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FAQs About Goldfish Disease/Health 30

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

Related FAQs:  Goldfish Disease 1, Goldfish Disease 2, Goldfish Disease 3, Goldfish Disease 4, Goldfish Disease 5, Goldfish Disease 6, Goldfish Disease 7, Goldfish Disease 8, Goldfish Disease 9, Goldfish Disease 10, Goldfish Disease 11, Goldfish Disease 12, Goldfish Disease 13, Goldfish Disease 14, Goldfish Disease 15, Goldfish Disease 16, Goldfish Disease 17, Goldfish Disease 18, Goldfish Disease 19, Goldfish Disease 20, Goldfish Disease 21, Goldfish Health 22, Goldfish Health 23, Goldfish Disease 24, Goldfish Health 25, Goldfish Disease 26, Goldfish Disease 27, Goldfish Disease 28, Goldfish Disease 29, Goldfish Disease 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

Gulp's Plight, Cont'd - 02/08/2007 Hello again, and thanks for the continued replies. <No problem, sorry for the delay this time.> Yesterday I bought Gulp the Master complete test, a live plant, some medicated anti-bacterial fish pellets and regular goldfish pellets. <Sounds good.> I also bought 2 kg of Epsom salts (exact Epsom salts bath crystals with magnesium sulfate heptahydrate, to be exact. I'm not sure if this is the right kind for my fish, of if there is even a variety of Epsom salts.) <I don't think there are a variety of Epsom salts, but in any case, what you have is exactly right.  For Gulp's 10 gal. tank, I'd suggest adding 1-2 teaspoons, and closely monitoring him for improvement. When you do a water change, you can add more salt, if you see that it is helping.  If Gulp is constipated, this will help him, and if it is dropsy (which can be a sign of many different bacterial / parasitic problems going on), it may help as well.  Best course of action, in my opinion.> When I got home I did an almost complete water change, cleaned his gravel, and put the plant in. He seems to enjoy the plant, which is good. <I'm glad!> I tested the water before and one day after the change, here are the results: Before water change - Nitrate - 40 Nitrite - 0 Alkalinity - 60 pH - 6.7 Hardness - 150 Ammonia - 0 <Get those nitrates out of there...> Day after water change: Nitrate - under 20 Nitrite - 0 Alkalinity - 40 pH - 6.6 Hardness - 120 Ammonia - 0 <Excellent. Nitrates should not be above 20 ppm for the health of the  fish.> Note: The test said that pH levels may not be accurate if the alkalinity is under 120. Is there a way I can increase this without buying a buffering capacity increase... thing? <You are using regular tap water, right? Short answer to your question, no - if you start messing with the alkalinity, you'll end up buying all sorts of powers, liquids, etc. that can affect the water's buffering capacity, and in all honesty, with a simple goldfish tank, it really isn't necessary and can do more harm than good.> Also, what is your recommendation for increasing pH levels without buying a specialty product? <I wouldn't worry about the pH too much - so long as it remains stable (and it should, unless you change your source water), Gulp will likely be fine.  There are some very sensitive fish out there that do require more precision, with regard to their water's pH, but your goldie isn't one of them.  And, there's no easy, cheap way of altering the water's pH, in my experience - there are chemicals you can buy, but my recommendation to folks (and what I personally do) is to use reverse osmosis/de-ionized water, which comes out at a neutral pH of 5.0, then add back to the water necessary trace elements and minerals, along with a chemical to increase the pH to 7.0.  For a serious fish keeper, especially a reef keeper, an RO/DI unit is indispensable, in my opinion, but if you just have one 10 gal. tank with a goldfish, I don't think it's a necessity...> *I was quite happy with the results for the test, although I'd like to get an accurate pH reading. <You may need to buy a pH test kit marketed for saltwater - the range it tests for is much higher. Aquarium Pharmaceuticals makes one, as do others...> One more thing, I am worried that Gulp Flourance has dropsy, although I may just be overreacting. The scales near his top fin, away from the swelling seem to be pointing out, very slightly (that is, the extrusion of scales is not occurring where the swelling is.) This might just be because his scales near the top of his body look to be outlined in a light gray colour. <Best thing to do is to keep a close eye on him, and see if the condition changes/worsens. Also, take a look here - this is a good example of a fish with dropsy: > <<Edit: Broken link removed; it was actually messing up the page.  Sorry about that!  -SCF>> I wish I could send you a picture, but I don't have a camera right now.  I want to know if there is a treatment that I can give as a precaution. I don't want it to have any bad side effects in case I misdiagnosed him. <Generally, it's not a good idea to proactively medicate a fish - you really can do more harm than good. The Epsom salt added to Gulp's tank would be my first suggestion to treat dropsy, however, so I think you're "covered", in this respect.> I am already planning to give him a dip in Epson Salt. <I'd add 1-2 tsp. directly to his tank - this would be more effective and less stressful than a short dip.> In case I've forgotten to give them to you, here are his tank 'specifications': - 10 gallon tank - Whisper 5-10 gal. power filter - Stones and a plant (getting him a pipe & some sea shells soon) - An oxygenator thing <an "air-stone" is what you are referring to here, I believe...> Thanks for all of your help so far, I really appreciate it, Connor <You're welcome.  Try the Epsom salts, keep up with a regular water change schedule (in the 10 gal., with such a messy fish, I'd suggest changing 2-3 gallons every couple of days. This way, you won't shock Gulp with super-big water changes, but his water will remain clean.  Be sure to vacuum up any waste from the bottom. Good luck! Jorie>

Help! Goldfish health  - 05/01/07 Hi <Hello> I wonder whether you have any suggestions. <Always keep beer in a cool, dark setting> One of our 4 goldfish (two in two tanks) has developed blood spots in his tail fin accompanied by inflamed blood vessels leading to the blood spots which are at the edge of the fin (top fin first, but now extended to the bottom fin). <Environment...> Fish has been isolated in a hospital tank for 7 days and tail fin healed very well.   Treated with a store bought anti bio specifically for general infection, mixed with his water. Main tank thoroughly cleaned out and fish returned to it after 7 days.   He is the bigger of the two fish and the two get on well (they've been together for around 3 years without incident). <How large a tank, how filtered/maintained? What water quality test results?> Blood spots have now returned, this time to top and bottom tail fin and veins very inflamed. Fish happy, no dropsy, no lack of activity and no loss of appetite. Hospital tank used as a transfer tank when both main tanks cleaned out.    Just noticed that one of the fish in the other tank has a red mark on his dorsal fin.    No other fish seem infected. <Not yet> Water in both tanks has anti bacterial treatment in it. Any suggestions what this might be?   I'm thinking hemorrhagic septicemia. <This is a symptom... what re cause/s?> Any guidance will be much appreciated. Many thanks. Chucks <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm and the linked files above... Your system is likely too small, there is highly likely a "build up" (concentration) of metabolites... perhaps a lack of buffering capacity... Fix the environment here (larger, more filtration, aeration...), and you'll fix these fish's health. Bob Fenner>

Comet goldfish, hlth.    4/30/07 Hey, <Jim> I have two comet goldfish they are both about 2 inches and are the only fish in a 70 litre tank. <Will need more room/volume than this...> I have two filters, a couple of live plants, couple of rocks and some gravel. Recently, one of the comet goldfish has been lying upright on the gravel, not on its side or up side down but just as if it was resting (this was a sudden change from its normal swimming happily around routine). I have fed the comets peas for the past couple of days and the one which has been lying on the gravel has been a bit better but still tends to lye on the bottom. Compared to its companion it seems to struggle swimming recently but never use to be. What could be wrong with it and what could I do to help it? Thanks for the help Jimmy <The environment likely... Nitrogenous anomaly... Ammonia, nitrite, nitrate... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Rescued Goldfish Need Help  -- 04/29/07 Thanks a lot for your site and advice. It's wonderful. < thank you for your kind words.> Firstly, I'd like to ask your opinion - I have a (I think) 35 gallon tank with 8 goldfish, all growing. The largest is longer than my thumb. All are "orphans" I rescued from little kids' tiny bowl, feed-'em-bread crumbs type situations because hey, do these fish deserve that?! However, this 35-gal is the latest tank in a line of tanks, and I don't think I can afford the room and expense of a fifty gal or more. Would it be more humane to bring 'em to the pet store to be resold? I don't want them sold as feeder fish! I love them too much, they're not just food, they're pets. Thanks. < Unfortunately, once you take them to the store, they will go right back in the feeder tank that they probably came from in the first place. Your best bet is to try and find someone who will appreciate your fish and has the means to take care of them.> Now - question - I had an ammonia/nitrates/whatever surge last Wednesday. (I did not realize how important regular water changes and gravel vacuuming is. From here on I plan to vacuum gravel partially every two weeks with a 25% water change.) My smallest fish, Thompson, was affected the first and worst. I assumed swimbladder until the rest of the tank was affected. By then Thompson was so weak, he was sucked against the filter intake. I immediately did an emergency 50% water change, put him into a breeder -tank insert to prevent him from being sucked up again, and fed less. Within a day he was perkier, beginning to swim. However, today, Saturday, he has broken out in black splotches  and is listless and unmoving again. I have just made a 25%change again as per advice from pet store. Are black spots recovery from ammonia surge? < Could be scarring from the filter intake.> Is Thompson still ill? Can I help? <The trauma from being sucked up against the intake probably resulted in some trauma that has become infected. If the clean water doesn't help, you will need antibiotics like Nitrofuranace. This medication may affect the biological filtration so it is best used in a separate hospital tank.-Chuck> I really do want the best for my fish. That's why I rescued them in the first place. Your advice is incredibly appreciated. Thank you so much! Etka (with regards from Thompson, Thomson, Anakin, Fishy, Fishra and the Hirshes...Aquarium Home for Abandoned Fishes.)   Cheers!

Goldfish injury  -- 4/28/07 Hi, <Janet> I did search your website but did not find my exact scenario, so here goes... I have two 6" goldfish in a 20 gallon <Comets... need more room than this> tank with a whisper filter that uses carbon.  They eat peas, as they were outside fish originally and did not want to eat the flakes.  They have been fine for three years, very beautiful and healthy.   Anyway, Flipper jumped out of the tank one day last week, not sure how long he was on the floor.  We put him back in, pushed him around to get him breathing, and he was listless for a few days but was eating.  He was constipated for a couple of days.  This all passed and he was acting normal again.  However, just noticed yesterday that on one side, half of his scales have come off.  Also, he seems to be a bit more listless again but not as bad as when he was first injured. It sounds like I should add aquarium salt ( and get a cover!).  Is there anything else I should do?    <Mmm, no... this is about what I would do as well... the salt should "do it" here... along with the cover! Bob Fenner> Thanks for your help.   Janet

Goldfish trouble   4/27/07 Hi, <<Hello, Yolanda. Tom with you.>> I don't know whether this is a problem, but my goldfish (Adnaan) suddenly started behaving badly, staying at the bottom of the tank under a shell for long periods of time although he/she comes up for food when it is feeding time. Is there something wrong with this fish of mine? I don't want to lose him. Can you help Adnaan please? <<You haven't given me much to work with where the specifics of your tank are concerned, Yolanda. Tank size, water parameters and tank mates really help us a lot when we're looking for a probable cause for this sort of behavior. In your case, I'd guess that the first two items may be at play here since the two can, and do, go hand-in-hand. I'd definitely look at your water conditions. The behavior you describe is typical of a fish that's in a 'dirty' tank, i.e. lingering/hiding at the top or bottom of the aquarium. Check ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels and perform water changes as needed to get the first two down to zero and the nitrates below 20 ppm (below 10 would be better). Also, review your feeding practices and tank cleaning intervals. If your aquarium is too small -- which probably applies to most hobbyists who keep these fish -- you don't just need to be 'good' about cleaning the tank, you need to become a fanatic about it. (By way of offering information, if Adnaan isn't in a 25-30 gallon tank, or larger, your tank's too small. Extremely difficult to keep water conditions stable for Goldfish in smaller quarters than these. If Adnaan is of one of the larger varieties of Goldies such as a Comet or Common Goldfish, you should think about doubling the size of the tank I've mentioned.)>> Thanking you Yolanda Martin <<I know I've given you a lot to think about here, Yolanda, but you need to start with a good cleaning of Adnaan's tank. I'd be willing to bet that he'll be back to his normal behavior very soon. Wishing you well. Tom>>

Goldfish tail Tumor?   4/27/07 Hi, <Hello there> I have one 13 year old goldfish in a 10 gallon tank. <Needs more room than this...> Thirteen days ago, I noticed a yellowish transparent glob on his top tail fin an inch out from his body. A good description of what this lump looks like would be an individual juice glob found in an orange (the fruit). Since I first noticed this glob, it seems to have been growing some everyday. Occasionally it has some whitish bumps on the surface of this glob but it has no distinguishing dark features (like what might be found if it was a fish lice). This morning I noticed that it seems to have grown to more than 2 times its original size. By early this evening it seemed to have collapsed some (maybe even burst) but several hours later it seems to have reformed to its original globular shape. The fish still seems to be normal, eating and swimming around occasionally. I was wondering if it could be a tumor? <Of some sort, yes... likely so> It does not seem to have affected the tail at all, just attached to the tail. If it was a tumor and was to rupture, would there be the potential for secondary bacterial infections? <Some...> I have attached a picture with the glob circled. Thanks for this wonderful service you provide, Taren <Mmm, a salt treatment might do some good here. Please read: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/saltusefaqs.htm Bob Fenner>

Goldfish Veiltail in problems, poor English, env., no useful info.     4/27/07 Hi crew, I have an goldfish I believe is Veiltail for five years, he is 4" with 2 others goldfish, one Oranda same age but abut 8" and redcap 6", he is in the button of the tank and upside  down, I see he have his stomach very big and also the front part after the gills his color is normal the water is ok no ammonia or nitrites, ph is 7.2 and nitrates is 20, <Too high> so I think is blather problems, I put Epsom salt in the water, but his not responding, so any help please thanks <...? Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm and the linked files above... The problem here? Environment and nutrition likely. Bob Fenner>

