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FAQs About Goldfish Disease/Health 13

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,

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

Goldfish protrusions We have a 10-gal tank, basic filter it came with from the store. there are 4 goldfish (apprx. 3 in. long each now) <Too crowded... you need a system/tank of at least four times this size... now> and a algae eater (4in.) My goldfish (sorry, I don't know what kind, just the basic kind they have at Wal-Mart) basically looks like it swallowed something too big for it's system. we started out with one snail (Apr. '05) and now have about 10. We were wondering if it would be possible for the fish to have swallowed a snail or a rock? <Yes> you can see protrusions on either side of the fish and blood spots at the protrusions. we are going on the 4th day now. I am real curious what is going on and the only thing close to figuring it out was that it might have "holes" <?> but then I think that is only for pond fish and they are not ulcer looking. <Oh... Furunculosis... aka Ana aki> I also noticed yesterday that it has a little bump at the base of it's tail. <Good observation> This fish seems to be bloated as I was looking at it today. after reading on your site and searching - I am starting to wonder if it might be diseased but cannot find specific info, mainly because I am not sure how to word everything. I have spent quite a bit of time reading and redirecting myself with this great mass of information that I didn't even know existed! <Am glad you have written in...> I didn't realize there was so much info out there and am so excited to check back often to learn and find answers to this new hobby of ours. I really appreciate all you guys do in putting this information on websites for us, this is fantastic! Thanks in advance for any help or direction to info. Krysten <It may be that your goldfish has a parasitic crustacean complaint... called Anchorworm... or another called Fish Louse... (you can look these up under these names or Lernaea, Argulus) but much more likely what you are seeing is resultant from "poor environment"... greatly increased by these fish being too crowded... Do consider a larger world for your aquatic charges... and soon. Bob Fenner>

Catherine is Ruthless, Marina Loves Her - Oranda Environmental Emergency 10/22/05 Hi, I  <No such word. It's "I". We archive questions for public use and have to correct poor grammar/spelling.> bought a red Oranda a while back. It was all nice and fine at first, but recently I noticed that my Oranda's fins and tails looks shorter. A closer look at it, I see that its fins and tail have lost its white part; there's only the red part left with a black outline around it. It still swims normal and everything, but it looks like a Lionhead w/ an upper fin. Can you tell me if it's a disease or a genetic disorder??  <Sounds like environmental issues to me. Check your ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels. They should be 0, 0 and <20. I suggest doing large water changes. You don't tell me the size of the tank, but a 3 inch goldfish really needs about 20 gallons of water with a good filtration system.  Read http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshdisease.htm  and http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm. Catherine.> 

Outside pond fish... possible Lernaeid  10/21/05 <Sabrina, should we post this to the FW goldfish FAQs as well?> <<I sure think so.  Likely will go into Koi, Pond Fish Disease, Goldfish Disease, and Crustacean Parasitic Diseases.  SCF>>Hi, this is our first time on your web-site, and we have a question. We have an outdoor fish pond with 4th generation goldfish! Today I noticed something on one of the fish. It is gold in color, protruding ( from under his skin)? or sticking out of   his skin, I can't really tell. It looks like a thick wire sticking out. He doesn't look or act different, eating as normal. I didn't see anything   like this on the other five fish.   Do you think this is some sort of parasite? <Mmm, possibly... Lernaea... "Anchorworm"...> What would you suggest we do? <Mmm... place this/these terms on the WWM, general search engines... read... If this is the cause/parasite, removing the adults by tweezing, inspecting all fishes, using a organophosphate to kill intermediates is suggested. Bob Fenner> Thanks Donna

Goldfish/Koi scale loss, exercise and general hilarity  10/21/05 Hi Again, <Steven> Thanks for all your good advice.  I have a couple more questions for you. First, when I caught one of my Koi with the net, the little bone in the front of then fin near its butt got caught in the net.  It was hard to get loose, the bone broke, and the fin ripped.  It grew back, but it upset me but Not nearly as much as it hurt the fish. <I'll bet... finer netting is better to avoid snagging fin rays> I noticed on a rerun of Mythbusters that the guys were handling the fish by hand.  Do you think it is better for the fish to catch them by hand? <Mmm, depends on the size, setting... better by far though to lift Koi/Goldfish of size out of the water/net by hand than lift them into the air by net> I have to anyway when ever they jump out of the tank, so I figure it may be better for them. Second, I really took to heart your advice about taking better care of the fish.  Since goldfish and Koi are carp, they probably prefer a river-like environment.  I stuck an extra Powermate filter in the tank to really get the water moving.  They seem to like it. <Ah, good> I was also thinking of putting the fish in a piece of PVC pipe and aiming the jet so it is like a exerciser. How long do you think I should leave them in there? <Mmm, I wouldn't do this> I was going to start with an hour a day for a good cardiac workout since they are already strong swimmers. I was thinking about getting a Salad Spinner to put them in when I clean the tank.  I figure it will be like an exercise wheel for a mouse.  Maybe they will think they are just caught in a whirl pool. <Heeee!> Second, I want to write off the cost of the tank as an advertising expense. <Ooooh, now you're talking> I thought that since the scales are like finger nails I could use nail polish and a stencil to put my company logo and telephone number on the side of the fish.  If it works, I could even give goldfish in bowls to my customers. <I would look into a patent/copyright here> If that doesn't work, I thought I could get my business card printed on Mylar and use some dental adhesive to glue it to the fish.  I could also use fishing line and let the fish tow it around like a banner plane.  Do you think this will hurt the fish? Steve <Not as much as the herniation you're going to cause readers from the laughter resultant from your mail. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Help my Oranda, Beryl seems to have a growth!!  10/21/05 Hi there, I have a very large Red Oranda, some 5 inches in body length named Beryl. I am unsure of her age or even her true sex, I have had her for a year now and In the last couple of months I have noticed a scale becoming some what deformed, it has now turned in to what appears to be a growth, white in colour. <Happens> Her behaviour is normal, she seems very happy. I have kept fish for several years and I am positive it is not Dropsy, Fungus or Parasites. My other Oranda and my Lionhead show no signs of this problem and the tank condition is healthy. It also now appears that there may be another growth forming on her. Can you help, do I need to worry? <Will worrying change the future?> Can it be treated? <Depends... on net cause/s... proximal and determinate... could be mostly genetically predisposed...> - I can not find any such problem in books or on the internet and I am worried for her. Kind Regards Sarah Thomas Beryl's Owner! <Mmm, take a go at the Google Search tool on WWM... put in the term "Goldfish tumor"... http://www.google.com/custom?q=goldfish+tumor&sitesearch=wetwebmedia.com Bob Fenner>

Oranda, Ich?  Costs Of Being A Conscientious Fishkeeper - 10/20/2005 Well I have a 30gal with two 5inch Orandas, one pearl-scaled goldfish, and two frogs. I run a penguin emperor 280 which is for a 75gal tank. <Mm, no.  The Emperor 280 is suitable for your size tank, but certainly not a 75 gallon tank as the only filtration device.  Not sure where you found that figure, but it is not correct.  Even the manufacturer recommends it to 50 gallons.> One of my Orandas has what seems to be Ich on its head mass. It is only on the head mass nowhere else. <Are you positive, then, that it is Ich?> I had Ich in my 20gal around 2months ago and since then transferred an Oranda which had Ich and then cured to the thirty and back to the twenty. I turned the temp up to 84 for several days now and added freshwater salt by DOC WELLFISH AQUARIUM FRESH WATER SALT to it. <Mm, sounds to me like you might want to learn a bit about the life cycle of Ich, and how to kill it.   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwich.htm .> The fish are happy as can be but I am worried about this guy. I also have a 20gal with same filtration system and have a 5inch Oranda, a 4inch, a 3inch and an albino Plecostomus with the temperature also at 84. <Too much fish life in this system....> 84 because I hear that 7 out of 9 parasites will not survive in that temp. It is becoming a long term problem and costing me more money than I thought. <You need to read the article linked above, and learn the life cycle of the parasite and how and why what you are doing has been ineffectual.> To treat my tanks I was using Rid-Ich+ by Kordon and its not worth it anymore. <Uhh, what?  Not "worth" it anymore?  These are lives in your care, subjected to your whim and will....  give them the appropriate respect that life deserves.  If they are not "worth" a bit of research and a $5 bottle of Ich remedy, then you really might start thinking about who you know that might want to put a little more time and care into these animals.> My Oranda in my 20gal is the coolest fish I've had. <Hopefully cool enough to warrant consuming some of your time and efforts....  Please explore this part of who you are and determine what the lives in your care mean to you.> It's a chocolate Oranda. It's lost a lot of its spunk due to all the treatments and water changes. The Kordon rid-Ich makes the water really murky. Well can you help me out? <I've given you the tools - now read that article and decide what you can/will do for your animals.> They are cool fish and want to give them long lives and eventually a bigger tank. <A good sign....  but know that it will still "cost" you, in time and efforts, not just money.  Wishing you well,  -Sabrina>

Goldfish Nutritional Disease, Mouth Damage - 10/17/2005 I have a 7 year old Oranda with health problems. He always has been a swimmer at the top, but never seemed to bother him.  <More damaging/telling of his health than you might suspect....> For the past year he seemed to have an on/off swim bladder problem (couldn't get to the water surface). When on the bottom of tank, I hand fed him with Aquarian Tropical Flakes because they stuck together well enough to get them to his mouth.  <Really, flaked and pelleted foods are not adequate nutrition for goldfish.... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshmalnut.htm .> He has been on the bottom of the tank now for about 2 months. Three weeks ago, I noticed he started breathing harder with his mouth always open. He never closes his mouth. I took him to the fish store where I got him and they looked into his mouth to see if anything was obstructing his throat. They saw nothing, but I see that his throat looks partially closed and he has raised worm-like areas and a few thick thread-like (maybe 1/4 inch) areas on both sides of his interior mouth/cheek area.  <Sounds like he may have physically damaged his mouth somehow.> A week ago I finished 2 treatments of Jungle Laboratories Fungus Clear tablets, but he is not any better. He still has a good appetite, but has to be hand fed and remains on the bottom of the tank, sometimes leaning to the right side or totally on his side. He is in a 10 gal. tank with only about 5 gals. in it because I thought the shallower water would help the swim bladder problem.  <This is far too small a system for him - but you are correct about maintaining a shallower water level for this fish.> The tank has a Whisper Internal Filter and a sponge filter. Do you have any advise on how I could improve his health?  <Sounds like you are doing well so far aside from too small a tank, and could learn a bit about goldfish nutrition from the link above.... also here, about systems/care of goldfish: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm .> Vicki C. <Wishing you well, -Sabrina>

