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FAQs About Goldfish Disease/Health 21

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

Related FAQs:  Goldfish Disease 1, Goldfish Disease 2, Goldfish Disease 3, Goldfish Disease 4, Goldfish Disease 5, Goldfish Disease 6, Goldfish Disease 7, Goldfish Disease 8, Goldfish Disease 9, Goldfish Disease 10, Goldfish Disease 11, Goldfish Disease 12, Goldfish Disease 13, Goldfish Disease 14, Goldfish Disease 15, Goldfish Disease 16, Goldfish Disease 17, Goldfish Disease 18, Goldfish Disease 19, Goldfish Disease 20, Goldfish Disease 22, Goldfish Health 23, Goldfish Disease 24, Goldfish Health 25, Goldfish Disease 26, Goldfish Disease 27, Goldfish Disease 28, Goldfish Disease 29, Goldfish Disease 30, Goldfish Disease 31, Goldfish Disease 32, Goldfish Disease 33, Goldfish Disease 34, Goldfish Disease 35, Goldfish Health 36, Goldfish Health 37, Goldfish Health 38

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

Goldfish Disease by "Types", Causes:
Environmental 1, Environmental 2, Environmental 3, Environmental 4Environmental 5,  Environmental ,  (Absolutely the Biggest Category)
Floaty Bloaty Goldfish
Nutritional (Second Largest)
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

My goldfish..:[ and poor English, lack of useful info. re goldfish   5/15/06 I am so glad I stumbled upon your guy's webs site.   See, I have looked everywhere for an answer to my Fancy goldfishes problem. he has a flaky white sore looking thing forming right above his mouth. He has had it for about 3 days now. At first I thought it  was some form of Ick so I treated him with Ick Care by Jungle fish care <... toxic> yet nothing has happened. I am beginning to get worried. He is a very large healthy fish. By large I mean fat. He is 5in long, 3in tall, and 3in wide. [thought I would give you some insight on his size.] <Good> He swims around the tank like a normal fish and never really stays in one place, he eats a lot, and his gills move in a normal steady pace. His eyes are a good clear silver color and his skin/scale/fins do not show any discoloration. All in All I am lost for an answer as to why my healthy fish has a white bumpy mass growing on his forehead. <I'm lost too... you provide nothing in the way of this animal's system, maintenance, feeding, water quality/testing... can't read minds... quite> [It kind of looks like what shrimp look like when you cook them in a pan. You know how their meat becomes white and tough looking.]    Please help me. If you need I can send a picture.      Thank you so much in advance,   from both my gold fish Pudge, and me Shauna <Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm and the linked files at top. Bob Fenner>  

Lump on floating goldfish??? No useful info.  5/14/06 Hi my name is Rhonda and I have a very sick goldfish. I had him in a fish tank and he got septicemia and quite sick. I medicated him with triple sulfa tablets and he seemed to get better. My tank was too small for him (35 gallon) so put him in a large pond with Koi fish. <Not a good mix...> 2 months later he got sick again and has been floating on his side for about 2 weeks and not being able to eat very much due to having no balance. I have put him back in the fish tank by himself and am giving him the triple sulfa tablets again but not sure if it is septicemia this time. <Depends on the root/cause of this condition> He has a large lump on the side of him which is the side that is sticking out of the water. He has lost most of his grey color and has turned white except for the ends of his fins. There is a small amount of pink/reddish color on the lump. The lump is not growing on the outside of his belly but actually under his belly. I have attached some photos for you to see what I'm talking about. Any help here would be great as I really don't want to lose him. At what point should I consider euthanasia?? I don't want him to have to suffer. Thanks for your help, Kind regards Rhonda Briggs. <Ummm, no information on foods/feeding, water quality, maintenance, set-up... Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshmalnut.htm and the linked files at top. Bob Fenner>

A question about Goldfish feces  - 05/10/2006 Good Evening, Crew. <<Hello, Alfredo. Tom again.>> I have 2 goldfish, a small Ryukin and a small Lionhead, in a 50 litre tank. They are kept at 26 degrees and have a hang-on filter, a powerhead, and an undergravel filter. <<Still have the UGF? Pull it out, my friend. Old technology and likely to lead to more problems.>> I feed them once a day and never more than their eye volume (by the way, is it the volume of one or two eyes?). <<One.>> Their diet consists of brine shrimp, thawed skinless peas, and sinking pellets. <<Consider adding some flake food here. High in vitamins and other "good stuff".>> Today's water test readings are as follow : Ammonia : 0 Nitrite: 0 pH: 7. Nitrate: 5 <<All good.>> I noticed today that the Ryukin was producing a long, transparent feces that floated to the top as if filled with air. Is this normal? <<No, it's not. Should be short and dark.>> If not, please tell me how to fix the problem. <<A change in diet may do the trick. If not, Metronidazole for internal infection may be in order here.>> I love my goldfish very, very much. Thank You, Alfredo Echeverria Ripstein <<De nada. Tom>>
Re: a question about Goldfish feces -revisited
 - 5/11/06 <<Hi, Alfredo.>> I appreciate your quick reply, Tom. I am sorry to bother you again. What change (as you suggest below) should I make in the goldfish's diet? <<Never a bother to help. There are high-quality flake foods formulated for Goldfish that you might try adding to your pets' diets. These are enhanced with vitamins and should be fairly high in carbohydrates. Goldfish don't digest proteins particularly well.>> Should I medicate right away or should I change the diet first and await results? I am scared that if I wait it would be too late, or that the condition might worsen. <<I don't like to recommend medicating a fish when the "condition" may not be a direct result of an infection. The "flip side" to this is that it's far easier to medicate a fish with food than treating the tank water. Actually, it's better overall for the fish since treating the water for internal problems is not the better of the two options.>> As always, I appreciate your help tremendously. Thank you. Alfredo Echeverria Ripstein <<Again, any time, Alfredo. Tom>>
Re: Goldfish feces and something more
 - 05/15/06 Hello, Tom. <<Good afternoon, my friend.>> I have asked for both kinds of medicated food through the internet, the jungle Anti-parasite and the anti-bacteria. <<Got both of them, myself, Alfredo. ;)>> Sorry to bother you with more questions--- <<Oh, stop! Why do you think I'm here? :)>> Today I noticed that my little Lionhead goldfish has a tiny white spot (about the size of the head of a pin) on her fleshy Lionhead, above her eye. Next to it is an even smaller white dot. I found it because it contrasts with the red colouring of her head and the rest of her reddish body.   <Sounds suspicious but, go on...>> I doubt that it is Ich because it is too big and in the wrong place, from what I have read. Might it be a little wound or something of the sort? <<Certainly might be, Alfredo, but I'd still be thinking Ich. The parasites are "opportunistic" and don't really care where they "land". If the "spots" are about the size of a grain of salt, more or less, it's a good bet that it's Ich.>> I dissolved 3 quarters of a tablespoon of aquarium salt and  put it into the tank. What is this?  What should I do to help her? <<Raise the heat of the water - carefully and slowly - to above 80 degrees. 83-84 degrees would be as high as you should go. Increase the salt solution to 2-3 tablespoons per five gallons of tank water. Maintain this level until Lucy has shown no signs of "white spots" and, then, for at least three days after the spots have disappeared. (Some would advocate a longer period of treatment, as would I, but, we're not certain here. Let's err on the side of caution.>> I appreciate your kindness and help; so does Lucy the Lionhead. Alfredo <<My best to Lucy, Alfredo, and, of course, to you. :)>>
Re: Goldfish feces--- continued
 - 05/19/2006 Hi, Tom.  <<Hi, Alfredo.>> I am terribly sorry to be bothering you again, I don't mean to appear to be taking advantage of your kindness.  <<No apology necessary at all, Alfredo.>> I decided to add a well served tablespoonful of Epsom salts to the aquarium in hopes of helping Mimi. She began passing feces shortly after adding the salts and has begun to swim with somewhat greater ease around her home. <<Excellent. Good to hear this.>> Just for the record, the readings from the water tests are all excellent (including ammonia, nitrites, nitrates, and pH).  I fed Mimi very sparingly today, a little piece of a skinless pea. I haven't seen her pass any bowel movements today and am wondering if I should add another spoonful of Epsom to get rid of any possible left over bloatiness or constipation (given that I only added 1 of a possible 2 spoons). <<You might try this. It certainly won't hurt her although the pea should serve the same purpose.>> If so, should I syphon first to get any leftovers out? <<I wouldn't vacuum at this point. Let's keep the full effect of the Salts working for her.>> The white dot on Lucy's head has disappeared (I haven't medicated with regular aquarium salts and heat as you suggested from fear of stressing Mimi when the bloatiness showed up yesterday) and in it's stead there is a red dot. Might this be a wound as I originally suspected? I thought I could discern a little red line inside her translucent Lionhead connected at the point where the red dot is visible on the exterior of her ´Lionhead´. Does this sound like a parasite by any stretch? <<By way of information, when an encysted parasite bursts out and falls off a fish, there will be a wound left on the flesh of the animal. A healing wound is almost always black in color while red suggests that the wound is "fresh". This is not a 100% guarantee of Ich but is 100% consistent with the indications of it. The 'red line' is probably directly connected with the wound and not of great concern unless you start to see a number of these displaying on your pet. That would suggest Septicemia to me but let's not jump ahead of ourselves.>> I don't know how to combine treatments for these guys and I am still waiting for the medicated food to make it here to Mexico. <<When Ich is suspected, the salt/heat treatment is almost unanimously the preferred method among us at WWM. It's highly effective and carries the collateral advantage of aiding in healing of any wounds your fish might have. It also assists the fish in breathing by increasing the uptake of oxygen through the gill membranes. In short, this treatment is far less stressful, if stressful at all, to the fish than the condition you're treating for would be. As for combining treatments, nothing that I've ever come across suggests that salt treatments can't be performed in conjunction with the use of Metronidazole for internal parasitic infection.>> I appreciate your patience and your kindness, Tom. Thank you very much. <<As always, Alfredo, I'm more than happy to help whenever possible.>> Alfredo  <<Be well, my friend. Tom>>

