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FAQs About Goldfish Disease/Health 4

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 FAQs:  Goldfish Disease 1, Goldfish Disease 2, Goldfish Disease 3, 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 32, 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

Celestial goldfish looking ill Hi guys, great site. I have a celestial goldfish, about 5 months old, in a 5 litre bowl by himself with some plastic plants, and gravel. I change 60% of the water on average every 2 weeks, using tap water to which water conditioner has been added the day before. I live in Sydney, Australia. About a month ago - at the beginning of winter - my celestial started turning black from a small spot on his head. The black marking now almost covers his body (including tips of the fins), but aren't raised or fungus-looking. a week ago I noticed a red ulcerated patch at the base of his tail, and straightaway treated it with a solution containing eucalyptus that commonly used for fin-rot in Betta fish (on the recommendation of the pet store owner). I did a 75% water change as well, and moved him to a slightly warmer spot (1-2 C higher) in the house. I did another 60% water change a couple of days ago when I noticed the fish looking lethargic and a white scummy substance on the top of the water. while the fish has never been very active and continues to feed well, he's looking lethargic, often swimming at the top of the bowl (but not gasping). his tail fin appears to be less red, but the iris in one of his eyes is larger than the other and appears to have a small red spot in it. please help! I'm doing all I can think of, and I'd hate to have him die needlessly! Thanks very much. < If it is bacterial I would change half the water and treat with Furanace. That should take care of the red patches. The black thing could just be genetic but the Furanace should take care of that too.-Chuck>

Dropsy Hi, Thank you for viewing my enquiry. My fishes are encountering dropsy in my fish tank. I've no possible cure for them and Epsom salt doesn't seem to readily available here in Singapore. I was told, if fishes get dropsy, it's a almost gone case. To cure it is really rare. It's really heart pain to hear that. 1 by 1 they go due to dropsy. Can someone tell me how to see if my tank has some parasites n virus or something like that? I really would like a tank of goldfishes because I really love them. But if by me having them and they go, its seems to me that I'm more like sending them to hell than anything like that. Currently, I've a top filter, but my filter is in a cylindrical shape, is it good? All the sponge everything is kept within the cone. Comparing with what others have, theirs is a open area where they can change the filters as and when they like. Is it possible that the cylindrical filter could have hidden some bacteria due to the fact that it's enclose and not like the others has access to the air that we breathe? Can someone actually advice me to how to keep a tank of healthy goldfishes?  Over here in Singapore, climate are probably different n the available medications for fishes, some to me, seem to be just made to make money as they don't really have effects. I'm on the verge of giving up keeping goldfishes. Can someone please help me? If there's someone from Singapore, all the more I would like to hear from him / her to guide me to keeping goldfishes. Thanks a lot. Thanks, Ivan <<Dear Ivan, yes, dropsy is usually hard to cure. It is much better to prevent this than to have to treat it. The best way to keep goldfishes healthy is to do regular partial water changes, that is, change out 25-50% of the tank water each week, and do NOT put too many fishes in your tank. If you can find a nitrate test kit, you can use that to see how often to change the water. Keep the nitrates at 20-40ppm by doing a water change every time the level gets higher than that. Also, your filter is probably doing a fine job, the problem is most likely due to bad water quality. You must test your water with the test kit regularly. Bad water quality will almost always lead to sick fish. So, the problem is that now the fish are sick, and now the tank needs to be started over. In order to prevent any new fish from dying of the same problems, you need to add something to the tank while there are NO fish in it, to kill off any bad bacteria. Since you don't have access to any medications, you can try to sterilize the tank and filter by pouring a cup of vinegar into the tank, and letting it all run for a day or so...then do a 100% water change to remove the vinegar, and then you can start to add fish SLOWLY. You should take your time when adding new fish, because chances are the tank will need to re-cycle and you don't want ammonia problems. Again, get yourself some test kits, for ammonia, nitrites and nitrates. Perhaps you can do a search on the Internet to find out how to cycle a tank, maybe even find a website in your language. It would help you if you could do some reading, there are lots of sites out there to help you. Good luck, -Gwen>>

Re: Sick Goldfish Hi Gwen, thank you so much for your quick reply. I will get the test kits today. I try to do water changes, at least three gallons, once a month or so. I never had any problems before. I use the conditioner and stress chemicals, I check the temperature. Petco says I can't do much more for Treasure, but I don't give up that easy. I read the info. on gas bubble disease, I moved Treasure to a separate small tank with the aeration and Melafix, no filter. He is still breathing but he's upside down at the bottom of the tank. I will test today and get back to you. It is so sad to see him suffering :-)-Karla <<Dear Karla, Please do buy some test kits. Testing is really the ONLY way to know what is going on in your water. The once-a-month water changes were not nearly enough, and chances are good that the nitrates built up to toxic levels over time...test kits and more frequent water changes would have helped you prevent that. The best (only) way to save your goldfish now is to do many more partial water changes, keep using the Melafix, and cross your fingers. From now on, PLEASE use your test kits to determine how often to do your water changes. Feel free to ask if you have more questions on anything. Good luck, Treasure! -Gwen>>
Fantail Help II
Thanks for your reply, Gwen (sorry for the Mike thing :)).  Yes he is still eating, very well mind you, my little girl had it to, but she only did it once 2 days ago and she was a sinker not a floater.  My two other ones are constipated once and a while but the peas seem to help them well.  I need to know if this medicated flake food can be fed to my other fishies to (if I can find some), even if they have no signs of the swim bladder problem.  Do I have to separate them.  I have no other tank except for a fish bowl. Thanks again, W. Leger <<Wanda, no, you don't need to separate them. The medicated flake won't hurt the other fish. Make sure your water quality is good! If you cannot find medicated flake, you should be able to order Metronidazole online at any fish store (e.g. www.bigalsonline.com) and mix the metro into your fishes food yourself. If you wish, I can tell you how to go about doing so. Let me know which medication you find, and I will help you dose it. -Gwen>>

Fancy Goldfish Injury I have had 3 fancy goldfish for almost 2 years now and just recently I noticed my feisty one I call Spike is hanging around down at the bottom of my tank and I checked everything, everything is okay except for tonight I noticed he isn't using his tail to swim anymore. If he goes to the top he really struggles and sometimes he falls back to the bottom and his tail does nothing to help him. I caught my niece and nephews in my room so I don't know if they had anything to do with it, but is it humane to keep a paralyzed fish? (if in fact that's the problem) I haven't read anything at all about a parasite or bacteria limiting the tail fin. What should I do? <<Hello. Take a sample of your tank water to your nearest Local Fish Store and have them check your ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels. In the meantime, a small water changes wouldn't hurt, 25% of the total volume. Chances are good that your water quality has deteriorated. Please get your water tested for the above mentioned things. High levels of any of them will result in sick or dead fish, therefore many frequent partial water changes will be needed to keep the fish alive until he recuperates. I recommend doing some reading on the nitrogen cycle, tank maintenance, and goldfish in particular. -Gwen>>

Floaty goldfish, or, "Floaters, not Sinkers" I was just wondering. I have 2 small Fantails and I have a 10 Gallon aquarium. One of my fantails swims and twists around and flops upside down while swimming and sometimes he lays sideways at the top of the water is this normal. I have never had fantails before only regular gold fish. I change my water 50% weekly and I use bottled water distilled is this ok. I live in the country and have well water. Thanks Mike <Hi Mike, sounds like it may be constipation or a swim bladder issue, pretty common in the wide bodied goldfish, check out the link below for more information. Best Regards, Gage http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshdisfaqs.htm >

Upside down goldfish Hi! I don't know if you've addressed this problem in your sight before but my goldfish has been acting very strangely. There are two that are swimming upside down and I don't know why. They always stay at the surface of the tank.  At first we thought it was cold so we put a heating generator in the water for it to warm up because the weather was turning colder.  The fish are literally in a vertical position swimming around the tank as though there was nothing wrong. I'm afraid something may be happening to them.  Could you please tell me what's wrong? Anna Doan. <Yes... this "syndrome" is borne of two circumstances, genetics and diet... some goldfish varieties have been bred over generations such that they easily lose orientation... especially in face of being fed too much in the way of "dried foods"... At any length there is some discussion of this archived on the www.WetWebMedia.com site on the Freshwater Subweb, under Goldfish Disease (many FAQs and Disease article on them). Your fish will likely respond positively to being treated with Epsom salt, a change in diet, possibly the addition of some palatable green plants (like Egeria/Anacharis), and maybe the lowering of the water level in their system. Please see WWM re. Bob Fenner>

Oranda swim bladder and/or worms <Hi there Magnus here to help> I have had an Oranda for 3 years and he was a year or two old when and older gentleman gave him to me as a gift for my new fish pond.  I thought it not a good place for him to live, but had to so as not to offend my elderly friend. <I have seen Orandas live quite a long life in out door ponds.  Provided that you makes sure they get the food they need.  Comets and Sarasa goldfish are faster and often times get to the food before the slower large bodied Orandas.> As he has gotten older, he stays to himself and not with other goldfish. <I have found that true with some of my larger Orandas.> I've saved him several times due to his equilibrium being off as he was caught in plants several times each time caught standing on his head in the water. He is also HUGE in the backend & his back is VERY arched...more than normal. so much so that he stays slanted downhill and has done so for the last year. <having an increased/swelling of the backend and an issue with his buoyancy is kind of unusual. If it has been a gradual process it might just be that the fish had poor genetics to start with and it's his natural body frame.  Many goldfish have poor genetics due to the sure number of goldfish breed to meet the pet trade demand. The buoyancy might simply be the fish had swallowed air and can't expel it, though this wouldn't explain the swelling. If his whole body had begun to get larger it might be an issue of dropsy.  His scales would be protruding all over his body due to the internal swelling.  But, worst case scenario is, it might be that your goldfish has an internal tumor that is now pressing on his swim bladder and causing him to loose balance.> Could he have some kind of worms that would make his backend so overly large? <I have never heard of a worm that will do this in fish.> I have a red cap that is about his age, but doesn't have the bloated look or swim bladder problem.  How can I correct BOTH problems? <You can try and add medicine to the water, but if it's dropsy it's a hard condition to cure.  If it's cancer then there isn't anything you can do.  I would start off with simple changes, such as feeding the fish with sinking pellets.  feeding the fish with floating foods allows them to gulp in air that many fish are not able to expel.  This might help the fish slightly with it's buoyancy problem, but as for the swelling it's another matter.  I'm not sure what sort of medicine to be used that would make any difference, I don't feel like the swelling you described is treatable.> The Oranda is my most prized fish and would hate to loose him.  Thanks. <You might want to visit the site www.goldfishinfo.com  You can look at their info, and visit their links. They not only offer info, but many of their links show pictures of illnesses and methods to cure them.  Best of luck with your fish. -Magnus.>

Black Moor with Popeye What can I do for Popeye and ragged fins on my black moor.  I've had him about a year and this is the first time he has been sick.  Please help me try to save him.  He is one of my favorites!  Thanks for your time.    Suzanne <<Hello. The first thing you should do is get your water tested at your local fish store for ammonia, nitrite and nitrates. Make sure ammonia and nitrites are at zero, and nitrates are low, around 20ppm is a good number. You can control them by doing regular water changes. Fin rot is generally a sign of bad water quality. For the Popeye, you will need to treat your moor with an antibiotic medication. You can feed him medicated food also, since antibiotics taken internally will help fight the infection. Ask the people at your local fish store for some Metronidazole. Feeding him pellets soaked in Metronidazole will help immensely, though you may have to feed him this daily for a couple of weeks.. -Gwen>>

Black Moor with damaged eyes I bought some goldfish from Wal-Mart. Nemo #1 died immediately. I brought him back and they gave me one from a different tank. Nemo #2 ended up having "Ick". I treated him for it with medicine I bought at Pet Co. He never got over the "Ick". I think the last time I put the medicine in a put too much. This morning Nemo #2 was dead and Ed, the black moor, has damaged eyes. Both eyes are cloudy. One looks like the skin was burned. I feel terrible. A shop that specializes in fish said I should have turned the filter off when I added the medicine. I did not know. Ed is swimming around like a champ and eating normally. Do you think he will be alright? Also, can he live without eye sight? Thank you for your time. <<Hello. The first thing you should do is get your water tested at your local fish store for ammonia, nitrite and nitrates. Make sure ammonia and nitrites are at zero, and nitrates are low, around 20ppm is a good number. You can control them by doing regular water changes. Nitrates can be allowed to go a bit higher, but lower is really the best. Also, you need to treat your moor with an antibiotic medication. In some instances, cloudy eyes will heal themselves, but I believe your fish is suffering from ammonia or nitrite toxicity, therefore, the cloudy eyes will not heal themselves and in fact may lead to your fish's demise. You should never EVER turn off your filter, just remove the carbon (the black stuff) when you add medications, since carbon removes them from the water. You can let your carbon dry out on the counter, and replace it back into your filter after the treatment is over. As long as Ed is eating, there is a chance to save him. You can feed him medicated food also, since antibiotics taken internally will help fight the infection. As your fish store for a medication for cloudy eyes, and ask them how to use it! Please follow all medication directions closely! Meds can be just as lethal as the original problem, if you use them the wrong way.. -Gwen>>

Worms Hi! I have a problem with my goldfish. I have 4 comets in an aquarium (3feet by 2 feet by 2 feet) and recently I noticed pinkish coloured live worms in their poo. Can this hurt my fish and how can I cure them, please. We have recently placed live plants from our local river in the tank, could these be responsible. Judie <<Dear Judie; Yes, your plants can be, and probably are, responsible. Please, NEVER add native plants or animals into a tank with tropical fish. They have not evolved to fight off native diseases and are easily killed by pathogens that they have not built up immunities to. However, in this case, you should be able to treat this problem with medication. De-wormers like Levamisole or Piperazine. Ask at your LFS what they stock for internal worms. Good luck. -Gwen>>  

Goldfish Bloat Hi, We have a large goldfish (at least 10 inches) who is in trouble. She is extremely bloated. She has been like this for several months. Her symptoms are very similar to a letter that you have on your site called "Constipated Goldfish?" from someone named Paul. We have had her in a separate tank now for a couple of weeks using Epsom salts (2 Tbls. per 10 gallons) and changing the water frequently as you suggested. She is being feed the inside of peas mixed with salmon oil. She is still defecating, but she continues to grow larger. Her scales are beginning to pop out a bit in the last couple of days, but this may be because her skin is stretched so tight. If she had dropsy, wouldn't she have died by now? She is still fairly active, swimming around the tank. Any suggestions where to go from here? Thanks for your help. Doug & Janis <<Dear Doug and Janis; I am sorry to say that once the scales start to protrude, the fish is near the end. Although as long as she is eating, you may be able to feed her goldfish pellets soaked in medication, which may help save her. You need to buy some Metronidazole from your LFS. For each feeding, you take 1/2 a tablet, crush it with a mortar and pestle, stir the powder into a few tablespoons of tank water until it's dissolved, add pellets and let them absorb the medicated water for about 10 minutes (until they expand) then feed to your goldfish as usual. Do this for two weeks. You should begin to see signs of her improvement after a week. You may need to treat her this way for up to three weeks. Sounds long, but if you stop too soon, you may not have eradicated all the infection inside her. Also, there is no guarantee that her internal organs are still undamaged. Usually protruding scales signify internal pressure which can cause irreversible damage. Still, you can try and see if you can save her. Good luck. -Gwen>>

