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FAQs About Goldfish Foods/Feeding/Nutrition

Related Articles: Bloaty, Floaty Goldfish, GoldfishGoldfish Varieties Goldfish Systems, Goldfish Disease,

Related FAQs:  Bloaty, Floaty Goldfish, Goldfish in General, Goldfish Behavior, Goldfish Compatibility, Goldfish Selection, Goldfish Systems, Goldfish DiseaseGoldfish Breeding/Reproduction

Don't live well or long on just dried-prepared foods alone.

New Print and eBook on Amazon

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

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

gold fish feeding       8/21/17
Just want to thank you for helping me save my large Ranchu . been floaty every time I fed him pellets lately so when I saw this site and followed your directions for fasting & Epsom salting in a quarantine tank & A FEW PEAS ...back to normal again. I will now feed mostly veg. stuff. I’m fine grating zucchini & they love it. Since I have an assortment of young fancies I now know how to hopefully avoid swim bladder issues. Again thanks Deb
<Deb, thanks for sharing this, and we're so pleased to know that you were able to treat your pet successfully. Prevention is better than cure, and with Goldfish, it's really so easy to get them to "eat their greens" and stay healthy. Best wishes, Neale.>
Re: gold fish feeding     8/23/17

Thanks for responding & since you did I have a ?.
If I feed mostly veg as suggested will my fancy gold fish be getting all those vitamins they need ?
<Yes. In the wild, carp are herbivores more than anything else, consuming plants and shoveling up sediment to extract decaying organic material and small invertebrates like insect larvae. So a combo of fresh greens and some
brine shrimp, bloodworms, and a bit of flake is perfect.>
I will be feeding some brine shrimp along with peas lettuce chard zucchini water cress & seaweed.
<All sounds good. Cheers, Neale.>

Goldfish Food Help!!!       3/18/15
Hi there!
I am having issues finding the right foods for my goldfish.
<Mmm; I feed my fancies almost exclusively on New Life Spectrum pelleted; and endorse Hikari as an overall excellent brand as well>
I have a 200G with about 20 comets/fancy goldfish and a sand substrate.
We've been having issues with constipation, so I have been trying different flake/pellets and veggies as per your "Malnutrition page".
<Ah good>
We were trying to feed just frozen spinach, broccoli, zucchini, and squash, but there would be SO much debris floating around, the tank looked dirty all the time (that is with weekly 25% water changes). It also clogs up our Rena XL and Eheim 2217 quite quickly, within a few days the flow is greatly affected. But if we even revert to pellets/flake even once, some of the fancies will float for a few days before righting themselves.
<A clear lesson here>

I can no longer get duck weed because the petstores say its a "problem weed" in the eco system here in Texas and they can no longer sell it. The lowest crude protein I can find in processed foods is 39% with Dainichi Cichlid Veggie FX Sinking Pellets. any suggestions? What would you do?
<The brands mentioned above>
Thanks for all your help. You are great!
<Just a petfish kind of guy. Bob Fenner>

Re: Update (everything new is in parentheses)     ‏            11/10/14
Me again! Ok back to the Ocean Nutrition food for the GF, I got it in the other day. (I got the flake, but still the Formula Two) I read the label and there's way more protein in the Ocean Nutrition: 52.6% vs. 39% in our
Omega One GF food. I feel stumped. I looked on your site and you said FROZEN FOOD and didn't mention flake- I had over looked that (but I couldn't find the frozen online or in any LFS anyway). What should I do?
I've got one fish that's floaty and has been for months, that I plan on treating once I get the right food...but I think I'll be defeating the purpose of I keep feeding her high protein food and try to treat...
Your guidance is, as always, much appreciated.
<Don't overthink this. Goldfish are omnivores (as are the majority of tropical fish) so just as with humans, there is no single "super food" that makes them (or us) healthy. As the Ancient Greeks would say, nothing to excess. And that's all there is to it! Use a variety of sensible foods, without leaning too heavily on any one thing. Flake one day, frozen bloodworms the next, some cooked peas the day after, maybe some sinking pellets after that, or maybe a clump of pondweed to graze on over the weekend... it really doesn't matter. With Goldfish the real danger is becoming too reliant on dried foods alone as there's some tendency for constipation to develop, in much the same way that giving people just steak and eggs but no salad or vegetables will block them up pretty quickly! But provided there's some green foods present most of the time (pondweed being the classic option, but there are numerous alternatives) then Goldfish will thrive on pretty much any good quality flake or pellet. Don't overfeed of
course, but other than that, don't fret. Do read this article:
And I'm also going to direct you to his pocket-money priced book on Goldfish wisdom, here:
For $6 you're unlikely to go wrong, and will probably find it a useful, handy read.br /> Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Fancy goldfish, dojo loaches for new 50 gal tank... GF fdg. f', fluke trt.     5/7/14
Hi Neale,
Several months ago, I switched to the Soilent Green and started feeding a larger amount. I had previously been feeding frozen Hikari Spirulina/Brine Shrimp as the staple, and small amounts at that, after hearing about the
dangers of overfeeding (but no warnings about underfeeding ...).
<Indeed. It's often easier with goldfish to offer pellets/flakes daily, but leave something green in the tank for all-day grazing, whether Elodea, blanched lettuce, or whatever.>
My fish got extremely thin on the Spirulina/Brine Shrimp, and inadequate nutrition was pinned down as the cause. My fish have been doing very well on the SG, and nearly all have shown excellent weight gain already. The apple snails are also thriving on it; they have become HUGE! (I have kept apple snails for years, but had never really seen them grow until now.
<Sounds great.>
Now, what I do is physically feed a piece of SG to each snail once a week, since I noticed the goldfish snatch up all the food before they can get to it on their own, leaving only tiny particles for the snails.). Oddly, even
when I was underfeeding, the goldfish did not touch the Elodea or other plants ... maybe mine just don't like plants?
Sadly, many of the fancy goldfish sold at the pet shops around here are severely skinny, and a couple of them have remained that way despite the improved diet (probably because I bought them as adults and they were not
given proper nutrition as juveniles). Do you have any ideas on how to combat this?
<Would deworm them upon purchase, at the very least. Quarantining would be ideal, and certainly the use of high protein foods (in moderation) to get them back to a sensible weight could be helpful, e.g., minced seafood.
Bloodworms are risky, so are best avoided unless gamma-irradiated, but frozen brine shrimp and krill should be fine.>
I was planning to purchase some NLS Thera-A pellets to supplement the SG, but any additional suggestions would be much welcomed.
<Sounds good. Bob speaks very highly of New Life Spectrum foods; I'm a fan of Hikari branded food, which are more widely sold in the UK. Either way, these are both excellent foods if used properly. I doubt the use of Spirulina and brine shrimp caused your goldfish to lose weight, and do wonder if worms or some other parasite infection were at work.>
I also noticed you mentioned Prazi isn't the most reliable medication for fluke treatment.
<There are a range of options, including Levamisole, Piperazine, Fenbendazole and Flubendazole, and I've heard stories about fish that didn't respond to Praziquantel responding to one of these others. So if you
have the option, trying Levamisole in particular could be useful.>
What would you recommend as a fluke treatment available in the U.S. for new fish in quarantine? I do a 2-month quarantine just to be extra careful, with a standard regimen of 0.3% salt the first week and Prazi as
recommended per the bottle. Your estimate that the maintenance treatments are suggested because Prazi isn't totally effective makes sense to me, because I have seen signs of fluke infestation about 5-6 months after the
last treatment (yawning, flashing and rapid gill movement).
Thank you again - you have been extremely helpful!
<Most welcome, Neale.>

Hikari food  1/2/13
Hello, can Hikari Wheat Germ pellets be given to Older Comet Goldfish that are in tanks in the house NOT in ponds??
 I had someone say to be careful using it as it is a high energy food??
<Mmm, actually; not so/as much as many of the rest of their line:
 Also is it good for fish digestive system?
 ( I mix the Hikari with Wardley goldfish flakes)
<Far better than Wardley products. Bob Fenner>
Thank You
Cathy Hart

