ~Rachel <>< <If you had another up and going system I'd move the goldfish to it... as you don't seem to... dilute the present ones toxicity... Bob Fenner>

Goldfish fins turning black fairly quickly    1/21/07 Hey there, I love the site and always check it when I have any questions but I have an orange Oranda goldfish about 2 inches long not counting the tail.  I was hoping you could give me some advice on what I should do (if anything) with a color change that the fish is going through. <Mmm, these changes do "just happen"... not likely anything you actually "can do"... other than provide good, consistent environment, nutrition> The top and bottom tips of one side of the tail and also the tip of the caudal fin on the same side are turning black fairly quickly.  The fish has been doing great for the last 3 weeks since we successfully treated the tank for an outbreak of Ich with Nox-ich at that time. <Mmm... well, the Malachite Green may actually have triggered something here... still, largely a genetic pre-disposition> The Ich cleared up right away, and the goldfish and it's tank mates - a big snail, <Surprising this wasn't killed by the med.> 4 small panda catfish and 1 small Pleco - are all doing great.  Fins are perky and everybody is excited to eat.  We had just got a 10 gallon quarantine tank up and running and were hoping to introduce 3 new goldfish after a week or two but now we are worried that there may be something wrong in the main tank. <Not that this color change would portend... but the fact that the snail survived the Malachite exposure indicates to me that the Ich is likely still present, sub-clinical... that it could easily be expressed>   The stats are as follows: 55 Gallon tank with 2 live plants in it and an Aqua Clear 70 filter Temperature appx. 73 degrees pH is 7.8 Ammonia is about 0.1 - 0.2 Nitrite is < 0.1 The General Hardness is 120 mg/L The Carbonate Hardness is 130 mg/L Is everything here OK or could there be a problem?  Thanks so much for you time, as we are eager to keep our fish healthy.  They were originally a compromise when we decided we didn't have time or space for a dog.  It's amazing how much you get attached to the little guys. Cheers, Matt <Ah, yes... I would proceed as you state, with the careful few weeks quarantine of the new goldfish... testing for ammonia, moving/changing water out in the new 10 from the extant 55. Bob Fenner>
Re: goldfish fins turning black fairly quickly
 - 1/22/07 Thanks so much Bob!  Your reassurance will help us sleep tonight.  And, my mistake, I should have mentioned that we took the snail out during the Ich treatment... Thanks, Matt <Ahh, thank you for this further information. BobF>

Sick Oranda, env.   1/20/07 Hi, I'm sorry but I couldn't find anything on your website which exactly matched my Oranda's symptoms. Ok, I have a small tank (20 litres) <Too small... Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm> which I was given 4 months ago, and have two small Oranda (about 1 1/2 inches) and a black moor about 2 inches (I realize after reading your site this might be too crowded, <Is, and unstable...> but was told by the aquarist when I bought the fish it wouldn't be overcrowded at all). <A mis-statement... wrong> Last week all the fish seemed to be having some problems with their balance, but the one Oranda looked really sick, kept floating to the service on its side unable to stay down - I thought this was swim bladder problems, <... no... environmental> so didn't feed any of them for a day, then fed peas, and the next day they were all back to normal and were fine for a few days. However two days ago the same Oranda looked really lethargic, kept lying on the bottom of the tank and didn't really move. When I looked at the fish yesterday, the Oranda was moving quite a bit, but instead of floating, seemed to be having trouble getting off the gravel at the bottom, and was tilting on its side quite a bit. It also bumped into the glass and the filter etc a lot when swimming and wouldn't eat any of the peas I fed. I tested the water quality and everything seemed fine apart from the pH which was 6.5 - is this the problem? And how did it go down so fast? I'd just changed 1/4 of the water the day before and treated it as normal. I will get something to raise the pH today, but I'm concerned this might not be the only problem. It still won't eat, and is just led on the gravel on it's side, kind of bent in the middle. The other fish all seem perfectly fine. Please help, I'm so worried. Thanks in advance, Lucy <Read the above linked article and the linked files at the top of it. Bob Fenner>

Goldfish and Algae eaters - 1/20/07 Hello Bob, <Hey Susan, JustinN with you today.> Here are a few questions I hope you can answer re: 30 gal indoor aquarium w/1 fantail, 1 Oranda, 2 Corys (just lost one beautiful Oranda w/dropsy :( <I'm very sorry for your losses.> 1.  Are there any cold-water algae eaters that would not outgrow a 30 gallon tank?  If not, any suggestions aside from snails? <Sorry to be the bearer of bad news here, my friend, but really there are not. I hear suggestions for Olive Nerite snails (Neritina reclivata) fairly often, but the problem here is the temperate issue, as you have pointed out. Assuming your Corys are Corydoras catfish, they too will likely eventually succumb to the subtropic conditions. Have a read through here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm and http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshcompfaqs.htm and the files linked in blue above.> 2.  How long should I wait before I introduce another fish to the tank after losing one to dropsy a week ago? <In my opinion, you are already full my friend. Your goldfish will likely grow larger than their current girth as is. Most serious goldfish keepers provide a minimum of 20 gallons per specimen, sometimes up to 30 gallons. Reason being, goldfish are very messy eaters, and high waste producers, beyond their large adult size. It is much harder to keep the environment stable and clean when you have more than this.> 3.  Is it wise to put smaller fantails (3-4") in with larger fantails - my fantails are larger (5-6") and non-aggressive toward the Corys. <No, I do not think any further additions of fishes would be wise here. See above for my rationale.> 4.  Could my apple snail have introduced bacteria into the water which could have killed my Oranda?  The snail smelled and I found it necessary to euthanize it, thinking it could have been the culprit.  It had been dormant for a while but was still barely alive.  It was over a year old and had passed maturity for quite a while, gradually slowing down to what seemed to be a hibernating state. <The dying of your snail likely was releasing a good amount of ammonia into the water column, polluting your tank even further, but likely the large size of your fishes and quantity in a smaller volume played a role here as well.> 5.  What type of fish would you suggest I add to my tank - preferably hearty fish that will not out grow a 30 gal tank. <Only what you already have, sorry.> Thanks much! Susan Tervo <Have a read through the links provided above, and good luck! -JustinN>