Fantail Question Hi, I have a question about one of my fantail goldfishes. We recently  put them in a big aquarium since they were getting  too big for the bowel we originally had them in. We have had them for 2 years but since we put them in this new aquarium we have noticed that one of them seems to be losing some scales just above his mouth - its like they are hanging off. The fish seems very happy though and continues to eat like crazy - what should we do and what could it be? Many thanks, Richard <<Dear Richard; Your fish is probably stressed due to the move, and perhaps from the turbulence of having to acclimatize to new water, maybe at a different temperature.. I will assume there is a filter on the tank, which is good. You are cycling, so testing the water for ammonia, nitrites and nitrates for the next few weeks will help keep your fish healthy. Do the water changes if the levels are too high. Ask your LFS for help, or buy your own test kits. They are invaluable. Email me back if you want to buy your own and I will help you learn how to use them. It's easy. Also, you can add a bit of aquarium salt to the tank to help fight off infections, but keeping the water quality high is half the battle. Test your water! The scales should grow back with no problem as long as fungus doesn't set in. -Gwen>>

Goldfish Swimming Trouble I have a Orange Oranda Goldfish. The fish has been around for about 5 years and I know she has swim Bladder because she swims upside down. (not all the time) Now the goldfish is upside down and on her underneath there is a red streak. Is the goldfish bleeding inside. What can I do???? There has to be a treatment. PLEASE HELP MAMA FISH. Please email me back ASAP!!! I do not have much time. Thank you for your Time. Christine <<Dear Christine; you need to get your water tested at your LFS for ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates. In the meantime, do a water change. You may need to do quite a few more. Also, you will need to buy and feed your goldfish some medicated food. I hope she is still able to eat. If not, it may be too late. Goldfish need to be fed a high fibre diet to prevent problems such as this. Unfortunately, when internal infection sets in, like in your fishes case, it is hard to predict whether she will make it or not. Feeding her food with an antibiotic or antibacterial ingredient will help. A high fibre diet will also help. And try giving her some chopped, cooked and skinned frozen peas. Ask at your LFS what medications they have available for internal infections. And get your water quality under control with those water changes! Good luck- Gwen>>
Goldfish Swimming Trouble II
Gwen, I took you advise in trying to feed the fish peas. The peas sink to the bottom of the tank. What should I do??/ I also tested for ammonia and test showed safe zone. (medium yellow). Do you have any other suggestions. Thank you, Christine <<Christine, did you test nitrite and nitrate? Equally important! Also, did you do a water change? Don't worry about the peas, just use a net to scoop them back out. You may have to keep trying until goldie understands that peas are food. Generally that isn't a problem with goldfish, they consume anything ravenously. I must assume her appetite isn't up to par. Please, do some water changes, test the nitrites and nitrates, and get to the store for an antibiotic. Trust me, your fish will not heal by itself, not at this point. You need to do something. -Gwen>> >Goldfish Swimming Trouble >I have a Orange Oranda Goldfish. The fish has been around for about 5 years >and I know she has swim Bladder because she swims upside down. (not all the >time) Now the goldfish is upside down and on her underneath there is a red >streak. Is the goldfish bleeding inside. What can I do???? >There has to be a treatment. PLEASE HELP MAMA FISH. Please email me back >ASAP!!! >I do not have much time. Thank you for your Time. Christine ><<Dear Christine; you need to get your water tested at your LFS for >ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates. In the meantime, do a water change. You may >need to do quite a few more. Also, you will need to buy and feed your >goldfish some medicated food. I hope she is still able to eat. If not, it >may be too late. Goldfish need to be fed a high fibre diet to prevent >problems such as this. Unfortunately, when internal infection sets in, like >in your fishes case, it is hard to predict whether she will make it or not. >Feeding her food with an antibiotic or antibacterial ingredient will help. >A high fibre diet will also help. And try giving her some chopped, cooked >and skinned frozen peas. Ask at your LFS what medications they have >available for internal infections. And get your water quality under control >with those water changes! Good luck. -Gwen>>
Goldfish Swimming Trouble - III?
Gwen, Thank you so much for helping me with "Mama Fish". I have treated the 30 gallon tank twice now with an antibiotic called KANACYN. Have you had of it?  On the box it says for hemorrhage, red body patches, internal infection, bacterial infections, protruding or loss of scales, and Furunculosis. Would you suggest another antibiotic or is this one ok???  I have also done a 25% water change on Friday. She is still upside down, but the red spot on her stomach is fading a little. She is not eating the small pellets I am feeding her (she ate them on Thursday). What do you suggest I feed her something else and please supply the name of the food and possible medicated food for her. Thank you for your help. Christine <<Christine, you are most welcome. Yes, I have heard of Kanacyn, it's a good medication. I hope it will help clear up your problem. I would try to do some more water changes, since clean water is half the battle. Do your 25% water changes before you add each dose of meds. It will help. As she heals, her appetite should start to come back. If you notice her interest in food, pick up some medicated food from your LFS, they will be able to show you what they have in store that you can buy. If they have no medicated food, email me back and I will try to help you further. -Gwen>>
Goldfish Swimming Trouble IV
Gwen, I know I emailed you earlier.  She has these black patches, not very big (its looks like mold). The black is on her sides.  The red spot has almost gone away, very little there.  She is still not eating. Will this hurt the fish not eating?  She is also still upside on the top of the water. (10:00am)  Now Mama Fish is on the Bottom, still breathing (2:00pm)  What should I do? I do not want her to die. But it might be her time. Thank you for all your help.  Christine <<Christine, from the pic it looks like she may not make it. I would be surprised if she pulls through. I'm sorry, but I think the treatment was not started quickly enough, the disease may have progressed too far for you to save her now. There is a small chance she could still make it, if you do DAILY 50% water changes and re-medicate every second day, but it's a long shot. Worth a try, IME. -Gwen>>
Goldfish Swimming Trouble - V
Dear Gwen, I wanted to let you know that "Mama Fish" did not make it. She die Saturday morning. We have cleaned the tank and buried the Mama fish in my flower bed.  Now, we are going to taking a break from having fish probably until the Fall.  Just to let you know I started the treatment before I contacted you. the total number of treatment was three. I wanted to thank you for all your help during the past week. Have a great summer and try not to work too hard. Thank you again !! Christine <<Christine; Sorry to hear about Mama fish. You did the best you could, though it's too bad it ended this way. I hope you will continue to try your hand at fishkeeping, it can be great fun. Normally I would advise you to start again right away, but summertime can be difficult to keep up with the maintenance since we are generally much busier, so starting again in the fall may be the best idea. I hope you will email me back to let me know all about your new set-up :) Have a great summer. -Gwen>>

Blind Shubunkin Hi, I have a two and a half inch (excluding tail) orange and grey Shubunkin. He is quite lively and healthy. However, ever since I have had him, his right eye is a big black circle, and his left eye is normal, a small black circle in a larger silver circle. Does this mean that he is blind? Also, I have a very shy Plecostomus who is quite small and who for most of the day hides behind a piece of driftwood in my tank. If he finds a large shell, he will go inside it and stay there. He is not afraid of the other fish but when he sees me or another person he quickly shoots around the aquarium looking for a hiding place and doesn't move from there until long after I have left. Once, I removed all of the hiding places in the aquarium but he kept moving extremely quickly, looking, and I felt sorry for him. He never cleans the windows but he sometimes attaches himself to the window when he is sure nobody is there. He does not come out of his hiding place to eat food until I have gone. Please help! Is there any way that I can make him less scared and more enthusiastic to explore about the aquarium? Thank you very much, Eitan <<Dear Eitan, sorry for taking so long to reply. It's cold and flu season :( Anyways, I don't think your goldfish is blind, unless you have reason to believe so. in other words, if he bumps into things while swimming. The color of the eyes could be perfectly natural. Hard for me to say without seeing him. Your Pleco sounds normal also, is he a clown Pleco by any chance? Certain species of Pleco hide more often than others. There is really not much you can do for him. They are nocturnal fish, and he may never venture out in broad daylight while you are there. Best thing you can do is sit quietly beside the tank late at night, and he may come out then. If you get him used to a routine of giving him a sinking algae wafer or some bloodworms at the same time each night, say 10pm, you may start to see him more often. Fish have remarkable internal clocks and he will probably start showing himself by 9:55pm each night... when he thinks it's time for his treat :) -Gwen>>

Goldfish With Malformed Mouth Hi, You seem to be able to offer a lot of sensible advice to people and I wonder if you can offer any thoughts on my situation?  I was given 3 goldfish and a couple of minnows (I think) and a small Plec which were all living very happily together before I got them and have continued to do well. However, I noticed at the time that the smallest goldfish actually has a malformed mouth and struggles to eat very much. Over time, this appears to have worsened to the point where it is struggling to breathe and eat at all. It is noticeably smaller than the others and swims manically to try and get water moving through the small hole it now has, bless. Other than that, the remaining fish are all very healthy, have fun winding the Plec up from time to time and are keen to eat (and poo everywhere!). I change around 40-50% of the water weekly, and I'm sad that the above problem is manifesting after a lot of care and attention to ensure their survival and happiness. If you have any ideas, I would be pleased to hear, but I think deep down there's nothing I can really do. Many thanks, Gavin <<Dear Gavin; I must agree, there isn't much you can do. You seem to be taking great care of them otherwise, so keep up the good work. One thing you can do is buy yourself some test kits. Ammonia should always read zero, nitrites also should read zero, and try to keep your nitrates low by continuing your weekly water changes. And remember, you can't win em all! Best wishes, Gwen>>

URGENT FISH EMERGENCY!!!! my goldfish is floating he cant swim down easy and when he does he floats right back up!!! he was my first fish and I don't want him to die, he's is just under 1 year old, what can I do!!!!!!!!!!!!!! <The fish has a swim bladder imbalance.  It's not something that is really treatable, but you can ease the problem.  First I would offer the fish sinking pellets as food.  When feeding flake food at the surface the goldfish will eat them and suck in air into the stomach making the problem that much worse.  Also stress is another factor that compounds swim bladder problems.  So, make sure you keep up on the water changes, clean filters and don't over feed the fish or allow food to rot in the tank.  These factors play into the over all health of the fish.  Sadly there isn't much else to do with goldfish with swim bladder problems.  The problem is due to breeding.  The fish's body is no longer what it once was, the swim bladder often times isn't proportional to the fishes body structure.  But, I do wish you the best of luck.-Magnus>

Goldfish Problems Hi, I've recently started keeping goldfish... I have a bubble eye, a black moor and two fantails, one of which I have just brought home today. When I got home and went to put the new fish in its bag in the tank with the others, I noticed something I'd missed before... it had a big round sore on one side and some of the white scales were pink underneath! The sore looked clean, but not knowing what caused it, I've put it in a separate small tank without rocks and will be feeding it a little less than I might have otherwise because it's also a bit bloated; I'm putting a little spinach in as well (your FAQ is SO helpful!). I'm wondering could this have happened on the way home if it knocked against the side of the baggie it came home in? or is it some kind of disease? It's also a little lethargic and I'm not convinced it's going to live. The others seem ok, they're swimming normally etc, but I'm concerned that their poo is rather pale; I'm changing their food over from flakes to pellets so they spend less time at the surface and I can measure how much they get more easily, and putting spinach in for them as well. Not that I'm really sure what colour their poo is supposed to be; it just doesn't look right. What else should I be doing? I'd be grateful for your help... and do I need to shout at the pet shop owner, or was it my fault for maybe not being careful enough on the way home? Thanks, Claire <<Dear Claire; it doesn't sound like your fault. The fish sounds like it has septicemia. You can treat him with salt and Melafix if it's a mild case, you will need a stronger med if it's an advanced case. Try the salt for a few days (make sure he has excellent water quality) and see. If the wound doesn't start to heal, you may need to make a trip to the store for an external antibiotic. I would have a few words with the LFS, they should not be selling you sick fish. Perhaps it is not too late to return him for another. Ask them! -Gwen>>

Carl's sick I am Dylan. I am 11 years old. Carl is a bubble cheek goldfish. He has two problems: He has a white puffy ring forming around one eye. I have put fungus medication in the bowl, but it does not appear to help. The other problem, he is also floating upside down (head down in the tank.) He does not appear to be able to swim horizontally. Can you help Carl? He seems so uncomfortable swimming head down all the time. Thanks - Dylan  < I think the key word here is bowl. Unfortunately your goldfish has been stressed by poor water quality. You have not changed the water often enough and the fish wastes have built up and basically you fish is breaking down. Start by changing the water in the bowl. I would recommend an aquarium instead of a bowl if possible. Don't worry about feeding him for awhile. You need to treat him with a medication called Metronidazole. Get it from your local fish store. Follow the directions on the package and be patient. It may take awhile to cure. When the fish is able to move normally then I would offer a small amount of food to see if it will eat. Once the fish is eating then you have a chance of saving him. -Chuck>

My Baby! Ok my poor little orange bubble eye is having MAJOR problems. He's always been the "under dog" in the tank. Never beaten up just smaller than the others. A few weeks ago I noticed his fins and gills were getting red and I was worried so immediately I did a water change. Things were fine. Today all of a sudden he is at the bottom of the tank with his little tummy bloated beyond belief. It looks as if its filled with blood. One side seems to be larger than the other and that eye also appears much bigger as well. The scales also look like they are forced out because his abdomen is so large. I hesitated to move him but when I saw him on his side I got out a fish bowl and put him in it. As of now he swims a bit but still looks like he's struggling. Breathing looks like a challenge as well. WHAT COULD BE HAPPENING?!  < Your poor little fish has been stressed due to poor water quality. If the nitrates had been kept to 25ppm or under then he would still be fine. You dodged a bullet a few weeks ago and solved the problem with a water change. Get a nitrate test kit. I think the results will be off the scale. Reduce the nitrates with a water change. Treat with Metronidazole as per the package directions. When the fish starts to eat again then he is on his way to getting better. But the key is to treat early! It may already be too late.-Chuck>