Dying Goldfish - 5/9/2006 Please help - ill goldfish upsetting the family! <<I shall try.>> We have two goldfish in goldfish bowl they are small fancy type (don't know the name). <<Goldfish do not belong in bowls.  Please read: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm.>> The water is not filtered and I am waiting since water change to take some into local fish store to get it tested. <<Please get these guys into a proper filtered setting.>> We have changed water completely in past since having not been advised to do a 25% change every week to keep balance. <<There are many more pressing issues at play here.>> Regular tap water has been used.  We do have a water softener - would softened water be better for 25% change? <<Not important now.  Your fish will surely perish if not in a cycled, filtered aquarium soon.>> The goldfish look ill and lay on side at bottom.  They are feeding fine but I've noticed colour change as some scales look less orangey now, and one of the fish has a black patch behind its eye.  I have no idea what to do to help them and they seem to be getting worse - or at least definitely not getting better.  They feed on normal flaked fish food and have a good oxygenating plant in the bowl which is of good size for them. <<They are suffering from ammonia/nitrite poisoning. Read: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshmalnut.htm, http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshdisease.htm. This is an environmental problem.  Please read here on cycling:  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwestcycling.htm.  Lisa.>>

Gas Bubble Trouble   5/9/06 Dear Mr. Fenner, <<Bob's enjoying a "swim-about" right now, Victoria. Tom with you.>> After reading through as much of your helpful website as possible, I believe that my fancy goldfish Mr. Kiko is suffering terribly from Gas Bubble Disease [Emphysematosis] but I am unsure and I would desperately like to help him. Here are the facts: - 1 x fancy goldfish (have had him in this tank for about 2 years now...his mate passed away about 1 year ago, I think, in retrospect, due to changing too much water too often and pH differences but Mr. Kiko survived, thankfully.) - Home: Reef One Bio Orb 10 gallon aquarium (30 litres) which seems to be running as per normal with 1 live standard green aquarium plant which the fish nibbles on or pulls out from time to time. - Filter: Normal bubbling up through central tube.  Some bubbles sitting on surface but no scum or fine bubbles appear to be forming on Plexiglas surface. <<The bubbles "sitting" on the surface should break very quickly - within seconds. If not, this might be an indication of dissolved organics in the water. You might try feeling the surface water with your fingers to see if it has a "soapy" feel to it.>> - Location: Melbourne, Australia where it is currently winter and water is cooler then normal. <<This can contribute since gases are more soluble in colder water.>> - Feeding: 2 x sinking pink pellets daily in evening or substitute with 1 x thawed green pea at least once a week. - pH: Reading just over 7 - No other accurate measurements currently available as local fish store staff sadly lack knowledge and any 'care factor'. - Maintenance: includes regular replacement of cartridge as specified by manufacturer as well as regular partial water changes. <<All sounds pretty standard, Victoria, though I do wish you had access to readings for your water parameters. Having read through your post, they may, or may not, be of real help but it's always nice to have them available. Let's go on...> Symptoms: - Has been floating upside down at surface for a few months now when no one is around to bother him but if you come near the tank he rights himself and swims around just fine. <<This would seem to rule out swim bladder problems.>> - Particularly after feeding, fish is often last seen gasping at surface before flipping over to float upside down. - A couple of small clear bubbles protruding from sides of body underneath scales.  Similar bubbles appeared about 3 months ago.  I put a general aquarium antibiotic treatment in (half a crushed dissolved pill) as well as Epsom salts which seemed to get rid of bubbles temporarily however they are back again and the swimming issues are perpetuating. <<These last two symptoms are, indeed, consistent with Gas Bubble Disease.>> - Generally appears a bit pine-cone like but has for some time now (more than a year and local fish store tells me this is normal for fancies). <<Well, if this has existed for a year, I would concur with your LFS...to an extent.>> - Still always keen to eat. - Breathing appears to be normal - no other obvious symptoms. I hope this is enough detail to assist you.  I would be very grateful for your thoughts on what the problem is and advice on how I may remedy.  I feel so terrible thinking that this little creature is in a lot of pain. <<The quick remedy for the "tank" is more aeration. An air pump with one or two airstones will help "de-saturate" the tank of undissolved gases, which appear to be causing the original problem. A second method would be to prepare water for water changes and let it sit for a day, or so, to allow these undissolved gases to dissipate prior to adding the water to the tank. You can also, gradually, raise the temperature of the water that your pet is living in to about the mid-70's F. (24 degrees C.). Air/gases are less soluble in warm water than in cold and Goldfish can do very well in temperatures in this range. (72-76 degrees F./22-24 degrees C. is really a good range for Goldfish and, by "tropical fish" standards, this is cold.) Now, the important issue is Mr. Kiko. We can't "decompress" him by any method that I'm aware of but we must take the pressure off of him internally until he naturally "out-gasses", i.e. reaches equilibrium pressure with his tank. I'd like you to "fast" your pet for three days. No food whatsoever. Also, no water changes. He'll be fine without either for this time. I'm hoping that he'll "skinny down" a bit to relieve the pressure placed on his bloodstream and organs and, just perhaps, lose the pine-cone appearance. Obviously, I want you to keep a close eye on him and, if all seems well, feed him a thawed/shelled pea the first day back on food. (Shouldn't stay with him long.) After this, if all seems well, start him, slowly, back on his normal diet. Implement the aeration/water change procedures I spoke of and, I'm confident (with a little "good luck" mixed in) that Mr. Kiko will be good as new.>> Thank you very much in advance for your kind dedication to the little guys. <<I can't say I don't have my fingers crossed for both you and your pet, Victoria, but that's my best advice.>> Victoria <<Tom>>
Re: Gas Bubble Trouble
 - 05/22/2006 Hi Tom. <<Hello, Victoria.>> Thank you so much for your quick and extremely informative reply to my email.  You are all fantastic! <<For all of us, I thank you for the kind words.>> Mr. Kiko was looking much improved there for a while with less feeding so I did not implement all of your suggestions until just recently when he relapsed quite severely.  I was hoping that less was more for the little guy but obviously was very wrong.  He now has an air bubble protruding about 5mm out of his left side.  The pine coning seems to be worse and upon a closer inspection of his right side and tail area I notice a severe build up of smaller bubbles which appears to be affecting the function of his back tail. <<We might be fighting a couple of problems here, Victoria. Not particularly unusual but it's not something we like to deal with, either.>> Furthermore, it would appear that the anal fin on the right side of his body has shrunk or curled up (there is something there but it is very thin and curled up not spread like normal). Mr. Kiko is using his head and pectoral fins a lot to maneuver himself about. <<It sounds like there's something going on internally to me, Victoria. The "dropsy" appearance of Mr. Kiko suggests either an internal parasitic or bacterial infection, both of which could be compounding the gas bubble condition.>> I have added some Epsom salts and placed an air stone in the tank.  With the air stone and the Bio-Orb filter going, the current seemed a bit much for him so I have decided to shut the Bi-Orb filter down for half of the day just to let him ease into it.  I will turn it back on tonight to avoid the possibility of toxics building up. <<Please do keep up with the filtration. Consistently good water conditions are going to be paramount.>> I also had my water checked again today.  They tested for Nitrate, pH, Ammonia and Salt.  Nitrate and Ammonia were fine, '0' they said, pH a perfect 7.2.  Only the salt was high 350ppm vs. a desired 250ppm but I assume that this may be attributed to me adding Epsom salt the night before. <<A small water change should bring the salinity back into line.>> After a couple of hours with only the air stone going, he seems to be struggling with swimming and is bobbing around in the new currents a lot.  If I remove the air stone (so no bubble action at all) he lays upside down on the bottom of the tank.  No sign of 'deflation' yet but assume this will take a while.  I will fast him again for the next few days and let you know how it goes. <<At this point, I'm going to recommend that you treat him with Metronidazole, preferably in the form of a medicated food, following the fasting period. I don't believe that this is strictly a case of Gas Bubble Disease that we're dealing with. In fact, the GBD may be a secondary issue. If possible, I would also recommend that you raise the tank temperature to about 27 degrees C. (80 F.) in order to elevate your pet's metabolism. During this time, you should keep the tank well-aerated. Keep the salinity at about the 250 ppm that's been recommended and keep him moving. We don't want to bash him around the tank but laying on the bottom, upside down is not what we're looking for.>> Thank you very much again for providing such a kind and helpful service!! <<Good luck to you, Victoria. My personal thanks for caring so much for your pet.>> Victoria <<Tom>>

