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FAQs About Goldfish Disease/Health 10

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

Related FAQs:  Goldfish Disease 1, Goldfish Disease 2, Goldfish Disease 3, Goldfish Disease 4, Goldfish Disease 5, Goldfish Disease 6, Goldfish Disease 7, Goldfish Disease 8, Goldfish Disease 9, Goldfish Disease 11, Goldfish Disease 12, Goldfish Disease 13, Goldfish Disease 14, Goldfish Disease 15, Goldfish Disease 16, Goldfish Disease 17, Goldfish Disease 18, Goldfish Disease 19, Goldfish Disease 20, Goldfish Disease 21, Goldfish Disease 22, Goldfish Health 23, Goldfish Disease 24, Goldfish Health 25, Goldfish Disease 26, Goldfish Disease 27, Goldfish Disease 28, Goldfish Disease 29, Goldfish Disease 30, Goldfish Disease 31, Goldfish Disease 32, Goldfish Disease 33, Goldfish Disease 34, Goldfish Disease 35, Goldfish Health 36, Goldfish Health 37, Goldfish Health 38

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

Goldfish Disease by "Types", Causes:
Environmental 1, Environmental 2, Environmental 3, Environmental 4Environmental 5,  Environmental ,  (Absolutely the Biggest Category)
Floaty Bloaty Goldfish
Nutritional (Second Largest)
Genetic/Developmental
Eye Troubles
Lumps/Bumps/Growths (including idiopathic tumors)
Behavioral/Social
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 Problems   7/11/05 I feel like giving up on these gold fish and buying guppies. <Before I say anything else, let me say this: everybody makes mistakes. I just read through your webpage, and I think we may be able to solve your problem.> I just made a webpage of my plight but even today my new fish (owned only two days) is at the top of the tank beginning what I dread.. the occasional over gasping for air. <Is this how they all behaved before death came knocking? If so, it could be any number of things, from excess Nitrite in the water to gill parasites, and near anything in between.> I have had the water tested before I added this new guy and it tested perfect for AMMONIA, NITRATES AND PH. <The Keyword: "before." As all your aquaria have one fish in them (which is actually a very very good idea, considering the rule of thumb for goldfish stocking I subscribe to is 1 fish per 10 gallons), there were no fish inhabiting their glassy depths prior to the introduction of your new fish. Fish produce Ammonia, a metabolic poison. Ammonia is converted to Nitrite, which can cause asphyxiation when in large enough quantities. I am led to believe that enough nitrite is being produced to inhibit the absorption of oxygen into the goldfish's bloodstream (this condition being commonly known as "brown blood."). A decent-sized water change could never hurt. They do not set back the cycle, they just put it on pause. It is better, in my opinion, to have a 12 week cycle with frequent water changes and a healthy fish than a 6 week one with no water changes and a dead fish.> As does my other tank that has lost one fish this week and a second one is on his way out. <If they died in the same way, I think they, too died from the same thing.> Please tell me what I am doing wrong. <Actually, I'd say that you're better off than most beginning goldfish keepers. The only problem I see is that you were misinformed from the start, but it is easy to become misinformed in today's world. I would wait for your cycle to calm down. At the onset of any odd behavior, change water. Don't hesitate. Buy test kits for Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate, and pH so that you don't have to rely on words such as "fine," "good," and "perfect" to determine your water's safeness. Numbers make everything easier. Ideally, you want a pH a bit higher than 7, but don't stress it, Ammonia at 0ppm, Nitrite at 0ppm, and Nitrates below 25ppm.> It's too late to turn back the clock and undo the mistakes in type of fish or system I purchased. Out of my 12 fish and 3 tanks I only have one tank that has never had trouble and I have handled that one exactly the same as the others. The only difference is this tank is in a bay window of indirect sun facing north and shaded by tropical plants around the tank. The other 2  are in a inner room entrance that gets indirect light. I have one plant bulb on one side of the tank for my few live plants. <I do believe this is but a coincidence.> Why are my fish STILL dying?   http://www.geocities.com/gardentropic/goldfishfancy.html This is my web page I made last night about my plight of goldfish keeping.. <Your web page helped me to diagnose your problem much better than your email did. I have an idea for you. This idea reflects many of my personal opinions about fishkeeping. Please be aware that this method is how I set up every tank I own and it works for me. It may not work for you, but it should. You mention that you are looking into a 30 gallon for all three fish (which is perfect, by the way). Why not just get it now? Go to your local aquarium store, ask about RO/DI water (Reverse Osmosis/De-Ionization). There are two ways to get RO/DI water: you can buy it from your store, or you can buy a unit that produces RO/DI. RO/DI water is absolutely pure, and it does not "bubble up" the glass/decor/etc after setting up the aquarium, which is why I use it whenever setting up a new tank, even if I'll be using tap from then on. Get enough RO/Di to fill your tank one way or another. Now it is time to set up your tank. Set it up with gravel (good bio-medium), an aquarium light, and a filter. Purchase a sponge filter (in addition to your regular filter, I personally like the Hydro Sponges)  and a product called Bio-Spira. Be sure to get the freshwater kind, and that it is Bio-Spira. This is one instance where the brand name matters. Get enough for a tank 2-3 times as large as your system. Put a good amount over your sponge filter cartridge (make sure the filter is large enough to pass your tank's volume over its sponge several times an hour). Put the rest on the gravel, and some in your other filter, before you fill the tank. Add live plants if you so desire. As soon as that's all said and done and the temperature is stabilized, add your fish by acclimating them. This method of totally avoiding the cycle has never failed for me, and it is how I set up my tanks. The Bio-Spira is one of a kind, and seeds your tank with gravel. If you saturate the sponge with it, all water passing through will be filtered by your bacteria. Seed the gravel, and you're good to go. The RO/DI water needs no conditioning, and is totally free of any impurities tap might present. Sure, it's a pain in the behind to lug back and forth, but, if you're doing the 1-day-cycle, it's worth it. I wish you the best of luck, and hope this helps. Mike G> Tammy :)
Re: Goldfish Problems 7/12/05
Thanks so much for your advice. <No problem.> I changed part of the water right away with my new fish and so far he seems much better. MY first fish DAISY a three inch calico Oranda also started looking poorly and gulping water at the top of her tank. Usually she is very active. last night I cleaned the bottom (for the second time this week) and changed the water two days in a row about 20% each day and this morning she is looking much better, more lively and much less gulping at the top.. <Yes, yes. I am convinced that water changes have magical properties.> I wish I could get a 30 gallon tank right now but I cannot justify spending any more money on this until I prove to my husband I can keep a goldfish alive for longer than a month. <You'll get it eventually.> Even the 6 inch Lion head I bought this week to replace the ones in that tank that just died, when I brought it home my daughter looked horrified and said "why did you do that? you are just going to end up killing it" And so you see I HAVE to get my remaining fish to live. Like I mentioned I was sold too many fish. I had bought different amounts of fish totaling 7 inches of fish for each 10 gallon tank. Out of 12 fish.. only 5 are alive. <That's a better percentage than when I started out in this hobby. I am not going to go into the fishy holocaust that was my home only 6 years ago.> I have two tanks with one fish each and one tank with 4 one inchers. I feel I can keep them alive in the 10 until I can hopefully get the 30 gallon around Oct or Nov. <I believe that will work.> Is it true a 30 gallon is easier to keep than a 10? <Most definitely. More water volume dilutes wastes better, and changes occur more gradually. Fish have more room to grow and to swim. Essentially, there is a greater margin for error. A three-times-greater margin for error, in this case.> Right now all I do is take care of tanks. It's a good thing I am a teacher and have the summer off. I want this stabilized before school starts in 28 days. I need to get it down to a normal easy routine without all the extra fuss and worry. <Patience. Everything will fall into place. Keep up with your water changes, don't bring home any new fish: focus on what you have now. It all works out in the end. Best of luck. Mike G> Tammy :)

Goldfish swelling 7/9/05 Hello, <Hi there> My goldfish developed what appeared to be an internal tumor on his right side just behind his gills.  Everyday it became more and more swollen until it popped open and started to ooze what appeared to be a sort of cottony, bright white material.  At first it was just a little, then more and more began to ooze.  This lasted for about three days until it finally stopped. He is now less swollen and more energetic.  The scales in the affected area, however, are raised a bit and now look a little bruised.  When I look closely, I can see that deep down there's still more cottony material, but is nonetheless appearing healthier more and more.  The other side of his body also looks a bit swollen, but it looks more like he is bloated than that it is a tumor, but I'm concerned that it could be the same thing on the other side, just not as active.  He seems better now, but I'm not sure if you have any more information on what it could be and if there is anything I can do to help.  I've been feeding him Tetra's whole brine shrimp and adding Maracyn-Two and some Mela-fix to try to avoid infections from the open wound.  Any further suggestions?  I appreciate your time. Natalia <Am hearing/reading more and more re goldfish growths... perhaps just an artifact of reporting, subjective evaluation... I do hope your fish self-cures. I would omit the Melafix, expand its diet, and otherwise just keep up with good general maintenance here. Bob Fenner>

Goldfish question 7/9/05 I've been searching around the site trying to diagnose what's wrong with my Ryukin, Nemo.. He seems to swim funny. He'll float to the top of the tank (sometimes sideways) stay there for a few moments then swim really fast to about half way to the bottom...then float to the top again. I'm starting to wonder if there's something wrong with his swimbladder. <Good guess> I'm going to try feeding him peas tomorrow, as suggested on the site. I was just wondering if the floating/swimming behavior was normal? He was doing it for a while before he started floating sideways. <Is very likely a genetic, feeding, developmental problem... Please read on WWM re "swimbladder disease in goldfish". Bob Fenner>

Goldfish problem and a Betta question 7/9/05 I just got into fish hobby about 4 months ago - unfortunately with very unprofessional help from a pet store I ended up with 2 fantail gold fishes in 8ltr (2gl) tank. <ouch - I wouldn't shop there again if I were you> One of them got sick and I have put him into separate 10 ltr tank - he had lots of white cotton stuff on the head, fins and tail. I have treated the water with fin rot medicine, added a tea spoon of salt in the aquarium and also made him few salt baths after which he seemed to be getting much better. <The antibiotic should do the trick - the salt is unnecessary> Almost all white stuff was gone and only the tips of fins/tail were reddish. I continued the treatment, but after some time he started to get the white growth once more and now I don't know what to do. A new 150ltr tank needs another 2-3 days to be finished but I am afraid to move him into the tank while sick since I don't want to risk my other gold fish. Pls help! <Keep the goldfish in it's current aquarium, and make sure to follow the instructions on the medication - do NOT discontinue treatment sooner!  If you're not having luck with that medication, complete the treatment (usually 5-7 days) then do a 100% water change, and try using something like Furan-2, or Nitrofurazone.  Regarding your new tank, remember that new tanks need to be cycled!  Here is some further reading: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwestcycling.htm> And... now about a Betta - I got one of these by accident - felt sorry for a beautiful fish kept in a ve-e-ery small bowl in a pet store. He's got a 10 ltr tank now and looks happy. <Sounds good> The pet store also sold me a Chinese algae eater as a good company for Betta, but after some time it became too friendly and started trying to 'kiss' Betta. <Definitely not a good tank for a "Chinese algae eater".  Keep the beta by itself, and return the new fish> So the question is what fish can I put into Betta tank (with filter) to pick up all the sinking food? <None - just be sure to completely clean out the tank once a week or so, or purchase a filter> My Betta seems to believe that whatever sinks is not food any more and gravel ends up collecting leftovers. <As do all Bettas/Betta tanks :)  Try floating foods for less mess (make sure to feed a variety, though - they love mosquito larvae btw :>) Thank you. <You're welcome, and please consult the further reading in the links above, as well as this one: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwsetupindex.htm> Svetlana. <Neat name ;)  M.Maddox>