Feeding    12/20/11
Hello, I have some large sized Older  comet goldfish (about 11-12 yrs old,)  I have talked to you in the past about them, They are in separate 20 gallon tanks, I have one alone in tank, he is the largest about 12 inches, the others in another 20 gallon tank are each around 6-7 inches The one large one alone and one smaller in other tank, are not able to see well, I got them all some new food as on of the others has digestion problems, keeps getting constipated, so I bought some food high in wheat germ as you suggested, It is called aqua master pellets, they are tiny pellets, The problem I have with pellets, especially tiny ones , is the fish that cant see find it by smell but while looking for it they shove it under the stones, then I run risk of them getting stones in mouth,
<Try replacing the stones with smooth silica sand (e.g., pool filter sand in the US or smooth silver sand in the UK). Goldfish are adapted to sifting mud and sand, and will thoroughly enjoy themselves feeding this way. If the stones or gravel you have are seriously risky, why use them at all?>
they shove the food around so much it actually is lost and I cant even find it to remove it from tank, what I have been doing is pasting there flaked food, Before new food arrived, I make little pasty balls about the size of what would be med size pellets, they eat it right up, no problems, With this new pellet food, can I crush it up in baggy with hammer and add some flaked for substance to continue to make the little balls they eat??
<Hmm'¦ do read here:
Would seem the best approach give your aims and the fish you're keeping.>
My other question is I also got some Spirulina flakes, can I feed this along with the other little balls or should I feed this only once in awhile by itself?
<Yes, you can use this as/when required. Spirulina flake may be 100% of the time for non-carnivorous fish species.>
I read on the can of pellets that it is easily digested and I hope it helps the fish that keeps getting constipated.
<No, doesn't mean this. Easily digested food has nutrients that are readily absorbed. By definition, fibre isn't absorbed, it's the stuff that passes out of the gut in just the same chemical structures as it went in. That's the point. So, fibre comes from indigestible food, usually cellulose form plants (e.g., live pondweed or crushed peas) or else exoskeletons of arthropods (e.g., daphnia or brine shrimp).>
Have you ever heard of this brand, Aqua masters??
after I make the little pasty balls from food, I give each of them about 3 ? is this ok? The one large one that is alone, eats a bit bigger sized ball, and I give him just one?
<Saying how much food is the right amount is difficult without seeing the food and the fish. But a good ballpark estimate for most fish is 2-3 meals a day, with each meal being around twice the size of the fish's eye. If you're giving plant foods like peas or pondweed, you can pretty much feed as much as you want because the protein content is far lower. Remember, overfeeding isn't harmful to the fish and when they've had enough, they'll stop eating; the problem is that if you feed more protein than the fish needs, that protein ends up as ammonia, and that ammonia places a load on the filter it might not be able to cope with quickly enough to keep water quality good. So overfeeding is about water quality, and not directly at least fish health.>
Thanks for your time
<Most welcome, Neale.>
PS. I have a correction on the one new food I have, it is called HBH 8 veggie fish food with Spirulina in it, the other as mentioned is the aqua master fish food for goldfish
Are these ok? Can they be used together?

Goldfish food  12/15/11
Hello, I have to keep giving one of my goldfish a pea every night as he seems bloaty floaty! They are older fish and I want to give them a better flaked food,
<Mmm, no. There are none that are really useful. Instead look for and use either Spectrum or Hikari brand pellets for goldfish. Read here re:
 this is all I want to use as they are sort of blind ( two of them) and I cant find the food suggested from you,
<Use the Internet to order it, have it delivered if not available locally>
I have a place that I can order and was suggested this a low protein food called Aquamaster?? Have you ever heard of it and do you think it will help them with their constipation problem, It is made for Koi but they said it will be ok for goldfish too?? I am currently using Wardley flakes, protein is 39 percent.
Thanks Again
Cathy Hart
<I wouldn't use Wardley period.>
PS I don't like pellets as they get stones in their mouths going after it
<You need larger or much smaller stones then... Cheers, Bob Fenner>
Re: Goldfish food
Everyone is very down on Wardley, why?? Also Tetra Fin??  12/15/11

<Wardley's foods and a good many of their other product lines have a negative reputation due to "putting more effort into their marketing" than research and development IMO... Tetra is a fine, venerable line, though the co. has gone through too many hands in recent years. Their flake foods are generally excellent, but NOT a good staple for goldfish in my and many other peoples' experiences. Thank goodness and for other folks making much better. Read where you've been referred. BobF>
Re: Goldfish food... "teach a person to fish..."  12/15/11

Thank you very much, However I cannot open the link you sent me in regards to fish food, can you send it again or maybe send another, it just goes to an error page
<Mmm, please use the search tool (on every page), searching for "goldfish foods, feeding, nutrition". B>

Goldfish eating silversides? & Synodontis beh.    10/19/11
Hello Crew!
So today I found out my girlfriend fed a large frozen silver side to my 10 inch goldfish. The silversides are normally for my other fish, but she had an extra that she thawed and fed it to my goldfish, which of course ate it.
This shouldn't affect its health should it?
<Nope. As a treat, these are fine.>
Also on another note I have a supposedly Synodontis eupterus, it has the profile and coloring of a Featherfin, yet, it constantly hangs upside down under driftwood or straight up and down in some plants or in other awkward positions. Is this normal for the species or is some type of hybrid?
<It is quite normal. Most, maybe all Synodontis like to wedge themselves with their bellies against solid surfaces. Whether upside-down, right way up, or somewhere in between doesn't matter to them. Cheers, Neale.>

Ranchu and body-mechanical eating woes   6/30/11
Hi, Crew!
I've been browsing your site for several months, and cracked out on it for about six hours last night (because the new goldfish needed to rest after their long FedEx journey but I was still too excited to sleep). I apologize profusely if it's been answered before: perhaps my search terms were too narrow and too broad.
This is a quick question, but let me supply all pertinent information about the set up. I have fifty-eight comets in a five gallon tank . . .
KIDDING! Sorry, animal cruelty isn't funny, I know. Ugh.
Okay. I have two young fancy goldfish, a Ranchu and an Oranda (both 3.5 inches including tail, so the Oranda is a bit smaller), in a 55 gallon bowfront which had undergone a fishless cycle for two months. The current parameters are ammonia 0ppm, nitrite 0ppm, nitrate 5ppm, pH 7.8, KH 60, temp 78F. (Temperature is high, but it is late June in the deep south US.)
The filtration is an Emperor 280 on one side and an AquaClear 70 on the other, for a total of 580 GPH, packed with a sponge, ceramic "Bio-Stars," filter floss for particles, and the Bio-Wheel. The aeration is two cube-shaped air diffusers and a flexible bubble wand. I have a gravel vac and keep 30 gallons of conditioned water in 3-gallon jugs near the tank so the temperature is matched. They just arrived, but I have on hand for their culinary pleasure Pro-Gold sinking pellets, spirulina flakes, freeze-dried krill, and whatever human foods: romaine lettuce, peas, and sushi Nori (a huge hit, though the sodium content seems unnecessary for goldies). The decor consists of a variety of "silk" plants, a medium-sized rock, aaand (drum roll please) a sparse layer of river rocks. This is the problem.
I intended the pellets to be their staple, but they fall between the river rocks. Sigh. The Oranda has no problem vigorously searching (face-down and wiggly), but the Ranchu isn't so keen (or able). I created a little bare-bottom clearing in the front-middle away from the filters but despite their voracious appetites even the Oranda doesn't look there until the pellets are washed into the pebbles and start to dissolve. Is the solution to remove almost all the rocks? Seems so . . . obvious! I didn't want gravel that could get stuck in their mouths but wanted the semi-natural look of a substrate (although I think my bio-filtration would do fine in their absence).
I know keeping an Oranda and Ranchu together is not ideal, but they're getting along swimmingly (Gah! Bet you've never heard that one before) and both having the same trouble with food. Until I solve this (remove the rocks?), I'll just make sure there's plenty of greens for them and a tad of krill, which floats until it hits the waterfall (a huge hit with the mighty hunter Ranchu).
Wow, this is really long. Especially if all I need is affirmation.
Thanks so much for what you do, and taking the time to read this.
Andrea who is a little nervous about having fish
<Andrea, there are two, maybe three obvious ways through this problem. The first is to is to offer a healthy quantity of fresh greens, for example plain vanilla pondweed ("Elodea crispa") as well as most other cheap aquarium plants (Indian fern, Cabomba, etc.). Sushi Nori would probably make a good substitute if you wanted something inexpensive you could store in the pantry. Because plants don't move, even relatively clumsy fish like Ranchus can graze at their leisure. Though perhaps not 100% everything they need, Goldfish can certainly get the majority of their nutrition from fresh greens and dried algae. The second solution is to swap plain gravel to smooth silica sand (in the US, pool filter sand is a good choice). Why? Because Goldfish are "sifters" they will dredge through sand and extract particles of food using their gill rakers. Again, speed and agility aren't required, merely patience, which Goldfish have. You needn't swap all the gravel and rocks out, but merely a "feeding area" in one part of the tank, though over time sand will move about and end up across the aquarium, in which case some sort of remedial work might be in order. In any case, all sorts of foods might be obtained by sand-sifting, for example bloodworms, fortified brine shrimps and daphnia that can all be purchased as wet-frozen foods and might be offered once or twice a week to beef up their plant-based diet. Finally, you may have some success varying the flake or pellet foods offered. Koi pellets might be an option. They float well, and they're filling, so competition might not be too much of a problem.
Wheat germ ones in particular are very low in protein, so they won't cause serious water quality problems if used a little more generously than regular flake or pellets. Hope this helps, Neale.>
Re: Ranchu and body-mechanical eating woes (Bob, any thoughts'¦?)<<Nothing further>>   6/30/11
Mmkay, I was hoping to work up to keeping plants anyway.
<Goldfish do view these as food, mostly.>
Hopefully I can find a local source; shipping fish seems worth it, but I don't know about $15 shipping for plants.
<Yikes! Surely you can buy some locally? At a pinch, even pond plants can work, though they sometimes react badly to room temperature if outdoors is cold.>
They were crazy about the Nori I put in today (I was eating it anyway!), but it was falling apart quickly so I removed it before I left for work. I know low-protein foods are less of/not an ammonia concern, but if allowed to decay they'd still encourage fungus and such, right?
<Not really. Fungus and bacteria make most "mess" on high protein foods; decaying plant material is mostly cellulose and various other carbohydrates, so the amount of nitrogen-containing detritus created is far less. If you smell compost, it smells rather nice and sweet, whereas decaying meaty material smells rank.>
Interesting that you mention sand! It was almost what I used to begin with, but I am an apartment dweller and read that it makes moving even more of a pain (which I don't doubt).
<Can't honestly see how sand vs. gravel matter in this regard. For Goldfish all you'd want is a thin layer, a half inch. Plants would be floating varieties or else placed in pots so the Goldfish don't uproot them. Sand is very easy to clean because dirt can't sink in; use a turkey baster to siphon out blobs of faeces or whatever on sight.>
Then I wanted to do a "terrace" with Mopani wood; river rocks on the upper level and thin sand in the foreground. Sounds a bit like a feeding area, eh? Maybe that instinct was correct.
<Worth a shot! Sand will level out, obviously, so it's not worth doing anything too three-dimensional. But you can shore it up for a while with slates or stones, and just keep pilling it back up each time you do a water change. Again, if the plants are floating species or put in terracotta pots with some gravel for their roots and perhaps monthly fertiliser pellets in those pots if necessary, moving the sand is minimal effort.>
Okay--pool filter sand has round granules that make it non-irritating and thus desirable, yes? Also, I had an idea to hide some thick pond liner beneath the sand and use that to lift it out if moving is needed. Does that sound like a waste of time?
<Yes. For one thing, dirt can get under the liner and rot there. I'd strongly recommend using a half-inch of sand, then maybe rocks or bogwood to create any three-dimensional arrangements, and then using floating or potted plants as suggested. Because Goldfish are not natural-looking fish, terracotta can be used very creatively to make "formal garden" type arrangements rather than the usual rainforest approach we do with tropical fish.>
They're going to have to move to a temporary 29-gallon while I replace the 55 gallon's stand (ugh!), so I would have a chance to make a pretty big change.
I'll also look into the Koi pellets!
Thanks so much!
<Glad to help. Cheers, Neale.>