Problems with my goldfish, env. dis.   1/20/07 Hi, <Hello> Please see the post I put up a few days ago: <... please follow instructions... "include prev. corr."> Hi, Recently had a lot of trouble with my goldfish. One suffered from Columnaris, which cleared up thankfully. I put her back into the BiOrb <Inappropriate habitats for goldfish... insufficient filtration, surface area, volume...> and a week later she lay on her side at the bottom of the tank. <Environmental...> Some of her fins have turned black and there are salt grain size black spots on her head. About 9 of them, some of them barely visible. She's also developed a little black above her mouth, but she's swimming better and eating. I've since looked at the other fish and it also has a black dots, mainly just above the dorsal fin towards the head. The tank is tested frequently and I do 30-40% partial water changes when the readings are too high. <Too late... need to be done "pre-emptively"> The nitrate is sitting at 10mg/l, nitrite is 0, GH & KH are in the ok range but the pH is about 7.6 <These readings are fine> I also use an LED intelligent light which is on a cycle, 2 hours per day of sunrise/ sunset (mix of blue and white light) 8 hours of white light and 14 of blue light. Could this be stressing the fish out and making them ill? <Mmm, no. Not likely> I leave it on all the time. The tank is also filtered and has a bubble-tube with air-stone fitted, no heater Any ideas? <Yes... low DO, high metabolites (other than those measured)...> No-one seems to know what it is - the fish's eyes also seem to be slowly protruding, they look odd. <Environmental...> I did some research on the web and with the symptoms displayed it says it could be Tuberculosis, Abdominal Dropsy (although I'm pretty certain this isn't the case), Ammonia poisoning causing 'black smudge' or I was also told by the pet shop it could be an internal bacterial infection. <Yes... but these are more "secondary"... "effects" rather than causes... the root problem/s here are environmental... poor, inconsistent water quality to put this another way> I live in the UK so antibiotics are virtually non-existent. <Not useful here>   I'm currently using Melafix <Ditto> in the QT tank and doing large water changes in the BiOrb. Can you help?  I really don't want to lose the fish Lee-Anne    <Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm and the linked files above... learn to/use the search tool, indices that are part of WWM... Your answers and much more are posted there. Bob Fenner>

Re: Dead Comet  1/20/07 Thanks Tom. <<Happy to help, Paul.>> Your feedback is very much appreciated. <<Not a problem...>> If Bob has any suggestions, that'd be great. I guess I'll have to come up with another solution for the galvanized tank. What would happen if I painted the interior of the tank with a potable, water epoxy paint? <<Pretty much the end of the problem.>> Do you think this would solve the oxidization process? <<Yes, and a wise way to go. Good thinking on your part here.>> <<Any time, Paul. Tom>>

Oranda - Fin Rot?    1/17/06 Hi there, <Greetings!> I have two Orandas in a 20 gallon tank.  They seem to get along quite well.  I've had them together for over a year and a half now and they have spawned twice (no success in keeping the fry due to my inexperience, suggestions on that would be nice). <Not easy to do... in the same aquarium... See WWM, use the search tool for goldfish reproduction...>   Anyway, I went on vacation for six days and left them in the care of family, possibly a mistake.  Prior to me leaving, everything was fine in the aquarium.  When I arrived home yesterday, the female, "Beeker," now has her fins looking in very poor shape.  See attached pictures. <Yes... I see the fraying... whitish areas>   They are extremely torn in multiple areas with blood present.  I cannot imagine how this could have occurred.  Possibly fin rot or some kind of fungus? <Mmm, yes... but from what influences... cause?> The male, "Oscar," has been known to be quite aggressive in the past. <Not the cause here> Particularly when in the spawning mood, but nothing like this has ever happened.  His fins look pretty well for the most part.  I changed about 50% of the water due to a large amount of decaying plant matter, and her condition.  I have added about 2 tablespoons of salt along with Melafix (I have had success with this in the past). <Okay> Please let me know what you think.  Any and all suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Thanks, Brian <I would continue to do the water changes and monitor water quality... all should clear on its own here in time. Bob Fenner>