Re: follow up on "goldfish problem and Betta question" 7/10/05 Dear M.Maddox, <How goes it?> The answer was really helpful, so I decided to try your patience with one more question: stocking scheme, since I don't seem to find enough info on it. <That's what WWM is for :)> At the moment I have 2 goldfishes fan tails (guess very small ones - about 3&4 cm) in two separate tanks. I will be moving them into 150ltr tank as soon as it's cycled and I've been breaking my head about appropriate tankmates. <Ouch - the medical bills!> I am quite set on adding a black Oranda to the company but not sure about the rest. <Goldfish always get along fine with other goldfish> First of all I have to say that the goldfishes I have are quite used to high temperatures - I live in Cyprus where "normal" summer temp is about 37-40 and winter ~20-27. <They do prefer slightly cooler temperatures, but are very hardy> So, do you think it might be possible to add 2-3 Corys to the set up? <Not sure what a "Cory" is, I'll need the scientific (Latin) name> Tank =150ltr, filters - Penguin Power Filter 350B + biofilter that had no name on the box and capacity up to 200ltr, planning to put some light on it and a filter for winter if Corys are ok for the tank. <Your filtration sounds fine> Beside the temperature differences are there any other reasons for keeping gold fish separate from Corys? <Like I said, let me know the scientific name of that species and I will be able to answer that for you> Thank you again. And I have to compliment you, it's the first site that is really helpful - and I did spent rather lot's of time looking for the info around after realizing local pet shops won't be of any help. <You're most welcome - WWM really is a wealth of information, due to the hard work of many.  It's helped me several times> Thanks. <Anytime> Svetlana. <M. Maddox>

Baffling trouble with my fantail goldfish 7/7/05 Hi Guys <... don't forget zee ladies here> I really like your site--so informative!   <Good> I have a strange problem with my fantail goldfish, Lola.  I've followed all your advice about quarantine, salt, treating for flukes, and even 2 courses of Medi-gold food.   She's alone in a 20 gallon tank with an aged filter and airstone. Here's the problem:  Lola seems healthy yet is motionless almost all day--hovering about 1/2" above the bottom.  She stares at the back of the tank all day long, until it's time to eat.  Then she gleefully swims around the tank until she finds the food.  (She'll occasionally swim around if she thinks she might get fed.)  Once she dines, it's back with the Greta Garbo routine ...staring off into the back of the tank. <Some goldfish are pretty inactive... you might consider a tankmate to liven things up> Here is some more background:  I did use Prazi-pro.  I looked carefully at the gills today. The gills seem to never fully close. Also, when she breathes, a little part of the gill comes out.  It almost pops out. <Not unusual> The gills look red and healthy, from what I can see--I realize that I only see a small part of the gills when she breathes.  The water is perfect--I have tested for everything--many times. I've done appropriate water changes.  There has never been any flashing.  As I said I treated for flukes.  I did add Instant Ocean in a not perfectly dissolved state over 6 weeks ago when she first arrived and the salt has been out of the water for weeks.  Could I have done permanent damage to the gills?  Could this be caused by a chemical used in shipping?   <Not permanent, and can/could be residual, resultant from treatment> Here's another baffling thing:  when Lola first arrived, she used to hide in the plastic plants--and dart out for food.  I figured she needed standard care for a new goldfish--which was done, as I stated above.  I reconfigured the plants so that there was no longer an easy place to hide.  Then Lola went through a brief period about a week ago when she was swimming normally for 5 or 6 days.  Mysteriously she just stopped the active routine.  There has been virtually no difference in water quality, food quality, etc. from one week to the next.   I was feeding her a varied diet of peas, lettuce, rice, regular goldfish food but once she started with the Garbo routine, I went back to the Medi-gold alone just in case there is some kind of infection.   She chows down the Medi-gold like crazy.  I feed her about 8 pieces of Medi-Gold.  Does she need more food?  She's about 6" including the tail. <Good sized... but no, no more food> I thought she might be constipated, but I find waste on the bottom.  She looks perfectly healthy.  She just spends most of her time near the bottom.  (Not really on the bottom, just above it, tilting up slightly.)  The dorsal fin is always up and she has bright colors.   She does seem a little nervous--she watches me carefully without moving her body--her tail fin is facing the front of the tank.   This may be a crazy question but do you think she is depressed? <Possibly... or even "bored">   Does she need to be with another fish? <Ahh!>   I am reluctant to put her in with my other goldfish, which is very healthy. <I see... how about some other cool water "dither fish?"> I heard recently that some fantail goldfish like the bottom sometimes, and it's normal. Do you agree? <Yes>   Lola is beautiful--her color is great and fins are not clamped. Her appetite is great and her body is perfect.  She's a real showgirl! I hope you have some ideas!  She is already a cherished member of our family.  We are so afraid that there is something fundamentally wrong with her. Rick <I say let some time go by here... coldwater animals react to changes... in their environments... much more slowly than terrestrial tetrapods. Bob Fenner>

Bubble Eyed Goldfish with growth on eye 7/7/05 Help, my daughter has a bubble eyed gold fish that appears to have a growth on one bubble (white nodule). <I see it> We have not had fish in the past and I questioned the health of this fish in the beginning. (I should have let my intuition take charge). We have had this fish for 5 days and it is in a tank by him/herself. There is a funky odor coming from the tank and it developed quite quickly. <The system is "uncycled"... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwestcycling.htm and the linked files at top> I have attached a picture of this fish. I hope you can see the white growth nodule on the left bubble (or your right side). Please give me suggestions as to what this could be and if there is anything I can do to help this fish. The fish is not very active and likes to float at the top a lot. Thanks for your help. <Is an environmental "blemish"... poor water quality, a physical trauma (a pinch) are at play here. Solve the cycling issue and all should be fine. Bob Fenner>

Re: Bubble Eyed Goldfish with growth on eye 7/7/05 Ok that explains the smell. However, what about the growth? <... as stated: "Is an environmental "blemish"... poor water quality, a physical trauma (a pinch) are at play here. Solve the cycling issue and all should be fine."> I have done some additional internet research and think that this growth, now 1 day later, several growths are anchor worms. What is the best way to treat this fish? <... not to> These growths are white string like things that appeared to be anchored on the fish at a red spot. Yesterday there was only one white string thing, I have tried to use Jungle brand parasite clear tank buddies tablets last night and tonight there appears to be more of these white string things with red spots. <... could be just a reaction to the "medicine"... toxic> However the original string growth thing is shorter than yesterday.  Where are they coming from? Do they grow that quickly? <Without a much closer/larger image, not able to state what this is. I would take a conservative position here. Bob Fenner>

Chronic or perhaps unresponsive septicemia in goldfish 7/7/05 Hello! I've been for another long dive through your archives searching desperately for info. to help my ailing goldfish! Nothing I've tried from reading through the various FAQs has help, so here's the scenario:        Gobo is a 4-5 inch Oranda who has had red streaking in her tail for over a month now. I believe it started when the nitrate levels in her tank went sky-high after the tank was horribly overfed while her primary caretakers were on vacation. (Perhaps I should mention that she lives in a restaurant in a 72 gal. tank with 3 other fancy goldfish who are all smaller than her by an inch or two.) However, she has been in my care in a 10 gal. quarantine tank for 3+ weeks. She has been treated with Maracyn2 (two successive courses, following guidelines to the "t"), Furan 2 (two successive courses, following instructions), and has been receiving increased plant material in the form of aquatic plants and duckweed. Water has been getting changed fairly frequently due to the medication regimes, but the tank seems to be struggling a little when it comes to stable water quality. <For these reasons I would return this fish to the larger, 72 gallon tank... the bacteria in the blood problem will very likely clear on its own there... though you could try adding other antibiotics, anti-microbials to its/their foods...> Maybe it's her size, maybe the meds. I don't want to change too much water while medicating, though. <You are wise here>        Most recently, in hopes that maybe it was the medications that were stressing her out, I stopped all treatment for 3 days, performing a 25% water change and adding fresh charcoal and went on a brief vacation, leaving her with strict feeding instructions (2-3 medium pellets Hikari gold, 2X a day). I came home to find her floating upside down with some bubbly poo floating nearby, so treated her with 1 teaspoon Epsom salts and some nice crunchy duckweed for constipation. 12 hours later she is no longer floating. However, throughout all of this, the streaking has never left her tail, and even has gotten more pronounced during some of the medicating. <Not a real problem of and by itself... as you say, the nitrate... environmental more than infectious>        So, after all of that does anyone know anything that can help this poor valiant fish? <... could be injected... with Chloramphenicol/Chloromycetin...> Please, I hope someone can help us, she's VERY popular at the restaurant and her many fans will be devastated if we can't cure her and return her to them. Also, how do I go about removing the salts from my Q. tank? <Successive water changes> I assume she should keep swimming in them once her problem has passed. Do you think that changing to a BioWheel on that tank will help keep the water quality more stable during these processes? I would run the new filter in concert with the existing one until I was satisfied the new one was populated with beneficials. <Could help>        Thanks, I'm keeping my fingers crossed while I wait for your reply! Sincerely, Sarah Orris <Sarah, if all that appears amiss is the red streaking in the fish's tail, I would return it to the main tank. Bob Fenner>
Re: Chronic or perhaps unresponsive septicemia in goldfish 7/7/05
> <Sarah, if all that appears amiss is the red streaking in the fish's tail, I > would return it to the main tank. Bob Fenner> Hi again! Thank you for your advice! It's reassuring to have someone to back up my efforts, if nothing else. I just have to tell you that everything I have learned about fish tanks, fish health, and fish types I have learned from your website. I still feel I have much to learn, though, and I return frequently even when I don't have an emergency. So thanks! Perhaps I will go there now and see if I can't glean something new about septicemia... Sarah Orris <Do take a look a bit further, perhaps on the Net itself, goldfish books. Bob Fenner>