Goldfish Nutritional/Environmental Disease - 10/17/2005 Help! One of my two goldfish is floating on his side, and curled over into a C-shape. Their color is fine, and their scales look normal. Yesterday, both fish seemed fine, so I was quite shocked to find this one in such a bad way. He (or she, maybe) is still alive, but very lethargic. His top fin looks droopy, and he's not really trying to swim. I tried feeding them peas, but the sick one won't or can't eat. Normally I feed them TetraFin Goldfish flakes every day.  <Please read here on goldfish nutrition: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshmalnut.htm .> After reading some of the other letters on this website, I went to the pet store and bought a water testing kit. I have a small tank (bad, I know) <Mm, small is subjective, and does not help me help you.... How small is 'small', in other words....?> with a bubbler and a live plant. Most of the readings were within normal range, according to the packaging (nitrite, 0 ppm; hardness, 120; alkalinity, 0; pH, 7; total ammonia, .25 ppm), <Ammonia should be zero> but the nitrate reading was way high, at 80 ppm.  <Dangerous.> I changed about 25% of the water in the tank.  <Need to do more of a water change than that, I fear. And keep doing, daily, until you have less than 20ppm nitrate.> Tomorrow I'm going to the pet store again to buy another plant and some water treatments (recommendations?) <Mm, no medications - just be sure you use a conditioner that neutralizes chlorine and Chloramine.> Any advice you have would be greatly appreciated. I hope I can save this fish, but if I can't I would at least like to keep the other one healthy. They're just feeder fish, but I've grown quite attached to them. I've had them since July and they were doing so well! <Please also read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm .> Thanks for your advice, -Caitlin <Wishing you well, -Sabrina>

I May Have Made a Mistake - Goldfish Troubles 10/18/05 I am a first time tank owner and I have had 1 Shubunkin in a 5 gallon tank for about a month and a half.  <Too small for a goldfish!> He looked lonely. The lady a Wal-Mart said that I could have 1 fish for every gallon of water. I added two more goldfish. Charlie Brown (the original fish) is doing fine but the other two seem to be a little dazed.  <Ive heard the one inch of fish for every gallon of water but never the one fish per gallon. Both rules are false. Small (less than 3 inch) goldfish require at least 10 gallons each. Larger ones require more. Goldfish are some of the messiest fish you can have. The fish are probably a bit dazed from transport and change of scenery. Give them some time, a bigger tank, and a filter.> One of the new fish has lost a piece of his tail fin. Im not sure if this happened in the transfer or if it got into an altercation. Will this hinder his life expectancy? He stays really close to the bottom of the tank and for the most part away from the other two.  <He could have lost the fin in many ways. If he stays in excellent water quality and gets a good diet, he should make a complete recovery.> I also did a 25% water change today and tried to use the vacuum for gravel and it seems like the water was cloudier when I finished than when I began. My instruction booklet said to change the water at least every two to four weeks but as I read your site, it looks like I should be doing this more often. Please help. I've lost fish before and I don't want to lose these if possible. (The others were Bettas in bowls.)  <Gravel vacuuming stirs up the gunk on the bottom. It is normal to have it took cloudy for a few minutes to an hour after you finish. You are going to need to do 50% water changes daily until you get a new tank. Goldfish poop. Poop contains ammonia. Ammonia is toxic to fish. Certain bacteria will convert ammonia in nitrite. Nitrite is also toxic. Other bacteria convert nitrite into nitrate. Nitrate is not nearly as toxic.  Good news is that the necessary bacteria are found in the air. Bad news is that it takes about 6 weeks to get enough of them growing in a tank (assuming you have some sort of filter) to do ammonia conversion. This is called cycling the tank. The other part of the bad news is that bacteria can only do so much; if your tank is too crowded, conditions will become toxic for your fish. You probably have this problem now.  The fish with the hurt tail may be more sensitive to the ammonia and this is why he is sitting on the bottom. This fish will probably not improve unless you improve the water quality. You can measure your levels of ammonia, nitrite and nitrate with a test kit available at any fish store.  Once you have a tank that is big enough (30+ gallons) and that is cycled, I recommend changing 10-20% of the water weekly. For more information read: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm and http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwestcycling.htm.> Thank you for your help. Mrs. Ware  <Any time. Please keep asking questions. However, please use correct grammar and capitalization. Changing mrs ware to Mrs. Ware is time consuming. Catherine.> 

Goldfish, Environmental Disease - 10/14/2005 I have 3 gold fish that I have had for 2 1/2 years, they measure about 7-8". They have been doing fine until 2 days ago and now they stay at the bottom of the tank. They come out to feed but return to the bottom. <Test the water in this system.... Maintain ammonia and nitrite at ZERO, nitrate less than 20ppm, with water changes.... I would do a substantial water change.> I can find no signs of anything on their bodies. they seem to look normal except for their staying on the bottom and not swimming around. I tried the pea thing and they ate them but everything is the same. They are in a 40 gal tank and I change 1/3 of their water weekly. The tank is unheated, they have a good supply of air and filtration system will do up to 60 gal. I really want to help them but just don't know how. I have a book called Fancy goldfish which says they have the flukes but the web sites that I have read don't agree. I'm at a loss. <Uhh, do you see symptoms of flukes? Have you introduced any livestock that could have carried them into the system? If no on both, I would say this is highly unlikely.... Do not medicate unless/until you know what you're treating and know it must be medicated. All you describe so far implies environmental disease.... poor water quality. Test your water and go on from there. Wishing you well, -Sabrina> <<I suggest looking into whether or not there has been a large drop in temperature.  If so, this could be the root of the "problem".  If there has been such a drop, especially in the absence of any other symptoms indicating illness, the fish are likely getting ready to "winter over".  Perfectly normal behavior.  Marina>>

Goldfish with Eye-Patch? 10/13/05 Hi, I have a question. My fish (a kind of goldfish) has this white type of thing covering its whole eye. (Only one of them.) What is it? Is it some type of illness? Please answer back ASAP. Dianne <Not enough information to say much. White things over eyes are generally bad. Check here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm  and http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshdisease.htm  for more information. Most eye problems start with poor water quality. I suggest doing 50% water changes daily (with treated tap water. Hope this helps. Catherine> 

Goldfish Rescuers Rescue Goldfish Refugees 10/9/05 Hello, <<Greetings. Marina here.>> My wife brought home 16 goldfish in a small goldfish bowl. She rescued the fish from another lady who was using them as a decoration on a table. The next morning we could hardly see them in their little bowl. <<Ahh.. sort of the "wedding fish" thing, eh? Too common, and cruel in my opinion if they have made no further arrangements, even to move them along as feeders.>> So we ran out and bought an aquarium. It holds 8.5 gallons, in addition it came with a bio wheel and a filter. <<FAR too small, even for tiny baby goldfishes (1" and under). This number of animals will need a 50 gallon just to start. Do consider thinning the herd.>> For Christmas my wife is going to buy me a larger tank, but we got the fish on Sept. 21st. Today is October 8th, so I have a while to go, with an overloaded fish tank! Since the beginning we lost 5 fish and we now have 11. <<They have thinned their numbers for you.>> One of them is {was} named Gorbachav, who is {was} the smallest goldfish. I have been doing a 25% partial water change every week, and have been tracking nitrates 5.0 ppm, 0.5 nitrites ppm, 8.4 pH, 300 alkalinity and 300 hardness. Our tap water is running at 7.8 pH. <<There's no need to worry about alkalinity and/or hardness with goldies. The other parameters are disturbing, you don't mention ammonia, but I'll be it's always present. You MUST boost biological filtration my fine, altruistic friend. pH is fine, just don't go messing with it, let it find its own balance.>> We then learned to cut back their food, because the water was cloudy. <<Cloudy water isn't necessarily a sign of too much food, it IS a sign of excess nutrients (nitrogenous waste) and demonstrates that a balance between certain bacteria has not been found here. Much is written here on biological filtration. Yours must be increased, but no vacuuming of substrate (as that removes beneficial bacteria), no wiping down of tank sides.>> I went out and bought a second filter and installed it on the tank because I knew that the tank was two small for all 15 goldfish. <<Perfect move. Now, just increase the water changes in frequency (every three days or so), possibly in amount, too - something more like 33%.>> We now feed the 11 remaining fish two pinches of TetraFin GoldFish flakes a day. <<I bet they look at you like you owe them money, don't they? Keep the tank temperatures as cool as possible and this will slow down their metabolism.>> For the last four days all 11 fish stopped swimming around the tank and just sit under the filter together. <<Uh oh...?>> There are no visible problems at all. <<Yes, there are. The fish have stopped swimming around. Question is, is that *really* a problem..? Read on.>> Even the fish look fine. The house has gone from 75F to 65F, which is normal for us this time of year, because our house is very old. <<Aha! You've already done it! The fish are going to go into something that could be described as a sort of "stasis". If you allow the temperature to fall even further it will do no harm (though not to freezing, they can't be frozen like some other animals and survive). Do NOT feed during this time!>> They are not gulping air bubbles or even gasping. In fact they don't even looked stressed. <<I'm impressed, whether you've done this by actual knowledge or just by the seat of your pants, you've done all the right things. Your fish should be fine.>> It bugs me to see the fish on the bottom, they look fine and healthy with no visible signs of sickness. But I know that something is wrong and last night Gorbachav died! He was always the small weak one. <<The tank is still overcrowded, but what could push a weak fish over the edge just as easily is too fast a drop in temperature. Did the ambient temperature in the house fall quickly? (>5F/24hours) If so, that could explain it. If not, then we have to chalk it up to "runtiness". In any event, prevent fast drops if at all possible.>> I did another 25% water change today and will go tonight to the fish store and get some peas for them. <<The peas are not necessary at this point (plus, why buy "fish store" peas? Just visit the frozen food section of your favorite market, squeeze 'em out of their skins before feeding). You don't want to feed them, as a hungry fish is a healthy fish.  But more importantly, I think that with the temperature drop the fish have gone into "winter mode". Water changes are fine, but I would keep the water cool, to match the tank's temp. Again, don't feed during this time.>> But I don't understand why they are all sitting under the filter. I wish I had a camera to take a picture, all 11 of them are all hunkered under the second filter and sitting on the bottom together. <<If you could look at the bottom of a pond at this time of year, you'll see the same thing. It is perfectly normal for goldfish and Koi, for many fishes that live in temperate to cool climates. As the sun warms the water some may venture up, but generally don't forage for food much.>> Why are they sitting there? <<They think winter is coming.>> Did they all of a sudden get lazy? <<No, they've done their work for the year.>> Is this the sign of a serious problem? <<Not given the information you've provided (other than the very small size of their tank).>> I don't understand the significance of this. <<It is as significant as the changing of the seasons.>> I would like your opinion. <<Opinion is as above, I would also Google our site for goldfish health and care. I would also suggest you do a general Google and pay particular attention to Canuck and British goldie sites and care. They're accustomed to dealing with how the animals behave in cooler climes. Don't panic, but be diligent in the water change routine, pay particular attention to the nitrogenous waste readings (and do include ammonia in those - ammonia and nitrite really must be zero).>> Thank You, Matthew and Pauline Pratt (and posthumously Gorbachav) <<You're very welcome (poor Gorbachav.. RIP). Keep up the great work, you two are doing the little fishes well with your care and husbandry. A warning - be careful as spring approaches. I wouldn't be surprised if folks like yourselves have a bit of a wet thumb and find yourselves with lots of wee goldies by June! If such is the case, what do you think about setting them up in their own pond? Marina>> 