goldfish having trouble eating   3/4/11
I got a common goldfish on Nov 6, 2011. He was only about 1.5 inches when I first got him and I put him in a 5 gal tank with an undergravel filter.
<A short-term home, I trust'¦>
He was doing well the first few months. He ate TetraFin flakes happily, swam a lot, and grew about an inch longer.
The past few weeks though, he seems to have trouble eating and I don't know what caused it, or how to help him. He doesn't seem to eat as well as when he was much smaller, though he is still very active and swimming. I don't see any blemishes or discoloration on him.
It's as if he has trouble sucking food into his mouth. He swims at food, looks like he's pecking at it, gets it into his mouth and then it drops out. I've started giving him broken up TetraColor granules in addition to flake food to see if he would have an easier time with those, but he still drops the food a lot of the time. He is managing to eat some food though, because I do see some of his poo..
<Fish often stop eating, or spit out food, if stressed, particularly if water quality isn't acceptable.>
Sometimes while he's having trouble getting the food into his mouth, he pauses to stretch his mouth open really wide and then goes back to pecking at the food. I've tried to look into his mouth when he does this and I don't see anything obviously stuck.
Does he have an injured mouth?
<My guess would be not.>
Any suggestions on how to help him?
<Yes: Read! Start here:
A goldfish this size needs at least 20 gallons, and realistically anything smaller than 30 gallons isn't fair on this animal and will dramatically shorten its lifespan. Review that article, pay attention to aquarium size, filtration, diet, and water chemistry. What you're not doing on that list is likely why this fish is stressed. Make the changes, and he should recover.>
Thanks for your time, Jen
<Glad to help. Cheers, Neale.>

Gel food for Fancy Goldfish  11/28/10
A quick question regarding home made fish food: I make my own from large variety of steamed organic vegetables with cream of brown rice, spirulina algae and Vegegreen vitamins added. I run this through the blender and add about 2-3 tablespoons of Knox gelatin to help set the mixture. I find that I need to double the amount of gelatin to the recommended dose of water to get the whole mess to set: can the gelatin cause constipation?
<Hello Gina. No, it shouldn't cause problems. Gelatin is an easily-digested protein, which is one reason gelatin desserts are so widely used in hospitals as safe foods for those recovering from illness.
Obviously though the proof of the pudding is in the eating! If your fish seem healthy after a few days' worth of feeding with your gel food, then it's very likely just fine. Cheers, Neale.>

black moor, hlth., nutr., a new ploy to urge folks to use proper English    11/21/10
hi my black moor I've only had him about 10 days and after 3 days his poop was white and stringy and trailing and has been ever since. I feed him flakes and pellets on alternate days once a day.
I took a sample of poop to the vet and the results were not parasites or bacterial infection. when the nurse rang me back with the results. she said the fish diet was too high in fibre. I think what she meant to say it wasn't getting enough fibre. also I've noticed his belly is a little swollen too.
the protein in the flakes and pellets are 43% and 32% ,I also soak them before feeding them to my fish.
I've ordered some Epsom salts from my local pharmacy and will be trying that method out.
also the other day I gave him a shelled pea and some broccoli and later his poop was green and fairly normal looking.
should I stop giving him the flakes and pellets and just give him fresh blanched veggies everyday.
also today I haven't fed him just to see if that cleanses his system out.
and maybe tomorrow give him the shelled peas .
can you give me any more help and advice.
I've also been recommended to make my own gel food and to put some vegi tuna and also some crushed garlic with the gel and feed my fish this.
<Hello Sharon. Do please read these two articles:
Pay particular attention to [a] the need for fresh greens (not tuna!) and [b] the minimum aquarium size of 30 gallons for Goldfish. Also note that filtration is essential, and doing water changes DOES NOT remove the need for a filter. Once you've read those articles, you'll see what Goldfish need to stay healthy. Make the changes, and he should improve. If you're still unclear, e-mail back and we'll do our best to help. But please, do use capital letters in their traditional places. Psychoanalysts have a field day with people who use lower case "I" to identify themselves rather than the traditional capital "I" -- indicates a lack of self-respect and status! Cheers, Neale.>