Two of my fish are sick... overcrowded, under-filtered goldfish system 7/7/05 Hi, I currently have a 20 gallon fish tank with 3 Ryukins and one black moor. They are approximately 3 years old <This tank is too small> and after checking my water, all appears to be normal. <Not helpful information> They are not acting strangely, and appear to be active and eating well.  I have two fish which I need your advice on. Fish 1: One of my Ryukins was completely orange, but appears to be losing her pigmentation on her head (this only started appearing over the past week or so).   <Happens> I checked her out to see if it was a fungus, but her scales are smooth, and it doesn't resemble cotton.  Is this normal or should I medicate her.  I read that color loss could potentially mean that it is a parasite, but I am not too sure at this point.  The discoloration doesn't appear to be consistent, but patchy, which to me, is a little suspicious.  She has a big patch on the left side of her face and a smaller patch under her right eye.  None of the other fish appear to be experiencing the same symptoms though.  Any ideas? <Read...> Fish 2: As well, my black moor is my little boy,.  When I first got him, I had issues with my ammonia.  After that, the water stabilized and has been normal ever since.  Since the initial shock of the ammonia spiking, he developed a gill curling issue, where his gills curl forward.  This started off as his gills just being swollen, but now, it has been getting progressively worse and his gills have curled towards his eyes. I'm afraid that if it keeps going, he will develop a breathing problem and die or his gills will eventually grow into his eyes.  I found a web site that said to cut off the curled section of the gill so that it can grow back, but when I examined him, it felt like it was thick cartilage. <I would not cut the gill opercula> I was worried that it may be too thick to cut, or I would slip with the scissors when trying to cut through it.  I just left it as is in hopes that it wouldn't grow any further, but it doesn't appear to be stopping. Can you please give me some advice as to how to help him?  Is trimming his gill safe? <Yes> Thank you very much, and I hope to hear from you soon. Sincerely Nicole <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshdisease.htm and the linked files above... You need a larger system, more filtration, understanding... Bob Fenner>

Bloated or Pearlscale goldfish 7/6/05 I am looking for a goldfish that looks like a puffer that is extended all the time. <Is this a particular breed?> saw one in a mans pond, but all he knew was Chinese goldfish.  The fish looked like a water balloon, and was about 8in. long.  I have looked at pictures on the net and have been unable to find it,  any help you could give me would be appreciated.  Thanks, Vicki <Mmm, rare they get this big, but it sounds like you're referring to a type of Pearlscale: http://www.bristol-aquarists.org.uk/goldfish/pearlscl/pearlscale-fi.htm Is this it? Bob Fenner> Re: U shaped fish sinks to bottom... less, but still vague 7/5/05 what I mean is that my goldfish is sinking to the bottom of the fish tank and it's body look bended. what wrong with it does it have a disease or what? if so how long would it take him to heal. <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshdisease.htm Learn to use the Net. Bob Fenner>

Is this a tumor on my goldfish? Is 7/5/05 Rob, <Richard> I hope it's alright to contact you by email. I saw your name whilst trawling through Google, looking for goldfish problems. Rather than trying to describe the growth, I have attached a picture. It looks horrible, and keeps growing, looks like a mottled cauliflower, this is after about 2 years. It doesn't seem to worry the fish, and my kids won't let me dot it on the head. Is this an incurable tumor. Another one, smaller than this is starting to appear on the other side of its dorsal fin as well. <Mmm, akin to many types of "warts" on humans et alia life, this is indeed a virally mediated growth... Can be excised (cut off, with a sharp instrument... like a single edged razor blade)... and daubed with iodine, other children's topical... with likely good success> Thanking you in advance for any light you can throw on this, Regards R.N. Bussell <Have someone help... with a wet cloth, holding the fish... soda water can be used as a mild anesthetic if you'd like. Bob Fenner>

New Goldfish Causing Problems 7/5/05 Hi, This is Brijesh from India. I had bought a pair of red cap Oranda and put them in my show tank without any quarantine. Now all the fishes including the new ones have red spots or lesions on their fins and body. It looks like they are hurt and blood is around. On a close examination I found anchor worms which I removed but some of the red lesions did not have anchor worms. What's wrong ? What treatment can I give them? Pls help fast because I am scared that my fish will die thanks < Your goldfish have an external bacterial problem and should be treated with antibiotics. Do a 30% water change, vacuum the gravel and clean the filter. Remove the carbon and treat with Furanace as per the directions on the package.-Chuck>

Oranda anchor worm 7/5/05 hi, this is Brijesh from India. I had bought a pair of red cap Oranda and put them in my show tank without any quarantine. now all the fishes including the new ones have red spots or lesions on their fins and body. it looks like they are hurt and blood is around. on a close examination I found anchor worms which I removed but some of the red lesions did not have anchor worms. what's wrong? what treatment can I give them? pls help fast coz I am scared that my fish will die thanks <... may be a water quality situation... or some other parasite... Can't tell w/o microscopic examination. Do you have a sophisticated fish store near you that has such gear? Perhaps a "fish vet?". I would treat this water with DTHP (many names otherwise) or Dimilin... Please see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/PondSubWebIndex/contrpdparasit.htm and the linked files above. If this doesn't cure the red lesions in a couple of weeks, I would consider a formalin bath... Bob Fenner>

Help, its my goldfish 7/4/05 Dear Fenner Robert, I badly need help. My goldfish has white marks on her, a white line and what look like ripped fins. Please please help me,                                     Paige <Umm, read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshdisease.htm and the linked files above... Bob Fenner> U shaped fish sinks to bottom... vague... 7/4/05 to Fenner Robert       My Fish is acting weird it is in a U shape position and its sinking to the bottom I know its no dead because it's gills are moving. What's wrong? and how can I help it? <... what sort of system is this? What water quality... what species of fish/es? Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwsubwebindex.htm Until you know... Bob Fenner>

Sick Goldfish 7/4/05 Please help! We have kept 3 goldfish in a 10-gallon tank since our son brought them home from kindergarten five years ago. I change about half the water every other week (almost religiously) and use a filter and heater to keep the water at about 74 degrees. < Goldfish don't really need heaters.> Over the years we've had various Plecos, catfish and algae eaters that have come and gone. A few days ago we added a new algae eater, which we need because the tank is next to the back door and receives a good amount of indirect light. Now, he/she appears fine but the goldfish are lying on the bottom of the tank and/or floating head down at the bottom. The one fancy-tailed goldfish appears to have white dots on her tail fin. Another goldfish has red splotches (looks almost like bleeding) around the gills and top going toward the dorsal fin, and on the bottom where she rests on the gravel. All three goldfish will actively swim up to eat. I changed the water two days ago when I first noticed one fish floating head down. When they all appeared worse today I changed the water again, added a little PIMAFIX because it was recommended by the fish store to treat the redness I described, removed the charcoal from the filter (kept in the foam and ammonia bloc), and added one tablespoon of aquarium salt to the tank. I never had to check the pH and ammonia levels before, but I bought the tests and ammonia was between 0 - 0.25mg/L. The pH was about 7.6 but I need to buy the high-range test instead of the one I used for a more accurate measurement. The fish still appear very lethargic and I'm not sure whether to treat for ICH, or how. < Change 30% of the water while vacuuming the gravel and clean the filter. You have many different things going on here. You fish have Ich (little white spots). They have an external bacterial infection (red splotches). Treat for Ich with Rid-Ich by Kordon as per the directions on the bottle. Treat for the bacterial infection using Furanace. When you are done medicating then you can do a 30% water change and add carbon to the filter to remove all the medication. Add Bio-Spira by Marineland to reestablish the good bacteria needed to break down the fish waste. Many stores are recommending Pimafix as a cure all and it simply doesn't work for me or anybody else I have talked to.-Chuck>

Goldfish upside down  07/02/05 Just recently I've noticed that my black moor has taken to swimming upside down at the surface of the tank. Naturally I find this disconcerting to see in the morning when sleep blurred eyes give me a moment of panic in thinking Maxwell Hall (his/her name) has died.  And no Maxwell is most assuredly not dead, in fact he is the most lively fish I think I ever had. He/she has grown at least an inch and a half since I got him (under a year) and his underbelly has started to go goldish but I read that's normal. I know that Maxwell LOVES to eat and very much enjoys surface feeding. At this point I'm wondering if he/she is doing this in anticipation of the next meal. I have cleaned the tank just in case that was the issue, but he/she still likes to be upside-down. Is this the sign of something serious? <Is indicative of both the problems with "roundish" breeds of goldfish and "swim bladder disease", a condition brought about mainly from mis-feeding of high protein flake foods. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshdisease.htm  and http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshfdgfaqs.htm and the linked files above till you know what you're doing, how to help your fish. Bob Fenner>

Goldfish, tumor 6/31/05 Hi Bob, <James....> I need some help with my goldfish please. It's a few years old now, but for a fair few months now its had a lump on its head, the lump seems to be getting bigger and bigger. I have attached some photos, but fish will be fish and are extremely hard to photograph when they are able to move around so much, so the pictures are not great. The water has been checked and is fine and the other fish (four other goldfish) in the tank are unaffected, so I am assuming that this isn't fatal, as the fish would probably have died already and possibly effected the others. I'm at a lost end, I have checked your site and many many others on the internet and cant even find an article like this. I also had a chat with Aquarium experts and they seem to push me in different directions and have made me try all types of different things, although they probably just wanted to sell me something from their store. The goldfish and other four seem to be happy enough and are not distressed or anything. Do you have any ideas what it might be and if there's a cure? Thanks ever so much! James. <Is a tumorous growth... you might have success with excising it... cutting it off... with a sharp instrument... a single edged razor blade... daubing it with a disinfectant... a mercury based child's one. Have done this before myself. Bob Fenner>

Sick Fantail Goldfish 6/29/05 Hello!!!  Your site has been such a help in the past, and I hope you will save me once again!  I have a fantail goldfish who battles fungus quite often.   This time, however, he just can't seem to beat it.  It has consumed his entire tailfin and he has a white "furry" patch on each side. <?> I have quarantined him and am treating him with Melafix as always. <...> Is there anything else I can or should do?   <Yes.. please read... on WWM re Goldfish Health, Systems... and Melafix...> Also, if he beats this, will his tailfin grow back and how long should it take?  None of the other goldfish in the tank ever get the fungus.  Is there a reason he is so susceptible to it? <Ahh, the last two sentences are useful... you do have other goldfish? Is there system large enough, filtered? What do you feed? It may be that the one variety, individual here is indeed more susceptible to bullying by the other goldfish, isn't getting sufficient nutrient/food. Please read on WWM... Bob Fenner>

Goldfish injury? Good evening <Morning now...> I was wondering if you could help me with my goldfish, fatboy and slim. <Whew, for a moment, thought you were referring to me... thank goodness for commas> They are both small goldfish, (max 3 inches) the water is fine as I have tested it. I came home from work on Wednesday and fat boy had developed what I can only call a bright white spot on his head ( Looked like a white head that had burst) by the morning this had disappeared leaving a little red mark. it has developed a tiny white scar over this red mark but it has not grown. What could this possibly be and how can I treat it? I have searched your website but I cannot find anything that seems the same. <... perhaps just a mechanical injury> fatboy and slim are both happy in themselves with no other apparent problems. The water has risen in temperature due to the heat wave over the last week but I have kept the lounge curtains shut to keep the room as cool as possible. <Good> Also I occasionally get a build up of algae on the ornaments and the pet shop said an algae eater could help resolve the issue but I don't want fatboy and slim to be attacked by anything. will this new fish attack them or am I just being over protective? <Best to be cautious here... perhaps a large snail instead> the tank is 8 gallons with a light, fresh plants and a Fluval filter. Many thanks for your help Chrissie <Bob Fenner>

