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FAQs About Goldfish Disease/Health 2

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

Related FAQsGoldfish Disease 1, Goldfish Disease 3, Goldfish Disease 4, Goldfish Disease 5, Goldfish Disease 6, Goldfish Disease 7, Goldfish Disease 8, Goldfish Disease 9, Goldfish Disease 10, Goldfish Disease 11, Goldfish Disease 12, Goldfish Disease 13, Goldfish Disease 14, Goldfish Disease 15, Goldfish Disease 16, Goldfish Disease 17, Goldfish Disease 18, Goldfish Disease 19, Goldfish Disease 20, Goldfish Disease 21, Goldfish 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 33, Goldfish Disease 34, Goldfish Disease 35, Goldfish Health 36, Goldfish Health 37, Goldfish Health 38, Goldfish Disease 39

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

Goldfish Disease by "Types", Causes:
Environmental 1, Environmental 2, Environmental 3, Environmental 4Environmental 5,  Environmental ,  (Absolutely the Biggest Category)
Floaty Bloaty Goldfish
Nutritional (Second Largest)
Eye Troubles
Lumps/Bumps/Growths (including idiopathic tumors)
Viral and Bacterial, Fungal Infectious
Parasitic: (Ich, Protozoans, Flukes, Worms, Crustacean/ Anchorworms/Lernaeids, ) Fish Lice (Argulus),
Goldfish Swim Bladder Problems
Anomalous (Misc., Injuries, etc.)

New Print and eBook on Amazon

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

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Black Moor eye missing I have read the posting about the black moor fish with no eyes but I still need to ask about it. I have a 125 gallon tank mainly small goldfish with three small black moors, one small Koi one Pleco two very small Bala sharks and two larger channel catfish (against my better judgment) <Agreed!> Total of 28 fish. I love my black moor fish and it is so responsive seems very smart! Today I went to feed the fish and I noticed one of the black moors eyes are missing! I am so upset! Are they prone to this happening or was this a predatory act? <Since their eyes are "popped" out of their head, it wouldn't take much for them to lose one, either to a predator, or even bumping into something.> I of course am wanting to blame it on the catfish but they aren't chasing anyone or anything like that. I am ready to flush them if they are responsible but I can't tell what happened! <Please don't consider anything as cruel as flushing a living creature.  Never mind the horrible death it could suffer, if it lived, it may grow into a very large predator that was not meant to survive in the lake or stream it winds up in, disturbing the ecological balance  around it.  Just return them to a LFS.> Please help me! Does this happen with black moors often? Should I separate the black moor or should I take out the catfish. Are they likely to attack others in the tank. Please help I am so upset I am rambling but I need some advice! <Goldfish with deformities like popped eyes, celestial eyes or bubble eyes are best kept together.  They are not as strong swimmers, nor can they see as well as "normal" goldfish.  He should be able to live out his life just fine w/one eye.> Thanks Janet <You're welcome--Pufferpunk>

Goldfish Buoyancy I have this cute and beautiful goldfish--don't know if an Oranda or Lionhead, but looks like one or the other.   <Well, either way, that won't affect treatment, at least.  All "fancy" goldfish stem from the same basic critter, just selectively bred for shape, etc.> I have been doctoring this little fish for over a month as he is not able to swim much topside up.  He can float on his back for a while and then struggles upright.  He looks healthy, maybe a little bloaty looking, but he has always been chubby.   <Probably ultimately a dietary issue.  Most goldfish don't get enough veggies in their diet.  Mine *always* used to get my asparagus when I was younger....  oh, how I *hated* asparagus....> I have dunked him in a high aquarium salt water bath, I have added Epsom salts, have used a Fungus Eliminator for Dropsy, but its scales are normal.   <The meds probably won't do anything for your goldfish's condition (if it is dietary), nor does it sound like dropsy.> I was treating him in about a gallon bowl as he seemed to be able to control himself better.  He has eaten the whole time, but now I got him his own 5 gal. aquarium as he seemed to be doing better, <Ahh, wonderful - goldfish are very messy fish (they poop a lot, essentially), and larger volumes of water are always recommended.  The larger, the better.> but is now floating on his back a lot.  When he goes down to eat headfirst, he kind of does a somersault and is on his back again.  I will admit, I have never tested ph et al--the 2 other goldfish he was with are fine.   <Woah - that's a *lot* of goldfish in a little space!  You might want to consider a larger aquarium to house them in, perhaps along the lines of 30 gallons or so.  Could make a nice display for the whole family in the living room, perhaps> He feeds from my hand and now lets me guide his body down to feed and hold him down and help him graze along the bottom.  He had not been pooping for the month even though he was eating all the time.   <!!  Yikes, very likely a dietary/constipation issue - almost certainly.  I'd recommend adding Epsom salt to the water, at a rate of one tablespoon per ten gallons of water (so one half tablespoon for his 5g tank) as this will help relieve pressure on him, help him pass any blockage in his gut.> Read to feed him peas and they seemed to do the trick.   <Peas will certainly help, yes.  Keep it up with 'em, use frozen (thawed) peas if possible, also romaine lettuce, unflavored sushi Nori (that's the seaweed wrapper on sushi, you can get it at Asian markets), blanched zucchini or cucumber, aquatic plants like Anacharis/elodea, as well.  Might want to try adult brine shrimp or daphnia, too, as these are very high in "roughage" content, will also (hopefully) help him pass any blockage.> He is just cuter than Nemo and I am so frustrated as to know what else to do for him.  Any advise???  Lag <Ultimately, a change in diet for him (and the other goldfish, as well) is in order, here.  Pelleted and other dry foods seem to cause these problems in goldfish.  I wouldn't cut flake and pelleted foods out of their diet entirely, just cut back some (or a lot) and give 'em lots of greens.  Wishing you well,  -Sabrina>

Black Moor, Less Tail Hi There, <Hello.  Sabrina here, today.> We have a two foot fish tank containing five goldfish. We have had our fish for around 10 months. Unfortunately our one and only black moor has fin/tail rot and is losing his beautiful long fins rapidly. <Ouch.> At this stage the other goldfish do not have any signs of fin rot. Our black moor lays face down tail up in the tank plants all day. We have been using Wardley fungus-Ade. <If I'm correct, this is a mix of Acriflavine and formalin, yes?  I think you'd be better off to try something with Kanamycin or Nitrofurazone, or a combination of the two; Aquatronics' "Kanacyn" and "Spectrogram" are effective choices for treating fin rot.> Will he regrow his fins? <With proper treatment and excellent water quality, he should.  Please be sure to test your water for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate, and do water changes if any of the levels are out of whack (anything above zero on ammonia or nitrite should be considered toxic).> Will he eventually die? <I won't lie, it is possible, yes.> Will the other fish catch it? <Again, possible, but with proper water quality (zero ammonia, zero nitrite, low nitrate), they should be okay.> We have a 4 year old son who adores his pets and l need to tell him why his fish is sick. <Yeowch.  Not fun, at all.  I adore my pets, too; I can understand him being upset.> Sorry for all the questions. <No apologies necessary at all - this is why we're here.> kind regards,  Melanie (Victoria, Australia} <Glad to be of service.  -Sabrina>

Goldfish, meet Filter. Hey A couple of days ago my fantail goldfish was partially sucked up in the filter (that filter was replaced so the incident would not happen to the other fish in the tank).   <Ouch!> A lot of his fins were sucked off and only the ridges are left of the tail, the small "threadlike" things that run through the tail and hold the webbing I think.   <The 'rays', yes.> He's been isolated and seems to be doing better, I know his tail will grow back but I'm not sure how long I need to keep him in isolation (I don't want the others to pick on him while he's still trying to recover).   <Until he is back to normal, or nearly so, I would keep him separate, for sure.> By reading some of the FAQs I learned that I should put in some medication to help him heal but I'm not sure what it is or how much.   <I have found Kanamycin and/or Nitrofurazone to be quite useful in treating fin rot, and preventing/eliminating bacterial infection.  Aquatronics manufactures these as "Kanacyn" (Kanamycin sulfate) and "Spectrogram" (Nitrofurazone/Kanamycin combo).> Also, I am at college and have to go home soon, I can't leave the fish in my dorm because there is no one to check in on them and all sorts of maintenance work has to be done to the room over the month long break, so I need to take them home with me.  What is the best way to transport all of them and especially the weak one?  Its a four and half hour drive, and I'm not quite sure the way to give them the most stress free ride.   <I have transported fish long-distance (four days' travel, at the longest) using Styrofoam crates lined with clean, unscented, watertight trash bags, filled partway with aquarium water (and treated tapwater as necessary), and aerated with battery-operated aerators.  For a (comparably) short drive such as yours, you could probably get by quite well with a large bucket with a battery-operated aerator.  A five gallon bucket filled halfway would do nicely; keep it covered so it'll be dark for the fish.  The sick fish, if still undergoing treatment, should be transported in a separate container.  Try to avoid bumps, don't drive like a maniac, etc., etc., and always wear your seatbelt ;) > Appreciate your advice,  Jessie Howard <Hope all goes well,  -Sabrina>

Goldfish With Acne? I have a large tank with simple goldfish. One (yearling) seems to have something like a "pimple" (raised, red, & white center) at the center of its dorsal fin where it meets the body exact place both sides. Last month we had a store bought feeder goldie that had the same thing. What is it? We could probably send a digi photo. <A photo would definitely help to get a sound idea of what this is.  Without, the best guess I can give you is that this may be Lymphocystis or fish pox, both viral conditions usually brought on by poor water quality.  A pic, along with a bit more info (How large is the tank?  How many fish?  What are your readings for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH?  Any other details?) will help us make a more accurate guess as to what this is, and how to treat it.  Wishing you well,  -Sabrina> Gelsie

Sick Oranda Help... I have had an my Oranda, Bubba, for about 2 months now. In the beginning he was fine, he had such an appetite and continuously swam around the tank. Within the last two weeks I had noticed he was staying in one corner of the tank, wedged in-between plants. He comes out to eat and eats a good portion but then returns back to the plants once all the food is gone. This past week I noticed his one eye has a is cloudy and protruding outward. <Sounds like a reaction to water quality issues.  What are your readings for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate?  If you don't have test kits, your fish store should be willing to test a sample of your water for you.  I would strongly recommend a hefty water change or two.  I would also add Epsom salt to the water, at a rate of one tablespoon per ten gallons; this will help relieve pressure on his eye.> I have done a water change, <Excellent.> check the PH daily and have been giving him Maracyn 2. I thought that he might have swimbladder or Bloat because of the way he positions himself in the tank at the top with the plants. He does not float to the top when he is swimming or gliding through the water. <If he's not floating to the top, I very much doubt he's got a problem with his swimbladder, or that he's bloated.  It is always a good idea, though, to be sure that you're feeding him plenty of good quality foods, not just flake food.  You might want to try feeding him frozen peas (thaw them, squeeze the inside out of the shell for him) and blanched zucchini.  This will help prevent him from getting bloated.> Is there any advice???? <Do please test your water for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate, be sure those are not out of whack, my first best guess is that his condition is related to water quality.  If this is the case, he may very well not need to be medicated.> Thank You  -Carly <Wishing you and Bubba well,  -Sabrina>

Black Moor Troubles I have a black moor and 3 Orandas.  I have noticed that the black moors eyes have suddenly clouded over and he is spending more time at the bottom of the tank i.e. resting on the bottom.  They have recently moved so have suffered a car drive and large water change.  Although I did use plenty of water conditioner which claims to remove chlorine, mineral ions and apply a stress coat it also contains vitamin B1.  Specifically-tetra AquaSafe.  When setting the tank back  up I also cleaned the small filter (in tap water, which I know I shouldn't do).  But it has been over a week since then and the symptoms have only just occurred. <I do not believe rinsing the filter in tapwater is the cause of this problem.  However, everything seems to be pointing to issues stemming from the tank cycling, even the timing of the symptoms.  It really would help to know more about the system, such as how large is it, is there anything other than the four goldfish living in it, and what are your water parameters (pH, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate)?  Moving the tank and setting it up basically as a new system probably killed off all the bacteria that control the nitrogen cycle, so chances are that you're experiencing spikes in ammonia and/or nitrite right now - either of which would cause the symptoms you describe.  Do some water changes right away, and be sure to test your water (or have your fish store test it for you).  Keep the ammonia and nitrite as close to zero as possible while the tank cycles - once the bacteria are reestablished, it should run smoothly.> The fish are not showing signs of chlorine stress such as flicking and darting around.  Only the black moor is affected <It is possible that the moor is a more sensitive fish than the Orandas.> and the fish do not pick on each other.  The white stuff looks sort of fluffy over the eye-could it be fungal? <Hmm, is this white stuff external?  Like, on top of the eye?  Or are the eyes just clouded?  Cloudy eyes are usually a result of water quality issues (such as the tank cycling, as above).  Hope all goes well,  -Sabrina> please help!  Laura

Goldfish Issues Hi, <Hello, Sabrina here, today> My black-bubble-eyed goldfish is acting very weird. He's floating around pretending to be dead or something. Now he's not eating either and now he's floating really weirdly he's just letting himself glide and he looks dead. WHAT'S WRONG!!!!!!!!! <This could very likely be related to a water quality problem; I strongly recommend you check your water for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate, or take a water sample to the fish store and have them test it for you.  Definitely do a major water change - be sure to use a dechlorinator and make sure the temperature of the new water is the same as the water in his tank.  Unfortunately, with so little information to go off, I can't really give you a definitive idea of what's wrong with your fish.  If you give us more information, we may be able to help you more.  Please tell us how big the goldfish's tank is, what other fish are in with him, any filtration used, how often/how much water you change, what kind of food he's eating, and any other details - this will help us be better able to help you.  Wishing you and your goldfish well,  -Sabrina>

Orandas, systems, troubles Can you help me? <I'll try!> you ask the local fish stores and they all say something different. <Of course> I think they just sell the fish but don't know what they are doing. <Nothing new> I have a 30 gal tank, it had 3 Orandas.
<Only large enough for 2 larger Orandas.>  I had to move the tank , I dechlorinated let tank cycled, used some of old water, checked PH and temp and all that good stuff, <I'm a little confused--did you move the tank somewhere else in your house, or another house?  Either way, I've moved a lot of tanks & never did all that.  Just put the fish in a bucket, drain tank, move tank, add DeChlor & fill w/same temp water.  What do you mean by "let the tank cycle"?> a few days later I noticed all 3 fish had white dots ,ICK, so I got ALL CURE , and followed instructions to the tee. <Are you sure you filled the tank w/the same temp water?  Also, how large water changes have you been doing?  If not very large, all that fresh water could have been a shock to them.  Since GF are heavy waste producers, 90% weekly water changes for goldfish is not considered too aggressive.  You have to keep up w/them, or you will shock the fish.> The fish started to lay at bottom hiding, after the treatment they small one died. <sorry> the white dots went away and now the 2 fish 1 lays at the bottom hiding the other lays on its side on top the tank. I thought he was dead except when I went to see him he opened his eyes and started swimming. I now put them in a 10gal hospital tank, after is 76, PH 7.6,  0 ammonia, all appears good. <I hate meds.  Unless you see some kind of fungus, antibacterial meds like Maracyn won't do anything but weaken their immune system.> I am now treating with Maracyn 2, the pet store said his floating could be a secondary infection. <Usually a sign of swim-bladder problems.  Does you goldfish eat any greens?  Zucchini, shelled peas, or algae wafers should help w/that.> So he gave me normal Maracyn but I saw no improvement with either fish.
<You are sure right about those LFS folks!  How much have you spent on meds already?!> after doing some research I found I should be using Maracyn 2 for there symptoms.
<stop w/the meds.  Put them back in the 30g tank, add salt, 1tbsp/5gal.> now the 1 Oranda is starting to get the white dots again. This poor fish he is still floating sometimes sideways but he is really trying to fight this he really has been through a lot but is hanging in there, Is there anything else I should do or not do... please help, I'm afraid I don't have much time. <Keep up w/water changes, add salt, feed them peas & keep an eye on ammonia & nitrites.> Thank you so much ...Scott <You're welcome & good luck--Pufferpunk>