Red pepper-plus! Food additive/s  5/11/10
Greetings from the Texas Panhandle-again-
<Howdy back at you from Cairo, Egypt>
I have three questions. Is that copasetic with you? If not, well, you may throw stones at me across the "big pond"!
<Mmm, well "most of us" at WWM are on your side of ponds most of the time>
Number one query and some> I make my own fancy goldfish food. (Yes the fish are fancy and so is the food!)
In this magic no bloat life saving concoction, from your answers and questions by the way; I blend baby food peas, sardines (in water), blanched broccoli or fresh spinach from the garden-(never any poison on this place), elodea/Anacharis, and or water sprite, an acidophilus tablet and gelatin for the bonding agent.
<Sounds yummy. I feed my fancy goldfish on Spectrum pelleted food and live plants>
This blend has done wonders for the flop, flip and sink problem that I use to have with the goldfish. Thanks for that. Occasionally my fat finned misshapen friendly fellows receive a slice of orange or zucchini squash. Finally we get to the question. (It's like going to Oklahoma from Texas by way of Chicago!) I read recently on ya'lls request and answer list that a gentleman claimed to add red pepper to the blended food mix for his fish to consume. Why?
<Some people have claimed over the years that this aids in digestion, helps reduce parasite loads and even adds to colour... ala paprika in foods for birds like flamingos et al.>
I haven't been able to find any where the reason for adding red pepper. If this is a good thing I would like to know so I might improve the wee fish's lives while they are in my tanks. .
Number two query> we have at the office a native fish tank. In that tank of fifty five gallons we have three small blue gill sunfish, perch as some so wrongly call the fish around here, and a small channel cat. We replace all of the natives with new ones when they grow too large for the 55 gallon tank.
They move on to an outside pond.
<Sounds good>
The sunfish are not mature as of yet and haven't begun to shred each others fins. Two male and a female. I am sure the extra male will have to be re-routed soon. They are being fed trout chow, worms, crickets and grasshoppers.
<Okay... the Purina product is a bit messy as you likely know... and has a bit too much protein (40% if memory serves), but... >
My question is would the mixed blend that I feed the goldfish suffice for the sunfish.
<Might well do so>
Their feeding is really nasty and I feel that feeding the blended gel food might make things easier to keep clean. They like it but I didn't know if it was enough for the wild fish. I do a fifty per cent tank water change weekly on the 55 gallon.
<A goodly amount>
Third question> a friend gave me a large black Moore. She, my friend, had the fish in a really small tank of five gallons for its, so far, three years. I now have the fish in a thirty gallon quarantine tank by it self before eventually moving it into a 100 gallon tank.
I'll swear the fish, "Tough", seems to be smiling! However the Moore has what resembles two red warts, one on each of it's sides. After research I have not been able to identify the problem. The water is so much better now in the cycled thirty gallon tank than the torture chamber of the wee five gallon. I wish more folks would research and read your information. It was suggested by my vet, (who is not a fish vet by any means however a great small and large animal vet, to remove the fish and apply iodine to the spots. (That seemed some how wrong.) ???????????
<I'd leave these marks be... are likely viral... stress-induced or at least related. May well go w/ time in your good care>
I am thinking after some reading that the spots may have been caused by the fish's water conditions in its small tank. Bless her heart my friend just did what the goof balls at the big chain, no names mentioned, fish store told her to do. They sold her three goldfish and the five gallon tank with a small sponge filter, gravel and plastic plants. She told me she was changing the water three times a week because it smelled so bad. The other two fish died. Both had the red warts. "Tough" survived! How long after the spots disappear, if they do, should I keep the fish in quarantine? I sure could use you input. Thanks Bob
<I'd move this fish soon to its new digs... the likelihood it's got/carrying anything catching is exceedingly small. Cheers, and Stella biers (at Speke's bar at the Sonesta presently), Bob Fenner>

Re: At my wits end with little comet -- 3/3/10
Just a quick question - I ordered new food made with Spirulina as recommended by the website. It arrived today and it says it's for freshwater and marine tropical fish! Is it still ok to give them it?
It's made with 40% Spirulina, 5% garlic, cereals, mollusks, yeasts, oils and fats - called Nutrafin Max.
<Absolutely fine.>
They've been having peas too and all swimming beautifully.
<Cheers, Neale.>

Goldfish Cuisine   2/26/10
Good afternoon:
My goldfish enjoy a varied diet and are exceedingly fond of mashed yams.
but I am a bit concerned about the sugar content.
<Wouldn't worry.>
Is it harmful to occasionally feed vegetables that have a higher sugar content?
<It's fine. I wouldn't use acidic fruits too often, but in small amounts, many fish enjoy even these. As for yams, melon, carrots, sweet potatoes, and other semi-sweet fruits and tubers, they're fine to use as often as you want.>
Can I feed them fruits such as bananas or a bit of baked apple?
I like to try to rotate the foods a bit so that I cover all the vitamins and minerals they need.
<Absolutely. One public aquarium I visited had huge tanks of catfish that seemed to be fed fruit salads! Oranges, bananas, grapes, you name it! Even supposedly predatory catfish enjoyed these things once in a while, and the herbivorous catfish thoroughly enjoyed them, especially when the fruits had gone soft and a bit rotten.>
I currently feed them a range of different veggies as well as high quality flake food, daphnia and Mysis shrimp (not all at once, of course)!
<You're very kind to these fish. Do also try some grains, like cooked rice.
These starchy foods are especially good for herbivorous fish.>
Thank you!
<Cheers, Neale.>

Automatic feeder for refrigerated food? (RMF, Goldfish without pigment in their eyes... come across this?)<<Yes>>  2/16/10
Hello, I hope you can help me.
I have three goldfish: a ten-year old fantail, a 6-year old common, and a 5-year old fantail/common cross. I just got a job that requires me to work second shift, and as a result, I will either be at work or home sleeping during the hours when my fish are accustomed to being fed. I have been researching automatic feeders, but find that ALL automatic fish feeders - including DIY projects- are designed for dry food (flakes, pellets or freeze-dried).
My fish are on a homemade, vegetable-based gel diet. (A result of the hybrid's father, a fantail, being afflicted with constipation, swim bladder issues, and death, several years ago.)
<Easily prevented without the use of automatic feeders.>
I would prefer to keep my fish on the schedule and diet they are accustomed to, but have been unable to find any automatic feeding system that will take wet food. Do you know of anything that would work? Will I need to invent my own? Should I attempt to shift my fish to a 2AM/2PM schedule instead? (Their current routine is 4AM/4PM, with lights out at 7).
<Here's the solution: cheap aquarium plants. Stick a bunch of Elodea in the aquarium. While you're gone, they'll eat this. It's good for them, and contains lots of fibre.>
Or, as much as I hate the idea... should I try to switch them back to commercial feeds.
<Not unless you want to. A mix of plants, gel foods, and a bit of flake would be a fine diet.>
A second question, if I may:
My fantail/common cross has lost a significant amount of pigment in her retinas.
Her father, the afore-mentioned deceased fantail, also had this issue: They started life with normal, black pupils, but at about the age of two years (for both of them) patches of white and pink started to appear in the back of their eyes.
<You're sure this isn't discolouration or damage to the cornea? That's fairly common. I've never seen fish lose pigment inside the eye.>
By the time of Gen's death (Gen being the fantail) both of his eyes were completely pink on the inside.
<How odd!>
The irises remained unchanged in size/color, and the lenses still clear and seated properly. Han (his daughter, the hybrid) still has some patches of black in her eyes, and although I was unable to tell if her father's sight was affected, I can tell Han has gone blind. (Although she can still find food, in a hit-or-miss kind of way, she is no longer as outgoing as she used to be, and is more cautious in the way she navigates around the tank.
Also, if she turns the right way, you can see light shine through her head.)
<That *shouldn't* happen, given the eyeball is surrounded by solid bone.
More likely you're seeing light reflected off the retina or tapetum.>
Pooh, the other fantail, and Molly, the common (Han's mother), are unaffected.
<Albino Goldfish do exist, but they're rarely seen because, frankly, they're delicate, and don't put up with the abuses the vast majority of Goldfish keepers seem to inflict on them.>
I have been trying to find information on this for a few years with no luck. Do you have any ideas?
<None, I'm afraid.><<"Just" good care, mainly water quality and nutrition... RMF>>
Any help you can give will be greatly appreciated.
Thank you,
A. M. Taylor
<Cheers, Neale.>