My Goldfish is Sick, with a Disease I Can't Pinpoint  - 5/8/2006     Hello, I'm very concerned about one of my goldfish.  I have a 10 gallon tank with 4 very small goldfish and one larger one, all comets.   <Need more room...> The larger one is about 2.5 inches in length.  Over the last week or so, I have noticed a change in both his physical appearance and behavior.  I noticed that he seemed thinner and slightly more passive.  I didn't assume anything wrong and left him be.  Soon, I noted small brownish-black scales, only a few, and my first guess was that he had damaged some scales and they were regrowing. <Environmental...> The next day, he went under a dramatic change.  He folds his fins in and tight to his body, and he lays on his side on the bottom of my tank.  I poked him with my net, and he got up to struggle a few stokes of his fins, and sink back to the ground, and within minutes, fell to his side again.  I tried feeding, but he doesn't seem interested.  The other fish seem bubbly as ever.  He's been like this for three days now, though he doesn't seem to be worsening or getting better.  He's breathing, but I'm not sure how much longer he will make it.  I'm not sure or aware of any treatment methods or water testings, but I'd really like for my fish to be okay.   I've had him for several years now, and I don't want him to die.  It doesn't seem to be bloating, Ick, dropsy, lice or parasites, but I don't know what to do.   Thank you for your time. ~Marisa <Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm and the linked files above... Bob Fenner>

Re: Fins turning black on orange fantails  - 5/5/2006 <<Tom here, Chris.>> I would like to thank you for your very prompt and very helpful response.  The fish have now returned to their normal colour after regular water changes (and a reduction in feeding) and appear to be very happy. <<I'm very happy for both you and your pets, Chris.>> With many thanks, Chris <<You're most welcome and continued good luck to you. Tom>>

Goldfish Disease - 05/05/2006 <<Don't know who answered this, no sig.  Crewmembers, please remember to leave your name, so we can all be proud of you!!  -SCF>> Hi I have a sick goldfish, and its really stumping me as to what is wrong with him!  He has been happily living in a 70 litre tanks with 2 other goldfish and 4 minnows. I perform a 10% weekly, and a 25% monthly, with weekly checks of ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and PH. all levels are normal, with the PH at 7.0. the tanks has been running about 6 months.  About a week ago we noticed him behaving a little strangely. His tail fin has been ragged for a few weeks, but with no sign of fin rot. However a week ago he began just hovering about 3/4s up the tank, and not really swimming around and he had a clamped dorsal fin, whilst the others were being gannets and trawling the bottom of the tank. Wednesday, he was sitting at the bottom of the tank, just after feeding. We took him out and placed him in a hospital tank with some disease safe solution added to the water. I did some research on your site, and saw that flukes could be a possible reason. I bought some Methylene blue, and he has been in this for 4 days now with no real improvement. I am going to try a salt bath tomorrow to see if that will help. <Barring water quality, which is always the first concern of a good aquarist, I would suspect flukes as well with those symptoms.  Look for medications containing Praziquantel, good treatment for various parasites that is much more comfortable for the patient than many of the alternatives.  Many folks recommend formaldehyde/formalin meds for flukes, but those tend to kill the fish as well as the flukes.> His diet has been varied, with a combination of bloodworm, spinach, mixed veggie food and Daphnia (all frozen). the others are fine on the diet. <Probably good, reserve the bloodworms in particular for an occasionally treat and only when you are sure no one in the tank is constipated.>    Any advice, clues, that you can offer would be appreciated. no book has gotten me closer to a solution, and I don't want the little fellow to go to the goldfish bowl in the sky!  Thanks in advance,  -Paula

Re: *sigh* MORE problems... Anchorworm, using WWM - 05/05/2006 Yes, I did send this email a while ago, but it was never answered.... mail problems? <Sounds like it> Anyway, the day after this was sent, I noticed small *worms* on my fish. I looked them up, and saw that they were anchor worms. I decided that infection from the worms' bite-things was causing the red/white bumps. <Not uncommon in "pond-raised" fishes> I still have the lethargy problem... ANOTHER fish died in the same way as the others. I treated the WHOLE pond for the worms, with "Parasite Guard" (which is made for ponds... in largish bottles, for treating bigger amounts of water than aquariums...)
<<ACTIVE INGRED: sodium chloride, metronidazole. and acriflavine.>> Now I need to treat the supposed infection from the anchor worms, along with the lethargy, the thought cause of which was supposed to be treated with the parasite guard. Please help my fish, Alison <Mmm, Fluke Tabs, Clout... a few other products have the organophosphate DTHP or Dimilin is what you're looking for... all posted on WWM... use the Google Search tool for "Anchorworm" Bob Fenner>

Goldfish Getting Lazy - 05/05/2006 Hello, I was wondering if you could help me.  I have a 9" long goldfish that was won at a fair about 3 years ago in a 55 gallon tank.  He has always been healthy, until about 3 days ago.  I noticed that he has been laying around at the bottom of his tank and won't eat.  I tried doing a 50% water change and changed his food.  But this morning he is still laying at the bottom and not eating.  When I was cleaning his filter, I also noticed one scale in it. But when I looked very carefully at him, I was unable to see where it could have come from.  He still has his beautiful orange, black and silver.  Do you have any suggestions?  Thank you. -Lucy < This could be the beginning of an internal bacterial infection. Do a 50% water change, vacuum the gravel, clean the filter and treat with Metronidazole.-Chuck>