Re: new fish owner Hello Gage, Thank you again for the info. <No problem, that's what we are here for.> It has been very helpful.  Sorry to hear your little fantail is sad hanging out by himself. <He will be ok, dang parasites.> Is Ich easily treated? <If you catch it soon enough and treat in a separate tank it is fairly simple.> I hope he gets to his real home soon. <Thanks.> It is amazing how much personality a goldfish has.  Marlin, the Oranda used to swim over every time I came near the tank.  He would follow me if I went to the other side.  He was so cute.  Nemo, (my kids named them obviously) was starting to go downhill.  He was still eating, but darting about and floating off kilter.  He was very spiky and started to lose scales and Marlin was spiky as well.  I am very sad for them because the lady at the pet store was very mean.  My husband said she took them and threw them in what looked like a trash can, bag and all.  Very sad <Ugh, that is awful, dropsy is hard to treat, but it is worth trying at least.> I will never go there again! <Yes, find a store dedicated to fish, or a local hobbyist group if you want to get really nerdy like us.> Sorry for the very sad story.  If I had been there I would have taken them back and kept them until it was time for a proper euthanasia.  Anyway, can't do anything about it now.  Sooooo, shake off the tears, and think happy thoughts. <Done :)> Our Pleco, Hypostomus plecostomus, suckermouthed catfish or common Pleco (lol, I would have never guessed I would have known these words a week ago) is doing well.  We bought a large piece of driftwood and broke off a little piece for his little tank. (after soaking it)  The driftwood had a weird name that sounded like moonapee.  Have you heard of this stuff and is it the right wood for him? <Glad to hear he is doing well.  The name of the wood does not sound familiar, so long as it is drift wood, dark and woody looking I am sure it is fine.  It may tint your water a slight yellow, but that is ok.> We were told it was but I want to double check. Now we have another new problem with another tank we purchased.  We thought we were buying a 35 G with a wet/dry biofilter, 200w heater, and dual lighting on a timer.  It was called a TropiQuarium 68 and said on the box 35 G, 132 L.  I am sure to your well trained eye you would have caught on that this is only a 19 G with a 100W heater. <Oh man, sounds like your fish keeping experience is off to a rocky start.  Hang in there, it does get better.  base x height x width divide by 231 (I think it is) should give you the capacity of the tank in gallons..  I am sure the formula is on this site somewhere, you can probably find it with the Google search.> We got it home and started set up.  The manual claimed it was only 19 G and IT IS only that.  So again we will be back to the pet store.  We have quite a few local pet stores so I am bound to find a decent one soon. <The bigger the tank the better.> I can't believe this all started because we bought the finding Nemo DVD and we always thought it would be nice to have fish.  Now we are becoming addicted, even with all the hassles and sad stuff. <That's how it works.> We will be keeping the 19 G if we can't get a better deal because it is better for Sucker Dory, the Pleco than the 5.5 G.  After I get the water conditions close to his tank and move him, would it still be alright to get a couple of little tropical fish to go with him or is that tank too small? <It will be fine for a while, but the Pleco is going to outgrow the tank, I just adopted two the other night, both around 10inches.> All I have for test kits right now are an ammonia kit and a ph kit.  Will get more as money returns into our hands. <I know your pain.  Nitrite is another good test kit to have, Nitrate is tolerable, but Nitrite is toxic.  Regular water changes will keep the nitrates down.> I read the separate test kits are better than the five in one strips.  Is this true? <I can't really say, I have never used the strips.> Right now Dory's tank has an ammonia level of 0.6, working to lower it, and a PH of 7.4, Temp at 68 or 20C.  I did read he will like it around 72 - 76, so I will slowly adjust it when he moves to his new home since the 5.5 G does not have a heater. <Sounds good, small water changes should get the ammonia down.> We bought him two more neat caves for his new tank so I hope he will like them.  I think that once we know what we are going to do with the 19G tank and if it is okay to add a couple of the little guys you mentioned, I will search for the little guys we want and learn everything we can about them, then purchase them at an actual aquarium outlet.  Testing the employees on their knowledge of course.  Well, Thank you very much again. <Sounds like a plan, just be careful of people who try to sell you every stinking product in the store.  I hate that. Tank, filter, heater, water dechlorinator, some decorations, and water changes are just about all you need for starters.  If you get into live plants you might get into fertilizers and fancy lights and CO2 and blah blah blah, the list goes on. You guys are amazing to take time out of your day to help us people with little knowledge. <Shh, don't tell my boss.  Let us know if you run into anything else.  Best Regards, Gage> Take care Tracy

Crazy Comet? Hi, I have a six inch gold fish-just a plain old "feeder" who grew very big. <Yeah, they certainly do that, given the chance!> We have had him about 7 years. He lives alone in his tank and for the past four days he has been swimming frantically around, night and day and not eating.  He's in normal swim position, not scraping up against anything and I don't see any marks, fungus, rot etc,- although he's going so fast it's hard to tell. <Definitely test your water for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and pH - sounds like some sort of irritation with the water.  Also, how big of a tank is he in?  If there's room enough, you might consider some pals for him, as these fish are much happier in groups.> What do you think could be wrong with him? <My first thought is that he's reacting to something wrong with the water/water quality.  Any ammonia or nitrite, or chlorine (do you use a dechlorinator?) or other toxin might cause this kind of activity.> Thanks for any help you can give- We don't want to lose Whoopi Goldfish! <Check your water, fix if necessary, definitely do a water change (couldn't hurt); hopefully it's something simple.  Wishing you and Whoopi well,  -Sabrina.>
Crazy Comet?  Take Two
Sabrina, Thanks for your prompt reply. <You bet!> I changed  three quarters of the water, added De Chlor and checked him more closely for any marks or clues- nothing has changed- still racing today and not eating. I gave him some lettuce,- nothing, not even a nibble. <Very concerning....  goldfish rarely pass up an opportunity to eat.> We are now going into the fifth day and I'm really worried. Could Clorox clean up I used in the bathtub be in the air and getting into the fish tank? Tank is in the bathroom. That's a stretch, but its all I can think of. <Not much of a stretch, at all; it could be the problem.  I'd do another large water change, test for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and pH to see if anything's out of whack.  Try offering him thawed frozen peas, with the shell removed - I've never seen a goldfish turn its nose up at that - or perhaps try frozen bloodworms, or something else tasty like that.> Top of the tank is covered, so I can't imagine that is what it is. I even changed the filter, it was pretty clean, though. <Definitely test your water for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and pH (or have your LFS test a sample of your water for you); make sure nothing's out of line.  Honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if the cleaner was the problem; spray or aerosol cleaners used near tanks can often cause problems like this.  Hope everything works out,  -Sabrina.> Goldfish color changes - normal? Hey. <Hey.> I have two small fish in a 40litre tank - a Shubunkin and a comet - and recently the comet's fins, which were originally entirely white, have started to get black edges right at the very tips. I am worried, as my flat mates and I think it is now spreading. What can I do? <Well, Sara, it's actually quite normal for goldfish to change color, though it usually goes white-orange-black instead of white straight to black.  Check your water for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and pH (or have your fish store test a sample of your water for you), but I'd bet that he's just fine.  It is possible that temperature, pH, feeding, or other factors may play a role in goldfishes' color changes, and really, there's not much (if anything at all) that can be done to prevent them from changing color.> We have followed instructions about feeding and use stress coat and stress zyme, according to the labels on the bottle - what else could be a factor? Thanks, Sara <Definitely keep an eye on him, and be diligent about water quality.  Watch for any signs of disease, etc., but again, this is likely a very normal and natural change in color.  Wishing you and your goldfishes well,  -Sabrina.>

Blinded goldfish? My orange Oranda gold fish is actually blind right now. I can't see his eyes anymore, when I tried to see his eyes all I see is blood clots. It's a really big one. Can't it be remove? Please help me.   <Can you describe this in further detail?  Is the blood clot on the outside of the eye, like the eye is covered up, or is it inside?  Also, very important, what are your readings for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and pH?  How large of a tank?  Any tankmates?> Is there any medication I can treat him so he may can't go blind with another eyes.   <Most importantly, test your water for the above things (or have your fish store test them for you), and be sure to do water changes to keep these in line.  As for medicating, without knowing what is ailing him, I can't really suggest something to treat with - please try to describe his condition in a bit more detail, or if you can email a picture of his problem, that'd be even better.> Thank you! How can I feed him? <Goldfish should be fed lots of greens - shelled peas, blanched zucchini or cucumber, water plants like Anacharis/elodea, even sushi Nori.  Too much flake or pelleted dry foods often causes gas problems in goldfish, so feeding these greens will help prevent that.  Please get back to us with more detail about your goldfish's problem, and we'll try to help.  Wishing you well,  -Sabrina.> Vy
Blinded goldfish? - II
Dear Sabrina! <Hello again, Vy> The blood clots is actually inside the eyes. It's look terrible................I'm afraid my orange Oranda is going to blind another eyes.  At first I saw it's look like a pop eye, I used Melafix is an antibacterial remedy for fresh aquarium fish.   <There is actually a lot of question as to how effective MelaFix is; I don't think I'd use it as a stand-alone remedy for anything other than mildly damaged fins, if even then, just for future reference.> But than I saw a little blood underneath the eyes appear for a week at least, than until last night I saw his eyes cover all blood .  I can't see his eyes anymore, I tried my best to have a good look at it. The blood was full cover the eyes. And the eyes is seem to disappear and look small now. <It sounds perhaps like the eyes were damaged from the pop-eye.  I'm not sure this is the case, but I don't know what else might cause this.  Did you test your water for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate?> I'm afraid it will happen to anther eyes. Do I have to separate him from the others? <I think it would be a very good idea to separate him from the others.  Put him in a quarantine tank, and add Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) to the water.  Use one tablespoon of Epsom salt per ten gallons of water.  You can find Epsom salt at the grocery store in the medicine aisle; it is used to relieve constipation in humans, and has excellent uses in aquaria for relieving pressure.  I think this might help your goldfish, especially if he had/has pop-eye.  If this does nothing for him, you might try a broad spectrum antibacterial medicine like Kanamycin (available at fish stores, Aquatronics sells it as "Kanacyn").  I'm not at all positive that either of these will help your fish, but I think it's worth a try.> Please let me know.  Thank you very much. Vy <I only hope we can help you out with this, Vy.  Let us know how it goes.  Wishing your fish a swift recovery,  -Sabrina.>

Goldfish W/Dropsy 11/21/03 Hi Hi, Pufferpunk here> my dad has about 5 fish. <What kinds are they & how big is the tank?> 1 of these fish has been bloated for the last month and a half or so.  at first we thought it was pregnant because it got fat mainly on 1 side before evening out. however because of the amount of time that it has been bloated we are not so sure. <Constipated?> recently the fish (which is quite plain with an reddish orange head and mainly golden scales) has been swimming upside down, belly towards the surface.  today it has suddenly gone more bloated and is almost (if not) as wide as it is long and there are large spaces between its scales in with there are some red lines (maybe cuts). <At 1st you described the fish to maybe having some swim bladder problems (upside-down), but w/the scales sticking out, it sounds like dropsy.  That disease is very hard to treat, once the fish has it.  You can try some of the meds recommended for this, (I believe Kanacyn is good), but it is best not to treat the whole tank, as you will mess with the biological balance of the tank.  If you have a separate tank, or even a large plastic container you could put a cheap sponge filter into, it would be better.  +Dropsy & swim bladder problems are usually contracted because of poor water conditions.  W/goldfish, the best way to keep them healthy is not to overstock (smaller fish, <3"/10g, larger fish >3", need at least 20g/fish).  Also, goldfish are huge waste producers & are best  kept healthy by 80-90% weekly water changes, even w/good filtration.   Another way to prevent swim bladder problems & keep their digestive tract healthy is to feed them shelled peas, zucchini, or algae wafers.> I do not know much about fish and have not found anything to help me on this site which I have found only today. any ideas about what it might be would be welcomed as would any ideas on what we can do. thanks - Sarah    <I hope this helps--Pufferpunk>

Sick Orandas <Hi, Pufferpunk here> Please! Help me..... I have an orange Oranda gold fish less than a year old. <I love Orandas!> Two days ago I found out that my gold fish has pop eye and very small blood spot in the eyes.   <Usually caused buy poor water conditions--90% weekly water changes for goldfish would not be considered too aggressive.> I went to the pet store and got the MELAFIX an antibacterial remedy, the pop eye seem gone already but the blood spot under the eyes is still there. I was just wondering is my gold fish is going to be okay, and will the blood spot be gone in several days. It that a sign of a disease? <I'm sure it's connected.  Continue treating w/Melafix, the stuff works wonders!> If yes, is there any treatment out there can help? Do I have to separate this fish with other fishes. If you have a cycled hospital tank, it's always best to separate from healthy fish.> I also heard a friend of my said my gold fish carried  this disease is called blood flagellates. If this is true. <Not to good w/disease names, sorry.> Today is 11/21/03 I found out the gold fish is blind in one eyes. <Shouldn't be a problem.  I have had several one-eyed fish in my life & they lived to a ripe old age.> Now is really hard for the fish to eat. Something is wrong with the eyes. Please help me what should I do. Is there any medicine I can put for my fish. I'm very scared. <I would continue w/ large water changes, Melafix & 1 tbsp salt/5gal.> Please write back for me ASAP. Thanks VY <I hope Your fish will be ok--Pufferpunk>

New Fish Owner Hello again, <Hi Tracy.> Thank you very much, Gage, for your info. <I know your pain, my Ich infested fantail is staring at me in quarantine as we speak, longing to move into the main tank.> We have decided to return the Orandas due to having signs of dropsy. <Eek!> They are still eating and pooping VERY well, but the scales are protruding. <Man, I have just the opposite problem, the doc did not tell me about that side effect.  Epsom salt, good for the Goldfish, good for the Gager> One of them has one gill area that looks quite red, is this normal?  The redness is underneath and the gills are not protruding.  Just for future reference I would like to know if this means something is wrong. <Not necessarily a problem, the gills should be red, as long as the other side matches.  Unless it is just the color pattern of the fish, my new one has a sideburn on one side.> We are going to keep the Pleco and sadly he has to live in the 5.5 gallon tank for a couple more weeks.  The 33 gallon has some missing parts and can't get it running. <Grr, that can be annoying.> The pet store is not being the most helpful so this will be the last time we deal with them. <I am lucky enough to have 3 LFSs, they all have their ups and downs.> So we will be getting a new tank in two weeks.  With the Orandas in a new home, the Pleco should be alright for a couple of weeks, right? Please say yes. <Yes, the temporary holding should be fine.> How often should I do water changes with just him and how often do I feed him algae wafers, peas, lettuce ...? <Water changes, 1/3 weekly, unless water quality problems demand more.  Wafers will be fine, depending upon the size of the Plec (they can turn into  giant fish) 1 wafer, 1/4 wafer, 1 tiny piece of a wafer daily.  It really depends on what he will consume.  Par boiled (too much food-TV) zucchini is excellent for the Plec, and the future goldies, hack up a bunch and keep it in the freezer.> We also found out they need driftwood, haven't found any so far but will search more stores tomorrow.  Is there anything else he needs for his diet to thrive? <depending upon the Plec, I would not say it is necessary, but he will really love you more with a piece of driftwood in there.> Is there any big name pet stores that are well known for quality products and fish or are we better off dealing with a business that deals solely with aquariums/fish? <Out here (West Coast) we have (dare I say) Petco, and PetSmart (used to drive a forklift and stock pet food for them... Aww those were the days).  Even with a big chain it really depends on the people they have working in the aquatics department.  The store I worked at had pretty smart folks heading up the aquatics department, yet the store a few towns over was terrible, but better now.  Elvis, my one side burned fantail is from PetSmart, they had what I wanted and the other stores did not.  Don't rush into buying your fish, check out all of your options, talk to the folks there, see what they can get for you, I love Panda Orandas, Perl scales are great, Ryukins, Lionheads, Ranchus, Red Cap Orandas, Pom Pom Orandas, Celestial Eye, Moors, the list goes on.  Take the time to find what you want, these fish can live 15+ years given good conditions.  Don't Rush.  I prefer stores that specialize in just fish, for the most part.> We will turn the 5.5 into a QT after we move our Pleco, and use it to check on the new fish we gradually purchase before adding them to the bigger tank. <Excellent idea!> We plan on a bigger QT later on.  I think I will use your ideas for stocking my 5.5 G for the 33G.  I think we are going to stay away from goldfish until we get a better grasp of what we are doing. <Oh, well then ignore the above.  You have all kinds of options for the 33gal.  Nothing too big though, no Oscars, Dempseys, Pacus, Terrors, Texas, Managuense, Arowana, uh... There are a lot of cute fish that get way too big for 30 gallons of water.  Tetras, Live Bearers, Dwarf Cichlids, another... the list goes on.  Keep researching, find what you want, what it requires and go for it!  You will love it, use our site, enter anything you are curious about into the Google search, guaranteed someone else has wondered the same thing.> Searching your FAQs and articles has been very helpful, as well as convincing us this could be a very rewarding hobby. <It's a blast.> Thanks again Tracy <Let us know how it goes, and if you have any questions.  Your Pleco is going to prefer warmer water than the goldfish, so a tropical freshwater tank is a great idea.  Best Regards, Gage>