A Teacher's Job is Never Done, FW sys. maint.   5/16/09
Hi WetWebCrew!
What a Very Excellent Website you Have!!!
If there had been internet invented when I was eight years old and just starting out in aquaria, I would not have had to beg my dad to take me to all those aquarium stores so that I could pick people's brains about ...
(insert troublesome aquatic problem here).
Okay, here's my latest troublesome aquatic problem:
I am a teacher of severe and profoundly handicapped children in an inner city public school. When I came to the school two years ago I was greeted with a sad and sorry 55 gallon aquarium at the top of the main stairs of the two story building.
After acclimating myself to my surroundings, this year I took on the task of rehabilitating this problem that poked my aquarist-eye each time I walked up the stairs to my classroom.
The 55 gallon tank had been there for eight to ten years with an undergravel filter only. The teacher who was "taking care" of the tank did her best but did not have the slightest idea. The tank itself was inhabited by leftover fish from aquatic habitat projects of the fourth and fifth grade science curriculum and stray goldfish from classroom tanks that got dumped when Summer break rolled round.
Okay, so Now that I am (somewhat) influential in my new school so we had a little fundraiser for the aquarium to get this thing off the ground and functioning.
It is now functioning (in spite of the fifth grade teacher who dumped 44 guppies from a local fish store straight into the tank on a Monday morning before I got there - she also had 60 freshwater snails which she put in the quarantine tank that I had set up)
*Talk About An Aquarium Nightmare!*
So now we have a 55 gallon freshwater tank inhabited by three of the cutest fancy goldfish that you have ever had the pleasure to meet - a red cap Oranda, a bright red Oranda, a calico Fantail with a couple of sparkles, a Pleco (thankfully staying small) and asstd. guppies, but not many. Two 10 gallon tanks flank the 55 gallon for teachers who need to have eco projects or whatever (Just do NOT put them in the big tank!!). The children are fascinated and creating tank backgrounds and stopping daily to visit. The goldfish are so social - I KNOW they miss the children when the weekends come!
My problem is this:
It is May and Summer Break is upon us. My cute goldfish are doing very well in their 55 gallon tank with Elodea so they are fine for the weekends when I am away and they do not have children to play with and me to be there everyday, doing what we all do, as aquarists. I have no problem driving in and taking care of them once a week. But I am not necessarily happy with the idea of the custodians feeding them over Summer break and I am thinking I might take these three very cute goldfish home for the Summer.
But they are in city water and I have (very nice) well water. It is hard water, but so is our city water. Should I start bringing my well water to school and acclimating that way? Do I have anything to worry about? I have kept aquaria for years in my well water and I have not had to do anything except buffer it a little because of the hardness (I have African Cichlids at home and they like the hard water).
What do you think?
<Hello! The short answer is that either city water or well water will likely be fine. Goldfish enjoy much the same conditions as Rift Valley cichlids (what I assume you mean by African cichlids) -- namely hard, alkaline water. Of course Goldfish prefer slightly cooler water conditions, around 18-22 C/86-72 F being ideal. Feeding Goldfish during vacations is actually very simple: hide away all the flake/pellet foods, and simply dump as much Elodea in the tank as you want. They can easily survive grazing this stuff for a couple of months. Depends on the temperature a bit: the cooler the tank, the less they eat, and here in England Goldfish don't eat at all during winter when kept outdoors. Plecs and Guppies will need warmer water than Goldfish, which is why I'm not wild about mixing these species, though many people do. These two species will be more difficult to maintain in terms of feeding, since Guppies at least need daily feeding or else access to a good growth of green algae. Plecs are more or less similar, though sliced vegetables can keep them going a good few days without problems. Hope this helps, Neale.> 
Re: A Teacher's Job is Never Done  5/16/09

Thank you Neale!
The part of your response I like the best is the hiding of the flake and pellet foods. I think I will need to wean my little goldfish puppies from this treat as we go into the Summer Break. It is just so much fun for the kids to get to "feed" the fish so they (the fish) rely on it a bit too much. I will start bringing blanched greens and peas.
Thanks So Much for your Support!
<Happy to have been of help, and I hope your fish do well over the summer.
Good luck! Neale.>  

Veggie Clip Use, GF fdg. (also, mixing Fancy Goldfish varieties) 5/4/2009
I have a fairly new, 26 gal. system (5 weeks)and a large Chocolate Oranda about 2x4 in., I had a smaller one and lost him, I think due to diet from all I have read as I was only feeding flake food, by the time I knew about feeding peas and such it was too late for him. I started feeding my remaining Oranda one pea a day and pellet or flake food for the second feeding.
<Sounds great.>
Yesterday I purchased a veggie clip, put a small piece of peeled zucchini in this and he loved it....anyway, The little glutton has just about eat that small piece as I left it in there. How long can I leave this in and can I
give him this on a reg. basis?
<You can leave plant food in the tank as long as you want. It won't harm water quality. By all means pipette out (turkey basters are ideal) any bits that are messing up the tank visually, but otherwise, don't worry about it.
It's a good idea to have some thing green for these fish to nibble on 365 days of the year. If you can't manage that, don't worry. Just so long as your Goldies get some greens two or three times a week, they're fine.>
I guess My main question would be what would you consider a well balance diet for a large choc. Oranda?
<Difficult to say, because they're total omnivores, like humans, and adapt to most anything within moderation. It's when we give them *just* dried foods things go wrong. I'd say 2-3 days of flake/pellets, and the rest green foods would be about right. But feel free to mix it up a little. If you're away on vacation, dump some Elodea (pondweed) in the tank, and leave your Goldfish to graze on that for 2 weeks. He'd be just fine on that.>
I want to get him a friend when the local shop get some more. I didn't realize they would be so hard to come by.
<Some of Fancy Goldfish can be hard to track down! But good pet shops should be able to order in specific fish for you. By all means mix varieties, provided you keep varieties that are similar in boisterousness and swimming ability. I'd consider single-tail Goldfish best kept together (Standards, Comets, Shubunkins) and apart from Fancy Goldfish. Within the Fancy Goldfish, the "hardy" Fancy varieties like Moors and Fantails work well together, but the more "delicate" varieties such as Orandas, Ryukins and the like are better mixed-and-matched amongst their own kind. The really delicate Fancies, such as Celestials, Bubble-eyes and Ranchu are difficult to mix, and do best in single variety tanks.>
He is a beautiful orange and black named "smooch" as he will eat from my fingers!
<How sweet!>
Thanks for any advice!
<Cheers, Neale.>

Food and health problem  11/07/08 Hello dear Neale, How are you? Hope so you will be fine there. Neale my two red caps are eating the live plant but my black moor is not eating that live plant (Cabomba). What should I do now? Neale I have 2 feet aquarium of 22 gallon and in which my one red cap is 3.2 inch and one is 4 inch and black moor is 3 inch. I want to ask that can I introduce one or two more goldfish with them or not? I feel that my tank is empty with three of them. Thank you Ali <Hi Ali. Leave the Black Moor hungry! He will eat the plants eventually!  Also try cooked peas, rice, boiled spinach and other plant foods. He'll eat something from that list, I'm sure. I would not add any more Goldfish to your tank. For a start, you've already had problems over the recent weeks with fish. So it is ALWAYS a good idea to leave the tank running for a couple of months to see if everything is OK. Also, your SMALL fish will soon be BIG fish, and better to have 3 happy, healthy Goldfish than 4 or 5 unhealthy ones! Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Food and health problem 11/08/08
Hello dear Neale, Thank you for your reply, I will leave the black moor hungry now I would not give them flake food. I will not introduce any other fish to my aquarium now.  When ever I gave them cooked peas black moor feel very difficulty to find them. Neale can guide me that what is dropsy and swim bladder? and what are there reasons? Because I feel that most the fish that I have lost just because of them. Thank You Ali <Ali, Black Moors can have difficulty finding food when sharing a tank with other, faster Goldfish species. That is why usually people do not mix "regular" Goldfish (varieties with normal, single tails) and fancy Goldfish (varieties with double, "fan" tails). As for Dropsy and Swim Bladder Disease, both are usually symptoms of underlying problems. Dropsy is nothing less than organ failure, and usually comes from poor environmental conditions. Swim Bladder Disease in Goldfish is usually not a "disease" as such, but a symptom of constipation and poor diet. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/dropsyfaqs.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshmalnut.htm Cheers, Neale.>

Goldfish; diet   8/19/08 Hi I have a black moor goldfish a shubunkin and a Oranda in a 36 gallon tank and I wanted to feed carrots and sweet peas for treats a couple times a week should I cook the carrots and peas or right out of the can if I should cook them how should I do it. boil or microwave. Thanks <Tinned peas can be used right out the can; other vegetables should be either zapped in the micro or blanched in boiling water so they're soft but not mushy (if they're too soft, they'll fall apart in the water). Feel free to experiment! If you overcook the carrots or whatever and they go in the filter, no big deal because they contain little protein and won't harm the water quality. Do be sure you read the article on Floaty, Bloaty Goldfish (if you haven't already): http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWsubwebindex/gldfshmalnut.htm Cheers, Neale.>

Lethargic calico goldfish, system unsuitably small, nutrition lacking, water unlivable nitrate-wise...  06/06/2008 Hi WWM Crew, I have a calico goldfish, Flash, that I have had for about a year and five months. Flash is living in a ten gallon tank with a fantail, Ginger, that I got two weeks ago. <... need more room than this> Both fish are about 2 inches. They've been getting along just fine, but in the past week and a half Flash has been very lethargic. He stays at the top of the tank and his fins droop and kind of fold over (especially tail). He seems to swim okay, but sort of floats up sometimes. Ginger appears normal. When I feed Flash, his appetite is still normal. I changed 25% of the water last on May 26. <I would do this weekly> I tested the water levels: nitrate=20-40, <Much too high... polluted> nitrite=0-.5, <Must be zero> total hardness=150-300, alkalinity=120-180, and pH=7.2-7.8 (ran out of test strips, but last week ammonia=0). Also, before I got Ginger I had another calico, Lightning, living with Flash. Awhile after Lightning died, Flash sat at the bottom of the tank (depression after Lightning died?), <Perhaps> but he could swim just fine to eat. Once Ginger arrived, Flash didn't sit on the bottom anymore. Could Flash sitting on the bottom previously have anything to do with his problem now? <Mmm, yes...> Before I got Ginger, I was feeding Flash "Jack's Aquarium & Pets Goldfish Flakes" twice a day. <... need more than this dried food...> Lightning was sitting on the bottom, so I thought he might have been constipated; I decided to feed Lightning and Flash just once a day. After Lightning died, I continued to feed Flash once a day. Could his weak, lethargic behavior now be a result from me feeding him only half as much as before? <Maybe a contributing factor> Just today, I realized that some of Flash's waste was white (a little see-through) and kind of stringy. This is the longest I've ever had a goldfish and I want to keep him healthy! Thanks for your time and can you please help me?! <Oh yes... can and will> PS-Just a little more info: Over the past several years I've had several goldfish. Only two are in the tank at a time because ten gallons is pretty small. <Really impractical... too small to be stable, stay relatively unpolluted twixt maintenance on filters, dilution of wastes via water changes... Had you read...> Most of these fish died the same way. They'd float at the top for around a week, and then would lie on the ground on their sides and would die soon following this stage. None of these fish were around more than a year. Do you think there's just something wrong with the water I dechlorinate from the tap? <... Please start here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm and onto the linked files above. Your system is unsuitably small, nutrition lacking, water unlivable nitrate-wise... Bob Fenner>