Scaleless goldfish? hi, this is Margarete. I have 3 goldfish (2") and they seem to have no scales at all and I don't know why. Is there anything wrong with that? <Maybe... there are some goldfish varieties that look like they lack scales> My 5" long goldfish has some sort of little ball on her tailfin. I've seen that before. Should I be worried about that?   Thank you. <I would be... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshdisease.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Help...my little guy looks like he's not feeling well. Goldfish health Hi, I have a bubble eyed gold fish in a 30 gallon tank with 5 basic gold fish... well my bubs scales are very flared which I see you have written about but my guy has bubbles growing off of its body and its sudden. please help me!! Thank You!! <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshdisease.htm and the files linked above. Bob Fenner>

Goldfish Fin Rot Hi! I brought a young calico goldfish who has severe fin rot home from the aquarium store today. His pectoral, pelvic and dorsal fins are completely gone, and he only has a few shreds left on his caudal fin. It doesn't look like it has attacked his body yet, but I'm not sure. He has mostly been resting on the gravel at the bottom of the tank. His breathing seems to be heavy (his body shakes with each breath) and he is opening his mouth and gills simultaneously.  So far he has not eaten (though it has only been 2 1/2 hours); I offered him half of a smushed pea and a goldfish pellet. His tank mates were all much larger than he, and appeared healthy. I used a drip system to acclimate him to his new water conditions (Nitrate: 0 ppm, Nitrite: 0ppm, water hardness: 50 ppm, Ph and Alkalinity are within the normal ranges (I know the colors through experience: but I accidentally tore the chart so I cant read the exact conditions <darn it!>=), and the temperature is 76 degrees F). He is in my hospital tank now (which is 2.5 gallons- a temporary situation) and I have added Melafix to the water. I'm hoping he can be saved and have read about different treatment options, but am not sure which advice to use due to the severity of his condition. Would you suggest I continue using the Melafix, and if so, would you suggest any other treatments in addition to it (such as aquarium salt, or a topical antibiotic, etc)?  How often would you suggest I perform water changes while he is ill?  (Usually I change 25% every Friday, but I know his water needs to be kept especially clean). Do you think a recovery is possible?  Thank you for your help!  You guys are wonderful! <This sounds very bad, a cure may not be possible. Usually when a fin rot gets to the body there is not much you can do. I'm not a big MelaFix fan. I would try Kanamycin or Oxytetracycline. But if you see any improvement I would continue with the treatment before switching. Salt couldn't hurt and may help. Good Luck! Don>

Life Is Not Disposable <Disturbing> Hi there! I had three fish before I moved a few weeks ago back when the weather was cool. Now that I've moved into my new apartment, the weather has been quite hot. So hot, in fact that the water's temp got up to 82F on some days. I had this idea that if I took a empty yet clean 16 oz. Pepsi bottle and filled it with water and froze it to put it into the aquarium later to cool them off. This seemed to cool the water to a more appropriate temperature. <OK, but adding an extra airstone is usually enough. After the ice melts the temp just goes back up.> About a week ago, I noticed that the juvenile orange fantail was missing. I looked around the outside of the tank because fish have been known to jump out of the tank. I found what was left of him in two small fleshy chunks at the bottom of the tank. I scooped them out with the net and life went on. <Well, for some of us. Did you do a water change after this fish was left to rot in with the others?> Today, I noticed that my black moor's tail was ripped to shreds. Upon closer examination, a saw that the black moor wasn't as dark as he had been the day before. He was much lighter. The much larger redcap was picking at his fins. Since the black moor was lighter, I assumed some kind of disease had made him sick and I made the decision to simply throw out the fish - both of them. I scooped them out with the net and tossed them on the lawn for some raccoon to come along and have a snack later. A whole 30 minutes later, I came outside and saw that the redcap was still gasping. I picked it up and put it back in the tank. He's still alive! He's swimming happily in the tank as I write this. <I've been staring at this for 30 minutes now. It's 1:30 am. So all I will say is you may want to rethink your decision to keep pets.> I only have a 10 gallon tank but I figured if I had a bubbler in there under the gravel, they'd not be so uncomfortable because dissolved oxygen would come from the bubbler. They seemed fine for months. <I'm glad you decided to put him back in the tank. Please find him a good home. Don>

Bloated Goldfish Hi, Don't know if you can offer us any advice - we've got two pretty normal goldfish. One has always had a bit of a swim bladder problem but we got him back to normal. Suddenly - like in half a day - his eyes have popped right out and he's a bit bloated. His spine also looks a bit crooked towards his tail. The other fish appears fine. Both are in a BiOrb with pump and filter. They get a partial water change every two weeks and the tank is pretty clean. They normally get dry pellet food with occasional live and peas. I've seen on the web that pop eyes and bent spine may be tuberculosis but he hasn't lost weight rather bloated out? thanks Joff and Alison UK < Your goldfish has been stressed and has an internal bacterial infection. Metronidazole or Flagyl will cure this if treated quickly.-Chuck>

Goldfish and Ick Hi Bob, <Kristin> I was researching your website after my goldfish died of Ick. I think you answered most of my questions but I just wanted to be sure in order to feel better. I had a small Ryukin goldfish, about 1 inch, for about two weeks. He had been living in a bowl that was about 3/4 of a gallon, I changed the water weekly, about 60% of it. There was gravel on the bottom, also some decorations and an air pump. Fed pellets twice daily according to the instructions on the package and the pet store. I noticed that he was getting white spots on his tailfin, did some research on the internet, and went into the fish store the next morning to get some medicine. They gave me Aquarisol, the copper sulfate, and told me to administer two drops daily. They also told me to change the water completely, but did not suggest transferring the fish to a different container. They also said that water gets dirty quickly in a bowl without a filtration system, <This is so> that changing the water and cleaning the bowl weekly wasn't enough (although that's what the pet store I bought the fish from told me to do), <Likely not often enough> and suggested getting a tank as soon as possible if the fish survived the Ick. I put two drops in the bowl as it was, later in the day I changed the water completely (that had been conditioned for at least an hour), and put the fish back in the bowl with one drop of the copper solution. By night his tail had rotted away, looked terrible overall and hardly moved, then died the next morning. I know it's a bit silly but I'd have better peace of mind if I know exactly what killed the fish, that I did all I could do, and how to prevent this next time. Thanks very much for your help, Kristin <Thank you for writing and your obvious caring... There are likely a few factors at play here in this mortality. First and foremost is the breed/species and its environment... actually before your receiving the specimen. It may (happens all the time) have been so roughly handled that it would have been extremely difficult for you to help it, even given a large aquarium, filtration... This is the current "condition" in the trade. Definitely the bowl, and though you had very commendable maintenance, careful feeding... contributed to the stress on the fish... and even the Aquarisol, though this is a very good, appropriate treatment for the situation, contributed to the "tail rot" and likely more of the fish's demise than cure... I agree with both stores input... usually a small bowl, with the water cleaned every week, an aerator will/can keep a small goldfish alive for a "while" (months)... and the second store... a "real" tank is much better... as am sure you're aware now. My further opinions on goldfish care can be found here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwlivestkindex.htm Bob Fenner>

Goldfish had bubble sac ripped off My goldfish with a bubble sac caught one of the sacs in the air filter, and it got ripped off.  She's swimming and eating, but her eye shows blood. Should I do I anything special to help her? Cyndy Andrews Klepinger <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwlivestkindex.htm scroll down to Goldfish... read about their Systems, Disease... Bob Fenner>

Crowded goldfish losing color... I have been searching this site for quite a while and have not found a complete answer for my question. I have 6 goldfish, the kind that are put in outdoor ponds. I've been doing some research they may be called comet goldfish) <Likely> I have them in a 10 gallon tank inside. <Too crowded> A couple of days ago I noticed that one is turning white. All other activities are normal (eating, swimming). I read in one article that goldfish discoloration is normal. <Does happen> Is there a way to prevent it? Maybe a special food or even changing foods. Is it even because of there diet?   Please help. <Can be diet influenced... but more often due to "poor water quality"... you have a filter, aerator? Do regular (weekly) water changes? Please see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwlivestkindex.htm re Goldfish, Systems... Bob Fenner>

Stinky goldfish system I have three goldfish in a large indoor tank. <How large?> Two of the fish were bought recently and since then there has been a really bad smell in the water after only two days of cleaning the tank. <You have a filter, aeration?> I have reduced feeding to twice a week, included blood worms in the diet and added an enzyme solution to the water - none have worked. Two of the fish now have red spots on their scales - is this relevant? <Yes... due to pollution... poor water quality... induced> Thank you p.s. this smell is similar to something that has gone rotten and left for a long time! <Good description... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Goldfish Tail Injury 6.14.05 Hi. Sorry if this particular question has been asked before - I did search but couldn't find it.  I have a 10 gallon tank with two goldfish in it.  The plain old ordinary one is about 4 inches long.  Today he decided to swim through the decoration in the tank.  Unfortunately, the opening on one side is smaller then the other and he got stuck.  Luckily, I was in the room, heard the commotion and was able to free him pretty quickly.  (I have since moved the 'pot' into a corner so there is no way through it any more.)  In the process of trying to free himself, it looks like he has split his tail fin in half.  Will this heal by itself, or do I need to do something, or take him somewhere for treatment?  I do have an attachment to him and want to do what is right to take care of this. Thanks. M. Moritz <Just make sure you have excellent water quality and he should heal up just fine on is own.  If it starts to develop fungus or anything weird you may need to treat it but otherwise he should heal up just fine.  Gage>    

Goldfish with mouth rot Hello, <Hi there> I got a goldfish at a local fair (I know, I know, I hate that, but I thought I could save one by taking one home). <This is how many of us got started...> We had two and one died this week from what looked like swim bladder. This other fish seemed fine - strong and healthy. Then, unfortunately, I took another of these fish from a friend and introduced it to the tank right away. Shortly after, our original healthy fish developed what looks to me like mouth rot. I am heartbroken as this fish seems to be suffering. I put it into a hospital tank and treated with Melafix and Pimafix. It's been on Melafix for 2 days and I just put the Pimafix in. The problem seems to be getting worse. Should I switch medications and try some other anti-bacterial medication? <I would give up on these leaf-extracts and add aquarium salt...> Please answer soon as it's getting very bad and I know it's because of the other fish and I feel terrible. I'm not sure where to find your answer. Is it possible to e-mail me at: <Please take a read on WWM re goldfish disease, systems... there are articles and FAQs files there to answer your questions. Bob Fenner> Thank you so much. Carol Pugliano-Martin