Bumps On Fantail. Help Please!!    5/4/06 Hello.    <Howdy>   A week ago I bought two small fantails from my local Wal-Mart. I observed them in the tank for quite some time, and after deciding that they seemed healthy and free of disease, brought them home. They've been fine. Phantom, my white one, is still perfectly normal, but Nexxus, the orange one has developed small white nodules on him. (They almost look like pimples.) There is one right where his fin connects to the back of his head, two side by side above his eyes, and one on his side, where his tail connects to his body. They aren't protruding very much at all, but they've just kind of popped up in the course of two days. Nexxus seems fine. He swims around very happily and is active, he eats well. He doesn't show any signs of illness or of being lethargic. He behaves just as Phantom does. Perfectly fine. I'm confused as to what these pimple-like bumps are. And would like some information and some insight as to what I should do if they are a sign of a parasite or illness or something. I'd like to catch it early if it is something serious. Thanks! Nexxus and I will be waiting for your response! <... What re your set-up, water quality? These markings are very likely "environmental" (not pathogenic) in nature. Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Re: Painted Fish - 05/03/2006 env. dis FW, goldfish dis. Thanks for this. I had to go away for the weekend for a family obligation which I was quite late to after the water change and plant wash down!  I put a new carbon pad in the filter (sandwiched with the other pads). I also fed the goldfish some peas before leaving, with the thought that it would help speed through any paint they ate. <Sounds good.> Now I'm back, did another big water change (about 40%), surface clean up, plant rinsing and so on. The water looks much better and all levels are good. I also hosed down the whole yard to get rid of lingering paint dust. <Great!> Three of the fish look fine, even with their lingering paint spots. The fourth looks terrible. He is emaciated, won't eat, and is swimming only using his body and tail fin; his side and dorsal fins are clamped. He spends most of the time at the surface, which is normally his habit anyway, but not to this extent. When I came home, he was nestled in the water hyacinth and I thought he was dead but he moved a little (not much) when I poked him. After the latest water change, he just swims at the surface and stays where there is a current from the filter so he remains in place. (There is a little current that runs diagonally across the center of the barrel, but it's mostly calm water so the fish don't have to work all the time.)  Any ideas on how to help him? <Unfortunately, no....  You've done all I would recommend.  At this point, I'd pull him into a quarantine system.> Hopefully the idiot neighbor is done with this nonsense, because neither I nor the building inspector was particularly amused by this incident. <I can imagine!  Yikes!> After I wrote to you, he not only continued sanding, but decided to clean up the paint debris with a leaf blower, which blew giant clouds of paint chips all over the neighborhood! <ARGH!> Fortunately I was still home, and threw a tarp over the barrel. <Thank goodness.> Linda <Good luck with this, Linda!  Wishing you well,  -Sabrina>
Painted Fish - III - 05/03/2006
Never mind. He didn't make it -- I just found him floating. <I am so sorry to hear this....> The other fish still look fine but now I'm worried about them. <I would keep doing as you have been....  Get all that you can out of there and hope for the best.  Maintain optimal water quality, nutrition....  And, not that I'm recommending this (I don't recommend it in fact), I would probably give the neighbor a piece of my mind, especially if the pond is an "obvious" part of your space.> Linda <All the best to you,  -Sabrina>

Goldfish with suspected tumor    5/4/06 Hello, <<Hi. Tom with you.>> I hope you can advise me. The Summer before last, we put both our goldfish outside for two months. When we brought them back in we noticed that the larger one, Ariel, had some white lumps on her side and gill. I thought at first that it might be a wound/tissue damage, as she also had some scales missing. I tried salt treatment with the dosage at two large teaspoons per four pints, but this didn't seem to have any effect. As the lumps didn't spread to the other fish, her behaviour was normal, and she was eating fine, I decided that she was probably Ok, although I hated to see such a beautiful fish with ugly lumps. <<None of us do, Briony. For what it's worth, the salt treatment was a good call at the time.>> Now, though, my mom thinks that the lump on Ariel's gill has got bigger, although she also thinks that the ones on her side are smaller. <<This can/does happen.>> I was thinking that it might be a tumour, and wondered what you think (links to pictures below). I was particularly concerned about the lump on her gill, although it doesn't seem to be affecting her at present. http://i55.photobucket.com/albums/g148/Ampharos64/Goldfish001.jpg http://i55.photobucket.com/albums/g148/Ampharos64/Goldfish005.jpg http://i55.photobucket.com/albums/g148/Ampharos64/Goldfish007.jpg Thank you, Briony <<I've looked at the pictures you've forwarded and these do, indeed, appear to be tumors. I'd prefer to forward these to Bob, however, and let him have a look. Tom>> <Please see WWM via the Google search tool, using the term: "Goldfish tumor" and view the cached version to highlight the key terms. RMF>

Re: Goldfish with suspected tumor  - 05/13/2006 Thank you very much for your help. I'm glad to know that it is a tumour, even though there's not a lot I can do. I'll just hope for the best and keep an eye out for any secondary infections. Thanks again, Briony <<Best of luck to you, Briony. Tom>>

Are my goldfish unwell? Are you reading?    5/3/06 Hi crew! <Mercedes> I'm about 2 months in to starting up my new aquarium (10 gallons with 2 common goldfish). I know the rule about one goldfish to 10 gallons so for that reason I change the water every 4-5 days to keep the ammonia levels down. <Not all the water I hope/trust> The only problem is the pH level in my area where I live is quite high so each time I change the water the pH goes up to about 8 and I don't know what to do! <Read: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwph,alk.htm and http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwh2ochgs.htm and the linked files above> My goldfish seem fine in terms of behaviour, but I have noticed that tiny little red dots on their bodies that form a line, and one has lost some scales on the side of it body. Does this have something to do with it? <Yes... your fish are overly stressed... environmentally... Read: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm and the........... Bob Fenner> Thank you Mercedes

Goldfish w/clear poop    5/3/06 Greetings- Been reading your website- very impressive. Wondering if you can help me. New to the goldfish game. Have a 5 gallon tank and 2 baby fancy goldfish (1 ½' long each). <This is too crowded...>   Tank is 10 days old.  I do a 20% water change every other day and add 1t aquarium salt to the water, which I leave overnight to dissipate chemicals, then add over the course of an hour (local fish store had suggested 2T salt per 5 gallon)'¦ I plan on changing water like that for 6 weeks until tank 'established'. <Isn't cycled thus far I take it... not good> Fish seem happy- fins up and swimming around, body color and quality seem good.  Fish eat flake food once a day. <Need more than this... type, frequency> Concern is, one fish seems to have normal poop ( ½' long and orange- same color as food), the other fish has very long, thin, clear poop (like 3 pieces of 1-2').  Not sure how to help fish with the clear poop.  Any thoughts? <Posted...> Again, appreciate your help.  You seem thoroughly informed. -Deb <Do read over WWM re... consider ancillary means to establish bio-geo-chemical cycling, better nutrition... the clear poop may be nothing more than resultant from present food, environmental stress. I would do "nothing" medicine-wise to treat this. Improving the env., nutr. will likely "do it" here. Bob Fenner>