Floaty/Bloaty Goldfish  4/26/07 Hello again, <Hi.> About two weeks ago I wrote to you about my goldfish who had swim bladder disease. He is sharing a 20L filtered tank with another goldfish who is perfectly healthy. <Okay.> I was advised to do a 50% water change, vacuum gravel, treat water and fast him until better. After doing this in the afternoon by the next morning he had improved and by the next day appeared back to normal. <Good.> However, two weeks later he seems to be sick again. <Uh-oh.> Some red marks which appeared around his mouth during the last bout have returned, however rather than floating on his side at the bottom of the tank like last time, he is now floating at the top with his head occasionally popping out of the water. He stays in the top corner of the tank, as if trying to swim out of it! What should the next step in treatment be? Since discovering he's sick again I <I> have done a 25% water change, gravel vacuum and treated water with a fungus eliminator. <My next inclination would be to question his diet. What are you feeding him.> My last correspondence was answered by Chuck. <Will CC to him.> Any help would be appreciated. <Read this; http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshmalnut.htm .> Thanks, <Welcome.> Melissa Hunt <Adam J.>

Gold fantail thyroid tumor?  4/25/07  Hi crew, <Rachel> Thank you for the information you gave me several months ago (included below).  I did as you suggested and changed the water frequently for a week or two before returning to my usual weekly schedule.  The water toxicity would seem to be fine, now, as a healthy growth of algae has only been curtailed by a population of snails that came in as eggs on my aquarium plants (Anacharis/elodea) in January.  Pol's behavior, however, is unchanged. I have been periodically force-feeding him small quantities (Medi-Gold) for two weeks at a time over the past several months to keep him from starving to death, but I am about to leave for two months overseas and can't seem to find anyone willing to force-feed a goldfish for weeks at a time.  Is there anything else I can do?  Might buying him a bigger tank help somehow? <Yes... more space, dilution of wastes, room to move... all beneficial> Any advice would be very much appreciated. Thank you, ~Rachel <>< <Perhaps re-reading here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshdisease.htm Will bring something/s to your consciousness that will help here. Iodine/ide use... Bob Fenner>

Help! Why has our goldfish died?   4/24/07 <<Hi folks. Tom with you.>> We recently set up a 30l bio orb with filtered water and 2 plastic plants. We left it to run for a couple of days before purchasing our first fish -- a red Oranda.   <<Oops'¦on three counts. First, your BiOrb never had a chance to go through its nitrogen cycle. (Cycling an aquarium will be the first thing you'll want to research on our site.) Second, 30 litres (~8 gallons) is far too small to house Goldfish of any type, even juvenile Goldfish. Third, I don't particularly care for the design of the BiOrb units and I really don't care for their advertising which is misleading and, frankly, a little insulting to the intelligence. (There are fish that might do perfectly well in these bowls but Goldfish -- contrary to what the manufacturer and marketers of the BiOrb bowls want you to believe -- are not numbered among them.)>>    He seemed to be fine; he ate 2 flakes of food every morning (as advised by pet shop) and swam about happily.  Then, 4 days later he started to spend most of his time on the bottom of the orb, appearing to gasp.  He came up for food and swam around a bit looking much more like his old self later in the day.  The extra food was given out of concern that the tub of food suggested we should increase the amount once the fish is settled in and we didn't want to starve him!  This morning (day 5) we found him at the bottom of the orb, motionless and, upon inspection, lifeless. <<I'm very sorry to hear this. I'm not surprised but I am sorry.>>   This was the first fish we have kept and so don't know if we need to do something different a) before introducing another fish and, b) to keep that one happy and well.  Could we have done something wrong?  The bio orb seems to need little monitoring/maintenance but'¦.are we wrong?  Should we be monitoring water temp and chemical levels in the water?  Any advice would be greatly appreciated. <<In a nutshell, an aquarium has to go through a 'cycling' process which establishes beneficial bacteria colonies both in the filter and the tank. This process generally takes about four to six weeks though there are methods for speeding this up. During the process, two different types of bacteria develop which consume/break down ammonia and the by-product of this, nitrites. Both of these compounds are extremely toxic and potentially deadly to fish, as you've seen firsthand. You'll need a water test kit that tests for ammonia, nitrites, nitrates and pH in order to monitor the cycling process. Obviously, I'm going to strongly urge you not to purchase any more fish until your bowl is cycled. This will give you more than enough time to research and decide which type(s) of fish you might like and whether, or not, they'll be suitable for a 30 litre aquarium. (Go by their adult sizes, not how big they are as juveniles. For instance, the little Comet and Common Goldfish that you might see at a carnival can grow to over a foot in length! You need to look into the fish you want before you purchase them. If in doubt, please get back to us.)>>   We look forward to hearing from you.   All the best Paul, Lisa and Ellie Willcox <<The biggest mistake made here is that you folks didn't do your homework. If you come away from this current experience with nothing else, please remember to do your research first. The additional benefit is that you'll walk into the pet store with some knowledge under your belts and won't be easily led astray by an employee who's only looking for a sale. If there's anything else that comes up that you might want some help with, please get back to me/us. Best regards. Tom>>
Re: help! Why has our goldfish died?
 - 04/25/07 <<Hello again.>> Just wanted to say thanks for the sympathetic advice - it was a really helpful response!  We'll get on with the research and hopefully have healthy fish in a few months!    <<I guarantee that it will pay off many times over. You might find it a little addicting, in fact. You might also consider registering on our FW forum which is a discussion board that allows folks to ask, and answer, questions from other hobbyists like yourselves. (Sometimes it's hard to know just where to start researching and the forums can be a great place to find out what you don't know as well as give you a great opportunity to share what you've learned.)>> Lisa, Paul & Ellie <<My best to you all. Tom>>

Very sick comet goldfish with Dropsy... RMF has misgivings re this post... the use of this potential cause of aplastic anemia in humans should be a treatment of last recourse...    4/19/07 Hi! I am hoping that someone can help me ASAP! I have 2 comet goldfish in a 30 gal. tank. We have had them for almost three years. They are family to myself and my twin boys. One fish, Vanilla, has come down with what I believe to be Dropsy. <Distended abdomen? Scales sticking out like a pinecone? There are a few possible factors...> I did get some advice from another forum, but wanted to get a second opinion from you. Vanilla is with another comet goldfish and the tank has a BioWheel filter (for a 50 gal. aquarium) with an air pump (40gal) and 2 airstones. Water quality is tested and is good. Vanilla started out with one side of his body lumpy, or distorted. He was like this for almost 6 months or so. We thought it might be a tumor. We tried Jungle Lifeguard, with no luck. Just this week he started getting very bloated and his scales are sticking out (like a pinecone). <Oh!> His eyes are even bulging. It is very hard for my boys and myself to see him like this. We then tried Maracyn 2 with a heater to raise the temp. then I found out that raising the temp. wasn't good because it took out a lot of the oxygen content! <Yes> This is very confusing, <Mmm... think of a "bottle of Coke" on a hot day... the bubbles "leave" faster at higher temp.> so I wanted to get the best info I could for this little guy. After 4 days of Maracyn, he wasn't getting any better, and the water was getting extremely cloudy, so I was told to discontinue the Maracyn, and add Epsom salt to keep him comfortable. <Good> We did a 90 percent water change, and put the filter back. I have been feeding him mashed peas, and we were also using an antibacterial food (by Jungle). The thing that has me baffled is that he is extremely bloated and scales sticking out, but he is still eating and playing!  Which is wonderful, but I want to do everything I can for him to treat this if it's not too late. I just bought some frozen brine, and the fish store owner told me to soak it in Metronidazole for 2 hours, then feed it to him. Is this the right thing to do? <Is worth trying...> Is there anything else I can add to this to speed his recovery?   <Mmm... not really> He also told me to use Jungle Antiparasite food. What is your opinion on all of this? <Is also a worthwhile product...> I am afraid to do too much overmedicating, and don't want to hurt our healthy fish, but desperately want to help Vanilla. <You are wise here... I do think you are and have been doing about all that can be done... These "dropsical conditions" can be unstoppable... the ones that are internal bacterial mediated are very hard to cure> Please let me know what I can do to help him.  He has been coming up to the top and eating out of our hands! I told my sons that Vanilla was trying to tell us that he wants our help and he is trying to get better! He just looks at us like he is saying, Please help me! Thanks for listening to me go on....I am at a standstill as to what to do next. Is the Metronidazole okay to use for him, or would anything be stronger? <... Am given to want to suggest possible antibiotic injection... If at all possible with Chloramphenicol (Chloromycetin, succinic acid base...)... But this material is regulated... need to have a Veterinarian involved... this is the best course of action, but likely difficult, expensive...> Can you use Epsom salts everyday? <Mmm, not "use", as this salt, like others, doesn't "go away"... But goldfish can be exposed to a concentration of Magnesium Sulfate for an extended period of time (weeks)> How about the Anti-parasite food? Should I keep the filter out when we are using the Metronidazole? <Again... this is really a "shot in the dark"... The root cause of the problem here is highly unlikely parasitic... is directly infectious... bacterial... internal... These anti-protozoals et al. might help indirectly, but...> Again, any help or info would be greatly appreciated. I just don't want to leave any stone unturned, since he is still eating and playing. Thanks so much. Most Sincerely, Julia <Do please read this somewhat related piece re Ana Aki, the use of antibiotic laced foods, injectible... Here: http://wetwebmedia.com/PondSubWebIndex/holedispd.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Fantail fish... Goldfish hlth., nutr./env.   4/19/07 hi there, I have a fantail fish who seems to be suffering from swim bladder, I've stopped feeding flakes and have been feeding peas and broccoli, <Hopefully not too late> but she wont eat either. I have also put some Epson <Epsom> salts and have done a 50% water change. She keeps floating to the top. Sometimes she does have faeces coming from her (light brown in colour) but more often has a white trail coming from her instead. Also, as I said above, I did a water change and today the tank is very smelly? <Perhaps the terrestrial vegetables decomposing... Do you have test kits for nitrogenous matters? Ammonia...> She seems to have little trails of something, white in colour coming from her fins, is this fin rot? she had a white lump on her top fin which looked like it had a little bit of blood in it but it seems to be going, is this a bacteria? <Mmm, no> Her scales look as though they're sticking out and she's breathing heavily. <Environmental troubles... > I'm going to buy a water test kit today <Good> and will let you know the readings, Sorry for so many questions, thank you, Babs P.S I bought some vegetarian fish flakes <Mmm... no more dried food...> with Spirulina, to try and combat the high protein (poss. cause of SBD) found in my other fish flakes. Is this ok to give to her now, to see if she'll eat that? <Better than naught> also, I'm a bit worried because it says "for tropical fish" on the back, but the guy in the pet shop said it was ok. <Is okay... You have read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshmalnut.htm and the linked files above... apparently... Fix this animals world... and you will fix its health. Bob Fenner>

Goldfish don't belong in bowls - 04/17/07 Hi just had a call from my son.  He keeps two small goldfish in a bowl with filter - had them about two years in a glass bowl but he knocked it over a few weeks ago and bought a plastic one. <Although I'm glad to hear there's a filter on this bowl, he would have been better off purchasing at least a 10 gal. tank. "Bowl" brings to mind a gallon of water or so - definitely not sufficient to support one goldfish, let alone two. Do read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm > Did a water change at the weekend and tonight has notice both fish gasping at the top of the water. <How often does the water get changed in this system, and in what amount? Is tap water used, or filtered water? Ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels would be the first thing to check; the former two should be at zero, and the latter no more than 20 ppm...> One fish has a white grey blister on his head.  Any ideas what he can do? <Sounds like a result of poor environmental conditions. Best suggestion is to upgrade to a larger tank (as said above, at least 10 gal. for two goldfish) and keep a close eye on water parameters. Keep the water as clean as possible, while still allowing the nitrogen cycle to establish itself. Do read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwestcycling.htm > Many thanks Jackie <You're welcome, Jackie. Please encourage your son to read up on proper aquarium care, maintenance, etc. Best, Jorie>

Oranda cap... goldfish... dis., no useful info.   4/17/04 I have an Oranda that has had scales sticking out for months now. I thought it was dropsy at first... <Mmm, there are a few general causes of such "dropsical conditions"... most are environmentally mediated...> but he has been like this for so long, and isn't really bloated at all, and still eats. but just yesterday I noticed his cap looked a little dark in one area. I thought maybe it was injured. I looked a little closer, and noticed a *tiny* pinhole in his cap. <Mmm, not a problem... these marks are "natural"... not likely related> it's perfectly round...really like he was poked with a pin. it doesn't look like another fish bit him, and there's no fungus around it. no white around the edges...just a pinhole. and the dark "area"  is above the eye on the same side of his head. could it be a worm?? what is this? how do I treat it? <No, a "growth" gap, no> I couldn't get a good picture. but attached is a sketch of what it looked like Thanks for any answers you can give me. Morian <I might try a course of Epsom salt... per what is posted re on WWM... and be checking your water quality (nitrates as a general indicator in particular...) and improving your water quality, filtration, maintenance, nutrition... per... WWM. Bob Fenner>

Fantail Goldfish  4/16/07 <<Hi, Dara. Tom here.>> I wrote before and have another question.   <<Fire away'¦>> I have three fairly small goldfish (two Orandas and one multi-colored "common")  all under 3 inches long.  They're in a 10 gallon tank with real plants.   <<Unless someone has already beaten me to it, Dara, a 10-gallon tank is far too small for your three Goldfish, especially the Common. I know it's frequently 'easier said than done' but you really want to put juvenile fish in a tank sized appropriately for adults. It's really more economical to do this to begin with since it saves on upgrading bit by bit and, in the long run, you'll stand a much greater chance of maintaining healthier, normally developed fish.>> I currently have one that has "blown" up and looks to be carrying eggs, but I'm not sure.  The common goldfish harassed her nonstop for a while and now just seems to be following her around all the time.  I read your info on dropsy in goldfish and tried the Epsom salt with a water change.   <<Probably the safest 'treatment' you could have performed but I'd caution against 'doctoring' any fish unless you can identify the problem with a reasonable amount of certainty.>> I feed my fish mostly blanched veggies now anyway.  Mostly crumbled broccoli or some zucchini.   <<This I like!>> They seem to like it and I get a lot less "crud" in my tank than with the regular goldfish food from the store.  I still occasionally give crisps, but only as a "treat".   <<Good.>> She blew up before like this and then one morning looked like a little deflated balloon.  I assumed she laid her eggs and they had eaten them.   <<Sounds about right, Dara.>> Now she is huge again and I'm not sure if its eggs or this "dropsy" thing. <<Okay. Just to help out a little with understanding what Dropsy is, think of it as the virtual equivalent of saying that someone's 'sick'. Not much help there, eh? You'd be right which is why I, for one, would love to see the term dropped from the lexicon of the hobby. In reality, it's simply a generic term for an internal infection/malady and, therefore, can't be treated specifically without additional information. What I can share with you is that in a lot of cases of fish with bloated bodies, as with your Oranda, you can expect the swelling to uneven if a real problem exists. That's not 'written in stone', of course, but can be used as another tool to help you make a better judgment about the condition of your pet.>> I've done everything that I have read to do to no avail.  She's been this way for just about 5 days.  Any expertise would be helpful.  She looks so uncomfortable this big although she gets around the same as usual.   <<The fact that the Common has been paying so much attention to your Oranda leads me to believe that she's filled with eggs. Without going too deeply into Goldfish biology, a female will release pheromones that a male fish will pick up on. One pheromone gets him 'prepared', so to speak, and another lets him know she's getting ready to release her eggs. He'll spend a good deal of time following, chasing and even bumping her, particularly in the vent area, to get the show on the road. I do find it curious for this to be taking place, given the limited environment that they're in, but the indications are there. Right time of the year and fairly classic behavior. I don't think you need to worry, Dara. Sounds like Nature taking its course.>> Thanks again <<You're quite welcome and please give some thought to upgrading your tank. Best regards. Tom>>