New Tank Syndrome - Can I prevent my 2 remaining goldfish from dying? Dear WWM Crew; I can't thank you enough for your website. I am hoping that you can help me save my 2 little fantails (each measure approximately 1 inch from snout to the start of their caudal fins). <Hi, Gage here, I will do my best.> Sixteen days ago I foolishly purchased "a bag of goldfish" and a 2 gallon tank. I had some remote childhood memory of having goldfish in a bowl and, without having done my homework, thought this would be fine. (An aside, wouldn't it be something if one had to take a class or two on basic fish care & aquarium maintenance before one could purchase any fish!) <fool. Just kidding, happens all the time I am glad you are open to learning how to take care of your fish, nothing foolish about that.  Fish school, I like it.  We could issue Fishing Licenses.> Once I got them home and read the aquarium guide included in the 2 gallon kit I realized my new goldies were in trouble.  The next day I purchased a 10 gallon tank with AquaClear 20 filter, more water conditioner, two 2 gallon buckets, a siphon, an air curtain, and a Tetratest Laborett (pH, KH, GH, NO2, CO2, NH3/NH4).<BAM!> I kept one fish who looked overwhelmed in the 2G tank and safely transferred the remaining 6 fish to the 10G tank (still too small, I know. I am saving for a larger tank). <Good, ~10gal per goldfish:-)> The first week went by without much distress, but then I had to go to a conference for the weekend and the 20% tank changes were put on hold for 3 days. <Unless you are battling some water problems this is not too big of a deal> The day after I got home I returned to my usual 20% tank changes and then I noticed that a couple of my fish had white spots on their caudal fins. ICH! <Bingo!> After doing some reading I purchased some Malachite Green treatment and gave one dose. After some more reading I realized that the ICH was more a symptom of my uncycled tank than a "new" problem. <Well sort of.  Uncycled tanks do not create Ich, however uncycled tanks cause stress on fish which lowers their immune system and makes them prone to disease which may already be present in the environment.  Especially goldfish which I am going to guess are "feeders" and have not been raised in the best conditions.> My first fish died day 13 (Bubbles, sniff). I then did 75% changes on both my tanks and have treated the ICH with aquarium salt. Now I am doing daily or twice daily tests and water changes once or twice a day. <Once daily or every other day depending on the test results.  You may find that too many water changes can prevent a tank from cycling as well as diluting the meds that are in the water.  The thing to look out for is Ammonia and Nitrite, when these get to high your fish die.> Today we have had our 5th death (Remus) and only Romulus and Blaze remain. The ICH is gone (apparently). They had a few good days after my first 75% tank change. And now I have come upon a now all too familiar scene, they are resting quietly at the bottom of the tank, dorsal fins down. The tank's pH is 7.5, NH3/NH4 is 0.25 mg/L, NO2 is 0, and temperature is 24 degrees Celsius. The only way I know to keep the NH3/NH4 down is by doing the water changes as I have been doing. Today, in desperation I added an AquaClear Ammonia Remover to my filter. <You are doing all that you really can, these fellas may have been doomed from the git'go.  The only thing you can do is offer them good water quality and see if they pull through.> Do you have any suggestions for helping my little ones? Could my frequent water changes/gravel vacuuming have stressed them out too much? Perhaps they are still recovering from the ICH and the ammonia poisoning? Thanks in advance for your sage advice. And now that I know better, I'll do better - I am saving up to purchase a 60G tank in the coming months and will cycle it first before adding my goldfish! <good plan>P.S. Is there a conversion factor for NH3/NH4, NO2, and NO3 between ppm & mg/L? <I stole the following from www.thekrib.com (an excellent resource) http://www.thekrib.com/Plants/Fertilizer/dosing.html "Terminology and Computational Procedures Concentration units of chemicals in the aquarium are often expressed in parts per million (ppm), for example milligrams of nitrate per 1,000,000 mg of solution. (A liter (L) of water weighs 1000 grams (g) or 1,000,000 mg, and so one ppm is one milligram per liter). One ppm is also the same as 1 g (1,000 mg) per 1,000 L." Best of Luck, Gage>

Goldfish Environment 6.12.05 Over the past five days I've had a range of problems with my five goldfish. <I thought you said 4 goldfish.> Firstly, my comet has a " air sack" in its belly and its not eating, so I transferred it in a 10 litre container and added the inside of peas (for it to eat), MelaFix and a water conditioner. is this right ? should I double the MelaFix formula? <So far as I know Melafix is not going to help the swim bladder issue. 10 litres is too small.> Second, my fantail got caught in a sandstone rock on Wednesday and I separated it into a 3 litre (with MelaFix formula) ceramic container. Now it lies at the bottom and hasn't eaten for five days the wound is healing slowly though. Is this also right what I've done? <way to small, he will use up the oxygen in the water and foul the water super fast.> Last, my large red Oranda, black Moor and white fantail have been put back into the 20 litre tank with 2 ml of MelaFix to fix the blood hemorrhaging. Again, Is what I've done right? Why are all these problems happening and how can I prevent it? also,  what other food could I feed them apart from flakes? <This is what I would do in this situation.  Get at least a 75 liter (20gallon) aquarium, (Please let me know if my conversion are wrong, it is very possible).  Do not use any sharp/rough decorations, goldfish are big fat and clumsy.  Put them all back in the same tank, it does not sound like they have diseases that are going to spread to one another.  Feed them peeled peas, thawed frozen goldfish food, or soak your dry flaked or pelleted food in a small container of tank water prior to feeding.  Do not skimp on the filtration or aeration.  If possible add some Elodea/Anacharis to the tank, this is a live plant that is good for digestion among other things. Best of Luck, Gage>

Goldfish Issue 6.12.05 My white gold fish seems like the blood vessels have all swollen to the point that you can see them through his skin and he's almost turning red. I've isolated it and changed the water. the ph levels are normal. any advise???? <Take a sample of water to the local fish store and have them test for Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate, and Ph.  Let us know what they say.  It sounds like a water quality issue but it is hard to say, frequent water changes could not hurt, every 2 or 3 days even.  Gage>

Got Air? I saw your website re: goldfish and have a question.  Two weeks ago I had 5 goldfish - I had had them for 3-4 months (1 big one for a year).  He/? was the first to die.  two days later a younger one was floating on top of the water (dead of course); about two days later, another.  Obviously I only have two left. The only abnormal thing I am noticing about these two is that they appear to be gasping for air (at the surface of the water)...?  WE have several small plants in the pond along with the 'fountain' - Any thoughts? We have been trying to keep the water cool and at a consistent temp. thanks at least for listening.  Help if you can. Jayne white < A couple of things could be going on. Check the ammonia, nitrites and nitrates. Ammonia and nitrites should be zero. Nitrates should be under 25 ppm. If any of these numbers are excessive then it could be burning the fishes gills and hamper their ability to get any oxygen. The remedy would be to clean the filters and change some water. Too much food or waste would have this effect. Warmer water temps mean the water has less capability to absorb oxygen so you may need to increase aeration.-Chuck>

Crazy Goldfish 6.11.05 I have four goldfish in my 20 litre aquarium. <This tank is too small for this many fish, a good rule is 10 gallons, ~37litres, per goldfish> Since 2 days ago one of my comets started to dash back and fourth in up and down around the tank. I called the pet shop today and they said to feed it the inside of frozen peas, but I did and its not eating. <Peas are good for Goldfish with digestion issues.> It seems to be stressing out my other goldfish and it also is banging into the side walls of the tank and the filter. PLEASE I need your advice! What should I do?? Is quite urgent!! thank you <The first thing I would do is add some hiding places, it sounds like your fish are stressing out.  Ensure good water quality, have your local pets store test your water.  Get a larger tank as soon as possible, goldfish foul their water very quickly.  Best Regards, Gage>

Red Spots on Goldfish My goldfish have red spots on them. Some have the spot by the top of there back and fin and some have the spot on there side. It kind of looks like a blood  spot and there is nothing in the tank for them to get hurt on and I didn't notice anything else on them and I pay attention to them everyday and today was  the first day I noticed this on them. I have gotten different answers The temperature in the tank went up to 86 and I know that is to hot so I have been  cooling it down with ice packs  Please tell me what they might have. I know they were only feeder goldfish but they have gotten bigger since I have had them  and my grandbabies like them. Do I need to check to water and some one said to  add salt to the water. Thanks I wait to hear from someone. The room they are in  is really hot and I have the windows open and fans running to cool it  down. < Extreme water temps have stressed your goldfish and have caused an external bacterial attack. Cool the water down by increasing the aeration with an airstone or Bubblewand. treat the tank with Nitrofuranace.-Chuck>

Little Worms in Goldfish Tank I also notice in the tank that there are little white worms swimming in the water. What might these be? < Probably Planaria worms or plant leeches.> And what do  up suggest I do? < When the tank cools down and the goldfish is better you can treat the tank with Fluke-Tabs.> I also have a  little dwarf frog in the tank. I have the goldfish with the red spots on  them. My daughter said I  should just get rid of the fish. Could I replace  them in a pond and would the frog get sick I hate to get rid of him.  Help < The frog would probably crawl away and the goldfish will die if not treated. In the long run the pond may not be a bad place if your temp.s continue to get too hot.-Chuck>

Flaming Goldfish? I recently had a goldfish that just combusted can you tell me why this is so. <?!> Every now and then it would swim on its side.  I thought that maybe it was getting ready to lay eggs so I moved it to another tank by itself.  I kept close watch and then it got really depressed and thin.  I was afraid it would die so I put it back with the others.  It's symptoms returned and the other night it just combusted.  I don't want this to happen to the others so can you give me any idea as to why this happened.  Thanks Elizabeth <... perhaps nutritional... environmental... Maybe your fish is becoming egg-bound? Please read on WWM re Goldfish foods/feeding, systems, disease... Bob Fenner>

Pregnant goldfish My white goldfish is pregnant, going on two weeks, and she looks like she¹s going to explode (about 5 long).  Today, I noticed that there are now large red areas on both sides, kind of like blood inside.  She has continued to get bigger and bigger.  Is something wrong? <Sounds/reads like it> Prior to becoming pregnant, the male was riding her side.  I have 4 gold fish in a 100 gallon outdoor pond, plenty of foliage, water well kept/clear, oxygenating plants, etc. Reesa Doebbler <This fish could be egg-bound... might be diseased otherwise... I would treat it, and probably the other fish in this size system, with Epsom Salt... as gone over and over on our Freshwater and Pond Subweb sites. Bob Fenner>

Weird looking anus on my Black Moor Goldfish Hey guys, I have a weird problem with my black moor.  He is obviously completely black but recently he has developed a whitish appearance on his back side (looks nasty), and his anus looks enlarged and reddish. <Good descriptions, bad situation> I've searched online for possible diseases and the closes thing to it is fin rot or sores caused by a bacterial infection.  It almost looks like something is eating away his tail.  He is doesn't look ill and he looks normal other than that.  I have 6 other goldfish mates and they are all doing well too.  Please help find a solution and treatment and if you need a picture I can try to borrow a camera from a friend.  Your help will truly be appreciated.   <How large is this system? What sort of filtration, maintenance... Foods/feeding/nutrition? A pic would help, but the root cause here is likely environmental... Please read through WWM re goldfish systems, disease... likely something will "click" in the process. Bob Fenner>