Goldfish Rescuers - Follow-up 10/10/05 Marina, Your detailed answers are wonderful, and have filled in a lot of blanks for us. This helps and we are more confident now that we are headed down the right road. Thank You, Matthew and Pauline Pratt (and posthumously Gorbachav) <<Matthew, Pauline (and posthumously Gorbachav), you are very welcome. I have a feeling Gorbi doesn't appreciate it so much, but such is life, yes? Please, DO more research, as I have always lived in warm climates and have never had to over-winter anything (though I'll need to learn shortly). I am glad I could bring peace of mind and offer you some help, insight, direction. Good on you for saving the fish, too. Marina>> 

Ribbontail swim bladder... goldfish travails (a sinker, not a floater?) 10/7/05 We have contacted you in the past about our poor floor-bound Ribbontail, but we have been able to re-diagnose our fish with the help of a pet store owner. As it turns out, what we previously thought were blood streaks from septicemia in the fins, turned out to be bulging veins from stress. We thought she had gotten dropsy from the septicemia, but now we think she may only have swim bladder disease. What follows is a revised timeline of the illness; <Mmm, be aware of the difference/similarity between "causes" and symptoms... what you list above are both... related... akin to "having a cold", influenza> June 19, 2005 - 1 week after initial week of treatment. We bought her an Oranda companion (now 7 cm w/o tail). <... you placed a new fish with a sick one?> Ribbontail (now 4cm w/o tail) had few red streaks in tailfin. August 12-14 - Ribbontail stopped swimming higher than 5cm off the bottom of the tank. Red streaks got darker and more noticeable. She seems a little fat September 8 - can barely get off the bottom of tank. Swims up an inch; falls back down. A tiny bit of fraying on her tailfin. We restarted her on Maracyn-two, this time with 4-5gallon water changes every day. We gave her bits of cooked peas with a turkey baster (This worked surprisingly well).  Week later - She got better in a week, so we stopped for a few days. September 9 - We have 2 plants. She can't get up at all, she sits on the bottom trying to get up, the joints of her front fins are red, her chin is pink, and her tailfin is covered in streaks and is frayed and torn-looking. The spot underneath her tail (right where it connects to her) is very pink.  Shes been on the Maracyn-two for about a week or more, as well as Stress Coat and Melafix, and weve started putting 2 tablespoons of aquarium salt in the water at each water change and doubling her medication, but shes still getting worse. Were only changing the water every 3 days or so now. We just changed 8½ gallons today. The temperature is 74 degrees F. The pH is about 7.5. The water is a little bit hard but I just added salt. <Ammonia, nitrite?> October 5 - She seems slightly bent, but its hardly noticeable. We have resorted to making her a harness to keep her afloat just above the bottom of the tank. (Cloth vest held onto a cork by a clip suspended from a string. Unclip-able so she can sleep inside her cave). We will probably finish the harness later today. Could this be a food or egg-impaction? <Doubtful... much more likely environment/genetic> Shes passing feces, though not much. No bubbles. Is she a sinker, if so, will this be permanent? Anything you can tell us would help. I havent been able to find much on sinkers online. This is very confusing, as she did not have a floating problem before she sank. We bought her with a clamped top fin, but this may just be bent rather than clamped. No expense is too great for our poor little fish. <Perhaps has damaged its swimbladder... and is a "sinker", could indeed be permanent. Bob Fenner>

Goldfish, Ich, Etc.  10/06/2005 Hi <Hello.> Hope you'll be able to help. I live on a remote island so have no shop near where I can get information. Have lost 4 fish in the last 2 weeks. Two of my remaining fish I have had for 10 years but one of these has developed small white spots on tail and on one fin (nothing on body). Local vet told me she thought it was probably fin rot and to treat them for that. <Mm, actually, sounds like a parasite called "Ich" - Ichthyophthirius multifilius.... please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwich.htm .> I am concerned that in the last two days the 4 fish that I have left are all continually trailing waste behind them - some looks normal but on the one that has white spots the waste appears to be just a clear tube. Hope this makes sense to you and desperately hope you can offer me some advice? <The clear feces may be an indication of internal protozoan parasites.... in which case, food medicated with Metronidazole is the best bet. But, first and foremost, check and maintain water parameters at optimal conditions.... Ammonia and nitrite at ZERO, nitrate less than 20ppm; if it is anything other than this, do water changes to fix. The clear and trailing feces may possibly just be an indicator of stress and poor environmental conditions.> Thanks -Kate <Wishing you well, -Sabrina>

Dropsical Goldfish - 10/06/2005 Hey Crew. Thanks so much for all the help you've given myself and others. <And thank you very much for these kind words - means a lot to us, really.> Once again I've come to seek your advice. Nova, my 1" Pearlscale goldfish, has come down with dropsy. Water parameters in his main tank have always been good (ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrates consistently in the 15-20 range), so I'm not sure what the cause of this was. <Possibly/likely dietary....  What do you feed him?  Prepared dry foods like pellets and flakes are often a cause for concern in fancy goldfish....  A diet of aquatic plants and blanched human-consumption greens (peas, cucumber, spinach, zucchini....), supplemented with occasional dry or frozen fish foods often "cures" this condition and prevents its return.> As I write this he's been in a 3 gallon hospital tank for two days. I've medicated with Maracyn Plus, added  1 tbsp of Epsom salt, and raised the temperature to 27c. He's still gamely swimming around, and even still has his appetite, and this has inspired me to leave no stone unturned in trying to save this little guy. So far he's not getting any better or any worse. I know dropsy is almost always fatal, but is there anything else you can suggest that might help this fish? <"Dropsy" us just a term applied to a set of symptoms, just like "sneezing" can be related to an allergy, the flu, or an irritant in the air, there are many causes for dropsical symptoms.  I suspect what your fish is experiencing is dietary.  If, however, it is from a bacterial infection, foods medicated with Oxytetracycline would be my treatment of choice.  For now, I would get some frozen peas (thaw, and squeeze the inside out of the shell, discard the shell) and feed him a couple.  Discontinue all other foods for now, apart from possibly aquatic plants like Anacharis/elodea/Egeria.  Hopefully a good diet will help this fish recover.> JM <Wishing you well,  -Sabrina>

New Goldfish in Quarantine  10/5/05 Hello there again, I wrote a few weeks ago about my sick Oranda (Dr. Jellyhead Lobotomus)  and Ryukin or Veiltail- it's debatable- (Squab). Unfortunately, Dr. Jellyhead died but Squab recovered slowly over about a week, and is now back to his old self. I wanted to wait until Squab was better to bring him home a new friend. Last night, I found a really nice black Oranda (or maybe it's a panda Oranda, as it has a white belly) and ended up purchasing him/her?) Very cute and lively, a good appetite, with a nice looking Wen. A little spooked of people. I've named him Sir Hamhead Hopkins (Hammy, for short) Unfortunately, there are no really good fish stores in my area, so I have to get my fish at the local PetSmart. Here are my questions: 1)Hammy is 3.5 inches long and my quarantine tank is only a 10 gallon. I planning on doing daily 20% water changes for the duration of the quarantine. <Good> I feel bad having Hammy in such a small tank, but It's all I have. Will this be okay for a few weeks? <Should be... monitor ammonia> 2)Hammy had a bite taken out of his anal fin with a little whitish fuzz on it, and a few scales that looked like they may have been injured, so I am treating the quarantine tank with Maracyn and CopperSafe and 2.5 tablespoons of salt. I know the pet store water is shared in all of the tanks so parasites and diseases are probably there. I wanted to be safe and take precautions.  Am I doing this right? <I'd leave out the copper> 3) The Maracyn really seems to be clouding the water. The quarantine tank is right next to the other tank and looks like "the smoker's lounge" in comparison. Is this okay for Hammy? Will it hurt him? <Possibly> 4) Finally, how many weeks do you think I should keep Hammy in quarantine? Squab looks lonely, but I want them to be healthy! <Don't worry re loneliness... a couple of weeks will likely "do it" I'd appreciate any advice, corrections and suggestions! <I wonder what these fish call themselves, you and I? Bob Fenner> Thanks again, Michele
Re: New Goldfish in Quarantine (Update)  10/6/05
Thanks for the information. Okay, I did a 30% water change in the 10 gallon Quarantine tank to dilute the CopperSafe as you advised to avoid the Copper. <Good> I added tablespoon of salt in with the new water. I'm checking the ammonia (it's reading at  zero) and the Nitrate (currently reading at 20) and the Nitrite (Currently reading at 0.5) <Do keep the nitrite below 1.0 ppm.... through chemical filtrants, water changes> I am concerned about whether to continue the Maracyn treatment because of the water clouding.  You said that the clouding could perhaps be harmful to the fish. Since the partial water change, the clarity has improved, but is still not 100%. <Will likely be cloudy/ier with the Antibiotic use> I'm wondering what you think this affliction may be: I've noticed that the fish has a small white spot near the bottom of the Wen growth, near the top of the gill slit but not on the gill.  I'm not sure if this is Ich or not. <Very unlikely... much more probably "environmental/genetic"> This spot is what concerns me most, because it seems to "come and go". For example, last night I was observing the fish, and watched a piece of the white spot break off and fall to the bottom of the tank. It looked as if there was a tiny string hanging from the spot, and I thought maybe it was parasitic. This morning the spot was much smaller, almost gone. Now, this evening, the spot is back again. It's tiny, the size of a pinprick, but it shows up on the black coloring of the fish.   <Very common in... fish with Wens, changing environments... is mucus (all fishes have), forming as spots, strings...> It also looks as if there may be one small white discoloration on the inside of one of his tail fins,  and on his bottom lip but I am not sure if that is the fish's natural coloring (he has a white belly and throat.) The tail spot and the lip spot do not look fuzzy , and been there since I purchased the fish the other night. The bite wound on the anal fin seems to be healing, but still has a whitish appearance at the wound site.  Could this be fungus or parasitic? <Likely neither> If so, what do you recommend I do, as you see I am concerned with water quality and medications. <Nothing other than what you're doing... optimizing, stabilizing water quality, providing good nutrition...> I appreciate your help! Michele <When/if in doubt, read over the Goldfish sections on WWM. Cure will come with loss of nitrite, a few weeks going by. Bob Fenner>

Bubble eye  Goldfish iatrogenic disease 10/4/05 I wonder if you could advise me on what's wrong with my Goldfish , she has scales missing and is mostly floating on her back. <Very bad...> Does keep trying to correct her balance, is this a parasitic condition. Or could it be from bullying? <Most likely nutritional/genetic... too much dry food, propensity for "egg-shaped" goldfish to develop "gas-bladder disease"... not really this in fact, but fatty degeneration, accumulation... leading to loss of orientation...> Also in the tank are two regular goldfish ( Can't be transferred back to the pond due to genetic abnormalities) These also appear to have faded scales. All other fish appear to be doing fine, I did a 1/3 water change last night, filter and heater all working ok. Should I try Epsom salts? I have treated with Anti Parasite. Please could you advise. Thanks <Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshdisease.htm and the linked files above... Bob Fenner>

fishtalities! Non-native speaker, writer?  10/4/05 I'm emailing out of a desperate need to save my remaining goldfish... <Sentences are capitalized, the proper noun "i"...> i have had goldfish for some years now - and as i frequently move they come with me and live in a terracotta pond. several weeks ago i was given a large metallic pot by a friend for my fish - and so transferred them as i had did several times before - careful to make the change as comfortable and stress-free as possible. everything was fine for the first few days... but then i had one, then two fish die. so i moved the pot thinking that maybe there was something falling from the tree it was under that was harming the fish. i had scrubbed clean the pot before putting my fish in it. but after several more died - can only surmise it is the aluminium or zinc (??) that the pot is made out of that is causing the problem. <Very likely this or a lack of biological filtration...> is there anything i can treat the pot with or paint it etcetera with to prevent it from my fish? <Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm and the linked files above... and here: http://wetwebmedia.com/QueryCorrsRefPg.htm> Lesa BEEL <Bob Fenner>