Re: Bubble Eye Goldfish, please help.........    5/2/06 Hi Bob, Thanks for helping out.  My Bubble Eye Fish's eye is still swollen and has a slight reddish tint to it. <These challenges take a while to resolve... sometimes months...> I am still treating with Epsom and Aquarium salts only.  I upped the Epsom dosage to see if that will help.  After a 6 day treatment of Maracyn-Two with water changes in between. (Directions said no water changes during, but the water was horrible and he started getting what I thought to be ammonia burns, so I changed the water) <Good>   Now I do water changes almost daily to keep water crystal clean.  Do I continue to salt, or should I try another antibiotic? <I would just try good water quality and nutrition from here on out> If so what kind would you suggest that can be mixed with Epsom and Aquarium salt that is still in the water?  I don't suppose salt dissipates? <No... some will/does leave solution via spray... but little, slowly>   He is still eating and swimming normal. Thanks so much, Shannon <Bob Fenner>

Goldfish, Regained Health, Further Problems - 05/01/2006 Hi, my goldfish Pinky is cured of dropsy, (thank you), <Ah, good!> but now I have another problem. There is a small bump underneath its stomach, and I have no idea what it is or where it came from. <Where is this bump?  Is it possibly the fish's anus?> There's a small, but almost unnoticeable white thread hanging from the bump. Do you have any idea what it can be? <If the bump is just before the fish's anal fin, it's probably just it's anus....  and the white thread may be feces; if clearish, it may be an indicator of internal parasites, which can possibly be the cause of dropsical symptoms.  Of course, it could be something entirely different; maybe a Lernaea/Anchorworm parasite, maybe just a small wound or irritation with a tiny bit of skin scratched loose.  Without seeing it, or having a very detailed description, there's not a lot I can guess at.> That's about the only way I can describe it. <If the bump is still present and unimproved, it will help to know where on the fish it is.> Thanks, Melyssa <Wishing you and Pinky well,  -Sabrina>

Fantail sick?    5/2/06 <<Hi, Nicole. Tom>> Fantail sick? <<We hope not...>> I have two fantails and one of them has black marks on his fin on top of his head and a little black on his tail. He seems to be doing all right, but wanted to know what he has. Can it be fungal? <<Not likely, Nicole. A fungal infection usually takes on the appearance of "cotton". I'd say that your fish has scabs that are in the process of healing.>> The other fish I'm concerned about because I've noticed that a little bit of his scales have flaked off and he will stay at the bottom for a short period of time and then start swimming again, but isn't as active as the other fish. Is he sick? <<Hard to tell. He's possibly stressed due to...? The problem here is that you don't give us a lot of information to work with. What size is the aquarium? What are the water conditions, i.e. ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels? What kind of filtration system do you have? What do you feed your fish? What kind of decorations, plants or substrate (gravel) do you have in the tank? How long has the aquarium been "set up"? Lots of questions but they all help us to help you and, your fish. Tom>>

What killed my Oranda?   4/30/06 <<Tom with you today.>> I had a Oranda goldfish in 2000 gallon pond that died yesterday. <<Very sorry to hear about the loss of your pet, Shannon.>> So sad. 4 days ago I noticed his right bottom fin was totally black.  I treated pond with Melafix for 5 days, in case other fish were sick.  He was still eating.  Yesterday I went to feed and noticed he was almost dead.  When I tried to pull him out I noticed he swam away slowly with a huge bulge on his right side, and underneath bulge side was sunken in. It was very frightening to look at.  I pulled him out and immediately tried to put him in salt water, MelaFix and PimaFix.  (All I had on hand).  He died within 30 min.  After I cried....(had him for 4 years) I also noticed what I thought was some kind of white parasite-looking "claw" thing coming from his underside.  Almost looked as if it was a claw sticking out him below his anus.  I looked closer and I (think) it was just totally shredded anus fin...All other fins were fine.  I also noticed I could see black through his skin (like dark blood) on his back. <<An "educated" guess would be that what you saw was, indeed, blood.>> It is hard to describe, I'm sorry, but does any of this sound familiar?  What could that huge bulge be? <<What you've described does sound familiar unfortunately. Acute septicemia (blood poisoning). The bulge you saw on your fish was likely one, or more, internal organs that had been traumatized by the infection causing internal hemorrhaging, hence the swelling, darkened fin and discoloration along the animal's back. This, at least, would be my call based on what you've shared and is consistent with the symptoms your Oranda displayed.>> I fear if it is contagious to other fish?   <<Unless your Oranda was recently introduced to the pond, there's little chance that it was exposed to anything to which your other fish haven't also been exposed. Keep a close eye on your other fish and be on the lookout for red spots on the bodies and/or red streaking in the fins. These are typically the first signs of the infection. Water quality can be problematic in some cases but antibiotic treatment may be required. The main thing is to act quickly upon any sign.>> Any thoughts.....Thanks! <<I hope this has been of some help, Shannon. Tom>>
Re: What killed my Oranda? (Tom)
   5/2/06 Thank you, Tom, very much for info... <<Happy to help, Shannon, even with an admittedly limited amount of information.>> If I do notice red spots on my pond fish, what antibiotic do you suggest in treating the entire pond?   <<This would not be recommended for several reasons. First, once the bacteria responsible for the disease has affected a given fish, treating the water is unlikely to be successful. (FW fish don't "drink" water like their SW counterparts and, to be effective, the medication must get into the fish's system.) Additionally, it would prove detrimental to your system (pond) since the medication will invariably destroy the beneficial bacteria responsible for controlling ammonia and nitrites. Second, septicemia is an "effect" rather than a "cause". By that, I mean that your Oranda was likely stressed which led to its susceptibility to the infection. A healthy fish isn't prone to this infection and it would be ill-advised to subject a healthy animal, i.e. your other fish, to any medication. Doing so can actually bring stress on, which can do more damage than good. Third, while "ponds" are certainly not my area, I know that this time of the year can present conditions that are not optimum for Koi/Goldfish given the cooler temperatures they live with. Immune systems in fish are elevated at higher temperatures, even for fish that prefer "cold" water (as opposed to Tropicals). In pond systems, the conditions generally correct themselves as the season progresses without "human" involvement.>> Note: I do have 2 large frogs and several snails, and lots of plants.  I have a light colored goldfish with red spots and solid red eyes, maybe it is septicemia (blood poisoning) you told me about.  Someone told me he was just an Albino fish and his look sounded normal.  But the blood red looking eyes have me concerned.  He is still eating normally.  Any thoughts? <<Yes. Loss of appetite is an indicator of a sick, or stressed, fish. A fish eating "normally" is, almost always, a good sign. One of the first we look for, in fact. I understand your concern, though. Keep an eye on his physical condition/behavior.>> Thanks! <<You're welcome, Shannon. Tom>>

Lethargic goldfish hanging around vertically   4/30/06 Hi. <<Hello, Linda. Tom>> I've been reading through some of the posts, and I don't see anything about this.   I've had two common goldfish (the kind given away at carnivals and such) for about 7 years.  One is golden orange, and the other is almost all white.  They have been doing very well (except for a few bouts of high nitrates) in a 25-gallon tank with a TopFin 40 filter, a six-inch airstone, and a lot of frilly live plants.  They've grown to about a foot long each.  I hang a Nitrazorb packet under the flow from the filter to counteract the nitrates. I also replace about 5 or 6 gallons of water every week or two and replace the filter about once a month.  I feed them BioBlend goldfish food twice a day. <<First of all, congratulations on your fishkeeping skills. Generally, I would recommend a tank twice the size of yours for two fish of this size which speaks well of the care you've given your pets. That said, there's something here that caught my attention. When you say that you "replace" the filter about once a month, I normally advise against this opting, rather, to "clean" the media in used tank water to preserve the beneficial bacteria contained in the filter media. Replacing the media outright requires re-seeding the filter with the bio-colonies needed to maintain optimum water conditions and can lead to spikes in ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels, if only over a short period of time.>> Whitey often gets red spots and streaks and becomes lethargic - just hanging around vertically, nose up, swimming around a few seconds occasionally (especially after a nudge by Goldie) and then returning to the vertical hang.  I've found that using StressZyme usually clears up those symptoms.  But after I've used it a few days, and Whitey is doing fine, Goldie starts hanging around vertically instead.  This has gone back and forth several times over the past year.  Although it's not hindering their appetites, I'm assuming the lethargy (and the red spots and streaks) means they are not feeling well.  Unfortunately, I can't seem to make them both happy at the same time. <<You don't include specific water condition readings with your posting and these are always important to us when trying to help with problems. Because of the "legendary" hardiness of Goldfish, I suspect that you're experiencing water quality variances that have, within the last year, begun to display themselves. What you describe is almost certainly bacterial hemorrhagic septicemia which is being "cleared up" temporarily by the addition of the water conditioner. Commonly this situation is caused by organics in the water and might easily be expected given the size of your fish in a 25-gallon tank. I would suggest that you stick with 20% water changes each week and clean your filter media rather than replacing it.>> Any suggestions would be welcome. Thanks. <<Hope this helps, Linda. Tom>>