Fantail goldfish with blood spots. No useful info.   4/15/07 Hello, Please help me to help my fantail goldfish. Have 2 of them in a 30 gal tank for1.5 years. Comet has had swim bladder <? some sort of anomaly?> for a while now but he ate well and was fine. Two days ago he seemed to have a bloody spot on his body. I checked the water. Everything was fine except the nitrate. <Values, not subjective evaluations...> I did 20% water changes for the last two days but today he is showing more blood spots on his body and in his fin now. Please help me make him better soon. <Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshdisease.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Black Moor Goldfish... toxified by its wastes, oxygen starved...  4/14/07 Dear WWM,        Your site has been INCREDIBLY helpful in the past. And I really need your help on this issue. My Black Moor goldfish is acting rather strangely. He lives in a 3 galleon tank <Way too small...> with 2 other fish, <...> and occasionally goes up to the top of the tank, and releases a bunch of bubbles, when he is not doing this, he lies at the bottom of the tank doing nothing. <Dying...> None of the other fish are acting like this, but they don't anything either. This has lasted for about 4 days. Could this be Swim Bladder Disorder? Thank you for your time, and for reading this message. -Sasha <Mmm... Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm Your fish are being poisoned... by their own wastes... You need to read, understand what is going on here, act... NOW. Bob Fenner>

Goldfish 101   4/11/07 Hello WWM Crew, <Hello there>    You all have a fantastic website and loads of information for the aspiring fishkeeper. Recently I decided to buy a goldfish on a whim <Bad idea, people should not buy live animals on "whims", in my opinion...> ...so I got him a bowl. <Even worse idea. Read here for some very useful info. on proper goldfish care, if you haven't already: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm > (As a side note, I wish now I would have researched it thoroughly, but my Dog of 11 years had recently died and I decided getting a goldfish was the best idea ever) <I sympathize for your loss, but don't understand the logic here. There's no reason whatsoever to purchase a fish, or any animal, without knowing how to properly care for it.> After reading all over the internet that bowls are bad I decided to invest in a 10 gallon tank, a power filter, something to aerate the tank and finally some nice gravel and plastic plants. Sadly, this guy died a few days later. <Case of too little, too late, I fear. I'm glad you upgraded from a bowl to a tank; goldfish are notoriously messy and require a good deal of space. In fact, a 10 gal. tank is a nice-sized home for a single goldfish to happily live his/her life out in.> (Ick may have been the culprit, as he had a white "pimple" like extrusion on his side). <You don't usually see just one white spot when Ich is present. This could have been a cyst, Lymphocystis, a parasite, or one of many other things...> But it may have also been high ammonia levels. <Do you have a quality liquid test kit, one that measures ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels? Although you do need a spike, then decline, in each to successfully establish the nitrogen cycle, when you are cycling a tank with live fish present, there must not be any measurable levels of ammonia or nitrite, and nitrates can be no higher than 20 ppm, for the health of the fish. Do read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwestcycling.htm > After that, I decided to research everything more fully since the sense of security the employee at Wal-Mart gave me isn't worth a lot to me anymore because she said the fish would do just fine...and said bowls were okay... <I'm glad you've realized that you must do independent research...better late than never. Now you must do your part to share your knowledge with your friends, family...> Well, I re-washed everything and made sure it was all ready to go back in, treated the water with AquaSafe and added 1 teaspoon of salt (non-iodized regular) per gal. <You should be using aquarium salt, not table salt, if anything. Although, it isn't truly essential for goldfish, but some argue it promotes the slime coat and keeps the fish healthier...> I tested the water (I bought an Ammonia test kit, and a 5 in one test kit for Nitrites/ates/hardness etc) and everything seems well <good> with in parameters. <Again, ammonia and nitrites must be zero when fish are present, and nitrates no higher than 20 ppm. "Fine" and "good" are subjective terms, and don't help us help you...> As we speak the aquarium has ran for around 16 hours (which is not as long as I'd have liked it to, but my sister brought home a new fish last night...) <It takes a few weeks, at a minimum, to establish a freshwater cycle. Best and most humane way to do it is without fish, just using a tiny pinch of fish food, until a spike, then reduction in ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate have been registered on your test kit. Right now, you've got an uncycled tank with a fish, so what I've said above (re: closely monitoring the toxins) applies here. You should be testing daily, and doing water changes as needed...> Also, this will only be a 1 fish environment, and I don't plan on adding any other fish to the system until I'm well established and a little more confident with my skills. <As mentioned before, you've got a perfect-sized tank for 1 goldfish to live happily. I strongly suggest you make this a "one fish tank"; a single goldfish can be an extremely rewarding pet, as they are long-lived (when cared for properly), attentive to their owners, and colorful...> Now I plan on doing 30% water changes daily to make sure the ammonia stays as close to 0(if not outright 0) as possible, <You may need to alter your plan based on your daily testing, but I'm glad you realize at least some amount of daily water change will likely be necessary...> and I realize this will more than likely retard the cycling making it harder for it to establish. <Yes, a catch-22, and why I never recommend people cycle with live fish in the tank.> I don't have access to a specialty pet store as the closest one is about an hour away. Now, will the cycling establish  itself (albeit slower), or should I find something to help it along. <I've never used anything to "aid" in establishing a cycle - careful attention to test kit results and appropriate water changes are truly all you need for success here. Otherwise, in my opinion, a false sense of security can result. I know some of my WWM colleagues will disagree here, but that's my view, for what it's worth...> In the future I plan on doing fishless cycling as my fishkeeping skills improve - but I don't exactly want to do trial and error on live fish (Nor do I want to return it to Wal-Mart as a lot of their fish were overfed, and a couple had died when my sister went in - so I'd rather not return him to such a horrid environment). <Yes, horrid is a good word. Not sure if the fish you've seen were overfed, or suffering from illness causing bloating...not to mention poor environmental conditions.> I was really bummed about the first fish dying, and sadly I think that's due in part to my "newbie-ness" when it comes to all this. <Yes, but there's no need to belabor the point, so long as you've learned from your errors.> But I have since heavily educated myself on cycling, basic principles of keeping a goldfish and whatnot. <Great. Keep reading, as you'll find competing information that you'll soon make your own informed decisions about, as your fishkeeping skills improve...> But I'm certain there's always more to learn, and having an excellent website like yours to be able to ask questions is such a fantastic resource. <This hobby is definitely one that requires more learning. Thank you for the kind words, on behalf of the site. I suggest you make a bookmarked page of "goldfish websites", and add to it each time you find a new, reliable site...> Best Wishes, Josh <You too! Sounds like you are on the right track, so long as you educate your sister about the perils of "impulse fish buying"...! Regards, Jorie>

Lionhead and Red Cap Oranda illnesses... too little knowledge... time to read   4/11/07 Hi, I bought 4 small fish (2 Lionhead and 2 Red Cap Oranda) and put them in a new 5 gallon <Way too small...> tank 3 weeks ago.  They all got Ich <They had it... was made worse by poor environment> and two of them died a week ago.  I treated their Ich with Super Ich Cure. Last Tuesday, I saw a fish louse on the tail of the remaining Lionhead and manually removed the louse. <Good>   Afterwards, I treated the fish with API General Cure. After 2 treatments, I performed a 30% water change last night and reinserted the carbon filter. <I bet your nitrogenous cycle is whacked...>   At that point, I found out the Nitrite and the Nitrate levels were very high. <Toxic... your system never was cycled... then what little nitrification you had you killed off with the medicine...> I have been using Aqua Plus and Cycle <Doesn't often work... see WWM re Cycling, Bio-Spira> with all my water change. For your information, I also noted a ? worm-like thing "hanging around" the Lionhead at some point last week. Since last week, there has been a white spot on the head of the Lionhead which seems to fluctuate in size. Today, the white spot on the Lionhead became more prominent, and he seemed to be lethargic and stayed at the bottom of the tank quite often.  I did a 40% water change again tonight but the Nitrite and Nitrate levels are still high.  Ammonia level is not elevated. What do you think is the cause of the current behaviour of the Lionhead? <Poor environment at least... likely insufficient nutrition...> Do you think the white spot is fungus? How should I deal with the high Nitrate and Nitrate levels? <Read...> Thanks so much for answering my questions? Ash <Answer them yourself. Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Fish problems... env. poisoned goldfishes  -- 4/9/07 Hi, Crew! I have 2 Orandas in a 10 gallon aquarium (this is just a holding/quarantine tank) and I have had them for a little over a week. Every so often, they seem to get these kind of ticks (like a nervous tick in humans) and they're pretty violent. I looked for parasites on their bodies but couldn't see any. Do you know what this is? Thanks, Erika <Is nitrogenous poisoning... some aspect... ammonia, nitrite, nitrate... See WWM re: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwestcycling.htm and the linked files above... Do hurry, your fish are being toxified. BobF>

Re: Sick goldfish  -- 4/9/07 Hi Bob <Selena> Unfortunately my efforts haven't worked, I have lost all but 3 of my fish. <... Very sorry to realize> I did water changes and blanked treatment for both internal infections and external parasites etc... I feel awful, they may be just fish but after having them so long I miss watching them and feeding them they provided many hours of enjoyment for my whole  family. <Ah, yes... aquatic pets... of value> Any how here is my next set of questions I hope you can give me suggestions on.  First I moved the snail out of the tank to a smaller tank... all new equip. in it even though I know it wasn't good for him  I took no water with him, I just dropped him in the new tank.  Hoping that the new tank with fresh water etc.. everything would be ok.  The tank is just a small 2 gal tank.  I got a Beta for the tank.  They are a tough fish....I wish I wouldn't have now...last night I noticed the white spots forming on him I took him out and started him on the treatment for external parasites Mardel Copper safe. <Do read on WWM re... I would just treat by raising the water temperature here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwich.htm and the linked files above...> This is what I used for my fish. (This is all I could find for my fish for external parasites,) I pray that it is early enough that he will be ok.  Now I know that it is the snail, what do I do with him? <Please see WWM re...> I really hate the idea of killing something else can he be treated?  Or should I just get rid of him? <If isolated a month or so... in a glass jar of size perhaps... should become a non-vector of pathogenic disease> As for my goldfish I fear that they will all die, after how do I clean the tank to prepare it for new fish? <... see WWM...> I want to make absolutely sure that the tank is safe I can't bear to lose any more fish.   Would soaking all the plants rocks etc.. in a peroxide solution get everything clean? <Better to use dilute chlorine bleach... detailed on...> Let me know what you think. Thanks again for your time...Selena <Read my friend... more knowledge here will settle your mind, grant you direction. BobF>

Goldfish With Internal Infection   4/9/07 Hello there, I have two goldfish living in a 25 L filtered fish tank. About three days ago my larger goldfish starting acting very erratically, bolting occasionally up and out of the water on all sides and then floating at the bottom of the tank. In the last two days there is less bolting and much more floating on his side or even upside down. From reading your website it seems he may have swim bladder disease, as he seems very disoriented. But he occasionally still has fits of very fast swimming, albeit without direction. I haven't read anything about this in the research I have tried to do. I have tried to feed him peas after reading about that,  but after a nibble he doesn't seem to eat them. At present he is lying completely still at the bottom of the tank. Please help - he seems very unhappy but I don't want to lose him. Should I keep trying with the peas? Should I change the water? And what of my other healthy fish? Should I separate them? Thank you very much - nervously awaiting your reply. Melissa < Do a 50% water change. Vacuum the gravel and clean the filter. Treat with Metronidazole and Nitrofuranace. Don't feed him until he starts to act normal. If these medications are not available to you then you could try Clout. The other fish will be fine during the treatment, but it is cheaper to treat in a hospital tank. Sometimes these medications effect the biological filtration so check for ammonia spikes after treatment.-Chuck>

Algae Eater Stuck In Goldfish's Mouth   4/9/07 Good morning, A goldfish has a small algae eater fish stuck in its mouth for now over a day.  What can we do? Thanks and best regards Denyse < You did not say the type of algae eater you have. We will assume that it is a Chinese algae eater and not a Pleco type. The algae eater is probably dead and the goldfish tried to eat it. I would simply remove the algae eater with a pair of needle nose pliers and slowly and carefully put the algae eater out of the goldfish's mouth. Afterwards watch for signs of infection in the goldfish's mouth.-Chuck>

Curled up goldfish  4/8/07 Hello, I have a 5 yr old goldfish that is curled up at the bottom 70 litre tank for the last two days. As the ph was a bit low- <... how low?> I adjusted using salts <Mmm, no... salts (combinations of metals, non-metals) "don't do this"...> and completed  25% water change-  the water's is nearly neutral ph. I have treated the whole tank with MELAFIX. <Worthless> The other two goldfish are doing fine <Seventy litres is not enough room for more than one goldfish of size> with no signs of illness.  I though it was bladder problem so I gave him some salt baths. <... okay> He seems a lot more energetic post bath. He was eating by himself but not enough to sustain him.. As his two other mates started to nibble him, I have put him in the  isolation tank (15lt). <Way too small...> He is very lethargic and has to be hand fed. He is moving his gills slowly.  I have had problems with the other fish and I was able to nurse them back with a lot of hand feeding/salt baths and body rubs. Can you suggest any other treatments? Thanks Diana <Ahh, "the huntress" (my wife's name also)... Likely what you are witnessing is environmental "stress"... You don't mention ammonia, nitrite, nitrate... Do please read here re: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwlivestkindex.htm Scroll down to the "gold bar"... Bob Fenner>