Beginner in Murky Water : please help!   1/16/07 Hello, I have a very sick fish and I am a newbie who tries to do her research.  I have paged through much of your superb site and can't find a good enough answer for his troubles.  Attached is a picture of my beautiful fish, symptoms that have occurred (in this order): questionable scales on his tail (he had Ich once before and this doesn't look the same), a swollen left eye, and one large lump on his side. <I see this> I had begun treating the whole tank with Maracyn after I noticed his tail & eye, <Not efficacious> but removed him to a hospital tank when I discovered the lump this morning.  He is getting progressively listless, nose pointed down, sitting at the bottom, & fins slightly clamped with trouble swimming.  I hope this didn't add to his stress, but the hospital tank is brand new, I added Cycle, Salts, and partial water from the old tank and let the tank sit for 4hrs today before transferring him... <Good prep.> I got worried and didn't want to wait any longer.  I just fed him some Tetracycline Gel food but it looks like he's given up on the eating thing. <... perhaps from the antibiotic exposure...> 10 gallon Tank = 1 other [recently introduced but healthy looking] immature fantail goldfish, and 2 Danios.  I had NOT been maintaining the water well, after a 30% water change, pH = 6.6; Nitrate = 5.0; Nitrite = 0; Ammonia reading was astronomical (which shocked me), <This could be part and partial a cause here> I have now done a partial change and added more Ammo-lock.  I have had the tank, with this original fish for about 4 months. Are there any more steps I can take to possibly save my fantail?  I sincerely wished I had found your site before now, I may have gotten off on a better foot when first starting my aquarium, thanks a lot for you help. Ezan <Improving the environment and hope... No more "medicines" necessary or recommended... Do use the Google tool on WWM using the terms "Goldfish, Tumor"... and read the cached versions. Bob Fenner>
Re: Beginner in Murky Water : please help! 2, tumorous goldfish    1/17/06 Hi Crew, An addendum to my previous question, since it hasn't been answered yet, sorry for my length: <We're passing each other in the night fog I believe> 1. After more research, I observe that he is slightly bloated, so I suspect dropsy (Noooo!!!), he's not really eating but the curious whiteness on his side has loosened it's grip and is falling off.   He's still perky for spurts...  Should I try to dose him with Metronidazole?  Are there any other non-eating treatments? <I would not try chemical treatments here... other than Magnesium Sulfate...> 2.  When I said the Ammonia was "astronomical" I don't think it was an accurate reading.  I had been using Ammo-lock prior to the water change.  But maybe I hadn't used enough of it, early enough.  : ( Thanks for your help....!! Ezan <I also would not rely on this or other chemical means to reduce ammonia... Do know that the active ingredient here can/does interfere with the principal assay/test for ammonia... giving a false negative... See WWM re FW ammonia... Bob Fenner>

Ammonia Spikes Stress Goldfish Hi, I will try to keep this short. I bought a 10 gallon tank and overloaded it with 5 goldfish. < Not a good idea.> The evident happened with ammonia, so I went and purchased a 46 gallon. I lost 2 of them. Now the 10 gallon finished cycling (this is in a 2 month perimeter) the 46 kept having huge ammonia spikes like 8ppm for a week  and I noticed one of my favorite black moor's was doing poorly in the 46 gallon (clamped fins, laying at the bottom of the tank just moving her lips to breathe). So I put her in the 10 gallon. She quickly picked up and was swimming all around the tank. Now this is the second day and she is back to clamped fins and lying at the bottom of the tank. She lays there until I come over and then she acts like she just woke up from a dream and is trying to shake it off, and then goes back to the bottom. Did I poison her possibly and is there anyway to help her? Or is she doomed to die? She has been my little trooper through all the ammonia spikes and problems I have had. I would hate to lose her. Thank you < These ammonia spikes weaken fish and promote disease. I would recommend that you do a 50% water change, vacuum the gravel and clean the filter. After that add Bio-Spira from Marineland. Your tank should be stable in a couple of days.-Chuck>

Goldfish Growth   1/11/07 Hi I have a large orange comet goldfish that is about 5-6 years old.  It is approximately 5 inches long and a really nice fish.  In the last month a few wart like growths have appeared on one side and one on the other side of its body.  They are the same color as the fish and don't seem to be getting larger and the fish is acting normal.  It is eating fine. Swimming around quite happily and I wonder if I should just ignore the growths as they don't seem to be affecting it at all.  One worry was whether the others will catch something.  Any suggestions please? Kind regards Lynne Moore <Mmm... well, these growths are indicative of tumors of some sort... and are typically environmentally mediated... that is, linked to some aspect/s of poor water quality, nutrition... And may well come to affect the one fish, be found on the others... There is not much one can do re such... other than maintain optimum and stable conditions, adequate nutrition... Bob Fenner>
Re: Goldfish Growth   1/12/06
Thanks for that.  I have recently purchased a much larger aquarium (80 liter) and moved the fishes into that, probably only 2 weeks ago.  Perhaps the previous conditions lead to the problem in some way.  They are over the moon to have some much more space now. Kind regards Lynne Moore <Ah good. Bob Fenner>

Fancy goldfish gasps for air after feeding   1/11/07 Hi all, <Taran> Firstly, thank for offering a superb website!! Hopefully, you can help me solve my fancy goldfish problem. <I do hope so as well> I have a 49-gallon tank that contains five goldfish: a black moor, an Oranda, a Ryukin, a panda telescope and a fantail. They are all about 4½ inches long. The tank is filtered with an internal filter, that filters 600l per hour and an external filter that filters 1000l per hour. <Good to have the redundancy here. I would only clean one out per maintenance/water change period... to preserve biological filtration> There are also two air stones in each corner and many live plants. I change 30% of the water each week. Here is my problem. Every time I feed my fish they gasp/gulp for air, immediately after feeding. In between feedings they occasionally gulp the odd air bubble. However, at no other time during the day do they gasp for air as vigorously as they do after they have been fed. <I see...> My Oranda especially seems to suffer and gasps for air for up to an hour an a half after being fed. The Oranda sometimes turns upside down on its back after I feed it and remains in this position for a couple of hours. I feed them pre-soaked sinking pellets (soaked for 5-10 min.s) once a day and pea's or occasionally blood worms in the evening. I have tried 3 different of pellets (2 x sinking and 1 x floating and always soaked) vegetables, bloodworms, brine shrimp and raw shrimps. However, after each feeding all the fish are gulping or gasping at the surface. I have noticed that the fish seem to gasp for longer when fed high protein foods compared to the vegetables. <Ah, yes... harder for them to digest> Water tests show that I have no ammonia, nitrite and nitrate is at 25ppm. Can you help me to solve this problem? I will appreciate any advice you can give me. Many thanks Taran <It may be that the amount of food is at play here... either too much at one time, and/or that your fancy goldfishes are in too-bad shape to eat and swim about much... I would "cut back" on their portions, perhaps split the offered feedings into another time or two in frequency per day... and slim them down a bit... Better for their health in the long run. Bob Fenner, who often also is gasping for air after pizza and beer>