Black moor has spots   4/30/06 Greetings from Maine, <Hello from California.> I apologize if you have already answered this question. I have searched your site (and many others) but have not been able to find a description that matches my problem.  I have a black moor that has developed rust colored spots. It looks like she was sprinkled with bleach. The spots are flat and irregular shaped. They are on her body and fins.   <The first thing that comes to mind is Oodinium/"Velvet", as this can look a bit "rusty".> It appeared suddenly and she had been eating and acting normal. Her tank mates show no symptoms. I tested the tank water and the results were fine. To be safe, I took a sample to my local pet store for testing and again the results were fine. There have been no additions to the tank, no change in food, water quality is fine. I have no idea what this could be.  The pet store advised to treat the tank with Maracyn2.  I treated the tank last night per their instruction. This morning, she seems less active and less social than normal.  She is in a 40 gallon tank with 3 small Ryukins. She is approx 5 inches long and a beautiful girl. Please help me get her well again.  Thank you in advance for your attention!!!! <As I said, my first gut reaction is that it might be Oodinium.  This is a protozoan parasite that can possibly be treated by Ich medication like Rid-Ich, as long as you don't have any delicate or scaleless fish in the tank.  If you can get an image of the sick fish, that might help in getting a slightly more confident diagnosis.  All the best to you,  -Sabrina>
Spotty Moor - II - 05/01/2006
Sabrina, Thank you so much for your reply. <Glad to be of service, Sonja.> I will try to get a photo of her so you can see better what I am talking about. <That's always a huge help.> Have you ever splashed bleach on black clothing and the spot turns a sort of orangey color? Well that is exactly what she looks like. <Ahhhh, I understand now.  Not to worry, this is very likely a normal color change.> The spots do not seem to get bigger and are not changing. <They may get bigger, or the entire fish may change to this brassy orange color.> She is behaving normally and eating well.  Her tank mates are not affected.   <I would not be concerned.  Many/most moors "lighten up" with age; some even turn a bright orange.> I am wondering if this could be a nutritional problem that is triggering the color change.   <Do please check out our article on Goldfish (mal) Nutrition.> Again, thank you for helping me out here.  I would feel horrible if something happened to her because I was not doing the right thing. <Not to worry, color changes are very common in many goldfish, especially black moors.> Never thought I would get this attached to a goldfish. <Pretty easy to fall in love with those little mugs, isn't it?> Sonja <All the best to you and your moor,  -Sabrina>

Re: Bob F: Another goldfish woe  - 04/27/06 Well - hi bob- Yet Another goldfish woe. Past correspondence below. Our last letter was in reference to Rupert acting funny-Floating in one spot. You suggest it was from the "Ich treatment" so I changed the filter and kept up on water changes and he seemed fine all over again- once again all was happy.(yay) My new problem (boo) I went away over the weekend to Chicago- before I left I started to notice marlin swimming to the surface more often and hanging out there breathing. I checked Ammonia- yellow 00 ph in-between- blue  7.2/7.6 nitrate- a color  in between 0-20 (safe zone) nitrite- a color in between 0-.5 (safe zone) I have- 20 gallon tank-  whisper filter- an aerator on high- ( Aristech=2ko is it not enough?) - tank has been up and running since march so I think it's definitely cycled by now. Only Marlin was Acting like this- not Rupert-  I have noticed Rupert being Extra aggressive towards marlin during feeding time- chasing after his butt. Another note-I bought a new plant and added it to the tank along with the elodea I already had-  I believe it's Myriophyllum- looks like this http://www.killlakeweeds.com/products/milfoil.gif <Yep> I figure this way I can go away for a bit and not worry about feeding them. When I got back from Chicago (away for 3 nights)- It seems like they may have been fighting more often. I noticed a couple of the plants had been up rooted- Rupert had a slight rip in his tail- marlins fin (under his fancy tail) is sticking out to the side a bit. Now marlin is the one staying in one spot having a bit of trouble swimming- Even laying on the ground of the tank! I know this is bad and have seen it many times on your site.. except everyone else seems to write about this problem only in reference to bad water conditions or cycling problems. My levels seem fine. Does he have swimbladder from fighting or stress? What can I do to help or stop this fighting- not to mention help him get better? <Can't tell> As always all your help is extremely appreciated. Mike <Not much to do, or that can be done here. Bob Fenner>
Re: Bob F: Another goldfish Woah!   4/28/06
Marlin died yesterday! Really fast. I don't understand- he just sank to the bottom- it seemed like it happened in a day. Now even Rupert is swimming erratically rubbing up against everything searching desperately for food, swimming oddly. Did they get some sort of parasite from the new plant? <Doubtful Is there anything I can do? If he has a fluke or something I don't want to use a another medicine only a couple weeks after the Ich treatment. How would one perform a salt dip- is this even the right thing? I just don't know what to do- if Rupert dies too I'll just feel terrible.. :-( mike <As stated before... nothing suggested to do. Whatever the root cause/s here... genetic, the previous med. exposure, there is nothing definitive that would likely be of help. Bob Fenner>

FW salt use   4/28/06 Thanks for your help.. extremely fast.  One last question.  How much Epsom salt and aquarium salt can be in a 10 gallon tank for healing purposes? Thanks, Shannon <Posted: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/saltusefaqs.htm Bob Fenner>

Mesmerized Goldies... poisoned   4/26/06 Hey Crew, <Christopher> I changed my tank water after discovering that the ammonia levels were way too high. Prior to this, the boys swam around like maniacs, munching down each others offerings & generally looking like they were having a good time. I checked the water parameters (Temp = 68, 0 ppm for NO2, NO3, pH @ 7.4, ammonia @ 4.0 ppm that I brought down to 0.50 - 1.0 ppm. <Still deadly toxic> The end result is that now the boys spend a good part of the day either at the bottom, transfixed to the end of the tank opposite the filter. I stopped feeding them, <Good> & they seem a bit "stoned." They respond to tank tapping, come up for food that I won't give them. It just seems a little weird. Thoughts? -- Christopher A. Jourat <Your fish may recover... should take a few weeks... Ammonia needs to be zero, zip, nada... Read on WWM re cycling: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwestcycling.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
Re: Mesmerized Goldies... ammonia poisoned  - 04/27/06
Thanks for the response. here's the update (oh joy!) So I flushed the tank completely, <... not a good idea to make such wholesale changes> but still have a level btwn 0.25 & 0.50 Ammonia. Then I got suspicious, so  I tested my  tap water with  neutralizer, & it came back  0.25 & 0.50. <Many such dechloraminators can/will give a "false positive" reading> Then I tested straight from the tap, same thing. Either my girlfriend & I both have early stage macular degeneration, or the color panels aren't accurate. Maybe my test supplies aren't up to snuff. I use Aquarium Pharmaceuticals with test tubes & ammonia liquid test supplies. Something is kind of hinky here.  Either the local water supply is full of ammonia (scary thought) & the neutralizer doesn't help, <Actually is likely the source of confusion here> the test supply kit is "less than," or I should use the tap test-color as my baseline & work from there. <Yes> After the tank flush, the tap test & the tank test were exactly the same. Next step, neutralizer for the ammonia. It has been suggested that I purchase Stress-Zyme to accelerate tank nitro-cycle setup, <Won't do this> Ammo-Lock, Ammo-Carb, &/or Ammo-Chips for ammonia sequestration, all by Aquarium Pharmaceuticals. I know this leads to NO2-NO3 conversion (o ppm for both now w/ pH @ 7.4) - is this a bad idea? Or do I flush instead?   <Better to cycle the system. Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwestcycling.htm and the linked files at top. Bob Fenner> Chris Jourat

