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FAQs About Goldfish Disease/Health 6

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

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

A too-common complaint with fancy-round varieties of goldfish, is the propensity for "gas bladder" disease... often curable with low protein foods like peas, rice, less food period, and Epsom salt addition.

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

New Print and eBook on Amazon

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

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Goldfish with Red Fin Joints Hello crew. I have six goldfish in a tank. 2 larger than the other four. One of the smaller ones keeps biting a larger one, but he is fine. The other one doesn't appear to be very well. He spends most of his time still at the bottom of the tank. Occasionally he comes up to the top, but struggles. He isn't eating either. A few times a day he has a mad fling around the tank, then goes to the bottom again. Today we have put him in a tank of his own. On checking him, his mouth is white and swelled and looks if he has had a stroke. One of his fins is not there but don't know if it was there in the first place. At the joints it looks rather red. Please can you help? I don't know what to do, and is it cruel, to keep letting him suffer. If I can mend him what should I do, and will his fin grow again or his mouth get better. We have had this particular fish four months. Thanks very much. <Hi Don here. The red at the joint sounds like Bacterial Hemorrhagic Septicemia. Treat with Oxytetracycline per package instructions. Good move to put him in his own tank. Do not treat the main if those fish appear OK. This is usually caused by poor water conditions. Make sure you do frequent water changes, siphoning from the bottom to remove fish poop and uneaten food>  

Goldfish Woes Hi my name is Lindsay and I have had my fish Jaws for almost 2 years now. He is a gold fish about 5 1/2 inches long. I had left to go on a trip and when I came back he was missing scales and his right gill is white with a black spot on it. His "cheek" area has a lump of some sort it looks like. I also have another fish named Spot I just got a few weeks ago. He is also missing scales. My third fish named Tiny looks perfect. While I was away on my trip my fourth fish Hitler died. I don't know what to do PLEASE HELP ME. THANK YOU LINDSAY <Hi Lindsay, sorry to hear Hitler died, I guess. Anyway, Don here. This is a lot of Goldfish. For the remaining three fish you will need about a 29 gallon tank. Goldfish make a lot of waste and need a lot of water. I think waste built up in your tank while you were away. First thing to do is a water change. About 50% right away, and another 50% in a couple of hours. Then daily for a week or two. If you have a filter do not clean it right away. Add some aquarium salt. About one tbls for every 2 or 3 gallons of water. Mix the salt in the replacement water before adding it to the tank. Drain out the old water from the bottom with a gravel vac. Make sure you get all the fish poop and uneaten food out. Pristine water and a little salt is all most goldfish need to heal. If they do not start to look better in a week, get back to us. Include all the details of your tank. Size, type filter, feeding schedule, etc.. Good Luck>   

Goldfish Thank You Thank you very much - I'll try the salt again.  Just wanted to let you know, David and Goliath are alone in the 10 gal and I have another 4 small (2-inch) Orandas in a larger tank (20 gal). I don't plan on putting David and Goliath in the 20 gal but keep them in the 10 gal.  I hope to get a 55 gal before the 4 little ones grow up. Do you think that's sufficient for the time being?   Thanks so much! Hayley <Should be good for now. Just test your water and watch for ammonia and nitrite spikes. If they are at zero, adjust your water change schedule to keep nitrates below 20 ppm. Don>

More Goldfish Woes Hi everyone! I have a full grown bubble eye. My other one just passed away about a week ago. Yesterday his bubble got these little blackish green circles on them (looks like bruises) and the his tail started to shred. I have heard this can be caused by old age. But my comets have been biting at his bubbles. He's gasping for air and floating at the top. I have to hand feed him so I put him in his own bowl. Is there any thing I can do? Please respond ASAP Thank you Lucy <Hi Lucy, Don here. Most eye and fin problems in Goldfish start with poor water conditions. They produce vast amounts of waste. Each fish requires at least 10 gallons of water and frequent water changes. To help the fish in the bowl, change half his water daily. Adding a little salt will help. Normally I recommend about one tbls for every two or three gallons of water. Be careful not to over do it in a small bowl. Mix the salt in the new water before adding it to the bowl. Always siphon the old water from the bottom with a gravel vac. Make sure you get all the poop and uneaten food out. Do water changes this way in both the bowl and tank. No need for salt in the tank if the comets are OK. Good luck>

Still More Goldfish Woes Hey, I was hoping you could help me out w/ treating two of my goldfish. I work at a pet supply store and sometimes "adopt" fish that are unsaleable and are not getting better with treatment. I have two Orandas with one eye each who are doing just fine in my main tank. I have two other Orandas (David and Goliath) who are not doing as well.  They had been together in a "sick tank" with questionable water quality (it gets forgotten); I don't know what treatment they had been receiving at the pet store. They are now together in a 10-gal tank with a box filter.  The pH is about 6.8, the salt is now about .1 (percent? I keep forgetting to check, I test it at work), the ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels were in the "safe" range (I didn't write down the exact concentrations...).  The water is at 68 F; there is no heater but I have one I could put in. There is no gravel on the bottom. I use a dechlorinator and put some Stress Zyme in there.  They've been eating flake goldfish food and a color-enhancing "sinking granules" food (mostly because it's easier for Goliath to eat).  I hadn't realize the importance of vegetables until I visited WWM - I'm going to start feeding those, too.  David is about 2 inches from mouth to caudal peduncle.  He is black.  He has a whitish patch on one side and a smaller whitish patch on the other. He barely has a cap, and it looks fine. Oh, he also has only one eye, which I guess is why he was in the "sick tank" at the pet store. I think he developed the whitish patches secondarily (sorry I don't have a digital camera or I'd send a photo). The patches are just kind of white, semi-transparent (you can see the black scales beneath)... don't appear real stringy or fuzzy, maybe a little slimy. Goliath was in the sick tank for swim-bladder/equilibrium problems (he came that way from the distributor).  He is about 4 in. long nose-to-caudal-peduncle, and orange. His cap is darker orange, except that in some of the crenellations it is also whitish.  Again, I think this is from being in the "sick tank" (I put it in quotes because I think it's where they put fish that are dying to wait for them to die... I think of David and Goliath's tank here as the "hospital tank" because I hope they're there to get well!). Goliath also looks a little like he has dropsy - his scales stick out, but just a little.  As far as his swim bladder goes, if he's not actively swimming, he sinks down to the bottom, but he can get up to the top if he tries real hard. When he stops trying real hard he starts to summersault nose-down then belly-up.  Mostly, though, he stays on the bottom. Beth, my girlfriend, sometimes lifts him up so he can eat the flakes more easily (he doesn't seem to care...). I had added extra salt to the tank for a while (I think it was 5 teaspoonfuls the first night, five the next morning, five that evening, five the following morning, let it go a day, and then changed the water to get the salt back out). I didn't do it exactly like the book said because I was scared of so much salt in with my little goldfish. It seemed to make David's white patches get smaller, and maybe the ones on Goliath's head, too, but didn't do anything for Goliath's sticking-out-scales or his swim-bladder. I have some Fungus Clear (Nitrofurazone, Furazolidone, and potassium dichromate) and some Maracyn-Two (Minocycline), but of course I could go to the pet supply store or aquarium store and get something else if it's not what I need. And of course I still have some aquarium salt. I don't know what to do (all the products say they treat all sorts of things - how am I supposed to know?!?!?) and I'm always afraid to add chemicals to the tank because I know they can hurt fish if you do too much or the wrong thing.  Can you make a suggestion for possible treatment?  Thank you so much for your time. Hayley <Hi Hayley, Don here. Since the salt seemed to help the white patch, I'd stay with it. Along with frequent water changes. A tablespoon for every two or three gallons will not hurt a goldfish. We can even go to one tbls per gallon if we have to. Just check the pH of the source and tank before you start doing more water changes. If the two pH's are off by more than two or three tenths, go slow. Around 20% until they converge. If they read the same, do 50% at a time. pH shock will cause the white patches you are seeing. The actual reading is not as important as keeping it steady. It's a pH swing that kills the fastest. Make sure you replace the salt in the new water, at the same concentration, before adding it to the tank. This may also help the dropsy. If not you may want to try a medicated flake food. The swim bladder is more of a problem. If genetic or an injury it may be untreatable. And although I thank you for rescuing these fish, you now have four (I think) in a ten gallon. Too many. And of questionable health from the start>  

Overstocked Tank I haven't found anything on the web that looks like the problem. One fancy goldfish has shown (for the last maybe 4 days) some brown scales (around her belly) and her mouth has a brown circle around it. She is acting very normally otherwise. I called a pet store which said it was probably an infection and told me to get some TC? and put it through the filtration system. I have no reason yet to believe this. I have a 10 gallon tank; 7 gold (mixed varieties) probably no more than 10 inches combined; 1 algae eater; new aqua clear power filter for 20-50 gal tank; & undergravel filters. Two kids visited before this and were trying to pet the fish for about 20 minutes maybe creating stress. <First, you are grossly overstocked. You must look at the adult size of your fish for any "inch per gallon" ratio of stocking. Most Goldfish can reach a foot. The fancies to about 8 inches. You need to either upgrade to a much larger tank, around 75 to 100 gallons, or pick your favorite two and find new homes for the others. Even two is a lot for a 10 gallon. Please do not medicate the tank. It will kill the good bacteria in your filter that are needed to process the waste the fish produce. You need to do huge water changes (up to 50%, but no more) daily until you reduce the number of fish in this 10 gallon. Siphon the water from the bottom using a gravel vac. Make sure you get all the poop and uneaten food out of the tank. You have a good power filter, but you should remove the UGF. Waste will build up under the plates and decay. Very bad for water quality. Try to siphon under it before you lift it too far. The power filter and a gravel vac are far better than a UGF. But until you reduce the bio load of this tank I fear you are in for more, and far worse problems>           Separate question: when I put an algae disc into the water I see the goldfish really go after it (not the algae eater it was intended for). Is this a good occasional snack for them? Thanks <Yep, no problem as long as they leave some for the algae eater. Try feeding at night. Don>   

Goldfish in Distress Hi there. One month ago we brought home two fantail goldfish and both were doing well up until a few days ago when Ariel was resting at the bottom of the 10 gallon Eclipse EXPLORER II tank with a pump filtration system. Until last night, she would rest and then swim erratically around, spiraling and then come to rest on her side at the bottom. Her sides seem a bit distended and pointy. She was fed every other day and sometimes every day and pinch Omega One Natural Protein Formula Goldfish flakes. Our LPS tested the water this morning and it tested fine. He thought it may be a parasite infection and told us to give 1/2 teaspoon of MELA/FIX every day for one week. It has been less then a day but I am worried about her. Is there a chance she will swim again? She's just hanging out around the intake tube. Her fins seem fine. The top one just drapes over her little body. Any suggestions?  Thank You! Maryann in Connecticut <Yep, a couple. Start doing large water changes to get rid of that #$*%ing MelaFix. 50% at a time. Two the first day, a few hours apart, then daily. I have read too many reports of someone using it because of a little rip in a fin only to have their fish end up unable to breath. Look for the "active ingredients". There are none. This is boiled tree bark or some other nonsense. And I have never heard of using it for a parasitic infection, if that's what your fish has. The water changes alone by be enough to get the fish back swimming. If not, look for a medicine with Metronidazole listed on it. If the fish is eating, flake food treated with Metronidazole would be best. You can get the flake online here:  http://www.guppiesplus.safeshopper.com Good luck. Don

Black Moor with Less Black I hope you can help. We recently purchased a 10 gal tank, 3 goldfish and an algae eater. Last month the black moor began developing white bands across its body. Is this ok or is it sick? We're first timers to the fish kingdom and could use some advice. Thanks. <Hi, Don here. He's at least stressed. Have you been doing water changes? If not, please start. About 50% daily for a few days, then at least weekly. Goldfish are big waste producers. A ten is very small for three of them. And if your algae eater is a Pleco, it will hit a foot! You need to read up on "Cycling" and get a freshwater test kit. Any ammonia or nitrite in the water, or high nitrates, will cause the problems you are having. The water changes will help while the fish are small, but the long term solution is a larger tank or different fish>  

Floating Fungused Fish I have a black (I think telescope eyed) fancy fan tailed goldfish that has been floating for at least 1 yr. I know that it probably has a swim-bladder problem but he now is growing a fungus that is slowly eating away his fins. I had 2 bubbled cheek fancy fan tailed goldfish a while ago that died from that same stuff (or symptoms) and I'm afraid he's not going 2 last much longer. He's about 4 yrs old and he seems happy. He eats well but I don't want him to die over night. What medications or procedures should I attempt to keep him alive. He doesn't move much and floats on his side but really struggles more than normal to make any kind of movement. PLEASE HELP ME AS FAST AS U CAN! I appreciate it very much greatly. Thank you <The best thing for right now is a large water change, about 50%. Make sure you match temps and dechlorinate. Do them daily for a week or two. Add about 1 tbls of aquarium salt for every 2 to 3 gallons of water. Mix the same concentration (half dose for a 50% WC) in the new water before adding. Many times this is all that is needed. When the fungus is gone reduce the water changes to about once a week and stop the salt. For the floating, try feeding shelled peas and switch to a sinking food if you are using floating flake or pellets. This will not help if it is a swim bladder problem, but sometimes air in his gut is the problem. I'd give it a shot. Good luck with him. Don>