Re: calico won't eat 06/06/2008 Hi again WWM Crew, I just sent you an email on June 5 about my lethargic calico goldfish, Flash. I told you he still had an appetite; he doesn't anymore. Because Flash seemed weak, I decided to try to feed him a few fish flakes tonight. The flakes passed right in front of Flash, but he refused to eat them. I'm getting worried! Again, thanks for your time, and please get back to me as soon as possible! <... reading. B>

Re: lethargic calico goldfish 6/6/08 Hi WWM Crew, I just wanted to thank you for getting back to me so quickly. You gave me wonderful advice, and I'm going to start using it immediately! Very sadly, Flash passed away last night. I guess it was just too late, but with your advice I know I can keep Ginger healthy! Thanks again, Annemarie <And happy I hope/trust! Cheers, BobF>

Do goldfish need less food when they are older than 1 year? -05/07/08 Dear WWMC, You have a very informative site - thanks for all the effort that evidently goes into it. It's great to see such a wealth of experience about goldfish in particular. <Thanks for the kind words.> I have a query that I did not find an answer to on the site (though I did find a lot of interesting information): how do goldfish nutritional requirements change with age? <Doesn't change dramatically, though yes, bigger fish eat less food relative to their body size than smaller fish. This is in fact true across the animal kingdom. While elephants eat a lot, in terms of percentage of body weight, that food is much much less than what a mouse eats.> I have 3 fantail goldfish in a 30 gallon tank, along with a couple of Siamese algae eaters and some white cloud minnows. Everyone is peaceful and I never see the goldfish chasing the others, though they are now much larger. The tank is heavily planted, mainly with fast-growing, low-light things. <Hope this tank is warmed somehow: Siamese Algae Eaters (Crossocheilus siamensis) is a tropical fish and needs water at 24-26 C, slightly more than Goldfish like. Not a combination I'd have recommended, though viable.> The goldfish came to me when they were about 1 inch long, about 10 months ago. Two are now 3-4 inches and the third is more like 2-3 inches. The smallest seems to have a deformity in his mouth that stops him from opening it fully, so I think he gets less food than the others, but he is active and seems cheerful, so I leave him be, because I don't think there is anything I can do about his mouth anyway. <Mouth deformities are common in Goldfish, and as you say, they seem to manage.> My goldies get Hikari goldfish pellets and a variety of flake foods (different brands), they get some of the smaller pellets I put in for the white clouds (a community pellet mix), and they also have raw lettuce, duckweed, azolla (these they will eat until it's all gone) and the live plants in the tank. They love hygro, ambulia and similar plants, but they also seem to eat pretty much anything, including anubias, java fern, crypts and other things they are not supposed to like much. One thing they are surprisingly not so keen on is elodea, so lots of that is growing in my tank at the moment. <Perhaps less tasty than the rest of the (excellent) salad bar you're offering them.> I've also fed them sinking algae pellets from time to time, but not often recently, as I think they are getting enough. <Probably enjoyed by the Crossocheilus siamensis.> I have so far always fed my goldfish plenty, up to three times a day. This partly because it amuses them (and me) and partly because I hope that by keeping them well fed they will wreak less destruction on the plants. In the past when they have gotten hungry they have destroyed many plants, so I try to avoid that because I want the plants to keep growing well to beautify the tank and improve the water quality. <Provided there are plants in the tanks, your fish won't go hungry. So perhaps the way to work things is to establish the minimum amount of flake/pellet food needed such that your plants are basically left alone.> Lately, however, I have had trouble controlling the nitrate levels in the water (my target is less than 20ppm, but I have trouble keeping it there). I have been experimenting with feeding the tank less often or less food at a feed. Yesterday I even went an evening without feeding them. To my surprise this morning, there was no great plant destruction. They must have been hungrier than usual, but they hadn't then uprooted everything in sight. This is really unusual, and rather a nice surprise for me, actually. <Temperature is a critical issue I suspect: in warm water, Goldfish metabolism rises, and they become much hungrier. If the tank was allowed to stay cool, around 15-18 C, you couldn't keep the Crossocheilus siamensis of course, but the other fish would be fine and would eat much less food.> Could it be that my goldies are entering a phase where they need less food or are less driven by hunger to explore/destroy everything in the tank? They can't be at their maximum size yet, surely - they have good water quality, good nutrition and an interesting tank, so I expected the larger two to reach 6 inches at least before they stop growing. I am wondering whether maybe the first year or so is a time when goldfish do eat more and get hungrier when they aren't eating. If so, maybe I can look forward to being able to put more interesting plants in the tank and have them survive long enough to get rooted in and start to thrive - that would be nice :) Much as I like elodea, I don't really want the whole tank full of only that. <Goldfish growth rate *is* fastest when they are small, but it otherwise carries on regardless of age, so that the older the Goldfish, the bigger it is. Temperature and diet both feed into this though.> So, can you please tell me, how do goldfish nutritional requirements change in their first couple of years or with their first few inches? (Or maybe the right question is how does goldfish plant destroying change in their first couple of years?) <Essentially this: give them easier alternatives to the live plants. Try Sushi Nori for example, or blanched curly lettuce and see what happens.> Thanks very much, Helen <Good luck, Neale.>

Re: Do goldfish need less food when they are older than 1 year? 05/08/08 Dear Neale, or whoever is reading this one. Thank you very much for your useful information and sensible suggestions. <You're welcome.> Just to remove your worry on a point: I live in a relatively warm climate (Melbourne, Australia) and the tank is heated by the lights and the surrounding air. I only added the crossocheilus siamensis when I realized that the temperature never drops below about 23.5 and is usually slightly higher than that. I have a heater in there, just in case, but I doubt it ever turns on, except possibly in the dead of night in winter. <Ok.> My problem is much more how to keep the tank cool in summer. I start to worry when the water gets near 29 or 30 degrees (this when the outside temperature is 38 or more and we can't keep our unairconditioned flat cooler than about 30), but actually the goldfish seemed fine this summer, despite my worry. I use all the tricks I know: loads of aeration, moving the cover so there is airflow over the top of the water, keeping the lighting period to a minimum and to the cooler times of the day and, when I'm desperate, putting frozen bottles of water into the tank. They survived their first summer just fine, so I'll be less worried next year. <One old trick is to freeze a couple of litre-sized ice cream cartons (or similar) filled with water. Place in the aquarium when it gets very hot. But at some point, a chiller becomes more cost effective. A low-tech solution is an old "mini bar" fridge. Drill a couple of holes in it, and then buy a few metres of aquarium hose. Wind the hose a few times in the fridge, and then place the ends so they poke out the two holes. Connect the hose to the outlet from the canister filter, so that the water is pushed through the coils of hose. In theory, this system can knock a few degrees off the heat. Perhaps not as good as a real chiller, but cheap and cheerful.> Anyway, thanks again for your excellent work! Helen <Good luck, Neale.>