Moor Lethargic Hi! Help - I read thru everything, but didn't see this... I've had a Black Moor that turned completely gold a few years ago. He's about 5 yrs old, around 5 inches from mouth to base of tail fin in a 10gallon tank by himself. Over the last year, every once in a while he'll swim upside down, almost as if "sleeping", but then right himself and go on about his business.  Last week was the start of his problems. I noticed he was laying on his side (right or left), on the bottom. I checked the ammonia - there was a very trivial amount. I use ammo-rocks in the filter (about 1/4 c each filter change). However, the ph was down to about 6.3 - so I gradually boosted it up over the course of the next 24 hours, getting it to about 7.0. It didn't change his behavior. His breathing was slow (but not labored - didn't appear to be struggling to breathe), but his fins look great and body looks great - no white or red spots, split fins, red gills. He's not swollen, or scraped, or missing scales - his eyes are fine, but one's always been a little larger than the other. He looks healthy, but lays near the filter intake or on top of the bubble stone, as if to get an O2 assist. He didn't come up for food, but once he realized it had sank down in front of him, he went nuts and devoured it (like he has every day in the past). When he was done, he went back to lying on the bottom again, where he has stayed all week, only coming up for his food, and an occasional swim. I have a 5inch bubble stone in the bottom, and a large Aqua clear filter (200) for this 10-gal tank. I vacuumed it (it was very clean) and changed 25% of the water 2 days ago, but still no change. His bowel movements are a little strange on occasion - thin, long, clear and then a large movement attached all in a string. What else can I do for him, to make him comfortable or try to heal him? I miss getting the morning tail-splash (water all over the place) and his calls for feeding time. Thanks in advance for any help you may have...Jeanine Gross <<Sorry for not responding sooner. Your fish needs a bigger tank. That's about it in a nutshell. Read some FAQs about tank size versus fish size, and old-tank syndrome. And please test your nitrates. You have no choice but to buy your fish a MUCH bigger tank, before he dies. A five inch fish in a ten gallon tank should be getting water changes every other day until you can get him a bigger tank. Right now he is basically being poisoned by his own waste, in the form of nitrates. -Gwen>>

Sick Goldfish Hello, I am so glad I found this website! My husband and I were thrown into the goldfish world about 10 days ago when my sister-in-law surprised our whole family by bringing over a goldfish for my son's birthday. It's a good-sized bubble eyed orange fish. She brought it in a fishbowl that she bought at the pet store. I thought the bowl looked small and began reading basic info about how fish need more room, oxygen, etc., but everyone kept telling me how the fish would be fine in the bowl for a while until we got an aquarium, so we went a week with having this poor fish in the bowl. He was starting to show signs that he needed more oxygen (gasping at the top, for instance). We changed the water but apparently not enough, because at the end of his first week, I noticed him floating up at the top, and I thought he was either dead or about to die. I was so upset and felt so horrible that I hadn't gotten him into a bigger home yet. Anyway, after an immediate water change he came to and seemed better, and the next morning we were at the fish store when they opened and bought a 10 gallon tank with a filter and added a plant. We were planning in the next few days to add another goldfish for  a friend, too, but then I noticed a white film beginning to form around his head, and he was doing weird things like going to the top, becoming still and letting himself sink down towards the bottom. Also just looked lazier and more lethargic. I had no idea whether this was  normal fish behavior or sick fish behavior. In the next couple of days I called the fish store back, and they suggested treating him for fungus. They were out of stock on the medication, but they gave me some of their own supply to use so I could get treatment started. I began treatment this afternoon. I had to turn the filter off while I took out the carbon cartridge, and I noticed that he just sat very still at the bottom when the filter was off. Looks better with filter back on. Is the preliminary foam filter enough to keep water quality okay while using the medicine for the next several days? I'm worried about him because he seems sick and down and out. I feel horrible because I'm sure his poor conditions in the first week of our care contributed--I wish I had known more! What can I do to improve his chances of getting well? Anything to improve water quality? Should I start adding peas to his diet? Is it okay to keep the plant in while we treat for fungus? What do you suggest for a beginner fish family who is having a rocky start? I really want to make up for our slow start. Is it too late? Flailing Fish Mom <<No, it's not too late to learn how to care for your fish. First, clean water via water changes will help considerably. Second, reading sites like this one can be interesting and may lead to your learning about diseases: http://www.goldfishinfo.com/ailment1.htm Prevention is always best....Good luck and happy reading -Gwen>>

Black Moor Sick My fish seem to doing better now that have gotten use to each other.   Thanks again for your help, Gwen! Have a great day. Eeon <<Eeon, you are quite welcome :) -Gwen>>

Sick Shubunkin Hi I have a goldfish and a Shubunkin in a 5 gallon tank. the goldfish is fine, thriving and healthy. My poor Shubunkin has been sick for a while and seems to be getting worse. he started off about a month ago with clamped fins and hanging in the top corner of the tank. this went on for some weeks, he was feeding ok at that point. in the last couple of days he seems to have lost some colour and has started to swim only with his tail, all the other fins are clamped.
He is not eating and is smaller and seems flatter than the goldfish. (they were the same size when I got them). he has  no interest in food - dry flakes - and is very listless, when he does swim he seems very unsteady, though this may due to only using his tail and no fins.  I have been doing a weekly 50% water changer and using stress coat and a general medication for several weeks. He did suffer from torn fins but this seems to have cleared up. HELP!!! Sarah <<Test the water for ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates. Do the water changes accordingly. You can also add some salt or Melafix to the water to help with the fin rot. I hope things work out. -Gwen>>

Goldfish Question - dying Hi,  I have a very large goldfish (he is the only fish in his tank). He started to get fin rot over two weeks ago. When I tested the water, the ammonia levels were extremely high and the pH levels were very low. I quarantined him for three days and treated him with medication and changed the water in his aquarium. All the tests were fine then. From the time he has been sick until yesterday, he has been lying on the bottom on his side and moves his body across the bottom of the tank. I have been treating the tank with Melafix for the last four days. As of yesterday morning, the fish constantly sits upright on the bottom of the tank and is very alert. His fins are a little better, but definitely no worse. However, he has a lot of brown spots on him. I read that this can be seen when a fish is starting to recover from ammonia burns. The problem is he still isn't swimming and most importantly, he hasn't eaten for 10 days. I don't know what else to do for him. Are there any suggestions?  < First I would clean the filter to reduce the ammonia load. If the filter was clean I would vacuum the gravel to remove any sludge build up. Unfortunately the conditions you describe are very stressful on your pet goldfish and he may not fully recover. If he sits on the gravel and seems to be hopping then the swim bladder may have become affected and may not recover regardless of any medication. Try some rock salt at a tablespoon per 5 gallons. Good luck.-Chuck>

Sick goldfish II Hi -- Hopefully you received the e-mail we sent yesterday about the goldfish we just finished treating for what we thought was Ich, and we were wondering if one of the fish now has a secondary infection. After more research and symptoms appearing (the sick fish is now spending most of its time on the bottom of the tank, breathing hard, clamped fins; and -- visible only when he's facing away and the light is on -- we can now see white/bluish velvety patches on his body) we think he has Chilodonella.  We ended up tearing down the tank yesterday for a nearly complete water change, we added about a gallon of the old water back in (don't know if the tear-down was a smart thing to do or not since ammonia & Ph are up now -- ammonia, .5 and Ph, 8) but it seemed like we'd been adding so much "stuff" to the water maybe a complete change would help & maybe we'd get rid of  some of the parasites in tank. Anyway, after getting started again, we began treating with Nox Ich (malachite green & sodium chloride) late last night. No improvement noticed yet this morning. Would a malachite/Formalin combo be better?  < The combo you suggested has been by far the most effective for me. I personally use Rid-Ich by Kordon. I noticed that it does affect the biological filtration so I always quarantine new fish before I add them to my main tank. It is easier to treat and cheaper too.>  Does the diagnosis sound correct?  < You have so much going on it is hard to be precise. First of all lets get the water right. Start at the beginning by servicing your filter. Keep cleaning it weekly even if it looks like it doesn't need it. Don't add any carbon yet because that will remove all your medication. If your fish is not eating then don't feed them until they are up and about. Ich takes about three days to cure in a tropical tank so may take as long as a week in a cool water tank. Control the ammonia with water changes for now but use a water conditioner that adds a protective slime on the fish too. In a week I would vacuum the gravel to remove any sludge that may have built up in case in did not get down with the near tear down. Some rock salt could be added to the water too. This would also increase the protective slime coat on the fish.>  Should we do anything other than water changes to correct ammonia/Ph? (we did add a 1/4 dosage of a Ph balancer this a.m. -- didn't want it to correct too quickly).  < Just do the water changes for now and monitor the ammonia and don't worry about any pH adjustments for now.> Won't water changes upset concentration of medication?  < Many medications break down very quickly in water. But the rid-Ich is very effective and the recommendations on the bottle include a water change.>  If we do changes, should we add some medication to the newly added water to keep concentration up?  < Follow the directions on the bottle until the Ich is cured. If there is any secondary infections we will deal with it after the Ich is cured and the fish has had a chance to build up some resistance.> So many questions -- aaaaggghhhh! I have searched your site (lots of interesting stuff) and left a posting on the public chat (no response yet). Sorry so long again, but would really appreciate any advice you can offer.  < Check some of the FAQs on the site to see if you understand the nitrate chain. Once you understand it it may make you fish keeping experiences a positive one. -Chuck> Thanks.

Sick Snoopy My comet (Snoopy) was acting sick for a while. He lost his color and wouldn't come out as much. I put two new fantails in with him. He seemed to perk up but they brought ICH with them and the larger fantail is nipping the others. The comet's fins have been torn pretty good and now there is black on them. I have read that fish will nip at sick ones? < Fish will feed on anything edible and other sick fish certainly do qualify.>
I have treated the ICH with QuickCure. What to do about the fins? <After the Ich has been cured then add some additional decorations and plants. If the water is clean and the fish are healthy then the fins will grow back. If the nitrates are too high and you haven't done any water changes in a while then they might come down with a bacterial infection and need treating.> Is it a bacterial infection? <Probably not yet. If there was an infection then the fins would look torn and ragged. Service the filter and do a water change and see if they pick up.> Isolation? How to stop the nipping? < This may be needed eventually.-Chuck> Poor Snoopy.  Thanks, Scott 

Sick goldfish We have two goldfish, 2.5 inches long (excluding tails) each, and three snails in a 20 gal. tank. The water parameters are as follows: Ammonia= 0.5ppm, Nitrite= 0ppm, pH= 7.4, Nitrate= 0ppm.  <It's hard to keep the water parameters exact in goldfish. I love them to death, but they are so messy.>  After introduction of a new fish to another tank, we had an Ick outbreak and this tank was inadvertently contaminated.  <sadly it's not hard to have accidental contamination of other tanks. Just will make you be that much more careful next time.>  We treated "this tank" for several days with Aquarisol as a preventative, but didn't remove the carbon filter. Duh.  <D'oh! So, that didn't do much...>  The fish developed white flecks on their fins and bodies. Assuming it was Ick, we did a 25% water change, removed the filter (which includes the carbon), and treated with Ick Guard keeping the tank dark. 36 hours later, we changed another 25% of the water, and repeated the dosage (2 days ago).  <Sounds like you are treating the tank well. Removing the filter doesn't necessarily help, just removing the filter medium is needed. But, if you want to go the extra mile doing something like that then no one here will hold it against you.>  It appears that the Ick has cleared up, and one fish seems normal. However, the other fish has white patches (non-resembling of Ick) on it's tail fin only, is staying near the surface, breathing hard, is not eating, and is lethargic.  <It sounds like your fish might have a bacterial fungus infection. These are usually gram-positive infections. Visible infection of wounds, fin rot, external bacterial infections. This not a true fungus but a bacterial infection known as Columnaris or Body Fungus. I have found that Maracyn from the Mardel company has worked the best for treating the fish>  Today, we changed 25% of the water, put in a new carbon filter to clear out the remaining Ick Guard because we are thinking that the fish might have a secondary bacterial or fungal infection. We are planning to treat with Kanamycin.  <Also a nice broad based medicine! works great on many illnesses and infections. it should help with clearing up the problem.>  We also added some ammonia eliminator and Cycle and have vacuumed during each water change to try to reduce ammonia levels. By the way, we removed the snails before adding the Ick Guard. So... Does it sound like we're on the right track with the diagnosis and treatment and if so, how long should we wait to add the Kanamycin? Sorry so long, thank you for any help or other tips you can offer.  <Sounds like you are doing a good job. I have never used those two medicines at the same time. So, I would give it at least a week if you can. Then begin the second treatments. This should definitely help the fish improve it's health. Good luck. -Magnus>

Black Moor & Possibly Pop-Eye I have a black moor who seems to have something wrong with his eye. A year ago, he got pop-eye and literally lost one eye. However, this time a wart appeared on the socket of the eye, it disappeared in a week, then bloody tissue started protruding from his cornea.  <eye wounds are notorious at having secondary bacterial infection even a year or two after the loss of the eye.>  I need help on treating this. He is well over 9 years old. I am convinced the eye he had left was blind, therefore, I removed all ornaments from the tank.  <that is a good thing to do with blind fish, I had a goldfish actually impale itself on a piece of wood after it had gone blind. As for treatment, Use Maracyn-Two or Maracyn or Tetracycline, these are quite good at stopping secondary infections like yours.>  Thank you for your immediate help with this issue. Lanette  <good luck. -Magnus>
Sick Black Moor II
Thank you for your reply on the subject of my sick black moor... unfortunately the black moor was so sick he didn't make it the other fish are fine and show no signs of any problems  <Hi there, sorry to hear of your loss. at least the other fish are doing okay.>  I'm thinking of buying a pool for the garden and hope to transfer the fish do you think that this will be sufficient for them and that they will thrive in the pool thanks for all your help I do appreciate it keep up the good work.  < I suggest you check out the WetWebMedia's pond and goldfish sections. There are many articles there than can help you:  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/PondSubWebIndex/Pond%20Sub%20Web.htm   Good luck with the outdoor set up. They can be very enjoyable. Just watch out for animals that can eat your fish! Herons are the big one, but neighbor's cats, raccoons, or even the family dog might really be a bother! Good luck. -Magnus.>

Fluffy Oranda - 04/15/2004  Hi, so sorry to bother you  <Don't worry, you're no bother - this is why we're here.>  but it seems like everywhere I go I just can't get an answer for my problem. I have an Oranda that has White cottony tufts or growths on its head. I was told by some that it was possibly a fungus, so I treated the tank with Fungus Cure By: Aquarium Pharmaceuticals. I followed the directions to a T but it didn't work. The last time I've seen something like this a friend of mine had it with his Oranda. The growths got bigger then the puff on the head started to deteriorate off and the fish later died.. I don't want this to happen to me.  Please if you have and suggestions please help..  <Sounds likely bacterial, since it didn't respond to the fungus meds.... I would try Kanamycin ("Kanaplex", "Kanacyn"), as this does not seem to speed up fungal growths like some antibiotics can, just in case it is a fungus.>  My water parameters are all checked out fine and another water change I have scheduled for tomorrow since I just finished treatment that didn't work.. Any Idea what it can be and what do I do for a cure? TIA ~Don~  <As above, I would try Kanamycin. There are plenty of other antibiotic options, but I would feel best with this or one of the sulfa drugs in this case, I think. Wishing your goldie a swift recovery, -Sabrina>