An extreme case of fish face. Goldfish mouth malformation  4/8/07 Hi, <David> I have four 2in goldfish in a 10 gal tank (A bit more crowded than is probably good, but I went on the 1 inch per 1 gallon rule, not knowing any better). <Mmm... is way overcrowded... physiologically... and if your animals live, will become even more so... They get much larger... Better to consider another rule of thumb... the amount, in single cubic inches of fish per 4 or 5 gallons.> They are in pretty good health typically, but one is having mouth issues. <Mmm, likely genetic, developmental> I have extensively researched mouth rot and other mouth infections, and I don't find any description of what  he has. <A pic, graphic...> When the others open their mouths to eat, I can see right into their mouth cavity, and it's about the size of a pea.  When this guy opens his mouth, there's all this crowded in there.  He can barely fit the food to eat! It takes him a few tries per pellet.  I nabbed him and did a close inspection, and it really appears as if his cheeks are elongated, and are folding in on themselves; that is, the tissue actually appears to be relatively healthy looking skin, but just too much of it.  It's not fuzzy, or discolored or anything.  For instance, when he would gasp while I was inspecting him, every so often his mouth would open really wide, and then the tissue which seemed otherwise to actually have bridged the whole width of his mouth, would reveal itself to be to separate flaps that were just resting together..  The as he closed it, the extra tissue folded in place again to obstruct his mouth.  He sometimes get's stuck floating at the top, and is like that until he poops out air later in the day.  I first suspected some sort of infection, but he hasn't progressed or anything.  Any ideas? thanks, -David <Yes... the afore-stated biological inheritance... and fact that these fish (likely Comets here) are raised in such horrendous conditions... This fish will likely be the first (but not last unless you acquire larger quarters) to perish here. Bob Fenner>
Re: an extreme case of fish face  - 4/8/07
Bob, <David> Wow thanks for your blunt appraisal.  We'll keep with him, but in the meantime seek another home for a few of the little guys. <Ah, good> I'm glad you think it is a genetic thing and not an infection, so I can stop worry about that (though of course keeping up their water still).  I'm planning to get sinking food so he doesn't gulp as much air during feeding.  Is two appropriate for that tank? thanks, -David <Yes... do seek out the Spectrum brand name here... Excellent, complete nutrition, very palatable and sinking format... Oh, and  see WWM re Goldfish Systems... Bob Fenner>
Re: an extreme case of fish face... goldfish... follow-up by Mich   4/10/07
Midfacial hypoplasia and micrognathia are also seen as part of  several syndromes in humans.   Most often, the syndrome is caused by  a single gene alteration, though some are caused by chromosomal  translocations.  I am unaware of any teratogen/developmental insult  that would cause these features in humans... don't know what the  story is with fish!  M

Septicemia, goldfish, no useful data, netspeak  4/6/07 Hi, <Louiza> My goldfish has Septicemia. <Caused by?> I checked the symptoms on the web. <Yes symptoms... but what is/are the cause/s here? These need to be addressed, fixed> He has it for 3 days.  His fins and belly are red like he is bleeding. I read that u <... you> can do something with salt except with medicine. Is that true and if yes, how???? Oh, and now he stays all the time on the bottom. Thanks. <... Need information on the system, maintenance, water quality tests, foods/feeding... Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwlivestkindex.htm Scroll down... below the Gold bar. Bob Fenner>

2 Poorly? Black Moors  4/5/07 Hi team, We have 8 Goldfish in a 96G complete setup/all-in-one tank. (Built in filter/filtration etc). <Sounds fine, but goldfish are messy animals, and I'd plan on adding a second filter unless you like looking into a cloudy, murky aquarium. The built-in filters are usually on... shall we say the economical side of things? While fine for small tropicals like tetras and guppies, they can be overwhelmed by big, messy fish.> All seems ok, apart from the 2 Black Moors (Bully & Sharky), on completing a half tank water change we noticed that both Bully & Sharky seem to be losing some of their scales. Is this common in this breed of fish? or are Bully & Sharky poorly? <Losing scales is not normal. Fish certainly can lose the odd one, often by scratching themselves or by fighting, but they shouldn't losing them on an ongoing basis. Sounds like a problem. However, scale loss is a symptom, not a disease in itself (like hair loss in humans -- could be caused by many different things). So difficult to know for certain. Are there other symptoms? Such as open sores? Cysts? White or grey slime? Are the fins looking entire or ragged? Is the skin where the scale was clean or infected?> Would like to add that Bully & Sharky are eating/resting well. <Very good, but have you checked pH and nitrites?> All our other fish are fine. (2 Common Goldfish, 3 Fantail, 1 Shubunkin) <As a rule, the fancier the goldfish, the less robust it is. Do you have a heater in the tank? Fish can burn themselves if they are clumsy.> Would love to know what is happening to our lovely black fish? <So would I, but can't offer anything helpful without a photo. Definitely check the water quality, and look out for sources of physical damage: rough ornaments, exposed heaters, clumsy capturing with a net. That sort of thing.> Many thanks Humphries family - Essex <Cheers, Neale>
Re: 2 Poorly? Black Moors
 4/6/07 Hi again, Bully & Sharky seem to be on the mend!!!, <Very good. Keep an eye on things though. The addition of anti-fungus/Finrot is always a good investment when fish have damaged themselves.> we think it's a  possibility that they rubbed or scratched their-selves on the gravel bottom  of their home? Not sure though. <It does happen. Always choose a smooth gravel, or for goldfish better yet is a shallow (just enough to cover the glass) layer or non-calcareous sand, like smooth gardeners silver sand. They love rooting about in this stuff!> The scales lost left no sign of infection/redness etc.... just a silvery  look to the skin. <Fish can lose scales, and they will grow back.> Would like to know what you think? Water quality is fine!! <Medicate the water though, just to be sure -- it's the fish equivalent of putting antiseptic on a cut or burn.> Many thanks again <No problem. Cheers, Neale>

Sick goldfish   4/4/07 I have 10, 8yr old gold fish they are in a 120 gal tank. They have always  been healthy until 4 days ago.  They look like they have blood stained bellies and fine white dots on them. <Are the dots discrete? Like small bumps? More or less evenly/overall disbursed on the body and fins? This is likely Ich then...> They are staying on the bottom of the tank except for feeding time.  Then they act normal.  In the last week a few things happened, I introduced a snail to the tank, <Perhaps the source/vector of the trouble here... Could be flukes...>   we went away for 5 days, but someone checked on them while we were gone and they were fed on day 3 (we have done this before and there was no problems). <Not the food/feeding>   The heat was turned up (under floor heat) in the basement (where the tank is) before we left thus the water was quite warm when I got home.  Also I have been giving the snail a cucumber piece every day ( I wash it and take the seeds out before I put it in the tank) It gets completely eaten within 24 hrs.  I am thinking the snail brought something in. <Me too>   But am not sure.  My water levels are all good, nitrate ph etc...  They have not been thrashing around to cause the blood coloring (bruising) Please help thanks....... Selena      <Well... I would do the S.O.P. of water changes, daily testing of water quality (ammonia, nitrite, nitrate), and try a succession of treatments for the two general classes of complaints mentioned (external protozoal and Trematodes)... with either Aquarisol or Malachite Green... and Fluke-tabs respectively... Much more re the use of these materials that you should peruse... on WWM (the search tool, indices). Bob Fenner>

Jorie's over and out for the evening - another case of no reading, research, and lots of impulse buying... Goldfish sys., hlth., life   4/4/07 First off, thank you for your prompt answer on my last question I asked you. <Not sure who helped you before, but it wasn't me...but I will try to assist you on this new query!> Now, I have a few more. I recently got my first fish tank. A 10-gallon tank from a second-hand store. <This is a pretty small tank - can't house too much livestock. What so many newcomers don't realize is that a larger tank is actually easier to maintain; more water volume (obviously) meaning less buildup of waste, pollutants, etc.> It came with the gravel and fake plants. I washed them all in my city water and then set up the tank with the stuff to make the water safe for fish. <De-chlorinator? Read here for how to treat tap water for aquarium use: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/taptrtmnt.htm > I set up the AQUA-Tech filter (brand new) and let it run for 24 hours before buying fish. <OK, this is not the same thing as cycling a tank.  You need to "seed" the tank with inorganic ammonia, or alternatively, a bit of fish food (which will break down in time to create ammonia, then nitrites, then nitrates...). Bottom line is that you now have fish living in a non-cycled tank - you must be extremely vigilant and do as many water changes as necessary to keep ammonia and nitrites at zero. Yes, this will prolong the cycling period, but it is essential if you want your fish to live... Read here for info. on cycling: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwestcycling.htm Also, I like to recommend a book by David E. Boruchowitz, called "A Simple Guide to Freshwater Aquariums" - it nicely explains the nitrogen cycle in simple, understandable terms.> From a local pet store I bought three goldfish (one calico, one will get the "brain-looking" growth on its head, and the other one has a fat belly and its tail splits making it look more like a veil.) <You *may* be able to get away with one goldfish in a 10 gallon tank, but certainly not three. Read here about goldfish: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm Also, www.kokosgoldfish.com is a helpful goldfish-specific website.> Obviously, I don't know much about fish. <In my opinion, you owe it to your pets to learn about them *prior* to buying them.> Those three are doing just fine. <They won't for long. If you haven't already, you must invest in a quality, liquid test kit that measures ammonia, nitrites, nitrates and pH, at a minimum. I'd suggest doing daily 50% water changes on this tank, with the three messy little goldies...> Two weeks later, I bought a dragon fish, an algae eater, and a bubble-eyed goldfish from Wal-Mart. <OK- now I'm getting upset - this will definitely be my last query for the evening. With the addition of more fish, your tank is heavily overstocked. Also, what type of "algae eater" did you purchase - that's a very generic term.  Keep in mind that goldfish are coldwater fish, and many others require tropical waters. And, last but not least, if the "dragon fish" you refer to is a Gobioides broussonettii, this is a brackish water fish that can reach over a foot in length! Read here:    http://www.aqualandpetsplus.com/Oddball,%20Dragon%20Goby.htm > I let the bag sit in the water to acclimate to the temp overnight and then put them in. <Overnight? These fish were literally sitting in their own waste for hours and hours; I'm surprised they didn't all die. It is indeed important to acclimate fish, but a period of an hour or so is sufficient for most freshwater fish...> The dragon fish lasted two days. <I'm shocked it lasted that long in the horrific conditions you describe...> It seemed to be dead in the middle of its body when I noticed it wasn't as active as before. <I am not sure what you mean by this.> I don't know what happened. <It died of ammonia poisoning, in all likelihood.> Not the question. The bubble-eye lasted about three days more and floated. <Same problem - likely died due to poor environmental conditions.> The algae eater is doing just fine. <It won't be for long, unless you keep doing water changes to ensure it doesn't succumb to the same fate...> My boyfriend thought it was lack of oxygen and bought a pump (don't know the details) a hose and a long green thing to go on the end of the hose where the bubbles come out of. The green thing goes from one end of the tank to a little over half way across it. Ever since then, the bubbles go to the top of the water and float until popping making the top look like suds and the lid get wet. <This is simply an airstone - it increases oxygen in the water. It can't help, but water changes are your best bet. Do read that book I recommended...it walks you through all the basics!> I don't know if I am adding too much stuff for the water safety or if the air is too much. Am I supposed to put the green thing under the gravel? They seem to like swimming through the bubbles though. <Harmless, and the least of your worries...> I know I should test the water, but I live in the middle of nowhere and have to wait 'til I can make the two-hour drive one way to get to a decent store. <No, you need to buy your own test kit - here's what I use: http://www.amazon.com/Aquarium-Pharmaceuticals-Freshwater-Master-Test/dp/B000255NCI/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/002-2270996-1244068?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1175646972&sr=8-1 > The local pet store barely has fish. Also, how can I make my own gravel siphon? <A piece of flexible tubing from Home Depot, or the likes...> Sorry so long. I just need help...with my fish. <You need to read, read, and read some more - I can't possibly write everything about Fishkeeping 101 in this post, so please take it upon yourself to educate yourself, and hopefully save your remaining fishy friends...> Thank you for your time. Jennifer <Regards, Jorie>