Ryukin health    1/10/07 Hello, Crew! <Me Bob, you Jane> I hope you can help me with my Goldfish problem. We have one Ryukin goldfish in 10 gallon tank for about three month now. He nearly tripled in size since we got him, so about two weeks ago we got a new used 55 gallon tank for him. <How nice!> It has two Whisper 40 filters. We were told by the previous owner that he just drained the tank two days before we picked it up, so the good bacteria should still be there. <Mmm... hopefully... I'd still move some "old" media to augment this.>   We set it up with some of the water from the old 10 gallon tank, old filter and it ran for one week. <Oh! Great> Then, we transferred him to the 55 gallon tank. And'¦. We got a friend for him... another Ryukin. We probably should have waited, but here we are, with two Ryukins. <Mmm... I would really have liked you to quarantine this (and all other) new fish... for observation, and to discount the very real possibility/potential for introduction of pathogens> Well, the new little guy sits in the corner all day long. I haven't seen him poop yet. Sometimes I see them dart around the tank, and I am just worried that something is off there. <Me too> I took the water for testing to the local fish store, they said that the old tank water is perfect, and the new tank's ph is a bit high but not dangerously high. I don't have exact numbers, sorry'¦ I did treat the new tank with Cycle, and AmQuel. Last night I moved the new little guy to the old tank, but he is still not moving much. What would be the best thing to do now? Water changes? <Mmm, it's a bit late... but I would move the new, smaller fish to the old ten gallon... with the old gear on it> Should I pour the water from the old tank to the new tank? Thank you in advance for your help. Jane <Best to be observant... get/use your own test kits for the simpler, more critical water quality parameters (water samples change with time, transport...)... Perhaps take a read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm and the linked files above... yes, including Disease... but not treat the system in any way at this juncture... More stress will not help here. Bob Fenner>
Re: Ryukin health  1/10/07
Bob, Thank you for getting back to me. I did look through the disease links, but I can't see obvious signs of illness. <Not often easy to discern...> I feed the Little Guy cooked (zapped in the microwave) peas, and he is eating well, although I still haven't witnessed any pooping activity. But, I am at work most of the day and he is so tiny that his poop may have gone unnoticed. One other thing. Big Boy (old Ryukin in the new 55 gallon tank) has air bubbles in his poop. How can I tell if it's a problem, or the Big Boy is actually Big Girl and she is just reabsorbing her eggs? Thank you Bob, Jane <Likely nothing wrong here... some gas production (as with Homo/us) via chemical, bacterial catabolism. Bob Fenner>  

Goldfish disease white pimples found only on the head    1/10/07 Hi Crew, <Alyssa> I recently got a new goldfish ( about 1 month old). When I got it home I noticed that it had a little cut in its head.  I am afraid that a parasite may have attacked the cut and reproduced.  On his head the disease looks like white head pimples with a dark ring around it ( blood?). More seem to be appearing. There are no tails so I have ruled anchor worms out and it is definitely not Ick. <Mmm, might be "just" a reaction to the cut, water quality...> The fish is in a 15 gal tank, I checked all the water parameters and they all are in the normal range as per the booklet. I have salted the tank.  And idea's? I have attached some pics <Good. Thanks, Alyssa <It doesn't appear that your goldfish has something pathogenic at play here... I would continue to monitor water quality (perhaps add a bit of greenery... my choice? Anacharis/Egeria...) and improve nutrition. Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm and the linked files above for review. Bob Fenner>

Re: Goldfish problems, not reading   1/7/07 The Epsom salts have been dissolved in water and then fed to the fish. <Mmm, not a good idea... better to administer the Magnesium Sulfate to the system water itself... much less stressful> I have a bio filter. <Test results for nitrogenous compounds?> I have fed goldfish flake food a well as   pellets. <Need more than just dried foods...> Recently have only used the anti bacterial medicated fish   food.  The water tests out okay. <Not useful statement... need raw data>   What else can I do? Char <Read, here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshmalnut.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
Re: Goldfish problems   1/8/07
ph 7/2 Total Alk - 180 Total hardness 250 Nitrite 1.0 Nitrate 40 <I would keep nitrates below 20 ppm... through water changes, filtration, live plant use...> Ammonia level - safe <Should be zero... undetectable> Moved two of the fish to a different container, in about 10 gallons of water, dosed the water with Magnesium sulfate, provided fish with blanched spinach and pond plant as recommended. <I do hope they recover. Thank you for this update. Bob Fenner>