Albino Ailment I had found your website while browsing in search of fish experts. I hope I'm not bothering you in asking for advice.  < No problem, that's what we are here for.>  I acquired a 6 inch Albino Comet (red eyes) a few months ago, and at the time I purchase it I noticed a speck and slight bulge in its right eye. And now 3-4 months later, the speck has grown and caused half the eye to become clouded. I have recently treated my tank with Maracyn 2 for Ich, which fortunately cured all my fish without any casualties.  I finished the treatment 2 weeks ago now and the eye is the same. This fish is still eating, swimming about normally, and is in overall good condition, but I am afraid. So what would you recommend, or who could you refer me too?  < Take a very close look at the affected eye. If the problem is external then we might have a chance to treat it. If it is internal then there is probably not too much that can be done. Sometimes fish rub against external objects and scratch their eyes. This happens often when fish are placed in dry nets and irritate the skin and eyes. Next time you do a water change try and find a water additive that adds a protective slime to the fish. Add some rock salt at about one tablespoon to 5 gallons of water. Make sure your nitrates are around 25 ppm or less with water changes. If this doesn't work and the fish looks like it is getting worse then I would place the fish in a separate tank and treat with a Nitrofurazone based drug according to the directions on the package.-Chuck>  Thank you for your time. -Bobbi

Searching for Serenity 4/11/04  <Hi, Pufferpunk here.>  I want to start by saying I thought fish were to be calming. Just put fish in water and watch them. Not so.  <They can be quite serene to watch if researched & cared for properly.>  I have a 80 gal tank with a Rena canister filter and two air pumps. I have had it since Feb 1st and it just flipped around march 28th. I have 5 Orandas ranging in size from about 1 1/2 inched to about 7 inches and 1 Pleco. Here the drama starts. I am quite the research buff so I buy the Pleco and make it a little cave with rocks because they are nocturnal. I come home from work and the big fat fish is stuck for who knows how long.  <Oops!>  I free him and he acts fine except his one side is pretty scraped up, tail a little banged and the other side just a few scrapes. rush out, buy Melafix, treat for 7 days  <Good call>  and he is looking good so I put the carbon back in and decide to hold off a few days on the water change so the traces of the med might still help.  <Bad call holding off on the water change.>  (that is a week ago this past Sunday) notice that the tank has finally flipped so on Friday I go fish hunting for my 5th addition.  <I thought you already had 5 GF & a Pleco. Sounds stocked well enough already, if you consider the size they will all be at adulthood (Plecos max out at around 18") & the huge bioload they all produce. Both Plecos & GF are huge waste/ammonia producers! I'd figure around 20+g/adult goldfish.>  While looking, I speak with the guy at the pet store and discover that the red streaks in 2 of the other fish fins is not really a good thing.  <Yup, bacterial infection, usually due to poor water conditions.>  (I had just disregarded them because they were not acting funny and still eating.) I leave still not thinking mush of it because I looked at 4 stores that day looking for a black one and they ALL had fish with streaks. Go to the next store and find a chocolate Oranda I like. Looks good, no fungus (was also in with red caps with streaks) buy him and some APPlus+ anti-bacteria medication. I do a 20% water change before I add him then I medicate the water like directed.  <Never medicate your display tank with antibiotics. This will destroy your bacterial bed. ALWAYS quarantine new fish! See: http://www.aaquaria.com/aquasource/isolation.shtml >  Then start my research on the cause of the streaks and find your web site. I have read just about everything but still have a few questions. I don't have much faith in all these pet stores since they all seam to have sick fish. (red streaks being the Least of most of there problems) I was upset to find out that this is contagious and fatal. It has been 4 days like directed and I have yet to notice any improvement and with my biobed being new I really didn't want to stay with this med. (later research showed it may effect it) so instead of a second treatment I put the carbon back in and plan on a 20% water change on Thursday and to start treatment with Maracyn-two so I can also put in some MelaFix for the comfort of the scraped up one.  <Melafix & Pimafix are the only thing you should use in your display tank, that won't hurt your bacterial bed.>  Now, I guess my question is, I have read that there are many causes for this bacterial infection. Stress, Nitrates, low oxygen, diet, and your link has a few suggestions on fixing this. Furan compounds, antibiotics, improved water quality, nutrition, naturally when removing the carbon the water quality gets worse. the nitrates had gone up to .25 when I added the new fish and adding meds so I rushed out and got two new Nitrasorb pouches to keep it under control. What else can I do and is there any chance I can save my fish?  <I would work your way up to large water changes. Many long-time goldfish keepers consider weekly 90% water changes for the health & long life of their GF (up to 20+ years) not at all too aggressive.>  Also while reading (its making me neurotic) I noticed my small red cap that has faint red streaks on occasion has white stringy stuff out his butt. Usually its normal. You mentioned internal parasites from eating dry food.  <Internal parasites come from live foods.>  So what do I do about nutrition?  <High protein diets are great for the growth of Orandas. Shelled peas are excellent for keeping their digestive system healthy.>  One last thing, the guy at PetSmart mentioned that after I treat for this bacterial infection to change my carbon leading me to believe that the bacteria can live in my filter. Do I change my foams and BioChem rings too? Won't that mess up my good bacteria?  <You would change your carbon after you are done with using it to remove all your meds, as it will be used up. I don't use any carbon except to remove meds, which I only would use on a quarantine tank. I also suggest adding a mechanical filter like an Aquaclear 500 to your tank & using the canister filter for biological filtration. That way you can rinse out the AQ every week, to remove wastes. I like to stack mine with the sponge it comes with on the bottom, 1" of filter floss in the middle (to "polish" the water) & a bag of BioMax on top (for extra biological filtration). I rinse the sponge & floss every week, & change the floss every month. You can buy floss at a sewing shop, it comes in big bags used for stuffing material. As your fish grow larger & messier, you could even add another AQ 500. You can never have too much filtration with goldfish!>  And another aquarium said kiss my fish goodbye and I had to tear down my whole tank and start over or it would take at least a month to kill the bacteria with meds.  <My 1st suggestion to you would be to get a 10-20g tank & set it up as a quarantine/hospital tank, so you can treat the sick fish only. Kanacyn (also Melafix & Pimafix) is a good med for your problem. Also 1tbsp aquarium salt/5g should help. If you absolutely have no funds for another tank, than start treating your display tank with Pimafix, Melafix, salt & water changes, water changes, water changes!>  PLEASE HELP This distraught fish Mom. Everyone told me goldfish were soooo easy and I can't even keep them. If this fails I'm going to just give up.  Juli  <Don't give up! Once you get this all straightened out & get used to all the water changes (get a Python, it will make your life much easier!) you will find the peace from your fish you are searching for! ~PP>

Shredded Tail on Goldfish 4/7/04 <Hi, Pufferpunk here> Hi, I recently set up a 10 gallon aquarium to keep some goldfish. I had 5 of them, all feeder goldfish, but I had to get rid of one because it was "chewing" on my older one's tail. The older one, Moe, is 1 year 8 months old. He's the biggest goldfish in the tank, at about 2 inches. He's a comet goldfish and he has a really long tail. It (his tail) is frayed and ripped up. Turns out, it wasn't just that one fish who was pecking at it. All of them do it. Is this something I should be worried about? Will he die or become sick? I'd like to keep him in the same tank as all of the other fish, because I don't want to isolate him and keep him in a bowl. Do you think he's in a lot of pain? I think the other fish think his tail is food...but is there any way I can stop or prevent this from happening other than removing Moe or the other fish from the tank? Thanks. <Sounds crowded in there!  The fish are stressed about that.  Not enough room to establish their own space & they're all taking it out on the "weakest" fish, Moe.  I wouldn't put him in a bowl, that would be way too small.  GF require 10g/fish, up to 3" & then 20+g/fish when bigger.  GF grow to 12+" & can live over 20 years.  They are heavy waste/ammonia producers & require large tanks, heavy filtration & huge water changes, because of this.  Most long time GF keepers say that weekly 90% water changes is not considered too aggressive.  So, get them a bigger tank & in the meantime, work your way up to larger water changes & add Melafix to help heal his torn tail. ~PP>

Sick (and tired, of no punctuation!) Hi.. I've had my two regular goldfish for about 3 years now. They live in a 5 1/5 gallon tank with a filter. Recently I changed the water, though I probably should have done it sooner. After I changed the water the fish were fine for about 2 weeks then whenever it was feeding time they wouldn't come and get the food. Now the two fish hardly move and their fins are plastered to their backs and they both have red streaks in their fins. The bigger of the two now has white fuzzy stuff on several parts of him. I may have had my fish for a long time but I'm still inexperienced in fish medicine and diseases. If you could help me it would be a great relief  < I seems your fish were stressed by the water changes and have come down with a bacterial infection. If you have gravel in the bottom of the tank then I would vacuum the gravel to remove all the excess sludge build up along with a 50% water change with treated water. A tablespoon of rock salt to the tank to help build up a slime on the fish. Treat with a Nitrofurazone based drug as per the directions on the package. This will probably affect the good bacteria in the tank and screw up the nitrification. When the medications are done and the fish get back to normal then watch out for ammonia spikes until the good bacteria get their numbers back up.-Chuck>
Up With Chuck!
Dear Chuck  Thank you very much for the advice. I don't know exactly where to find Spirulina flakes. I went to PetSmart but they don't have it.  < Check around at other pet shops or regular tropical fish stores. You may need it in the future.>  My fish is doing better now. You have to see him, he is happy swimming around and going easily from top to bottom. I decided to change the water and I put some Epsom salt in it. (1 tablespoon per gallon) I gave him only peas today and he was happy with it. The other one doesn't seem to like them very much but he ate some. Because both fish are in the same aquarium, do you think is bad for the healthy fish to have the same diet?  < Peas by themselves may not be good over a long term because they may not contain enough protein for your fish to replace damaged tissues and to grow. There are many fine goldfish foods on the market. Brands like O.S.I., Hikari, and Marineland have very good foods that are well balanced.>  The healthy fish has done some white poop today. Is it normal?  < The fecal matter from your fish is a indication of its diet. A long stringy translucent feces is usually an indication something may be wrong. But your fish sounds like it is normal.> And if I didn't find the Spirulina flakes soon, could I start to gave them goldfish flakes instead?  < Make sure you get a good quality flake food and not the cheapest one you can find. Try feeding a couple times a day with smaller helpings instead of one large feeding a day.-Chuck.>  Thank you very much for your help - Patricia

Out on the Black Moors I wondered if you could help me out?  <That is what we are here for!>  I bought a small black moor 2 to 3 years ago, he was quite small, but a nice specimen. He thrived in my tank with my 4 other fish which consist of a Malaysian golden ghost, a Lionhead silver ghost, a small comet and an orange orfe. Over the time that I have had the black moor he has suffered various slight tail rot infections, but has always got over these infections very quickly and has had no other serious effects on him.  <some goldfish bounce back extremely quickly! I wish many of the goldfish breeders would take that in consideration when breeding as well as color and body shapes.>  Recently a few day ago I noticed another slight tail rot infection, I didn't worry too much about this as I have said he usually gets over this problem quite quickly, yesterday seemed back to his old self and was eating and swimming normally. Unfortunately today as I prepared to give them their daily feed I noticed the black moor was looking very sick and lying on the bottom of the tank and most upsetting was the fact that both his eyes had completely disappeared and this has happened very quickly as last night as I said he was normal.  <The problem with goldfish is that if one of the fish becomes sick, typically the others will suddenly start picking on it. Not sure what queues the attackers... but somehow they just all know when to start nibbling. I've had large Orandas suddenly have no tail fins or missing an eye overnight.>  Has the black moor got serious pop eye and detached themselves or do you think the other fish have attacked him?  <He might have had pop-eye and they became very inflamed, the swelling makes their already large eyes easier to be nipped off. My guess is that they had become swelled and at that time the other fish nipped them.>  Also can humans catch these fish diseases as when I cleaned out the tank and removed the black moor I ended up with a splash of dirty tank water in my mouth.  <Not to scare you but there are many different types of disease in the aquarium that humans can catch. some bacterial infections all the way up to Tuberculosis! It's just something that you should know about, always wash you hands after working with a tank, and if you should get fish water in your mouth rinse it out with a mouthwash like "Listerine".>  Hope you can help me out and do you think the other fish will be alright  <I would set up a quarantine tank so that you can separate the moor from the other fish this will be valuable in medicating him and making sure he isn't attacked further. Also it's handy to have one of these around just in case. Also, another concern that I have is that many of the conditions you mentioned tend to be associated with goldfish that are in too small of a tank and/or one that is under filtered. Goldfish need large tanks and needs lot of filtration. I have my goldfish in a 150 gallon tank... I know that's quite large, but it is much easier and the fish seem much more healthy. People who have many goldfish in a 10 gallon tank find that their fish have fin rot frequently, and when water parameters get bad, high waste levels goldfish suffer from pop-eye. Keeping up on water changes helps reduce the chances of fish contracting Pop-eye. Good luck with the fish, I do hope they all turn out okay. -Magnus.>

Goldfish 4/10/04  Thank you very much for your reply - I really should have done more research before purchasing the fish and not listening to the pet shop owner.  <Always a good idea!>  To let you know, I called the pet store, and they said that some of their other moor fish from the tank I got mine had bacterial poisoning, and this is why two of the three died.  <Hmmm, never heard of bacteria that was poisonous.>  The one fish I still have is about an inch long, and it seems healthy (I removed it from the tank right after talking to the pet store). I have a friend who has a big aquarium, and she's already said she will take care of this fish.  <Not a good idea, if she has tropical fish. Goldfish are cold water fish & high ammonia/waste producers. Her fish may suffer by adding a GF to the mix.>  Thank you again for your help, and I plan on writing letter of complaint to the pet store for selling sick fish (and not taking  care of their fish) and I will also go there personally to complain.  <Couldn't hurt, but probably won't do any good. That's just the way a lot of stores are. You can either shop around for a new store to shop at, that won't sell sick fish (has tanks marked, "Not For Sale"), or just keep doing research on the fish you want to keep.>  ~Anna  <Good luck with your remaining fish. ~PP>

Drippy Dropsy I have several gold fish. One just died and after reading disease symptoms I think he had dropsy (swollen stomach) and Ich (white bumps).  <Sorry for your loss. With Dropsy, be sure to keep your fish in clean well filtered water, failing water conditions is one of the ways goldfish contract dropsy.>  My question is do I treat the other fish as if they may be infected.  <yes, I would start treatment in the tank, if one fish had it, then the parasite that caused it is still in the tank, even if the other fish don't show signs. It's a good idea to set up a quarantine tank so down the road if another fish becomes sick you can take it out and medicate it without having to treat the entire tank.>  One fish is holding its fins close to its body and I am not sure what's wrong. Can you help?  <when a fish has clamped fins, that's a sign that something is bothering him. I would start off by doing a hefty sized water change, then begin medicating the tank with a medicine like Maracide which is offered by the Mardel company. This seems to work best on my goldfish. follow the package instructions and hopefully the other fish will be okay.>  Thank Megan  <Good luck. -Magnus.>