Goldfish - possible constipation, coupled with poor environmental conditions  4/4/07 After reading through several of the posts to this site, I now realize how much more care is required for a goldfish. <All live pets require work, proper conditions; it breaks my heart to see the many people out there who think of fish, and other animals, purely as aesthetic enhancements, or worse, fashion accessories...> I had always figured them to be a pretty simplistic pet to care for. <Once you've got a well-established proper-sized aquarium, this will likely be the case!> My question/problem, is with my son's goldfish.  I've noticed that his stomach area seems distended/bloated, and am unsure of what the cause is.  It is a two year old comet goldfish, which use to be as colorful as a Koi fish, but has turned all white, probably over the last year.  It use to have a very healthy appetite, and was fed TetraFin Goldfish Crisps once in the morning, and then again in the evening.  Is using this food alone to feed it, the wrong thing to do?  I thought the fish may have dropsy, but its stomach area is the only area bloated, and the scales don't protrude like a pine cone.  He does seem to hang out at the bottom a lot now, and doesn't seem to have as much interest in food, usually eating only a few bites, before losing interest.  Can anyone help to pinpoint the problem? <I will try - Jorie here.  First things first, how large is this fish's tank/bowl? Hopefully it's not in a bowl, but rather in a filtered, cycled aquarium. Some background info for your use with regard to the proper care of goldfish: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm Goldfish are notoriously messy fish, and require very good filtration. Another question - are there other fish in the tank? If so, what type and how many? Thirdly, have you tested the water for ammonia, nitrite and nitrates? How often do you perform water changes on the tank?  Read here for info. on cycling a tank: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwestcycling.htm Also, since you haven't said otherwise, I will take it that you are using tap water - here's some info. on how to properly treat tap water for aquarium use: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/taptrtmnt.htm With regard specifically to the swelling, my bet is on constipation.  You could try feeding the fish a couple of pieces of frozen, thawed peas. Also, Epsom salt will help relieve constipation - I'd start with adding 1 tbsp. per 5 gallons of water, and if you don't see any improvement, you can increase the concentration to as high as 1 tbsp. per 1 gallon. Here's an article that will likely help you with your specific query: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshmalnut.htm > I would hate for my son to lose his pet.  Please advise.  Thanks in advance for your help.  -- Stacie <I'm concerned about the fish's loss of coloration, too - this is usually a sign of poor water quality.  Please see the links above and, if need be, make the appropriate fixes to his environment. Regards, Jorie>
Re: Goldfish - possible constipation, coupled with poor environmental conditions - PART 2
  4/4/07 Hi Jorie, <Hello again> I appreciate your prompt response to my original inquiry. <You're welcome.> I figured I would answer a few of your questions, to give you more insight into our situation. <Sounds good...>   While I understand that all pets require proper care, I just was unaware of all the extra little steps, like Epsom salt additions, feeding them peas, etc. <Of course - no one is born knowing these things.> We were quite surprised at how quickly a $2 fish, became $100+ after purchasing all the accessories to house it. <The initial setup can be pricey, but once everything's established, the cost does decrease, usually...> Currently, he is in a 5 gallon tank (mini bow), with a whisper power filter, and aeration wand for bubbles/oxygen in the tank. <OK- this is the absolute minimum size able to house a goldfish. Keep in mind that when he grows, you'll likely have to upgrade to a 10 gallon tank, minimum.> At the present time we are using tap water with aqua safe water conditioner, but have used bottled water in the past.  Is there a significant difference between the two, if the water conditioner is used to soften the hardness of the water? <Bottled water isn't really the best choice for fish, as it is missing certain necessary electrolytes, elements, etc. The tap water conditioner you refer to is likely removing chlorine and Chloramine, making it suitable for your goldfish to live in. If you want to upgrade, you could look into a de-ionizing unit (Aquarium Pharmaceuticals makes one that runs around $30), but with just the one goldie, it really isn't necessary.  The most important thing to keep in mind is stability - you don't want major pH or temperature fluctuations. Aside from that, goldfish are fairly hearty and can adapt to a wide range of water hardness - that shouldn't be an issue.> I know most of our information has come from pet stores, and again, that is why I said, that I thought having a goldfish was more simplistic...I now know I was misinformed on many things. <It's a shame, but so many fish store owners/employees have a "vested" interest and give you biased information. Not to mention that many of the employees simply don't know what proper information is.  Best to do your own independent research through books, periodicals, the 'net, etc. Did I recommend a book by David E. Boruchowitz, called "A Simple Guide to Freshwater Aquariums" yet? If not, do check it out - it should help you understand many of the basics.> The goldfish we have now, is the only one in the tank, and up until this new occurrence in his health, had been debating whether we should get him a larger tank (he's about 3-4 inches...only estimating). <He would likely appreciate a larger tank. Also, keep in mind that the larger the tank, the easier it is to maintain a "clean" environment for your fish...> I fully clean the tank, plants (plastic), and change the filter, on a monthly basis, with 50% water changes weekly. <Excellent - I'm so glad to hear this! This is crucial in such a small environment.> Up until a week ago, which is when we started noticing the change in his activity, he had been a very active fish.  I'd laugh, because anytime someone got near the tank, he'd wiggle back and forth, like a dog excited to see it's owner. <They are cute, aren't they?!> Even for a $2 pet, it's still quite concerning to me to see an animal of any kind, having problems.  I'm just hoping with the advice I've been given, and from what I've read thus far, that he will come out of this...and we will come out of this better, more knowledgeable owners. <Agreed. Try feeding the peas (and, if he's not too "interested" in the pea, you can soak it first in a drop or two or garlic oil, to stimulate appetite). Also, I would recommend the Epsom salt - again, start with one tablespoon in his 5 gal. tank and see how he responds. I think with proper care your fish should pull through fine - sounds like you are quite dedicated to giving him a happy life!> Anyway, thank you again for all the info. Best regards, Stacie <You're welcome, Stacie. I'll keep my fingers crossed for your little guy. Jorie>

Goldfish bending, darting, laying on bottom, env.    4/3/07 Hello!  Have four mature goldfish and a Pleco in a 55 gallon tank, set-up working well ten years plus.  Last night heard a crash that we realized was the lid of the tank bouncing up and banging down.  We then noticed one of the goldfish laying on the bottom of the tank bent around to one side, breathing, but not moving much. <Yikes!>    Within a few seconds, however, he was up and rocketing around the tank, then again laying quietly on the bottom with his body curled, like he was ready to make a sharp turn.  He alternated laying on the bottom and frantically zooming around for the rest of the night.  The water tested fine, just a little high in ammonia. <Very bad... should always be zero. This is likely a/the primary cause of trouble here> Did a 1/3 water change and replaced the aquarium salts, <Don't want to be using this/these constantly...> plus a little extra.  Didn't really expect him to survive the overnight, but in the morning he was still with us and has survived through the day.  I think he's a little more sluggish now, though, with longer periods of laying on the bottom.  Someone suggested a medicated food, but I don't think he's eating. <A very bad sign for a goldfish!>   Rest of fish are pitching in, trying to keep him moving.  He sometimes gets stuck behind plants, rocks, etc, but so far has been able eventually to get himself out.   Stays curled when on the bottom.  Is there anything we can do for him? <Fix the environment... whatever the shortfall is for the presence of ammonia (a lack of purposeful biological filtration, inappropriate kinds/amounts of food... maintenance issues... like the salt... which can/does poison nitrifiers...)... and this and your other livestock will be fine. Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwammfaqs.htm and the linked files above> Many thanks for any help you can give us!        <Welcome... do help yourself... by gaining knowledge, applying it here... and soon. Bob Fenner>