Black moor, missing scale? Hi My black moor goldfish is about 4years old. It's tail has recently started to turn white and on each side of it there are white spots that look like the scales are being eaten away. I have attached two pics. of it. <I can't tell very well from the pictures, but the description sounds like a bacterial infection.> I had the water tested at a fish store and the ammonia is high. I did a 50% water change. <Great.  Please keep up with water changes, this is very urgent, especially if the fish has an infection.  Be sure to use a dechlorinator with your tapwater, and make sure the new water is the same temperature as the water in his tank.> I was wondering if this is what is wrong with my fish. Please help. <The high ammonia probably was what brought the illness on, but if he does have an infection, it will probably have to be treated with an antibiotic.  I'd recommend using Aquatronics "Kanacyn" (Kanamycin sulfate) or "Spectrogram" (Kanamycin sulfate and Nitrofurazone).> Julie <Wishing you and your fish well, Julie!  -Sabrina>

Goldfish Color Change My goldfish is a little over a year old and has started to turn black. On Friday he had black around his mouth and a black do ton his forehead. Now he has many black spots on his body and a large black spot ton his forehead.  His fins also have black stripes or streaks on them.  One is all the way black.  Is he sick?  I don't ever check the water and don't know how so if that's what I need to do please tell me how!  Thanks so much! ~Ashley~ <Hi Ashley, color changes in gold fish are perfectly normal.  Do these black spots look like they are blending in with his normal color pattern, or are they raised, or fuzzy, or anything weird like that?  Testing your water is always good.  Your local fish store will have test kits for Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate, and PH, those are the big ones.  Testing water is pretty simple, follow the directions on the test kit.  It usually involves filling  a test tube with tank water and squirting a few drops of the test solution into the water, cover, shake, and watch what color it turns, then compare that against the provided chart.  I wish I had a white lab coat to where when I do my water tests, it would make me feel like a mad scientist.  Most local fish stores will test your water for free, just bring in a sample.  -Gage>

My daughter received a black moor for her b-day  last week. <sounds like the fish came unexpected.  Is it living in a bowl?  Or in a nice 10g tank w/a filter?  Goldfish need lots of room, since they are high waste producers & can poison themselves w/their own waste.  Did you use dechlorinator?> He will come up and eat the flakes I give him but a few seconds later spits them back out, I tried changing foods to tiny pebble food, but he does the same thing, I'm very surprised that he's still alive, he is moving much more slowly. <Animals won't eat when feeling poorly.  This could be caused by poor water quality, or just stress from being in a new home.  Make sure you take out any uneaten food, as that will just add to the problem. You could try some of the tastier frozen or a higher quality goldfish food.  Shelled peas are good for them too.  Good water quality is necessary for all fish.> Please help <I hope this will--Pufferpunk>

Floaty Goldfish hi I bought 2 goldfish abt 2 months bk. They seem to be doing fine most of the time except that abt 10 days bk one of them was not looking too good. He was unable to stay at the bottom of the tank and was looking as if he was being pulled to the top of the tank. I fed him with soaked "Topfin" pellets that morning and he was behaving like this in the evening. He was all right by the next morn and I did not feed both of them that day. <Pretty common problem with fancy goldfish, check out our goldfish disease section for more information. http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshdisfaq2.htm  > Again we changed the water yesterday (we change about 90% or a complete change of water once every week) <I would not change more than 50%> and changed the position of the tank to a corner of a room (right beside the TV). They were fine at the feeding time but have been acting the same way since this morning. Does changing the tank position have anything to do with this? <I doubt it, but the noise from the TV could stress them a little.> we have a 2 gallon tank and the goldfish we have is Oranda I believe but am not sure of it. <Long term you are going to want about 10gallons of water per fish.  Orandas are the chubby ones with the cool growth on their head, and a fan tail.> They are small as compared to many other varieties of goldfish and have an orange cap kind of thing on their heads. <They will grow to about the size of a softball if given the opportunity.  White with an orange cap? probably a Red Cap Oranda.> I have read that some of the symptoms maybe of Air bladder disease and they llc stay throughout their life. is it true?? <Possibly> R they going to be like that all through?? <Possibly, but maybe not read through the goldfish disease FAQs for possible solutions.> How can I be so sure they have that disease? and is there any cure for it? Of late we have been feeding them once a day with either mashed peas or soaked pellets and sometimes when we feel they overate the prep day don't feed them at all the next day. Is this a good practice? <soaked pellets are a lot better than dry pellets, the peas are great to get the digestive track flowing in the right direction.  Goldfish are grazers, skipping  a day of food is not going to hurt them, but I would add some live plants for them to munch on when they feel the need, specifically Anacharis.> Pls let me know any further details that maybe necessary to keep the fish healthy and safe from diseases. <A bigger tank is a good place to start, it will not fix the swimming problems directly, but will make the water quality more stable and promote long term health.  Best Regards, Gage> thank you

Popeye the Oranda Please! Help me..... I have an orange Oranda gold fish less than a year old. Two days ago I found out that my gold fish has pop eye and very small blood spot in the eyes. <Uh oh> I went to the pet store and got the MELAFIX an antibacterial remedy, <was that Melafix and an antibacterial remedy?> the pop eye seem gone already but the blood spot under the eyes is still there. <Excellent progress, no more protruding eyeball right?> I was just wondering is my gold fish is going to be okay, and will the blood spot be gone in several days. It that a sign of a disease? <The healing process can take longer than a few days, especially the blood spot, it may be there for a while.> If yes, is there any treatment out there can help? Do I have to separate this fish with other fishes. I also heard a friend of my said my gold fish carried  this disease is called blood flagellates.  If this is true. <It is doubtful that your goldfish has blood flagellates, if he continues to have problems a separate quarantine tank is a good idea.  The best thing to do is keep the water quality good, weekly water changes.  The addition of some Epsom salt could help as well, check out our goldfish disease FAQs for more info. http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshdisfaq2.htm Best Regards, your fellow goldfish lover, Gage> Please write back for me ASAP. Thanks VY

Uhm, the *history* of algae control?! (and what to do with bloated goldfishes) Now, this is one I'd have never seen coming - a question about how algae has been controlled through the ages.  In my box is a question forwarded to WWM from Ms. Steele at FAMA, requesting information on the history of algae control. Google searches have yielded nothing. I have absolutely no clue whatsoever where to direct this fellow. <Wowzah... could be done... by reading the "history" of aquarium magazines, books... or being a REAL old-timer!> Do you know of any publications, articles, anything whatsoever to tell him? <Please send the query over to me... sigh... though I know naught> Thanks a million. While I'm writing, another thing I'd like to bring up.... Gage and I were talking a week or two ago about the proliferation of bloaty goldfish questions, and idly, he suggested someone should just write an article about common goldfish illnesses, so we don't have to type "Epsom salts" a million times. This struck me as a novel idea - and since *someone* ought to do it, and I'm bringing it up now, I figure that means I'm volunteering myself for the task. Would this be something that would be of use to WWM? <A very good idea. Back in the mid-80's I had the great pleasure of meeting a young fellow who worked with our fish shop (Wet Pets I) and who had a keen interest in goldfish, had investigated the propensity for especially roundish varieties (Ranchus, Lionheads et al.) to develop fatty degeneration, "gas bladder" problems (flipping over ultimately) and his postulations that much of this had to do with "dried food diets"... and some cures from keeping afflicted specimens in very shallow water, feeding them peas, other low fat and protein items... using Epsom...> Ahh.... back to answering the emails.... -Sabrina <And so it goes... BTW, how goes your scuba lessons? Bob Fenner>

Sick Goldfish Losing Scales Hi! My daughter has a goldfish that we  bought to replace her first one that passed away while we were out of town. "Goldie 2" as my daughter calls her, is sick. <No bueno, could be the same thing that got goldie 1 is still in the tank.> She floats with her tail down toward the bottom of the tank. She seems to be gulping instead of steady breathing. <Sounds like there may be some water quality issues involved.> She also has a patch of scales that are hanging off of her back. <Yuck, could be a bacterial infection> I'm concerned for her and the other fish that share the tank with her.  What could be the cause of this? What can I do to treat this, if at all? If we lose Goldie 2 my daughter's heart will be broken, again. Please help. Thank you for your time. <The best place to start when a problem arises is to test the water parameters.  PH, Ammonia, Nitrite, and Nitrate, your local store will probably test for you if you bring them a water sample.  Depending upon your water change regime, a water change is probably in order, I would go with 1/3 to 1/2 the tank volume, (goldfish are messy), dechlorinated water temperature adjusted to match the tank as close as possible, a little aquarium salt could not hurt either.  Tell us more about this scales falling off business, is it Fuzzy? Swollen? Red? Bloody? Pinecone shaped? Does it look like a and open wound like he was attacked?  Any chance you could include a picture?  I am leaning towards a broad spectrum antibiotic, but would not feel comfortable trying to give a diagnosis without more information.  Best of luck, Gage>

Lethargic Lionhead  Hello, I have a Lionhead goldfish approx. 1.5 to 2 yrs. old. I obtained this fish as well as three others in a VERY poorly cared for 10 gallon tank. I now have them in a 55 gallon. I run a whisper 60 filter. One 16 in air stone. a Powerhead for circulation. The tank is a community tank which also houses 10 tetras, an Algae eater, a Cory, 1 black moor, 2 fantail Gold fish, and this one Lionhead.  <Tropical fish and goldfish are usually a poor mix, as the tropicals prefer warmer water (78-82F, or in that neighborhood) and goldfish like it cooler (60-70F-ish).>  We change out the water approx. every three weeks.  <How much water do you change? I would do water changes more often, say, 15-20% weekly or every couple weeks>  I feed on average 2 times a day.  <You might want to cut back on feeding some, perhaps to just once a day, or less, depending upon the other fish, as well>  The tank temp is approx kept at 74-76 degrees. we have had this community up and running for approx 4 months. All has seemed very good until recently (in which the change of water went 1 week longer then normal) I started to notice the Large Lionhead was no longer its very friendly, greeting self. But rather very shy and evasive. It does seem to be eating, though not as much as usual. Mainly it spends most of its time on the bottom floor, usually in the cover of plants or in the corner. I have not noticed ANY unusual appearances than this. I thought possibly the fish was 'blocked up' and feed some small frozen peas and fresh lettuce to promote a movement and didn't get the hunger response I had hoped for. All other fish seem healthy and normal, though I have noticed at around this same time that the one Big Fantail has a slightly cloudy eye.... could the one instance of a week late in water change-out be the factor of possible nitrate toxicity?  <Likely>  now that the change out was completed as usual will the problems be relieved?  <Possibly. Test your water for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and pH, and see if everything checks out okay.>  what would be my next steps?  <If something shows up in the tests, do water changes to fix it; if everything's good, consider adding Epsom salts to the water at a rate of 1 to 2 tablespoon per ten gallons.>  I have also noticed that the Live plants in this tank are not a green as when first planted. they seem to be growing and elongating but are showing a leaf necrosis that is affecting the outer tips and sometimes the centers of the leaf. I am a field crop agronomist and see a lot of deficiencies and their symptoms in terrestrial plants but am quite ignorant to aquatic any suggestions. I have used a 0-0-3 fertilizer with little or no results.....?  <Sounds to me like iron deficiency (the browning). There are a lot of aquarium fertilizers on the market - look for one very high in iron and dose as per instructions. Although the browned parts won't re-grow, you shouldn't see more spots form.>  Thank you for any help you may give me. Sincerely, Harold Giddley  <Hope all goes well with your lionheaded pal. -Sabrina> 
Lethargic Lionhead - additional info 
Hello again I wanted to correct some of my fish info which I submitted about my tank community the fish in which I called fantails are not at all, I am rather new to the goldfish world so please forgive me, I have 1 Lionhead,1 PomPom, 1 Black Moor, and one Telescoped eyed amongst the other fish I had detailed. I was not aware of the exact and awesome varieties of these fish we all just call 'goldfish'.  <Truly a wide variety of cultivated strains. I can never keep straight which is what! :) >  Thank you again for you help and understanding.  <Of course. Wishing you well, -Sabrina> 

Upside-Down Goldfish 11/02/03  Hello!  <Hi, Pufferpunk here>  My fantail goldfish is swimming upside down. I thought at first that it was dead but it is still alive but acts like it is dying. It swims normal for a minute then goes upside down again. Please help!!!  <You're goldfish is having swim bladder problems. The swim bladder helps keep a fish upright. Try feeding it a strict diet of shelled fresh/frozen (thawed) peas until it's better & then 2x/week after that. Make sure you soak all dried foods you feed it in the future. Check your water parameters. A goldfish needs lots of room. 10gal/inch. They produce a lot of wastes. The best way to keep a goldfish healthy is to do 90% weekly water changes.>  Mandy  <I hope this helps--Pufferpunk> 

Goldfish problems Hello, I have a Oranda gold fish, Pleco and a black moor.  I just recently moved an took the fish which I have had for about 6 months now.  I believe I stressed them in the move, because now, the Oranda sits on the bottom and is extremely skittish and has some swelling in his abdomen.  I think this might be dropsy.   <Are the scales sticking out, pinecone fashion?  If not, the fish may be simply bloated.  Try adding Epsom salts to the water (1 to 2 tablespoons per ten gallons) and feed very sparingly with things like brine shrimp or daphnia with high roughage content.> The black moor has white spots that resemble Ich and both fish are rather lethargic. <That certainly doesn't sound good.> I am treating with Maracyn Two and Maracide.   <If the scales on the Oranda are not sticking out like a pinecone, skip the Maracyn two completely.  As for treating the Ich, please read this article to help you out:   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwich.htm .> Should I raise the water temperature and do partial water changes in addition to what I am doing now?   <I would, absolutely, yes.> Nitrate levels are 0, nitrite levels are 0, hardness of the water is 75ppm, alkalinity is 80ppm and pH is 6.8?   <All sounds good - but do be certain to check ammonia, make sure that it's 0 as well.  Also, how big is the tank?> any other suggestions would be great.  Thank you so much.  Sarah <Do please read that article on Ich - it'll really help you get a handle on what's going on.  Feel free to ask any further questions, as well.  Wishing your fish a swift recovery,  -Sabrina.>

Goldfish with dropsy Hi, My name is Carson. <Hi Carson, Sabrina with you tonight - uh, make that this morning.... getting sleepy.> I have a goldfish who is very bloated and scales are sticking out. I think it could be dropsy, <If the scales are sticking out, pinecone fashion, I think there is little doubt - very likely dropsy, indeed.> but He just stays at the bottom of the tank in the corner and does not move. He will only move when I put the net in, but then he just falls back to the bottom. It's like he has no strength. <At this point, best not to stress him; don't force him to move.> He also is missing some scales though. I don't know if this is goes with the symptoms of dropsy, but I would really appreciate it if you could answer. <This does sound consistent with dropsy.> Is he suffering? <That's an especially tough question - I am not in contact with the fish, am not seeing what he's going through, how he's acting; only you can really make that determination.> and what should I do? <Unfortunately, dropsy is very difficult to fix; I'd recommend treating with erythromycin, preferably in medicated food, and do some serious water changes as well.  More treatment info can be found here:  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/PondSubWebIndex/pdfshdisart.htm  scroll down, you'll find it under the heading, well, "DROPSY".  Wishing you and your goldfish well,  -Sabrina>

Goldfish with Missing Mouth Hi I have 2 goldfish one a bit larger than the other and both are fan tails in a 10 gallon tank recently I noticed the smaller one was missing its lower mouth and would like to know why? and what is going on they have been together for a while now and all of a sudden the one's mouth is gone what should I do? <Hmmm... Well, goldfish are not known for their amazing jaw strength, so I do not think it would have been an attack from the other fish, but I would not rule it out either.  Have there been any other signs of aggression?  Is there an open fleshy wound, or is it just missing?  Is it possible that it was a deformity that was overlooked at first?  Any other pieces of the fish deteriorating?  Is he still trying to eat? If it heals I would be willing to bet he figures out a way to eat and survive.  You should test your water also just to be sure that it is in good shape, Ph, Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate.  If you have a picture to send a long that would be great too.  Best Regards, Gage Harford.>