Fish Cancer? Hi....attached is a picture of my 5 year old Shubunkin, she has what appears to be a tumor just next to the top of her left gill. It is whitish-yellow in color, is not symmetrical, it appeared when she was about 2 years old, and I've always told myself that it is a fat deposit. It continues to grow larger, and today I noticed it has small grey dots on it.  <first I would like to say that the fish is beautiful colors, I'm sorry to see a fish like that with medical problems. I would guess that the fish does have a tumor, and the problem with tumors is that after a while as it becomes quite large, and secondary skin infections happen.>  Are tumors common?  <Sadly they seem more common in goldfish than many other fish.>  Are they commonly cancerous?  <Most are, but I've known many fish to live quite a long life with seemingly painful tumors.>  I lost a Shubunkin with a tumor last summer. But hers was different, it simply appeared to be a very round, symmetrical bump under her skin. It was on the top of her head, and she died within a year after it appeared. It continued to grow, and then in the last week of her life, it appeared to break open and the flesh turned grey and dead looking.  <That is what often times happens with goldfish tumors. the fish lives fine until the tumor should rupture. at which point the fish either the fish dies from the damage or due to secondary bacterial or fungal infections.>  Is there anything I can do to prolong this fish's life?  Diane Virginia, USA  <If you wish to keep it, then you can add medicines to the water to prevent secondary infections from getting to the fish. Use Maracyn-Two, Maracyn, Tetracycline or TriSulfa to prevent secondary infections from bacteria. Good luck -Magnus.>

Upty Down Goldfish Hi there. We have a 20 gal. tank with a very large goldfish among others. (only 3 fish and two suckers). Tonight we noticed the very large goldfish swimming upside down at the top of the tank.  We got real worried and put him in a separate bowl and changed out half the water. Does this mean that he is dying? Please help. Thank you!  <it doesn't mean that he is dying, most likely this is due to fish having swim bladder problems. he might simply be having difficulties keeping his buoyancy neutral in the water. You should first start by feeding this goldfish sinking food pellets, many times the larger fish will gulp air as they feed an then it's hard for them to bring it back up. If it does continue though, the fish will eventually be stressed so much that it might die. Separating it was a good idea, but you will have to make sure that the water parameters don't get to bad, or the fish can become sick due to high ammonia/nitrite levels. Good luck with the fish and I do hope it improves in health. -Magnus.>

Oranda Needs Stridex?  ZapZit! I have a medium sized orange Oranda in a twenty gallon tank with one other Oranda and five small ( 1 inch size) feeder fish. My Oranda seems to have "pimples" on its cap. The spots are white and tufty like cotton and bigger then Ick spots. They seem to pop within twenty four hours. By pop I mean the white stuff starts to protrude more and eventually fall out.  <That sounds as if your fish has a True Fungus fungus infection: Whitish tufts of cotton-like material on the fin, tail, and body at sites of injury. My guess is that the fish has a fungus infection>  Usually there's a new spot in the morning, but its gone by night. The Oranda does not seem affected by this at all, he's eating and cruising around happy. None of the other fish have anything. The tank readings are fine. I have been treating him with Pimafix for fungi and internal infections and its not working. I did a water change and nothing. What should I treat with. My water is salted as well.  <I have found that treating the fish with MarOxy had worked quite well. Use Maracyn-Two or Maracyn or Tetracycline or TriSulfa to prevent secondary infections on this fish. be sure to keep up with the water changes to ensure the tank always has fresh water for the goldfish. good luck. -Magnus>

More Fish Zits I went to a trusted local pet store and they told me that Orandas will commonly get the pimply fungus due to the folds in their cap.  <That is true, but if I remember right your goldfish is always chasing after another in the tank. Often that action rubs the protective slime coating from the fishes head and opens it to infection.>  They recommended a dip solution. Formalin 3 by Kordon. I dip him in it for a few minutes each day (its a gallon mixed with 2 teaspoons). I just started it. I wanted to get your second opinion about this.  <It is a treatment that many goldfish owners use, I have not, but it doesn't mean I wouldn't. My local stores have a very poor choice of medicines available. And Formalin was so frequently out of stock that I treated with other medicines.>  Water readings are all fine still and the fish ( Wally) hasn't had any change of behavior he still seems very happy and is eating well. Thanks, Olivia  <Just follow the package's instructions and all should go smoothly. I know many people who suggest the Formalin mix dip for their goldfish. Good luck.-Magnus>

Ich it Ich? Ich... Ich! Hello, I am trying to decide if Moby, my black Oranda, has Ich or not. It is mostly located in the spongy part of the head on both sides. Also, these white spots are not located on any other part of the body, just his head.  <It might not be Ich, but a body fungus, many Orandas and goldfish tend to get white spots on their heads which look like Ich but are actually fungal infections.>  He hasn't acted sick or anything and eats very well. I have been treating him with Ich meds but I also have a red capped Oranda in the same tank and this little guy hasn't had one white spot on him at all. One thing I noticed when I brought Moby home two weeks ago, he appeared to be "flirting" with my red Oranda (that died due to the Ich meds two days ago) so I didn't know if this behavior had anything to do with it.  <Often times male goldfish rub their heads against the underside and tail area of the female goldfish before breeding. The problem is that this rubs the protective slime coating from that area of the body and then it opens the fish up to getting skin infections and fungal attacks.>  I am submitting a picture of what he looks like.  <Thank you.. a picture is worth a thousand words! It looks more like a true body fungus rather than Ich. It's kind of confusing and hard to tell apart, but most likely this is what the fish is suffering from.>  He is in treatment right now ( one week ) for Ich and I haven't noticed any of these white spots disappearing. They seem to be multiplying more. If it is not Ich, I will discontinue the Ich med so not to cause anymore toxicity to my guys and my plants.  <I would do a fairly good sized water change, get some freshwater in there then start treatment with something like MarOxy. You can use Maracyn-Two or Maracyn or TriSulfa to prevent secondary infections.>  Thanks for you help....... Moby's mom.  <I do hope that Moby gets better. Good luck. -Magnus.>

Black Spot on Goldfish  Hi, I have a 25 gallon tank with 7 goldfishes: 2 Moor, 4 Comets, and 1 Common. I have bought the fish for 3 days and observed the common goldfish (with black spot on his gills) doesn't swim around and stays at the same place. Yesterday the condition got worse and he only lays on the bottom of the tank. I have also notice that a black-reddish spots with an area approx .5cm increased and has spread through both sides of his gills. Today, I checked and discovered one of the comets also has this black spot on his gills. Therefore I would like to know what would be the cause and how would I go about curing it??  Thanks for your help!! Best regards, Dave  <<Dear Dave; Hello. How long has this tank been set up and running with fish in it? How often do you do water changes, and what are your ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels? Ammonia should be zero, nitrite should be zero, and nitrates kept as low as possible. What size are these goldfish? If they are around two inches in length each, you have a serious overcrowding problem to deal with. Overcrowding not in physical space within the tank, but in the amount of waste such fish will produce on a daily basis, making the water more and more toxic. Yes, perfectly clear water can be quite toxic, you really do need to test all the above in order to know what is going on. If your nitrates are too high, your fish will start to become ill with various bacterial problems. I recommend you get your water checked and let me know your levels. Chances are, if you have caught this disease in time, a bit of salt or Melafix can help. If not, you will need much stronger and more expensive antibiotics. And if the water is too toxic, you will need to do multiple partial water changes to bring the levels down, to keep the fish from becoming worse. Good luck.  -Gwen>>

Sick Red Oranda  Hello there. My son got an Oranda about 7 months ago. He kept him in a large bowl until recently when he put him into a 30 gallon tank. He then added a black moor and a Pleco. The first day things were great - but then he became quite listless - he was on the bottom of the tank kind of on his side. We moved him back out into his bowl and he perked up for a bit - but is now back to the bottom. His mouth is WIDE open and his breathing seems labored.  Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!! Warmly, Jamie Stouffer  <<Dear Jamie; It could be something stuck in his mouth. Sounds too simple, but goldfish spend a lot of time taking up and spitting out gravel, searching for food. Perhaps a chunk got jammed in his mouth. If that is not the case, you will need to get your water tested at your local fish store. I recommend it anyways...test for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate. Get a pH test kit too, it's always good to know the pH of your water, so that if it varies you can fix it. But right now chances are he is suffering or will be suffering soon from an ammonia build-up. This tank will need to cycle. What size are the Pleco and moor? Have any of the fish gone through any radical changes, e.g. temperature or pH, and did you de-chlorinate the water? Is there enough water circulation? What is the exact temp in the tank? It sounds like either an ammonia problem, or food. Still, it should take more than one day for the ammonia to get that high in a thirty gallon with three fish. I sincerely recommend you buy yourself some test kits, as goldfish are prodigious waste producers and you will have much more luck with them if you test your water regularly and do the water changes accordingly. Feel free to add some aquarium salt to the tank water. It will help if you add one teaspoon per gallon, gradually. Buy some Doc Wellfish salt at the pet store when you go to get your water tests. -Gwen>>

Sick Black Moor  Hi,  Our year old black moor goldfish has been showing signs of illness recently.  The black moor fish has survived 2 other black moors over the year. I could not determine why the other fish died and none of the staff from the store could clearly explain.  We have noticed small clear-white patches that would come and go near the gills, or on the body, or on the fancy fins. Within the past 3 days, our fish's scales seem to have puffed out or opened up and he looks a bit bloated. He is not as active as usual and sometimes sits very still at the bottom of the tank. However, he knows when it is time to eat and that is the only time I see him get excited anymore.  Yesterday, after explaining the symptoms to the staff at the fish store, he quickly pointed out what he believed the solution to the problem would be.  Bettamax-blended antibiotic capsules. Still, I am not convinced it is the correct treatment since the staff person did not state what the problem is.  Also, over the year our fish sometimes has had stringy, clear bowel  movements. I am wondering if it is his diet. We started off feeding our fish Tertrafin tropical goldfish flakes; when we had a algae eating snail I would drop algae pellets into the tank to keep the snail from eating the plants, but the pellet would be eaten up by the surviving goldfish; then quickly changed to Tetrafin gold fish flakes as recommended by the store staff. I removed all the  living plants stopped the algae pellet feedings and the snail died 2 months ago, but we never found the snail's carcass. "What's wrong with my baby?!?"  <<Hello. Your goldfish has dropsy. This is a symptom of an internal bacterial infection. Most likely caused by high nitrates and improper diet. Yes, the antibiotics will help, and maybe he can survive, but generally by the time the scales begin to protrude it is too late. You can keep trying though, and as long as he is eating there is a chance. Slim, but there. To prevent this in future, you should do some serious reading about goldfish. There are lots of professional sites out there, including this one, that can give you the proper care of goldfish. They are huge waste producers, should receive large water changes weekly, and need to be fed a diet very high in fibre. I recommend you buy some aquarium test kits, for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrates, and learn to use them. If you have more questions, feel free to email me back. Good luck -Gwen>>

Sick Moor  Hi Gwen,  Thank you for writing us back. Our fish tank was an inheritance...I am more of a dog lover, but I have grown very attached to our black moor since having it for a year now. Since writing you, I followed through on the steps when signs of distress and disease show. It has helped tremendously. I have also made a point to read more about the fish and the upkeep of eclipse aquariums.  Our fish is now swimming around like normal, still eating, and seems to be doing fine. However, I am concerned about the deterioration is his fins. The very tips of the fins have small holes in them. Also, his bowel movements are now up to every day since the cleansing of the tank. Yesterday, it was more clear and thick instead of the light brown yellowish color. Is that a bad sign?  My last question for you...how long do I leave out the carbon filter when I am treating him with medicine? Thank you much, Eeon  <<Dear Eeon; Glad to hear! The fins will take some time to heal, up to a week, maybe more. Keep doing the water changes to get the quality as high as possible, and feed him the good stuff, Spirulina flake. Goldfish's bowel movements can change when their diet changes, or water quality. Do not fear, he should do just fine now :) as long as the clear poop stops in a day or two. Poop can be a disease indicator, but don't overreact if it changes color now and then. Leave the carbon out for the duration of the treatment. You can put it back into the filter when the treatment is done, and a water change at that time will help as well. Half the battle is good water quality :) -Gwen>>

Black Moor Goldfish Sick Hi there Gwen, Thanks for all the great advice. I did pick up the Spirulina flakes. I was told not to use it everyday. While I was there I picked up another black moor goldfish...a little one. I wanted a puffer, but they advised not to. I thought my 1 year old fish could use some company. Unfortunately, I may have thought wrong. The little fish has been pestering the bigger fish by nipping on his fins and under his belly. This would be the 3rd day since I've had the little fish. Should I take him back to the store?  My 1 year old fish has been doing so well and I hate to see all my efforts go in vain because I thought he needed company. The water is up to standards, I clean once a week, I stopped the treatment the day I got the new fish, I added 2 live plants, and I am trying to do all that I need.  Was buying the new little fishy a bad idea?? Sincerely, Eeon <<Dear Eeon, keeping goldfish together isn't a bad idea, but from time to time you will get one goldfish that picks on another. It's impossible to tell which one will do so, and which won't. If you have a good LFS, they may let you exchange your new lil fishy for another new lil fishy, without charge. Try it and see. Congrats, by the way, on doing such a good job :) -Gwen>>

Black spots on gills Hi Bob,  <Hi, you have Magnus on the line this time for help.>  I have a 25 gallon tank with 7 goldfishes: 2 Moor, 4 Comets, and 1 Common. I have bought the fish for 3 days and observed the common goldfish (with black spot on his gills) doesn't swim around and stays at the same place.  <It might be a bit to small of a tank for that many fish. Also did you buy these fish all at the same time? If so, then chances are that the water parameters are way off. If you didn't give the tank time to cycle, or added fish to fast, then you most likely have high ammonia levels in the tank. These fish produce a lot of waste and when the ammonia gets to high, goldfish can suffer from something called "Ammonia Burn" when the ammonia levels are so high that it actually turns their skin and fins dark. It's seen on the gills first.>  Yesterday the condition got worse and he only lays on the bottom of the tank. I have also notice that a black-reddish spots with an area approx .5cm increased and has spread through both sides of his gills. Today, I checked and discovered one of the comets also has this black spot on his gills. Therefore I would like to know what is the problem and how would I go about treating it??  Thanks for your help!!  <You can treat this problem by doing water changes and helping bring down the ammonia levels to a decent and safe level. This will prolong the cycling period, but at least it will have the ammonia/nitrite levels down for the fish to survive. I suggest you get a water testing kit and test you Ammonia, Nitrite, and Nitrate levels in your tank. This will help you further understand the Cycling process in a tank. Remember these fish are messy, they need lots of filtration, cold water, and large enough tank to fit them all.>  Best regards, Dave  <good luck. -Magnus>