That's Gotta Itch I thought my little guys might have had ammonia poisoning but I really think they might have septicemia. Chubbs, the largest of my three fish is trying his best to hang on from what I see, I think? Just wiggles and floats very very lethargically and his tail has a lot of little red veins coming from his bum and the ends of his tail are very tattered and slightly bloody. Viejito, the 2nd largest, has them but not as pronounced as he has and is still really active. And Vicious, the smallest, I cant tell if he has them. He's a chocolate so I can't see. He's still wiggling like he usually does. They are all under 2.5inches. I went and got a 10 gal tank to make into a pseudo hospital tank, I did half the water in my old tank and half new water and put 2 Maracyn twos in with them. hospital tank: AquaClear 30 with no carbon ammonia: .50 nitrate: 0 nitrite: 0 ph: 7.6 I took them out of a 29 gal tank with penguin 350. I was filtering for 2 and a half weeks. I was also using "cycle" to help facilitate the process and I use AmQuel when I do water changes. I'm really concerned for Chubbs and from what I read and he has septicemia he is just slowly deteriorating and he isn't really 'there' right now.  Anything that would help would be deeply appreciated because otherwise I have been told they have 'new tank syndrome' <You say you're seeing red "veins" coming out of his anus. I think your fish has worms. Try "Discomed" or some other med for flukes. The Maracyn will not touch them. Don>

Goldfish In a New Tank Dear WWM Crew; I can't thank you enough for your website. I am hoping that you can help me save my 2 little fantails (each measure approximately 1 inch from snout to the start of their caudal fins). Sixteen days ago I foolishly purchased "a bag of goldfish" and a 2 gallon tank. I had some remote childhood memory of having goldfish in a bowl and, without having done my homework, thought this would be fine. (An aside, wouldn't it be something if one had to take a class or two on basic fish care & aquarium maintenance before one could purchase any fish!) Once I got them home and read the aquarium guide included in the 2 gallon kit I realized my new goldies were in trouble.  The next day I purchased a 10 gallon tank with AquaClear 20 filter, more water conditioner, two 2 gallon buckets, a siphon, an air curtain, and a Tetratest Laborett (pH, KH, GH, NO2, CO2, NH3/NH4). I kept one fish who looked overwhelmed in the 2G tank and safely transferred the remaining 6 fish to the 10G tank (still too small, I know. I am saving for a larger tank). The first week went by without much distress, but then I had to go to a conference for the weekend and the 20% tank changes were put on hold for 3 days. The day after I got home I returned to my usual 20% tank changes and then I noticed that a couple of my fish had white spots on their caudal fins. ICH! After doing some reading I purchased some Malachite Green treatment and gave one dose. After some more reading I realized that the ICH was more a symptom of my uncycled tank than a "new" problem. My first fish died day 13 (Bubbles, sniff). I then did 75% changes on both my tanks and have treated the ICH with aquarium salt. Now I am doing daily or twice daily tests and water changes once or twice a day. Today we have had our 5th death (Remus) and only Romulus and Blaze remain. The ICH is gone (apparently). They had a few good days after my first 75% tank change. And now I have come upon a now all too familiar scene, they are resting quietly at the bottom of the tank, dorsal fins down. The tank's pH is 7.5, NH3/NH4 is 0.25 mg/L, NO2 is 0, and temperature is 24 degrees Celsius. The only way I know to keep the NH3/NH4 down is by doing the water changes as I have been doing. Today, in desperation I added an AquaClear Ammonia Remover to my filter. Do you have any suggestions for helping my little ones? Could my frequent water changes/gravel vacuuming have stressed them out too much? Perhaps they are still recovering from the ICH and the ammonia poisoning? < Check out the WWM website for info on cycling a new tank. If you need further more in-depth analysis go to Marineland.com and go to Dr. Tim's Library. Read an article titled "The First 30 Days". I think you will find it helpful.> Thanks in advance for your sage advice. And now that I know better, I'll do better - I am saving up to purchase a 60G tank in the coming months and will cycle it first before adding my goldfish! P.S. Is there a conversion factor for NH3/NH4, NO2, and NO3 between ppm & mg/L? < They are the same.-Chuck> Sincerely, A fool who rushed in.

"Sick" Tank Hello, WWM crew--you were very helpful to me a few months ago (Otocinclus nipping at my black moor's fins) and now I'm back with a much sadder question. I had ("had" is the sad part) 2 goldfish in a 29 gallon tank for about 2 years (tank specs below). A few weeks ago the Oranda was having swim bladder problems; a 3-day fast and peas had cleared this up in the past, but this time it progressed into what I guess was dropsy (bloated, floating sideways, eventual pine coning of his scales). I salted the tank then tried antibiotics, but lost him. The remaining fish (black moor) seemed fine but a couple of days ago he showed the same symptoms. I immediately started Maracyn-2 but to no avail and we lost him last night. The tank's only remaining inhabitants are two Otocinclus (not the fin-nipping one, which was banished to another tank) who seem to be fine. So I would like to ask two questions, if I could. First, there's clearly something yucky in the tank. Should I remove the Otos and let the tank run fallow--for how long? <The internal bacterial infection was brought on by stress. Temperature, water quality food, vitamins could all be a factor.> Can I leave the Otos and just wait a month or so before repopulating the tank? Or should I break it down and start over? (I'd hate to do this as it's planted and mature.) < You can restock the tank at any time but I would quarantine any new fish for a couple of weeks before placing them in the big tank. > Two: we're wavering between getting more goldfish and converting the tank to tropical fish. We love the goldies, but they really do become pets and losing them despite our best efforts at husbandry is getting sad (we had other losses earlier during the learning curve). If we do go tropical, can we just add a heater or will we need to re-cycle the tank with fresh filter media and all? At this time of year the tank's running around 77 degrees, already. < At 77 degrees the tank is too warm for goldfish and probably caused the stress that caused the illness and ultimate death of your goldfish. You are ready for tropical fish and the tank does not to be re-cycled.-Chuck> Thanks for your help. Your FAQs and daily questions have been an invaluable resource. Rebecca Tank stats: 29-gallon planted tank, 2 years old Penguin 350 Ammonia, nitrites 0; nitrates ~20 25% water change every couple of weeks feeding sinking pellets 2x/day (well, I was)

Goldfish Problems Hi, I have had 2 fancy goldfish for almost a year now.  I upgraded them into a 10 gallon tank about 4 months ago.  I also have a aquatic dwarf frog in my tank.  I got them all together and they seem to be happy together.  The frog will go after their tails every once in awhile but nothing too harmful I don't 'think.  My question is about one of my fish's tails.  I came home 3 days ago and I couldn't find one of my fish.  I picked up this fake coral that I have and she was stuck inside it.  It is shaped like a cave almost with a hole in the top of it so oxygen bubbles can come out.  I had to pull her out as gently as I could but she lost a few scales and on one side of her caudal fin was all red streaked and torn.  She has been eating everyday, not as active as usual, but the other goldfish has been by its side the whole time.  The other goldfish is swimming side by side her.  Yesterday I noticed that her tail was covered with a layer of white stuff (not fungus) and it was also over some areas where her scales are missing.  Today when I woke up, part of her tail that was torn, the remaining part that was covered with white stuff had fallen off.  She still seems to be doing okay, but she looks like she is in pain.  Is there anything I can do to help her?  It isn't fin rot, or at least I have done some research and I don't think it is.  I added some water conditioner after I pulled her out and a little bit of salt.  I raised the temp of my tank to about 77 degrees. Please let me know if there is something else I can do to help her.  Thanks!!! < The trauma to the goldfish has caused a bacterial infection. Treat with Nitrofuranace as per the directions on the package.-Chuck>

Floating Goldfish Hi, I have 2 comets and I've had them for about 4 months now, but every time after I feed them (once every 2 days) one of them bloats up and floats around just under the surface of the water and has bad balance and turns upside down. When it tries to swim deeper it just floats to the top again. This lasts for about a day. I'm quite worried about this. My other fish seems quite happy. Please help me. Thanks, Sarah < Buy sinking goldfish pellets and only feed them once a day and only enough food so that all of it is gone in two minutes.-Chuck>

Goldfish Getting Moved Around Howdo Mr. Fenner < Chuck with you this time.> Thanks for the reply and advice. The gold fish has always been in a 74 f (23/4 c) tank for over a year (since he was a pup so to speak) with the others and is happy as you like. I have tried gradual transition into another more tempered tank (for goldfish) and he will not take it. < What is your definition of "More Tempered".> He gets very upset, clamped fins and none movement as soon as  he is out of 'his' tank (even if the other is identical, actual water, substrate  and temp form his home tank). Bless the guy, also the other fish seem real happy, but it is their temp I guess. weird? They actually like him in there, they  also go odd when he isn't in the tank (quiet and a little mopey). Never had  trouble with the tank though. Maybe I am reading to much into my fish. I do  love the guys, hence asking yourselves about the care  of my friends. I told my wife that you said I should get a new tank and she was like 'oh god! not another one; (in'a sweet way) cuz she already thinks I worry and spend to much time around mine and other fish tehe! So I have an excuse now to  get another tank on good authority thank :-D#. Would it hurt the molly mum and/or babies plus the gupp, not to put salt in the tank? < Livebearers do appreciate some salt to their water. They will not die from lack of salt but may come down with a disease due to stress.> I am still learning about our little finned friends and am very proud that  I have been able to have happy fish that breed and have fry (I  know they would breed in a jam jar but give me my moment please, haha!) in my tank.  Proud dad! Any advice though is more then gratefully received in my learning  years. I have may books on fish keeping but I do feel that having  a source of (live) advice such as yourself/ves at the wet web is second to  none and I thank you for it Amy advice on the above and my current tank keeping would be much   appreciated Thanks Mr. Fenner (the tank man) Take care. Oz < Anytime fish get moved they become stressed and show some of the symptoms you describe. Some of these take care of themselves as the fish accumulates over time. Sometimes they need help in the way of medication. When fish are added or removed from a tank there is a change in the pecking order within the tank. Once again the fish are able to sort it out over time.-Chuck>

"Wen" will his head heal? I am a first tine fish owner only about three weeks. <Hey, we're all there at some point.> I bought a  used tank and equipment.   The top of my Oranda's head got stuck  in the bottom of the filter pipe .. (I now have a protective cap over it)  That part of his cap is all frayed now and torn. He seems pretty okay right now  but should be concerned that he may get some sort of problem from this and  will the cap repair itself and be as it once was? <It should heal very nicely provided the fish is in a clean, stable environment and does not feel constantly stressed, which is an easy goal to achieve with goldfish. Good luck, Mike G.> Thank you