Color changing goldfish Howdy all, <Hello.  Sabrina today.> I have enjoyed the site for over 8 months now.   <Good to hear!> Anyways my question: I have a 40 gallon tank with 5 gold fish (I know very messy fish and I do regular weekly water changes).  I have had all of these gold fish since they were the 7 cent feeder size and now are well over 5 inches and more.  I have one that has been changing color to all white (smallest fish at 3 inches) while 3 others are some where in between white and orange (medium between 3 and 5 inches) and the largest of all is a bright deep orange (closer to 7 inches).  I was wondering if this is normal or is this due to nutrition?   <Absolutely normal.  Might possibly be due to pH, nutrition, temperature....  In any case, perfectly normal, and no cause for concern.> The white fish also has one cloudy eye but eats regularly.  Water temp is 78 degrees <Woah!  I assume the goldfish are the only fish in the tank??  Drop that temperature!  Somewhere in the neighborhood of 68 degrees Fahrenheit is reasonable for goldfish - drop it a couple degrees a day until you're somewhere down there.> and water quality is 0/0/0 across the board. <Great.> Your help is always appreciated, Vince <Do please also make use of the goldfish FAQs for more info.  -Sabrina>

Popeye the (orange) black moor Hi There! <Hi, Teri!  Sabrina here this gorgeous afternoon> I have a few questions for ya'll. I have a Black Moor (about 3 years, 6 inches), a Blue Scale Oranda (2 years 8 inches), a Red and White Oranda? (Not sure what type it is, it was in a tank with BS Orandas when we bought it but it is all white with some orangish/red on top, about 1 year 6 inches) <Likely a redcap Oranda> and a Plecostomus (3 years, 10 inches) and a small Red Platy (1 month 1 1/2 to 2 inches). We have a nice sized 30 gallon tank (I know we are a bit over stocked, in the process of looking for a larger tank to accommodate everyone.) <Yes, and great to hear about the upgrade - which will be much fun, I'm sure!> and the Red Platy seems to be doing great in the colder water. <It would do even better in a warmer tank.> We use an AquaTech 20 to 40 gallon filter and use a bubble wall but no under gravel filter. I test the water weekly, change 20% of the water monthly, <It might be a good idea to increase the frequency of your water changes - maybe 20% twice monthly.> clean the filter weekly and replace it with a new one once a month. We feed them dry floating pond pellets for the Orandas and the Moor, <A constant diet of dry foods may cause problems for the goldfish; please try to incorporate more veggie matter into their diet (blanched zucchini, prepared frozen veggie fish foods, etc.) and plants like Anacharis/elodea.> and algae disks for the Plecostomus (since algae seems not to grow in my tank), <blanched zucchini will be an excellent food for this guy, too, along with the occasional frozen meaty food.  It'd also be a good idea to get a piece of driftwood or bogwood in there for him to nibble on.> and very small dry tropical pellets for the Red Platy, and for a nice treat every now and then a slice cucumber. <Cucumber's excellent, too.  Do please blanch this before using (drop it into a pot of boiling water very shortly, let it cool).  You can blanch a whole sliced up zucchini or cucumber, then freeze the slices for later use.> Now for the questions.  My Black Moor has one eye that is larger then the other. It was like this when we purchased it about 3 years ago. It wasn't as noticeable as it has gotten recently. In fact, in the last 2 months it has become A LOT larger then the other eye. I gather from the site that he might have Pop eye. Is it possible that they can live 3 years with this problem, or is that the problem? <This does sound like pop eye.  Usually, this is an indicator of water quality issues.  Please check your ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate, and do water changes to bring anything too high back down.  You may want to consider treating him with Epsom salts at a rate of 1-2 tablespoons per ten gallons of water - best to do this in a hospital tank.> Also he has remained very active and still has a good appetite. He has started to change colors (from all black to clear tail fins on the ends that fade to orange and then back to black closer to the body, and his tummy has turned completely orange. It is rather pretty this way, but it's a Black Moor not a Changing Color Moor, so something is wrong.) <This is perfectly normal, no need to worry.  Color change in goldfish may possibly be attributable to temperature changes, pH changes, or maybe even age.  It is certainly not unheard of for black moors to gain some gold color.> so I'm assuming I need to change his diet also?   <I would, but only to get them onto a better diet of veggie stuff for health reasons; this won't affect coloration.> Secondly, I tried to introduce live plants about a month back and I woke up the other morning and the fish seemed to have had a night on the town with my plant. It was a very lush Ivy (tons of leaves) <I trust you mean 'Ivy' descriptively, and that this was an aquatic plant, not really an ivy?> that by the morning had nothing but 2 leaves, a stem and a few roots. My fish had devoured the whole plant. Is that a bad thing? <As long as this was an aquatic plant, nope, no problemo.  It's a very good idea for them to have a bit of aquatic plants in their diet; as above, Anacharis/elodea will be the cheapest, best bet to feed them.  If you want plants in the tank for aesthetic purposes, though, there are a few plants that the goldfish *won't* eat - Anubias sp., java fern, and java moss are all very easy to grow and will be safe from your little herbivores.> They haven't seemed to act odd, but that was a lot of plant to eat. <It was probably yummy ;) > Should I cut back on their food for a few days? Or try and feed them more so they don't starve? I know it's an odd question but I'm afraid of over feed.   <Just modify their diet to include more green goodies.> Third, with this many fish should I look into getting an under gravel filter or is it just an optional thing? <I wouldn't.  But I'm rather opinionated on this.  I usually don't recommend them for the reason that it's very difficult to keep the space under the filter plates free of debris, which will rot and cause nitrate problems.  Some folks use and love UGFs, though.> What should I be doing to help keep the rocks clean? I have a gravel vacuum that I use once every 6 or 7 months but other then that I don't do anything to the rocks. <Oh my....  vacuum the gravel more like monthly....  Better yet, increase your 20% water changes to be twice a month, and do part of the gravel on each water change.  I would imagine you currently have a rather high amount of nitrate in the tank - possibly contributing to the pop eye in the moor.> I was told you should never disturb/clean the rocks so what good does a under gravel filter do? <Undergravel filters turn your entire substrate into biological filter media.  They can be really Good Things, but again, in your case especially, I wouldn't recommend it.  And whoever told you not to clean your gravel.... well, I don't know what they were smoking, but I don't want any.> Also are my water changing techniques alright or should I be changing more then 20% every month? <As above.> Why wont algae grow? We leave the light on during the day, but there isn't in any natural daylight. I figured that the artificial light would create enough light to grow enough for my Plecostomus, but he doesn't seem to be getting any bigger. Lack of algae or to small of a tank?   <The goldfish and the Plec are probably eating it before it has a chance to be seen.  Again, more veggies in their diet....> Any help would be great and I appreciate it. Love the site, very helpful!  Teri <Thanks, Teri!  Hope all goes well with your tank, and I wish your moor a speedy recovery!  -Sabrina>

Dying goldfish revisited Hi all.     <Hi again, Todd!> As you stated before to check the water ph and so on, I did so and the water I brought into the pet store from my 300 gallon goldfish tank in my garage, had a PH level of way over 8 they told me.   <Did they test for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate?  What were the results of those?  Just so you have some figures to go off of, ammonia and nitrite should be zero (anything above zero is toxic), nitrate should be ideally as close to zero as possible.> They said this was very high. I just phoned back today and asked what the pH level in the water they had at the store is, and they  told me around 7.2  which they told me is a great difference than my over 8 level.    <Yeah, it is a pretty big difference.  That is possibly a contributor to your problems, but I don't think it's enough in and of itself to cause your goldfish to die - goldfish are pretty tough.> Now I don't know why I didn't do the same thing that I did for my guppies when I brought them home and float the fish for 30 minutes then add a cup  of water from the tank they are going into,  but  I didn't do that.   Do you think that me forgetting to add some water from the tank they are going into and let it sit for 30 minutes to adjust them to the new ph level would kill them off, one by one over a period of 3 weeks or more later???   <No, not in and of itself.  I do, however, think that a drastic pH change might possibly weaken the fish and open the door for disease.> Is it that important to add some water from the tank they are going into, and how long is the best to do this???    <Well, yes, but mostly for temperature reasons, etc.  It's pretty difficult, even doing this, to acclimate a fish to a majorly different pH in such a short time.  Fortunately, at least, going up in pH is less difficult for the fish than going down.> Is it possible for these  fish to live for 3 weeks after this so called  SHOCK  and then die. <As above - I really don't think the pH difference is the ultimate cause of death.  If it was enough of a difference to weaken the fish, that'd leave a toehold for disease, which definitely would cause problems.> Some fish died 2 days after and some 3 weeks later.  The only thing I could see that might be abnormal about the dead goldfish is a black area on the bottom by the stomach area.  This might be nothing but other than that the fish  don't look to have any other things different on them when they die.   <Well, it sure doesn't sound normal - and anything abnormal is cause for suspicion.  This could definitely be a sign of stress, perhaps illness.  Before they die, do they exhibit any symptoms?  Clamped fins, heavy breathing?  Anything else?> Again  I ask, by not adding that cup or so of water they are going into in my tank so important to kill them off 3 weeks later.  I just figured any shock like this would kill them in a day or 2.  Is the switch from ph 7.2 to over 8 ph  and drastic change for the goldfish???    <Yes, but again, I don't think that in and of itself is what killed them.  I think there's something else at play.  I'm still inclined to think that it is/was just the nitrogen cycle kicking in, and the fish were harmed by ammonia/nitrite as those values spiked.  Are you still losing fish?  If not, when was the last death?> Thanks again, Todd from Ontario <Sure thing.  Wishing you well,  -Sabrina>

... And They All Lived Happily Ever After .... I'd just like to  end this 'story' with the final sequel!  Hannibal is now returned to his mates! After a couple of weeks in isolation the other fish had time to recover, the tank was moved round so they also had time to make new territories .... and Hannibal looking rather sad and dejected was given one more chance!!!  Now he's the new comer again with no territory! A nip at the black moor was answered with a head butt!!!! ha ha .... he's been fine!!! looked a little stunned by his loss of power and territory, but I now have to rename him ... Hannibal the coward!!! The End! <Ahh....  A happy ending.> thanks for your help.....your advice has been really helpful    Cathy <Glad to be of service.  -Sabrina >

Wounded Goldfish >Hi to everyone at WWM, >>Hello Erica, Marina tonight. >I have a question regarding one of my brother's goldfish - it was basically in the cross-fire when our pet cat decided she was hungry enough to break into the aquarium (literally). Anyway we lost 4 out of the 5 goldfish in the tank and the smallest survived with a cut (quite large) on its side, I don't know if this was from glass or the cat. >>Uh oh.. If from the glass, though bad, nowhere nearly as bad as if from the cat.  Cats are notorious for harboring some awful bacteria, and giving terrible infections (ever hear of "cat scratch fever"?  It is not a myth). >The fish has since spent pretty much all of its time on the bottom of the tank and seems to only swim when absolutely forced to and when it does swim it doesn't swim well. I have been treating the tank with Melafix to try and repair the wound (as I thought the fish may have been in pain thus resulting in the terrible swimming form) and the wound has now almost healed (about a week has gone by) however, the fish is still displaying the same behavior. >>Melafix is not a good treatment, I'm afraid the fish has healed *despite* the Melafix, not because of it.  I suggest strongly switching to Spectrogram or Maracyn. >His fins look fine and his body seems ok but his head is emaciated - I can see his brain and eye cavities through the scales. >>Oh my, this sounds really terrible. >I am really at a loss as to what this is and how to treat it. I read from another post that another woman was having a similar problem and that it may be parasite related but I just wanted to check with you guys again that that would be the best course of action. >>You clearly have a precursor incident, I would prefer you first change antibiotics, treat thusly for a minimum of one week, preferable two (assuming the fish makes it that far).  I believe the infection may have become systemic, even though the wound has healed on the outside.  The only other course of action I could suggest, which would be too extreme, in my honest opinion, would be to begin a course of antibiotic injections.  Expensive and traumatic. >The fish is still trying to eat but it looks like it's a very laborious process and he seems to suffer from rapid breathing when he is trying to eat the food.  Any help you could give me regarding this would be very much appreciated as none of us want to see the fish go.  Oh and I also wanted to thank you on a great site - I started running a marine tank recently and the info you guys provide has helped so so much.  Erica >>If the fish is trying to eat, then give it freshly killed live foods, such as mosquito larvae and daphnia.  Frozen blood and black worms could be helpful as well, but be careful with these, as they tend to cause constipation in short bodied goldies.  If you can get the fish eating (do keep a very close eye on water quality throughout this ordeal, make copious--daily--water changes to ensure best) then you may be able to save him yet.  Best of luck, Marina

Strange black spots on my goldfish I have a goldfish and it had gotten the Ich. We treated it and it went away, now it has strange black markings on its dorsal fin, side fins and body and around its eyes. Can you tell me what it could possibly be? <do you have a picture of these markings or of the fish... It would help me identify what the problem is. Thanks, IanB>

Growth on the head of redcap Oranda I have a 60 gallon tank with 6 large fish. Outside power filter, I change about 10  gallons of water a week. <Great!  What are your current ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and pH readings?> Two of the fish are red head Oranda. Something that looked like a bump the size of a green pea started growing on top of the red head. It is getting larger.   Can you describe this growth in more detail?  What color is it?  Is it like an open sore?  Is it like a fluffy cotton bit?  Like a chunk of cauliflower?  There are so many possibilities at this point, I can't even give you a rough direction.  Maybe look into Lymphocystis, Columnaris, fungus, piscine TB/Mycobacteriosis, body ulcers, or maybe even it's just a wound.  Please describe, so we can be better able to diagnose/help you.> The water in my tank is starting to be green. I removed the live green plants because the fish were eating them. <It's actually good for the goldfish to have some plants (Anacharis/elodea are best, IMO) to nibble on.  As for the green water, this is an algae problem.  Possibly indicative of nitrates and/or phosphates in the water, which then serve as nutrients to aid algae growth.  Best ways to combat this are live plants (ones that your goldfish *won't* eat include java fern, java moss, and Anubias sp.), more thorough/more often vacuuming of the gravel (if nitrates are present), and possibly making use of products that absorb phosphates, or using RO/DI water.  Reducing the number of hours the lights are on the tank will help, and perhaps setting them on a timer so that the lights are off for an hour or two at midday (tank time) will also help.  Failing all that, there *are* chemical means available to rid your tank of algae, but please only use them as a last resort.> Please help. The fish are 2 black moors, 2 fantail goldfish and 2 read head Oranda also a large algae eater.  Doug <Do please get back to us, describe the oranda's lump a bit more for us, and we'll do our best to help.  -Sabrina>

Bloated fantail Hi guys <Hi, Shelley, Sabrina here tonight> Thanks for being there to answer our questions. <You're welcome, of course!  We love being able to help.> My fantail Co (yes I have names for them all: Mo, Co and Calico) has gradually become bloated underneath and to the sides, but more on one side than the other.  The skin appears paler and stretched.  This has been happening for a month or so.  Just the last week he has taken to "swimming" upside down at the surface of the tank.  I usually feed dry flakes, with frozen bloodworms once a week.  Co is greediest of all, and chief beggar of food.  I assume from reading your other website answers today (I only found your site today) <Well hey, then, welcome!  Enjoy!> that he has become constipated from eating the dry food and this has resulted in a swim bladder problem.   <Sounds quite possible.> I will definitely change their food when they are back on it. <Great!  More greens, less dry stuff.> I read another website, and stopped feeding them all four days ago, and fed some green peas (but they don't seem keen on them, and they took days to disappear.)   <Try frozen peas (thaw them) and squeeze the 'guts' of the pea out of the shell (discard the shell), they might be more apt to eat them if you prepare them so (don't know how/what you used before).  Failing that, try canned peas (try to get 'em without salt, or if not, then rinse thoroughly) and again, squeeze the 'guts' out of the shell.  I'd be impressed if a goldfish refused that!  You can try brine shrimp (frozen or live), as well, as that may help some, too.  And please do not leave the peas in for more than a few hours - if they don't eat 'em by then, assume they won't be eaten.> Also I don't know whether Co ate any or whether it was the others.  I also checked water quality etc so no issues there. <Ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH?> Co seems to be a little thinner, and "floating" less then he was, but I'm worried about the other fish (who now also haven't been fed for 4 days).   <They're probably fine.  Try the brine shrimp if the peas fail again, and they'll probably all accept that quite readily.> Do I need to set up a QT tank to isolate Co?  All I have is an old goldfish bowl, which doesn't have any filtration, aeration etc - would this do?  If I do separate him, should I add Epsom salts or anything else?  How long should he be without food, if he stays swelled up? <If you can isolate him yes, but he'd need aeration.  Even a small-ish Rubbermaid container or bucket (or the fish bowl, if the goldfish isn't too big) would do the trick in a pinch, and an inexpensive aerator will be an invaluable device if you ever have to quarantine again, certainly worth the low expense.  Epsom salts at a rate of 1 to 2 tablespoons per 10 gallons of water will help, and keep trying the peas and brine shrimp.  He should accept them, if he's hungry.> How long does it take a fantail to recover from swim bladder problems?   <Well, that's tough to say.  Sometimes a fish recovers from problems like this completely, and is healthy and happily-ever-after-the-end.  Some fish never fully recover, and float (or sink) for the rest of their (often short) lives.> Does one bout of it mean he will have a tendency for the rest of his life (that's if we pull him through this time)? <Quite possible.  Feed a better diet, and you'll be on safer ground.> Sorry for the million questions, <Don't be!  This is why we're here!> but I'm fond of the little guy and would like to fix him up.  Shelley from Sydney <Completely understandable.  Try all the above, and also take a gander through some other goldfish FAQs to read of similar instances:  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshdisfaqs.htm  Wishing you and Co well,  -Sabrina>