Fancy goldfish that started swimming upside down    4/25/06 I have a Fancy goldfish that started swimming upside down. This started around the beginning of the new year. with in a week his abdomen began to swell on the right side of his abdomen. It has gotten to the size of a small marble. He attempts to eat and seems to get some food. He is in a 25 gallon tank with 2 other goldfish an Oranda and a red butterfly, all are about 3 inches long. Does he have a bad case of constipation and what can I do about it. Thanks for your help!!!!     <... please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshmalnut.htm and the linked files above. Not enough info. presented to be more specific here. Bob Fenner>

Lonely Comet... lost Elvis hit title?    4/25/06 Good Evening to All from Denise and Josh in Seattle, WA. <Howdy from BobF in overcast southern Cal.> We recently purchased 2 small comets (1 1/2 in. each, tip of head to tip of tail) at our local Petco and they stated that our 2 1/2 gal tank would be a safe size for our new pets. <Uh, no> After reading your site I see that is not correct and we need to correct this.  My question is after acclimating them to their new home, Marbles died. <Lost... couldn't help myself> I had the store do a water check and all checked out. <Samples of such change with time, travel...>   It was explained that perhaps Marbles was confused by the type of food (flake) but Jimmy has no problem eating (once a day as advised). <"Jimmy don't lose that..." Again, mis-information>   We did not want Jimmy to be lonely so we purchased Maynard.  They did well and stayed very close together for 3 days until I noticed Maynard <"Work!" Shades of Dobie Gillis> pushing and nudging Jimmy from behind, trying to nibble (no missing scales) and chasing him.  I put Maynard in a separate tank and now Jimmy seems frantic!  He is eating well but seems to either hide in the plants, behind the filter, or darting around in a frenzy.  Could he miss his more aggressive counterpart?   Should I try to put Maynard back in?  Jimmy is only slightly smaller but I don't want him to get hurt.  Again, Jimmy's water checks out well in the normal range.  Any help will be very much appreciated! Thank You! Denise and Josh <Have just skipped down. Your problem/s here are mostly environmental, this system is uncycled, unable to be made stable due to size, substrate, filtration/lack thereof... Please re/read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm And the linked files above. No "sense" buying/killing more of these Comets... they will/can only lead short, miserable lives in this setting. Bob Fenner>

Please help my Lionhead!!  - 04/24/2006 I have a Lionhead named Jefferson who has lived with us for about 4 months. She lives in a 5 1/2 <A bit small, consider upgrading in the future.  Goldfish are messy, and foul the water quickly.  More water means a healthier fish.> gallon tank equipped with an internal filter of 5 to 10 gallon size. We change roughly 40% of her water by vacuuming the rocks every week to  2 weeks. <I would do every week in a tank that size.> She eats TetraFin goldfish fun food brand floating pellets supplemented with Hikari Betta Bio-Gold <Too high in protein.  I wouldn't feed this anymore.> and sun dried Gammarus for her digestion. She has a few floating bunches of elodea but other than that she is the only person in our tank. The problem is that this morning she seems to be having real trouble staying at the level that she wants to be at in the tank. She looks absolutely normal accept she seems to be too buoyant. She can stay reasonably submerged by swimming but when she stops she starts rising again. I've tried gently squeezing her sides as I hear they can have trouble passing eggs. This did nothing. <You really shouldn't do this.  I have heard of trained professionals helping a fish to pass blockage, but the risk is extremely high to the fish if this is not done correctly.  Consider that our first reaction if a human is suffering from some digestive blockage is to look at their diet, not start squeezing their stomach!> I also tried to feed her peas but she doesn't like them. <She may not recognize that they are food.  A few days of fasting ought to be enough to change her mind!> She accepted a Gammarus so she will still eat. I don't know what to do. Please help me to help Jefferson!! <Most floaty Goldfish are this way due to inappropriate diet.  Low quality flake foods and high protein foods are especially bad for your fish.  They cause intestinal blockage to form.  The closest wild relatives of Goldfish enjoy a variety of plants supplemented by surface insects.  You need to change your pet's diet, right after you fast the fish for a 3 to 5 days.  1 TBSP / 5 GAL Epsom Salt (you can find it at your local Pharmacy) may help your pet pass the blockage.  Here is WWM article on this topic: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshmalnut.htm Good luck! Jason N.>

Dropsical Goldfish, Nutrition Issue? - 04/24/2006 Hi how are you? <I'm good, Melyssa, thank you.> I have 2 black moors,2 Orandas(1 redcap), and a calico. One of my Orandas has gotten dropsy. <Mm, "dropsy" is actually a collection of symptoms that may be related to a handful of things....> The scales started sticking out and it looks like a Pearlscale. I put Maracyn two, spiked up the temperature and added some salt to the tank. <I would strongly recommend reading here first:   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshmalnut.htm .  If after a few days of following the suggestions in that link the animal's scales are still sticking out, I would recommend trying a medicated food, medicated with an antibiotic like Kanamycin or Oxytetracycline.> Before it used to stay in the corner all by itself, but on the second day its swimming around and does not look lethargic. Is there any hope for Pinky? <Quite possibly.  Check your water for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate; make sure ammonia and nitrite are ZERO, nitrate less than 20ppm, with water changes.> I heard that dropsy is one of the hardest diseases to treat.   <Mm, again, dropsy is a collection of symptoms; this may be simple constipation (easy to treat) or an internal bacterial infection (very difficult to treat), or a few other possibilities.> - Melyssa, 15 <I hope for the best for Pinky.  Wishing you well,  -Sabrina>

Strange spots on my goldfish  - 4/24/2006 Hello to all the comprising members of the WWM crew. I sent a couple of e-mails last week (they were titled "Sunken Eyes Frantic Breathing") concerning some pH problems and the unfortunate death of a couple of my beloved Goldfish. <Yes, I recall seeing> I was able to solve those problems from the advice given to me by Tom and Mr. Fenner. Today I found Pluto, my small Pleco, dead in some plastic plants; his tail looked very deteriorated. He had been fine the day before and so had his tail. I found my Pearlscale spending lots of time near the bottom and looking a bit sad in general (all this is very unusual for him as he is always very active). I noticed that there are some blackish spots on some of his scales as well. I thought that it might be ammonia burn; I ran a test of the water and found the ammonia levels at zero, the nitrites at zero, the pH at 8.5. <Too high...> Tom recommended that I remove the carbon and the ammonia-reducing inserts from my hang-on filter and I think it has been very helpful to my fish. I also gradually lowered the temperature from 79 to a bit below 75. There is only a sponge insert and the ceramic pellets for the beneficial bacteria inside the filter now. The Ryukin still once in a while does a few seconds of wild swimming and a bit of scratching. The Ryukin and Lionhead are missing at most 3 scales each. I bought a nitrate testing kit this evening but I am not at my place so I haven't tested. The details of diet and size of tank are included in the e-mails I mentioned above. If you need those details again, please let me know. I adore these fish; I appreciate all the advice you can give me to keep them healthy and happy. Thank you very much. ---Alfredo Echeverria Ripstein <The coloring difference mentioned is nothing to worry about... will correct, re-color over time with improved environment. I would read on WWM re adjusting your pH, sources for such... through water changes... over time. Bob Fenner> Spots on Goldfish - Addendum  - 4/24/2006 Dear WWM crew, here are some extra details to the e-mail I sent last night. I did a 50% water change and checked the nitrates, which are at 5. My Pearlscale is still looking sort of sad; spending time near the bottom and seems a bit weak. I am looking forward to saving this guy. Thanks, Alfredo Echeverria Ripstein <... where, when in doubt, re-read through the Goldfish Disease et al. FAQs files. Bob Fenner>