Flicky goldfish 10/3/05 Hi, I would firstly like to say what a fantastic web site this is, so glad I found it, it gives more info than you could ever know! Keep up the good work!  <Thanks!> I have been having a few problems with my goldfish, he is in a 23 liter tank <6 gallons> (sorry don't know measurements in gallons. got an F in math's exam lol!) and is aprox 3 ½ inches long, he lives with 1 white cloud and a small fantail, the only way I can describe the problem is his fins flick, when he has been resting on the bottom of the tank, or normally swimming around, his front fins flick and go into a sort a spasm, this lasts for a couple of seconds, but can result in him swimming violently round the tank and swimming into the gravel, face or even side first. It can be really distressing to watch! This doesn't happen all the time, the last time this happed was round about 6 months ago, I have been treating him with a blue chemical PROTOZIN that I got from my local pet shop, I don't really think this is helping a lot. <Your fish are too crowded.  Goldfish are really messy fish.  These three fish need at least a 20 gallon tank and a 30 or 40 would be much better.  White clouds also like a bit of same species company.  Basically, your fish is probably being poisoned by fish poop (ammonia).  There is just not enough room in the tank to break it down.  I suggest large water changes (50% daily) with dechlorinated, temperature matched tap water until you can get a bigger system.  A filter for the tank would also help.  I would discontinue use of the medication, as the problem is environmental.  Read http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm for more information.> I really hope you can help. Many thanks, Sue <Anytime, Catherine>

Goldfish scale loss ... and much more 9/29/05 I have a common goldfish that has grown to about 6 inches long in the last five months (from about 2 inches when I brought him home).  He was a pretty little fish, but as a newbie I think I have not taken care of him as well as I could have. <Self-effacing behavior... a good start> I know I overfeed him, usually five or six times per day, enough until  he starts pooping.  He actually starts pooping as soon as he sees me coming toward the tank.  It is like I trained him! <You have> Every day I feed him flakes, floating pellets, cheerios, brine shrimp, Tubifex worms, blood worms, and peas.  I also throw in a vacation pellet every few days to make sure he has in between meal snacks available. <Toss in Pizza and I'm getting in the tank with him> My original goal was to see if I could make him fat. Except for having a pear shaped cross section he just seems to grow longer.    <Yes> The tank came with a biofilter wheel, and a mechanical and charcoal filtration system.  To compensate for so much waste, I put in about 2.5 pounds of crushed lava rock in the bottom of the tank, <Too sharp for this type (gold) of fish> plus a Duetto 90 submersible filter.  This is in a five gallon tank.  I also do a 25% water change every week and a 90% change once a month to clean the tank. <Too small a volume...> Ammonia and nitrites always test zero and nitrates seldom get over ten ppm. <Good> With all this pumping, the tank stays right about 80-82 F in a 74 F air conditioned house.  The tank light raises the temperature to about 85 F in a few hours so I usually leave it off. <High/er temp. will shorten the lifespan...> The goldfish is always active and seems happy.  The only problem seems to be that he has lost about 30% of his scales and the remaining scales are not shiny anymore.  The guy at the pet store said he probably had Ich, so I treated the tank daily for a month with Ich Away (malachite green), Melafix, and Stress Coat. <No... doesn't have Ich... ridiculous... does have an over-heated metabolism... other mal-affects of crowding...> His scales looked shiny again, but new scales do not seem to be growing back very fast.  I can see the outlines of where they are growing but it is not what I would call a scale.  Some of them have been missing for months. Do you think I should just continue the medical treatments? <Definitely not... will just shorten this fish's life further> At what point can I conclude that the scales will not grow back? <Need to move this fish to at least a twenty gallon tank... ultimately a forty, sixty... if it lives... as it will grow, approach a foot in overall length>   Frankly, I have half a mind to throw him into the river (he was only a $0.29 feeder fish to start with) and start over. <Do not release this, or any other non-indigenous life to the wild... is a potential disaster...>   There has been a heron hanging around there, so maybe I can help the heron and the goldfish fulfill their respective rolls in the circle of life. <Perhaps you will be reincarnated as a "feeder"...> Any suggestions about the scale regrowth are appreciated.  I have really enjoyed over feeding him but giving him medicine does not give me the same kick.  (Maybe that is why the idea of feeding the heron does appeal to me.)  OK, thanks. <Many important lessons (for you) here... What is life to you? Do you really care for this fish, world at all... or only what they can/apparently do for you? Think deeply re what you do... this is your life as well. Bob Fenner>
Re: Goldfish scale loss, no improvement in intelligence 10/10/05
Thanks for the advice. I bought a ten gallon tank and a couple of friends for it. <Too small, crowded> The new friends are two Koi and the one is about the same size as the goldfish. I cut the food way back, to about three pellets a day (each). They seem to be fighting a lot but if you think they are happier, so be it. <Keep reading http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm Bob Fenner> 

Sick goldfish, non-native speaker/writer 9/26/05 hello doctor! I have goldfish. They have hemorrhage over their body especially near and on fins. They also have dirty white spikes over their bodies and even in mouth. <Sounds like Anchorworm, Lernaea...> One of them is not even taking food. Kindly help me, I am very much worried about my fish. I shall be tankful to you.   <Please search with the term/s above on WWM, the Net. Bob Fenner>

Ryukin doubled over  9/25/05 Hi there - I've got a year-old Ryukin who has always been quite healthy.    Tuesday night he was fine, but Wednesday morning he was kind of doubled over - his whole body is bent, and he was swimming in circles  at the bottom of the tank, trying to swim up, but couldn't.  He looks a little bloated - more one side than the other.  He was scratched up a bit on one side also, I assumed that was from bumping against a   rock as he was swimming in circles and a rock was nearby.  Also, one  eye was protruding a bit at the top.  His fins are not clamped, he's just bent into a curve and seems to have energy. <Good description, bad behavior> Our local fish store thought he was constipated or maybe had swim  bladder.  He's now in a quarantine tank, getting MelaFix, tetracycline, and being fed brine shrimp, but it's been 3 days and no improvement...   FYI, we've got 7 assorted year-old fancy goldfish in a 75 gallon tank.  I do 60% water changes and clean filter & replace  charcoal in a magnum 350 every other week. Thanks in advance for your help! - Steve <Mmm, what do you feed these goldfish? What re your water quality? I would clean the canister filter at least weekly... and provide more biological filtration, perhaps a hang-on power filter in addition. Please read on WWM re goldfish Systems, Disease, Feeding. Bob Fenner>
Re: Ryukin doubled over  9/26/05
Bob - They get a little bit of "Omega One" flakes 6 days a week in the evening, (it's gone within 3-4 minutes), augmented different stuff in the morning: Hikari sinking pellets once a week, Color Fin sinking granules once a week, mashed de-skinned peas once a week, and Formula II cubes once a week. <Mmm, a good mix of foods>   They fast one day a week. <A very good idea>   In addition to the canister filter, we've got an undergravel filter with one pipe up at each end of the tank, with fairly strong streams of bubbles cranked through them. <Mmm, you do gravel vacuum I hope/trust... weekly, with good sized (10-20%) water changes?> The water quality always measures 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, and the nitrates are around 40ppm before I do my every-other week tank maintenance. <Do try to keep nitrate concentration below 20 ppm>   We need to clean algae off the tank sides once a week, and a lot of it grows on the rocks & ornaments.  pH hovers between 7.8 and 8.0.  The Ryukin is starting to fade in the hospital tank - losing energy, often upside down, and still bent into a "C" shape, although the bloat seems to be down a bit...   <Mmm, is strange indeed> Anything short-term for the Ryukin or long-term for our main tank we should be oing?  Thanks again - Steve <Yes. Please try the "standard" cathartic application of Epsom Salt... at a level teaspoon per five gallons of water. This often "works wonders". Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Goldfish question, health... really nutrition  9/23/05 I've been reading a lot about constipation in goldfish and actually had to deal with it last week.  That fish had a trail of brown feces trailing from it.  I tried the pea remedy and she was fine the next day.  Now, however, I have one with white stuff trailing from it .  What is that?   <Fecal material> He's acting OK right now.  I have been feeding flakes, which they love , but recently got some Spring and Autumn pellets that have lots of veggies and will probably be better for them. <Please read on WWM re Goldfish, Pondfish Feeding> The pkg said they soften quickly and even small fish can eat them.  These guys are still small,  only a few wks out of the petstore, and they tried so hard to eat the things.  I don't know if they sank or what, but went back to the flakes.  These fish are in a small garden pond with filter and fountain.  Anyway, my real question is about this white stuff.  Thanks for your help.  Chris <Look into blending in some fresh foods... not dried alone. Bob Fenner>

Goldfish injury/disease  9/23/05 I have had a goldfish in a 10 gallon tank all by itself for over 5yrs  now. Recently within a matter of days he developed a small growth on his  back before his fin. It has a red ring around the base and then the rest of it  is the color of him (white) It honestly resembles a pimple. He is acting just  fine and eating normal. I have looked around your page but still not entirely  sure as what it could be. <Likely resultant from a physical injury... would add a bit of aquarium salt per the Goldfish Disease article, FAQs on WWM. Bob Fenner>

Goldfish Husbandry - 09/21/2005 I am at my end trying to figure out what is wrong with my goldfish.  It's a small goldfish my daughter bought at Wal-Mart several years ago.  It is lightened in color but the mysterious symptoms are that it's mouth is almost gone closed.   <By this, what do you mean?  Can you describe?> It's white inside but doesn't fit the descriptions of any of the diseases I've read about.  His eyes have also turned red, like the eyes of a white rabbit.  You can almost see through them.  I do believe he may be blind but I'm not sure and what would have caused that?   <Different medications, environmental disease....  lots of possibilities for what might cause a fish to go blind.  I'm not convinced that's what has happened, though.> The fish have been in a 2.5 gallon tank for about 3 years and the water has been clouding up incredibly fast since this fish got sick.   <Woah.  This is WAY too small for a goldfish.  Please read here:  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm ; the information here will help you understand, and hopefully solve, the root of the problem(s) this fish is experiencing.> I recently purchased a 10 gallon tank so the fish has more room to swim.  That tank is also clouding up very quickly with 5 times the amount of water.   <If this tank has just been set up, this may just be a normal bacteria or algae bloom.  Are you testing the water?  What are the readings?> There is another fish in the tank with him who is perfectly healthy.   <A 10g tank is pushing it for a single goldfish; anything more is just too much for the tank.  Please do consider a much larger system if you can.> I tried an antibiotic treatment and it didn't do a thing.   <Don't medicate without knowing what you need to treat for.  At this point, I suspect the animal's problems are all related to environmental/water quality problems.> I don't want the fish to die or to have to kill our pet but I also don't want him to suffer or make our other fish sick either....  Please Help!! <Start by testing your water - maintain ammonia and nitrite at ZERO with water changes.  Anything above zero is toxic.  Maintain nitrate below 20ppm, also with water changes.  Be sure to use a water conditioner that neutralizes chlorine and Chloramine.  Read that article, and go on from there.  Wishing you and your goldie well,  -Sabrina>