 Goldfish and Pleco Tank with Ick We have 3 goldfish that we have had for over 3 years without a problem. But our tank seems to have a lot of algae, so we got a Pleco from the pet store. As soon as he went into the tank (after the normal adaptation process), the goldfish started acting weird. First, they all lay clumped down together on the bottom corner of the tank, hardly moving, then they all were doing tail stands, all fins pulled in. My husband did water changes, and tested the water. The nitrates were high, but that was all, so he kept doing water changes. Then, a couple days later, I noticed the Ich. Tiny white spots all over. So we started treating with Ichaway. Now, on the third day of treatment, their tails are all mangled and eaten away. One had a long beautiful tail, and not its all just strings practically. What do we do?  Where did we go wrong (besides bringing the algae eater into our lives)? And how do we fix it before they all die? Thanks so much! <Hi Don here. I would continue with the water changes, without the Ick medicine, until nitrates are below 20ppm. Both Goldfish and Plecos are massive waste producers. And the Ick med may have killed off the bacteria needed to process that waste. This could be the cause of the fin rot. Check for ammonia and nitrite. Do water changes to keep both at zero. Add about one tbls of aquarium salt to every 2 gallons of water to kill off the Ick and help the fins grow back. Mix the same concentration in the replacement water before adding it to the tank. Watch the Plec for signs of stress, Clamped fins, rapid breathing. He he's OK, increase to one tbls per gallon. These two fish need different water temperatures. The Goldfish around 70, the Plec around 80. During Ick treatment, raise to around 78 and add an airstone. Keep the salt in the water for at least 3 weeks after the last spot drops. Then reduce the salt and lower the temp to around 74. that should keep everyone comfortable. BTW the  "normal adaptation process" for any new addition is 30 days in QT to prevent Ick and others from getting to the tank in the first place. Now you see why>

A Fairly Won Goldfish Hello!  I really hope you can help.  Your site is very helpful, and I need some! I have a goldfish, common, that I won at the fair over 2 years ago. He is about 5 inches long and his tank mate is about 3 inches long. Water has been tested and is in normal parameters. Here is the problem. I noticed that "goldie" was bulging on his right side. It grew and I thought it may be dropsy so I began treating the tank with Maracyn 2, which I began about 6 days ago. In the interim, I've noticed tiny gold specs on him, and now, the bulge has pushed away his scale and looks like a bubble coming through his body! I want to begin a CopperSafe treatment, thinking he has velvet, but I'm just not sure what to do. I don't want to lose "goldie". Any suggestions? He's still bulgy, he eats fine, he looks okay otherwise, rests on the bottom of the tank when no one's in the room, weekly water changes of 30-50%, and is being fed a fairly varied diet. I'd appreciate any input you may have! Thanks so much, Karen <First, do not mix the meds. I don't think you'll need the copper anyway. How long have you seen the gold dust? Velvet spreads very quickly. If he seems healthy for more than a few days after appearing "dusted", it may not be velvet. The bulge coming from within is more of a concern. He has some sort of internal infection. Try going to  http://fishyfarmacy.com/ and see if you can match what you see to the descriptions of the various types of infections. Start in the "body cavity" and "Skin disorders" sections. Don>  

What treatment do I use? I got 2 fancy goldfish almost 2 weeks ago.  I am taking good care of them, already did a couple partial water changes, tested levels, etc - the problem isn't how they are being cared for now.  I got them from a not-so-good place and I know I shouldn't have, but I did, and now I realize they had some kind of disease when I got them that I didn't know about.  Ever since a few days after I got them, their scales looked funny - like patches of their scales were sort of sticking up and sometimes looked as though they were gone.  Yesterday, I woke up to see one of my fish just lying on the gravel at the bottom of the cage.  She did that pretty much all day, however, did come up to eat.  The other fish is still active, however, I notice that their scales are now looking pretty bad.  There are patches where there aren't really any scales.  I called my veterinarian and asked him to see if he could help.  He suggested putting Methylene blue into the tank and aquarium salt.  I did that late yesterday.  I followed the instructions and put 3 tbsp of salt and 1/2 tsp of Meth blue (I have a 5g tank).  I know this can kill the biological filter, but since it hasn't even been running for 2 weeks and the bacteria haven't formed yet, I thought it was ok and he had also told me to.  I also don't have another tank (yet) to do that with.  Was Methylene blue the right thing to do? < Not really.> I have been reading info and it seems like it only helps with a fungus type disease.  I have no idea what the disease is in this case, but I sort of feel like it's not fungus.  So should I put an antibiotic in the water or use antibiotic food?  I heard my fish can be saved at this point because she is still active enough to eat and swims around.  Oh yeah, and another thing - she sort of swims into things and just floats without swimming and then rapidly swims again for a few seconds.... and it's a cycle like that until she finally settles on the ground.  So what do I do next?? Please help!  I am already very attached to my fish and don't want to lose them.  Thank you very much.  -Jessica < Treat the tank with Nitrofuranace or Myacin. You have a bacterial infection. Watch for ammonia spikes. Since you have no bacteria, any left over food of fish waste will quickly convert to deadly ammonia. Do a 30% water change and make the filter is clean. Organics can affect the medications effectiveness.-Chuck>

Goldfish parasites? My 5-inch long goldfish has been having spasms. he might have parasites. how many teaspoons of salt should I add to my 5-gallon tank to treat her? <Hello...Jorie here.  Do you see any visible signs of parasites attached to the fish? Otherwise, I wouldn't necessarily be so hasty in diagnosing parasites.  First off, how often do you do water changes? How many other fish live in this 5 gal. tank? In reality, 1 5" fish is too big for a tank this size...my hunch is that some sort of water poisoning is going on.  Do you have readings for the water's ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels? I'd suggest taking some readings immediately.  If any of those above mentioned toxins are present in any amount, you need to change the water immediately. (Actually, I'd suggest doing a 75% water change right away - it can't hurt). With regards to salt treatment in a 5 gal. tank, 1-2 teaspoons of aquarium salt would be appropriate.  Keep in mind that salt doesn't evaporate, so unless you are doing a large water change, you don't need to add any more. And in all reality, I'm not a fan of the "teaspoon" measurements, but rather suggest you purchase an inexpensive plastic box type hydrometer...you want the salinity to be somewhere around 1.001 - 1.002. Please consider getting a bigger tank for your fish also, as it really will only be a matter of time before she's too big to even turn around in the tank.>

Goldfish weird behaviour Hello, <Hi...Jorie here this Saturday morning> This is going to sound stupid... <...no stupid questions here...> I have 6 fish in a big tank , I know its big enough! <OK, not disputing that, but curious how many gallons the tank is? Everyone's view of "big enough" is quite subjective!> Right and my comet goldfish is acting weird like it will never open its mouth, it just sucks up the food. So when I feed them all it finds it difficult to get the food. <Hmmm, is he slower than the others? Having trouble swimming? Perhaps you could separate him in his own quarantine tank to better observe his behavior and ensure he is getting enough to eat.> It also had red spots on it, I changed the water, and put a bit of salt in the tank. They have gone now, but the red veins on it tail haven't gone, is this bad or is it just growing??!! <Definitely good that you did a water change.  Do you have a test kit on hand? If so, I suggest you take readings for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate, as it sounds to me as if this could be due to poor water conditions.  Do you have a regular water change schedule? On something like a 10 gal. tank full of goldfish (just guessing on the tank size), I'd suggest doing at least a 50% water change once per week, as goldies are notoriously messy fishies.  Red streaks in the tail and/or fins is definitely not a good thing - sounds like the fish has some sort of bacterial infection under its skin.  Best thing to do is 1) isolate the fish, 2) keep the water very, very clean, 3) continue using the aquarium salt and 4) if no improvement after a couple of days of pristine water conditions, treat (only in the QT tank!) with a broad spectrum antibiotic such as tetracycline.> I got this comet from a fair in April. <Great that you are providing a good home for him.  Do be sure to keep up with the water changes and other treatments recommended above and he should recover just fine.  Good luck.> Thank you Michelle England <You are welcome. Jorie>

Re: lopsided gold fish + behavior. Hi, Thanks again for the info will try the shelled peas to see if that does any good. Also I have been to my local pet shop in town an have seen some fish that I like. They are little black fish about 1 inch or so, roughly half the sizes of the two fan tails that I have at present. Have been thinking of getting one to keep the other two company as the tank kind of looks bare. Also they sell these long fish called loaches and I have been told that they clean the gravel in the tank. Would this be a good investment, or could I just save up for a nice big 50 gal tank? Both the loach and the little black fish are kept in cold water tanks at the shop. Thanks again. (I think I've got the bug) Andy <Hi Andy, Don again. I'm not sure what the little black fish may be, (Black Neon maybe?) but the loach is a tropical fish that would do much better in warmer water than your goldfish. They may be in cooler temps in the fish store, but should not be kept that way for life. I would wait and enjoy the fish you have. Then upgrade them to a larger home when you can. When you do get that big tank make sure you set it all up and "cycle" the tank before adding your fish. If that bug you got forces you to add a fish, look for White Clouds. Pretty, active and they like cooler temps. But your goldfish will not be lonely. It is always better to under, rather than over, stock any size tank>   

Dropsy? Hi. I'm sorry to say but this is going to be quite a long and confusing email. I have a small ( about 4cm ) fantail goldfish, and just recently it has had some problems. I have found out that the problems it has are my own fault ( being slack in the cleaning of the tank), and I will do my best to not let this happen again, but now that it has happened, I would like to be able to fix my fish. Bree is its name and just recently I noticed that there was a small white cottony substance on the side of it. Looking through masses of websites I believe that it is a fungus, but as the fungus got a little bit bigger ( before I treated it ), the area that the fungus was on seemed to grow outwards. As if there was something inside that wanted to come out. From what I've read, this could have been some form of tuberculosis. Anyway after noticing this, I put the fish in a smaller container. its normally in a larger one with 5 other fish of different sizes, two fantails like Bree is (about 5 and 6 cm), and 3 Shubunkins ( two about 9 cm and one about 13), in a 90 litre tank (is this okay?) So after putting Bree in a smaller container ( a casserole dish, hehehe ) I put in MelaFix, as the directions on the back say. The lump seemed to disappear in about 36 hrs, and the white cottony stuff  completely disappeared a couple of days later. anyway Bree wasn't eating in the smaller container, so I put it back in the larger tank with the other fish, when I noticed that it seemed fatter then before. Bree liked being back 'home' and started swimming around after a bit, and ate dinner with the rest of them that night, like normal. The next morning when I went to give them breakfast I noticed Bree was a little fatter again, and it scales where sticking up off its body. I had a fish before with the exact same symptoms, who after looking like it was getting better up and died on me. now looking through the masses of websites, my fish looks a lot similar to photos of fish with dropsy. just yesterday I noticed that it even had what looks like a small blister coming out from underneath one of its scales. now I've read a lot tonight about dropsy, and I know it has like a 96% chance of dying, but I also read a website saying to treat it with Maracyn-Two. Can you tell me if this might work, or if there is anything else that I might be able to do to help this fish??? I would really like to right this wrong, but at the moment I am so confused that I don't know what to do. Please help. Ohh by the way I'm from Australia, so if you know if there is and medications or something available here that would be great, as things don't always become available in Australia. Thanks, and sorry about the long email. If you have any questions that you need to ask feel free, and if photos will help let me know and I'll do my best to get them to you. Thanks again. Kathrine < Do a 30% water change and make sure that you filter is clean. Treat the water with Metronidazole as per the directions on the package. Your fish has developed an internal bacterial infection from being initially stressed from the first disease.-Chuck>

Confuddeled New Owner Hi have just I have just inherited two goldfish from my nephew. Unfortunately they were kept in a very small tank about 2 liters. So have invested in a nice bigger 15 liter, about 4 gal, with undergravel filter/air pump, stone. The fish seem happier in this tank but there is one thing that concerns me. The first think is that the smallest of the 2 seems to tilt towards 11 o'clock when it swims. <AM or PM?> It also seems to repeatedly go to the side of the tank and rush to the surface then floats back to the bottom. Is this usual or is there something wrong. <Could be a swim bladder problem. Not treatable if genetic, hard to treat if from injury. Can be from infection. If so, try a medicated flake for bacterial infections. Could also be from gulping air as he eats. Feed sinking, rather than floating, food>   Also I am a bit confuddled about how big my tank should be. I would like to keep more than 2 fish but am getting conflicting info with regards to tank sizes. Do I need a 50 gal tank or am I OK with 1 gal per fish. I have even read on a site that you can keep 10 goldfish in the tank that I have. It's all getting very confuddling??? <You will need a bigger tank for just the two. In a 50 you could keep these two for life. Even one or two more. But you will need better filtration than a UGF can provide. I would remove it completely and upgrade to a good power filer. Don> Andy
Confuddeled New Owner
Hi, thanks for the info. How big is a 50 gal tank, 3ft or 6ft? And the fish that swims lopsided mainly does this during the day. Andy <Hi Andy, Don again. A "standard" 55 gallon is 48"x12"x18", at least on this side of the pond. The listing goldfish may be gulping air if only swimming that way part of the time. Could also be constipation. Try feeding him a few shelled peas>

What's Wrong With My Goldfish One day the fish bowl cracked and we found the fish on one side and all of the water was out of the bowl and we didn't know how long he was like that. My mother took the fish out of the bowl and put him in a new bowl of water immediately and started petting it side to side. The fish was wobbling from side to side. My mom kept on petting the fish and watched it for a couple of hours and told the fish not to give up. It took the fish about a day and a half to go back to his normal swimming and behavior. We are worried because since then he has accumulated black spots on one side of his body. We are concerned because we don't know if he's suffering or not. Could you please let us know the cause of the side of his body turning black.   Please reply ASAP thank you for taking the time to read and answer my question. <<Hello. The black on his side could be some bruising, along with the fact that a bacterial infection is setting in. I recommend going to your LFS and picking up some Melafix to add to his water, it will help. It's an herbal remedy that I've used many times to successfully treat goldfish. Handy stuff to keep in your fishy medicine cabinet. Another thing to keep handy is aquarium salt, which you can use if your goldfish gets Ich (little white spots on his fins). You should do some reading on the Net about goldfish, there are many good sites (like ours) with information necessary to caring for these pretty fish. One thing to know for next time...try not to touch the fish's body more than absolutely necessary, like when you pick him up off the floor. When we touch fish, our fingers remove their slime coat, which is a layer of mucus that keeps the germs out...by "petting" your fish, you accidentally removed the slime coat, leaving the area open for bacteria to get in. The Melafix should do the trick, and be sure to do regular, partial water changes, too. Fish need clean water in order to recuperate well, to grow properly, and to prevent future problems/illnesses. -Gwen>>