Goldfish Stressed After Ich  Treatment Hi, I've had my Ryukin for about 2 months now and he's started to develop problems in the past week and a half. The water is tested every two days because where I live (Savannah, GA), the quality is incredibly poor.  Nitrate levels are ok, but the water is soft, and too high in pH most times, so it is a continual battle to lower it. Apollo, as he is called, started to get Ich and it was promptly treated.  He was fine for about 3 days then took a rather bad turn.   The area on his head where the Ich first appeared cleared up, then 3 days later began to turn into black spots. and they have gotten larger. He has become lethargic, remaining in corners (or even purposely pushing himself behind the power filter box) and disinterested in eating and floats near the top of the tank.  At one point he had a problem remaining upright in the tank and was almost vertical.  This happened over one night one and his activity returned to normal the next day with no other problems with balance or swimming. However, his top fin is continually clamped and his feces are excessively long, and appear mucous or white at times.  I've gone to the pet store where I bought him, and they can't seem to discern what he might have either.   They thought either Swim Bladder, Hole-in-the-Head, or Hexamita, but the Ich turning into growing black spots threw them off.  No one there seemed to really know a lot about goldfish diseases. The only thing he will eat are occasionally brine shrimp and bits of peas, but his normal sinking pellet food he will not touch anymore.   The water is clean and there is sufficient water flow with the power filter. I'm afraid of simply trying treatments for fear that it might harm him more than it does any good. I've done tons of research online about diseases that could afflict him, but some of the symptoms seem to overlap and I can't get a clear idea of what he is suffering from, nor do I want to try a treatment thinking I know what he has and end up making a mistake. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Sincerely, Cara M. < Do a 50% water change, vacuum the gravel and clean the filter. Treat with Metronidazole for internal bacterial infections. When the fish starts to eat again only feed enough food so that all of it is gone in two minutes once each day.-Chuck>  
Stressed Goldfish II
> Apollo is in a 10 gallon tank by himself and is approximately 2 inches long, not including his tail.  And he apparently has an extra fin. I > wondered if this can cause him to have any problems later on?   < No not really.>   The fin in question is the same as the two small ones under his fan tail. but it is on top of the fan tail and off to the side slightly, always > clamped.  I never noticed it till today as his swimming patterns were normal until the Ich infestation that created a domino effect into > some unknown problems.  As well, when I said "floating at the top" he remains HORIZONTAL (as a normal fish it), with his dorsal fin exposed to the air above the water level and only retreats to the bottom when disturbed by movement outside the tank or vibrations. Thanks again :-)   -Cara M. < These internal bacterial infections can cause gas and lack of mobility. Try the Metronidazole.-Chuck>

Goldfish With Popeye Hello WWM: Recently my Comet's eye swelled. I have 15 fish, several Comets, 2 Ryukins, and several Fancytails. I only have one other fish with a problem and I pretty much figured out what it was surfing the web. But, this Comet had a weird eye for awhile then it suddenly flared up. The eye for a while looked as though it had a crust over part of it. Then one day this fish started hugging the bottom a day or two after I had added fresh water. Water softened water, to my 90 gallon tank. I am using a bio filter with UV light because I had pulled all my fish from the water garden in the fall and they had been doing marvelously up till a few weeks ago, when I noticed my Ryukin with bloat from eating flaked food. When ever I would feed them wheat germ, it didn't happen, but the fish flakes seemed to cause bloating, air retainment which caused the fish to buoy to the top of the aquarium and once in a great while float upside down. It had been nibbled on and lost almost  all of it's tail while it was in the water garden, but since I brought them in they are doing better. I had a snake every once in a while and those stupid water toads in the pond. It was aprox. A 500 gal pond with bio filter UV light etc. Anyway, the fish seem calm, non-aggressive, easy on each other etc. The tail grew back, I fed them a mix of Romaine lettuce and wheat germ, some times flakes mixed lightly in wheat germ. Now this Comet has a swollen eye. Can you tell me what it looks like? All my other fish are fine. Thanks Mark from Mason, MI. < Your fish has pop eye. This is a bacterial infection behind the fish's eye socket. The bacteria creates a gas that pushes the eye out of the socket. Treat the fish in a hospital tank with Metronidazole. Google the WWM page for more info on this disease.-Chuck>

Goldfish Losing Color/Scales Hi there, You very kindly advised me last year on looking after my yellow moon crab, who after your advise is living very happy and doing well.  Please may I pick your brains further.  I have a separate BiOrb tank with 3 goldfish in which I've had for about two years,  They have been in the BiOrb tank for about 2 months after out growing their last tank. They are all quite large and have being doing well for ages, happy fish swimming and eating well.  Recently I have noticed one of the fish losing his scales and colouring.  He/she is mostly a white/silver goldfish with red marking on his head and a few on his body.  The colour is disappearing along with the scales.  I've searched the net and not found anything relevant as to what could be causing this.  The other two fish are fine. Can you give me any advise please Many thanks, Joanna West Yorks. UK < Goldfish sometimes change color as they grow older but the loss is probably a bacterial infection. Isolate the fish in a hospital tank and treat with Nitrofuranace. In an established aquarium the medication will probably affect the biological filtration so watch for ammonia spikes.-Chuck>

Old Goldfish In New Aquarium First of all thank you for the time and effort you put into the website, I find it reassuring to be able to go there if I have problems with my finned family members. My question is...I have had a Lionhead Oranda and a Ryukin for about five years.  When I brought them home they were about 2 inches in length, they are currently around 6 inches.  I had three, but the cat got my female.  (Which by the way successfully mated and spawned, but the surviving spawn got sucked into the filter when the breeder basket somehow got sideways, another story...)  I have had the fish in a large Chinese fish bowl (the porcelain ceramic type), with gravel and a bio filter, which they did quite well in.  I did realize that they were getting too large for their surroundings when I was vacuuming and making water changes twice a week.  So when my birthday came around and my son asked me what I wanted, I said a new aquarium, being space deprived I thought a larger hexagon would fit well.  I received a 27.5 gallon hexagon tank.  I set it all up using new gravel, plus the gravel and polished pond stones from the old tank, added silk plants, Anacharis, conditioned the water, all filtered with a Bio-wheel Power filter 200.  Well I placed the fish in last night after running the tank for 2 days.  The Ryukin loves it and swims around enjoying life, at first I thought uh oh it's too deep!  My Lionhead on the other hand just sits there, but then he did that in his old tank.  I've noticed that the Ryukin every once in a while will go over and nudge his friend as if to say come on this is great!! He's taken a few turn arounds in the tank, but still goes back to the same spot and sits there.  His head is quite large and I'm wondering if it's the weight that is keeping him immobile?  I want to add a couple of more fish, but I'm afraid I may stress him more if I do.  What do you think? Thank you so much for taking the time to read this and I hope you have some suggestions. Sincerely,  Billierose Stevenot < The stress of moving can have different affects on fish. It could be the enlarged head but nothing can be done about that. Could be an internal bacterial infection that has affected the swim bladder. This can be treated with Metronidazole. Try medicating, if this gets him up and going again then add new fish after treatment. If there is no affect then we can assume that the size of the head is too large and you can add more fish anyway.-Chuck>  

Sick goldfish Picture attached  - 04/19/06 I have a sick Shubunkin fish. This is the best picture I could of it. Do you have any ideas what this is and what I can do for it? Thanks, Sharon <Put the terms "Goldfish tumor" in the Google search tool on WWM: http://wetwebmedia.com/index.html and read the cached versions of the linked files. Bob Fenner>

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

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

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