Can you please help me cure my Ich.     1/6/07 <<Hello, Chris. Tom with you this time.>> Can you please help me cure my Ich.   <<Likely your fish have Ich, Chris. If you've got it, we're in trouble. :) >> I have a 10 gallon tank that we purchased the day before Christmas.  We have 1 Oranda, 1 calico fantail and 1 gold fantail.   <<The tank's too small for these fish, Chris. Aside from that, it's highly unlikely that your tank could have 'cycled' in this short period of time. In all probability, they're dealing with high levels of ammonia and/or nitrites. Potentially both. Not a good situation.>> The 2 fantail's came down with Ich and the case seems pretty severe.  It is all over their bodies. As soon as I noticed the bumps I went out and got Quick Cure. I have been adding 10 drops once a day like the instructions say, but nothing appears to be getting better.  I have changed out 20% of the water yesterday which was day 3.  Today is day 4 and the instructions say to not use but 3 times.  What should I do? I have taken out the carbon filter and left it out.   <<Skip the Quick Cure for the time being and do a massive -- 90% - water change. If you have a heater, slowly raise the temperature up to 80 degrees. If you don't have a heater, get one. At the same time, purchase some aquarium salt. In conjunction with the water change, add aquarium salt to the new water, along with a good water conditioner. The final destination here is to have a ratio of three tablespoons of salt per gallon of aquarium water and a temperature of, at least, 80 degrees. The salt will kill the juvenile parasites and the elevated temperature will speed up the life-cycle of the Ich so that the salt can do its job. (Only works on the juvenile stage of the critters. The adults -- the ones on the fish and the ones encysted at the bottom of your tank - are immune to anything.)>>   The 2 fantails are only active when it is eating time now.  That is not usual for them.  1 of them appears to not like the light and hides out often'¦then came the Ick so I think the light stressed the fish out and it spread.  I don't have a vacuum for the tank.  Should I get one? <<Absolutely. When you do the water changes, you'll need to vacuum the bottom of the tank heavily to try to get as many of the parasites before they break out and go searching for a host, i.e. your fish. Much to be learned, Chris. Wish I could offer you a 'silver bullet' here but you've gotten yourself, and your fish, into a bit of a pickle. You need to get this tank cycled and, not to impugn a Christmas present, upgraded to, at least, 30-40 gallons if you want to keep the Goldfish. Two tanks are better anyway, and we can help make sure the ten-gallon tank won't be wasted. As a final recommendation (as if you wanted one!) get yourself a water test kit and test your parameters religiously. You're 'flying blind' right now and can only guess at what's going on in the tank. Guessing ain't good. You need to know what the ammonia and nitrite levels are along with pH and nitrate levels. The first two are most critical as these will stress or even kill your fish. Hang in there, Chris. These things just got out of order. Otherwise, you'd only (casually) be looking for an upgrade to your current tank.>> Thank you,   Chris Dickert <<Please get back if you have further questions. In the meantime, I wish you success and good luck. Tom>>
Re: Ich... How do I control the ammonia & nitrate levels?   1/7/07
<<Hello, Chris.>> How do I control the ammonia & nitrate levels? <<Let's do this first, Chris. The nitrogen cycle goes like this: ammonia -> nitrites -> nitrates. So, it's actually the ammonia and nitrites that you need, immediately, to be concerned about. Those are the serious toxins in the tank. The nitrates are the 'caboose' of the nitrogen cycle, so to speak, and will be handled with regular, small water changes after the tank cycles. Normal maintenance stuff. (That's down the road, though.)>> When I do the massive water overhaul what do I do with the fish?  Do I leave them in the 10%?  Will this shock the fish?  Should I take them out and clean the entire tank and start over?   <<All of this can be simplified to where you wondered why you were worried to begin with (beyond the 'obvious' problem, of course). Purchase a five-gallon bucket from your local hardware (Home Depot, Lowe's or even the LFS). Give it a good cleaning in hot water with a little bleach and rinse it thoroughly. Siphon five gallons of water out of the tank. (The fish will be fine for this very short time.) Add in the fresh, conditioned water and you've just cut the polluted solution to 50% of its original toxin level. Repeat. You've cut it to 25% of the original. Repeat. You've cut it to 12.5% of the original. One more time and you're at 6.25% of the original toxin level. In short, with four five-gallon changes, you've effectively performed a 93.75% water change. (Rigorously speaking, this isn't 100% accurate. It presupposes that the ammonia and nitrites remaining after each five-gallon water change instantly mix into 100% of the tank water. Real people terms? Close enough! ;) ) Now, assuming we're starting from scratch on the aquarium salt, If you dissolve in 4-6 tablespoons with the last five-gallon change (completely dissolved, by the way), you'll bring the cumulative salt level to 2-3 tablespoons per five gallons in the tank. Lots of labor but no 'rocket science' here.>> I took some water by the local wet pets and they said the ammonia was high but it was normal since it hasn't cycled thru.   <<Uh huh. Same as saying it's normal for all of your bones to be broken because you dove, head-first, into the Grand Canyon. Ammonia and nitrite poisoning kill fish in a painful and ugly way. Plain and simple. At the low end of the spectrum, this contributes to stress promoting infestations like Ich due to the lowering of the fish's immune system. Sound familiar? I'm not picking on you but the fact that the folks you spoke to didn't give you the same information that I just did 'bothers' me! On the lighter side, I guess it would put me out of work, eh? :) >> How do the ammonia levels get out of hand? <<In your case, they haven't gotten 'out of hand', Chris. Just part of the natural process of cycling an aquarium. The beneficial bacteria that feed on ammonia, and nitrites, just haven't had time to populate your tank adequately to keep the levels where they need to be, which is at zero. Can take some time, weeks, in fact, depending on how you go about it. Once things get squared away and, you've taken some time to do some research, this will all seem like a no-brainer. Trust me. In the meantime, keep me posted, if you will. Tom>>