Red Lionhead question I have a red Lionhead that a couple weeks ago lost a lot of its color on its head. Then, while we were on vacation this week, when we came back, the fish looked really bloated and the scales were sticking out, sort of like a porcupine, of sorts. He does not seem distressed at all.   We have not had a chance to talk to the family that fed the fish to see if they over fed it but the other two red Lionheads look fine.   Could the bloated one have a disease? < He has bloat/dropsy. Clean the tank and the filter while doing a 30% water change. Treat the fish with Metronidazole and follow the directions on the package.-Chuck>    Thanks for your help. Ellen
Re: Red Lionhead question. Where to treat
Do I need to move the bloated fish to another tank away from the other two fish when applying the medicine or can I leave them all together? Ellen <Hi Ellen, Don here. The general rule is to remove the fish for treatment. Even if it means removing them all. But it really depends on what you are treating with. Bloating can sometimes be treated with Epsom salt and a few shelled peas, in which case you can leave them together. If you are medicating, you are risking your bio filtration. Do that in a small bare bottom QT tank, not the main>

Goldfish Bump I recently noticed that my goldfish has a large white bump on its upper back and I'm not sure what it might be. What do you think it is and what should I do? Thanks for you time. Amanda <Hi Amanda, Don here. Could be a lot of things, from a simple bruise to a protozoa infection. Even poor water conditions. Do you change his water? What size tank? Have a filter? For now I would start doing daily partial water changes and add a table spoon of aquarium salt for every two or three gallons on water. If he does not improve try a medicine with Metronidazole. Good luck>
Goldfish Bump
I found out that my fish has Ick. Is it curable? <Sure. But first let's make sure that's the problem. In your last email you said he had a "large white bump" on his back. This is not Ick. Ick shows on a fish as tiny, salt-like spots. There may be one or dozens, but they are always tiny. If your tank has been infected with this parasite, the advice I gave before is a great start. Change the water and add salt. I would just that you should siphon the water from the bottom of the tank. Email me back the tank specs I asked for earlier. Include a clear description of what you are seeing on the fish. I want to help, but I need more info concerning these conflicting emails>  
Goldfish Bump
I took it to a pet store and they looked at it and saw other thing on it and the said its Ick. <OK. Email me back with the details of your tank. Size, type of filter, temp, other fish, water change schedule, etc.. The more details you give, the better I can advise. But in the meantime, do a 20% water change and add some salt. Don>

Goldfish in Distress Hi, I have tried looking for an answer for what is wrong with my son's goldfish but cannot find one so hope you can help. <Will try> The goldfish is lying at the bottom of the tank basically on its side but in an arched position, hardly breathing looking dead. Every so often it just moves a bit further round the tank then seems to be dead again. My son has only had the goldfish for a year, he has bought a filter for his basic tank (approx 15" high x 15" depth x 10" wide) partially cleans it once a week and fully changes the water once a month. The water is clear and the goldfish is fed twice a day, morning and evening. <First thoughts here are water quality. A well maintained and filtered aquarium should never have it's water fully changed. Doing so can harm the bacteria in the filter that convert ammonia (fish waste) into first nitrite, then nitrate. Any amount of ammonia or nitrite can kill. It can also cause pH shock if the your source water and tank have diverged. Just do partial water changes. This is why testing is so important> Have tried adding first aid drops to the water but doesn't seem to have any reaction. <If the goldfish's gills have been affected by poor water quality, the drops will not help. They may even further stress both the fish and the beneficial bacteria> Have you any idea why the goldfish is like this or is the goldfish close to actually losing its will to live. <More it's ability to live, sorry to say. Try a few 50% daily water changes and add an airstone. It may help, but doubtful at this point> Many thanks Diane <Don>

Pop Eye in Goldfish Hi, I bought two small red/white Orandas 3 weeks ago, they must be quite young as they're only about one inch long. In the last week I've noticed that one of them has developed protruding eyes (I'm sure it wasn't like this before). I went back to the shop where I bought them from and they told me it was a normal growing stage of the fish and sure enough one of the fish in their tank was the same. It this true as I'm concerned the fish could have pop eye? Apart from the eyes the fish seems to be absolutely fine, it eats well and swims about as madly as ever! <There are mutations of goldfish with large bubbles near the eye. Should look like a water sack. If it is the eye itself that is swelling, he does have pop eye> Before I bought the fish I set up the tank and let it run for 3 weeks and tested the water until all the readings were fine. However, now I have the fish the Nitrite levels are 5 which I believe is too high, how do I get this reading down? I do a 20% water change once a week and add Stress Zyme to the tank once a week, what am I doing wrong? <You added the fish too soon. Cycling the tank is a two part process. First a bacteria grows that converts ammonia to nitrite. Then a second type of bacteria must grow that will convert the nitrite to nitrate. It looks like you added the fish before the nitrite consuming bacteria had a chance to grow. For now you must do massive (50+) water changes to lower that nitrite. Do two the first day, a few hours apart. Daily, or more, after that until the nitrite reads zero. This will slow the second step of cycle, but not stop it. Likely this alone will help with the pop eye. If not, add two or three tbls of Epsom salt per ten gallons. Make sure you replace the Epsom salt when you change water. Use a gravel vac to remove the water. Get all uneaten food and waste out of the tank. Pristine water is important if the eye is to be saved> Please help, this is the first time I've looked after fish and I'd hate one to die so quickly. <No problem, thank you for being concerned. BTW, in the future please give us any tank specs. Size, filter, total fish, any water test reading, temp etc.. The more you tell us, the more we can help you. Don> Thanks Sharon

Injured goldfish Hello.  My 5 year old had reached into the fish tank and grabbed the black goldfish (don't know the name of it) and squeezed him through a hole in the castle and it got stuck.  I got him out and his scales that were injured  have a "white cotton" look to him and its also covering his left eye.  Is this normal in a healing process? < No it is a fungal infection that feeds on injured tissue.> He is eating but cannot make it to the top of the tank.  He eats off the bottom.  He does swim around very slowly and he looks like he is breathing hard and slow.  It has been 3 days.  I have put some salt in the tank (10 gallon) and added some water conditioner.  Is there any other thing that I should do or just let nature run its course? < Do a 30% water change and service the filter. Remove the carbon and treat with Metronidazole. Use a water conditioner that adds a protective coat to the fish. A tablespoon of rock salt per ten gallons of water will make the goldfish secrete his own protective coating.-Chuck> Thank You.  Theresa
Re: Injured goldfish
Hello Chuck, I went to the store and the guy gave me Melafix.  I have been putting 1 tsp. in everyday.  This fish is amazing.  He is swimming around and he goes to the top of the tank now.  I have not seen him lay on the bottom of the tank for about 2 days.  Although he is very sick looking.  His scales that had the white cotton look to them have come completely off.   It peeled off .  The only white cotton that he has left is on his left eye.  Will he lose vision in that eye? < If the fungus is not cured it may start to affect his eye.> He's definitely a little fighter.  My next question is will this Melafix hurt the remaining 4 gold fish in the tank.  They all stay huddled together.  It's like they know that this fish has this fungus and they stay away from him.  Thank You for everything.  I am learning something new from you.  Thanks! Theresa P.S.  You said in the other email to buy the Nitrofurazone instead of Metronidazole.  Is this correct stuff that I bought? < No But it seems to be working. Nitrofurazone is an antibiotic that works well as an antifungicide too. The Melafix is a bacterial/fungal inhibitor that is derived from a Melaleuca tree in Australia. It is being recommended all over the place with somewhat mixed results. It will not hurt the fish but I would discontinue its use after the fish have been cured. This way the bacteria won't build up a resistance to it.-Chuck>

Goldfish question Hello <Hi...I'm Jorie...> Our family has just recently entered into the fish world. <Congratulations and welcome!> We started with a very small tank and one goldfish.  Now we have a five gallon tank, three goldfish, 1 Betta, and 2 very small really shiny fish. <Not all in one tank, I hope? Bettas are tropical fish, whereas goldies are cold water.  Don't know for sure what the other two fish are, but perhaps they are white cloud tetras, or silver dollars? Check out some internet sites and see if you can make an ID on sight...if not, call the pet store where they came from to find out what they are.  Chances are they are tropical as well.> We've had the 5 gallon tank less than a week. <Are you familiar with the term "cycling", as it pertains to a fish tank? It's a way for the water to establish a beneficial bacteria colony, which in turn allows some of the fish waste to be "used", rather than immediately turning into ammonia (highly toxic to fish).  Did you allow this new tank to cycle? If not, you most likely have a build up of ammonia, nitrite and/or nitrate, allow which are poisonous to fish.  You can purchase a simple test kit to check these levels if you don't already have one; in the meantime, I suggest doing a 50% water change as soon as possible, and maybe do another 25% one tomorrow.> The three goldfish have taken to hanging out together at the bottom of the tank where they almost seem to be sleeping.  I have noticed tiny white spots on their fins....Ick I'm guessing from the reading I've been doing. <Sure sounds like Ich to me.> I did a 25% water change today. <Great...probably you should another tonight, if possible, and another again tomorrow.> It seemed at first only one of the goldfish had the spots and now I believe at least two do.  They seem to be mainly concentrated on the fins.  Is it best to treat the Ick with just water changes or do I need to medicate too? <Water changes are definitely crucial in combating Ich.  Keep them up regularly (e.g., 25% each day).  With regards to treating Ich, there are many schools of thought.  You can medicate, or you can use other measures, such as increasing the level of salt in the water or adding heat (probably not the best course for cold water goldies). Personally, I like to use salt as treatment...by increasing the salinity levels from 1.000 (pure FW), to just 1.002 or 1.003, you can eradicate the Ich parasites.  I'd suggest you purchase a small container of aquarium salt and a plastic box type hydrometer...add just enough to raise the salinity just those couple of points, and you'll kill the pests.  Keep up with the water changes also.> Also, is the "hanging out at the bottom all together" common for goldfish or is this because they may be ill? <Probably they aren't felling well, because of the Ich, and also because of the toxins in the water, as we discussed above.  Salt and water changes should cure their/your problem, I think!> Thanks for your help Julie <You are most welcome.  Hope all goes well, Jorie>

Smudged Lionhead I have a Lionhead fish and he had black smudge so I quarantined the fish in a separate tank and now I noticed that his head has a large white and red mass on it ??? what am I doing wrong?? <It's wonderful that you quarantined your fish...absolutely the right thing to do.  I need some additional details in order to help you figure out exactly what he's suffering from.  How long have you had this fish, what other fish did he live with and in how big of a tank, how often did you do water changes in his previous tank and how regularly did you measure the ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels? Also, when you filled up the QT tank, did you take water from the old tank or did you just start with fresh tap water? Have you recently taken the water parameters in the QT tank? If so, please let me know what the readings (ammonia, nitrite and nitrate are most important, but also pH and temp. would be good to know) were.  Finally, how big is this QT tank and what kind of filtration does it have? With just a little more info. I can better help you...we can isolate the cause of this guy's problem and figure out how to best treat him.> Please help, Jo <Jorie>

Another Bloaty Goldfish - 10/30/2004 Hi     <Hi, Julie!  Sabrina here, this afternoon> I have a calico fan tail gold fish, about 3 mo.s ago he started  floating upside down a lot.  He can swim right side up but only for a little while.   <More than likely this is a very simple dietary issue, but may possibly be the result of damage/disease of the swim bladder....  My bet is on the former, as a swim bladder issue won't usually cause the fish to float *upside-down*.  What are you feeding him?> He has all of his fins and there is no Ick in the tank.   <Good, and good.  How large is the tank?  Any tankmates?  Are you testing ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate?  What are the results of those tests?> I  don't know what to do to help him stay right side up.  If you have any ideas or answers PLEASE pass it on to me. <Glad to do so.  "Fancy" goldfish (fantails, Orandas, etc., etc.) have pretty deformed innards from having been so selectively bred for so very long; these genetic issues are not curable.  The result of this is that too much of the wrong kinds of food will very easily make them constipated - Bloaty, floaty goldfish.  The very best thing you can do for this is to stop feeding him flaked and pelleted foods exclusively, and instead use those items as a much smaller part of his diet.  For now, offer him some thawed frozen pea (squeeze the shell off of the pea), put a few stems of Anacharis/elodea/Egeria (a water plant, available at most fish stores) in his tank (he'll happily graze on these).  You can blanch veggies (drop into boiling water for a few seconds) like cucumber, zucchini, squash, romaine lettuce, spinach, and more to give to him as regular foods, too - he'll love these.  I remember my goldfish when I was a kid - they were always rescuing me from my asparagus at dinner time!  If you offer canned veggies, make sure there are no "weird" ingredients on the label, and rinse them thoroughly before offering them to the fish.  Also, it is very easy to overfeed goldfish, so be careful only to feed him every other day or so; even just a few times a week, if he has some plants in the tank to munch on.  Keep doing this, and he should soon make a recovery, provided the tank is a good size, and his water quality is good!> Thank you very much. <Any time.> Juile Casman <Good luck with him, Juile!  Wishing you and your Bloaty pal well,  -Sabrina>