Two Year Old Goldfish - Tank Change I Decided to upgrade the 3 gallon tank used to hold 2 healthy happy gold fish. They were health and happy in the 3 gallon tank yet I felt it was necessary to  upgrade the tank.  So I bought a 10 gal tank, pebbles and a few aquarium decorations.  After setting up the new tank and introducing the fish  THEY ARE LIFELESS, WONT EAT AND ARE DYING. What's wrong, I gradually introduced them to the tank, giving them time to get used to the temp etc. <Did you use a chlorine/Chloramine remover in the water prior to introducing the fish?  How long did the new tank sit before moving them?  Did you test to make sure the pH was the same in both tanks?  How long after you introduced them were they acting badly?  Please do test for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and pH; my first gut instinct is that, in this newly set up, uncycled tank, ammonia from the fish waste has built up and is causing them harm.  I'd recommend a water change right away, say 25-30%, with dechlorinated tap water of a matching temperature.  If you register any ammonia or nitrite on your tests, keep doing water changes to keep it under control until the tank has fully cycled.  If you don't have test kits, have your local fish store test your water for you, but please consider getting your own very soon.  Hopefully this is just something that can be fixed with better water quality.> What did I do wrong.  Now it looks like the Betta is dying he is always at the top of the water. <Is he in the same tank, or a different tank?  Again, my first best guess is that this is related to water quality; definitely do a water change right away, and get your water tested so you can know what is causing the problem.  Good luck to you, and I do hope your guys pull through this.  -Sabrina>

Evil Goldfish, or Fin Rot? I've recently re-housed my 6 gold fish (two fan tails, two black moors, and two plain) into a new and much bigger tank with all mod cons, new plants etc. Gave them a settling down period  and then introduced two new redcaps to complete the group. <And how big is the tank?  We're up to eight goldfish, now....> Hey ho and all looking nice ......but!!! 1) the new fish appear to have brought with them a rather nasty case of white spot! <Never fun.> Which I am treating with a proper treatment ... the new fish appear oblivious and happily healthy!!! <Much info on this illness at http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwich.htm > 2) One of the redcaps is now snapping at all the other fish (except the other redcap) to such an extent that one of the black moors has little tail flesh left but just the 'spikes' of the bones!!!! <Are you certain this one red cap is actually biting/causing harm to the other fish?  That's very bizarre behavior for a goldfish, certainly not normal.  As for the other goldfish, it sounds like he's got a bacterial fin rot problem, not an injury.  What are your water parameters (ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH)?  Illnesses like fin rot are usually brought about by one of these values being out of whack.> Is my redcap a cannibal and do you have any recommendations to stop his behavior?! <I really think your problems are more attributable to water quality, originally, and then to bacterial infection, rather than the red cap's attentions - though there are exceptions to every rule, I somewhat doubt that any real harm is coming from him.  It is normal for goldfish to chase each other to some extent, but if he really is causing harm to the other fish, it would be best to remove him right away, to prevent any further harm to the other fish.> They are fed on dry food, blood worms, daphnia, and also some greens i.e. lettuce, peas etc. <Wonderful.> The tank has plants and hiding places and lots of space. I'm new to all this fish keeping so would value any hints and advice on the above and any other general info.   <The best suggestion I can give you is to get test kits for ammonia, pH, nitrite, and nitrate if you don't already have them.  Then test your water regularly, and do water changes when necessary, and as often as necessary (weekly, perhaps, depending on tank size).  Goldfish are very messy fish and are capable of making the aquarium very toxic very quickly (uh, they poop a lot).  Maintain as pristine of water conditions as you can.  For the fellah with the ragged, yucky tail, please consider treating with Kanamycin sulfate, available from Aquatronics under the name "Kanacyn".  However, it might be very inadvisable to combine this with whatever you're using to treat the Ich, so you might want to treat him in a separate quarantine tank.> With thanks for you time and help, Cathy <I do hope your fellah improves, and that the red cap calms down for you.  Wishing you well,  -Sabrina>

Gassy goldfish I have a red-capped Oranda, chuck, who has the largest head growth I have EVER seen on an Oranda.. he had started floating.. (I did not know about the gas then - it thought it might be because his head was so HUUUGEEE) and a fair fish brutally attacked him.. after disposing of curly.. I realized the gas was the float problem.. <Could be gas, could be a swim bladder issue; especially if he was attacked by, um, *what* kind of fish?  In any case, if he was brutally attacked, he could have suffered damage to his swim bladder.  The floating issue may not be reversible.> anyway.. even after peas.. chuck would spend most of his time hiding in his cup (I put cups in there.. all the Orandas I have love to snuggle.. strange.. comfort in cramming in small spaces together..)  but still standing on his head.. <Swimming head down?  Is it more like his back end is floating up, or his front end is sinking down?  I suppose it is possible that he's got a piece of rock or some such stuck in his mouth, if he's sinking.> I put him in another wee tank with a lion head Ranchu (Lionel) because they both tend to float.. and feed them peas.. but.. chuck has been floating now for nearly 2 weeks.. I see him poop, I feed him peas.. but.. the anti-gas peas aren't working anymore.. <He's still pooping, though?  Normally?> he wont eat green beans.. or earthworms..  just peas.. (and the sinking pellets that I soak for hours before I give em..) <Well, if it is a swim bladder issue, the fact that he's eating speaks well for him; although if this is a swim bladder injury, he may never recover, but if he eats, seems happy, he might be able to live just fine.> but.. the floating continues.. any other ideas???? <Perhaps try feeding some frozen brine shrimp; the high roughage content might help him pass whatever's trapping gas, if it is in fact a gas problem.> Mother of mutant floaty fish.. Brandi <Wishing you, and your mutant floaty fish, well....  -Sabrina>
Gassy Goldfish, Fart two - Er... Make that 'Part' Two....
Chuck was attacked by a "sorry you didn't win the real prize at the fair" goldfish, after that tiny goldfish grew large...... <Aha!  NOW I get it, a fish FROM the fair!  I've been envisioning little judge fish with little jury fish trying to be fair....> but... that was months and months ago.. when the floating first began.. and he has had periods of time with no floating.. I mean.. he still stood on his head.. but not just "belly to the sky" floating like now...  He doesn't swim head down.. he swims regular forward.. but.. when he is "resting" (and not belly up floating) he rests on his great big fishy forehead..  <Try feeding more veggie matter more often, and perhaps occasional frozen meaty foods (bloodworms, brine shrimp) once in a while.  A diet consisting of too much flake or pelleted foods can cause gas/constipation issues, sometimes.> when he makes fishy mouth, its just pink and fishy in there.. no fluorescent rocks I see.. and he doesn't seem to be in distress.. just head standing..  He is still pooping, normal thick caliber regular fishy stools.. not stringy sick looking poops..   <Good sign, at least.  As I said, he may have some issues with his swimbladder, so it may be beyond your control.  Another thing - what are your water parameters (ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH)?> I will get him some frozen brines.. weird though huh?  ah well..  Thanks Sabrina!!! <Any time.  Good luck to you.  -Sabrina>

Goldfish are dying Hi.  You have sent my question back to me but did not reply with an answer. <I see....  My apologies, Todd; I have no idea what happened.  It looks like we had some cutting and pasting issues.> Can water kill goldfish but not guppies.   I did not see a answer.  Please respond with a answer as to the water. After 2 weeks with the new 12 goldfish, 9 out of 12 have survived so far. I am puzzled why 3 have died so far. The temperature is fine at 64 deg. Could there be something in the well water that kills goldfish and not guppies? <Okay, this was originally about a pond, right?  And your pond was only recently set up, right?  I'm sure it's not your source water, especially since your guppies are fine, but instead something happening to the water once it's in your pond.  When fish are added to a system, they immediately produce waste in that system, and without established bacteria to use that waste, the fish will be poisoned by ammonia or nitrite.  Please learn more about that (and more) here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/PondSubWebIndex/h2ochempds.htm .  Please do get yourself test kits for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and pH, or at the least, take a sample of water directly out of your pond and bring it to your local fish store and ask them to test it.  They should be perfectly willing.  Okay so for a worst case scenario, let's say the water's fine, and something's wrong with the goldfish directly.  These are regular 'ol comets, right?  The ones usually sold as "feeders"?  These are often quite likely to be infested with some kind of illnesses, sad to say.  A good, reputable fish store (not a chain store, or store geared to all pets, but a store dedicated to fish) should be able to give you at least relatively healthy comets.  Do take a good look in their tanks, specifically the feeder tank where the fish you want are, and gauge the health of the fish.  Are they all huddled in a corner?  Are their fins clamped?  Are there dozens of dead fish?  Do they have little white sugar spots all over, or anything else amiss?  Stuff like that.  Since you don't mention any symptoms other than mass goldfish death, I'm really unable to suggest any illness.  I'm truly much more inclined to think that it's ammonia or nitrite buildup in the water.  Do get your water tested, and fix those values if necessary by removing/adding water, and certainly don't add any fish for now.  Do keep us updated, and take a look through other pond articles on WWM: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/PondSubWebIndex/Pond%20Sub%20Web.htm .  Good luck, Todd!  -Sabrina>

Goldfish Still not Making It HI CREW;      <Hi again, Todd!> As you advised, I went to the pet store where I bought the last batch of goldfish of 12, and had them do a water quality test for me. There are still 5 out of 12 goldfish alive, 7 have died in 2 weeks I have had this batch in my tank in the garage for winter.   <Are there any symptoms you can give us?  Anything at all?  Spots, markings, colors, fins, scales, behavior, anything at all?  Net out a few of the fish and get a really close look at them, perhaps in a clear container.  Look for absolutely anything that might cause suspicion.> They said the nitrate, nitrite, ammonia are perfectly normal and fine but the ph level is high with a ready of  around 8.   <A bit high, indeed, but goldfish should tolerate that with no trouble.  The pH in my ponds is about 8.4 during the summer, due to the high pH of the tap water here.> They said the transition from their water which a lot lower ph level than mine, to my high ph level  might shock the fish killing them eventually.   <How much lower than yours is their pH?  A sudden change, especially from low to high, is definitely dangerous, but goldfish are pretty tough critters....> They told me to make the water transition  very  slowly and they should live.    <It'll most certainly help.> Do you think this ph level change is causing the dying of so many goldfish??????     <Could be part of it, but might be something else at play, as well.  Do examine your fish very closely, let us know what you find.> Will a slow transition to different water help?????    <Perhaps, yes.  When you bring home fish, start with a large bag from the fish store, let the bag float in the tank for a while to match temperature, then pour in a little bit of water from the tank every 10 minutes or so until you're at about half bag water half tank water.  Then net the fish from the bag and release it.  Never let the water from the bag into your tank.> Can I put something in the tank  water to help this problem??????   <Yes.  You can use bogwood or peat in the pond or in the filter to help bring the pH down some; this is a safe, natural way of doing it.  Peat can be found at the garden store; just make sure that it does not contain any pesticides/fungicides, etc.  Put some in the filter, or in a filter bag directly into the pond, if necessary, after rinsing it thoroughly.  This will stain the water a golden color, though.  In a pond, it'll probably be unnoticeable, but in your garage tank, it may be rather ugly if the color bothers you.  Frankly, I like the more natural look of the stained water.> Your  reply is greatly appreciated.  Thanks, Todd  from Ontario <Any time.  Wishing you and your goldfish well,  -Sabrina>

Goldfish, ponds, feeding, and fixing Hi Crew.   <Hi Todd, Sabrina again> I am going to the pet store today and buy another 12 goldfish for my garage fish tank.   <If you haven't already, please let me urge you not to add so many fish at a time.  This will result in ammonia and nitrite spikes as the biological filtration tries to catch up with the fish load, resulting in harm to the fish - and I still think this is one major issue affecting what had happened with your last batches.  Please don't add so many fish at once.> After having only 2 alive of the last 12 I bought last month, I will  make sure this time to float the bag in the tank for an hour  while  adding a cup of water to the bag every 10 min.s or so.   <This is a good practice.> I don't think I added water last time to the bag and want to find out if this was the reason the goldfish have been dying.   PH shock is what I'm thinking is the problem.   <It is possible, but it's pretty tough to acclimate fish to pH in a very short time.  A matter of mere hours is still a 'shock' of sorts to go from a neutral ph to yours (8.something, right?)  pH is on a logarithmic scale - kinda like the Richter scale used to measure earthquake magnitude.  So basically, a pH of 7.0 is ten times higher than a ph of 6.0, and a pH of 8.0 is ten times higher than pH 7.0 - so 8.0 is one hundred times higher than 6.0....  This all boils down to the fact that major pH changes will hurt fish, and possibly kill them.  Goldfish are really tough, and I don't think the pH alone is enough to do it, but that, coupled with the temp difference discussed later on....> The temperature of the goldfish tank in the garage is around 54 degrees f   now.  At this low temperature how often should I  be feeding them, if at all.  What temperature low do  you stop feeding goldfish because of their system slow down in their bodies????   <It is my understanding that feeding is still worthwhile down to 50f.  However, I'd also like to point out that in the fish store, chances are their water's somewhere closer to 65-70f.  It certainly can't be good for the fish to make that huge a temperature difference in such a short time, and that may very well be contributing to the problems that you're having. Think of it as going from a nice, warm kitchen into the nice, big walk-in fridge - and staying there overnight without a jacket.  Either get a few submersible heaters in there and slowly bring the temp up before adding fish, or wait until the weather warms up some.  Here's some good info for you, please read: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/PondSubWebIndex/pdfshdisart.htm .  Also, on winter, ponds, and pond fish:  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/PondSubWebIndex/pdwintmaint.htm .> How long should I float the bag?????     Is an hour ok??     <Under normal circumstances, an hour is a good plan, adding a bit of water from the tank every 10-15 minutes.  I don't think that'll be of help to you with the temperature change, though; that's something that such a major change should take several days.> Is it better to float the bag a longer time????    <To acclimate animals to a system over a very long period of time, it's better to use a drip system.  I don't think that'll be useful to you until you either heat the pond, or until spring, and then its use would be to acclimate to pH.  Right now, with going from a warm tank with a neutral pH and into a pond with a wildly different temperature and pH, I don't think it's going to work out well.  I wish I'd realized the temperature difference in our previous correspondences.> Is there a maximum time I should float the bag while I add  tank water to it????? <It all depends on what kind of bag, how much air in the bag, how much stress the particular fish is in, how different the water parameters, etc.  For the most part, I'd say an hour is good under normal circumstances.> Thanks    from Todd <Please do read up on the pond articles and FAQs available to you on WetWebMedia....  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/PondSubWebIndex/Pond%20Sub%20Web.htm  There's also so very much information available on the 'net; Google searches are invaluable.  Please research and look into a good book on ponds/pond fish, there's really so much information available to you that just can't be transmitted via email without writing a book in the process.  It's very important to be informed, and I do appreciate and respect that you are trying to gain knowledge with us at WetWebMedia, but truly, I think you'll serve yourself, your pond, and your thirst for knowledge very well with a good book or two.  Wishing you well,  -Sabrina.>