Re: Ich
  1/7/07 <<Hello, Chris.>> Before I received this email back from you I completed the 90% overhaul of the tank.  I went out and purchased a vacuum along with a ph balancer, ammonia stripe test, a heater, and something called "cycle."   <<Chemically treating for a specific pH level is a crapshoot, Chris. It's generally considered best, by today's standards, to acclimate the fish to the pH of the water you have readily available. The thinking here is that keeping the pH stable is far better in the long run, whether it's 'optimal' or not, than to tinker and potentially send it swinging back and forth. Changes in pH are what endangers the fish far more than holding it steady above or below the ideal. As for the Cycle product, it's not going to do the deed for you. There's only one product of this type that I or, any of the rest of us here, would recommend for 'instantly' cycling a tank and that's BIO-Spira from Marineland. This product must be kept refrigerated as it contains live bacteria, Nitrosomonas bacteria to control ammonia and Nitrospira bacteria for the nitrites.>> I took 1 gallon out of the tank and put it in a 1 gallon bowl with the 2 fish. They are really looking weak.   <<Sorry to hear this but it doesn't come as a surprise given the circumstances.>> I added 2 tablespoons of salt to the tank (as the directions said to add 1 rounded tablespoon per 5 gallons) and I added 90% of a teaspoon of aqua safe (for the chlorine).   <<Okay. No real need to be too precise on the conditioner since you can't overdose the tank with it but, so far, so good.>> I went ahead and installed the heater and added a dose of cure all (for the Ich) even though the fish are in the 1 gallon tank.   <<The medication and/or salt only works on the parasites in the juvenile stage, anyway, i.e. the ones that have burst out of the cysts at the bottom of the tank.>> I lost the Oranda yesterday.   <<Sorry, Chris.>> I tested the ammonia in the 1 gallon bowl and it is on the "danger"-worst mark.   <<Understandable.>> I tested the new water in the 10 gallon tank and it says "stress." <<An improvement, anyway.>> By the way, my wife won't let me get a bigger tank than 10 gallon.  She about freaked when I got it for Christmas. She was thinking a Betta in a bowl.   <<If we can't get this squared away'¦fast'¦she might just get her wish.>> One of the fantails appears to be sloshing the white stuff off her coat, but they are definitely looking like sloth's....hardly moving...just breathing. Should I introduce them back to the tank or hang it up. <<Into the 10-gallon ASAP! Do NOT dump the water from the bowl into the tank. Likely it has parasites in it that have dropped off the fish. The salt will assist their breathing though there's no way to tell, from my end, what kind of damage the ammonia may have done to the gills. It will also help in the healing of the wounds on the fish where the parasites were buried in their flesh. Whatever kind of 'math' you have to do to keep the salt levels, at least, where they are now, along with the Ich medication, you're going to have to perform additional water changes, the way I suggested in my last e-mail, to get the ammonia levels down to as low a level as humanly possible. Three a day if that's what it takes. (If the salt levels go high, this won't be a problem as you probably noted from our last correspondence.) As long as those fish are alive, 'hanging it up' is not an option. Tom>>
Re: Ich
  1/8/07 <<Hi, Chris.>> Thank you, Tom, for all the feedback you have given me.   <<Not a problem at all.>> Unfortunately the 3 fish have now passed.  It's very sad to see that happen.   <<Agreed. No life is 'disposable'.>> I emptied the tank out and washed off the rocks and every item in the tank with hot water. <<Sounds good.>> I put everything back together and am now in the 24-hour break-in period.   <<'Break-in' period for what, Chris?>> I am not going to introduce any fish until tomorrow.   <<No, Chris, you're not going to introduce any fish tomorrow! That tank is, effectively, brand new. It needs to cycle! The fact that it didn't is what killed your Goldfish. We're going to do this right this time.>> I was thinking about a couple of tetras.  What do you think?   <<I think that you and I have to talk about how to properly cycle an aquarium so that 'any' fish you introduce don't die. I want you in the hobby for a very long time and the fastest way to leave it is to keep losing fish unnecessarily.>> I want to break the tank in the right way this time without any fish that might stress like the gold fish. <<Good start, Chris, and it means cycling the tank 'without' fish. When you put your next 'guys' in there, it'll be ready and safe for them.>> My little boy keeps asking about Nemo and it is wearing me out. <<Understood. You can't imagine what I put up with around my house!>> I have to get it right this time.   <<You're going to.>> Do you suggest that I get that cycle stuff that you have to refrigerate?   <<If you're speaking of the BIO-Spira, absolutely. Get a small filter, if you don't have one already (an AquaClear Mini would do well), and add the BIO-Spira according to the directions. Do this in the morning, and, by the afternoon, you can add your Tetras. A few Corydoras (itsy-bitsy Catfish, for lack of a better way to put it) will also do very well in your 10-gallon tank. No salt, though. Catfish (scaleless fish) don't tolerate salt well.>> Any other advice?   <<Yes. Add your fish sparingly. Once your tank is established, the beneficial bacteria reach a type of equilibrium with the ammonia and nitrites produced. Too many fish at one time (you don't have that much room, anyway) will upset the balance resulting in what's known as a 'spike'. (Back, potentially, to the Goldfish situation.) Take your time! This is for the long-haul. Beyond that, teach your little guy the right way to care for fish. So very much to learn, Chris, and very rewarding.>> Thanks for all the help. <<You know where to find me, Chris. My best to you. Tom>>