To keep or not to keep? This is my question... goldfish sys. hlth.    4/3/07 Okay, here I go.  Please bear with the story, it gets a bit long but therein lies the problem.  9 1/2 months ago my daughter won a "free goldfish" at a  community event. <Your first mistake. These fish are rarely healthy because of the poor conditions they're kept in prior to being awarded. Repeat after me: a fish is an animal, not a prize.> I buy a goldfish bowl (death chamber) and small decor and begin to watch the poor fish die. <Quelle surprise!> Quickly get online because I know nothing about fish and discover that goldfish cannot live in a goldfish bowl.  Ironic, huh? <No, not ironic. Unfortunately all too common. No-one should ever buy or otherwise obtain an animal without first finding out its needs.> Get out my wire whisk and begin a futile effort of oxygenating water overnight.  (free fish = no sleep). <While I applaud the effort, simply half-filling the bowl instead of filling it to maximize surface area of the water (and therefore oxygen diffusion) would work fine. Goldfish, like many other carp, can breathe air to some degree, and will tolerate poorer water conditions than many other fish, at least in the short term.> Next day head straight to pet store (chain) with daughter to buy 10gal tank they have on sale. <Why a 10 gallon tank? Goldfish can live for 20+ years and within four or five years will get to a length of at least 20 cm (about 8 inches) and potentially quite a bit more than that. They are big fish, and at the least you should be thinking of something around the 20-30 gallon mark.> I know secretly that her fish is not going to survive so I encourage her to look at options just in case "Goldie" doesn't make it. <Hang on a minute... after seeing one fish dying and realising you know nothing about keeping fish, you're already encouraging your child to buy more fish? Sounds questionable to me.> Then it happened.  We saw an Oranda for the first time and nothing will ever be the same. <Arghhh! Please, these are animals. Figure things out first, then buy the fish. Not the other way around.> Pet expert recommends 20gal tank for one Oranda.  We call Daddy in to make this decision with us and he agrees (usually a tightwad) to spend a small fortune preparing for a new fancy goldfish.  Take tank home. <The small fortune is known in the trade as "responsibility" and if you're keeping fish these things are non-negotiable. If they're too much for your budget, don't keep fish, and maybe try something less expensive, like a pot plant. But really, you should budget around $100 for an aquarium and all the bits and pieces. Once set up, that will last for years.> (Goldie was belly up when we got home)  After the 7-10 days recommended to "cycle" (I thought this literally meant cycle all the water through the filter-ugh) we bring home our first beloved goldfish. <Cycling the aquarium depends on the presence of ammonia to feed the bacteria that become the biological filtration. Some people add inorganic ammonia (from a drug store or hardware store) others use small, hardy fish (such as Danios). There are also products that can do this for you, such as BioSpira. What cycling doesn't mean is just running the tank empty for a while. That does nothing at all. Question: have you read an aquarium book yet?> An exquisite calico Oranda we named "Cheddar Jack" (orange on one side/ white on the other). <Random comment: fish don't care about names. If they have them at all, they don't share them with us. What they want is a knowledgeable, responsible fishkeeper who reads books and makes an effort to keep things healthy for them. In return, they entertain and educate us.> We were all hooked and loved watching him.  Several days later ammonia skyrockets and poor CJ has small white fuzz on Wen. <Again, quelle surprise. Uncycled aquarium, no biological filtration, and I'm guessing a big fish producing masses of pollution. Probably overfed, too.> Called pet store, recommend treatment, bought treatment, fuzz turned into hole which then seemed to turn into hole in the head.  (sob sob) water changes, medications recommended by pet store and weeks (3) of hoping ended in tragedy. <Unlikely to be actual hole-in-the-head, but just generic fungus or fin rot, perhaps also some type of slime disease.> Pet store recommends emptying tank and beginning again with all new rock, decor etc.  (fungus they think) <I don't know where to start here. The problem is ammonia, produced by the fish. Simply performing regular (50%) water changes each day will dilute that and within a few weeks the filter should be at least semi-mature. Randomly adding medications is pointless. Would you take chemotherapy for a twisted ankle? You need to ID the disease, understand what's causing it, and then treat accordingly.> We set our algae eater free in the pond (I'm sure he was a treat for the crappie) and empty our tank and wait for the sadness to go away and begin again. <Please stop now. You clearly seem unable to extend any kind of compassion or care to living animals. Putting a tropical fish into an outdoor pond is at best condemning it to a slow, painful death from (effectively) hypothermia. Finding it amusing that another fish would eat it is even sadder, but also runs the risk of introducing diseases from the tropical fish industry into natural waters. Even in a pond, diseases can escape, via birds and insects.> At this point I had learned what cycle really meant and was determined to do fishless cycle. <Finally!> Pressure from daughter and reassurance from pet store causes me to give in 3 weeks into new cycle.  Bring home lovely red Oranda who, so cute, swam sideways.  Named her Sider.  This is important because after 2 weeks swimming sideways became swimming upside down, then bobbing etc.  Despite all efforts and many peas later, Sider succumbed to what I believe was dropsy and is no longer with us. <Three fish bought, three fish died. Spotting a pattern here yet?> More tears, but again pet store reassures me this kind of loss is rare and maybe I should try another kind of fish. <This kind of loss *is* rare to people who try to keep fish properly, but very common with people who don't.> Sadly, but determined to provide good home to some kind of fish we bring home a beautiful black moor (really prefer Oranda). <Not sure yours is a good home yet... seems more like Death Row for goldfish.> To our surprise it is delightful to have a fish actually swim actively (and upright) and interact with us.  Now we are into fishkeeping forever.  We love him.  Joy!!!!     Despair!!!!    Red spot on head.  Crap, not another one.  After just a few short weeks in our home (houseofdoom) Bugsy was gone. <Please, for the sake of all that is holy and in the name of whatever gods you worship, stop this insanity. Clearly you are not doing the right things and after 4 attempts have failed to do the right things. If you were a child in a class and I was a schoolteacher, how do you think I'd grade you?> Now I finally get mad.  Hundreds of dollars and just as many tears from my daughter (nine) and myself and we still have no fish.  I have done everything fish expert at pet store tells me to do.  (Funny, I think he was guessing as much as I was)  Scheduled meeting with manager and fish expert  and fish expert discovers that someone sold us the wrong algae eater (we replaced the first one with same kind when we started over) and the algae eater was eating our goldfish. <Fish don't die because of the wrong algae eater. So this advice is total garbage. Besides, algae eaters (by which you mean Loricariid catfish I assume) are TROPICAL FISH whereas goldfish are COLDWATER FISH and under no circumstances should be kept together.> Expert recommends Plecostomus (sp) and again assures me this will fix it all.  New fish.  Red/White Oranda with cute red lip.  Welcome home "Hotlips". <How, why do you think a catfish will fix your clear inability to keep fish by following simple instructions? Will the catfish take you to a bookstore and point out some good fishkeeping books? If not, I wouldn't put too much faith in the catfish...> Uhoh, didn't see that at pet store, tail fin seems fused.  This won't  be a problem and will not affect her longevity (can a goldfish live for more than two months?).  Okay,  we will keep her (sucker).  She doesn't swim much.  Water quality is great (using test strips).  Could it be her fins?  Dunno, but maybe second goldfish will perk her up says expert. Can I keep two Orandas in 20gal? <Yes, goldfish are schooling fish, but in a 20 gallon tank you're pushing your luck. Regardless, the filter is too immature, and needs at least 8 weeks to settle down before I'd even think about adding more fish.> Sure, you can (expert). <Ka-ching, another sale. He's an expert because he's selling fish to someone who comes back every week to buy another one.> We bring home Chico, another gorgeous calico........5 days later Hotlips' tail has red streaks and actually appears to be disintegrating. <Please, please stop....> Aquaclease (Plecostomus) is on her and before I can get her QT he has nibbled on her side and tail. <Why is there this catfish in this tank. For a start, plecs get to around 30 cm in length, and need daily feedings of green foods such as lettuce and zucchini, plus catfish pellets. If you aren't providing these, they starve and in desperation might well try to suck on another fish. Starving people eat grass, but that doesn't make grass a normal part of the human diet.> Take Aquaclease and Hotlips to pet store.  They take Aquaclease back (recommend waiting a while on algae eater ( you should see tank now, Ich) and agree to medicate Hotlips until she is healed and ready to come back home.  Check with pet store 4-5 times over next week and they say, yes, your Oranda's tail is better, but her side still needs time.  (Did AC make a bigger hole than I remember?)  Are you sure you're talking about my Oranda?  Yes.   Hotlips is ready to be picked up.  Joy and elation.  Let's load up and bring her home I say to precious daughter.  Arrive at pet store, go to QT tank and I said, okay, now where's my fish?  This is your fish.  No, this is not my fish.   Pet experts lost my fish.  Don't think it ever made it to QT.  Must have died in her baggie in the stockroom.  Sad, Mad,  daughter is devastated and never wants  to see another fish.   <Glad your daughter has some sense.> We still have Chico. Pet store has offered to refund all money (lots of it) spent on tank and numerous fish and medications and supplies.  Thing is we really want to have a goldfish and keep it for a long time and watch it grow and play and take really good care of it.  I am not happy being a fish murderess.  My daughter, trooper that she is, also now agrees that we can't give up on Chico.   To keep or not to keep?  This is my question. <Short answer, for the sake of the fish, probably not. You don't seem to have read any books or learned anything from your experiences. I suggest pet rocks.> What kind of algae eater? <None. Use an algae scraper.> What kind of water tests? <Nitrite and pH at the minimum, and ammonia as well for the first couple of months. Some test strips have all the different tests on them. These are ideal. You want 0 nitrite, 0 ammonia, less than 50 mg/l nitrate, pH 7.0, and moderate hardness for goldfish. Test weekly to begin with.> Salt only? <No salt. Are you keeping marine fish? If not, then no salt.> What kind of dechlorinator? (expert said salt was enough) <Garbage. Salt does nothing to the chlorine or Chloramine. Use a good dechlorinator.> How often water change?  (expert says 1 in 3-4 weeks)  I've seen more frequent recommendations online. <For goldfish, 50% weekly. No less.> Air stone? <if you want.> Second Oranda to keep Chico active? <Not yet. See if you can keep this fish alive and healthy for a couple of months. Then maybe get a bigger tank and then a tankmate.> Give fish back and stare at empty wall? <To be honest...> Please help us.  I realize in the time it  took to write stupid e-mail I might have found an answer but surfing the web is not my strong suit and I was unable to register as a user at your site.   <What amazes me most is that your e-mail address implies you work in the public school system, and yet you don't seem to know how to find information from books or the Internet. Odd, no? Anyway, you don't have to register for this site, so all I can surmise is you couldn't be bothered to spend a little time browsing the pages but instead preferred to send a long message and have someone else do the work for you. I've sat here for over 20 minutes doing just that. If you can't be bothered to research animal care and welfare, I personally don't think you should be keeping animals at all. But if you insist on keeping the fish, PLEASE go buy an aquarium book, and then read it, cover to cover. Try and learn from it, and use that education to make life better for the animals that depend on you.> Thank you, <Indeed.> Goldfish Mortuary (Carolyn) <Cheers, Neale>
Re: To keep or not to keep? This is my question
  4/4/07 Despite the slaying I received I am very excited to get your response. Finally, someone is as appalled as I am at the events that have transpired in the tank.  Of course I agree that pet ownership is a considerable responsibility and should not be entered into without the means to do it properly. <Good.> And while you may question my intelligence and my inability to seek information, please understand that I reach out to you after exasperating searches for specific info (such as that you answered at end of e-mail). <OK.> I suppose I was unable to find info on correct type of algae eater because apparently I shouldn't have one with goldfish. <Correct. No algae eaters with goldfish. No ifs or buts about it.> Conditioning salt is what was recommended for my tank and the label does say freshwater, (I checked when I bought it) and again putting faith in someone's advice I took it. <Aquarium tonic salt is simply overpriced cooking salt. In modern fishkeeping it is sold purely as a con. Of course the retailers stock it -- it's easy money. Back in the "old days" people avoided water changes because they though old water was better than adding new water. Old water has high levels of nitrate, but nitrate is toxic. However, salt reduces the toxicity of nitrate. At a low dosage, the problems caused by the salt (stressing freshwater fish by messing up their osmotic balance) was offset by the benefits of reduced nitrate poisoning. It was the lesser of two evils, if you like. In modern fishkeeping the accent is on water changes, so salt is not only redundant put potentially harmful. So I say again (and this is from the guy who wrote the book on Brackish Water Fishes for TFH): unless you are keeping brackish or marine fishes, you don't need salt.> I was doing water changes of 25% every 7-10 days but the pet store said I was stressing them too much. <I have no idea why they said that. But please appreciate pet stores, especially the chain stores/mega-mart types, tend to have people with minimal (or no) real fishkeeping knowledge. Mom and Pop places are often (but not always) better, but still, you can get bad advice even in those types of store. Far, far better to get a modern aquarium book that has been written by a respected expert and has been proofed and edited by a pet publishing house.> Water quality as I said always tests within normal limits according to strips. Should I be using drop test kits? (The tank has been running now for 6 months). <Use whichever. I happen to like the dip strips because they're cheap and convenient, but there's some mileage to the argument they aren't so accurate. But with goldfish it doesn't matter too much: ballpark values should be fine.> I know the first fish died due to water quality.  The second fish I believe had swim bladder issues from the time we bought it. Could it be that the last two fish (ridiculous I know) were victims of the Pleco? Confusion and conflicting information have me completely discombobulated. <I have no idea exactly why your fish died, but I can tell you 99% of unexpected fish deaths are caused by water quality issues. So the law of big numbers simply says that if you run an aquarium properly, almost all the fish you buy will live to a ripe old age. Goldfish can live for decades.> Right now a fish is waiting in our tank. He is relying on me to do my best. <Indeed he is. Fish live in their toilet, and you pull the chain.> (By the way, about not needing to agitate the water in the goldfish bowl, I got that from one of the postings on this website) <Each to their own. Agitating the surface of the water works by increase the surface area, which means more oxygen can diffuse in and more CO2 can diffuse out. How you do it doesn't matter, but you do need to be consistent. I can't imagine whisking the water in my aquarium all day. Instead, I adjust the filter so the water coming out the spout "ruffles" the surface of the water. Airstones also help for the same reasons.> Thank you for your 20 minutes. <No problem.> I was under the impression that you did this willingly and furthermore if I did not care about these fish I would have flushed them, returned the tank and would have never spent my time last night reaching out for help. <Willingly, yes, but for the love of the fish and for the love of the hobby. This is truly a great hobby, and the basics (truly) are not difficult to master. I warmly encourage you to go buy an aquarium book before you do anything else though. Having reliable facts laid out fair and square will make your life much easier, not to mention much more pleasant for your goldfish. Cheers, Neale>
Another's input re: To keep or not to keep? This is my question... goldfish sys. hlth. 4/3/07
- 04/04/2007 I have spent countless hours on this site trying to learn as much as I can as I attempt to set up my first marine tank.  As you have stated yourselves there is no 'one way', and maintaining a successful aquarium has so many methods and potential pitfalls.  That said, I found Neale's response to Carolyn and her goldfish dilemma to be ugly. <I'm sorry. That wasn't my intention.> So often are the Q+A's here filled with great info due to a passionate world of professionals and hobbyists.  But here was someone writing in with a story that at least I know I could sympathize with. <Fair enough.> A parent who simply wanted her daughter to have goldfish and how that can so quickly unfold like a map of the world. <Have no problems with this at all. Similar to how I started with fish.> So what did you do?  Instead of encouraging her and giving her support, you criticized her in the most patronizing way like she was not welcome in your little club. <No, I didn't. My issue wasn't that mistakes were made, but that mistakes weren't learned from. To lose one fish is one of those things. To lose two in a row is perhaps unfortunate. To lose a third, then a fourth, and then to release another fish into the wild -- these things become less and less excusable.> Of course she knew little about fish!  That's why she spent countless hours and $ at the LFS trying to learn more, not to mention that she even knows about this site and took the time to write to you. <That isn't how it seemed to me. The writer said "she couldn't register" which is meaningless given this site doesn't have registrations. So my assumption was that the author of the message hadn't spent any time on the site at all, and just wanted someone else to do the work instead. Nowhere in the message was it written that she had read a book or bought a fishkeeping magazine, either. And no pet store I know of is going to spend "hours" talking to someone about goldfish.> Condemning her for naming her fish came across as cold and petty.  What daughter doesn't want to name her new little fish?  Isn't the joy of a child or our own inner child part of why we love this. <I didn't condemn anyone. I talk to my fish and call them silly names as well. Buy my point was that fish don't want love and they don't want names, they want to be looked after properly. Giving a fish a nice name doesn't matter either way. Not looking after a fish will result in its death.> I am all for proper grammar and applaud that you require this so when Neale wrote 'realising you know nothing  about keeping fish' I was even more dismayed ("realising" is misspelled) <Neale is British. In England, "realising" is spelled thus. Cheers, Neale> Todd
Re: To keep or not to keep? A rebuttal
- 04/04/2007 As I was searching again for some clues as to what to do about my current situation I see that my desperate e-mail has been posted today (4-3-07) on FAQ's.  Lovely. I read again my story and Neale's stinging response.  I suppose in my attempt to tell our sad story I did not properly convey the appropriate emotional state my family and I were in last night after losing another fish.  I would love to tell you her (his) name but will refrain at Neale's request. <I have nothing against giving fish names. You can call your goldfish Bobo Sunbeam Trumpington the Third for all I care. My point is that fish don't worry about names of being part of the family. What they want is clean water, swimming space, and the right food. Get those things right, and they're happy.> I personally think that the naming process, especially with children involved, helps to create a true sense of responsibility for the pet and fuels an interest in watching your pet for patterns and habits, thus truly getting to know it. <No problems with that. But at the same time, it behooves the parent to make sure that an animal is cared for properly before worrying too much if the child has made a bond with it. The animal's life depends on your care. *That's* the less children need to learn.> Neale has accused me of being irresponsible, inhumane and ignorant. <I've never met you, and have no idea if you're any of those things. Any more than you know if I'm any of those things either (some would say I am...). But in this instance, you failed to learn from mistakes, again and again. There was no evidence in your message you had read any books, for example. You said you couldn't "register on this site" -- there is no registration. So my assumption was you hadn't read any of it.> I will take all responsibility for his inability to relate to my story with any kind of compassion towards humans (Neale, humans have feelings, please be kind). <I am actually a very kind person. But that's neither here not there. I'm also British, and hence my sense of humour is rather dry, and sometimes that comes across to Americans as mean. In exactly the same way the American sense of humour, such as your comment about the algae eater being eaten by a bass, as being flippant. Two nations separated by a common tongue.> I know that it is difficult to hear tone of voice via writing (although he does a very good job of getting his tone across) and could not tell that the comment about the poor algae eater was made in disgust at what had to happen. <I admit I didn't pick up the disgust there. Either way, releasing tropical fish into the outdoors is [a] cruel and [b] potentially criminal, so not something to do anyway.> We only put him in the pond as a last ditch effort to keep him alive. The pet store would not take him back, which was our first choice, because he may have been contaminated. <This happens. There are workarounds. Animal sanctuaries will often re-home fish, and other pet stores or tropical fish shops will often take back fish. One big plus to the "mom & pop" places over the chains is exactly this.> He was a living creature and we are not in the habit of intentionally taking any creature's life for no reason, thus the pond. <All you probably did was trade a quick death you could have done in the home with a slow, lingering death from hypothermia and degraded immune and digestive systems in the wild. Sometimes, what seems kind in actually cruel.> So sorry I didn't look far enough into the biological consequences before releasing him.  And as I did release him, I thought "Maybe there's a chance for him."   Although realistically we all know he was a minnow at least he had a chance to swim for it, which he wouldn't have had in my freezer. <See above.>   I also imagine that it may have been hard for Neale to catch subtle things like the mention of water changes during our 3 week process of trying to save our first fish.  (I must have read that somewhere).  I also noticed that he paid no attention to the fact that when I realized my second fish had a problem (remember he had swim bladder issues when we bought him) that I researched and learned about treating with peas and that I again put effort into trying to create a healthy atmosphere for this fish.  (must have looked it up just a little information on this one). <Yes, I saw them... but there was still plenty of other stuff that was way off base.> When it was suggested that an Oranda may not be a suitable fish for us, I acted on the advice to try another kind ( the black Moor)  This was not for my own fancy (I think Orandas are the most beautiful fish) but was done in order to try to be responsible with our choices. <Responsible choices are good.> Please remember that I was also putting my trust in someone who I believed was trained in the proper care of fish. <That's the problem -- they're often not, especially not the people in chain stores. Of course, you weren't to know that, and I accept that.> I will not take blame for this last fish.  How much more can a pet owner do than admit that a problem is beyond them and ask for help. <Two things. Firstly, not buy more fish when they don't understand why the first one died. Secondly, go buy a book so they can learn about the animal before spending any money on anything else. Kindness and good intentions are all very well, but nothing beats knowledge.> I cannot control the actions of the person that so easily disregarded our poor fish and lost him somewhere in the pet store.   <That is certainly odd, and should have been an alarm bell not to patronize them.> And that is when I came to you. <And you came to the right place! The advice I have given is sound, and if you do exactly what I say, you will have a happy, healthy aquarium. I may be mean, but I also happen to know what I'm talking about, which puts me a step above someone sweet and friendly at the pet store who hasn't a clue.> Admitting that the problem was beyond me and looking for some intelligent answers and suggestions. <No argument here.> I will try to remember as we groom our horse, pick his hooves, use his fly spray and feed him his apples (without using his name of course) that animals deserve good homes. I will try to be mindful of animal rights when I take our dog (nameless of course) to the vet for her yearly exam, vaccinations, teeth cleaning and of course her every 8 week grooming appointment.  (dare I mention her heartworm medication, flea and tick drops and daily walks and some serious lap time?) <Which is all splendid, and if you extend that level of care to your fish, you'll have better fish tanks that I have!> Thank you for the questions that were answered. <You're welcome.> I will put them to good use.  I will not hold a grudge against anyone here for making me feel inadequate, incompetent and inherently selfish.  And never again will I waste your time with our troubles. <Look, that's not how I see things. I have no idea what you're like as a person. But please see things from my perspective. Every time I go to a pet store, I see otherwise sensible, nice people buying goldfish bowls or mixing species of tropical fish that I know won't get on. I see people with too-big fish in too-small tanks. I see people buying guppies to feed to pufferfish. I see people buying fish that have been dyed or tattooed simply to look "cool". There's a lot of casual cruelty out there. Part of my job is encourage people to keep fish better than this. Some people are mean to animals and always will be. But some people just don't know better. Those people can be educated. I had no idea you were an "animal lover" first time round -- all I could read was a person who kept buying and killing their fish.> One last thing.  The comment made in regards to my involvement with the school systems was more than rude.  I suppose that the many unpaid hours spent after school on lessons, grading papers, community involvement (which got me here in the first place) and parent conferences, all in an effort to help mold beautiful young children into all they can be, is no excuse to want to go to sleep before midnight rather than continue doing goldfish research. <As a former schoolteacher myself I have nothing against the profession. I know precisely how much work is involved. But that's neither here nor there. Buying an aquarium book, reading it, and then learning from it is good advice for anyone, whether teacher, brain surgeon, or astronaut.> Good day to you all, <And to you.> Carolyn <Look, it wasn't my intention to offend, and if I did, I apologize. But provided you go buy a book, and then try and understand about fishkeeping before buying anymore fish, then my work here is done and I'm happy. This is a great hobby, and this is a great web site with a tonne of information. Read, learn, enjoy. Cheers, Neale>
Re: To keep or not to keep? A rebuttal
- 04/04/2007 I thank you Neale. My sense of outrage has now vanquished and I am on to bigger and better things (an aquarium book is on order:)) <Cool.> (honestly, the way you feel about unprepared fish owners is fairly equal to my outrage at families going to the discount store for toilet paper and taking home the free puppy from a cardboard box instead) <Sounds about right. Animals need care, whether they are fluffy or finny.> This truly is a valuable site and as a matter of fact I was up quite past bedtime reading again last night. <I'm sure everyone here will be grateful for the compliment.> The remaining fish seems to be doing very well and water quality is still reading within normal parameters on test strips (ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, ph, water hardness). <Good.> Will return to the once weekly water changes done with our vacuum. <Good. To start with, don't bother cleaning the filter because you want the bacteria to get nicely settled in. But after 2 months, you will probably need to clean out the filter once every 6-8 weeks because goldfish are rather messy. When cleaning the filter, less is more -- don't run it under the tap (faucet), just give the filter medium a few squeezes in a bucket of water taken from the aquarium. All you want is to squeeze out the poop while leaving the bacteria safe and sound. If it's too dirty, replace 25% or so of the old filter media with new stuff. But a dirty, mature filter is much better than a clean, immature one.> I had been using API Stress-coat as a water conditioner before the conditioning salt was recommended and will return to that. <Sounds like a good plan. Save the salt for the kitchen. Salt can also be used to therapies of various types, but certainly not as a matter of course.> Wish us well.  I pray to update the crew next year as to how big and beautiful" Chico" (LOL) has become. <I wish you well.> Many thanks and well wishes, Carolyn No need to reply.  I know you are busy. <Happy to reply. Enjoy you fish and the hobby. I guess my work here is done...>