Fast Fantail Reply - Replay Gwen, Thank you for your reply. My local pet store does not test aquarium water as you suggested that I do. A test kit to test the three things you mentioned, ammonia, nitrates, and nitrites, costs $45.00. Pet store staff suggested that maybe my fish are not getting enough air and that is why they are laying at the bottom. I have a 5.5 gallon tank with 2 air stones. I think they are getting enough air. Wouldn't they be at the top of the waterline if that was the case? My fantail was doing very well for most of the day on Sunday, but now he is laying back on the bottom with very little movement. Any more suggestions?  Please help!  P.S. While at the pet store, I did purchase pH 7.5 packets to add to my tank water. Will this help at all?  <<Hey Christina, sorry to hear your LFS won't test your water. Is that the only store near you? Forgive me for saying so, but that sucks. I know test kits are pricey, which doesn't help. What is your tank pH right now? Don't add the pH packets until your fish recuperates. If your KH is low, the pH will swing, causing him more stress. Adding a couple of reef rocks to the tank is a better idea, and less hard on the fish. The best thing you can do is try to do as many partial water changes as possible to keep your fish healthy. Oxygen is always an issue, but you are right, they would be at the surface. My call is that water quality is the culprit here. Please do weekly water changes! Even twice a week. Remember, those fish will continue to grow, and will need a bigger tank eventually. For water changes made easy, just put a bucket of water aside the night before, then siphon water out of the tank the next day and pour the new water in. Should take you only a few minutes. And try to find another store in your area! -Gwen>>

Black Moor is "Broken"  3/27/04 <Hi, Pufferpunk here, the resident goldfish "fixer" for tonight.> Hello. I've been reading through the various FAQ's, but I haven't been able to find what I'm looking for. I have sick Sake (like the Japanese alcohol). He's a black moor, medium sized <How big is that?  Over 2"?> who's a little under the weather. I have him in a 16 gallon tank with another moor the same size. <could be a little tight for goldfish.>  The pH is 7.3, the nitrate level is 0, and the ammonia is quite high at 4 (as of this morning), <What about nitrIte?>   but I just did a partial water change last night and added some AMMO-Stop as well as placing AMMO-Chips in the filter. The filter is a 30 gallon TetraTec PF150 and takes Pro-II cartridges. <Goldfish are high waste/ammonia producers.  They require heavy filtration & at least 10g/fish when  under 2" & 20g/fish over 2" (body size).  They also need HUGE water changes.  Some long time GF keepers suggest doing 90% weekly water changes is not considered too aggressive (discus keepers do this too).> I noticed yesterday the he's injured his eyes. It looks almost like a large white stretch mark around the circumference of his eyes. It doesn't quite go all the way around. I had an ammonia meter in the tank (it stuck to the side with a suction cup) which I think might have been the cause of his injury so I removed it. I also removed a plant that he seemed to like getting stuck in from time to time. He's also been hanging around at the top of the tank a lot lately. <That's from the ammonia poisoning.  Any amount of ammonia or  nitrItes is toxic to a fish.  Water changes & a larger tank will fix that.>   So I was wondering if you could give me some advice to get him better? <You could add Melafix for the injury.> I don't want him to die because he's my favorite. Any information would be appreciated. Thanks, Paige <Water changes, water changes, water changes!  ~PP>

Fantail Goldfish problems My 4" fantail fish is laying at the bottom of the tank almost all the time. This started after the death of a "partner" fish 2 weeks ago. I have had "Noah" for 18 months with no problems in the past. His health seems to be good  otherwise. He is eating pretty good. He shows no signs of disease. Is it possible that my fish is just "depressed", or are there other causes for my fish to be laying at the bottom of the tank almost all the time? Please advise! <<Hello. You need to take a sample of your tank water to your local fish store as soon as you can, and have them test it for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrates. Write down the results so you remember them. Your ammonia level should be zero, nitrites should be zero, and nitrates between 0-60ppm. If any of these are not in this range, do an immediate water change and email me with the results. You may have to do quite a few more water changes to get your water quality back up. If you do not, your fish will not survive much longer. -Gwen>>

Calico Fantail With Droopy tail Hi I've had this Calico Fantail for about a year now.  His tail is now drooping downward.  He still eats and is just as active as he was before.  What do you think could be the cause of this?  Thanks <many times as goldfish age their tails become to large for them to hold up as they did when younger.  It's something that just happens and really isn't able to be fixed.  If it appears to be damaged, from other tankmates, or bumping into something) it might heal itself and return to normal, but chances are that it might continue to droop.  It really shouldn't be to much worry, unless it appears to become infected or begins to bother the fish.   Good luck. -Magnus>

Goldfish acting strange...please help... Hi. My name is Danielle, and I have a question about my goldfish. <Hi Danielle, This is Magnus.  Ask away!> I bought 2 feeder fish at Wal-mart 2 years ago, and they have both survived thus far. <congrats!> They were about 1/2" long when I bought them, and are now about 4 1/2" each. They live together in a 20 gallon aquarium (my college does not permit anything larger, or I would have a bigger tank). Today I came back from classes to see one of them resting on the bottom of the tank. At first, I thought that it may have had a piece of gravel stuck in its mouth, but I do not see anything. I checked my PH levels and ammonia, and everything is normal. She is eating, and every once and a while she will swim around, but mostly just rests on the bottom, but is upright. She does not look odd, and I can't find any info on the internet. I do know that the power went off in the building for about an hour today, but I don't know if that would effect her. My other goldfish is fine. Any help would be great. Thank you. Danielle <She might be becoming having the start of declining health.  I've seen goldfish do that when the water parameters are slightly off, or something had been inadvertently dropped into the tank.  My suggestion is to do a water change, vacuum the gravel extremely well and add a broad base medicine like Maracide (from Mardel company).  This should help the situation.  I have also used Melafix on my goldfish which works very nicely for general health issues, though it does have a sort of pungent smell that your dorm might not like.  Keep a close eye on your fish, and make sure it doesn't start to show other problems (whitish film, spots, fin rot...) Good luck. -Magnus>

Fin missing Dear Team, I have six feeder comets in a 10 gal tank, ranging from .75 to 1.5 inches. They appeared healthy since I got them one month ago. Fed flakes. I change 2 gall water every 4-5 days. Ammonia zero, nitrates & nitrites normal. pH 6.8, temp 72 deg F. <sounds like you are on a good start.> This morning the baby of the bunch (.75 Inches) was missing most of its dorsal fin. No blood nor other marks/stains. Behaves OK. No other fish affected (yet?) No aggressive fish. Fin rot or injury? Kindly advise. Charlene Kotze <Fin rot doesn't happy overnight, it is caused by a fungus that will spread on the fish.  the fins will appear white and literally begin to rot away.  Most likely it was nipped off by another fish, or it might have been caught on something in the tank, inside the filter intake, etc...  It's unusual for a dorsal fin to be nipped off on a goldfish, it might simply have been a freak accident/occurrence.  I would worry about secondary infections, the fish might contract fin rot near the damaged fins.  Keep an eye on the fish and have medicines ready incase the fish should become infected.  The Medicines from the Mardel company work extremely well.  good luck. -Magnus>

Goldfish Waste Color In a site on buying a goldfish it said that the waste should be dark in color not light. Why? <<Hello. Goldfish waste is generally the color of the food they eat. Long, stringy, light-colored waste can indicate an internal bacterial infection. Watch the fish you want to buy to see if they have trouble swimming properly, if they gasp (breathe too fast) or if they seem lethargic. Fancy goldfish are susceptible to many problems due to their compact body shape. Feel free to read our Goldfish FAQ's here at WetWebMedia. -Gwen>>

Black Moor losing scales I've had this fish for nearly 3 years now and just last night I notice he was losing scales.  There are also small white spots on his gills and on the front edges of his front fins.  The activity has slowed down since yesterday (changed the water yesterday).  I attached a picture...hopefully you can make out the problem...taking pictures of swimming fish is not easy. Thank you, Heath Starling <<Hello, Heath. It's hard to tell from the pic, it may be a bacterial infection. It could be Ich as well, I cannot see the small spots you mentioned. You can do another water change (water quality is the general culprit, test your water for nitrates!) and add some Melafix for the scale problem. Follow the instructions on the box for treatment. Remove any carbon from your filter whenever you add medication. If he does have a mild case of Ich, you can use salt in conjunction with the Melafix to fight this. I am not sure he actually has Ich, but if he looks to you as though someone sprinkled him with salt, that would be Ich, and you may need a stronger med than salt to fight it. But start with this, and let me know if anything gets worse. -Gwen>>

Constipated Goldfish?  3/16/04 <Hi, Pufferpunk here tonight> Dear Crew, I have two Comet Goldfish.  One silver, the other orange.  I have had them for almost 10 years.   <That's great, you must be doing something right!> They are in a 30 gallon rectangular tank with a box filter an aerator.  The silver one has developed a case of severe bloating in its lower abdomen.  It's blown to almost 3 times its normal size.  Its scales are not popping off, but its skin is becoming very stretched.  This started almost 5 months ago and it only gets worse.  I'm assuming that its constipation because the fish is lively and still eats.  Also, I've read that fish usually die of parasites and whatnot within a few weeks.  It does not hide in the corner and it seems to have its bearings correct.  It does not float upside down.  It still can dart very quickly around the tank. From what I understand about dropsy it does not exhibit any signs of it (scales normal, fins normal, behavior normal).  There are no outward signs of infection of any kind.  Only the silver fish has this condition.  The orange fish is still lively as ever.  At the start, I believed it to be some sort of bacterial infection.  So, on the advice of the pet store guy I changed the water completely and treated the tank and fish with broad spectrum antibiotics.   <Water changes are always good.  I do 50% weekly water changes on all my tanks.  Some say that on a goldfish tank, 90% weekly water changes is not considered too aggressive.> I followed the directions on the box for the full two weeks.  No change in the fish.  Then I suspected it to be constipation so I tried boiled and skinned peas for an entire week.  I gave up on that when the fish exhibited no change except for a more bloated abdomen.  I went back to the pet store.  The guy told me to try internal parasite meds (I don't recall the name).  That didn't work.  A month after that, I heard about giving the fish some peas AND spinach.  I tried that, no change.  I've been going on and off of peas for the remainder of the time. <Peas certainly can't hurt & are a good addition to any GF's diet.> I read in an email answer (archived on your website) that sometimes the intestine is obstructed and there is nothing that can be done.  However, for the past 5 months the fish has been--albeit slowly--defecating.  This morning I saw it expel some fibrous green stuff (I'm assuming its peas/spinach) along with what appeared to be two air bubbles in the "sausage casing." <That's normal.  I'm glad it's still defecating.> I don't want it to die because of something like constipation. <I'd like to see you try adding Epsom salt to it's tank (or a quarantine tank, if you have one). 1tbsp/5gal for 2 weeks.  Do 50% water changes every other day adding whatever salt you have removed.  See if that helps.  If not, write again & we'll see what else we can come up with.>     Please give me your advice.  Thanks. - Paul P.S. I read somewhere that giving the fish some cod liver oil via a dropper in its mouth will relieve constipation, but it sounds risky and I'm a little skeptical. <Please capitalize your "I"s next time, I have to fix all of them before posting your question on our site.  Try the Epsom salt 1st--PP>

Not so golden Goldfish my goldfish was solid orange-but now the fins have lost their color and  have turned white. the body now has white spots on it-not like salt- like the scales just lost their color.  what is wrong with them? <if the spots were small then the fish has Ick (Ichthyophthirius), a most serious parasitic disease. Almost all fish are susceptible. But, since it's seems to be loosing the color and fins are turning white, rather than small spots on the body it might be something along the lines of a fungus or the start of fin rot.  I suggest you treat the fish with Mardel's Maracyn.  This should help the goldfish get back to health.> are they getting old? <Goldfish will live for 15-20 years quite easily given the proper home.  I have a goldfish that is a decade old.> I've been putting stuff in my tank for Ick-just in case.  please help, Ashley <good luck- Magnus>

Lump on Goldfish hi, my goldfish has recently gained a rather large lump on its side. it is now that big that the fish is in a slightly bent shape. the scales are sticking out and it appears to be getting sore. I have had to separate it from the other two as they have just started to follow it everywhere and suck on its side. this is the second time that the lump has occurred and is bigger than the last. last time it had some white solid substance come out of the side in a line (i.e. like their poo does). I have tried looking on the web for similar things and only thing that might sound like it is a tumour! is this correct? <Cancer happens quite frequently in fancy goldfish.  Judging by your pictures I would have to guess that the fish does have a tumor.  The bulge is a bit to large for a simple skin infection by itself.> if so why did it go down last time? <I have seen goldfish have tumors that seem to swell and recede over time.  Most of the time the swelling is do to parasites and/or bacteria being able to get into the skin thanks to the swelling. and infect the already damaged area.  The area will most likely swell and recede multiple times as the fish becomes worse.  95% of the time tumor of this nature will eventually rupture threw the skin of the fish and when that happens bacterial infections will spread and be harmful to the fish.  In cases like this I believe it's best to euthanize the fish humanely.  I have done this by placing the fish in a container or bag and simply putting it into the freezer.  The fishes metabolism slows and it drifts off rather peacefully.> if it is not do you know what it is and how to cure it? <If it is cancer than there isn't much you can do.  You can keep medicating the fish, trying a medicine like CopperSafe or Maracyn.> also have I done the right thing by splitting them up? <Yes splitting them up was the best idea.  They will pester the sick fish.  Also, if the fish should get a bacterial or parasitic infection due to it's lowered health, the infection could spread to the healthy fish.>   p.s. I have included photos of the fish (flounder, tee hee) so you can see what I mean about the lump and shape, also he doesn't move around as fast as he used to but hey nor would I with a lump that big! hope you can help thanks again Faye <thank you for including the photos they were indeed worth a thousand words. good luck. -Magnus>