Black moor - wounded eye I have a black moor goldfish ("Howie") along with two other goldfish in a ten gallon tank. <If it is at all possible, please do consider upgrading tank size.  I'd really recommend something in the neighborhood of 40 gallons; goldfish are very messy fish - they eat a lot and poop a lot, and can foul the water very quickly.  Please stay very consistent with regular water changes, and test regularly for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate.> I absolutely adore Howie. As I was cleaning the tank and draining water out of it, I got distracted for a moment and wasn't watching the tube - Howie probably thinking the tube was food, swam over a little too close and his eye was just the perfect size to get sucked in. <Ouch!> After a few minutes of hysterics that I killed my favorite fish and sucked out his eyeball, I realized that his eye wasn't gone, but pulled out a fraction and the skin was pushed back. I called the pet shop and they said there is really nothing I can do for him. He's swimming around fine, eating and besides his eye is doing good. <Good to hear.> I just feel horrible and totally responsible for hurting him. Is there anything I could do for him? Should I separate him from the other fish? <If possible, you might quarantine him (in preferably at least 10 gallons) and add Epsom salts at a rate of one tablespoon per five gallons.  This should aid him.> If you could please help my Howie, I would be forever grateful. Thank you for listening, Boogie <Give Howie a big 'get well soon' wish from me.  -Sabrina>

Re: RED SPOTS Hello, <Hi again> I would like to thank you, I am very grateful for the information you gave to me yesterday. I am amazed with your ability to reply so quickly. wow! While the condition of my Pearlscale has remained exactly the same for over a week now, sadly, my Orandas condition has taken a turn for the worse within the last 24 hours. Yesterday he had a very small spot (1/3 inch) on his chin, this morning his entire face is dotted with hemorrhages. <Time to look for some overt sign of chemical poisoning, otherwise aspects/signs of diminished water quality... and make a good-sized water change (20-25%) quick!> It appears that he also has a fleshy growth or swellage inside his mouth on one side, he has also developed a small amount of cottony white growth on his mouth. I tried to very gently wipe off the cotton but he started bleeding. <As stated, indications of some "greater" or more "root" ill. The bacterial and/or fungal manifestations you note are resultant from some other environmental insult. A/the "cure" is the discovery, reduction/reversal of this influence> I have salted and quarantined both fish and I am treating them with KANACYN. They both still have excellent appetites. <Ahh, good moves. In a different system or one with substantially new water I hope/trust> Any advice you can give would be more than appreciated, please help. Thank you, Nichole Palmer <You are doing about what I would do. Perhaps the addition of a teaspoon per ten gallons system water of Epsom Salts (magnesium sulfate) would be efficacious as well. Bob Fenner>

Spot the Goldfish We have a 20 gallon aquarium for Spot and a couple of friends. Lately Spot the Goldfish seems to be swimming on his side. He eats fine and swims around well enough; he just seems to be unable to keep his balance. How do we fix him? Dorrie Krueger <Hi, sounds like Spot may be a tad blocked up, or may have a problem with his swim bladder.  It is fairly common in Fancy Goldfish, but not always easy to fix.  Check out the link below for more information on treatment methods.  Gage http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshdisfaqs.htm >

Goldfish changing colors - bad? My son has a goldfish in a bowl. He's had it about a year. Recently, his scales have been turning black. The fish appears alert, and eats well. Any cause for concern?   <Possibly.  First off, do you know the conditions of the water?  Do you test for pH ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate?  If you don't have test kits, your local fish store should be willing to test a sample of your water for you.  How big is the tank?  How often do you change water?  Do you use a dechlorinator?  It is possible that he's showing some signs of stress or illness.  However, goldfish do tent to change color (within white, orange, and black), possibly attributable to changes in temperature or pH, so it may be nothing to worry about at all.> Thank you.  Stephen W. DeFilippis <No problem!  -Sabrina>

Goldfish with Swim Bladder Problems I don't really know where to start. <How about the beginning, he he he.> Since I've never had this problem before with any fish I've ever had. I also read your FAQ's section and really didn't see anything in it that would help me out. I didn't know goldfish could have so many diseases though. <Especially the fancy variety, they a predisposition for problems.> Here's my problem. I just noticed this problem yesterday morning when I was going to bed. I have 2 fantail goldfish and 1 regular goldfish in a 10 gallon tank. With a few fake plants in it. <Maybe add some Anacharis for them to munch on, a little greens in the diet help to keep things moving in the right direction.> My regular goldfish is 3 years old and my fantails are 2 years old. Well 1 of my fantails stays up at the right back corner of the tank. He/she I don't really know its sex. Has been doing this for about 3 or 4 months. <Sounds like a swim bladder problem, or some sort of blockage.> I never noticed any change in his behavior so I thought it was natural. Well yesterday morning he/she gave me a big scare. He was upside down!!! My first thought was that it was dead. Well I got up went over to the tank and it started swimming normally. <A tell tale sign.> Needless to say that took a lot of stress off of my mind. At least it was still alive. <Phew!> They've all been eating normally and everything. They always get very active and stuff when I approach the tank cause they think its feeding time. But after I leave and he/she swims around for about 5-10 minutes or so. It goes back to that top corner and turns upside down and that's pretty much how it stays until someone approaches the tank. <Like a buoy.> Can you please tell me what is causing this problem? I've never had any other problems with them before. Also my girlfriend says he's gotten bigger almost like its pregnant or something. <Sounds like it could be diet related, too much dry food for too long, he may be constipated.> My other fantail sits at the same corner but the bottom. <The lethargy could be related to water quality, have your water tested for ph, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate.  Goldfish are messy, and a 10gal tank is small for these 3 fish.> This just started happening and its got me very worried. I love my fish dearly. I lost a regular goldfish 3 years ago to Ich. Since then I've upgraded my tanks from a 2 gallon to 5 gallon to the 10 gallon that I have now. <A 29-50gal would be really nice for them.> My regular goldfish is still acting normal but he's use to swimming around with my fantails. <Much tougher than the fancy guys.>  So now all he does is swim around in circles while the other 2 stay in the corners. I feed them goldfish pellets. Have so ever since I've had them. <Ah Ha!> Whenever I change their water I use store bought spring water. <May not be necessary, dechlorinated tap water should be fine, but I do not think this is causing the problem.> I've never had a problem with that before either. I just want to keep my fish healthy and happy. Any help on products or what I have to do would be very much appreciated. <For starters I would try to change their diet, pick up some frozen goldfish food (thaw before feeding), and some frozen peas (thaw and squeeze the outer shell off before feeding).  You could also try adding some Epsom Salt to the water, about 1 tablespoon per 10gallons.  For more information take a look at the FAQs located here http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshdisfaqs.htm Best of luck, Gage> A Very Concerned Fish Owner

GOLDFISH ARE DYING    CHEAPIES HI.  I went back to   pet store where I bought my goldfish of which 20 out of 24 have died,<wow!> and told them about it. They told me that they are just common FEEDER  goldfish and they are used for other fish to feed on and they are inbred a lot, so they are usually not high quality and are not guaranteed for any length of time.<that is partly true>  They told me its not my fault so many died but they are not healthy fish to start off with and couldn't handle the stress put on them.<Now he is starting to give you BS> SUPERPET is the name of the store and I figured they would have better quality fish than WAL-MART. <agreed>     I  bought guppies years ago from Wal-Mart and have had great success with them.  I looked in the goldfish tanks at SuperPet store and saw dead ones at the bottom of the tanks with other goldfish feeding on them. WELL.  This does not say to much for a pet store which   specializes in  animals not clothiers and everything else.  The dead goldfish I saw were not even the cheap ones like I bought. They would  5 times the price  at least.  They told me there is nothing they can do.  Does this mean there are no  common goldfish that are of good quality out there????????<I would not purchase ANYTHING FROM THEM!!!!>      The 4 still alive are starting to eat food now and I hope will keep on living.<me too!>  Do you know of common goldfish that are inbred so much they don't offer even a 1 day  warrantee. They only use common goldfish for food for other fish or whatever??????????????  They told me my pond was fine and buy the expense goldfish....... I looked at dead ones in the tank and said    NO THANK YOU.   and left. <good job, my friend and better luck next time, try a better aquarium store in your area. especially one that specializes in just FISH!!! and other marine life, IanB>       GOT ANY THOUGHTS ON THIS ONE?????  THANK YOU ,,,,,,,     LEGMANCA  from Canada

Goldfish in a glass sardine can Hi everyone. I have had a 10 gal tank with ~10 goldfish (common and fancy) in it for the past three years. I know that you'll say this is way too crowded, but the tank was setup when I didn't know better. <You guessed it right.  For this many goldfish, I'd recommend in excess of a hundred gallons.  These are fish better suited to ponds, truly, if you want them in quantity.> There's no one I know willing to take them (the stores certainly don't want common goldfish or comets) and I don't want to kill them. There's also little space in my home for a larger tank, though I'm thinking about building a pond in the backyard where I can keep some of the common goldfish and comets. <Wonderful idea!  You're sure to have fun with a pond, and your fish are sure to love you for it.> In any case, they have been doing very well (I have had no losses in the past two years) until about three, four days ago. I noticed that ALL the fish had clamped dorsal fins. I was concerned that perhaps the water chemistry has deteriorated because I didn't do a water change last week (I usually change ~1/4 per week). <Yup, that'll do it.  Goldfish are extremely messy, and foul the water very quickly.  What are your water parameters - pH? ammonia? nitrite? nitrate?  If you don't know, please either take a sample of your aquarium water to your local fish store and have them test it for you - and please try to get test kits for these as well, so you can have a better handle on what's going on in your tank.> After the water change, however, they did not do any better. Some seem wobbly and a few stay on the bottom. I've also observed a few striking against the glass, which led me to think that there must be a parasite problem. I noticed some small and faint blotches on the tails of a few, but I don't know if they've always been there (or if I'm just being more observant of these things). <Right now, I'm more inclined to think that this is purely environmental.  Redness and scratching can both suggest an irritant in the water (ammonia, most likely).  With so many goldfish in one small tank, and a missed regular water change, your water's probably rather toxic at the moment.  Please do another water change right away, and another later or tomorrow.> If a parasite, however, I don't know where they might have gotten it since I have added no livestock for the past year or so. <Many of our more common parasites are thought to be constantly present in our aquariums; it is only when something goes amiss (water quality, usually) that the fish contract the parasites at virulent amounts. I have made a few changes recently, however. Three weeks ago, I added a few clippings of Elodea (which they only nibble on and do not really eat) from my tropical fish tank. Last week, I added a bunch of Spirogyra (thread-like algae), which they have happily munched on. This was also from my tropical tank. Since these additions were from a fairly established tank (1 month old) and none of the fish there seems to have any problems (I had a single casualty two days after I bought it from the store, that was about three weeks ago). <None of this should have been a problem.> Nevertheless, I have noticed that the goldfish do not seem to digest the Spirogyra algae very well (their feces is green and not very compact). Could this indicate an intestinal parasite? <Very, very unlikely.  Greens are good for goldfish, and green poo is just an indicator of having eaten lots of greens.> Occasionally, one of the Oranda has experienced fin rot, but never have I witnessed the entire stock of animals being sick. I don't seem any skin parasite and the only symptoms are behavioral. What illness comes to mind from such a description? <This is all very indicative of an environmental problem (ammonia, nitrite, or nitrate poisoning, most likely).  One more thing of note - do you treat your tapwater for chlorine/Chloramine?  That's another nasty irritant to fish.> Should I wait and see if they become better or should I medicate them. If I should choose the latter, which type/brand  should I use? <Don't medicate just yet.  Do the water changes, see if there's any improvement, and if anything new pops up (as hopefully nothing will!) then hopefully we'll at least have some more symptoms to go off of.> Should I turn off the filter or take out the activated carbon insert? <IF you medicate, definitely keep the filter running, but remove the carbon.> I realize that this has been a long message, so thank you for your patience, time and knowledge.  Sincerely, Yin <And good luck to you.  Keep us updated.  -Sabrina>
Goldfish in a glass sardine can - part II
Hi. I sent an e-mail a day ago, no one has responded. <My sincere apologies.  Just responded to it.> Things have become even worse. Four of the fish have red patches on the scales and nearly all have white spots (Ich?). <Please describe these spots further - are they small, like grains of sugar?  Or like holes?> I don't know what to do. I've changed half of the water again, with little improvement. I was hoping that you might give a suggestion as to what medication to purchase. <Please read into Ich here:   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwich.htm .  Hopefully that'll get you started, if it is indeed Ich.  Do get your water tested, please, as water quality is of the utmost importance, especially if the fish are ill.> Sincerely, Yin Li <Wishing you well,  -Sabrina>

- Re: Treating Reoccurring Mouth Rot - Once again I have another question. <Ok.> My goldfish is still alive and he is back in the main tank.  He is eating and is swimming around and everything seems fine, except that he is developing black spots on his body, it looks like particular fins are turning black.  The spots have been there for a few weeks.  The local pet store said that that happens and it is no big deal. <It sometimes happens and is no big deal... is this happening to any of your other fish?> So I let it go and didn't worry about it. However, now he is developing black patches around his mouth where the mouth rot was, it looks like he is bruised.  Should I be worried about this or not? <I'd be concerned enough to keep an eye on things... these fish do sometimes change colors as they get older - develop black spots, etc. But I wouldn't lose any sleep over it, if you know what I mean.> Ana <Cheers, J -- >

- Goldfish Problems - Hi I have a problem with my goldfish. I have a 60 gallon tank containing 4 goldfish. One of the goldfish has developed a distended abdomen (I have bred goldfish and know its not carrying). It also has scales missing they drop off at a rate of app 3 a day. I thought of bacterial infection but I have tried various control remedies. <Sounds like dropsy to me.> It looks so poorly. I have taken the remaining fish out of the tank to clean it. The goldfish in question is in quarantine. <Ahh, very good.> Would it be better all round for me to destroy the poor thing. <It's worth trying to save it... you need a good antibiotic like erythromycin and administer this every day, along with very frequent water changes and medicated foods.> It began looking unwell 2 weeks prior. Any help would be appreciated Thanks, Andrea <Cheers, J -- >

Sick goldfish 09/01/03 <Hello, PF with you this morning> What does it mean when your goldfish has starting to have black spots on only its tail? I know this is stupid but I can't seem to remember what type this fish is. I know its red, white and is at least 2 inches his name is Fire. It is living with a white fantail, Angel and another of its kind, Silver Red Fan (my brother named that one!). Fire is the problem, it is starting to have black markings on his tail. This first started a couple of days ago. It doesn't have to much but it seems that its getting more each day. And Silver Red Fan is really fat. I don't know what happened to him. I got him like that. PLEASE help me, because I don't want to lose one again. My other Red Fantail died the day before yesterday. I have been raising them since August 6th or 5th. Thank you so much, desperate goldfish owner!! <Well, I'm no expert on goldfish ailments. I would advise you to read here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshdisfaqs.htm and see if any of this sounds familiar. I would make a guess though, that it sounds like a bacterial infection. You might want to try the freshwater section of the board, http://wetwebfotos.com/talk/ can provide you more information. Good luck, PF>

Goldfish with Damaged Eye -- Exophthalmia? >My goldfish is in a tank with two other goldfish.  He has been fine for about a year now.  I just noticed the other day that he has developed a white cloudy looking membrane over one of his eyes.  All of his other actions tell me that he his sick.  How can I help him get better? >>When we're dealing with a single eye showing trouble, usually it means that it is generally a result of a single injury.  This would be my inclination.  However, you only say that his other actions tell you he is sick without conveying to me what those actions are.  I will suggest removing him to a hospital system (doesn't have to be a fish tank, per se) and beginning with some salt at a ratio of 1tsp./gallon.  Best of luck, Marina