Goldfish Losing scales Hi, I had written to you earlier too My 2 red cap Orandas and they are losing scales and both of have lost scales on one side of their body. even my Bala shark seems to have the same problem (but is at a very early stage). I have searched  the web, all I am able to come up with is  that they have TB but I am not very sure as I am a beginner and it has only been two months that  since I have had an aquarium. I live in Delhi (India) and the are no good fish stores here. I there any medicine that I should use and how should I get it can I order them over the internet? < This sounds like the start of a bacterial infection. Clean the filter and change 30% of the water. Treat with Nitrofuranace. This can be purchased at Drsfostersmith.com.-Chuck> Amit

Dried Goldfish Some weeks ago, my goldfish (George) jumped out of its tank and landed on the floor.  I am not sure how long it was out of water, but long enough for its fins and tail to be stuck to the floor! It must have been out several hours -  slowly holding it in the palm of my hand for 20 minutes it revived to sink to the bottom of the tank.  Then over the course of a month went black, silver, tiger stripe effect, with fungus like stuff on the damaged area.  Two months later although black and silver with some orange bits he has recovered from swimming lop sided and is very active and seems very mobile. We hope that George has no further intention to make a similar journey, but wondered whether he is really a miracle fish - how long can a goldfish can remain out of water?!?! Mark <Not sure, but if he was really out for several hours it would seem rather remarkable. As long as the gills are moist they can get oxygen directly from the air. In your case it was the skin and fins that dried and died. That he survived is a testament to the hardiness of carp. Don>

A blue Oranda turned gold Hello, <Hi...this is Jorie> I have a blue Oranda that I have been treating for velvet disease because he turned gold with red spots on his fins and gills and was floating at the top of the tank.  The red marks have gone but he still seems slightly gold and not swimming as good as before. The medicine says to treat every 48 hours.  If I treat every 48 hours for 2/3 weeks with the carbon filter removed, changing the water every 4/5 days will I poison him? And should all the gold disappear?  I am not sure he was healthy when I bought him (the guarantee is up). <This sounds like a reasonable plan for treatment to me.  Just be sure to watch your fish for any adverse reactions and do a water change sooner rather than later if necessary.  I would probably suggest you change the water after two doses of meds (4 days).  Out of curiosity, which medication are you using? I would assume that the all of the gold spots should disappear once your fish has beat this parasite.  Do be sure to keep him quarantined for 3-4 weeks after all symptoms have subsided, since velvet, like Ich, is a parasite and has various lifecycles, some of which aren't a free-swimming stage and are thus difficult to see. Good luck - please feel free to follow up with additional questions should you have any.> Thanks in advance. Michelle.

Concerned for 2 goldfish Hello, I have a 90 gallon fish tank with 7 (various type) gold fish and 2 Plecostomus (sp?) calling it a regular home. We also have a smaller (app..) 50 gallon pond that is not deep enough to hold our pond fish in the winter. So the 3 of them were moved into the 90 gallon tank last week. (They arent much of an addition, only about 1 ½ to 2 inches each.) Water quality for both the tank and pond have been very good all summer. We have one fan tail fish that is beautiful and loves to show off in her/his dancing around the tank. That fish also loves to rub around on my hand when I stick it in the tank to fix a plant or so! All of the sudden this fish is staying near the top of the tank. He eats and will swim around, but more often than I like to see, he sits at the top. We also have a little fan tail that got a rather large bump on the side of it, just behind its gill. The first day we noticed it he stayed pretty much in one spot of the tank (around the middle of the water level) and only moved to eat that evening. The next day I was going to move him to our quarantine tank, but the lump was getting smaller and he was swimming about like usual. I am not sure if I should be worried about it or not. (He happens to be the only fish that has been named and was a gift to my youngest daughter. She is 4, and he can not pass away! ;) I will for sure be buying a twin if he does!) Was adding the pond fish a bad idea? < Anytime you add fish to an existing aquarium you run the risk of adding a disease to it.> And if so, is it too late to remove them to keep further issues from arising? < Too late the damage is done.> Or do I maybe have too many fish in the tank now and that may be the issue. < No the amount of fish in the tank is not the issue.> The pond fish are not aggressive, so I dont think they are causing much stress. Other than taking up extra space. I can move them to my Moms for the winter if necessary, she has a 1000 gallon pond that has very few fish. Or, I could just give them to her (so as not to keep moving them) and just start the pond over next spring. What ever is best for the fishies works for me! And should I worry about treating the 2 who seem sick just yet, or wait to see how they do? Unfortunately, I can only quarantine 1 at a time since our QT is too small for 2 of them. < The pond fish have been exposed to the cooler water outside for a while and the warmer interior aquarium waters may have stressed the fish and trigger some parasite that may have been already established in the outdoor pond. Sounds like you fish may have come down with bacterial infections but have recovered without medication.-Chuck> Thanks, Priscilla :-)

Goldfish trouble <I have a redcap fish which is lying at the bottom of the tank on its side in an arch shape. What's up with it?> First off, I need some additional information to better help you and your fish...how big is the tank your fish is in, how many and what type of other fish are living in there, what are the water parameters (ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH and temp.) It's hard to say for sure without more detail, but I would bet this guy is having trouble due to toxins in the water...when was the last time you did a water change? What is your normal water chance schedule? I'll gladly help out once you get back to me with additional info...in the meantime, do a big water change (making sure to match the pH and temp. of the old and new water) for good measure, as it can't hurt and can only help. Good luck, Jorie

A Big Load of Carp Hi, I have had my tank for about 2 years and have had the same fish in there for 18 months. I have a goldfish, fancy tail, 2 black moors, bubble eye and 2 tench. <That's a very heavy bio load you have. What size tank is this? What kind of filter do you use?> Last night they were all fine but this morning I noticed that all the fish, apart from the two tench, have had large areas of tail and fin destroyed and the bubble eye and goldfish have areas of body damaged. <Ouch!> I assumed that it is the tench that have done this as they are ok and have moved them into a second tank. <Great, if for no other reason than to spread out these large waste producers into a few tanks.> Is there any reason for Tench to do this all of a sudden? They have been in the tank for 18 months and there has never been any attack on any fish in my tank before. Shaun <If all this damage happened in one night, then I assume you are correct in blaming the Tench. Why they picked last night is anyone's guess. But these are all carp, so maybe the Tench were trying to breed with the reluctant goldfish. If this damage has happened over the course of a week or so, then it may be bad water conditions, not aggression. Tench are known to have a very thick slime coat that would have allowed them to handle the problem longer than the goldfish. Also, have you done a large water change recently? May have triggered the breeding urge or caused a pH swing. A sudden pH swing can cause skin and fin damage. The tench would be somewhat protected by that slime coat. Please check your water for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and pH. Make sure the injured Goldfish are kept in pristine water, with salt added, to allow them to heal. Don>    

Moor has less Dear WWM Crew, First, thanks so much for all the great information on your site. It's a wonderful resource. I have a problem with my black moor. I've posted on a couple of fish boards, but no one has really had too many suggestions so I turn to you. About 2 weeks ago, I looked at Carrot <A black carrot?> (had him about 2 years) and realized that a portion of his tail is gone--it looks like about 3/4 of an inch. One bit is still at the original length. The edge is uneven and slightly white, but not frayed. <OK> The other fins are fine. Other than the tail issue, his only other symptom has been a droopy dorsal fin. <Could be normal as he grows> He's eating energetically as always. I treated with Melafix for a week and although it's not getting worse, I'm not seeing improvement, either. Today I noticed he's acting a little lethargic--just hovering in one spot. Still eating, though. I know water quality is usually the culprit, but I don't think that's the case here: 29 gallon planted tank, 1 black moor, 1 Oranda, 3 dwarf Otos <Very good.> Ammonia, nitrites 0 <Great> Nitrates ~20 <Great> pH 7.7 <Good, if steady. Sudden swings can cause problems with skin and fins.> 20% water change every week <Good if that's enough to keep nitrates below 20. Seems a little low, but the plants help> Penguin 330 bio-wheel filter <Great. 10+ turnover for goldfish> Feed sinking pellets 2x a day, occasional bloodworms, peas <Great> Temp: ~76 <Warm for the goldies, a little cool for the catfish. But good for this mix> Recent changes: Moved fish from an 18 gallon about 2 months ago; that tank had been up for 2 years. I added the Otos about a month ago. --oh, and a wisteria at the same time. <Was the tank cycled when you added them? Possible an ammonia spike burned his tail a few weeks ago. Very localized though.> Could the move or the addition of the Otos be stressing Carrot out and causing a problem? <Unlikely a stress issue would affect only one small part of this tail. Again, too localized.> Could the Otos be nipping at him? <Possible, but unlikely.> (I have never seen them around him and they are supposed to be goldfish friendly.) I can put Carrot in QT for treatment, but I don't know with what and I don't even know what the problem is. Any suggestions would be most appreciated! <Hi, Don here. If that white edge you speak of is not moving down the tail, I think this is an injury rather than illness. It's possible that the Oto nipped him, but more likely the other goldfish, IMO. He might have even ripped it on a rock or the filter intake. The MelaFix was a good try, but I hear very mixed reviews on it. Some swear by it, others at it. Since it does not seem to have helped in your case I would suggest a large water change and adding fresh carbon to your filter. His loss of energy after you added it concerns me a little. Try salt in the QT. If not for the Oto's I'd say leave him in the 29 for a salt treatment. Take it up to one Tbls a gallon over the course of a day or two. This is just to lessen the chance of a secondary infection until the injured tissue heals. If the tail gets worse at least he'll be in the QT for more aggressive meds.> Thank you so much, Rebecca

Sluggish Goldfish My name is Darlene I have four goldfish in a ten gallon tank. 1 1/2 days ago one of my fish started to stay at the bottom of the tank in one spot and today it is now at the top of the tank in the same spot just hovering , has it laid eggs? <No> Can you see them if it has? <Yes> Please help I don't want the other fish to eat them!
<Highly unlikely that your goldfish have spawned. Does your tank have a filter, or airstone? Do you change the water? If you have not changed water recently, replace about half. You should do that about once a week. Don>

Upside down Goldfish Hi, I have had my goldfish (which I think is a Chinese goldfish) for about 3-4 years now. for the past few months it had been floating on its back, but after reading your website questions and answers I now know what that is. It seems pretty healthy though swimming around because its not always on its back. But this past week it got a huge lump on its hind tail. It is round and is pretty much the same color as its fin but it has a hint of grey tint. I'm not really sure exactly what it is, but I didn't think fish could get cancer or tumors but maybe I'm wrong. Could you give me some advice? < Fish do get tumors, but there is not much you can do about them. more likely I would guess that it is a bacterial infection so I would treat it with Nitrofuranace. It may be an internal parasite too so Pepso food would take care of that. If it turns out to be an internal bacterial infection then I would treat it with Metronidazole.-Chuck>              Thanks A lot                    Jenny

Tail Rot in Goldfish Howdy All, re: Gold Fish Tail/fin rot...Is that a medical problem solved by using ICK meds. Thanks & Regards, Eddie.   <Hi Eddy, Don here. Nope. Two different types of problems. Ick is a tiny parasite that shows on an infected fish as small, salt-like white spots. Tail and fin rot is either bacterial in nature or the result of prolonged exposure to bad water conditions. Even a combo of both as bad water conditions can allow a bacteria to get a foot hold. (Or would that be "tail hold"?) I would start with frequent water changes to keep his water pristine. Adding one Tbls spoon of salt per gallon will help. If his fins continue to decay try a good broad spectrum antibiotic. Use a med as a last resort as it may contribute to any water quality issues. Goldfish are very hardy. Good, clean water is usually all they need to recover. Please be aware, if this is a goldfish in a bowl, keeping the water pristine is next to impossible. He will need 15 to 20 gallons to thrive.>  