Re: Do goldfish need less food when they are older than 1 year? 05/08/08 Dear Neale, or whoever is reading this one. Thank you very much for your useful information and sensible suggestions. <You're welcome.> Just to remove your worry on a point: I live in a relatively warm climate (Melbourne, Australia) and the tank is heated by the lights and the surrounding air. I only added the crossocheilus siamensis when I realized that the temperature never drops below about 23.5 and is usually slightly higher than that. I have a heater in there, just in case, but I doubt it ever turns on, except possibly in the dead of night in winter. <Ok.> My problem is much more how to keep the tank cool in summer. I start to worry when the water gets near 29 or 30 degrees (this when the outside temperature is 38 or more and we can't keep our unairconditioned flat cooler than about 30), but actually the goldfish seemed fine this summer, despite my worry. I use all the tricks I know: loads of aeration, moving the cover so there is airflow over the top of the water, keeping the lighting period to a minimum and to the cooler times of the day and, when I'm desperate, putting frozen bottles of water into the tank. They survived their first summer just fine, so I'll be less worried next year. <One old trick is to freeze a couple of litre-sized ice cream cartons (or similar) filled with water. Place in the aquarium when it gets very hot. But at some point, a chiller becomes more cost effective. A low-tech solution is an old "mini bar" fridge. Drill a couple of holes in it, and then buy a few metres of aquarium hose. Wind the hose a few times in the fridge, and then place the ends so they poke out the two holes. Connect the hose to the outlet from the canister filter, so that the water is pushed through the coils of hose. In theory, this system can knock a few degrees off the heat. Perhaps not as good as a real chiller, but cheap and cheerful.> Anyway, thanks again for your excellent work! Helen <Good luck, Neale.>

Anacharis in aquariums, and as food for goldfish  2/29/08 Hi! Just wanted to let you know that Anacharis is no longer being sold in Michigan. It's illegal because of the invasive nature of the plant. I found that out when looking for a good plant to help a year-old goldfish which has developed a swim bladder problem. He was in a pond from spring - fall and did well, but has had problems in the aquarium since then. (I do feed 'sinking' pellets as well as flakes.) So far, Sunkist is the only one who has had tummy troubles, and I'm hoping to keep it that way! So glad I found this website, it has loads of good information! Thanks, Karen <If you can't get hold of Anacharis, then other similar species will do well -- Elodea, Egeria, Cabomba, etc. Plants *are* important for Goldfish, and neglecting this aspect of their diet will end with problems! Other green foods include tinned peas, blanched lettuce (especially curly lettuce), Sushi Nori, etc. Daphnia also work well, and you can buy these frozen as well as live. Pellets and flakes, by themselves, just aren't good enough in the long term. Cheers, Neale.>

Mixing Tropical and Goldfish Foods   1/9/08 Dear WetWebMedia, I have a goldfish and some coldwater tropical fish in one tank. I feed a mixture of tropical and goldfish foods. Is it okay if the goldfish eat some tropical by accident and the tropical fish eat of goldfish food by accident, because some sites say that you have to make sure goldfish are eating goldfish food. Thanks! Pierre < Goldfish need more fiber in their diet than other fish. If the goldfish get too much protein and get stressed there is the potential for them to get bloat. The other fish won't grow as fast on the goldfish food.-Chuck>

Re: Goldfish Food Vs Regular Fish Food 1/9/08 Thanks for the reply, I just wanted to make sure it was okay if they were eating some of each other's foods. What if I give them other supplements and foods goldfish and the other fish can eat like cooked peas, frozen and freeze-dried brine shrimp and worms, and such? < Feeding your fish a varied diet is a good idea.> Can that give them enough nutrition? The goldfish doesn't look stressed, he has been swimming around happily and isn't afraid of me or anyone else, in fact, I think he knows when he is about to get food. The other fish likes to follow the goldfish around. I believe they are friends since they like each other's company. <Goldfish usually forage around the bottom of tank and get lots of vegetable matter in their diet. Other fish need more meat because they may thrive on a diet of insects instead of the plant matter that the goldfish need. If the goldfish gets too much protein it may plug up the goldfish's long intestinal tract. The goldfish stirs up the bottom of the tank and exposes potential food item for the other fish to eat.-Chuck>

Redcap Oranda problem  11/6/07 Hello, I have a red cap Oranda named snookums for about a year now and is quite healthy and just recently ive noticed the large red cap growth has grown to an extent where it covers the top of its head completely. it also has some kind of clear tissue/membrane growth by its cheeks which doesn't look like any disease at all but looks more like parts of its face... my question and concern is that the membrane by its cheeks is slowly growing and beginning to creep near its eyes. what would be the best thing or method to counter that? <Mmm, there are times, folks who advocate some sort of surgical removal... I do not... I would just wait, allow the fish to develop other senses to finding its way about, food...> ive seen a picture of it in a book (cant remember the title) where they would use a scalpel and remove the membrane quickly while the fish is out of the water for a few seconds? <Yes> I know this sounds barbaric, but they mentioned that this is the only thing that can be done to save it. <Can, will adapt as is...> this is exactly what happened to my brothers goldfish until it was too late and the fish couldn't see where it would swim too, then it just stayed in one place helpless... I really don't want this to happen to my fish, so any help would be appreciated. thanks in advance, Ryan <Try to not worry, anthropomorphize... All will likely be fine. Bob Fenner>

Goldfish - fussy eaters?  9/20/07 Hi there, My two Orandas tend to spit out their flake food more often than not so I changed to pellets but they still spit these out too. Any advice would be welcome. Thanks. Sue <Hello Sue. Goldfish aren't fussy feeders, but like any fish they'll get bored with the same food day in, day out. Flake and pellet foods are, perhaps surprisingly, not even a particularly good food for them. Raiding the kitchen for green scraps is actually rather better, as is dumping in some pondweed every couple of weeks to let them "browse the salad bar" naturally. Goldfish are, fundamentally, herbivores that feed on algae and decaying plant material in the wild, so high protein foods like pellets just aren't necessary -- any more than humans, also largely herbivores originally, really need t-bone steaks every night! In fact your goldfish really needs a diet a lot like a perfect human diet: lots of vegetables and salad, a bit of starch, and a little bit of protein. There's a nice article on goldfish diet here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshmalnut.htm . That should give you some ideas of what to try. Mix up their diet, so every day is different, and you'll soon find your goldies not only enjoy their food more, but will also be healthier, more active, and longer lived! Best of all, feeding them greens is cheap 'n' easy! And if setting aside some greens for your pets encourages you to eat more greens as well, so much the better! Cheers, Neale.
Re: Goldfish - fussy eaters?  7/21/07
Thank you Neale for getting back to me, I shall try as you suggested with varied 'greens'. Your site is excellent and I have learnt a lot more over the last few days. My story is: I have kept fish for quite a few years, I've always had a large tank, 4ft long and never overcrowded (about 6-8 fish or so) so had not encountered any previous problems. When my last fish died a few months back I decided to go for a smaller tank (the 4' was really too large for my room). I bought my tank from my local aquatic shop (where I have always gone to), it is roughly 37 litres, (yes, my 4' left little room for me!) set it up, left it 7 days, took a water sample to the shop, they tested it, said it was ok so I chose 2 Orandas. They are quite small at the moment. The fish seemed fine for the first couple of days then one just lay on the bottom and the other hid behind the filter. This is when I contacted you because I noticed they spat out their food too. I have spent hours reading your various bulletin boards on your site and I will not be adding any more fish (although my local shop said it could have up to 4 goldfish + small (ones). So on advice from your site I have being doing water changes, approx 30% (with dechlorinator) for the past few days, I have also added an airstone and bought some testing strips and my nitrite levels are almost down to 0. Nitrate is about 20/30. My two fish seem happier (not so lethargic) but now I think (or know) one of my Orandas has whitespot. I have bought some med (Protozin) which have first used today. Will I be able to overcome this problem - I will definitely not be adding any more fish - I shall maintain water monitoring/testing and changes. I'd be glad of any further comments. Your site should be read by all fishkeepers - I never had any problems before with my 4' tank but was obviously ignorant about downsizing. Thanks Sue <Hello Sue. Protozin is a pretty versatile medication, but the last time I used it to get rid of a stubborn outbreak of whitespot it didn't work, whereas eSHa EXIT worked perfectly. To be fair on Protozin, it was an old bottle I'd had lying around for literally years, so it may simply have been life expired. On the other hand, there is a "super whitespot" doing the rounds here in the UK that not all whitespot medications get first time. So if you find Protozin doesn't help, try eSHa EXIT. All this said, once you have the nitrites down to zero, your fish should pep right up, and once this outbreak of whitespot is dealt with they should be largely trouble-free. Most diseases start because either the filter is immature or else someone added new fish to the tank. Now, a 37 litre tank is pretty small (for our American readers, it's a shade under 10 US gallons). Your problem is that there's no such thing as a "small goldfish" whatever the retailer says. All goldfish get fairly big when mature, and they don't "grow to the size of the tank" either. Orandas are among the more stocky varieties, so you can comfortably expect these fish to get to about 20 cm in length and almost as much in depth. In other words, a fish about the size and shape of side plate. Hold one of those against your aquarium and you'll see where I'm going with this...! Long term, these fish will really need something around 100 litres in size. These tanks have a footprint of about 80 cm by 40 cm by 40 cm. You may of course decide to give away the goldfish when they start getting too big, but by that time I'd imagine you would have become attached to your pets (and they, of course, to you!). I hope this helps, Neale>