Swim Bladder Problems Hi, <hello! Ryan with you> I really hope you can help me. About 1 week ago we bought 2 new goldfish - 1 blue Oranda and 1 red cap Oranda. Prior to this addition our 8 gallon tank had been empty for some time. Before introducing the fish we had cleaned the tank out and let it develop for several weeks - we also did a water check at our aquarium shop before buying the fish and they said the water quality was fine. Both fish seemed to be doing well until several days ago when they both became very lethargic. Both were still eating well but seemed to be mainly floating at the bottom of the tank with sudden bursts of energy for several minutes before reverting to floating near the bottom. We carried out a 1/4 water change and added some disease safe to the water. Over the last day, the red cap has deteriorated further and we now have him in isolation. The blue has perked up considerably since being on his own and seems fine - he no longer stays still at the bottom and appears to have a new lease of life. The red cap however is floating vertically, not eating and only coming up briefly for air before sinking straight back down again. He seems to have problems balancing rolling around without swimming. From reading other queries it seems that he has the symptoms of a bladder infection - would you agree? What can we do to help him? I am worried that it may be too late. <Emma, I think you're on the right track.  The swim bladder is an air filled organ just under the backbone of the fish. By manipulating the inflation/deflation, the fish can control it's position in the water.  The swim bladder is most commonly affected by bacterial or viral infections.  In the case of fancy goldfish, the abdomen is very tight, which only makes the condition more frequent.  To clear a possible intestinal blockage, feed them both a few frozen peas.  A bath in Epsom salts may also be helpful.  I wish you the best, Ryan> Many thanks,  Emma Smith
Swim Bladder Problems pt. 2
Hi Ryan, <Hello!> Thanks for the advice but unfortunately it is too late, he died on Sunday night. <My apologies> The other one is fine though and seems completely back to normal. I am going to feed him the occasional pea though as I read it is good to vary their died. <Yes, keeping a goldfish's intestines in order is great way to help them reach adulthood.> We are thinking about getting another fish to replace the one that died, would you suggest going for a more basic goldfish rather than another 'fancy' variety this time? We lost another red cap several months ago but attributed this to our very warm apartment. Now that we are coming towards the end of summer I am hoping the conditions won't be too hot for them. <I think the problem here may be your retailer.  No, I think Fancy Goldfish are well within your grasp of this hobby.  Pick something beautiful, and make sure you see him feed before purchase.  Also, a healthy fish will respond to it's surroundings, not just sit there and be docile.>   Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks for your help.  Emma <Best of luck! Ryan>

A little more info? I have 3 comets, they all seem to have blood on there gills. This is new to me please help. <Okay, first of all, we really need more information.  How big is your tank?  Are there any other fish in with the goldfish?  How large are the goldfish?  Do you treat your water for chlorine/Chloramine?  Do you test your aquarium water for things like ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and pH?  If you do, can you let us know the test results?  With so very, very little information to go off of, I really can't give you much help.  The only thing I can suggest at the moment is to do a large water change, being sure to match temperature, and treat the new water for chlorine/Chloramine.>

Streaky-finned Goldfish - Bacterial Infection >WWM Crew,   I have a goldfish that's been  sickly for the past few days. He has rapid breathing, one eye is clouded and appears slightly puffy, floating on side unable to maneuver, and his tail fins have  extremely red streaks running through them. >>Yes, your fish looks VERY sick.  Time to isolate him in a hospital system, add sea salt or any UNiodized salt at a ratio of 1 teaspoon/gallon, and start him on Spectrogram, or a Nitrofurazone-based medication.  This needs to be done ASAP, he's in bad shape by the looks of it (btw, THANKS for the pic, it's excellent to be able to show other readers).  Both medications will kill any/all nitrifying bacteria, so daily water changes will be in order.  This will require adding salt to the new water, as well as medication.  Do NOT filter with carbon, or anything other than a sponge/particulate/mechanical filter during this time.  It may be as long as 2-3 weeks to effect a cure.  Watch the other fish in the tank for signs as well. >His fins also have what looks like tiny air bubbles on them. I treated him and got some of the cloudiness out of the eye, but its still a bit puffed looking. I fear he might die soon if I don't find a cure for his ailment. Thanks for your time, and any help you can offer.      J.L. Webb >>I don't know what you treated the fish with, that would be helpful if for no other reason than to utilize the process of elimination.  If you treated him in the main tank and didn't test for ammonia and nitrite, know that excesses of these two compounds will further stress all the animals.  Marina

Swollen Goldfish >I have a garden pond with plenty of plant material in it and about 100 goldfish (we started with 24 four years ago, so presumably they are quite happy).    >>Indeed!  And with sufficient volume and cover, as well. >In the past few weeks, one of the fish has developed a huge, balloon-like swelling underneath.   It seems quite happy, moves quite quickly, does not appear to be discomfited and feeds greedily.   I feed all the fish once a day with fish pellets (as much as they will eat immediately).   I even gave them some peas the other day which they loved, including the swollen fish.   Could the problem be constipation despite all the plant material in the pond?    >>My goodness, that is very unlikely.  However, I have a few things turning in my mind, one -- bacterial infection (would be evidenced by the fish having a porcupine appearance when viewed from above, scales sticking out), the other -- internal parasite, the third, practically unheard of -- could it be a tumor? >If so, can you please tell me what quantity of Epsom Salts I should use (if I can catch the fish)?    >>You can use Epsom, though I generally recommend Kosher or sea salts instead.  The initial ratio for long term stay is 1 teaspoon/gallon, and for dips you would 1 tablespoon, for as long as the fish could take it.  I suggest going the "pickling" (long-term) route, and if its scales are sticking out then DEFINITELY get it out (though it should be lethargic and behaving oddly otherwise as well) and treat with Spectrogram. >There is no apparent sign of any problems with its scales.    >>There goes THAT idea.   >I should be most grateful for your advice.   Thank you. Georgina >>Well, Georgina, as there appear to be no signs of bacterial infection, I would treat it as a parasite.  However, with most internal parasites the fish should lose weight.  This is puzzling, also because if the fish were constipated (so common in fancy goldies) the animal would often show trouble with swim bladder control.  You might consider watching the other fish closely, if any others show signs that would indicate something.. fishy (parasitic trouble).  Otherwise, feed the peas and greens for a week or so, and see if that makes him eliminate more aggressively.  If you can catch him, then you might be able to get a closer look at him and might find his trouble to be parasitic.  If so, we'll have to look at antiparasitic medications, not just for this animal, but the rest as well.  Marina

Goldfish Question - Disease! >I have two goldfish, a guppy, and a plecostomus in a 15 gallon tank.  I went on vacation for four days, with my mom checking on the fish.  Now, one of the goldfish has bloating on the right side, one white spot near its gill (it looks kind of like a white head), and it's eyes are protruding from its head.   >>Eee... ooh my.  Sounds like a bacterial infection, although with that one spot by the gill... Hhmm.. >Other than that, the goldfish is swimming fine and eating like normal.  Also, it has not stopped opening and closing it's mouth in the three hours I've been home.  I added three plant bulbs approximately two months ago, in which about three weeks ago only one of them started growing and I also added a piece of driftwood for the Pleco about a month ago.  All of the other fish are healthy and are not acting any differently than before I left.  I looked up swimmer's bladder [swim bladder disease], Ich, and anchor worms, but I'm not sure if those are right.   >>Me either. >I've had these goldfish for ten months and I've never had any problems before now. Please help!!!  Thank you, Andrea >>Well, the plants will preclude the use of salt in this tank, but I would suggest you remove the sick fish to another container to treat.  I would begin with uniodized salt (Kosher/sea salt are both good if you can get them), at the ratio of 1tsp/gal.  I would also treat this as a bacterial infection first, using either Melafix or Spectrogram (both broad spectrum antibiotics).  The salt will boost their effectiveness.  I would also do a 30-40% water change on the tank, don't vacuum more than 1/3 of the gravel.  Let's see what transpires after a week's treatment, and hopefully it's all they really need.  Marina  (P.S. The plants are probably in dire need of proper lighting--search our site for freshwater plants.)

Sick Goldfish, Part Deux -- it Didn't Make it >Thanks for getting back to me! My fish already died before I got your email, but I appreciate your response.   >>Very sorry to hear it.  It did seem as though it was in pretty bad shape. >Just in case you want to know what happened to the fish, right after I emailed you, I put the sick fish in a different bowl (I don't have another tank for my fish).  All the pet stores in my town close at 5:00, and the people at Wal-Mart are so stupid it would've been a waste of my time. >><nod> >So the next day I came home on my lunch break, and the white spot turned red, so I figured it was probably an infection, but I'd take to a pet store as soon as I got off of work.   >>You are correct in your figuring. >It was still swimming fine so I figured it'd be okay to wait until then.  Well when I came home from work the fish was laying on the side that wasn't bloated.  It would still swim, but completely on its side. It was very strange to see. So I took him in the pet store, and the guy there was getting ready to leave, but he looked at it as he was walking out the door and said he had swimmer's bladder then left. He was very rude. I still don't know if that's right because he barely even looked at the fish and I didn't get to tell him everything that was wrong with it.   >>Sounds like he couldn't be bothered (the English have a term I like better "couldn't be arsed"), and probably COULDN'T have helped you had he even had the time.  Talk about service, eh? >He died about 6 last night, but at least the other fish aren't sick. They're still doing fine.   So if you have time, email me with your thoughts, cuz I'm curious if you think it was swimmer's bladder or not.  Thanks again! >>Well, there's certainly a possibility that the swim bladder was affected, this is NOT at all uncommon with goldies, especially the breeds with those shortened, fat little bodies.  However, it by no means has to be a fatal disorder, and it is also not *always* an infection.  So, yes, the fish had an infection, this much we can be fairly certain of.  Chances are his swim bladder was indeed affected, as well as many of his internal organs (as evidenced by the bloated side).  So, while the other animals appear fine, if it were my tank, I would take some precautions and (unless you have live plants) make use of non-iodized salt (ratio of 1tsp/gallon) for a few weeks.  I would also have some Spectrogram on hand (I happen to like this broad spectrum antibiotic), as well as any Nitrofurazone product.  Goldfish are prone to a disorder called "Furunculosis", and can end up with awful ulcers on their bodies.  Watch, feed peas squeezed out of their skins, try to get a slow-sinking pellet (these things will help ensure no more swim bladder troubles and keep them unconstipated), and keep up with regular water changes.  Again, sorry you lost the poor little guy, and I hope the others will remain healthy.  Marina

Sluggish Goldfish I have 3 goldfish in a thirty gallon tank (one comet, one that looks like a comet but bigger and is red and white, and one big fantail) <The red and white one might be a Sarasa comet> I've had the comet a year the one I don't know the name of for 3 years and the fantail for 7 years. Lately the fantail has been sitting at the bottom of the tank and barley moving and barely eats. <Can you tell us what your readings are for pH, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate?  How often do you do water changes?  Also, do the sick fish's feces look normal?  What about his coloration?> I quarantined him in a ten gallon tank and took out the rocks because he seemed to be scratching himself on the rocks. I know the fish doesn't have Ick but I don't know what's wrong with it. <Well, first and foremost, keep his water very, very clean, and do regular water changes.  Test both the main tank and the quarantine tank for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate, and if any of those are out of whack, do water changes to right them.  Let us know if you've observed anything else abnormal about him, and hopefully we can suggest a treatment.  Good luck.  -Sabrina>

Sick goldfish My daughter (who is away on holiday) has 3 fantailed goldfish.  They are a little over a year old and have been happy in a small tank.  We change the water every couple of weeks and they have been healthy for a year.  I recently bought a small filter and have had it turning on and off for the last 3 weeks.  We turned it off to go away for a few days (3) and have arrived home to find one of the fish very sick.  He is swimming at the bottom and a lot of his fins have disappeared.<not good>  What's left of them are coloured black.  I have rung my local aquatic shop and they think he's suffering from ammonia poisoning - do you agree? <could be, or maybe fin rot> and if so - what can I do to help him?  My daughter will be so sad if she returns to a tank for two.  If it's not that - can you suggest what it might be?<I would keep on doing water changes and testing the water for ammonia and nitrates... they should read 0, Good Luck, IanB>

Mixing goldfish treatments? No, let's try salt. >Hello there, >>Good evening, Marina here. >I have two problems with my goldfish at the same time and need advice on whether to treat both at the same time. I have a 15 gallon with two small goldfish, were doing great for five weeks, the tank was cycled etc. Then I bought a small black moor and a Demekin. A couple hours after putting them in my tank I saw the moor had Ich, which I had not notice despite watching them at the LFS. >>You have a relatively small tank, adding two fish at the same time will cause enough of an ammonia spike as to stress them.  Also, please note that goldies are notoriously "dirty" fish, which exacerbates the problem. >Well, I took him out the next day, treated for Ich once in a separate tank. >>This won't do much good, as once the parasite presents in the main display it will remain as long as it has hosts. >Then one of my original ones (a calico) got a small Ich spot. >>Indeed. >So I put the moor back in the main tank and treated the main tank for two days with a 25% water change in between. But I had to take the carbon out and all the fish started gasping and fretting. By then (second dose of treatment in the main tank) the calico's Ich was gone, but the moor's seemed not much better and his eyes turned cloudy. >>Did you try using salt, or an actual medication? >Worried about all of them suffocating I decided not to treat again a fourth time and put the carbon filter back. That night the moor started to loose all his velvet and fins turn clear. >>Not really sure what you mean by this, but I am guessing he began to slough his mucous coating. >I was going to get rid of him the next day in fear of losing all others but he saved me the trouble and by morning was dead. >>Poor thing. >Anyway, now the other one of my original fish has an Ich spot. >>Of course, because the parasite is still present. >Also, my new Demekin who was great and perky is swimming at a 45 angle and hanging at the bottom most of the time. So I did a water change, put in an air stone (in addition to the circulating eclipse), and they all seemed to do better. Then I took out the carbon filter, treated for Ich again and fed them all peas, which they all ate. >>They should be getting good roughage (being fancies) on a regular basis.  It is my guess, though, that you've got a rise in ammonia and/or nitrite readings, sufficient to stress the fish enough to cause a change in behavior.  Also, if, when performing the water changes, you vacuum the substrate you are removing the benthic nitrifying bacteria that you had cultured.  This is not a well-established tank, so you'll need to be careful not to disturb the substrate and tank walls for several weeks at least. >I also got a jungle fungus clear which claims to clear a myriad of problems including swim bladder disease. My questions are: 1.how long should I keep treating for Ich? (the active ingredients are Victoria green and Acriflavine). 2.should I use the fungus clear antibiotic at the same time or wait until I am done with the Ich treatment? 3. I read that antibiotics kill nitrifying bacteria, so if I do use it, I will take out both the carbon and the BioWheel. Then, how soon after treating should I put them back? >>Forget all of this and let's go with salinity.  Mix up a small batch of saltwater (see if your LFS will sell you a couple of cups of salt mix, with directions for mixing to seawater density), or use kosher (non-iodized) salt.  (I much prefer to use the seawater method, mixed to a specific gravity of 1.025.)  Then, give all the fish a dip until they lose equilibrium.  Along with this, I want you to add salt to the tank at a ratio of 1 teaspoon/gallon (you can go as high as 1 tablespoon quite easily) to be left in the tank for 4-6 weeks at least.  This will do several things--the parasite cannot handle the difference of osmotic pressure which will kill the tomonts, salt is known to boost the effects of antibiotics (which might be necessary for secondary infection, but let's wait and see first), and it relieves difference in osmotic pressure between the water and the fish's body.  These are all desirable.  If you have live plants, you'll need to remove them. >The medicine says to wait four days between doses if a second one is necessary.  Thank you so much, the medicine's directions are very scarce and I am not sure what to do. I have taken this as a warning and will never try to have four fish in there again, but I really love these three and I want to do all I can.  Leticia >>Try the salt FIRST, Leticia.  If you do see secondary infections (fungus in the presence of salt will be the least likely), then let me know and we'll work from there, but the salt trick has always worked like a charm for me.  Do know that, if you're successful, your fish will need a much larger home, possibly much sooner rather than later.  Hope this helps, and best of luck!  Marina