Red and Black Fin Streaks Dear Crew, <Hello, Mike G with you this evening.> We have 2 goldfish which we have had for about 2.5 years and acquired them both when they were roughly 1 inch in length.  We went from a 3 gallon Eclipse system to a 6 gallon, then a 12 gallon and most recently to a 29 gallon Eclipse system which required a lot of "new" dechlorinated water.  The 2 goldfish are now between 5 & 7 inches in length.  There was some expected stress the first day or so after the introduction to the new tank and we saw one of the fish lose part of its fin.   <You didn't cycle?> They eventually settled in and have been feeding very well. After a few days to week, we noticed the water appearing a little cloudy (we had introduced new plastic tank "rocks" etc and didn't know if the cloudiness was some sort of residue).   <Probably a bacterial bloom, as the tank was uncycled when the fish were introduced.> It has been approximately 3 - 4 weeks in their new aquarium and the 2 goldfish seem happy with normal activity and eating habits but one has in the last day or so developed RED streaks in its fins (almost like red ink) and the OTHER fish has developed a few BLACK spots on its scales and BLACK streaks in its fins (especially near the edges).   <Hmm... Red sounds like a bacterial infection, black streaks in those places can also indicate "ammonia burns." Both are caused by poor water quality, which happens when a tank is not cycled. test your ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels.> There food has not changed and consists of a mixture of Nutrafin Goldfish flakes and goldfish floating pellets (I thought that using some pellet food would lessen the amount of uneaten flake food particles that would sink to the bottom and add to the protein/nitrate levels of the tank). Tomorrow, I plan to test the water and do an exchange.  Do you have any ideas as to the cause of these newly developed RED fin-streaks on one fish and the BLACK fin-streaks and small spots on the other?   <Bacteria/poor water quality/not cycling. Try a nice big water change and dose some MelaFix for the bacterial infection. Good luck. Mike G> Thanks very much! David
Red and Black Fin Streaks
Dear Mike, <That's me> Thanks so much for the response. <No problem. Glad I helped.> I tested the water today and the Ammonia level was high  (8) <Woah! 8 parts per million? That is absolutely deadly. 1ppm is considered high. 2 is considered massively high. But 8? Well, that is in a class of its own! And your fish only have red and black streaks! A testament to the hardiness of goldfish!> the nitrites were in a normal range as was the pH and hardness.  I did a 25 - 30 % water change and treated the  tank with AmmoLock 2. <A good call. Keep up with those water changes!> The fish are still doing relatively well;  one still has the red streaks in fins and the other still has the black near the fin tips. <It will take a while to fully disappear once conditions are corrected.> The one with black is now showing more black "spots" on scales and some black discoloration on one of the gills. <Ammonia is still burning it. Test again, change more water... > I will obtain some MelaFix.  Do you think I need to think about salt, copper or formalin at all? <No, right now I think you only need to worry about that ammonia level.> Can you please tell me what would have been the proper way to cycle the water in this case going from a 12 to 29 gallon tank?  I'm still very much a novice but learning quickly from my mistakes. <We were all once there! I am glad to see you taking the initiative to help your fish/learn form your mistakes. Okay, now for "Cycling 101" Ammonia is a compound toxic to aquatic life, and is also produced by all aquatic life through everyday bodily functions, such as respiration and the passing of feces. Decaying organic matter also produces Ammonia. Certain beneficial bacteria consume Ammonia and convert it to Nitrites in the process. When a tank is first set up, there are no substantial colonies of the said bacteria, so the Ammonia level quickly rises. As time goes by, these bacteria will build their populations up to colonies large enough to effectively convert all Ammonia to Nitrite on an as-produced basis. Nitrite, though much less toxic than Ammonia, is quite a deadly compound itself, and approximately 1ppm of Ammonia would convert to somewhere in the neighborhood of 2.5ppm Nitrite, so you could imagine it builds up rather quickly. The Nitrite is converted to Nitrate in much the same way as Ammonia into Nitrite, except a different species of bacteria is responsible for the said conversion. Nitrate is nowhere near as toxic as Ammonia, and pales in comparison to Nitrite. However, around 2.5ppm of Nitrite will convert to approximately 6ppm of Nitrate. So, you can see, as the cycle is going on, a lot of Nitrate is produced. Nitrate is the "end product" of the conversions, and there is no aerobic species of bacteria that consumes it. However, things like plant life and water changes will all help absorb Nitrates, emphasis being placed upon water changes. Best of luck, and keep me in the loop. Mike G.> Thanks a bunch! David
Goldfish with Red and Black Fin Streaks
Back again.  Now I'm REALLY bewildered. After my successful reduction of ammonia to 2 ppm, I did another 25 - 30% water exchange followed by a second 25 - 30% exchange to find that the next morning the ammonia level was back up to 4 ppm this morning.  Today, I did a 30% exchange this am and this pm, the ammonia level was again at 4 ppm.  I followed this with a 50 % water exchange because the fish are now starting to show some wear....much more black spots (burns?) and the smaller fish is now starting to suggest some encephalopathy, i.e. darting around and crashing into the sides of the tank etc.  The bewildering things is that after the 50% water exchange, I tested the water again and it was STILL at 4 ppm. What's going on here? Should or should I not be using the bacterial cultures such as Stability or StressZyme in an attempt to build the nitrifying bacterial populations? I would REALLY like any suggestions that you could give.  Otherwise, I will keep doing daily water exchanges until SOMETHING happens. Thanks, David <Try Bio Spira for an instant cycle. Expensive and hard to find, but it will work. Other than that, you need time and lots of water changes. Avoid all chemicals except dechlorinator. And keep the water changes going strong. 50% daily is not too much. Don><<The "Fix" did it... killed off the nitrifiers. RMF>>

Tattooed Goldfish Hello! <Hey, Mike G here> I came across your website regarding gold fish. I have an aquarium at home and my gold fish seems to have black tattoo like patches on its fins, around its gills and a few of them on its body. This is very strange and unlikely thing that has happened. <Actually, it is very common in goldfish.> I don't know what has caused these patches to form and appear and furthermore I don't know the cure for this. <No real cure, many goldfish will get these black patches (or lose them) as they mature. They may disappear as the fish ages, or they may not. In any case, there is no need to worry.> It would be a great help if you share your knowledge about gold fish. Thank you! Praerana

Bubble Eye with Burst Bubble I have a question fish related, if a bubble eye hurts his bubbles is there anything you can do to help them? What is the best way to keep bubble eye alive? < You can prevent an infection by keeping the water clean. It may heal up but I doubt it will re-inflate itself to its former state.-Chuck>

Lucretius the Goldfish - 06/10/2005 I write to you in desperation, after the loss of one Black moor and the  severe deterioration in condition of one Lionhead goldfish. We are still unsure of what caused the Blackmoor¹s death, although symptoms included a thin, white coating over one eye and what appeared to be the onset of white-spot. He died within 2 days of any of these symptoms (our local aquatic centre recommended treatment for fungal infection, which we duly did and to no avail). At first the Lionhead seemed to be healthy, although over the last week he has developed what seem to be symptoms of several illnesses. He has deep red patches over his rear and belly, and down his back, which look almost like the scales are thinning. This spread to his rear fins, so we suspected something like Finrot. He also has either white-spot or velvet, although treatment for both has failed. We regularly check the water quality, and found nitrite levels were too high and took measures to remedy this. Further, as the aquarium is only 3 weeks old, we are using a product called 'Cycle'. Now, however, despite optimum water conditions and medication, he has started floating up to the surface of the water whenever he stops swimming, making us suspect swimbladder issues. He is still keen to be fed (although we have stopped flaked food and tried the pea solution but seems in a terrible way and deeply miserable. We have added salts to the water also. I suppose the advice we need is whether Lucretius the Lionhead does indeed have several different diseases, or are all these symptoms indicative of one problem? If they are different illnesses, can treatments be prioritized according to how dangerous they are? Many thanks, Victoria <Hi, Victoria; thanks for your message, and please forgive the delay....  I hope Lucretius is showing some improvement by now.  If not, don't lose hope; goldfish are very resilient animals.  From your description, I would suspect that he is suffering from a bacterial septicemia - I have had best success treating this with Kanamycin sulfate ("Kanacyn", "Kanamycin", or "Spectrogram").  My next suggestion would be Oxytetracycline, if you cannot find Kanamycin sulfate.  If he does indeed have Ich or velvet, I fear that may need to take the back burner for treatment, but raising the salinity to a specific gravity of 1.002-1.003 could resolve this completely and help with the bacterial infection, as well.  Join us on our forums ( http://www.wetwebfotos.com/talk ) or search WWM to find out more about doing this.  As for the floating, it is most likely nutritional but could possibly be a sign of internal bacterial infection.  Keep going with peas and greens, and offer him live plants like Anacharis/elodea/Egeria to gnaw on at his leisure.  Don't feed him any pellets or flakes for now.  Please do consider joining us in our forums to keep us updated and get more advice, as well.  Wishing you and Lucretius well,  -Sabrina>
Chuck's Opinion on Lucretius the Sick Goldfish
I write to you in desperation, after the loss of one Black moor and the severe deterioration in condition of one Lionhead goldfish. We are still unsure of what caused the Blackmoor¹s death, although symptoms included a thin, white coating over one eye and what appeared to be the onset of white-spot. He died within 2 days of any of these symptoms (our local aquatic centre recommended treatment for fungal infection, which we duly did and to no avail). At first the Lionhead seemed to be healthy, although over the last week he has developed what seem to be symptoms of several illnesses. He has deep red patches over his rear and belly, and down his back, which look almost like the scales are thinning. This spread to his rear fins, so we suspected something like fin rot. He also has either white-spot or velvet, although treatment for both has failed. We regularly check the water quality, and found nitrite levels were too high and took measures to remedy this. Further, as the aquarium is only 3 weeks old, we are using a product called 'Cycle'. Now, however, despite optimum water conditions and medication, he has started floating up to the surface of the water whenever he stops swimming, making us suspect swim bladder issues. He is still keen to be fed (although we have stopped flaked food and tried the Å'pea¹ solution) but seems in a terrible way and deeply miserable. We have added salts to the water also. I suppose the advice we need is whether Lucretius the Lionhead does indeed have several different diseases, or are all these symptoms indicative of one problem? If they are different illnesses, can treatments be prioritized according to how dangerous they are? Many thanks, Victoria < With a new tank you have many different issues going on. As far as the tank cycling I would recommend a website for you to check out. Go to Marineland.com and go to Dr. Tim's Library and read an article titled 'The first 30 Days". This will give you a handle on the cycling issues. Elevated ammonia and nitrite levels can stress a fish and cause diseases and symptoms you described. I would recommend a 30% water change, vacuum the gravel and clean the filters. Check the ammonia and nitrite levels as both should be zero. The nitrates should be under 25 ppm. Now that the tank is clean we can go after the disease problems. You have many different things going on. The red areas are external bacterial attacks and should be treated with Nitrofuranace. The bloating is an internal bacterial infection and needs to be treated with Metronidazole. The white spots may be Ich and that is treated with Rid-Ich by Kordon. All of these can be used together. After a cure is achieved you can remove the medication using a good grade of activated carbon. When the medication is gone you will need to get the bacteria that breaks down the fish waste going again. I would recommend Bio-Spira by Marineland if you can find it. Watch for ammonia and nitrite spikes.-Chuck>