Stressed Goldfish: Laying on bottom, air bubbles, not eating  9/22/05 Hi, <Hi Liz.  Catherine, here.> My goldfish which I believe is a fantail is about three years old and three inches long.  <Kinda small for a 3 year old.>  I have her in a 5 gallon tank with no filter, but I used stress coat and change the water often.  <Like 50% daily?  Goldfish are extremely messy fish.  A 3 inch one really needs a 10 gallon filtered tank.  S/he would prefer a 20.>  Recently I impulsively bought a small calico goldfish to add to her tank and it chased it her around.  <Normal behavior in crowded conditions.>  When I tried to feed the new fish, the old one ate all the food.  <Spread food around so its harder for the one to get to all of it.> The new goldfish was only in the tank a few hours until I got worried the tank wasn't big enough for both of them and took him out.  <Now where is s/he/>  Now the original goldfish is very lethargic, she will swim to the top for her pellets but than let herself sink to the bottom and she stays there breathing very slowly. <Sounds like stress.> Recently she started coming to the top gulping air and their are air bubbles at the surface.  This morning she did not want to eat.  <Not good.>  The pet store tested her water and said it was fine and told me she was just stressed.  <What does fine mean?  Ammonia and nitrites must be 0 and nitrates need to be less than 20.>  They had me add aquarium salt the other day.  <Good advice.>  I realize I must have stressed her adding and than removing the fish, but can you explain her behavior?  <Too small a tank.  The other fish could have introduced increased waste or s/he could have been stressed simply by its presence.  Because you have a small tank with water that is nearly impossible to keep pristine, once you have a bit of stress, it is difficult for the fish to recover.>  I read somewhere that if they gulp for air, they need a bigger tank and if they sink it could be constipation.  Is it alright to feed a pea if she has always eaten fish food, and do you cook it?  <I highly recommend varying his/her diet.  To feed peas, simply take frozen ones and peel them.  Since she is small, you may want to break it up into several pieces.  Other veggies are also good raw or quickly microwaved.>  Please help.  <Your fish will be much happier in a 10 gallon filtered tank.  When you get another tank, move gravel and water from the first tank to the second to keep the beneficial bacteria.  Until then, I recommend 50% water changes with dechlorinated water daily.>  Thank you, Liz  <Good luck, Catherine.>
Re: Please Help: Stressed Goldfish Bleeding Internally?
 9/22/05 Hi, <Catherine, again.> I wrote this morning re: my stressed goldfish who has been laying on the bottom and going up for air.  This evening I noticed there is blood coming out of one gill and possibly seeping from both fins.  If this internal bleeding from her eating too much, is there anything I can do?  <Its not.  The bleeding is probably from poor environmental conditions.  You need to do large water changes.  You might also think about adding about 1T of Epsom salts per 5 gallons of aquarium.  Have you tested the water?  Ammonia, nitrites and nitrates should be 0.>  The pet store gave me Melafix.  <Gets mixed reviews.  Probably wont hurt.  Might help.>  I just don't want her to die a slow death.  <A bigger tank and filtration would go a long ways towards correcting these problems.  Transfer the old gravel to the new tank and do large water changes daily until the tank has completed its cycle.  You can also add BioSpira from Marineland to help.  For more information on cycling, read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwestcycling.htm> Thank you, Liz  <Best of luck.  Catherine>

Goldfish, Environmental Disease, Tank Size - 09/20/2005 Hi! <Hello.> I have a little goldfish ( I don't know what type s/he is- they're small and has a big round belly). I keep her in a 2.5 gallon tank and I clean her tank every Friday and change the filter every 2-3 weeks. <This tank is far too small for goldfish.  Please read here for more information:  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm .> I feed her twice a day. She is usually so hyper and happy and receptive to whomever comes to the tank but all of a sudden last night and even worse today she just sits at the bottom of the tank. She doesn't seem drowsy or out of it; she notices me and looks me right in the eye. But she sits at the bottom of the tank and won't come up at all. Barely even to eat. <Likely environmental disease....  basically, poor water quality.  Be testing for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate - maintain ammonia and nitrite at ZERO, and nitrate less than 20ppm, with water changes.  Also, consider a larger tank in this fish's near future.> I noticed a possible white thick-ish line around the edges of her fins but I could be overreacting I tend to do that, because I care too much. <You can *never* care too much; I am very glad you have so much concern for this animal.  This alone speaks volumes about you.  Thank you for caring.> What's wrong with my poor fish? I looked on your site and other similar sites and haven't seen any complaints similar to mine other than the whiteness which they say is fin rot, but there are no torn or tattered fins. How can I cure my fish? Please help me ASAP!! <Almost undoubtedly just poor water quality.  Test the water, and fix with water changes immediately.> Thanks so much! -Erin <Wishing your goldie a swift recovery,  -Sabrina>

Goldfish, Black Spots - 09/20/2005 Hi. I recently acquired a fantail goldfish to accompany my regular goldfish in my little tank. <Um, how little?  Might want to read here:   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm .> About a week ago I noticed black spots forming on his tail. Then about 3 days ago I noticed he now has a black spot on one side of his body. <This could be just a digenetic Trematode....  such spots are common with a parasite that spends part of its lifecycle in a fish's skin.  The fortunate part is that they are very rarely fatal to the fish, and they can't continue their lifecycle without a bird - the lifecycle goes snail-fish-bird-back to snail; no bird, and the parasites will die.> Otherwise he looks healthy and is swimming and eating fine. However, I am concerned because it looks like he is bleeding from the inside. <This is disconcerting - what leads you to believe this?> Can you help me? Is he ok? Please let me know ASAP. <Please do read that article; many/most diseases of these fish are environmental - test your water, maintain ammonia and nitrite at ZERO, and nitrate less than 20ppm, with water changes.> Thank you.  -Courtney Root <Wishing you well,  -Sabrina>

Another Floaty Bloaty Goldfish - 09/20/2005 My black Moor fish is swimming upside down. He's been like this for weeks. I don't know what to do for him. And he stays in the corner of the fish tank too. Is he dying?  Thank you <This is more than likely an nutritional and/or environmental issue; please read here:  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshfdgfaqs.htm  and here:  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm .  Wishing you well,  -Sabrina>

Goldfish Ulcer? - 09/20/2005 Hi guys, <Sabrina with you this evening> I just have a small question.  My Pearl scale goldfish has what looks like an ulcer on his body.   <Likely a bacterial infection.> I am wondering if Myxazin would be a good remedy?   <To be quite frank, I will not put something in my tank that does not state plainly what it is.  The ingredients of Myxazin are a mystery.> I have been told to use triple sulfa, <Probably a good bet....  I tend to lean toward Kanamycin sulfate; I've had excellent luck with treating goldfish with this.> but Myxazin looks like it would be the better way to go.  It says it won't interfere with the filter.   <Most antibiotics that actually work, unfortunately, will interfere with your nitrifying bacteria - not all, but most.> Sometimes packaging is misleading though, so I just wanted to be sure.  If you could give me an idea or point me in the right direction, I would appreciate it. <As above, I would lean toward Kanamycin sulfate, or perhaps Nitrofurazone....  the triple sulfa or Oxytetracycline would be my next choices, I believe.> Thanks for your time. <You bet.> Bec <Wishing you well,  -Sabrina>

Goldfish Losing Scales? - 09/19/2005 I have three comet goldfish in a 50-gallon tank. <Great size tank for these fish!  Just had to say that.> I did look through your FAQs but didn't find the answer I was looking for even though many of the scenarios were similar. One of the fish has lost a few scales on one side of his body. <Goldfish do tend to drop scales when stressed; check your water quality, first and foremost.  I did have a comet once that would drop scales despite pristine water quality; never really learned why.  I think to an extent this is normal.> Now it appears as though he is losing color (around the gills and on his face in addition to his body). <Goldfish do change color....  perhaps attributable to age, pH or other water parameters.  As long as the fish is otherwise well, and your water quality is perfect, I would not worry.> He appears to have a normal appetite and is very active. <Good signs.> I removed the charcoal filter and started to medicate the tank with Melafix tonight because it is natural and probably couldn't hurt. <Mm, actually, some folks think that Melaleuca extract actually *can* hurt....  perhaps irritate skin and gills.  I'm on the fence on this; I feel the stuff is more of a human placebo than a fish medicine.  Just my opinion, though.  Furthermore, I don't think you need to medicate this condition; sounds like normal goldfish goings-on.  Just maintain ammonia and nitrite at ZERO and nitrate less than 20ppm with water changes, and observe this fish for any signs of illness (lethargy, clamped fins, etc.).> Should I also add aquarium salt and if so, how much? <You can if you wish; I think it unnecessary.  No more than 1 tablespoon per 5 gallons, perhaps more like 1 tablespoon per ten gallons.> Thanks!  T. Barcroft <You bet!  Wishing you and your goldie guys well,  -Sabrina>
Re: Goldfish Losing Scales? - 09/20/2005
Thank you SO much for your response!  I have given three doses of Melafix and I will stop at that, check the water quality, and replace the filter.   <Sounds like a plan.> Can you help me with my problem of overfeeding? I can't resist although I am trying (they are such darlings and they do beg)! I was  surprised to see that the fish only need about their eye volume two or three times a day. <Actually, that's more than I would offer.  My pond goldfish have to "fend for themselves", the best diet you can offer your goldies is a slim one based mostly on veggie matter.  Read here for some ideas:   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshfdgfaqs.htm .> Thanks again!  -T. Barcroft <Any time.  Take care,  -Sabrina>  

Swollen or loose scale in Koi's side  9/21/05 Hi Crew, <Sybil> I have looked over the Koi FAQs and searched in the query but was still unable to distinguish what the Koi actually has. I just relocated and transported the Koi. during the move, i lost one 11" Koi carp from what looked like internal bleeding.  I also lost my algae eater (the species that sucks on the glass, 7"). I recently bought 2 1" algae eaters of the same species and introduced it to the tank. Here comes the main problem. I have 5 Koi remaining in the 45 gallon tank, one 12", three 6" and one 5" on top of the two new algae eaters. <Too much fish for this volume...> 1.  The 12" Koi has been acting funny the past 2-3 weeks by idling at the bottom of the tank and stop breathing for minutes at a time and isn't as active as it was previously.  I thought it was in shock from the move and needed time to get used to its surroundings.  Could there be any other factors that might be causing this? <Mainly having to do with being crowded, moved, all-new water... yes> I don't see any signs of parasites, though my Koi's' fns aren't always fully extended/erect. <Shouldn't be...> 2.  I found that one of the bigger the scales were raised and the flesh underneath it was red. <A bad sign... of environmental stress> It would be great if you could tell me what it is exactly and how i can treat it.  The main concern I have is whether that scale would fall off and lead to an infection. pictures included 1. the biggest fin in the middle is the one that is protruding. 2. side view of how far it is protruding from the body. (it was difficult to focus) Thanks in advance, I'm looking forward to your response. Sybil, CA <Is this system cycled? What sort of filtration, circulation, aeration are you providing? What of water quality? Please read over WWM re these issues... keep good amounts of pre-prepared water to make large water changes on hand... and I would administer "aquarium salt" here as a general remedy. From your description, photos, it is obvious your Koi are suffering from a poor, changing environment... more space is needed, likely adjuncts to biological filtration, aeration. You need to identify and solve the root (environmental) causes here... Now! Bob Fenner>