Re: Way too many goldfish in a 2.5 gal. tank; not reading.    1/5/07 I change the water 1-2 times a week. They have a whisper filtering system w/bubbles. The tank is 2.5 gal. <This tank is entirely too small for one goldfish, let alone multiple ones.  You really need a larger tank, ASAP...in the meantime, best thing you can do is more frequent water changes...with the small size of the tank, I'd say 75% per day.> What type of antibiotics should I use to help them? <Water changes will be more helpful. Sounds like this is a fungus- read here for details about treatment - http://www.kokosgoldfish.com/Fungus.html The white spots look fuzzy, it doesn't look like salt. <Again, sounds like fungus.  You need an anti-fungal, a fungicide.> I put aquarium salt and ammonia clear in their water every I change their water. I've already lost 2 fish but they looked like they got caught underneath the filter. <Exactly how many fish are/were living in the 2.5 gal. tank? You need a much larger tank, to increase water changes, and read the links I provided in my last correspondence with you.  Best thing you can do for your fish is to educate yourself about proper goldfish conditions. Regards, Jorie>

..bubble eye goldfish have white spots on their bodies but its...   1/4/07 my... <My - proper capitalization is appreciated here> ...bubble eye goldfish have white spots on their bodies but its... <it's> ...not Ick. <You seem very sure - do the white spots look like a fine covering of salt? If so, then likely Ich.  If they are patchy and fuzzy, then they are likely body fungus.  But, I really do need a bit more information to be able to tell you more certainly what's going on.> Also one of them has a blackish look to his fins and body (spots). <Sometimes this can be referred to as "black smudge", and, in reality, is healing scabs from ammonia burns.  When was the last time you measured the water's level of ammonia, nitrite and nitrate? All should be at zero.  Moreover, when was the last time you did a water change on this tank? Finally, how large of a tank is this, and does it have filtration? Goldfish are notoriously messy fish, and require a fair amount of maintenance to keep their water clean...> he... <He> ...also has it on his bubbles and one bubble has a white spot with black outlining it. <I'd be willing to bet dollars to doughnuts this problem is environmental in nature (i.e., poor water quality).  But, without some additional information about your setup, I really can't tell you anything for sure.   Read here for additional information on basic, beginning freshwater (goldfish) fishkeeping: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/taptrtmnt.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwestcycling.htm http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&aq=t&ie=UTF-8&rls=GGLG,GGLG:2005-20,GGLG:en&q=koko+goldfish Best of luck, Jorie>