Wholesale dying of Goldfish I am having major ongoing problems with my goldfish. A bit of background: I have a pet store and have a steady turnover of goldfish. Unfortunately far too many are dying. I run nine tanks ranging in size from 70 to 210 litres. Filtration consists of undergravel filters run by powerheads, large airstones and canister filters on some of the tanks. The pH ranges from 7 - 7.5. Zero ammonia and zero nitrite. 40 - 50% water changes every week. Some over stocked, some understocked. We have no room for a quarantine facility. It is illegal to import goldfish into New Zealand so all stock is locally breed and of poor quality. There are only four commercial supplies I know of. They all claim to have disease free fish. Various commercial sensitive treatments are used. Some use copper. They are caught out of massive ponds, treated and sold quickly unless they are fancy or more expensive. None of this helps me. Fish that have been in my tanks for awhile (2 weeks or more) are normally always fine. It's the new arrivals that are the problem. There are no problems until a day or two after arrival. Then the fun begins. Fins drop, white patching in the fins and on the body, lethargy and death. Or alive and swimming one day with no signs of illness and dead the next. We normally treat new arrivals for four days with 0.2% solution of malachite green 1ml per 20 litres and the tanks are salted. As far as I can tell, it's not helping! The odd sick fish notice in time is moved to a small 40 litre hospital tank - treatment is 1 cap furan, 2ml Malachite Green, salt and a 50% water change daily. I do not have these problems with our tropical fish. Goldfish losses can be as high as 40% for new arrivals. Wholesalers give you the usual story of "this doesn't normally happen. This is killing me not to mention the fish! I have read a lot of the articles on your website and just want to make sure I have understood this properly. This is what we did: New fish arrive. Bags opened and floated in tanks for 30 minutes with two water additions. Fish netted from bags into tank. Treatment with 1ml per 20 litres 0.2% malachite green for 4 days (if my staff remember) Twice a day heavy feeding - flake and crumble (I like feeding the fish) We now do this: New fish arrive. Bags floated in tanks unopened for twenty minutes - lights off. Fish netted from bags No food for 24 hours. Treatment with 1ml per 20 litres 0.2% malachite green for 4 days (gave staff a rocket) Once a day light feeding of flake (Seemed to lose more fish than ever but it was a different supplier than usual.) Thinking of: New fish arrive. Bags floated in tanks unopened for twenty minutes - lights off. Fish netted from bags Fish dipped in tank water in trays for 2 minutes. Water treated with formalin and Aqua Plus. Fish placed in tanks No food for 24 hours. Treatment with 1ml per 20 litres 0.2% malachite green for 4 days Possible furan treatment on day 1 as precaution. What can you suggest and what concentrations/dosages would be best? ANY help would be appreciated. If not for me, for all the fish this could save. Regards Michael. XXXX@petplanet.co.nz <Could be pH. Your reading of 7 to 7.5 is OK, but a rather large swing to expose the fish to. Have you checked the pH of the inbound water? The water from a breeding pond could be very different from that of your tanks. pH shock can kill in the time window you mention. Any fish that survive will adapt and be fine as long as the pH remains steady. That seems to match the problems and successes you are having. The skin problems you report are also consistent with pH shock, but not the only possibility. All that being said, I have no experience in the wholesale end of the hobby. I'm going to pass this along to those that do. Don>    <<Don asked me to look over your message as well.... I do concur re the difference in pH from your suppliers ponds... they may well be using different water still for shipping. A very real problem with goldfish handling, shipping is high ammonia linked with elevated pH... I strongly encourage you to artificially depress the system pH to the mid 6 range (with buffering commercial aquarium product) AND the use of an ammonia absorbing compound (like Amquel or StressCoat) AND an application of a teaspoon of uniodized salt per five gallons of system water... maintain this water quality for a good week or two after arrival, and gradually revert to tapwater conditions through water changes after this time. Should you lose a good-sized specimen, do consider a gross examination of the body cavity... there is a seasonal loss of goldfish through fatty degeneration linked with temperature shift (going into and out of cooler/water waters) that is hard to combat... that results in huge losses worldwide in the trade. Bob Fenner>>

Problems with Goldfish <Hi there,> Hello, Jorie here tonight <I own two tanks of goldfish and one tank is for quarantine for some of my goldfish have developed tail rot and white spots on the tail.> So glad to hear about the quarantine tank.  Too many people pass on this necessity in the aquarium hobby, so kudos for recognizing it's importance! With regard to fin and/or tail rot, that's most often caused by poor water quality...have you recently tested the water parameters (i.e., ammonia, nitrite, nitrate readings)? I'd start off by doing a big water change - can't hurt, can only help. Do be sure to match temperature and pH of old and new water, though. How often are you doing water changes, for that matter? <We have placed a formula known as multi cure and it's stated there it should fix it.> I'm not familiar with that medication off the top of my head - are it's ingredients listed on the packaging? In any case, keep the water pure and clean - that's also paramount in rectifying a fin/tail rot problem. With regards to the white spots you mention, are they small, granular dots? If so, you are likely dealing with Ich...water changes are also extremely important in curing this.  There are many methods used to treat Ich, ranging from medication to hypo/hyper-salinity (either adding or reducing salinity) and heat; I'm don't believe you'd want to try either of the later two with goldfish, so I might recommend you look into a product called "Quick Cure" (NOTE: DO NOT MIX THIS WITH THE CURRENT MEDICATION YOU ARE USING - it's almost never a good idea to mix medications, unless you have specific knowledge that it's OK to do so). In any case, the life cycle of FW Ich is somewhere between 3-4 weeks, so I'd suggest, if  possible, removing all the infected fish and putting them into a hospital tank while you allow your main tank to run fallow (fishless) for a month or so. <Unfortunately it hasn't and the tail rot gets worse and the white spots start making the tail rot as well...And sometimes some of our goldfish lie at the bottom of the tank, and a couple have already died.> Do take those ammonia, nitrite and nitrate readings...it sounds to me as though the fish may be succumbing to toxins in the water.   <I don't know what this is a sign of so I hope you could tell me. And one has lost it's buoyancy, it floats at the top of the tank and finds it difficult to swim to the bottom or middle for that matter.> Sounds like this one is having trouble with his swim bladder...how long has this been going on? <I really hope you can answer these> You have a lot of different issues going on at once here...info. regarding how big the tanks are, how many fish you have, plus the parameters will be most helpful in sorting through all of this. Please let me know and I'll do my best to further assist! <Justin> Regards, Jorie

Sick goldfish, info. needed <Hello WWM crew> Hello, this is Jorie <I have this beautiful goldfish that I saved from the feeder fish tank at a local pet store> I love to hear these types of stories! I'm so glad your fishy friend found you! <I've had him for two years now...> Can you describe his set-up? How big is the tank, who does he live with, how often do you do water changes, what do you keep the temperature at, etc., etc...all this information is very helpful in determining what's going on with your fishy> <...but he has developed swim bladder disease.> How do you know this? What are his symptoms and how long have they been going on for?> <Is there anything I can do to prevent this, and is there any medication I can give him?> I assume you are talking about preventing it from occurring again in the future? As with many fish illnesses, keeping good water quality is extremely important...one reason I was asking about your routine in caring for this fish. Also, in hearing the answers to some of those questions I can better help you determine what may work better.  With regards to treating, I'd like to confirm that this is in fact what you are battling - I'm never in favor of treating/medicating without being at least fairly certain of what's going on.  In my experience, you can do more harm than good in many instances when you "jump the gun", so to speak.  Please reply back with the details requested above and I'll do my very best to help! <Thank you,  Mary> You're welcome.  We'll be in touch soon, I hope! Jorie
Re: sick Orandas
Hi again some more information 14 year old goldfish in 2x1x1 tank appro  11.1 gal is about 6 inches long. how do I add Epsom salt how often do I change water by what percentage and then how much salt do I re add. < Check the water for nitrates . If they are over 25 ppm then the water needs to be partially changed to keep them under 25 ppm.> yes I did mean pooping with Oranda do u think this is a factor it still is very keen to eat beats the goldfish up to the top of tank to get food. the Oranda and goldfish both about 4 inches in length including tails each also have two smaller goldfish in individual tanks they are about two inches each problem with putting   any of these in with biggest goldfish is if she cant see the food it would all be eaten before she would get to it naturally. I keep calling her she but I don't  know she has just always been called Suzy. does the fact that the Oranda is able  to swim down and keep down for a while mean that it is improving. thanks again  in anticipation < When feeding your fish you can try and spread the flakes around so all the fish get a chance to eat. Never feed any more food than what the fish can eat in a couple minutes. Try and vacuum the gravel every other water change to keep the fecal matter from building up. Your filter should be turning the water over at least 3 to five times per hour and should be serviced regularly.-Chuck>

Re: sick Orandas Hi again. <Hi back at you. Don here.> Some more information: 14 year old goldfish in 2x1x1 tank approx 11.1 gal and is currently about 6 inches long. How do I add Epsom salt? <Dissolve 2 Tbls in about two cups of tank water, then add back to the tank> How often do I change water and by what percentage? <If your tank/filter is cycled, then water change schedule is set by your nitrates. Try to keep below 20ppm. If  you are not cycled, increased water changes are called for. Ammonia and nitrite MUST be at zero.> How much salt do I re-add. <Same percent as water removed. ex If you add two Tbls to the whole tank and plan a 50% water change, add one Tbls to new water before adding it> Yes, I did mean pooping with Oranda. Do you think this is a factor? <Maybe. Could be constipated. The Epsom salt may help, as will feeding a raw, shelled pea. The salt will also help with the eye problem.> It still is very keen to eat. <good>  Beats the goldfish up to the top of tank to get food. The Oranda and goldfish are both about 4 inches in length including tails. Each also have two smaller goldfish in individual tanks. They are about two inches each. Is there a problem with putting any of these in with biggest goldfish? <No, not usually. Watch for aggression, they should be OK. But the more goldfish in the tank, the faster your water conditions will turn foul. And the more water changes you will have to do. Test often> It is as if she cant see the food. It would all be eaten before she would get to it naturally. I keep calling her she but I don't know, she has just always been called Suzy. Does the fact that the Oranda is able to swim down and keep down for a while mean that it is improving. <Yes. If this is constipation the Epsom salt and peas will help. If it's swim bladder problem then much harder to treat. If you are seeing any improvement, I'd stick with your current course of treatment.> Thanks again in anticipation. Karen
Re: sick Orandas
I have followed what you told me to do hope it helps . <Me too> One other thing I've noticed about the Orandas is that shortly after eating, that is when it goes up the top and starts this floating on its back. Is this significant? <Yep, your fish is gulping air as he eats. Continue with the peas and switch to a sinking pellet food made for goldfish. To feed flake keep a pinch between your fingers and release it under the water. Sinking pellet is better though.> Tried just giving a pea. Stayed down all the time till next morning. <Bingo!> Fed flakes and it is away back up again. Your opinion on this will be helpful  Thank you. <Glad you wrote back with this info. Much easier to correct his feeding behavior than repair a swim bladder problem. Don>

Swimbladder problem Hello Jorie, Mary here,<Hi Mary, MacL here with you this time.>  Well lets see he was fine all last winter, and when spring came I put  my comet into our water feature outside. He even spawned with the other comet that I saved. Two weeks ago he came back inside and was put into my aquarium. I did a water change before he was brought in, about halve. All of the other Koi and goldfish are doing fine. He will stand on his head, swim sideways swim upside down, swim in circles very fast. He makes frequent trips to get air and belches large amounts of air bubbles. Once in awhile he will right himself. Like I said all of the other fish are doing fine. I hope this helps in your diagnosis. He is three years old and I hate to loose him now. <I bet he sure sounds lovely.> <Mary, I'm sure you have already tried the frozen pea remedy to be found on the site and possibly salt. The other option is to try to try feeding your goldfish sinking foods rather than floating types.  They won't inhale so much air this way.   The pellets if soaked in water before feeding will expand before the fish eats them and this has helped a lot for some fish I have seen> Thank you so much for writing me back, can you help? Again thank you,    Mary.

Strange behavior in Goldfish I have 3 goldfish , I have had them for 10 months , they were about 1 1/2" long when I bought them, everything was normal till this week, one of them is acting strange, hiding and laying on its back and when you probe him he rushes around hitting the sides and splashing the surface and then retreats to hide in a log or foliage. hope you can help me.  thank you  Bill Pich <Hi Bill, if there are no other signs of illness (white spots, fin-rot, body swelling) then I think that your goldfish might be suffering from a swim bladder problem.  There are a number of reasons why the fish might have swim bladder disease.   1.A virus or bacteria that attacks the air sac which causes inflammation and makes it difficult for gasses to diffuse across.    So, the fish is stuck at a specific buoyancy.  This is why water quality is so important. 2.Anatomy. The ornamental goldfish that are breed today are predisposed to problems with the swim bladders.  This is because threw years of breeding the normally stream-lined body is now much more compact, which literally scrunches the organs. This arrangement predisposes to food impactions, which in turn clog up the pneumocystic duct. And causes unbalanced body to bladder ratio. 3.Diet. Feeding dry foods which tend to take on water like a sponge and expanded food can run the chance of impaction. So, now we know what causes it.  How to fix the problem.  Check your water chemistry.  Make sure that ammonia, nitrite, and Nitrates are at zero (or close as possible (especially the nitrAtes).  Keep the water clean and do regular water changes.  Add a airstone to makes sure the water is oxygenated properly.  The next magic trick to try is feeding your goldfish peas!  Just feed your fish a couple of store bought peas. Just get some frozen peas, thaw them, and feed them to your fish.  Not only is it good and healthy, but veterinarians thick that the peas also help break up food impactions.  Which will help regain the buoyancy.  Hopefully that will offer some help, keep the water clean, and make sure the other fish don't start harassing the sick one.  They will pick at the fish and nip the fins.   Good luck and if you need more help might I suggest www.goldfishinfo.com.   Hope the goldie gets better. -Magnus>

How many times can a fish die? I recently won a feeder fish at a fair. I bought a 1 gallon tank, a air pump and air stone. <Filter?> He was happy. Then his fins started getting red streaks, and then got thinner, and thinner. He began loosing scales, and was covered in white stuff. I put him in a recently purchased and filled 5 gallon tank with a black moor for a tankmate. The feeder died. I bought a sucker fish and a comet. The black moor's body looked as though it was broken in half, and it died. Then the comet got the same sickness as the first fish got, and died. Then the suckerfish died with what seemed to be Ick, but I put in Ick formula before it had it to prevent it. When the feeder fish and comet got sick, I put in powder for Hemorrhagic Septicemia, which I thought it had. I did a complete water change after everything died and cleaned it all with a hose. Do you think these fish will die again? <I'm 100% sure these dead fish will not die again. Once is the limit.> We got the ph level perfect <Good. What was it?> and well.... I'm looking for your advice. <OK. Don here. Thanks for asking the questions. Please add a filter to your tank. Look for the smallest you can find that has a "Bio Filter". This is just an area in the filter that will grow the bacteria that consume ammonia and nitrite. These are waste products that are deadly to fish. Pick up a test kit for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate as well as pH. Set up the tank, without fish, and add a pinch of food or a small raw cocktail shrimp. Test the water until you see a spike and crash in the ammonia and nitrite levels. After BOTH have spiked and crashed, nitrate levels will start to rise. This will take from 3 to 6 weeks. Your tank is now cycled and ready for fish. But not goldfish. Five gallons is way too small for even one. Without a heater I would add about four or five White Clouds. Add a heater and your choices go up. But research the adult size before buying any fish. You have a very small tank. Continue to test and do partial water changes to keep nitrates below 20ppm. Ammonia and nitrite must remain at zero. Do not add any meds as most will kill your bio filter. Do a search here for "Cycling". Good luck and welcome the hobby.>     