My Poor Moor  9/20/05 Hi crew! <Catherine, here> I'm a newbie to the aquarium world and over the weekend I purchased one along with a Ryukin, Black Moor, and a large Pleco. <I hope you have a large (50+ gallon) aquarium with good filtration that has been cycled.  If you dont know what cycling is, read here:   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwestcycling.htm.  Also, most plecs like tropical water ~78F and goldfish like cold water ~68F.>  Last night was their big release into their aquarium and they seemed OK.  I woke up today and have been watching their behavior, something has changed. My Ryukin has become aggressive and playful toward my Moor, and my moor has become very mellow to the point where it's resting on the gravel in one particular spot. <Not good.>  Is that normal?  <No.  My guess is the Moor is a bit more sensitive to the move and is taking time to adjust.  If the tank has not been properly cycled, ammonia (from fish poop) is already building up and is poisoning him.>  Why is the Ryukin continuously pecking and chasing the Moor?  <Basically, because he can.>  I don't know if to remove the Moor or buy another goldfish for the Ryukin to play with so it doesn't end up killing the Moor.  <If you have somewhere to move the Moor, I would do that.>   Please help, I'm very worried. <Please test your water to see what your ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels are.  If they are not 0, 0, and less than 20, you need to 50% water changes once or twice daily until they get that way.  Also feed the fish sparingly, maybe only once a day.  Are you feeding some veggies (peeled peas or other veggies?  If not, your Pleco is probably hungry and the goldfish would appreciate them too.>  Thank You!!!!  <Good luck to you and your new friends.  Please write back with more questions and look around this website.  You are not the first person in this situation, nor will you be the last.  Catherine>

Listless Goldfish  9/19.5/05 We have had a black moor goldfish for about 9 months now. At first, we had to learn to take care of him. He requires a lot more attention than our other fish. In the last couple of days, he has started sitting on the bottom of the tank and seems to have a hard time swimming. One of his rear fins is kind of curls up, but I don't know how it happened. He seems to be eating okay when the food reaches the bottom and will still eat peas. I'm afraid he's going to die if he can't move around. What can I do to help him? Have checked the water and all levels are fine. All of the other fish are normal. Please help Thanks, Michelle <Not enough info to give an informed opinion, but sounds like a water quality problem. Please include the actual results of any test in the future. The best thing you can do for him is a few water changes. Goldfish are very messy and the will foul a tank quickly. Use a gravel vac to get as much junk out of the bottom as possible. Try to keep him cool. 68 to 72 is ideal for a goldy, hard to do in the summer. If you have him in a warm tank with tropicals, that could be the problem. Don>  
Re: Moor Listless Goldfish  9/19.5/05
Hello, I am very sorry to inform you that my black moor died that day before I could do anything. But rest of my fish are very sluggish and stay at the bottom. They come to the surface when I switch their pump off to feed them. But still they remain stationary there. I have done the water discharge <change?> cleaned the gravel. What should I do? They are taking the food regularly. <Sorry about your loss. Goldfish are very messy fish and require regular water changes. You may have to do several daily 50% water changes to remove the organic matter from the system. Always use a gravel vac and clean the particle filter pad in your filter. Do not clean the bio media in your filter. Don>

Deadly Blooms  9/19.5/05 Up until now we have had incredible success with the life of our indoor goldfish, however, twice in the last six months our healthy fish have all suddenly died. The only common factor of the two total wipe outs of our fish is that we have had a lot of bouquets of flowers around the fish tank at each time. Both instances there was a birthday in the family and a lot of florist flowers were delivered to the home which ended up in the kitchen where the fish tank is kept. My question is that could the fish have died as a result of the presence of a lot of flowers (e.g. pollen) in the immediate area. We are at a loss to understand why they all died suddenly. Can you assist and any other suggestions? Carolyn <I doubt pollen alone would wipe out your tank. More likely the florist had spayed the flowers with something that then got into the tank. I'd give them a call and ask what they treat the flowers with. Don>

Black Moor Goldfish Crawling  9/19/05 Hello sir, It's me again. MY fish recovered completely after you asked me to give them erythromycin. Now there is another problem. My black moor is ill now. 1.  It is tilted. 2. Sitting at the bottom 3. Unable to swim just crawling slowly on gravel. I took it out of the aquarium and keeping it separate from other fish. It was fine by night and moving very actively now she is tilted and unable to swim. please help me .Thanks Anam < Do a 30% water change, vacuum the gravel and clean the filter. Your fish may have an internal bacterial infection that has affected his swim bladder. Treat with Metronidazole and Nitrofurazone as per the directions on the packages. These medications will affect the good bacteria that break down fish waste so watch out for ammonia spikes.-Chuck>

Goldfish Eye Loss - 09/16/2005 I have had three black moors for approximately 5 years.  One of them lost an eye quite some time ago and seemed to be doing fine.  When I went to clean the tank last night I noticed the remaining eye is very cloudy and looks like it has a hole in it.   <Yikes.  Test your water quality, immediately.  Maintain ammonia and nitrite at ZERO, and nitrate less than 20ppm, with water changes.> Will he survive with no eyes?   <He can, yes, but he would need zero competition for food....  Basically, you will need to keep him in his own tank.  A 20g "long" tank would be great.  No sharp or pointy decor or rocks.> Is there any way to save the remaining one?   <Hopefully, with perfect water quality.  If the eye is bulging at all, you might consider adding Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) at a rate of 1 tablespoon per 5 gallons.  This will help with reducing swelling/fluid pressure behind the eye.> Also, I have two gold fish, two Corys, 1 Pleco, 1 catfish and two tetra along with the 3 moors in a 55-gallon tank.   <Incompatible fish, here....  and perhaps too much bioload for this size tank.  Please read here:  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm .> I have been reading a lot about the care of the tank and wanted to know the best way to keep the water quality good and healthy. I have a canister filter and one bubble bar and wanted to know if there is anything else I should do.   <Very large water changes, regularly enough to maintain perfect water quality.> And what is the best thing to feed them.  I feed them pellets right now and occasional dried blood worms.   <Much on this is archived; read here:   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshfdgfaqs.htm .> Thank you for your time,  -Cathy Delagrange <Wishing you and your moor well,  -Sabrina>

Gravel-Eatin' Goldfish - 09/16/2005 Bob, <Actually, Crewmember Sabrina here in his stead.> I found your website after searching for something I could do to help one of our fancy goldfish - he has rocks stuck in his mouth!!! <Actually, this is more common than you might think!> Anything I can do?? He looks very distraught and can't close his mouth... Can I touch him and try to get the rocks out?? <You can remove the rocks with *blunt* tweezers/forceps.  You may need to hold him, perhaps in a pan of water from the tank, with just his head out of the water for you to get the stones out.> Thank you for your input and advice! <Consider switching to a finer substrate so this doesn't happen again!> Christine Wies <Wishing you and your gravel-eatin' goldie well,  -Sabrina>

Goldfish Beginnings - 09/15/2005 I recently got a goldfish from a carnival.  I decided to get it a friend at the store.  My carnival fish died suddenly and now my other fish, although still very active, the edge of her tail is turning black.  Is that normal? <Mm, likely not....  Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm and here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshdisease.htm and the linked files at the tops of those pages.> Mel <Wishing you well,  -Sabrina>
Goldfish Beginnings - II - 09/17/2005
I looked through this information and couldn't find anything about blackness on the tails.  Could it have to do with the fact that my carnival fish was pooping pink?  That can't be normal. <There is simply not enough information here to go off.  Without knowing anything about your fish, your tank, your water quality, there is no way I can know what is going on.  The root cause/s of illness in goldfish is typically environmental.  Fix the environment (aquarium/water quality) the fish is living in, and you help fix the fish.  Please read the article I gave you on goldfish systems to see if you can improve your fish's living conditions.  Wishing you well,  -Sabrina>

Goldfish Illness? - 09/15/2005 Hi Sir/Madam <Sabrina with you today.> I apologize if you have already answered such questions previously on the webpage. My goldfish has fluffy bubbles like stuff growing around its eyes. Initially, the fluffy bubble like stuff does not cover it eyes. However, as time grows, the stuff grows and soon its eyes are being covered by it. Its scales are perfectly fine. What I am bothered with is whether the stuff can hinder its movements. Can you help with giving suitable advice? Thanks,  -Celine <Well, there really are too many possibilities and not enough information to go off, here....  Please start by reading here:   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm  and here:  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshdisease.htm  and the links in blue at the tops of those pages.  Wishing you well,  -Sabrina>