Lionhead Goldfish with Ulcers I was hoping to share a bit of information on a recent illness my Lionhead, Peewee, experienced.  About two and a half weeks ago I noticed Peewee hanging back from the crowd (he lives with three other small goldfish in a 10 gallon tank), <Just wanted to say that a 10 gallon tank is a bit small for goldfish, you will need to think about upgrading to a larger size down the road.  Goldfish are quite messy and water parameters can get bad quickly.  When that happens fishes health can become compromised.> he was eating normally but staying in the middle region of the tank and acting somewhat standoffish. <It's a weird thing with Lionheads, one of mine always is that way.  Not sure what causes the Lionheads to be the "standoffish" of the goldfish breeds, but if you see a fish being a loner in a tank, chances are good that it will be a Lionhead.> I decided this was worthy of keeping an eye on <Very true, any chance in a fishes normal routine or behavior is cause for a peak in interest.> and sure enough, one or two days later I noticed that what had originally seemed as a strange pointiness to his side had erupted into a red, open wound and was attended by at least three other such sores.   <ouch... sores that erupt, this can be one of two things.  The first might be internal tumors in the fish that became large enough to rupture the side.  This is normally only seen with one large sore on the body rather than multiple ones, unless the other three sores seem more like secondary infections rather than ulcerated sores from the inside.  The second possibility is "Ulcer disease".  Not a very clever name but sums it up.  The signs of this are shallow, open sores, usually of a reddish color.  They appear on the body of the fish, and the problem is that the fish then is susceptible to secondary infections from things like Saprolegnia.  The lesions will increase in size and even merge as the disease progresses.  This is seen predominately in coldwater fish like goldfish and Koi.> I set up a small (one gallon) quarantine tank with a filter and heater as I suspected these sores to be Furunculosis - this being the closest disease description I could find in my book - and had read that heat could be used in treatment. <It's a good plan to separate the fish.  If it is caused by an infection, then it's transferable to other fish. (if it is cancerous in nature then it isn't).  The ulcers could be caused not by Furunculosis, but by Aeromonas and Pseudomonas.  Meaning it's spreadable...  Raising the temperature and adding a broad based medicine will help fight off any parasites.  This is important because in goldfish suffering from ulcers disease, chronic Septicaemia often occurs, which can lead to dropsy and death.>   The book stated that fish with this type of bacterial infection were not likely to survive and would most certainly suffer massive scarring.  Miraculously, Peewee has indeed survived and been returned to the main tank with little evidence of ever having been sick (he is still regrowing some fins that were damaged in the final stages of his treatment).  The treatment went something like this: 1) Heater set for high 70's 2) Tetracycline administered once a day 3) Fed sinking/soft pellets and peas - and all this lasted one week.  During this time the initial sores became white and began to heal; a new round of pimple-like bumps developed and healed more quickly than the first; the set of fins on his belly shriveled on the edges and deteriorated slightly; and he gradually stopped hiding on the other side of the bowl during feeding (his appetite remained healthy throughout).   <wow, way to go peewee!  That's really incredible!  Few aquarists have this sort of results.  Kudos for you and your research!  We need more hobbyists like you in this world.> I also treated the main tank for five days with antibiotics (no sign of the problem ever showed up on any of the other fish). I'm thrilled to say that as of yet he has shown no further sign of sickness or distress however I'm still puzzled as to what was ailing him and how it showed up.   <The problem could have been that in such a small tank some parasites which are normally found in a tank could quickly spawn and get out of control quickly.  This could be due to accidental over feeding which quickly can effect small tanks, or a fish who had a drop in his immune system and the parasites could get a foothold in the tank.  I would keep the Quarantine tank on hand and the medicines and make sure that you are ready in case the condition should come back.> I had recently introduced two new plants (Anacharis and a moss ball) that I bought at a local store.  I was wary of these purchases however since they were sold to me right out of store tanks ridden with snails and who knows what else.  So the plants were quarantined for three weeks before they went into my tank.   <Excellent procedure!  Not many people quarantine their plants.  Typically those people are the ones that are suppressed when they suddenly have weird snails or other pests in their tank "seemingly out of nowhere.> Prior to introduction I rid the Anacharis of snails and eggs and the moss ball of red worms that I suspected to be Tubifex worms but I'm not sure of that.  Still they were all gone by the time the plants were introduced.  Any ideas on theses mysterious sores?  Might they show up again? <Truth be told, they might show up again.  It could have simply been a bloom of the bacteria for a reason like high nutrients in the water, or the fish had become sick from other conditions and they had a chance to attack.  The best way to stop sores on goldfish is to be sure to keep the water as clean as possible and highly filtered.  I would suggest you think about getting your guys into a larger tank when have the room and money to do so.  Both you and your fish will be happier. -Magnus>

Killer Goldfish? I have searched your site and others on the internet for an answer to my question, but I have been unable to find out what I'm looking for. We had an orange Oranda goldfish (Homer) for about a year, who was healthy as far as we knew. About 2 weeks ago we bought him a friend - a red top Oranda (Marge) Last week, Homer was lying dead at the bottom of the bowl. We told our 2 year old that Homer was sick, and went out and bought an almost-identical Homer II. Tonight, 5 days later, Homer II was found floating at the top of the bowl - dead! I have 2 questions: 1. Did Marge somehow kill the 2 Homers? If so, how? or..... 2. Did the 2 Homers have an extreme case of Swim Bladder, and I flushed them down the toilet thinking they were dead when in fact they were not. I mean, they certainly looked dead, and didn't react when nudged with the net. I need to know whether or not to go and buy Homer 3, or just accept that I have a killer goldfish in my kitchen. Please help! we look forward to hearing from you, Craig, Anne and Erin McAllister <<Hello; While goldfish can be aggressive and annoying to each other, they are not killers. It sounds to me like an ammonia problem. Chances are, your bowl is too small for the amount of ammonia being produced by two goldfish. You can try either 1)buying an ammonia test kit, and testing the water to see how often to change it, or 2)buying a much bigger bowl, and doing the normal water changes you already do now. Well, I would also recommend testing that, too. :) Test kits are easy to use, cheap, and fast. Make sure your ammonia level does not exceed 2.0ppm (follow the instructions in the test kit). If it does, do a water change. You will know exactly what is going on in your fishes water if you test it regularly. -Gwen>>

Oranda Head Growth Blinding Fish  2/29/04 <Hi, Pufferpunk here> I've had some Orandas for about three years now. Since I got them they have almost doubled in size. My largest one is over seven inches. I've noticed in the past couple months that its head was starting to grow over his eyes. Now its gotten big enough where he can not see anything. His eyes are completely covered. He bumps into the aquarium glass, The other fish and can't see his food to eat. Does this mean anything? Can I do anything? Has this ever happened before?  If you have any answers, please e-mail me or post it on the website or something. Thank you for your time. <With EXTENSIVE breeding Orandas may have their vision obscured and breathing impaired by the degree of head growth. It is difficult for the fish to balance itself. It swims and eats slowly and gracefully. Some Orandas have their heads pointing downwards when they are not moving from the weight of their head. When swimming, they often turn somersaults.  This "deformity" has unfortunately been inbred into the fish & there is not much that you can do, except give the fish it's own tank.  By isolating the fish, you will reduce the competition for food.  I would feed it only sinking food, it should be able to "feel" it out.  Make sure to give it plenty of vegetable matter (algae wafers, shelled peas) to not further poor swimming ability with swim bladder problems.> Lucretia Rodriguez    <Good luck with your Oranda.  ~PP> 

Lionhead With a Strange Growth - 03/07/2004 Hi, <Hello.> My husband and I have a very large black moor that is about 3 years old.  He is alone in a 30-gallon tank and we have recently noticed a very strange growth protruding from one of it's eyes.   <Yikes!> The area that surrounds the telescopic eye has enlarged and is drooping all the way down to the level of his belly.   <Oh my....  this is VERY hard to imagine!  Wow.  Is there any way you can snap a picture so we can see what you mean?> It looks like some kind of round cyst-like growth is in there; he doesn't move around much- mostly stays at the bottom of the tank. <To be honest, it sounds like he's got a tumor or some such issue....> Maybe from the weight of having to swim around with this?  It looks quite grotesque and we hope the poor guy is not in any pain!   <I do hope so, as well; is he eating?  Still responsive, at all?> The pupil area also look larger and darker than usual too- we don't know if he can even see out of it anymore.  We were wondering if you had ever seen this and what it might be- any chance for survival? <I can say I have not seen anything like what you describe, but again, it does sound like a tumor.  Fish can get tumors, just as much as can dogs or people.  As for survival - I would just continue to care for the fish as long as it seems able to eat and be "happy".  Though it may be operable by a veterinarian, I doubt the costs involved would be worthwhile, I'm sad to say.  Provide the fish with the finest water quality that you can, and hope for the best.  The fish may be able to continue to live for years yet, there may be no way of telling.  Again, if you can provide us with a picture, perhaps it will clarify for us, and we might be able to come up with other ideas.> Thank you,  Chrissy <Any time.  Wishing the best for you and your scaly pal,  -Sabrina>

Goldfish fin rot hello crew. My sisters Oranda red and white have very bloody tails and lots of blood vessels showing? Is this very bad? Thank you. <<Hello, yes, this is bad. She needs to do some water changes. If she already is, then she is not doing them often enough. She needs to remove 25-50% of the water each week, or maybe even more often, depending on how small the bowl/tank is, and replace it with water that is the same exact same temperature, and that has been dechlorinated. She should go to the local fish store and buy herself a thermometer, and some dechlorinator. If the problem doesn't clear up within a few days or so, she may need a antibacterial medication, like Melafix. -Gwen>>

Pompom problem HI  everyone, Hoping someone can help me out.  Something unusual is going on with my fishie.  He's a fancy goldfish, a pom pom, I checked his tank parameters a couple of hours ago, and yesterday, nitrites were 0, ammonia was 0, ph 7.2.   Everything seemed normal, I fed him an hour ago, everything perfectly fine (ate all his food, swimming regularly, etc.)  I came in to check on him a few minutes ago and he had a pinched look on his face, he can't seem to close his mouth all the way, and he doesn't have a rock in there, it's as if his upper part of his mouth is now deformed.  I'm freaking out, what could it be, and is there anything I can do for him????  Your help would be much appreciated, Mel <<Dear Mel; you don't mention the nitrAte level. What do your nitrates measure? If you do not know, you need to have them tested, either at the fish store, or buy yourself a test kit. Ammonia becomes nitrite, and nitrite becomes nitrate...and a high nitrate level is toxic to your fish. Aside from that, there isn't much I can tell you, except to wait and see if he gets better on his own, perhaps he just had some food in his mouth. Is he gasping, rubbing against decor, or having trouble swimming properly? Are his eyes cloudy? Please let me know your nitrate test results. -Gwen>> Re: Pompom problem Hi, Thanks for getting back to me. <<No problem :)>> Sorry I didn't include the nitrate results, I don't have a test for that, but I have been doing regular weekly water changes, about 25-30%. <<Very good, but nitrates can still get very high if you don't monitor them.>> His condition is still the same, doesn't seem to have any problem swimming, no flashing, no rubbing, his eyes don't seem cloudy, he's eating properly. I've looked in his mouth, or tried to, several times and there doesn't seem to be anything stuck in there, or any fungus, and it doesn't look like any of his mouth has been eaten away.  It almost looks as though the top part of his mouth caved in on him?  Instead of being a rather straight top, it's now bent in a tight arch.  Because it appeared so suddenly and no other symptoms are appearing, I was wondering what could have caused it, if not some sort of disease?  You guys are the best at info and I thought someone may have come across this problem before.  As a side note I have seen one or two goldfish in pet stores previously who seemed to have this problem, but I thought that it was probably a natural deformation, but since mine didn't have it when I bought him, I'm totally stumped.  Any thoughts would be appreciated.  Mel <<I honestly have no idea. The thing is, it could have happened due to a physical injury that the fish acquired while in your tank. Deformities are usually not an illness, per se, and without seeing a before and after pic of the fish, I cannot say what it might be. Normally mouth rot and mouth fungus have a distinct appearance, but I can't see the fish to be sure. Please continue to do your water changes, make sure he is eating, and maybe the problem will rectify itself. Le me know right away if you see any whiteness to the mouth, or any fungus on it. Also, you would be wise to buy yourself a nitrate test kit, and keep the level at around 50ppm or less. Good luck!-Gwen>>

Black Streaks Hi there, We have two smallish Ryukin goldfish in a 2 litre tank. We bought Hot lips 6 weeks ago and She has since developed white spot 2.5 weeks ago. We have been treating Hot Lips with Ichonex and a salt bath over the 2 weeks. After the first week, the white spots nearly disappeared leaving only 5 or so stubbornly on there. Then a few black streaks appeared. The fish shop said to bring it in and tested our water quality which was deemed perfect. They looked at it and said that is not white spot, so we stopped treatment. A week ago, the white spots came back with a vengeance. We looked at the pic of Whitespot on your site as we weren't confident of the fish shop's diagnosis - and it is white spot. She has since developed more black streaks. They are more of a coloration rather than any fuzzy fungus. What are these? the fish shop said this is just new fin growth. Sure? Couldn't find anything on your site about it. Our other fish Quasar, is very happy and healthy without Whitespot. He has since also developed a few of these black streaks on his lower fin.  Now Hot lips is in a bad way with more black streaks and still with Whitespot - floating aimlessly in the hospital bucket. What can we do for her? Please help us save her and prevent Quasar from getting sick. Cheers, Vonda and Ian <<Hello. I am sorry to hear of your fish troubles. Ich (white spot) is a parasite, it has a ten day life cycle, which means it can appear to go away as the adult parasites die off, but will come back again as the baby parasites find new hosts. White spot is usually caused by temperature fluctuations, and in a tank as small as 2 litres, it can fluctuate quite a bit. Try to keep the tank in a place where it will be as stable as possible, away from windows, drafts, or direct sun. You will need to go back to your fish store and buy a decent medication to treat Ich, like Quick Cure or Super Ich Cure. Treat your fish according to the directions on the package. For the black streaks, it could be a bacterial infection, but I cannot tell without seeing the fish. Could be normal. Chances are your ammonia level in this tank is quite high, please do a water change at least every second day, and re-medicate afterwards. Do not run any carbon in your filter during treatment. Good luck! -Gwen>>

Sick Moor Hi, I have had a Black Moor Goldfish since August. (She was in a one gallon bowl) I recently got a ten-gallon tank, set it up and had her in it for about a week before I got new fish. About a week after I added another Black Moor and a Calico Oranda, I saw white spots. I immediately got Ich medication and have been vacuuming and doing partial water changes. The fish all looked like they were responding well, but now my older Black Moor is constantly laying at the bottom, breathing very deeply. She occasionally swims around, but I'm still very worried about her. Please give me any advice you can, I'm very attached to this fish and don't want her to die. Thanks! Jessica <<Dear Jessica; what temperature is the tank? First, try to keep the temperature stable. A good temp for black moors is around 74F. Second, make sure you have removed the carbon from your filter, as carbon will remove the meds you are adding. Black moors are the hardest goldfish to keep, they are quite sensitive. Right now though, you need to have your tank tested for ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates at your Local Fish Store. Chances are your new tank is cycling with too many fish added! Please do small partial water changes every few days to try to keep the levels down. Make sure the new water is the same temp as the tank water! The tank will cycle eventually, but in the meantime, your goldfish need some water changes to keep them alive until it does. If you see your black moor is developing cloudy eyes, email me back, you will need a different med for that.. Good luck! -Gwen>>