Fantail Goldfish Hello!  Please excuse me but I am a complete novice when it comes to raising fish.  <As we all were/are> I've only had my tank for about a month now. <Very new to have so many fish> I have a 10-gallon tank with 1 fantail goldfish, 1 calico goldfish, 1 Oranda and 1 Plec. All are about 2 inches long. <But will soon become much larger> I also had a black moor but I lost him to a fungus; replaced him and lost the second one within 2 days, no known reason.  I did a complete water change when I lost the second moor. <Better to change only part at a time. 50-60% max, and then ONLY if the pH's are the same> The Oranda, calico and Plec are all fine; quite active and hungry! <and growing> But now my fantail gold, Scooter, is listless, sits on the bottom of the tank, barely moves at all, and won't eat.  No signs of fungus or Ich. <Good> After reading your FAQ's I have just cooked up some peas and are cooling them; I also bought some brine shrimp pellets which I have not yet given to them.  I have only been feeding them Tetra Fin goldfish flakes up to this point. <A varied diet is vital to long term health. Great move, but not a solution to your problem, IMO> When my first moor became ill, I treated the tank with MelaFix and Quick Cure on the advice of my local fish store, but he died anyway.  The replacement moor also died even though I was still treating the water, but he had no visible signs of disease.  Scooter has been quite active (hence the name "Scooter") until two days ago when I found him on the bottom of the tank.  Occasionally he'll swim around a little but then heads back down and sits there for hours at a time.  He refused the goldfish flakes even when they were dropping all around him.  The water has been tested again and is fine. <Need the readings for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and pH> I added 2 tablespoons of aquarium salt when I changed the water.  <Be careful of salt around a Pleco. Two Tablespoons in 10 gallons should be OK> My filter is new and clean. <The problem, I think> I have 2 air things (see, I told you I'm a novice!), both above the gravel. How can I help Scooter?  <See below> I hope you have some advice for me and I again apologize if I've asked very stupid questions! <No such thing!> Thanks very much - Robin <No problem - Don> First, I'd suggest you start daily water changes of about 20%. Your tank and filter have not had enough time in one month to grow the bacteria needed to clear your water of ammonia and nitrite. Please get back with the readings from your water tests. Also, what type filter are you using? Search this site for "Cycling". That will explain a lot. But your long term problem is the adult size of your fish vs. the size of the tank.  
Re: Fantail Goldfish
Don:  I will do the 50% water change as you suggested right now and will get the ammonia test tomorrow - do you think there's a chance these fish will survive?  Robin Sure. Goldfish and Plecos are very hardy fish. You have some work to do since you added the fish before getting the cycle established. The water changes will slow the cycling, but we have no choice now. Those nitrites must come down and stay down. When you build up a bacterial colony you will be able to slow the water changes and enjoy your tank more. Don't concern yourself if the water clouds up. That's normal at this point. Also be careful not to over feed. Use a gravel vac to do water changes and remove any waste or uneaten food. Temp is my other worry with this mix. The Pleco likes warmer water than the goldies. Low to mid 70's should keep everyone comfortable. Don
Re: Fantail Goldfish
Don:  Thanks much for the advice.  I'm sorry to say Scooter died this afternoon, but hopefully I will be able to keep my Plec, calico and Oranda. Our water is well water and filtered; there is much ore before filtering as I live on the west slope of the Sierras.  Latest water test: Nitrate 20; nitrite 5.0; total hardness 150; total alkalinity 120; ph level 8.4.  My test kit does not have ammonia.  These readings have changed dramatically since the last test which was two days ago now; all tested in the safe ranges.  The filter is an Aquatech 5-15 power filter.  What further advice can you give me?  Thanks very much for your time and attention!  Robin Your tank is still cycling. Please get an ammonia test, but I think you will find it at zero. It has been converted into nitrite. Nitrite at 5.0 will kill, so you need to reduce it to zero by doing daily partial water changes. When both ammonia and nitrite stay at zero and nitrates spike, your tank will be cycled. You can then adjust your water change schedule to keep nitrates below 20ppm. BTW Each of your fish will need at least 20 gallons to thrive. That Pleco will get over a foot. Don   

Goldfish with swimbladder problem Hello. <HI Gina, MacL here with you today.> I have read everything I can on goldfish, been in chat rooms, etc to try and help my goldfish. I have read your website and I hear the same thing over and over. I have tried all of these things for my goldfish. He is having a problem with his swimbladder I am guessing. He's been upside down for about 6 months. I have to hand feed him in order to make sure he gets enough food. He stays at the surface. I have a large aquarium. 150 gallons. a 400 emperor filter, a powerhead with a sponge filter, and a large canister filter that filters 300 gph. I have fed peas, places him in a hospital tank, tried 2 different types of medication for swimbladder disease, changed his eating habits, soaked his food before feeding, feeding sinking pellets but I have to soak them then feed him by hand, bloodworms, lettuce, shrimp, etc. All of my efforts have not paid off for him at all. I love him very much.
<I can imagine that you most certainly do Gina to have gone to this much trouble so far.  Let me suggest you take a look at this link, its the most thorough summary of swimbladder disease in goldfish and offers multiple options for treatment. http://www.geocities.com/Tokyo/4468/swmbldr.html>
I have tested my water for ammonia levels, nitrite, nitrate, hardness. Everything comes out normal. My tank is immaculate and no other fish have this problem. There are some pictures attached. I don't know what else I can do for him. I have thought of making a device for him so that he can swim normally like the other fish. I Just don't know how I would make one. He seems happy as well. I just don't know. Please help me. My tanks temp is level at 72*. Goldfish breeders say to keep your fancy goldfish at a temp of 70-78*. He is an Oranda. Here are some pictures. Please write me back. There also seems to be a slight protrusion in his stomach. I thought it might be something like an internal tumor.
<It might be a tumor or might be that his swimbladder needs to be aspirated.  Do you have a local vet that is familiar with fish?>
I do not know. His spine also seems to have bent strange. Most likely from being inverted upside down so long. Please write back. Thank you. <Please let me know if the link was helpful to you at all.  MacL>

Re: Swim Bladder Problems
Dear WetWebMedia Crew, I was reading the email that Gina submitted re her goldfish's swim bladder problem and thought I would email you with a suggestion that worked for my goldfish when it had a similar problem which was suggested by my local aquarium: Give the little guy a salt bath (1 teaspoon of salt for every 1 litre of water) for around 6-8 hrs. It worked for us so I just thought I would pass on the info. Cheers, Kate <<Thank you, we will pass it along :) -Gwen>>

Please help....... Sick Black Moor Ive had a pair of black moors for just over 2 years now and feed them dried daphnia in the morning and flakes in the evening. Theyve bred in the past, so I assumed I was doing everything right for them. They've always swam around fine, with no problems, but sometimes liked to 'relax' at the top of the tank or rest on the bottom. Im afraid Ive only just found out this isnt' normal! My male fish has now started turning on his side when he is floating at the top, but has no trouble when swimming around the rest of the tank. Ive read your web answers to related questions and also took advice from someone at an aquatic shop and have just started adding a swim bladder medicine to their water, given them peas, purchased some frozen daphnia, and am also trying to soak my flake food before I give I to them. My two problems are this; Firstly the male is fine eating the soaked flakes, as he will forage around the bottom of the tank for the sunken flakes. However my female fish is a little slower, and will just hover at the top for food. At the moment Im resulted to hand feeding her the soaked flakes! How can I encourage her to realize the flakes sink and that she has to look for them ? Also Im dubious about using the cubes of frozen daphnia. Theyre from a reputable source, but A.) How do you feed them frozen or defrosted, and B.) If they sink to the bottom, Im going to have the same problem getting the female to eat them as with the flakes. Any ideas ? Thank you in advance. < Your fish are suffering from internal bacterial infections. Too much food, wrong food, dirty water, too hot, etc... These things are caused by stress. Treat the tank with Metronidazole and don't feed for awhile. When the fish start to swim normally then you can start feeding again. I think that your fish were eating too much and in was sticking in the gut before it could all be passed. The medicine will help. When cured only feed enough food so that all of it is gone in a couple of minutes once a day.-Chuck>
Black Moor ill
<Hi Cheryl, If you'll look at the very bottom of the page you'll see where Chuck has written a response to your original question.  I'm sorry your moors aren't doing well and I know how frustrating that is.  I think we can help you> Well yes, I have searched through the web page, and also various other pages but haven't found the answers I'm looking for and meanwhile my fish is getting worse. I have also called 2 different aquatic shops which have given me different answers, therefore I 'Asked the WWM Crew a question' Never mind. <Lots of different answers to the same problems because people can only try to help you based on their experiences. We believe your goldfish has an infection, could be caused by tons of different things down to them getting too hot, if you can believe that, but hopefully we have caught it in time to help them. Chuck suggests you "Treat the tank with Metronidazole and don't feed for awhile." The limiting factor would be when they start swimming strongly again. I have to agree with him on this. We need to get them passed this infection and on the road to recovery. Good luck and please let me know how they are doing. MacL> Re: An ill fish Thanks again Mac.  As far as the sunken in stomach goes, a marine  biologist I talk to online told me he thinks he has an internal bacterial infection or internal parasite and to feed him "New Life Spectrum" but I wanted  to see what You said first. <Either of those are pretty standard for sunken stomachs Jay.>  How do I determine which to use Selcon or new  life spectrum? <I think you can use them together. Selcon is just vitamin C, Life spectrum is a type of food> Which one do u think I should start with?  He also has  a small upraised bump right above his eye, it's not red or open or anything it just looks like a big zit which is the same color as his body and scales? <That sounds like a parasite as well.>  What could that be and based on this which one of these products should I use first? <Use them at the same time. Won't hurt a thing.  Good luck and let me know how it goes, MacL>

My fantail goldfish (yellow/gold) has one very swollen eye. <Popeye, or exophthalmia is the condition of an eye wherein it protrudes from its normal position in a socket. The bulging of an eye could be due to bacterial infection that had gotten in behind the eye and is causing the swelling in the socket.  If it is only one eye though, the prognosis is better.  Perhaps the fish had trauma to the eye, like bumping it into a filter, which initially allowed the bacteria to gain a foothold.> It seemed to have happened almost over night. I don't think anything is wrong, <I would test your water immediately for high ammonia.  Goldfish produce a lot of waste and this condition is typically seen with fish kept in unclean water. I would start doing water changes as well, freshwater will help. the cleaner the water, the less stressed the fish is, and the more it's immune system can fight the bacteria.  I should warn you that, chances are high that your fish might loose this eye.  Be sure water quality is optimal, and that the diet and temperature are perfect for the chosen species you maintain. You can try antibiotics with this, such as the ones sold by Mardel.  But, I suggest you add some Melafix to help enhance and quicken the healing process of your fish. All the goldfish that I had with Popeye lost the eye.  Though the fish still lived a happy healthy life.> I've had him for over a year now, he's about palm size. Can you help? <Hope that helps.  good luck with your Goldie. -Magnus.>

Goldfish with swimbladder problem <Hey Ally, MacL here with you tonight.> My boss has gone away (overseas) and left me in charge of her fish and one of her goldfish (don't know what type) red and white and feathery tail, was floating near the top of the pond. Brought it home and put it in fresh tank water.  fish happy to eat all the wrigglers in it and moving quite well but rests sideways at top of bowl. <Sounds like a swimbladder problem to me.> Read all the FAQs, body looks a little distorted and can see dark round spots in rear end and protruding.  Is it constipated, pregnant or/and sick.  Epsom salts or green peas. Bowl is small punch bowl, plenty big enough for 1 fish but not a lot of water.  How much of anything should I put in. <Below I've given you the amount per ten gallons, you'll need to cut that back to the size of your bowl> Please help before fish dies. <Its possibly a dietary/constipation issue.  I'd recommend adding Epsom salt to the water, at a rate of one tablespoon per ten gallons of water (so one half tablespoon for his 5g tank) as this will help relieve pressure on him, help him pass any blockage in his gut. Peas will certainly help, yes.  Keep it up with 'em, use frozen (thawed) peas if possible, also romaine lettuce, unflavored sushi Nori (that's the seaweed wrapper on sushi, you can get it at Asian markets), blanched zucchini or cucumber, aquatic plants like Anacharis/elodea, as well.  Might want to try adult brine shrimp or daphnia, too, as these are very high in "roughage" content, will also (hopefully) help him pass any blockage  Good luck Ally, MacL> Ally

Moor than it seems and getting worse Chuck, I think my original message got lost.  The problem with the moor is more than turning black.  I'm sending the first message with the correct pictures.  Now the poor moor is getting grayish fuzzy-like patches on him.  A fungus?  Also he is staying near the surface of the water and when he eats he spits up.  He or she is usually quite a chow hound...... I'm desperate.  My daughter has two beautiful goldfish.  One a chocolate moor (which turned 98% orange after 6 months)  The other a calico.  She's had them for two years and recently decided to get them a buddy.  The baby redcap fit right in. Last week I noticed the large moor was covered in tiny sugar-like white spots and immediately treated for Ich.  The treatment was successful but during the process I noticed the beautiful tail on the moor was shredded and there were black spots on the sides.  I thought this was caused by the constant rubbing against the gravel but then I caught the little redcap chasing and nipping at the moor.  I separated what I thought was the culprit only to find the calico attacking the moor also.  Now the moor is isolated but as you can see by the enclosed picture the fins have black streaks and patches of black on the sides( missing scales?)  The tale is shortened by nearly two inches.  Is the black an illness or normal because of extreme stress?  Is there anything I can do?  I've changed the water (30%) daily) for ten days while treating for Ich.  There is no carbon in the filter but the water is a bit alkaline.  The tank is small.  Only ten gallons.  Can you help?  The before picture was taken 20 days ago. Thanks so much, Linda & Heather < The black spots are wounds that are healing or have already healed. The Ich has probably weakened the fish and this one has come down with a secondary bacterial infection. As the bacteria damages the flesh of the fish, the fungus then feeds on dying or dead tissue. The water changes should help but you need more. Treat the tank with Nitrofurazone type drug. It should tank care of both the fungus and the bacterial infection. Be aware that when you treat a tank with medication that you run a risk of harming the good bacteria that you worked so hard to get when you cycled your tank so check the ammonia and nitrite levels.-Chuck> before with friend now. with damaged  fins and body turning black. Gray near top fin, not color.  Light fuzz.  Help.....