Goldfish Disease/Toxification - 09/13/2005 Hello , I have 2 Goldfish, a female red Oranda and a male calico Ryukin that are sick and would like some help. Here is some background on the fish. The Oranda is about 5 inches long including tail and Ryukin is about 3. I have had them since for a year and a half, and they were small when I got them. We have moved from a ten gallon to a 15 gallon and now to a 30 gallon tank. <So far, so good!> I have checked water levels and nitrates nitrites and ammonia levels are fine. <Fine, as in....?  The numbers for these levels will help us.> Friday night, everything seemed fine and the fish ate normally. When I turned off the tank light for the night, they settled at the bottom (they usually sleep at the bottom of the tank, or floating around the surface).  The next morning when I turned on the tank light, the Oranda was darting around hitting the walls and had Popeye. <Yikes.  That's pretty sudden.> She also refused to eat and just sat at the bottom of the tank. The Ryukin ate, but seemed as though it was acting strange and swimming erratically . <Sounds like toxification....  Ammonia or nitrite, or something else.> I checked the nitrates, nitrites and ammonia (again, they were fine) <And again, fine being....?> and began medicating immediately for 30 gallons with Maracyn (double dose in the first day) and Melafix. <Mm, medicating without knowing the real cause of the problem is hazardous....> I have been medicating all weekend. It is now Monday and the swelling around the eyes of the Oranda has gone down, but it looks as if there is a small wart or grain of salt above the one eye. <For Exophthalmus, I usually recommend using Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) at a rate of 1-2 tablespoons per ten gallons.  This usually does the trick....  depending, of course, upon the root cause and whether that has been fixed.  "Pop-eye" is usually environmental.> The Oranda will not eat and still mostly sits at the bottom of the tank. Although, today she is swimming more than she has all weekend. They Ryukin is eating but still swimming loop-de-loops and then sitting at the bottom of the tank. <All sounds environmental.  Again, the numbers for those test results will be more telling.> Does this sound bacterial? <No, nothing specifically pointing to bacterial infection here....  not yet, anyway.> Am I doing the right thing? I'm hoping that the Oranda will begin eating soon and that they both are feeling better. <Water changes alone should be your first line of defense.  Maintain ammonia and nitrite at ZERO, nitrate less than 20ppm, and maintain a stable pH.  Any huge changes in water chemistry can cause symptoms such as you describe, as can some sort of toxin in the water - again, water changes (to dilute the toxin) are your first and best line of defense.> Any advice  would be appreciated.  Thanks!  -Michele <Wishing you well,  -Sabrina>
Goldfish Disease/Toxification - II - 09/13/2005
Thanks for the info. Unfortunately, the Oranda died last night. <So sorry to hear this....> The Ryukin is still alive, but really showing the same signs as the Oranda. (kind of having seizures and gasping, sitting at bottom of tank, etc) <Really sounds like environmental disease or a toxin in the water, still.> The levels were as follows : (Mardel Ammonia test strip and 5 in 1 test strip) <Please do note that these can be inaccurate and difficult to read....  I like to recommend checking them against liquid reagent test kits.> Ammonia ) <I assume you mean zero instead of )?> Nitrate 0 Nitrite 0.5 <Nitrite is above zero....  Please do some water changes here....> As a last ditch effort...I did a partial water change of about 45% and added water conditioner to the replacement water...but the fish did not live. I think it was too far gone. I have no idea what is going on with this poor fish.  He's showing the same symptoms. Maybe I will try another water change? <I would, yes.  Make sure pH and temperature are matched to that of the tank.  Try to inspect the tank for anything in it that shouldn't be, and make that water change a big one....> I hope that the test strips were not faulty? <I hope so, as well.  It can't hurt to try another water change, at this point!> Thanks again and keep your fingers crossed! <I shall.  My best wishes to you,  -Sabrina>

Trying to discover cause of Fish Deaths  9/13/05 Hello! Once again I am back with sad questions. This is regarding the sudden death of 3 goldfish in an established (72 gal) tank.        Here's the scenario: these fish reside(d) at a restaurant that has 3 tanks- two 55 gal tropical tanks and one 72 gal. goldfish tank. Every Monday I do maintenance (more often than I would at home since this is a public setup). Since all three tanks are different, they do not all receive exactly the same care, but similar enough. These tanks are all over a year old and have always and only been cleaned by me.        Okay, today I cleaned all three tanks, starting with the tropicals and ending with the goldfish. I was gone last week and so it has been longer than usual between cleanings and so the algae growth that had been increasing gradually was excessive in two of the three tanks. (Perhaps a side note here- I am not the one who feeds these fish. The owners of the restaurant do. I think they may overfeed slightly. But only slightly.) In the two tanks that had algae, I added No More Algae (Jungle Labs) at the recommended dosage strength- 1 tsp per 10 gal. <This: http://www.junglelabs.com/pages/details.asp?item=NL620-4> In the goldfish tank, the initial nitrate reading was either 40 ppm or 80 ppm ish- the colorimetric scale of the test I use is indistinguishable for those two very different concentrations. To be safe I did a 45-50% water change in that tank. Because of the limitations of the restaurant, I must always add the water from the tap directly to the tank and add the chemicals in the tank. However I have been doing this for over a year with no previous problem. <Did the same for many years>        So, I added the dechlorinator, then after a bit added the Jungle algae product, filled the tank, restarted the filter and left with the fish looking normal- swimming but in a relaxed manner. 4 hours later I get a call that one fish has died and the other two look to be in trouble. I tell them to remove the other fish to some freshly dechlorinated water. 10 minutes after that I arrive- the fish are gasping for breath and one is floating belly up at the surface of the new water. About 10 minutes later those two fish also die. I take a water sample from that tank and check the parameters that I can- pH, NH3, NO2, and NO3. Of these, two are suspicious- pH is definitely 7.2 and water from the tap is usually about 7.0, sometimes 7.1; NO2 is at 0.5 ppm. I did not check NO2 initially before cleaning today but that is because this is an established tank that even when it has had outrageous NO3 readings (during my process of educating the owners on proper feeding) has had NO2 readings of 0ppm. As the only other comparison I could make, I checked the water parameters in the tropical tank where I had also used the algae removal product (whose occupants were fine). Those were pH 7.0, NO3 about 20 ppm, NO2 0 ppm, NH3 0 ppm. In that tank I only did a 30% water change, but did add the same concentration of algae product.        The last piece of information I have rattling around in my head is that the tap water, while not exactly soft, does not have a lot of buffering and I have had to add coral sand to all three tank filters to keep the pH levels from dropping over time. I mention this because the algae product warns against its use in soft water, and the tap reads between 75 and 150 GH and the tank water is between 150 and 300ppm GH (can't be more precise with these colorimetric thingies).  Oh, and I have used this algae removal product about 4-5 times in the past in this particular tank, added exactly the same way, to no ill affect.        So. I would like to know you opinion on whether there was some ill affect caused by the adding of the chemicals today that for some reason has not happened in the past? But if so, why was the tropical tank unaffected? <Don't know... perhaps some combination of the new large water change and the algicide... present stress of the high nitrate...> Could there be a reaction between the dechloraminator and the algae removal product that would raise pH and create NO2? <Possibly> But again, why only in 1 tank? Well, let me know what you think, and please give it some thought (not to imply you wouldn't!) because if it was not something I did, then the only other option is that someone else added something to the tank maliciously or accidentally. I don't want to think that, but it is a public place and the tanks are not 100% secure, so I must entertain the possibility. And I must admit I'm rather shocked that this happened, because as I've mentioned, I have preformed this maintenance numerous times before and have even used these chemicals before. I'm sorry this has been such a long note but I am trying to be as precise as possible in hopes that this will allow you to give me a really definite answer. Thank you so much for being here in my time of need! Sincerely, Sarah Orris <Mmm, I would contact Jungle Labs with your question, and switch from using this product... perhaps in favor of Jungle Pond Blocks (what our service company used for years). Bob Fenner>
Re: Trying to discover cause of Fish Death
Thank you for your quick response! I will see what the fine people at Jungle Labs can tell me! I hope to get to the bottom of this so that it never happens again. If I get some definitive answer from them I will try to remember to forward it back to you for your own information. <Appreciate this> Thanks once more. It's really heartbreaking when the big fish die, especially in such an unexpected manner. If I can learn something from this, maybe it won't have been a total waste. And then I could resume cleaning tanks without trepidation! Your site is the best. Sarah Orris <Thank you. Bob Fenner>

Ich... goldfish... blitzkrieg med.s... not studying... Ive scrolled through lots of your comments on questions.  You seem to be more knowledgeable than anyone at the fish store here in NYC. <Heeee!> I bought a new 48 gallon tank for two goldfish (one comet, one is a generic I dont know what it is called) w/an Eheim canister filter. The store installed it when I was out of town big help.  The less strong one (comet) developed Ich, the other one has more or less fought it off.  They first recommended CopperSafe. <Mmm, better to use Malachite Green, rather than copper-based med.s on goldfish>   I followed the directions. They continued to have the spots, but were as active as always.  We left for eleven days and came back to one dying fish and the other lethargic. A person from the store came and serviced the tank and added CopperSafe.  The weaker fish just sprawled out.  I didnt think it would survive the night, but it did.  The store then recommended Rid Ick. <Is copper and Malachite...> I dont like using carcinogenic stuff, but .  I followed their instructions, which were to re-dose every two days (not enough according to the manufacturer). <... should be done daily>   After the first two doses, I stepped this up to every 36 hours, thinking they were too weak to take more.  Somehow or other, these fish are still alive.  Actually, it seems that the medication is the only thing keeping the stronger one down.   The weaker one hasnt eaten in at least a week, probably two, and mostly sits at the bottom listlessly.  The other one occasionally swims around and ate today.  I do not want to use any more Rid Ick.  The store recommended Aquarisol, which I bought. <Another copper salt solution...>   I have set up a QT (old two-gal tank, cant leave these 1 ½ yr olds there long) so that I can remove them and let the tomites in the display tank die.  I havent yet moved the fish. Frankly, I have no idea what to do, but this is taking a HUGE amount of time. Any thoughts??? <Yes... please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwich.htm and the (many) linked FAQs, starting with the ones above... and Goldfish Disease... set upon one plan and adhere to it... I would add salt, one of these Ich medications (if it were me/mine I would use just "Nox-Ich" or another just Malachite Green solution (like Kordon's)... monitor water quality... and the Ich should be gone in a week. Bob Fenner> Thanks. Re: Ich  9/16/05 Thanks for the comments and for the direction to your Ich treatment comments. <Welcome> Sorry to ask for more comment, but I have been getting so much conflicting advice including, just yesterday from the fish store, to slowly cool down the tank. <... no...>   According to your info., that wasn't such a great idea.  My problems with the Rid-Ich+ (or Nox Ich) is that the active ingredients are carcinogenic for me! <Much less so than putting gasoline in a car...> After a week of sticking my hand/arm in the water during water changes, etc., it occurs to me that I am not wild about doing that.  Also, I am not seeing any encouraging response at all from the weaker fish; it remains listless and rocks side-to-side a bit.  And just for good measure, I put in Aquarisol this morning for any lurking tomites.  Clearly, I've been all over the lot. <Yes... randomly, surprised you haven't hit a proverbial light post> My instinct is to try to get the weaker fish moving and eating again, then bomb the Ich.  It may be too late, though.   What would you do at this point? <Read> One other question.  How do you know when they are "cured" (presumably returning to normal swimming around) and how quickly should all of the spots be gone? Thanks again. <Please don't write... read where you've been sent, the linked files beyond. Bob Fenner>