Goldfish, Floating, Feeding, and Disease - 04/02/2007 Hi, I have a 200-liter goldfish aquarium with a Fluval filter, normal water chemistry (checked) <"Normal" to you being....?  What readings for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and pH?> and three goldfish.  One, a Ryukin, about 3 years old, is strangely sick by what I gather is a chronic internal bacterial infection. He has developed dropsy 3 times - swells, has bleeding under the scales etc, <These can be symptoms of a simple nutritional disorder.> and gets well after antibiotic food BACTO TABS-Sera (that's the only medicated food in Bulgaria) <Hey, how neat, I have a friend from Bulgaria, now living in California.> In a month or two he develops dropsy again. He feeds well and is active but swells and bleeds. This time, his fourth, he developed dark spots under the skin, mainly on his head (like internal bleeding that I can see!?!? <These markings can be a strong indicator of environmental disease, among other things....  I would urge you to check and re-check your ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and pH, and be certain that ammonia and nitrite are ZERO, nitrate well below 20ppm, and pH perhaps between 6.8 and 7.8 - though a constant pH is more important than an ideal pH, so a bit above or below this general range would be okay if it is quite constant.> His mouth is got malformed and he takes the food with difficulty, but he has an appetite. I feed him with BACTO TABS and threat the water with BACTOPUR DIRECT and the swelling and bleeding stopped again, but the internal dark spots remain. What shall I do? <Firstly, read here for some crucial information that may shed some needed light here:  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshmalnut.htm .> It's obvious that this cure helps but doesn't help totally, because the infection returns. <My guess here is that this is not an "infection" at all, but a strong case of malnutrition.> The other goldfish are fine, for the moment... <They may remain completely fine, as well.  Some goldfish are more "prone" to nutritional complications than others.  To be safe, make absolutely certain that your ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and pH are as above.> Thank you, in advance! <All the best to you,  -Sabrina>

My Goldfish guessing   4/2/07 Hello Bob, <Tristan> Sadly, I am virtually a novice when it comes to taking care of my goldfish. <Is how we all start... how might you become less of a novice?> I truly have no clue what kind it is <? What? I have no idea what you're referring to... you sent no prev. corr...> but I can tell you that it is about 1 and 1/2 to 2 inches long, white and gold, long fins, and a little puff on its head. Today I noticed that it has 2 little red spots (maybe blood pools?) in the bottom of its eyes. It also just lays down on the gravel all day long and looks like it is really gasping for air. Its mouth just opens and closes all the time. I've had the fish for three months in a one gallon tank ( I know its extremely small) but since I'm in a college dorm room I don't have many other options. I change the water weekly (about a 30% change a week) and I use start right. <Capitalized... Proper noun> I don't know what to do right now. Please help. Tristan <No useful data... Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Re: Split tail fin on gold fish!   4/2/07 Dear Robert Fenner,   How are you? Well the black markings from my goldfish had gone away apart from his fins the anal fin and at the edge of his tail fin. <Good sign> This morning his tail fin had split in half completely . He is feeding as usual and swimming. Would you know what are the causes <Environmental principally... next nutritional... lastly microbial> and  please advice me what I should do to help him. <Did I send this along yesterday?... See WWM re Goldfish Systems, Health, Foods/Feeding...> Does this occur often or will it get more serious? <Impossible to tell from here, given this info. BobF> Hope to hear from you soon. Yours sincerely  

Goldfish tumor on head   4/2/07 hi - our goldfish is about 5 years old but has started growing a black tumor on his forehead (see pic). He is about 13 cm long, still very active and eating, fins up and generally healthy except for this "3rd eye".   It seems to be getting bigger and bigger now, almost reaching to his nostrils. I am a zoologist - can I use some clove oil anesthetic, nark him out, tease out the black tissue with a scalpel (as per the Dr Erick photos), dab on some pharmaceutical iodine and pray? <Mmm, yes... a worthwhile surgery trial>   I can't seem him lasting the year with the growth. Emacs! <?> Iain, Ben and Megs <Welcome. Bob Fenner>

My goldfish is hurt... Use WWM   4/1/07 Hi, <Hello there> I have a Veiltail goldfish for 2 years. Recently I <... I> bought I regular goldfish to put it together. 2 days ago I noticed that my Veiltail was floating and thought he  was dead. But he was alive. <?> I cleaned the tank the same day <Cleaned? How? Not completely...> and checked his body. I saw blood on his back. So I separated them because I knew the new one hurt him. <Mmm, doubtful...> Now he still floats leaning to one side, rarely doing some movement. Is he going to be ok??? Does his wound going to heal???? I really love him and I want to know if I can do anything to make him better. He cant swim straight. Thanks. Hope u can help. <Hope you can read: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm and http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshdisease.htm and the linked files above. You present no useful data on water quality, set-up, maintenance... nutrition... Go fish. Bob Fenner>

Three goldfish ~ all have diminishing tails & fins   4/1/07 Greetings WWM crew! <Krista> Please know that you and your site have been extremely helpful and have given me confidence in my new hobby. (I think it's much more complicated than many people realize.) <We are in agreement here> I have contacted you in the past (many months ago), and you've been very helpful. I searched the site for answers to this current problem, but I'm stumped. In June 2006, I acquired a 20-gallon tank and 3 goldfish. The tank has since cycled and I've never had a problem with water quality (really!). I change it regularly (50% every 3 weeks or so), <Mmm, better to change out 20-25% every week...> and if it goes longer than that (i.e. vacations, etc.) I check it regularly and the levels are always great. In the last few weeks, though, all three fishes' fins and tails seem to be disappearing. <Yikes!> Otherwise, they look fine. They are eating fine. I have not noticed any bullying or nipping. And since it's happening to all 3, unless I have 2 bullies, I don't think they're doing this to each other. Their fins and tails are not ragged. They just seem to be getting smaller and the lines are very uneven. There are no white edges, but some are dark orange or even reddish. <Mmm... environmental... but from what?> I have not found a satisfactory description of tail and fin rot that matches what I see. And since the water condition is very good (I've read that poor water quality can cause fin & tail rot), <Yes... and am curious re your "testers"... I would have these checked against some others... perhaps at a local LFS> I don't know what the problem could be. I look forward to hearing from you and gaining some insight here. <Check the test kits... but even before this, do change out a good quarter of the water, and administer the usual "Aquarium Salt" per: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/saltusefaqs.htm Thank you in advance for your help! Krista Goodin <Welcome> P.S. I managed to snap a picture of part of the largest fish, Beethoven. He once had a long, beautiful tail and matching fins. Will  they grow back? <Mmm, yes... should... these are not "too" badly damaged... This may be a "secondary" infection (likely bacterial), but the root/primary cause is almost doubtless environmental... Please relate how you prepare new water before using... Bob Fenner>
Re: Three goldfish ~ all have diminishing tails & fins   4/3/07 Mr. Fenner, <Krista> Thank you for your reply. I will certainly alter my water changing habits as you suggested. I will also take my test kits and a water sample into my LFS and see if the results are in agreement. <Ah, good> When I first set-up the tank, they did show poor results before the tank had cycled. <Yes... very common... a great source of stress, incidental mortality> Could the test kits have become ineffective over time (but it's only been 9 months or so)? <Yes... does happen. Many liquid reagents in particular, go "out of date" in just a year or so> Regarding my new water prep: Just two days ago I did a significant water change (more than 50%). I use Doc Wellfish's Aquarium Salt every time I change the water. (Is that too often?) <Mmm, see WWM re FW use of Salt/s... not a good idea to have goldfish in permanent exposure to much salt...> I add 1 tsp. salt   per 2 gallons of clean water. I also treat the water with Prime (by Seachem)  .2 ml. per 2 gallons. I initially used Stress-zyme, too, 1 ml. per 2 gallons, but haven't continued since I ran out as it was suggested only for new start-ups. <Yes> I'm relieved to hear your initial assessment of an environmental cause. In my opinion, those are easier to fix than an infection or something. Do you agree? <Mmm... yes... though both can be very difficult to simple...> It may be a couple of days before I can get to the LFS, so I'll just provide this info for now to see if it helps in your diagnosis. Oh, one thing more I just remembered (I'm trying to provide as much info as possible for you): Since day one I've had a problem with red algae. <Ahh! A good "clue"... this is actually very likely a Blue-green algae... see WWM, the Net re... and also indicative of a challenged, challenging environment...> I only leave the tank light on for about 10 minutes when feeding the fish which I only do every other day and only eye volume for 3 fish. (Their food ~ TetraFin goldfish crisps.) <Do see WWM re Goldfish nutrition...> The tank is near a window but never in direct sunlight. Still, that algae covers everything! <... WWM re BGA...> It grows on the plants and the one large rock I have. It has covered the filter tube that sucks the water up. I clean it regularly off the plants and the tank walls. I just can't win this battle. <Yes you can!> Could the algae be causing this problem with the fins and tails? <Yes... or reciprocally, cyclically, the conditions that allow the BGA are in turn/cyclically allowing the destruction/ill-health of the fish livestock> If so, or even if not, how can I fight this? (I'd pretty much given up except for cleaning it off what I can occasionally.) <... Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwbgafaqs.htm and the linked files above> It may sound strange, but I've become rather attached to my goldies and really want to care well for them. Any suggestions you have would   be much appreciated. <Learn to/use the search tool, indices on WWM... An understanding of the inputs, resulting outcomes of your actions, non-actions is to be had there.> Thank you again! Krista Goodin <Welcome my friend. Thank you for writing so well, clearly. Bob Fenner>
Re: Three goldfish ~ all have diminishing tails & fins, and snail sel., algae eaters for goldfish sys., the cached view search tool on WWM    4/5/07 Mr. Fenner, <Krista> Today I learned something important about my situation and hope this will shed some light for you. Although my test kits were inline with the LFS water test, the LFS guy showed me that the pH was very acidic (6.4-6.6). (It's probably been this way for months. <Mmm, and goldfish like...?> I distinctly remember that square on the test strip always being the same color.   Perhaps I wasn't reading the results correctly or just didn't know what it should be.) According to the LFS, goldfish prefer a level closer to 7.6. Do you agree? <Yes> Could this have something to do with the diminishing tails & fins? <Of a certainty, yes> (Side note: All other levels were great: no ammonia, no nitrates or nitrites.) In addition to more frequent water changes, should I utilize an adjuster? <Yes, I would... Is your tap/source water deficient in alkalinity as well as low in pH?> I purchased API's pH UP, and I understand that I should use this sparingly to adjust the pH very gradually. <Mmm, yes... best to use "outside" the system... In new/change-out water... adjust it... and store, use, mix in when you do water changes... Please read on WWM re pH, alkalinity... all of this and more related/necessary information is archived there...> Another question: My fear of perpetuating the algae growth (more on this below) has kept me from having the hood light on more than 10-15 minutes every other day. Could this be affecting the pH?   <Yes...> (The LFS suggested this, but I wanted a more reliable source to confirm it, please.) Also, I've switched food to Ocean Nutrition Formula Two (per Sabrina's recommendation in her article). Amazing ~ the food I was previously feeding them was yellow and red. This is green, like plant matter. (Duh!) <Much better> As for the algae situation, I have three questions. First, the algae (if that's what it is) is a reddish-brown color. That doesn't seem to fit the description of BGA. Could the color of this growth be related to the color of the previous food source? <... please read: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwbgafaqs.htm and elsewhere on WWM re Cyanobacteria... the color is not indicative...> Second, I read your article and learned about inputs and their controls. If I understand correctly, there are minimal inputs in my system. I feed the fish sparingly (every other day), and severely limit any light sources. What could I be doing wrong? <... many possibilities... all posted...> Third, would you recommend an algae-eating organism to assist with this problem? <Perhaps a snail... not a fish... again... this is...> I'm a little wary of introducing other species into my aquarium, especially when those I have seem so content with one another. However, if a snail or something would eat up all of this algae . . . 1) Can I keep a snail in an aquarium without live plants? <Yes> 2) If I only purchase one snail, they won't reproduce, correct? <Mmm, depends on the species... Some are ... where might you read?> 3) Would a brackish snail simply die (if it was improperly labeled at the LFS) or could it cause other problems? <A truly brackish snail is not a good choice> 4) Does the potential of bringing in a dangerous bacteria (with the snail) outweigh the current inconvenience of the algae? <Not IMO/E, no... though, where/when in doubt, a good idea to keep isolated... in quarantine for a few weeks... in a simple glass jar... with water from the tank...> 5) Are shrimp another acceptable option? Sabrina seems to like them, but are they compatible with goldfish and coldwater? (I had   difficulty finding articles relating goldfish and shrimp that didn't refer to goldfish diets. grin) <Mmm, there are coldwater shrimp, but these are not readily available> 6) Loaches and goldfish are not compatible. <Some are... like the Dojo/Misgurnis...> 7) Plecos and goldies ~ a very messy combination. <Not advised> 8) Your recommendation, please, if indeed you think it would be helpful? <Pomacea/Ampullaria... as posted....> Thank you again for your time and attention. I've found the articles and FAQs to be very educating. <Good> I'm learning so much! (Side note: It would be helpful when doing searches if the links took one directly  to the reference rather than to a huge page through which one must search for the reference. Am I doing something wrong or is this just the way the site is set-up? My only criticism so far!) Krista Goodin <Thank you for this. Only the search tool/copy on our specific: http://wetwebmedia.com/WWMAdminSubWebIndex/question_page.htm page will present the cached versions... highlighting search terms... Or using Google outside WWM... a deficiency in G's adsense software. Bob Fenner>