Out of sorts black moor Hi I purchased 5 small fantail goldfish & one very large black moor (about the size of an adult male's hand span).  Having owned nearly every other type of fish I thought I would give them a go thinking they were the easiest to maintain.  Anyway the 5 small fish are fine, however since we bought the black moor it sits on the bottom of the tank & doing a kind of gulping motion.  The most disturbing part is that I haven't seen the black moor eat since we bought him. He will appear to swim towards the top (it does seem like an effort) have a look at the food then sink to the bottom again. They have had a rather stressful week with my tank bursting a leak the first night  etc so all the fish have gone from the pet shop to tank to small emergency bucket to large holding tank & then back into my fish tank.  I thought at first it may have been stress related but I am very worried about it not eating. I am currently feeding them flake food called "Tetra Pond" and a floating pellet food especially designed for large goldfish called "ProBalance" Pond Food.  I have also tried peas & brine shrimp.  The tank is a 4ft high by 1.5ft wide octagonal upright tank (sorry I don't know gallon amount as I live in Australia!).  I have an underwater gravel filter with two airlines/stones on either side.  I also have a few plants at the bottom of tank.  I set up tank using "Sure Start" for the water, added "Cycle" & then 12 hrs later used "AmmoLock" which I was told detoxifies ammonia & converts it to a healthy form. I have continued to add cycle & AmmoLock every 2 days as per instructions. I have also added a small amount of aquarium salt at the advice of the local fish shop.  The ph level appears to be fine, temp ok, etc, I don't know what else to do apart from maybe a "QuickCure" dose incase of parasites.  Pls Pls help! < Check the water quality. Check for ammonia and nitrites (both should be zero). Sometimes these chemicals bind up the toxic ammonia. Unfortunately the bacteria can still utilize this locked -up ammonia and create a nitrite spike. Nitrites are less toxic than ammonia but can still be toxic to fish. Nitrates are the least toxic form of nitrogen in the water and should be under 25 ppm. If all the tests check out ok then we have to look at the water temperature or if there is enough oxygen in the tank. Your tank does not have much surface area for gases to exchange. To really get the water oxygenated you need a pretty good current. Unfortunately your black moor is not genetically designed for swift currents and could easily get exhausted trying to get around. If it is a disease then we have to determine if it is external or internal. If there are no visible signs of external disease then we can assume that he may have an internal problem. If so then isolate the fish in a hospital tank (or bucket) and treat with Metronidazole. If that is not available then try treating with a Nitrofuranace type drug.-Chuck> regards Maranda

Goldfish troubles Dear Robert, I am out of ideas to help my fish which have been acting strange lately, so am looking for help. I have three goldfish in a 10 gallon tank and have had them for a year. They have always been fine but just in the last 3-4 weeks have changed their swimming habits in that two of the fish are almost continually swimming at the top of the tank. Just about a week ago, all of them stayed at the top and seemed to gasp for air. At that time, I changed the water and they got medicine ("Tetracycline") as directed on the package. It seemed to go better for a day or two but now two of them are back at the top of the tank. It seems like they try to swim and stay under the water but when they stop swimming, they float to the top of the tank. One of them has it's back sticking out of the water while being at the top of the tank most of the time. The second one at times even starts swimming upside down which is when we really start, well,... freaking out! Yesterday night I changed out a bit more than 1/3 of the tank's water. This morning they seemed better, but as of lunch time, they are back at the top of the tank... I've searched the web to find any other handlings, but most information I find is different or I'm not sure if would work for a goldfish/freshwater tank (as one of the possibilities given was to add salt to the water?!). Please lay out in full what I can do and let me know ASAP! Your help is VERY appreciated!!! ML, Eveline <  We need to determine if it is the tank or the fish. Check the ammonia and nitrite levels ( both should be zero). Check the nitrates (should be less than 25 ppm). Clean the filter and if you have a heater then disconnect it. High ammonia levels may damage the gills. It would be like holding your had over your mouth and trying to breath. If everything looks good then next time you do a water change try vacuuming the gravel too. If the tank checks out OK then we need to look at the fish. If the fish look normal but are breathing at the top then you need to increase the aeration and keep the water clean because the damaged gills will heal and grow back. If your fish are at the surface but seem bloated and cannot swim normally then you have an internal bacterial infection and needs to be treated with Metronidazole. Sometimes in the summer heat goldfish get stressed and this leads to them becoming weak an vulnerable to disease.-Chuck>

I think something is wrong with my black moor... Hey this is Corrina, I just got a black  moor yesterday and he/she is acting kind of weird. The other fish in the tank are  fine and are frisky and rushing to the top to get food at feeding time except  the new black moor. He/she will swim around for a short while, maybe finding  some tidbits of food (w/e is left at the bottom)  and the lie down at the  bottom in a corner for long periods of time, while the other fantails are out  swimming around. Is he/she stressed or has some kind of illness that needs to be  treated? < New fish take time to get acclimated to there new surroundings. Give him at least a week to get adjusted  unless you see any specific signs of disease.-Chuck>
Re: I think something is wrong with my black moor...
Hey thanks for your advice! Sadly to say that my fish actually came down with Ick. Great!!!! But I've been treating my fish and they seem to be doing a lot better and looking a lot better. But ho do I know when the Ick is all gone and when to stop treating them? I'm sure they are looking forward to having their   water filtered again. < If the directions on the package don't give you specific instructions then I would say at least 4 to 5 days after the last of the spots have disappeared then you should do a 30% water change and service the filter. Watch for ammonia spikes because some medication with affect the good bacteria that break the fish waste down into less toxic nitrates.-Chuck>

My goldfish Hi, I've got a 42gallon tank and a large goldfish about 2yrs old and a Chinese goldfish with a butterfly (sucker) fish. My two goldfish have red lines in their tail and under belly fins. What is this & is it treatable? <<Hello. This is called "fin rot" and is generally caused by bad water quality. You need to test your water. Please buy yourself a test kit for nitrates, and do a few water changes, back to back.. you want to use water changes to lower the nitrate level to approx. 20-30ppm. You can keep the level stable: do a water change every time it starts to creep back up to 40ppm, but don't do more than 50% of the water at a time. -Gwen>>

Red spots on my Lionhead I have had my Lionhead for the last 3 months.  He has been quite a hardy little fellow.  Being new to the aquatic scene, we have had our share of tank problems during that time.  Everything from bringing home a new fish with a disease, a Plecostomus trying to eat him, and water issues.  Stanley (for he looks like the Disney cartoon) h was doing quite well from his "would you like to join me for dinner" episode and his bruises seemed to have healed up nicely. (The Plecostomus died) with his last two companions a Ryukin and a Pearlscale, when my son talked us into a Red Cape and another Lionhead.  I started to notice that Stanley had two red streaks on his back just before where his tail starts. This is not the thin finny area of his tail but still part of his spine area.  I kept him in the same tank but placed a divider - thinking that the others were "picking" on him. (I did notice they would push him out of the way when I fed them) since he tends to be a bit slower moving than the rest.  The divider went in yesterday.  Today I noticed that on his underside there seems to be a red area that I didn't notice yesterday or even this morning.  Since these 5 small gold fish are in a 10g tank with an undergravel filter and a 10-20g Penn-Plax cascade filter.  This morning I added our 5-10g Penn-Plax cascade filter because I know how dirty goldfish can get.  (We are in the process of cycling a 36g tank for these guys. And yes I know we probably should not have put that many goldfish in a 10g tank).  When I added the extra filter, Stanley went wild, trying to get out of his protected area (there is a small gap under the divider to allow waste to flow through he seemed to try to go that way too) to go with the other fish.  Since I had to go to work, I was unable to keep an eye on him to see if he would injure himself till he calmed down. Now, finally, my question is, how can I tell if these red spots are bruises and not septicemia from possible stress?   I did an ammonia check and it was at 4.0ppm so I added Ammo-lock to the water.  I will also be doing a water change tomorrow. Can you help me? < Chances are it is a bacterial infection especially since the ammonia levels are so high. I would recommend a 30% water change and service the filter. Treat for bacterial infections with Furanace. Next time you do a water change I would vacuum the gravel. Lots of crude in the gravel will affect the medication. The medication may affect the good bacteria that breaks down all the fish waste so frequent water changes are needed to keep the ammonia down. Chemicals will bind up the ammonia but the bacteria can still break it down into deadly nitrites so check for both.-Chuck>
Re: red spots on my Lionhead
What is Furanace? < This is another term for Nitrofurazone.>   I have Jungle brand Fungus Clear which contains Nitrofurazone, Furazolidone and potassium dichromate. (fizz tabs) And Furan-2 which has 60mg Nitrofurazone, 25mg Furazolidone and 2mg Methylene Blue Trihydrate. (capsules) How often should I do a 30% water change?  Although we have only had the 5 fish for 3 days, I have normally changed the water (always with a gravel vac to clear out the excess waste) every 3-4 days. < The medication will affect the good bacteria that you are trying to establish. If the tank develops any small or cloudiness then the water needs to be changed. Organics in the water affect the medication so the cleaner you keep the water the better. There should have been some recommendations on changing water with the medication. Normally I do a 30% water change just before I add any medication.-Chuck>

How many liters, goldfish?? Dear Robert, I recently bought a 48x18x20" aquarium. I am new to this hubby. Is  it okay if I have 7 goldfish: 2 bubble eyes are 2" long, 2 black mores are 1.5" long and 3 Oranda 1.5" long? Is the size of my aquarium okay for them? One more thing, How many liters that my aquarium have referring to its size? < Your aquarium is 283.17 liters. The white spot may be an indication that your fish may be coming down with Ich. Make sure you follow the directions on the bottle and watch or ammonia spikes during treatment.-Chuck> Please help me coz' right now there are white spot appearing on one of my Orandas. Thank you and more power. JV

My Beautiful Oranda Charlie Hi, I have had Charlie for about 2 years. He has not ever been sick. I noticed he didn't feel good about 3 or so days ago and today I noticed two cocoon like things on the base of his tail. I have not ever had this on fish before what could it be and what should I do? I have already added more salt that seems to cure a lot of funk thank you, Michelle Gates  <<First, please use proper punctuation when emailing us, so I don't have to spend precious time correcting you. Thanks. Second, you must test your water for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrates. The first two should measure zero, and nitrates should be kept at around 20-40ppm with regular partial water changes. I am really not sure what is wrong with your fish, can you give us a better description, and your water test results? -Gwen>>

Please Help!! Goldfish with spots! Hi Bob. We recently bought a red Oranda (last week) and very happily named him George. George appeared to be very healthy, eating normally and all that. So we felt it would be alright to get him a little friend and that he'd had enough time to develop the bacteria. But after having introduced his new friend The Brain we noticed George was covered in White spots. Concerned we gave the prescribed dosage of white spot cure. Later today George's health deteriorated and The Brain has started bullying him. And now George is floating funny!!! We think that maybe he has a bladder infection. Please help we are really very concerned! < You may have overdosed on the white spot cure. I suggest that you do a water change and separate the sick fish for now from the rest of the tank. Your fish has Ich and dropsy which is not a pretty combination. The Ich can be cured with a malachite green and formalin combination. The bloat is harder to cure. You will need to use Metronidazole for that. Go to a website called JDTropheus.com. Look under treatments for bloat. This will work to cure both your Ich and bloat if the fish is still strong enough to fight it off. Good luck.-Chuck> Please reply quick we think he has about 20 min.s to live!!!!!! Krysy, Yvonne, George and The Brain

Fish Chill Out Hello! I have two gold fish that have taken a liking to the corner of my tank recently. The first fish we have had several issues with such as he will not grow, he doesn't seem to see the food when we feed the fish, and he swims backwards on the top of the tank. He has eyes that come out of his head, but he is not a bubble eye. He also started off black, and seems to be losing his color to a grayish white.  Anyway, he and another fish have decided to take to one of the tanks corners during the night hours. They just sit there one on top of the other and "chill out." The newer fish of the two seems to also do a "nose dive" position into the corner. Can you please help me?  My husband has put salt in the water to see if it would help. But we have an apple snail and I am afraid that the salt would hurt the snail.  Please help, my husband is obsessed over these fish. He would be very upset if we lose one. < Sounds like a bacterial infection has covered your fish and he can no longer see the food. I would recommend a 30% water change and service the filter. I would then treat with Furanace for the bacterial infection. It is a broad spectrum antibiotic and is very effective although it will turn your water green. Take the carbon out of the filter so it does not absorb the medication. Follow the directions on the package. I would vacuum the gravel too when you do the water change . There may be a lot of fish waste accumulating in the gravel that is contributing to the problem.-Chuck> Thank you! 