Goldfish-- treating dropsy  Hi there-I have read many of your articles and advice on how to treat dropsy-so here goes another! I am pretty certain one of my Orandas has dropsy. This fish is constantly battling swim bladder problems, but now his scales are sticking out too. <Not fun> I have 7 4-5" goldfish in a 55 gallon tank. <Crowded... by about double> One of the others has frequent swimming/floating problems as well. And now a third has decided to hide out at the bottom a lot. I'm starting to get worried! I guess my main question is-should I add Epsom salts to the entire tank, or should I separate out my guy with the dropsy and treat him alone?  <I would treat all... and switch out all dried foods... Not use them> I do weekly water/filtration changes. I even have two separate filters to keep the tank as clean as possible. Any help or recommendations are much appreciated. Thanks a lot-- Kari <There are folks who tout the use of various anti-microbials for such situations... What you really need is a larger system, and to switch out all dried food. Bob Fenner> 

Pucker Up Hello. I have a calico fantail. He was nibbling in an algae disk and now his mouth is in a permanent pucker. How did this happen and what can I do about it? The mouth opening is very small and the breathing seems a little labored.  Thank you, Shannon <He probably got a piece stuck in his mouth. After it soaks and softens he can easily clear it. Watch for any signs of infection, but I think he will be fine. Give him an extra water change to keep his water fresh while he heals. Don>

Is this normal, or will they all die? <No, but if you write to us in HTML any more, Marina and I may croak!> Hey WWM, I'm having an issue with my goldfishes! I had 12 goldfishes (11 small ones and 1 big one) in a 25G tank. <Yikes... too much!> One of my other goldfishes are eating up the other goldfishes tail.. I really don't understand why. <Happens... environmental stress mainly> And for a fact I know its not love!! Eventually my goldfish died with almost no tail! After that happened, 2 days after all the other goldfish started to act weird! Another one died by "Dropsy", but that disease weren't in the others! The other had red lines in the fins, and tails! They always stayed at the bottom.. and later on the fish that bites the tails, got infected too. They didn't have fin rot disease or anything. (also they were FINE, health wise). After three days 3 died, after that we spent all they cleaning the tank top to bottom, thinking that they're were parasite. That night 2 died (I was really, really disappointed, I loved them all) and not 5 are surviving, they are acting normal, but one of my long goldfish (which is Actually gold) as a big black spot on the head, and other part of the body... is this fish changing color or does it have fungus? <... not likely a fungus> Moving on to the other problem, another fish is now starting to bite off the Big ones tail.. I'm afraid that, the disease would start all over and kill them all. I separated that fish a day ago, but then again I see another fantail biting off the Big ones tail. I really don't want ANYTHING to happen to them! We have even treated them with medication! Please Help me before all 5 dies!!! Thanks WWM Yash <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwlivestkindex.htm scroll down to the section on Goldfish... Read about Systems, Disease... your system is overcrowded, insufficiently filtered... perhaps there are nutritional deficiencies here as well... Read, think, act. Bob Fenner> 

21 into 20 = Sick Fish (Goldfish) Hi, I have been reading all the fantastic answers that you guys give regarding goldfish. Please send me an answer also as I am really confused about the disease my black coloured goldfish is having. My tank size is 2 Ft by 1 Ft and I have 21 goldfishes in it. They get diet of peas, cucumber, pallets (soaked), Tubifex worms, tomato, bananas (once in 2 weeks) on rotation basis. I keep changing my tank water every week, around 25 to 30% of it. All of them are well except one black goldfish. The problem symptoms: 1)The fish sometime swims upside down. And has become pretty little lethargic. 2)I find that the fish has trouble moving some of the fins. And keeps on resting at the bottom or at the top of the tank near the surface of water. 3) Some scales are protruded and the body has become a little bit spongy. 4) Today I removed a white slimy substance from his body. The fish started showing good movements after that for a while. I have isolated the fish in another tank and have been giving him daily dosage of peas. After eating the fish would move around normally for sometime and then it would come back to its resting or upside down position. I have added aquarium salt (as per dosage listed, around one tablespoon) but this had very little help. I am really confused as to what could have happened to my fish as the symptoms are matching with lots of fish diseases but am unable to diagnose any specific one. Please suggest as to what should I do to cure my fish. Please send me a urgent reply as his condition is kind a serious. Thanks a lot in advance for your quick response. Regards, Sud. <First I have to be the bad guy. That this is just the first of many problems you are going to have unless you find new homes for most of your fish. Your tank is around 15 to 20 gallons and you have 21 goldfish in it. Each goldfish will need at least 20 gallons to live a full, healthy life. So pick your favorite PAIR and give the others away. Then plan on a bigger tank in the future. Better yet for this tank would be a school of White Clouds. Now, as to your sick fish. The protruding scales points to an internal infection. Best treated with medicated flake food. I would not remove the slime layer again. It is likely there was a difference in the pH between the two waters. The production of the slime is the fish's defense. Don> 
21 into 20 = Sick Fish (Goldfish) pt2
Hi, Thanks a lot for your suggestion. My fish have been floating on the surface and is tilted on one side. I will give him flake food as instructed by you. Please can you suggest the size of the tank I should have to accommodate all of the 21 goldfishes. They are all precious to me and I would prefer to go for a larger tank than giving them away. Thanking you again for your reply in advance. Regards, Sud. <I do understand your attachment to your fish. But there few tanks that can handle 21 goldfish for life. Goldfish are carp. Carp get big. Over 2 foot in the wild. Over a foot in captivity is common if the fish is given the room it needs to live to its full potential. At least 20 gallons per fish. That would work out to over 400 gallons with incredibly good filtration. An impressive tank if you can swing it. And no insult to your choice of species, but if I had such a tank I would not fill it with goldfish. I really think it is better to give great care to a few fish than inadequate care to many fish. I strongly suggest you upgrade to at least a 55 gallon (much bigger is much better) and find new homes for most of your fish. I think you will find their activity level and growth rate quite shocking when given enough room to do so. Don>

Wizard Got Whispered on His Top Fin Hi, I've had my Ryukin goldfish, Wizard, for about 7 months. He has a 5 gallon tank filtered with a carbon Whisper Internal Micro Filter by TOP FIN. Last night, he was trapped in the filter by his back fin. Which is now partially ragged and much shorter. I don't want him to get an infection and I don't know if the fins will grow back. My questions are: Will the fins grow back, how do I prevent infection, and should I get a new filter? Hope you can help! Thanks <He should be fine. Most of his fin will regrow but it may remain a little smaller than it was. Add a tbsp of aquarium salt to your 5 gallon tank to help prevent infection. Your filter should be OK, but your goldfish will need a much bigger tank and filter in time. Don>

Goldfish Down I have a regular goldfish I got at a local fair. There was two of them to begin with, but of course one was too sick to be helped, however it wasn't too late for this one. I've treated it and it lived without any major issues for the past 10 months or so. Until yesterday....yesterday I came to feed it and noticed that it was lying on it's side on the gravel, its body bent in half on the left side. It was breathing sporadically.  I thought it was going to die right then and there, but it is still alive...barely, but alive. The symptoms are the same. It slightly changes its position on the gravel from time to time, and rarely takes a breath..... Any idea what could be wrong? I put the food in yesterday, and my friend who was watching the aquarium for a while said that it floated up and tried to eat, but couldn't seem to manage it. I'm baffled. Thanks for any clues, Kate <He sounds pretty bad, not sure we can help. But many times when others watch our tanks they overfeed the fish. This can foul the water quickly. Try doing a 50% water change. If it seems to help do them daily for a few days. Good Luck. Don> 

Overstocked Goldfish Setup Have talked to countless pet stores and fish people. Have a 35 gallon tank occupied by, 1 large Plecostomus, 2 black moors - one adult, one small about 2 1/2 inches, one Lionhead and 2 Orandas.  <<Wow, that is FAR too many fishes for such a small system. You should have ONE of these fish in this tank (don't know how large the Plec is, but if it's as large as I've seen them get, then even one in a 35 is one too many).>> Large moor has what I am told is Popeye, swelling under one eye and the eye is cloudy.  <<Generally, when we see one eye affected it is more likely that it is an injury than a sign of systemic infection. Black moors and other fancy goldfishes with protuberant eyes are especially vulnerable, and I can imagine that with such a crowd it's even more likely that this fish was bumped and injured.>> Put him in hospital tank and treated with 2 different types of antibiotics.  <<Why two, what two, and what results?>> Then noticed the other fish in the tank were looking like they had tail/fin rot and were lying at the bottom of the tank. I put the moor back in original tank and treated with an antibiotic - Maracyn for 6 days.  <<You treated the ENTIRE tank with all fish? We always strongly recommend against this practice - only sick animals should be treated, and one should have an idea before treatment what is being treated, and why. You have likely disrupted an already heavily taxed system, and with no mention of filtration I can only advise that this may be an issue as well.>> The cloudy eye was slightly improved but still have the swelling and all other fish were still having problems and lethargic. Talked to pet store again, told me to do 50% water change every other day as well as treat with tetracycline.  <<Sweet Christ on a crutch - let's not try to diagnose the actual problem (system grossly overstocked, taxed, dirty fishes equals antibiotic?), let's just throw medication after medication on it. The water changes are very well-advised, but simply not enough. Filtration - is there? If so, what? Fish load, cut down SEVERELY, or get those animals larger digs - MUCH larger digs (this is the prevention bit). Lethargy can be caused by so many things, is there sufficient oxygen/carbon dioxide exchange happening here?>> I do the water change every other day then add the medication. NOW they all have Ick.  <<Oh GREAT. I bet you are EXTREMELY frustrated at this point!>> I am also adding aquarium salt and was told 1and 1/2 teaspoon per 10 gallons.  <<The salt can do a lot, but in those amounts..? Alright, Epsom salts for Popeye and constipation, sea or aquarium salt (really, ANY non-iodized salt is fine for this purpose, Kosher, etc.) is of great help in eradicating the Ich, but in that amount won't help. 1 Tablespoon/gallon for actual treatment, but I don't think that Pleco will like it very much at ALL.>> Any advice is greatly appreciated. Even the Pleco is itchy and acting lethargic. Thanks. <<First, you really need to address the root of the problem. That's very easy to identify - your system is far too crowded and the resulting pollution is weakening their already not-so-great immune systems. Thin the herd, my friend. Severely.  Next, the salt - can be used as a dip or in the system, for actual treatment use the amount I just gave you (forget the Epsom salts for now, not an issue here). Treat for at least a week. You may need to remove the Pleco for this bit, they generally are intolerant of salt, he can be dipped in a solution mixed to seawater gravity (1.025 on a hydrometer). Filtration needs to be addressed, I'm in the dark on your setup.  Generally, for goldfish systems I prefer a shallower gravel bed (so it is easily vacuumed), properly sized gravel (that's about 1/4" diameter average), and good biological and chemical filtration. This can range from a simple and very old-fashioned air-driven corner filter to a nice hang-on power filter, to a full-on canister filter (probably better for goldfishes, though a bit of work). Surface agitation no matter the means of filtration is exceedingly important - this is where the O2-CO2 exchange takes place. Bad exchange in action? You'll see the fish at the surface "gulping" air. Best of luck! Marina>>  

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

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

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