White spot on my black moor   3/31/07 Hi there <Hello> I have a black moor in a 20g acrylic tank with an undergravel filter and airstone, his only tank-mate is a red Ramshorn snail. I feed him a mixture of flakes, peas and freeze-dried Tubifex worms, <I'd skip the last... trouble for goldfish... to digest, too much protein... and too-common sources of disease transmission> and I treat the water with Aqua Plus, Cycle and tonic salt. When I bought him a couple of months ago he developed white spot which I treated with Methylene blue (it has worked for me before) and it disappeared. I finally got my tank properly re-cycled again after killing all my nice bacteria and he promptly got another few spots on him. I tried treating with tonic salt to no effect, and then decided to retreat with Methylene blue 5 days ago. There were spots on his main tail fin and also what I think was a fungus (looked almost like cobwebs) growing behind his eyes and at the base of his tail. These disappeared, however he still has one white spot on each of his anal fins in exactly the same place. Could it be anything other than white spot? <Mmm, yes> He is no longer flashing and looks healthy (aside from the blue water), is eating well and doesn't appear to be in any distress. I'm unsure whether to assume he is cured (with newly-acquired white markings) or to carry on with the treatment indefinitely until the white is gone. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Rose <I would not keep this fish under constant treatment with either the salt or Methylene Blue... If the spots are not changing, becoming more numerous, I would bolster this fish's immune system... by using a better dried food... Spectrum, by name. Bob Fenner>

3 Super Sick Goldfish... env. nutr.   3/29/07 To the Fish Experts, <Well, okay!> We have three cold freshwater goldfish (Bubble Eye, Black Moor, Fantail) roughly three inches long. We've had our 10 gallon tank for about two months. <Need much more room than this... Very hard to provide good, stable water quality with such fish in such a small volume> We had no problems the first month, water levels were normal. We feed them Wardley Goldfish Slow Sinking Crumbles twice a day (switched from flakes because the Bubble Eye has trouble seeing and competing for food). <Inadequate nutrition> This past month the outdoor temperature has risen (summer) and the water temperature changes drastically (sometimes 10 degrees 65-75). <Too much diurnal fluctuation here> The fish are in a shaded area in the coolest room in the house. We have always made weekly partial water changes and vacuum (we worry about our water quality, high in calcium). <Good and no worries re the calcium> We treat the water with AquaSafe conditioner and the tank came with ready to use filter cartridges ( Penguin: Contains black diamond premium activated carbon), <A good product> which we change monthly. I've read in some of your other Q&A that carbon filters can be harmful and that changing the filter can remove the good bacteria that has been created. <A valid concern to some extent... but in an established system, there are plenty of sources of these microbes...> We are looking at replacing the filter with a bio-filter tomorrow. <Mmm, I encourage you to use both... and more importantly to get a much larger system ASAP... a bigger volume will slow down the temp. changes/swings, allow for much more dilution of wastes... give the fish more room to swim about...> Back to the problem: about a week ago, we noticed an ulcer on the right side (behind the gill) of the Fantail about the size of half a pinky nail. The Bubble Eye  also has an ulcer (where his bottom is/was) about the same size. He also has severe fin rot (has completely lost his back left small fin, though this could possible be to the ulcer, his left front fin is half gone and there is fraying on the other fins). The Black Moor has what looks like white mold on his white lip (possible a fungus). The fish still eat normally and are still active (though the Bubble Eye has balance issues). <These problems are all environmental in origin... as I see below> We tested the water and saw that the NO2 level was 10 and NO3 was 200. <! More than an order of magnitude too large> All other reading were normal (pH, kH, gH) We immediately did a 50% in water, started floating ice packs on top while trying to prevent a drastic change in the temperature. We also took off the lid and set up a fan to blow into the water and turned on our overhead fan. The temperature has been fluctuating between 66 and 70. After doing quite a bit of research, we went to the pet store three days ago and purchased: AmQuel Plus (removes nitrate, nitrite, ammonia) to treat the water. <Won't do this continuously...> For what we believe to bacterial infections, <Mmm, no... the bacteria are very secondary... it's their "world" that is at fault first and foremost> we also bought Lifeguard All-in-One Treatment (one tablet every 24 hours) and removed the filter per the instructions. We're also got Pimafix Anti-Fungal (liquid) and Pimafix Anti-Bacterial (liquid) <Worthless Melaleuca extract> and are using them every day as directed. We checked water levels daily which seemed to be improving. Today we switched from tap water to bottled spring water (treated with above ingredients) and performed a 75% change. We also put the filter back in, removed the small fan and replaced the lid because pollen was getting into the water (we are still looking at putting in a bio-filter sponge tomorrow). Our most recent water test shows that our levels are: gH-180, kH-180, pH-7.5, NO2-3, NO3- 40. <The nitrate is still too high...> We know it's only been a few days, but the fishes' symptoms are still the same, if not worse (the fin rot seems to have spread to the Fantail). They are still active, not sitting at the bottom of the tank or just floating. Are we doing the right thing and is there anything else we can do? Thank you very much, Linsay & Robert (Silicone, Shimmy, Slippy) <You seem to be very conscientious... concerned (and rightly so) re your aquatic charges... Con, "with", scientia, "knowledge"... You need to better the environment here... Stat! And your goldfish will return to good health. Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwlivestkindex.htm scroll down to the orange bar... Read re Goldfish Systems, Nutrition... Bob Fenner>

Help! Oranda with Columnaris, Hole in Head Disease?  3/28/07 Dear WWM Crew, <Paula... this msg. just "showed up"... dated as above in origination...> Help!  My Orange Oranda, Bubba (formerly of Bubba and Tweety, I had asked about Tweety previously) has developed symptoms very rapidly.  We lost Tweety after a 7 month struggle and replaced him with a Blue Scale Oranda. I noticed stringy poop in the tank after we brought him home and I thought it was the new fish, but I now suspect that it has been Bubba.  I've been very careful with their food after our ordeal with Tweety.  I feed soft veggie based foods, softened pellets made just for Orandas (I soak them just make sure) and peas, lettuce and spinach.  I also keep the amounts to a minimum.  We were concerned that Bart (the new Blue Scale Oranda) had developed Ich so I treated with salt: 1 tablespoon per 5 gallons.  They are in a 30 gallon tank.  I tested before adding salt; PH was neutral, ammonia was 0, nitrites were 0 and nitrates were a little over 20 ppm. <Do your best to keep this the high limit> Bubba's behavior had changed a bit, sort of  a shimmy in one corner, but his appetite was still good and he had a white spot on his right gill cover. Looking at pictures of Ich on your site I see that Bart's spots on his Wen (nowhere else on his body) are a bit larger and some seem to disappear as others appear.  I suspect now it may not be Ich after all (Wen growth, maybe?). <Yes, likely so> This morning Bubba was much worse.  The white spot on his right gill cover has done nothing but he quickly developed a large bump on his Wen above his left eye.  Approximately 1 hour later he developed another bump higher up on the left.  That one quickly "burst" with white stringy stuff coming out of it. Then the larger one below also burst. He doesn't want to eat tonight and that's definitely not like him.  It really has me worried. I treated with salt again and some MelaFix and some more white stuff came out of his wounds. He still shimmies and occasionally darts around the tank as if he is angry, I hope he's not in pain. It's almost as if he is trying to get rid of the white stuff. (Now the one large one above his eye looks like 3 smaller ones clustered together) I decided to check Nitrite and Nitrate levels again.  The Nitrites were still 0 but the Nitrates were very high: at least 60 ppm. <Way too high> We thought that was of more concern than leaving the meds in so we did a water change, almost 50%. <Good>   Now the Nitrate levels are back down to just below 20 ppm.  After the water change the white coming out of his wounds seems to have subsided.  It's almost as if the salt aggravates the condition.  Also, while we were doing the water change Bubba shot out a big poop, very long with the first third of it solid and the rest stringy and fibrous. That really shocked me! (Could it have been a freed blockage?) <Maybe> That makes me think he has had stringy poop for a few days now. Do you have a clue what all this could be?   <Mmm, could be nothing... Goldfish do "pooh" quite a bit... due to what they eat, how much they eat...> And what else can I do?  We have had Bubba for 3 years and after losing Tweety, I can't stand the thought of losing him also.  To remind you, Tweety had swim bladder disease after a feeding accident during our vacation in July.  We kept him going for almost 7 months! Thank you for your help, Paula <Well... it's easy to have such trouble with small volumes (30 gallons is not much), and possibly vacillating water quality (as evidenced by the nitrates)... I would add another (redundant) filter here... Perhaps another hang on the back model... Bob Fenner> Re: Help! Oranda with Columnaris, Hole in Head Disease? Pervasive lessons in the nature of the truth  3/28/07 Thank you for your reply. Bubba seems better today after getting nitrates well below 20 ppm. <Ah, good> He still has some darting behavior with a lot of gulping but his breathing at rest is more normal. Still nothing but long white strings coming out of him and he won't eat. <Not to worry... the relief from better water quality, environment, takes time...> I did manage to get a half of pea into him on a feeding stick but otherwise he is not interested in food. <Mmm, a brief "plug" here if you don't mind... Do look for Spectrum food... amazingly nutritious and palatable> Bart has a VERY healthy appetite. Bubba's head looks great, almost healed but his insides have me worried. Could he have internal parasites. <Very common in goldfishes, most all fishes... even humans... but not a cause for concern unless other factors favor the parasites over their hosts...> I have Parasite Clear fizzy tablets and also Anti-Parasite food by Jungle but I'm sure at this point he won't eat that. <I would not use these... more damage than likely use... will further worsen the system itself... the useful microbes...> Should I use the Parasite Clear tablets? It says to remove the carbon filter but I am hesitant to do that now that I have the water quality stable. I am doing 20% water changes every day to keep the nitrates as close to 0 as I can. Thanks again, Paula P.S. Oooh, Hawaii! It just snowed here. Typical Montana Spring! Rich & Paula Busa <Ahh! But so beautiful... Cheers, BobF> Re: Help! Oranda with Columnaris, Hole in Head Disease?   3/29/07 Bob, <Paula> That all sounds good to me. I prefer to lean towards more natural remedies. I've already put too much stuff in that tank. I found Spectrum on ThatFishPlace.com. I have been using O.S.I. Goldfish pellets. <The Spectrum is far superior... as you will easily observe> They claim to be safe, especially for Orandas and their delicate insides. I found them in my "That Fish Place" catalog. I soak them so they are soft just to make sure and I also offer Elodea (although mine needs replacing), <Ah, good> lettuce and Spinach. I noticed Pet Smart offers their Goldies orange slices. I tried this, but it's really messy. <Agreed... don't know what the logic is here... Vitamin C?> The guys loved the orange but it's just too messy. Also, I was worried that the orange might not have been wise as Bubba has never had oranges before. Before all this started I had just introduced lettuce, spinach, orange and zucchini to make up for my Elodea being depleted (I can't get it around here, I have to order on-line). These new offerings could not have caused Bubba's internal problems, could they? <Mmm, perhaps the feces, yes> I still think it was the water problem. <I as well> After we move in 5 weeks we are going to purchase a 60 gallon show tank, our 30 gallon is taller that wide and I believe they need more horizontal room.   <Ahh! Excellent> Plus I can only get my arm 1/2 of way down and have to stand on a stool!  My husband has to do everything for me! If you think the Spectrum for Goldies is better than my O.S.I. product, I will order it. Thank you, Paula <Very good. Life to you my friend. Bob Fenner>

Found your website, can you help? Goldfish disease... no useful info.  3/28/07 Hello Robert, <Lisa> Just taking a few moments at my break today to try to find out what is wrong with my goldfish.  I hope you can help, as your web page seems chock full of information and I can't quickly find anything fitting the description of what is wrong with my fish.  I don't have a picture of the disease my Pearl-Scale Oranda (brown) has, but it can be easily described. On the rear of my fish, below the tail and around the vent on the lower half of him there are translucent "balloon looking things" that are hanging onto the skin of my fish.  When you touch them, they feel like jelly, but you can pop them because they are liquid filled.  The rest of the fish looks healthy. Do you know what they are?  I am suspecting that it is some sort of parasite, but cannot i.d. Lisa <Mmm, not able to discern what this is from the explanation... What's more you offer no information on the set-up, maintenance, nutrition, history of this animal... My best advice is to start reading here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm and onto the linked files above. I suspect (but this can only be a wild guess, that your situation, like the majority of such goldfish complaints, is environmentally mediated. Bob Fenner>

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

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

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