Goldfish w/ columnaris, septicemia(?); need to increase water changes, use antibiotics, and read more.  Roy...  1/4/07 Hello Everyone, <Hi Debbie, Jorie here> Happy New Year. <And to you.> Please find my last email to you about Roy,  my ever-sick Fancy Goldfish,  for reference. <I've read it - think I'm up-to-speed on Roy's condition.> On Christmas Day,  this little guy started to swim,  finally left the aquarium bottom,  and even seemed interested in eating a bit.  It was the best gift I ever received.  His fin rot did not advance further,  and he was holding his own. <All excellent signs.> Less than a week later,  after just receiving Quick-Dip-stick water testing supplies,  we have another problem. <Let me say right off the bat that the dip-stick types of test kits are notoriously inaccurate - much better to invest in something of this nature: http://www.amazon.com/Aquarium-Pharmaceuticals-Freshwater-Master-Test/dp/B000255NCI/sr=8-1/qid=1167883290/ref=sr_1_1/104-0948708-4893527?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden > <P> I've been following the 25% water changes,  vacuuming excess waste from the gravel in the tank,  feeding green peas,  as well as his Fish Food. <Are these daily or weekly 25% water changes?> New Year's Day I woke to find his dorsal fin covered in what looks like a huge cotton ball.  It's tufty and a bit stringy.  His little mouth,  which remains wide open almost all of the time,  has also become quite white in color.  His mouth has no Cottony Fungus,  tho'. <Likely a fungus, e.g., columnaris.> At the base of the dorsal fin,  where I would imagine his little spine would be,  beneath the Cottony Growth,  are the same veiny,  red marks that we had when his tail began to fray and become holey.  It's looks like broken blood vessels/ bruising. <Could be more fin rot, or worse, septicemia.> I tested the tank water this morning before writing to you and my test results don't seem like those of other WetWeb users.  Perhaps,  this is because I'm using the "stick" and chart method to read the qualities and I'm a Minus-Novice in Fish Care! <Likely a faulty read from these horrible test kits.> These are the readings and ranges:  please forgive my feeble attempts! <Forgiven...you are trying your best...> Nitrate- upper end of safe on the chart #40, Nitrite- 5.0 DANGER, Hard water- 150 - Hard, Alkalinity- 40-Low, Ph- 6.8 Lower end of neutral range. <Ammonia and nitrite NEED TO BE AT ZERO. Period.  I'd increase the frequency of your water changes - up to a few times per day, if necessary.  Nitrates can be as high as 20 ppm, but are better if lower.  Since you are unsure of what the levels truly are, better to err on the side of caution until you get a more reliable test kit - more water changes.  Do try to match the temperature of the new and old water, and if you are using tap water, remember to either let it sit for 24-48 hours, or use a de-chlorinator (and Chloramine remover).  With regard to the alkalinity/hardness of the water, and the pH, so long as these levels are kept stable, I wouldn't worry about trying to alter them at all.  Stability is much more important to fish, here, than precision is.> I purchased Pimafix to use in their tank,  after I  do a 25% water exchange today.  I was told to remove my charcoal filters when I use this.  They are on no other meds,  antibiotics,  at this time.  He had been on Maracyn II for the tail rot about 2 weeks ago. We also added airstones to the tank. <The airstones are good, as many medications will remove oxygen from the water.  Here are my suggestions for treatment as this point: 1. Isolate Roy into his own tank - you don't want him to pass along his health problems to his tankmates. Also, he won't have to fight for food at all, and will be able to get enough rest - all essential towards his healing. 2. Keep up with regular water changes. 3. Try feeding Roy food medicated with Oxytetracycline.  I use this source: http://flguppiesplus.safeshopper.com/255/cat255.htm?675 . Adding a drop or two of pure garlic extract to the tank may stimulate his appetite, if this becomes a problem. 4. If you can't get the medicate flake, or Roy refuses to eat them, you can instead use a broad-spectrum antibiotic in the water.  Something like erythromycin or Spectrogram. These antibiotics (including the Oxytetracycline) will treat the fungus as well as the septicemia, if that is indeed what's going on with the red streaks.> My Black,  Bulgy-Eyed Fancy,  Seigfried,  is fine.  The Algae Eater seems okay and just looks mean,  as usual.  He's not bothering anyone. <Precisely why you need to remove Roy.> Please,  any suggestions,  as you can see,  I'm stilling using a lot of feeble attempts at Fish Care and a lot of praying! <Suggestions are above.  I'd also recommend a great beginning book by David E. Boruchowitz entitled "A Simple Guide to the Freshwater Aquarium" - it will help you understand the nitrogen cycle, as well as common fish diseases.  It's an invaluable resource for any level of fishkeeper, in my opinion, but I like to recommend it to first-timers, as it is very digestible.> How,  in the name of God,  did these Nitrite levels become so out-of whack?  How do I fix them,  please? <Water changes is the only way to remedy a build-up of toxins.  it is imperative to get ammonia, nitrite and nitrate under control; if it takes 50% or more water changes, then so be it.  Once the cycle is established and everyone is healthy, you can then go to smaller, regular changes.> Altho' I check several times a day,  he has no pine-cone symptoms with his scales.  But,  he looks like he has dry-skin/scales.  A bit rough.  There is also a whiteness underlying his solid orange color.  Some areas are actual blotches and just a few scales are missing along his torso. <All likely fixable by good water conditions.> I am a Banker,  by profession.  I NEVER thought I would love this fish and be so worried and feel so helpless.  I'm sorry to be such a bother. <You aren't a bother! Do read up, either via books, the internet, periodicals, etc.  The more you know, the better you can care for your fishy friends.> Always, Debbie,  Baltimore Maryland <Best regards, Jorie, Chicagoland.>
Roy, the Goldfish...RIP
   1/5/07 Roy,  my fish,  died today,  while I was at work.  I'm so very sad.  I need to learn to take care of the other fish,  properly.  And,  I will. <I'm sure you will.  Do check out the resources I previously recommended...reading is honestly the best way to learn about this sometimes complicated hobby.> Roy is in a baggie,  in the freezer,  and I'll bury him tomorrow.  Please remember him in your Fish-Prayers.  He had been so sick since the 2nd week of October.  He was a fighter. <I'm so sorry to hear about Roy - I'm sure he's resting comfortably now.  It's really hard to lose a fish, or any pet - I just went through it with my knight goby about a month ago...I had Stupid (as he had been previously named by another WWM crewmember) for about 3 or so years...> I want to thank you for all of your help and kindness.  I never wanted to make him suffer needlessly,  and not learn to care for him.  I hope he knows that. <I'm sure he does.  All you can do is learn from your mistakes and go from here.> You are wonderful people,  and never made me feel ashamed,  for lack of trying to be a good Fish Mom. <There's no reason for anyone to make someone feel stupid or silly for trying - what's the point in that; it certainly won't motivate anyone to learn.> I'll be in touch about Siegfried and the "Sucky". <Keep up on their water changes, read as much as you can, and all should be fine.> Thanks, Debbie from Baltimore <I'm really sorry about Roy.  Best wishes for Siegfried and the "Sucky" - and, I love the names!! Best regards, Jorie>
Re: Roy, the Goldfish...RIP - PART 2
   1/5/07 Dear Jorie and Team, Many thanks for the condolences.  I mean that. <You're welcome, Debbie.> Other than the very obvious work my tank and water needs;  is there anything in particular I have to do because Roy may have been in the tank for several hours,  after he passed? <More water changes.> I've learned that massive water changes aren't the thing to do. <This is true, as it can shock the fish.  It's sometimes a catch-22, though- you want to remove toxins that have built up ASAP, but you don't want to traumatize the fish.  If you haven't already, I'd recommend a 50% water change ASAP, then continue with daily 25% changes starting tomorrow.> From using the Pimafix yesterday,  the tank is a bit cloudy,  altho' I've put my filter pads back in. <If you've got a fresh carbon filter on hand, I'd recommend using it, to speed up the removal of the PimaFix.> Any suggestions to keep my other Friends okay,  is appreciated. <Just keep up with the environmental conditions, as per our last correspondences, and look into the book I've recommended. Both will help you and your fish. Good luck, Jorie> Thanks, Debbie
Re: Roy, the Goldfish...RIP - PART 3
 1/5/07 Dear Jorie, I just ordered the book and better test kit,  from Amazon,  that you recommended,  with next day delivery.  I'll do the 50% water change today,  and 25%,  daily,  after that. <All excellent! Glad to hear it.> Thank you again for all you've done. Debbie in Baltimore <Let me/us know if you have any more questions, Debbie.  Good luck, Jorie>

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

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

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