Red dots on goldfish Hi, I have a single-tail goldfish and have recently seen a line of reddish/white-ish dots on one side of his body. I was wondering what kind of treatment I should give him, and what sort of disease he has. I've attached a picture of what he looks like (center fish) as of now. And sorry the jpg's so big, I couldn't figure out how to make it smaller. Anyway, I have isolated him from his regular tank-- which contains 8 other fish-- and put him in a hospital tank for now. Other than the red dots on his side, he has not been acting abnormally, and the other fish have shown no signs of the disease. Any info would be appreciated, thank you! Alice <Does appear that this fish has an infected "lateral line" (the actual pores along the side of the body are "pit organs" that function in low frequency "sound" reception... and are easily infected). I agree that you've done the "right thing" by isolating this specimen. I might try feeding it some antibiotic laced dry food (these are made by Tetra, HBH... or you can make your own) along with keeping good water quality. This fish should otherwise heal on its own in a few weeks. Bob Fenner>

Goldfish and Water Quality Hi, <Hello.> I own a Oranda/Lionhead (can't tell which species exactly) and I've just noticed (since an hour ago) that he appears to have some redder than normal red spots on his bubbly head. These are probably indications of blood, perhaps an outbreak; he also seems to have a lot of red streaks in his fins. <Signs of irritation, usually due to inappropriate water quality - do please test for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and pH, correct with water changes if necessary.> Usually, he is a very happy swimmer, always upbeat and eager to be fed. Even recently, I haven't seen any abnormal behavior changes, until today. During  feeding time, he didn't seem too excited about the food, and kept dawdling around near the middle of the tank. I am terribly worried about what kind of disease/condition he has come up with, as he is a very fond member of our family. <This definitely sounds like he's just having trouble with the water quality....  please test, let us know how it comes out.> Normally, he lives in a 50-gallon tank (estimation) with 8 other goldfish (not Lionheads). To give you a rough estimate of how big the tank is, the dimensions are apprx. : 4 ' long, 1.5' tall (height), 1' width. <Sounds like a standard 55 gallon tank.  Nine goldfish is quite a lot of goldfish in this tank; goldfish are really, really messy eaters (er, they poop a lot).> I change the water usually every other week, as I know that ammonia levels can add up (lost a number of fish due to this). <I can imagine so.  I would recommend weekly water changes, if at all possible, and some very hefty filtration.> I haven't recently checked the pH, ammonia level/other chemical levels for awhile, as I assume that the water changing automatically makes the tank water suitable for the fish. <Not a safe assumption, unfortunately; testing for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and pH is the only way we are able to get a real feel for what's going on in the tank.  And, when in doubt, water changes *never* hurt.> Back to the Lionhead fish issue, I was hoping you could give me a vague diagnosis of several diseases he could possibly have and what types of treatments are available. <Mm, although there are other slight possibilities, I'm fairly confidant that the problem here is simply water quality.  Fortunately, that's an easy thing to fix!> Thank you so much! <Any time.> By the way, I have already started to put him in a "medication/hospital tank" to prevent the spread of disease and to help with treatment. <Likely unnecessary....  I would test your water first (might be a good idea to make that your first step, whenever anything seems amiss), then, if everything checks out perfect (ammonia and nitrite at ZERO, nitrate ideally less than 20ppm, likely higher with so many goldfish in the tank), then we should start exploring other avenues.> I've given him a tablespoon of salt for his 1-gallon make-shift tank. <That's a little bit much for a one gallon tank; I wouldn't use more than a teaspoon or two.  Not a big deal, really, though.> Again, I would be most grateful if you could provide any advice or information whatsoever. <So please check your water, and get back to us; I'll be glad to be of further assistance.> Alice <Wishing you well,  -Sabrina>
Goldfish and Water Quality - II - 03/07/2004
Hello Again, <Hello.> My Oranda seems to have recovered from his previous "streaky-finnage" (streaks on his fins) and blood hemorrhaging on his head. I took him out of his 1-gallon hospital tank today, and put him in his original tank (with the other nine fish). He seems to be fairly happy and well-off, with only a few remaining red streaks on the very tip of his dorsal tail.   <Good to hear that.> The pH of my aquarium turned out to be 7, the NH3/NH4 level turned out to be 0, and I didn't check the nitrite/nitrate levels.   <Please do make a habit of testing nitrite, at least - it should be considered as toxic as ammonia.  Nitrate, though not quite as much of an issue should still be monitored, and kept below 20ppm, ideally.> Thanks for your help!  Alice <Any time, glad to be of service!  -Sabrina>

Oranda ala Growth - 02/25/2004 Hi Bob, <Whups, Sabrina with you, today!> I have a beautiful orange Oranda named Pumpkin and I am concerned because he has a large growth on the right side of his head.  Initially I thought it might have been fungus and touched base with my local fish shop and they told me to use a Q-tip with hydrogen peroxide and if it was fungus it would rub right off.   <Mm, depending upon the fungus, this may not be true.> Well, it did not.  Now I am beginning to think that the growth might be a tumor.  Are goldfish prone to tumors and if so, could it be cancerous and kill him?   <It is a possibility.  There are other things to consider though, as well.> He has had the growth for a while and I have really not thought that much about it, but it appears to have gotten larger over the last four to five months and the coloring and texture has changed a bit.  It has the consistency of cauliflower and is not attached to his head completely, but only by a small piece of flesh.   <Your description sounds strikingly like Lymphocystis, sometimes actually called "cauliflower disease", due to the veggie look-alike.  Lymphocystis is a viral infection, usually brought about by less-than-ideal water parameters, specifically, consistently high nitrates.  Please test for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate; I suspect you'll find that at least nitrates are too high.  Water changes, including vacuuming of the substrate, should help to fix the underlying problem.  Lymphocystis is, in and of itself, untreatable, but fixing the cause, improving husbandry, and ensuring immaculate water quality should cause it to subside.  Very persistent or abundant growths of Lymphocystis can actually be scraped/dug off, but I don't recommend this unless the fish is having problems functioning.  It could cause more damage than good, otherwise.> It also appears as though there are a couple of small blisters on the growth and are a gold color. It is white in color and it does not appear to have any red or pink in it at all.  As well as this large growth, he also has a small white patch below his mouth and also on the lid of his right eye.   <This does sound very much like Lymphocystis.> I also tried the Q-tip with hydrogen peroxide and they did not come off either.  I don't know if there is anything I can do to treat these or if it is just something that has happened with age.  I have had him for about four years and don't know if this just may be something that has happened as a result of getting older.   <He may have become more susceptible to this illness with age.> I have a comet fish named Flash that has been his aquarium buddy for the last four years and it does not appear that he has been affected at all.  I have had them together the entire time I have had the fish.  They are both four years old.  He has always been a bit on the strange side with regard to his swimming movements and has a tendency to swim upside down and sideways and does crazy acrobatics in the tank, <"Fancy" goldfish are less sturdy than their more natural "comet" counterparts; fancies are more prone to illness, more prone to issues that would stem from an unhealthy diet - all around, more delicate.  The erratic swimming behaviour is likely due to a feeding issue (gas, constipation).  Please try to incorporate some greens into their diet - aquatic plants like Anacharis/elodea/Egeria, also blanched veggies like peas, cucumber, and zucchini (my goldfish RESCUED me from asparagus as a kid!) - these foods will help the fish to have a healthier feeding habit; they are veggie eaters by nature, and most flaked and pelleted foods do not give them the nutrition they need.> but I am worried that this may have an effect on his brain and that it will cause him harm in the future.  If you have any ideas or feedback to share, I would greatly appreciate it!!  Thank you.   <Do test your water, especially for nitrate, and improve husbandry as best you can.  If your water parameters check out okay (ammonia zero, nitrite zero, nitrate less than 20ppm), then we should explore other possibilities.> Kindest regards,   Lori <Wishing you well,  -Sabrina>

Goldfish Deaths I recently bought 2 black moors and a red cap Oranda. over night the black moors both died and the red cap Oranda stays on the bottom and doesn't est anything. I went back into the pet shop the next day and they tested our water but it was fine. they suggested that I clean the whole tank and then put him back in. but the red cap Oranda has not changed. the temperature of the water was also fine and he is the only fish in the tank. the tank holds 70 litres of water and the filter blows bubbles across the tank. I am getting worried as he has not eaten anything for 5 days. please help. from Megan >>Dear Megan: I am sorry to hear your fishes are dying. Black moors tend to be a bit more sensitive than other goldfish. The water should be around 74 degrees, stable, dechlorinated (buy yourself a good dechlorinator at your fish store) and you must do small partial water changes weekly to keep them healthy. But it sounds like the ones you bought might have already been weak when you got them. How big were the goldfish, in inches? Your tank is 70l, sounds like around 20 gallons? I assume its a new set-up? Is there a filter, or just an airstone and pump? What brands? You mention that the LFS (local fish store) tested your water, is this the same store that sold you the goldfish? Did they explain to you how to acclimate your new fish into your tank at home? Did they test your pH? What is the store tanks pH, compared to yours? If they told you that there was nothing wrong with a new tank that just had too many goldfish added, I would be a bit leery. It is possible the ammonia level was already building, and after 5 days, your redcap will certainly be suffering from high ammonia levels. You might want to ask your local fish store these questions, and buy your own test kits for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and pH. Do another small water change for your redcap, let say around 50% today, and test the water for ammonia ASAP. Make sure, when you do a water change, that the new water is the exact same temperature as the tank water! But a suction-cup type thermometer that you can use at the sink so that when you fill your bucket with tapwater it will be the same temp as the tank. As for ammonia etc, it is very easy to use test kits, I will help you learn if you like :) Test kits are vital to the good health of any fish tank. To sum up, you need to learn to acclimate your fish, you need to make sure the tank water is around 74F and does not fluctuate, water changes water must be the same temp as the tank, and you should buy some test kits, a thermometer, and dechlorinator. If you need more help, or have more questions, please don't hesitate to email us again :) -Gwen<<

Calico Not Well - and "What?" - 02/22/2004 Stingy has been swimming nose down with redness and swelling between the pectoral fins for the past 6 to 12 hours.  <Uhm, what *is* Stingy?  You mention "calico" in the title - perhaps you mean a goldfish, like a calico Shubunkin or Oranda?> I cleaned the tank a couple days ago and forgot the water conditioner for about 12 hours--went to feed them and they wouldn't eat...that could have something to do with it.  <This is possible, yes.  Can you tell us more about your tank?  How big, how many/what kind of fish, how/how often you do maintenance, what your water parameters are (ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH - if you don't have test kits, your local fish store should test your water for you)>. Stingy's tank mate Battery is doing alright so far...please advise. <Please let us know a bit more about Stingy and Battery (especially what kind of fish they are), I'd love to be able to help you out.> much tanks <lol!  That is the greatest typo I've seen, and no better place for it than in a fish email!  Tank you, too, and we hope to hear back soon.  Wishing you well,  -Sabrina>
Calico Not Well - and "What?" - II, clarification - 02/25/2004
Tanks for responding--stingy and battery are 1 year old calico goldfish in a 10 gallon tank and I've given them tetracycline and my baby is improving a great deal--day 4 on the drug.  <Great to hear.> I am getting water test stuff and will be a better fish caretaker--so much to them and I didn't realize what I was getting into--but love them soooo much. <I'm sure you will have fun and learn much!> Later,  Leanna <Wishing you well,  -Sabrina>

Sick Goldfish... environmental/nutritional We have two Lion Head Goldfish.  One is white with a red head, and the other is all red.  We noticed odd behavior in the white one, when it would float belly up all the time. <This is a problem with it's swim bladder.  The fish can not keep neutrally buoyant.> We cleaned the aquarium, fed it peas, and gave it medicine.  That problem seems to have ceased, but now, the same fish will just kind of lay on the bottom of the tank in a corner. <A fish with swim bladder problems will either be floating or sitting at the bottom since it has difficulty keeping himself even.  With a fish like this It's best to feed it sinking pellets so that it will not swim to the surface and ingest air... Which will only hinder it's buoyancy more.  The problem is most likely a physical one rather than medical.  Goldfish have been breed with such unnatural body shapes that many fish have swim bladders that are not balanced with it's bodies shape.  This fish will most likely need extra attention all it's life.> We have other fish in the aquarium, and whenever the white one goes to the corner, the other fish will kind of check it out to see what it is doing. <That's a goldfish trait... They always swim over and inspect fish that are floating or sinking.  Sadly the fish do it to see if the other fish is edible. goldfish have no problems eating other dead goldfish.> I don't know if it is laying eggs or what.  Also, it looks as though one of its tail fins is bent.  What is going on with this fish??? <You would see male goldfish chasing female goldfish before the fish would be laying eggs.  It's quite noticeable action.  If you would like to learn more on breeding goldfish there are many sites and books devoted to it.  A good starting point is www.goldfishinfo.com.  As well as going to you local bookstore/library and looking through the books. The bend fine is most likely from the fish bumping into things.  If it's not to badly damaged the fin might regrow back to what it was before.> Blessings, Lee Butler-Brown <Good luck with the fish -Magnus>

Goldfish with "Blister" I have two goldfish (don't know exactly what kind), they are exactly the same except one  has a blister looking thing right above its mouth. Any idea what it is? <All goldfish are the same fish, it's just breeding varieties that make them look different.  Like breeds of dogs, fish have been brought about though centuries of selective breeding.  you can learn more about the varieties of goldfish here: http://www.goldfishinfo.com/variet.htm .  The "Blister" on the fish is most likely the typical head growth that is seen on many Orandas.  Not all goldfish have that large growth on their heads, some have small or a few random growths that come about from random genes.  I feel that it is nothing to worry about.  -Magnus>

Buoyant Goldfish Hi- I have recently acquired a 29 gallon tank and put 3 goldfish in it. One of which is an Oranda. He has had problems for a few weeks now with floating. He gets better and then I will see him belly up at the top of the tank. I have fed them peas. Even if it helps he goes back to floating. <These problems can take a long time to fix, and sometimes cannot be fixed.> None of the three excrete much like I feel they should. <Yes, seems my Oranda never stops, its like a built in leash.> Could I be underfeeding them? <How often and what type of food are you feeding them?> I am so worried about not wanting to overfeed them. <I'd go with underfeeding rather than over feeding.  Add some live plants to your tank, specifically Anacharis, usually only 1$ a bunch, plant it or let if float.  Your goldfish will graze on this (like the little cows that they are) so you do not need to worry about them starving.  The greens will also be good for their digestion.  I feed my Oranda once a day either frozen goldfish food or sinking pellets.> Also, when they do excrete waste I see mostly air bubbles in the string instead of waste. <I do not know for certain why this is caused (I am just a hobbyist like the rest of you), but I have seen it, and it seems to me those bubbles must be coming from somewhere, and bubbles float, and so is your fish.  Try feeding them food that they will not need to gulp from the surface, sinking pellets, or submerge the flakes before you release them.  You can also try treating with Epsom salt, you should be able to find info on that at the link below and the related links at the top of the page. http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshdisease.htm Best of luck, Gage> Please help. I don't know what to do. Thank you in advance. Kim

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