Sick and Tired of It All -- Poor Goldfishes! >Hi Marina, >>Hello Leticia. >I did as you said and got some salt. I could not get marine salt, however, all I could find was Epsom salt. So I did not how much to mix for the dip you advised to take off the equilibrium. >>We do make use of Epsom salts for some treatments (exopthalmia in saltwater fish), but I haven't used it for fresh.  Another option is Kosher salt, but I see no problem with the Epsom salts. >The fish were getting worse and worse, so I mixed one tablespoon per gallon and dipped my original fish in it. Then as I saw him up close I noticed he was much worse than I thought: he had dropsy. I have not done anything for the last 6 days but eat and take care of fish, except when I am researching fish diseases. >>Oh my goodness, I am so sorry you're not seeing good results. >My book said the best thing with dropsy was to destroy the fish, and since I can't seem to handle even the simpler problems, I did. >>That's too bad, the only thing I could have offered for dropsy is that it is often a sign of a RAGING bacterial infection, which could only respond (assuming it will) to strong antibiotic treatments.  I think you may have done the most humane thing for the fish, though. >That's the second one down. Then I dipped my favorite fish (a new Demekin) in the Epsom salt (1 tbsp per gallon) for about three minutes. He swam in very fast, erratic outbursts. >>Yes, I would expect that. >I added Epsom salt to the main tank (1 tsp per gallon) and put him back. For a while he swam in the main tank like he did in the dip, then slowly progressed to his old way of sinking to the bottom corner and swimming at a 45-90 angle. >>It seems he's quite ill, but Ich isn't his problem at this point is my guess. >Now he spends all the time in the bottom of the very corner. He was flapping his fins to keep hovering above the gravel, but now he just lays there with his mouth resting at an angle on the gravel.  I fed them peas for two days, and they've all pooped green, so I gathered he must not be constipated. I bought them baby shrimp and dried Tubifex, but they ate none. Today I fed them the regular flakes they love, they chew them and spit them right out, like they can't swallow it. >>At this point a good water change is in order, and I would substitute the Epsom salts for any UNiodized salt (it's the iodine that's the issue).  I would also like you to try Spectrogram or Melafix, two broad-spectrum antibiotics.  The salt and salt dips will help deal with the parasite (Ich), and the antibiotic will help with what appears to be secondary infection (VERY common).  While treating, it's best to actually keep the tank bare, or put them in a bare container (anything watertight and inert--non-metallic--is perfectly acceptable) so that you can both be precise in your dosing, and have fewer problems performing water changes.  There are many other reasons for treating in this manner as well, but I won't trouble your mind with those, you've had ENOUGH on your plate, thank you very much. >They are both occasionally rubbing themselves on objects.  I have no idea what to do. I am so tired and so sad. Please help me. >>Let's keep up with the salt--1 tsp/gallon, and try the antibiotic along with water changes.  Do be sure that ammonia readings don't get too high, this will further stress them and can cause behavior quite similar to what you've described, same with nitrite but it's not *quite* as imperative. >Thank you so much, Leticia >>We'll do our best to help you, and I'll suggest adding some Methylene blue (follow bottle directions) or hydrogen peroxide to the tank (still looking for usage on that).  Ah, here we go, gleaned from the forums of http://www.wetwebfotos.com/talk: >>Methylene blue is an anti-protozoan, as well as a bactericide and fungicide. It is an oxygen transporter, so, while most other meds remove oxygen from the water, the M. blue enables more oxygen to be absorbed into the fish's gills than normal. I'm not quite sure how it works, but it is definitely good for situations where the fish isn't breathing well. Hydrogen peroxide can be used to add oxygen to the water, though it is not without risk. You can get it at the grocery store in the med section in a brown bottle, already as a 3% solution. A quote from the Tropical Fishlopaedia (this book is an indispensable wealth of information): "Hydrogen peroxide can be used as an 'oxygen donor', for rapid emergency rectification of hypoxic conditions, in the aquarium. Dosage is at the rate of 5-10ml of 3% solution per 10 gallons of aquarium water. The hydrogen peroxide stock solution should be partially diluted before it is added to the aquarium - that is to say, mix the required amount of stock solution with approximately 10 times as much aquarium water. The resulting solution should ideally be poured in front of the filter outlet to ensure rapid dispersal throughout the tank, failing which manual stirring of the aquarium is suggested. The tank should be aerated during treatment. Overdosing will cause further stress and possibly serious physical harm to the fish and *must* be avoided." >>Ok, I am really keeping my fingers crossed for you and your fish, Leticia!  Marina

New Ranchu <Hello! Ryan with you> I have had this goldfish for 3 weeks now, and it is in a 10 gallon tank with two other small goldfish. <OK> I have been feeding all of them a local stores pond food with growth enhancers and color enhancers.
<Please make sure to vary the diet as much as possible.>
I have also feed them a few guppies a week or two back.
<Whoa!  Don't do this!  Goldfish are perfectly content to eat all types of foods- leave the feeders to the fish who won't eat anything else.>  
The scales look discolored and almost like they are scratched up or slightly damaged.
<Could be a fungus or bacterial infection, but impossible to tell without seeing it.>
The Ranchu is acting healthy, eating frequently and seems happy.  Have you had any experience with this or know what it could be from?
<Can't say for certain without photo ID.  This is a good site for goldfish disease IDs: http://www.fishdoc.co.uk/  Perhaps searching their site/our FAQs will be of more help.  Good luck! Ryan> Thanks Brian

No More Black Moor Greetings! <Hello> Your web site it quite informative and very useful. <great>  I have a question for you.  I have a 10 gallon tank with currently 5 goldfishes in it. <too many goldfish, you want about 10 gallons per fish. Oh wait, that was not the question, sorry.> My black moor goldfish died last week so I went and got one yesterday.  I put it in the tank and it seemed to be ok.  However, this morning it was dead, and I am wondering if the Pleco (algae eating fish) attacked it. The reason for this is that all of the black moors scales were missing, and it's tail looked really raggedy.  I watched the tank for a while, and I know that the other goldfish was not attacking it.  Have you ever heard of anything like this?  Looking forward to your answer soon! <I have seen some aggressive Plecos, but they usually keep to themselves.  I am willing to bet this fish was picked over after it died, probably by everyone in the tank.  First thing I would do is some water tests to see if those indicate any problems.  Best Regards, Gage> BV  =^.^=

Goldfish Swollen behind its Gills What a truly amazing site you have!  I'm overwhelmed by the amount of knowledge here, but in all my efforts, I was unable to find anything describing the problem with one of my goldfish, so I thought I'd write and see what you have to say. <Okay> I have eight fancy goldfish in a 55 gallon tank.  One is about five inches in length, one about four inches, and the other six range from two to three inches.  I maintain a clean environment for the fish, and feed them pellet food, according to the recommendations at the pet store. <Not to exclusion I trust. Dried foods are problematical with fancy goldfish... and I hope you do sizable weekly water changes...> First, some of my fish tend to float after they eat.  It doesn't happen right away, but a couple hours after they eat, they float.  They're still upright, not sideways, or upside down, as I've read in many other cases.  They don't have a problem swimming, or eating, and they do return to their normal buoyancy after a few hours.  I've seen this come and go with several of them.  Is there a swim bladder problem here, or is this something different? <Something different. The food> Finally, one of my fish, a blue fantail about 2 1/2 inches long is not well.  Immediately behind the gills on both sides, is a small oval shaped swollen area, the length of the gill, and about 1/4 inch wide. The fish seems to be breathing okay, however, I would imagine it's a bit labored.  He's still just as friendly, active, and hungry as the others. Whatever is swollen is under the scales, though they don't seem to stand out much.  I do believe one of the scales was lost on one side as that side appears bruised.  Is this related to gill disease? <Maybe, maybe not. I would not be concerned with this being a problem, but I would "do something" in the way of adding fresh and frozen foods in place of the all-dry regimen> I don't believe dropsy is involved, because the rest of the fish seems to be normal. <Not dropsy, but the current feeding practice will lead to other maladies> Any ideas, and suggestions for treatment would be greatly appreciated. I have a hospital tank I use to treat sick fish, so that's not an issue. I just need to know how to treat it.  Better to know, than to use a random medication hoping it works. Thank you for your assistance. David C. Ware Professional Computer Nerd <Ha! No worries. The "floating" and likely the swollen area issue will be "solved" soon by feeding frozen/defrosted foods, par-boiled vegetables, cooked rice, frozen/defrosted peas... Feed the dried-food at most every third day or so. Bob Fenner>

- Treating Reoccurring Mouth Rot - Hi, <Hello, JasonC here...> My male goldfish has been suffering from reoccurring mouth rot.  I have done everything that I need to do. I quarantined him, medicated him, had water tested over and over again at home and at pet stores.  Finally (after about 3 months), someone at the pet store said that I had done everything I could do, and it was ok to let "nature take its course." So I did.  Well everything seemed fine for about 3-4 months.  He didn't get any worse, and he seemed to be getting better.  He was eating, and enjoying life, until Sunday.  By yesterday morning he had a complete relapse, and it happened fast. So, I set up a separate tank (using some of the water from the main tank, and one of the filters) and medicated him.  Well he is not doing well.  His mouth is horrible looking, and he won't eat.  He is hiding in the corner, and just hanging out at the bottom.  I have read about topical treatments for this kind of stuff. Could you tell me a little about it? <These would just be water-proof salves that can be applied directly to the infected area. There are also some other liquid compounds which can be applied - Merbromin comes to mind. In either case, you take the fish out of the water for a minute or two to perform the application then place the fish back in quarantine - the fish will be fine for this brief period.> Is it safe for someone like me to do? <Sure.> And can it be used in conjunction with the medicine I am already using? <What medicine is that?> Also is medicated food another option? <It is an excellent option as it's one of the only ways to get the medicine inside a freshwater fish.> And is there anything else I can do? <Well, from a system standpoint, you might want to examine your filtration and overall husbandry. The problem you describe is most likely bacterial, and these bacteria almost always come about from water cleanliness issues. As far as the fish goes, you may well have done everything possible in this particular case, but I wouldn't give up until the very end. You can also try a short bath in a concentrated Furan solution, in an attempt to shock-treat the infected areas.> Also when will I know that nothing else can really be done and it is time to permanently ease his suffering? <Hmm... hard to say, fish tend to look ok until the very last moments and then take a precipitous dive off the end, often times discovered in the morning. I hope for you and your fish's sake that it will pull through.> Sorry for all the questions.  And thanks for your help. Sincerely, Ana Zelia <Cheers, J -- >
- Treating Reoccurring Mouth Rot -
Jason, <Good morning.> Thank you for your quick response. <My pleasure.> I have a few more questions. First of all to answer your question, the medicine that I have been using is  Nitrofura-G. <Ahh, ok... good enough.> I do not understand what you mean when you said "you might want to examine your filtration and overall husbandry." <Well... this problem is tied closely to water quality. Could be something you haven't done which would affect this.> As far as filtration I have an underground filter and a Millennium 2000 wet-dry Multi-filter with biofiltering action. <Hmm... could be the undergravel filter. Do you ever vacuum the gravel? If you don't clean the gravel regularly, chances are quite good that this has become a small sewer and likewise turned into a bacteria breeding ground.> I do water quality checks and partial water changes regularly. <Unfortunately, many issues surrounding water quality can't be tested for easily.> I only have two goldfish and a bottom dweller in a 29 gallon tank. <This is sufficient life in this size tank to pollute the water very quickly... again, if you don't, start by vacuuming the gravel.> The tank has been in place for about 13 months and I have never done a full tank change but I was told not to. <Now might be the time... considering that you've removed the fish to treat and almost every time you put the fish back in the main tank, it develops mouth rot, it's a safe assumption that there's a systemic issue in the main tank. I'd give it a very thorough cleaning, vacuum the gravel, and replace at least 50% of the water.> Can you recommend any particular medicated food or a topical treatment. <I'd try Tetra Medica as it's meant to address bacterial issues.> for him? Thanks, Ana <Cheers, J -- >

Goldfish biting tail Hi, We have 2 goldfish, one orange and the other white and orange.  When we first got them they both seemed equally as healthy and active (if anything the orange one seemed a little slower)  but now it looks like the orange one may have been biting the white ones tail and fin as they have dramatically reduced in size.  Is this possible or could there be another explanation for the white ones disappearing tail and fin? <Could be an infectious disease, but I strongly suspect it's being chewed as you observed. I would look to improving, increasing both fish's nutrition, as I suspect that this may be a real source of your trouble. Do add some floating "bunch" type plant for their chewing activity as well (my choice is Anacharis/Elodea)> We have separated the two fish for about 2 weeks now with no apparent improvement to its tail.  Will it grow back and will we be able to put it back in with the orange one? <If not too far bitten back the tail will regenerate. This may take a few months time.> Thanks for your advice. Alison <Thank you for writing. Bob Fenner>

Goldfish won't open mouth Hi, I have got an aquarium with 4 goldfish 1 fantail and an algae eater. The aquarium is 120 Gallons so I think it is big enough? <Yes>   The largest goldfish (about 6 inches) who is 3 years old has suddenly stopped opening his mouth.  He does try to eat food but just nudges up to it.  I thought at first that his mouth might have got stuck somehow, but after looking at him for a while he did eventually open his mouth to let an air bubble out, apart from this he his in very good condition.  Any ideas? <Might be symptomatic of a nutritional deficiency or (rarely) a congenital defect or even more unlikely resultant from a biological disease. What do you feed your fishes? Do you administer vitamins, other dietary supplements to their food? Do include some fresh vegetable material (not just all dried foods) in their rations, some foods containing shrimp meal for color, perhaps some plant material for their ingestion as well as looks, function. It takes a good long while for goldfish to die from not opening their mouths for food. I suspect yours will "cure" spontaneously and improve with better nutrition. Bob Fenner> Regards Simon Moore

Goldfish behaving strangely Hi <Hello> I have recently purchased  five goldfish for a large tank , I tested for nitrate and reading 0  all the other tests were within parameters on introducing the fish they all clumped together in one corner, then a couple of them swam around very fast and erratically hitting the glass before returning to the corner. <There is something very wrong here. Not normal behavior. At first I suspect ammonia (do you have a test for?), but you may well have some other chemical toxicity at play here. Did you introduce any other livestock ahead of these goldfish? How long has the system been up? Any live plant material present? Please see WetWebMedia.com re the Freshwater Subweb, Goldfish Disease FAQs. Bob Fenner> Is this normal when introducing fish to a tank does it take a while for them to get settled into their new home Mike

Euthanizing a goldfish <Hi -- Ananda here tonight...> Hi, I have a 2 year old bug eyed goldfish (Mr. Wiggles) that has had some sort of swim bladder problem for about 4 months now. He is always upside down and now rarely moves. Also somehow he has gotten some sort of parasite and has very red streaks on his tail and large white bumps on his fins and he looks like he's constantly gasping to breath. Could you please recommend a painless way I could put him out of his misery? It doesn't look like he'll pull through even with the medication I'm giving him and I just want to put him out of his misery.  Thanks in advance. -Richard <Sorry to hear your goldfish is doing poorly, but I commend you for writing in about a painless authorization method. I had to euthanize a pet molly recently, and I found a very, very fast way to do it. Get a bowl or container big enough to hold the fish. Fill it with enough tank water to cover the fish completely. Then add some clove essential oil. It's a natural anesthetic. I'm not sure how much you will need to add, as it will depend partly on the size of your fish. Once you add the essential oil to the water, mix it well to disperse the oil. Then put your fish into the container. He should stop moving fairly quickly. If he doesn't, add more clove oil and swish the container again. When I did this with a full-grown molly, he was gone in less than 30 seconds after I put him into the container with the clove oil. Do be careful to avoid getting the clove oil on your skin, as it can numb an area it comes into contact with.  A few more details here: http://wetwebfotos.com/talk/thread.jsp?forum=24&thread=10498 --Ananda>

Re: Euthanizing a goldfish Hey Bob, do you have any suggestions for treatment of this fish? "He is always upside down and now rarely moves. Also somehow he has gotten some sort of parasite and has very red streaks on his tail and large white bumps on his fins and he looks like he's constantly gasping to breath." Gage <Unfortunately, once fancy goldfish get this far debilitated from "gas bladder" disease (actually mainly fatty infiltration causing disorientation), there is very little chance of recovery. Folks can keep such malaffected fish's in shallow water, treat them with Epsom salt, and feed them on low-protein foods (even peas and cooked rice) in long-term attempt at "slimming down". This is about it as far as I know. Bob Fenner>
Re: Euthanizing a goldfish
<Hi! Ananda here this afternoon...> Thanks, I went and got the clove oil yesterday. <I'm glad you were able to find it.> But I'm still going to give the Maracyn-Two medication till the end of the week and see if it improves Mr. Wiggles condition. <And keep feeding him those high-fiber foods... Good luck. --Ananda>

Lethargic New Addition revisited To Ryan, <Hey there!> thanks for your response to my question on lethargic new addition. My black moor is still alive I have put him in a hospital tank now. <Round of applause in order!> He eats once in awhile but now he has white stringy stuff coming out. and the skin under his eyes is coming off. It also looks like he has some cloudy stuff on one of his eyes as well. I have been treating him with Fungus Cure should I switch medicines. <What is the recommended treatment period for this medication?  It should specify on the label.  If the period has expired, and no results, switch.  Search the FAQs for some recommendations.  Make sure to get rid of the old medication first.>  I'm not sure if he has internal parasites or what. <I hope not> all I know is he's a fighter. The tankmates I have are mollies, guppies, 2 small Balas, and tinfoil barbs none of which bother him. <Make sure he's well for 2+ weeks before attempting to reintroduce him to your main tank.  Good luck!>  Thanks again,

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

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

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