Problem for about 6 months goldfish I have been to the WetWeb website. Unfortunately, I did not find anything on there like how my goldfish is. I found some things you could try like peas, Epsom salt, and medication. I have tried those things and they haven't worked. Did you download my pictures to see what he looks like? Please let me know. < Sorry didn't get the picture. But I sense that your goldfish may be bloated or look like it is ready to pop. If this assessment is correct then you need to treat your fish with Metronidazole for internal bacterial infections. Follow the directions on the package. If you fish is eating then you have a better chance of saving it. -Chuck> Thank you.

Ryukin Problem I hope you can help - I have seen similar postings but couldn't find the answer. We have two Ryukins in an unheated 14 gallon tank with a bio-filter wheel.  Their only tank mates are two snails.  About two weeks ago, they started acting listless, just sitting at the bottom of the tank.  They had white spots so we treated them for Ich.  They seemed to get better but now they then they took a severe turn for the worse.  Three days ago - one of them started swimming/floating upside down.  He would turn himself right side up when I approached him but I also noticed his fins were straggly and starting to disappear.  At that point, we started treating with Melafix.  Now, both fish are floating upside down in the corner.  We have had the water tested by the fish store. It was fine.  We added some salt tonight.   The fish store didn't have any suggestions other than to stop feeding them (which we had two days ago because they weren't eating anyway) and turn off their lights for a couple of days.  I feel like am giving up on them.  Do you have any suggestions about what could be wrong? Thank you so much, Kimberly <<Hello. I am sorry, you will need to give me more information. This sounds like a water quality problem, and an LFS that tells you that your water is "fine" needs to be asked for more specifics. What is fine? Did they test ammonia, nitrite, nitrates, or just pH? Please find out what they are telling you. Your ammonia should be zero, your nitrites should be zero, and your nitrates should be low, between 20-40ppm is a good level. In the meantime, you need to do a couple of water changes, it is better to be safe than sorry, and your fish sound like they need them. Here is a link for you to read, please read it, it will help you understand your fishes problem: http://www.netpets.com/fish/reference/freshref/swimbldr.html -Gwen>>
Re: Ryukin Problem
<<Hello. I am sorry, you will need to give me more information. This sounds like a water quality problem, and an LFS that tells you that your water is "fine" needs to be asked for more specifics. What is fine? Did they test ammonia, nitrite, nitrates, or just pH?>> Yes, they tested all of the above. <<Please find out what they are telling you. Your ammonia should be zero, your nitrites should be zero, and your nitrates should be low, between 20-40ppm is a good level.>>  My nitrites were a little high but nothing that would cause the fish any problems.  We do regular water changes and gravel cleaning. Since the first email I sent - I have done a 20% water change as well.  <<In the meantime, you need to do a couple of water changes, it is better to be safe than sorry, and your fish sound like they need them. Here is a link for you to read, please read it, it will help you understand your fishes problem: http://www.netpets.com/fish/reference/freshref/swimbldr.html -Gwen>> I read the swim bladder article - thank you for sending it to me.  I tried to feed them peas but the peas sank and the fish couldn't get to it.  The fish haven't eaten anything in 4 days now. Any further advice would be appreciated.  One of our Ryukins died last night and the second appears to be barely hanging on.  I'm not sure what to do next and just feel helpless. Thanks. Kimberly <<Kimberly, where are your nitrites at, exactly? You mention they are high, but not high enough to cause problems, however, ANY level of nitrite is toxic and WILL cause problems. You need to test it regularly, and keep the level of nitrite at .25 by doing water changes. In fact, this is most likely the cause of your current problem. Did you mean nitrates? Nitrates can be high and cause problems, too. Depends on many factors, including the individual health of your fishes. Your biological filtration could have been affected by the Ich meds you used earlier. Could be that the Ich meds killed some (or most) of your bacteria, which led to an ammonia spike, which in turn became a nitrite spike, very toxic. Your problem is water quality, and all you can do now is continue to do water changes and monitor the water test results. You may continue to add salt if you wish. You may even add Nitra-Sorb, an exchange resin, to help reduce ammonia and nitrite levels, but unfortunately your tank needs to re-cycle, and there is nothing else you can do in the meantime but water changes. I'm sorry. -Gwen>>

Goldfish Again Hi my name is Maryann. In May I got two bubble-eyed goldfish,  that were the exact same size.  Well, I noticed that one of them never really ate as much food as the other. Then weeks went by and I noticed the one who didn't eat much his bubbles were so big.  I even noticed white stuff in his bubbles.  Well, the healthy one has grown a lot than the other...actually I don't even think he has gotten any bigger.   He just lays at the top of the water and doesn't swim.  When he does swim he does flips....swims backwards...like he can't keep up.   He gets tired, then he stops....this has been going on since maybe around June....and it's now Sept.   I feel really bad and the pet stores don't know what to tell me about it.  I feel really bad for the gold fish.....do you have any suggestions for me????  I need your help. I read something exactly like this in another article....it suggest the water was really bad.....but I have two other goldfish in the same tank with the other one....could that still be a problem? <<Could be. Read this link, please: http://www.netpets.com/fish/reference/freshref/swimbldr.html Also, be aware that bubble-eyes can get infections quite easily in their bubbles and eyes. Good water quality is a MUST with these fish. Please do regular partial water changes, like, each week, and read up about their diet and what they should eat. Healthy fish are more resistant to disease. You may also add a teaspoon of salt for each ten gallons of water, to help your goldfish with his buoyancy, until he gets his strength back. If a bubble gets infected, some Melafix in the water will help with that. You can find Melafix at most pet stores. Good luck. -Gwen>>

Sick Goldfish My son just won a fish at the fair Saturday night.  He came in a bag. We dumped him into a bowl our previously-won goldfish came in (tiny Betta bowl) for the night.  The next day we dumped him into a slightly bigger bowl with all the water he came with plus a bit more to dilute the "dirty water".  The next day we again put him into a container that is designed for two Bettas (hexagonal that has a partition that we removed) with all the previous water and about 25% more.  Last night we moved him into a small plastic tank (it is green-ish in colour -- Living World or something like that) with yet more water.  I noticed that his dorsal fin was rotting and that there is a lot of cloudiness in the water.  He has also not eaten since we got him (neither flakes nor pellets).  I had a bottle of Bettafix which I had bought when we got the Betta (now deceased) in case he developed fin rot (he never did).  I got my son to add a few drops to the water to help treat him. On many forums it says to not change the water for 5 to 7 days while undergoing treatment with Melafix.  But, the water is cloudy and the few pellets we fed him are on the bottom along with his own waste.  Can I at least use a turkey baster to suck up some of the stuff from the bottom and add a tiny bit of water to his tank daily to help with the acidity? I have not measured the ph  yet, but it must be high by now.  The last goldfish we won at a fair died its second night with us, as I did a complete water change because he had cloudy water like this one has.  It was too much of a shock for him.  I don't want to kill this fish too, so please advise on what I should do regarding the water... Thanks a lot, Monique <<Hello. Fin rot is caused by bad water, as you have realized. Please do some water changes!! The more the better. You do not have a large tank with a filter, this is a tiny bowl we are talking about: not the same thing at all. You cannot leave a goldfish in this water for  days, his condition will worsen and he will die. When doing water changes, please be certain that the new water is the SAME temperature as what he is already swimming in. Adding water will dilute things to some extent, but it is not the same as an actual water change, where wastes are actually being removed. Just the clean water should be sufficient to start healing your fish. You may add Melafix after each water change if you like, it can't hurt. Remember, this is not a tank, it's a bowl; there is no nitrifying bacteria! -Gwen>>

Dying Oranda - please help me soon! Help, please.  I have an Oranda that I have been treating in a 10 gal hospital tank for what I thought was "hole in the head", because he had a hole in his head....It was a white patch that suddenly turned into a hole.  His head had been oozing white stuff (looked like milk) in a couple places and a "bubbly" spot erupted on his cheek which looks rather transparent now but not raised any longer and not open. I've been treating him with Paragon II for 3 treatments now and salt in the tank as well. He has basically been hanging out on the bottom of the tank for weeks now, and has given up eating and become very lethargic.  I just picked him up with the net and he laid in it, like he is dying.  I am sure I will lose him now very soon. I notice he has a couple red scales on his body, but the hole looks much better after the first treatment.  All this is probably not going to matter, since he looks like he's going to die very soon.  Please help. I put triple sulfa in the tank after doing a 30 percent water change (I've been doing that before every treatment) and am thinking I should add salt again - I am guessing he has a secondary bacterial infection.   Please help me save him if you can.  Thanks. < I would do another water change and try treating with Nitrofurazone. This takes care of a large range of parasites. If you think your fish is immediately going to die then I would not treat until he starts acting better. It sounds like the long term medications are weakening him a break may be needed. Try 30 to 50% water changes every day until he regains his strength. Medications should only be used for a few days and not for weeks at a time. This is very tough on the liver and kidneys of the fish.-Chuck>  

Goldfish help Hello, I hope you can help me with my goldfish. I had him now for about (12) years. Everything was going fine until a short time ago when he started floating upside down at the top of his tank. He still eats but upside down and also his stomach is real bloated. What should I do? I know he is old but I want to try to help him if I can. One pet shop thought he had "swim bladder infection" and told me to get Maracyn 2 and put in his water. But on your web you talk about salt water and frozen peas. What shall I do? Any help you can give me, being the experts, would be GREATLY appreciated. Thanks so much for your time!  Jan < Your fish has an internal bacterial infection and needs to be treated with Metronidazole. The medication is more effective if the fish is eating but it is the only thing I know of that works.-Chuck>

Ill goldfish 15 Aug 2004 Hi, <Hi Sue MacL here.> I have a white fancytail? goldfish, the one with the bulgy eyes and big belly, in a garden pond with other goldfish and common Koi. I have just noticed that the white one has a red streak on its fin - the one under its belly, and one of its eyes has a very orangey red outline around it? <The fancy ornamental goldfish really aren't good pond fish.> the other fish are all chasing it now and it is excreting some sort of orange discharge? <You need to get it out of that pond pronto.> I am not that clued up on fish and wonder if you had any ideas or could point me in the right direction? <Really for pond fish the fancy goldfish just don't work. They are just not as hardy a fish. Try Koi instead.> Many thanks Sue.

Black Moor Goldfish I have had a black Moor in a tank (5 gal) at my desk now for about one year. <Sound wonderful> He small - not too large for tank. I have had several large tanks at home for over 10 years, but have never seen this. My problem is this "Adrian" has recently developed light gray patches on his sides and near one eye (not fungus that I know of) <Really sounds like a fungus to me.  Please take a look at this http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwfshparasites.htm, and see what best fits it.> He also hangs out near the top by the filter. He is eating well with his flake food with a pea a day and swims well.<Sounds good.> His poop is sometimes clear.<That's good as well.> My water is fine. <It would help to know what fine means in terms of test kits. What's your ph readings and ammonia readings etc. These type of things can have an affect on your goldfish.>  He is normally a very busy and friendly fish. I just know he is sick but cannot put my finger on it. I have added about one teaspoon of salt but have not tried any meds. <Salt can irritate and put a slime coat on him but its not something I normally advocate putting in.> Please help. I will cry if I loose him. <Kimberly look at the site I referenced for you see if you can spot your disease. Hopefully you will find something that fits very quickly and get him restored to normal very fast.  Good luck, MacL> Kimberly

 Hemorrhaging goldfish follow up <Hey Jamie, MacL here with you, Sabrina must be busy.> I've since tested the water and have had consistent results with Nitrate & Nitrite levels being safe,<Safe as in 0?> Ph and alkaline levels are moderate but the water is a little on the hard side.  With the current design of the pond (it was in place when we purchased the house) there is currently no way to keep the water circulating 24/7; <Extension cord?> only one electrical outlet on the far side which the smaller pump/filter won't reach to plug into it.  However, the smaller pump is only off for about 7 hours per day; other than that, it runs all the time. <I'd try to find a way to keep it running continuously. Depending on the depth of your tank you might not have enough oxygen in your tank for the fish you've added.>  The first two goldfish we lost showed signs of hemorrhaging but none of the others since (all total I've had about 10 of the goldfish die) have shown any signs of hemorrhage. <That's a lot of goldfish that were added at one time regardless of the size of the tank. Believe me I understand the excitement of adding the fish but if you do it slowly a couple to four at a time you will have much more successful results. As for the hemorrhaging ones I'm guessing that you had a major ammonia rise at some point from the waste that the fish put into the pond.> I skim the organic debris, leaves, grass clippings and such, from the pond 2-3 times per day to limit the potential for decomposition to occur in the water. <Very good job!> I've also got one fairly small water lily in the pond which the fish love to hang out around; <Aren't lily's the most beautiful flowers ever? And I truly have a thing for their leaves.> they try to hide under the pot and under the lily pads, of which there are about 8, the largest being about 4" in diameter. <Sounds lovely.> I'm not sure if the goldfish are reacting, slowly, to the food I am feeding or not. I have both goldfish flakes and floating Koi pellets but the goldfish are no longer interested in the flakes; they'd much rather eat the Koi pellets. <Then stop feeding the flake, it will just drop to the ground and rot.>  The Koi all seem to be doing fine, so I'm not sure what is killing off the goldfish. <The Koi are generally a much stronger fish.> <Jamie, this is going to sound silly but I need to be sure. You are using the proper dechlorinator for the water as well? making sure you have chlorinated water or Chloramines that have been removed?> Any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated. <I'd seriously consider doing a water change of at least 25% Good luck Jamie and keep us up to date with what's going on. MacL> Jamie  

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