My goldfish is sick!  9/12/05 Im sorry this is so long but I didnt think I dare cut anything out. <Good> Hello. My name is Ed, Im 17 years old, and our family has 2 pet goldfish living in a 10 gallon tank. We decided to buy goldfish for our father. Since then, my mom, brother, and I have been taking care of them. We dont know much about goldfish so we learn as we go. <Okay> Im new at this, and the problem is a little difficult to put into words, but Ill do the best I can. <All one can do> We had 2 fish; a red cap Ribbontail and an orange fantail. The orange fantail died of what we diagnosed as hemorrhagic septicemia from the sudden appearance from tailfin streaks the day he died. <... this is a symptom... not a disease/cause... like our prez... noninformative> We immediately began a 10mg Maracyn-two water treatment for the Ribbontail, after taking out the carbon filter. The rest went as follows: June 19, 2005-   1 week after initial week of treatment. We bought her an Oranda companion (now 7 cm w/o tail). Ribbontail (now 4cm w/o tail) had few red streaks in tailfin. August 12-14-    Ribbontail stopped swimming higher than 5cm off the bottom of the tank. Red streaks got darker and more noticeable. September 8-     can barely get off the bottom of tank. Swims up an inch; falls back down. A tiny bit of fraying on her tailfin. We restarted her on Maracyn-two, this time with 4-5gallon water changes every day. We gave her bits of cooked peas with a turkey baster (This worked surprisingly well). Week later-       She got better in a week, so we stopped for a few days. Now-                 We have 2 plants. She can't get up at all, she sits on the bottom trying to get up, the joints of her front fins are red, her chin is pink, and her tailfin is covered in streaks and is frayed and torn-looking. The spot underneath her tail (right where it connects to her) is very pink. Shes been on the Maracyn-two for about a week or more, as well as stress coat and Melafix, and weve started putting 2 tablespoons of aquarium salt in the water at each water change and doubling her medication, but shes still getting worse. Were only changing the water every 3 days or so now. We just changed 8½ gallons today. The temperature is 74 degrees F. The pH is about 7.5. The water is a little bit hard but I just added salt. The Oranda looks fine, but the Ribbontail looks miserable. All she does is try to struggle to get up. Now she scoots along the bottom on her side. We thought about making a tiny sling with a floating thing to keep her off the bottom, but shes very small. Id be grateful for any advice you have to offer on how to help her. The situation is starting to drive us a little crazy. Thank you for your time, Ed Kirk <... Hemorrhagia is appearance... septicemia "dirty blood" basically is almost the result of unsuitable environment... Fix the environment and the fish will be "cured"... Please read here re: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
Re: My goldfish is sick!  9/13/05
Thank you for the link! The page you pointed me to told me a lot of things, but I could use more clarification. It says there should be at least 10-gallons for the one fish. Is having the 1.5inch fish and the 3inch fish in the ten gallon too cramped? What do you suggest? <A larger system when you can afford same> Our multi-test strip says all the levels are fine, as it has for a while, but she doesnt get better. We have an Elodea and another plant they won't eat. The elodea seems to be leafless. <Likely chewed on> We use a hanging filter with the normal filter stuffs removed and large handfuls of carbon in cotton batting. It works much better than the pre-made filter. We change water by vacuuming the whole bottom of the tank. By the time I'm done, 3/4 of the water is gone. <Do only one half/side of the tank in any given week... no more than half the water> The test strip we use says the water is fine, and we do drastic and frequent changes, but yet she's sick. I don't understand. <Strips don't tell all> Sorry to keep bothering you about this. Effective resources I can talk with are few and far between. Ed Kirk <No worries. Bob Fenner>

Feeder Goldfish  9/12/05 I went on vacation for a week.  When I came back my Gold Goldfish is now all white and is losing scales? <Yikes... not good...> He swims and eats like he all has.  But today when I cleaned his tank he lost more scales.  What should I do. Linda <Check water quality... add a bit of "aquarium salt", read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshdisease.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Goldfish Ala Ich - 09/10/2005 I recently bought a common goldfish a couple of weeks ago and kept him in a bowl. Last week I decided that his bowl was a little small so I went out and bought a large tank, with all the relevant kit. <How large is "large"?  Please do be aware that goldfish can reach a foot in length....  The concept of a "goldfish bowl" is awful.  I'm glad you upgraded!> He seems a lot happier but this morning I noticed a couple of little white spots on his left gill. I've heard that it is a parasite, where could he have got it from? <If he's male and has reached sexual maturity (say, 4" or so), these could just be "part of him".  Male goldfish will develop tiny whitish bumps on their gill plates during breeding season.  The more likely answer, though is that this is Ich/white-spot disease.> What is the best way of treating it? I know that you can buy treatments but will I need to clean  out the entire tank if the water is infected as well? <Please read here:   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwich.htm .> I was thinking of introducing another fish or two to the tank. I will   obviously wait until the white spot problem is well cleared up, but I was  wondering if you can add other kinds of goldfish. I would really like to add an Oranda or a Moor but worried that these don't get on with common Goldfish? Should I just get another Goldfish or do other types get on well? <Please read here:   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwich.htm .> Stephanie <Wishing you and your Goldie well,  -Sabrina>

Goldfish Population, Size, Variety.... - 09/10/2005 Good morning!! <Good morning to you, as well!> I have a 30 gal tank with 2 fantails and 1 black moor goldfish.   <Sounds good.> The first black moor we put in the tank with the others, started swimming sideways and eventually died.  We got another black moor and the same thing happened.  I read an article that they have an eye impairment and might not be getting food.   <Actually, though this is perhaps possible, I would suspect a nutritional disease....  If you're feeding only with pellets and/or flakes, please consider offering human-consumption veggies like frozen peas (squeeze the shells off), blanched zucchini, cucumber, spinach....  and add some plants like Egeria/elodea/Anacharis to munch.> The other two fish are very fast and I am not sure the black moor fish were getting enough food.  Water tested fine so I can't imagine what it could be?  Also, we would like to add a fish now that we've lost the other black moor.  We've cleaned the tank and did a water change. <Mm, honestly, I'd keep your system as-is.  Let these guys grow out some; they'll need the space as they grow.> We are interested in getting a fantail the same as we currently have, only these two fantails are about 2 ½ in long.  We'd like to get a larger one, maybe 5 ½ in long.  Will this be a problem and will the large fish pick on our smaller fish? <It could, yes.  Keeping fish of roughly the same size is a better idea to prevent aggression.> Help!  -Anne <Anne, if you haven't yet, please read here:   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm .  Wishing you and your goldies well,  -Sabrina> Goldfish Population, Size, Variety.... - 09/10/2005 Thank you for the advice for my goldfish.  I've added some plants and have been feeding cucumbers <Err, just pieces, right? (grin)> by dropping them in the tank, letting the fish chew on them for awhile, then removing them so they don't leave waste in the tank. <Beautiful.> I find your site extremely helpful.  I've searched through the FAQ's on ammonia but can't find a complete answer to my question, so I want to be absolutely sure before I do anything. <Okay.> Nitrates are at zero, so I tested for ammonia right after I cleaned the tank.  To refresh, I have 3 goldfish and two snails in a 30 gal tank.  I change out 10 gal of water, twice per week.  I use a vacuum to clean the bottom, rocks, ornaments, etc.  I do not currently have any algae so I do not use an algae scrubber yet.  I changed the water last Thursday, all was well.  I changed last night and the ammonia readings were high.   <Test your tapwater, too, just to be sure.> The ammonia levels tested between a .25 and .50 so my question is, do I change the water daily to get the ammonia levels down or do I add something to the tank to combat the ammonia?   <Don't add stuff to remove stuff; go for the water changes.  You'll probably only need to do one or two, as the levels aren't terrible, just disconcerting.  You might want to remove the cucumber bits after a shorter amount of time.> I do not want my fish to get sick and I can't find anywhere that says these readings are acceptable, so I am assuming they are high and should read at zero.  And after I do daily water changes, do I check for ammonia or do I wait a day or two after daily water changes and then test? <You can test right after the water change, if you like.> Thanks for your wisdom!   <And thank you for your obvious care for your fish!> Anne <Wishing you well,  -Sabrina>

Koi Fungus Problem  9/11/05 We recently moved my son's fish, a butterfly Koi and a comet goldfish, to a 20 gallon tank after they'd outgrown their 10 gallon tank.   <Still way too small...> Soon after the move, I noticed both fish appeared to have Ick, and the Koi had some small cottony tufts growing on its tail.  We've had these fish for several years now, and they have grown from about 1 inch to about 6 inches and are very beautiful.  Both are eating and acting fairly normal.  The Koi seems a little nervous and more active than usual. I researched what was growing on the Koi, and also asked the owner of my local pet shop, where they specialize in aquarium fish, what to use to treat the tank.  She recommended Maracide for the Ich and MarOxy for the fungus. <Good... safe and effective choices> I've followed the directions on both bottles, but my question is do I continue to treat with MarOxy for a full five days?   <Yes> Or do give the first treatment and wait to see what happens, then treat if the problem doesn't clear up.  The instructions weren't clear stating that treatment should continue for up to five days.    I don't want to inadvertently kill the fish by trying to cure them.  I also read that Maracyn should be used when treating for fungus.  Should I do this? <You could, will mix... but not likely necessary.> These may be beginner questions, but our fish have never really gotten ill before. Thanks, Vicki <The root/causes of this apparent disease are environmental, not pathogenic... Bob Fenner>

Ick help!  9/11/05 I have a 5 gal. tank with 4 goldfish. My little guy Noah has white spots but no one else did. I called my fish store and she told me to still treat the whole tank with "Quick Cure" <... Too toxic> and when I came home from work the other fish looked like their scales were missing and very sick. I only used one drop per gallon and this is my first day of treatment. Is this medicine killing the rest of my fish? <Yes. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwich.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner> Please let me know! Sarah

Please can we help our Black Moor  9/8/05 Hello, I have a black moor that I got with another fancy goldfish for my 10 gl. tank about 2 years ago. We put my sons Betta in with them about a year ago and they all get along fine. Then a got  Pleco. to eat algae about 6 months ago.  Then a bottom eater (cat fish). About a month later. A few weeks ago my black moor got fin rot. I put him in a bowl with salt and got him the med. Food . All the other fish are fine. He was in the bowl for about 5 days and wile he was in the bowl one of his eyes got swollen and turned silver were it should have been black and it looked as if it was bleeding in the eye. I started doing research on your web site. I found that I think he got an eye infection along with the fin rot. <Or simply stress from the move, crowding, varying bowl water quality> I feel I may have too many fish in my tank and my ammonia got hi.  I did a few ½ water changes with in a weeks time and started testing the water more often. When all was well I put my black moor back in the tank. About a 2 days later I noticed that his eye was popped and then was just an empty socket. Water testing was still good and now the other eye is real swollen and silvers around the eye. I feel so terrible about him losing his one eye, I cant imagine him losing his other eye. Can he be saved?  Will he die? Can he live with no eyes? <Possibly twice and yes> What can I do for him? My husband dont understand taking a 3$ fish to a vet. But he is part of are family and we love him. Please help us save him if we can. Thank you for your time Melissa <The keeping of tropicals and cool/coldwater fishes together is problematical... and your goldfish enjoys different water quality than the other fishes you list... If you are so inclined, do read re goldfish systems here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm place this fish in its own cooler, hard, alkaline water system, provide "goldfish" nutrition... there is a link to this above...  Bob Fenner>  

Ill <poisoned gold-)fish  9/8/05 Hi, <Hello there> I woke up today and found my goldfish covered with little grayish fungus like things all around the body. I've read through some of your FAQ but can really pinpoint what it can be. It doesn't look like white spots and on closer inspection I swear those little fluffy things were moving? I may have been mistaken and it could be the fluffy moss moving because of the oxygen bubbles but... Anyway the fish is definitely more sluggish than usual. I also have another fish in the tank and don't know if I should separate them both because of this problem. The other fish is still as active as ever and looks fine but have some of these grayish fluff starting to appear on its tail. <These fish appears to be "chemically challenged"... poisoned> They both live in a round goldfish bowl and are cold water fishes and I don't put anything in the tank except water, food flakes and oxygen. The last goldfish I had lived to 5 years old on this simple way. <Times change...> HELP! how do I get rid of the fluffy spots? I just cleaned the tank last week! Eve London <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm Water quality (tap) varies... considerably... needs to be aged, and/or treated ahead of use... Goldfish nowadays are "touchier", need room, filtration... not bowls. 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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