Feeding my fantails, general care ect <no such word... etc>.... sys.    8/30/07 First of I just want to let ya'll know you have a wonderfully helpful website. I've had my fish since march (sons bday present) I have a calico fantail, an orange??? fantail with a black mustache, and a black moor, and two little maybe inch long sucker fish of some sort, not pleckys... <And I do hope not a Chinese Algae Eater... Gyrinocheilus aymonieri... please take the time to search the Net, WWM re... not safe to keep with goldfish> Hopefully living comfortably in a 29 gallon tank, <Four fancy goldfish... will need more room than this in time... I have four in a ninety> that's all i can afford for now, next mission is a 55 gallon... right now i have a veggie clip in their tank that always has lettuce or spinach in it since I am unsuccessful in growing aquarium plants, i feed them aprox 7 peas split in half per day, and flakes <Look into more nutritious pellets... I use Spectrum... with great success> on Sunday only. I don't know specifics on the filter but it is the kind you hang on the back of the tank, and i have a gravel aerator?...I change 30% water once a week, and clean out the gravel w/ water change. <All this sounds good> If it weren't for ya'll I'd be completely fish illiterate, everything in my tank seems to be fine, but they seem kinda lazy, they do swim around and suck on the rocks and drive me nuts but their are periods thru out the day that they just kinda go with the flow, sometimes i wonder if their tank is too warm? <Mmm, this is generally just the nature of goldfish...> would that make them lazy? it stays pretty consistent at 72-76, I don't have a light on their tank, but i wonder if they should be closer to more natural light, they are approx 50 ft from the closest window and get no sun from the back of their tank, besides the little that shows thru from the bathroom. <I would add some simple normal output fluorescent for your viewing pleasure> Ohhh and i wondered about my little orange guy/girl, the dorsal fin seems to have a curve to it... i guess i associated it to captivity cause when i seen it it reminded me of what happens to a whales fin in captivity where it starts to slump over, it can be picked up straight but when she/he is at rest it just kinda slumps over... well i guess all info is more than what i know right now...lol! <Is likely genetic...> thanks for all the great advise <advice> from the site... Keep up the great work ~Briana <Thank you... we're trying. Bob Fenner>

Re: Daughter's Goldfish, help... fdg.  -- 08/17/07 Well, Thunder looks better and is living higher up in the tank...away from the bottom. There is nothing IN the tank with him, I threw it all out the other night, having understood the gravel and such was a bad idea <Mmm, no... not necessarily. Is often useful for providing needed biological filter area...> .....we are going away for the weekend. Do you think he'll survive if we leave him, should we bring him, should we get a neighbor in to feed him??? Again, you rock. Thanks. Annie <I would NOT feed this fish over the weekend... NOR provide "vacation food" in its system... BobF>

Goldfish Questions (Black moor), sys., fdg.    5/27/07 Hello Again! <<Hi, Megan. Tom here.>> After enjoying the company of my new black moors (had them for approximately four weeks), I have come up with several questions. <<Okay.>> 1. What is the reason for having the timed light source?  What happens if it is on 24/7?  (Other than wasting electricity!) <<Fish, like people, need 'down time', i.e. sleep/rest. Leaving the lights on 24/7, for example, doesn't replicate a 'normal' day/night evolution for them. They can become 'sleep deprived', in a way. Stressful, to say the least. Since most all homes/dwellings will receive at least some daylight, it would be better to leave the tank lights off all the time rather than the other way around. (Still not a good idea but I think you can see my point.) In addition, limiting the amount of light that the tank is exposed to helps to keep algae growth contained. Many folks who just can't seem to get this under control are successful once they learn to limit the period of time that the lights are on for the tank.>> 2.  Of the two fish, one tends to stare into a plant for approximately 1/2 hour intervals.  The other fish will sometimes brush against him, or nudge him (no more aggressive behavior since the introduction of silk plants!), and then he will act like a normal goldfish, but he seems to just "zone out" in the same spot with this plant.  Is this something to be concerned about?  The other fish seems extremely happy, and has not shown any behavior like this.  Could it be an eye problem?  (Eyes appear clear from a side view, with yellow/white irises.)  He can easily locate food - in comparison to the unaffected fish - and swims with no difficulty.  What could it be? <<He may be doing exactly what you suggest, 'zoning out'. Kind of a fish version of a cat nap. I wouldn't be concerned about this unless he starts hiding or locating himself at the top or bottom of the tank. He may just be tired and finds this 'restful'.>> 3.  Finally - food!  I have been feeding them a variety of spinach, peas, and the general flake goldfish food, and I have tried not to overfeed them, however, how much do you feed a goldfish with large eyes?  According to the rule, feed a goldfish the amount equivalent to his eye - but the volume, or surface area? <<Here's where we could end up with 'fat' Black Moors or Bubble Eye Goldfish! This 'rule of thumb' references the volume of the eyeball, not the entire anatomical structure around it. Keep in mind that Goldfish, in the wild, are constantly looking for greenery, such as algae, to feed on so this admonition isn't so much directed at how much they'll consume (provided it's appropriate food) as how much they'll 'miss'. Goldfish will certainly 'scavenge' for morsels that got away but are, generally, pretty messy eaters. What gets missed when they're fed too much will only contribute to the overall 'messiness' of these animals. Keeping their diets well-regulated will go a long way toward controlling eliminated waste, uneaten food and the amount of ammonia excreted through their gills, which is how they get rid of it rather than through their waste.>>   Again, thanks for the help!   Megan <<You're more than welcome. Tom>>

Confused with stringy white poop answers and questions, Goldfish sys./hlth., fdg.   5/12/07 Hi WWM crew, <Greetings.> I currently own 2 fantail goldfish, 1 being 4" long; YJ and the other 1 1/2" long; Brandy, both excluding the tail. I have had YJ for over a year now and she is doing wonderfully well (ie: extremely active and always begging for food =) She even puts up with me petting her whenever I feed her). She used to live in a small tank on her own and 2 months ago, when I decided to get her a bigger tank, I also decided to get her a friend (Brandy). <Goldfish are indeed sociable, and respond positively to having tankmates of their own kind as well as affection from their owners.> They both live in a 10 gallon tank (which I've now found out is not big enough, after reading your website). <Indeed. Realistically, you want something 30 gallons plus. Goldfish routinely reach around 25-30 cm in length, and at that size need more swimming space than 10 or 20 gallon tanks provide.> I use an under-gravel filter. <Which is fine, provided you maintain it properly, specifically give it a good stir with a rod of some sort each couple of weeks and then siphon out the gunk along with the water. Do a 50% water change weekly.> I currently don't do any checks on the nitrate/ ammonia etc levels as I wasn't told to when I first got the tank and still have no idea how to go about this. Will this seriously effect their quality of life? <Long term/short term? Short term you'll probably be fine. Lots of people manage to keep fish without test kits. But in the long term, being able to monitor things like pH and nitrite is very, VERY helpful when things go wrong. 90% of problems with fish come down to the wrong water chemistry or poor water quality. Even things caused by obvious pathogens (like whitespot/ick) are usually provoked by changes (declines) in water quality. If you're cheap like me, go buy the dip-stick test kits. Here in the UK they're around 10 pounds for 25 tests. But better yet, you can slice them down the middle with a scalpel or scissors and make twice as many tests! Each one has colour pads indicating multiple tests including water chemistry ones and water quality ones. While not as accurate as traditional test kits, their price/convenience factor is very high.> I do 1/4 tank water changes every 1 1/2 to 2 weeks. <Not enough. Do twice as much, weekly. While you might see this as more work, in the long term it massively reduces the hassle factor by helping keep the aquarium cleaner and the fish healthier than otherwise.> When I first got Brandy, I assumed it was a female as it was quite round and heavy in the belly although I am not very sure of this anymore. <Sexing goldfish is essentially impossible until they start spawning. Swelling in the belly by females and the appearances of "tubercles" on the head of the males are the clues.> This is because a couple of weeks ago, to my surprise and delight, YJ spawned! =) So now I'm assuming that Brandy is in fact a male, which YJ knew from the start although he was too young to do anything about it. <Not quite sure this is how it works. Are you sure the eggs aren't snail eggs? Very common mistake. Fish eggs are small things about 1 mm across and laid separately usually on leaves. Snail eggs are in lumps of jelly and form small masses around 5-10 mm long and often appear on the glass. Anyway, fish don't usually release eggs unless actively spawning with a male. With goldfish, which spawn first when between 2-4 year old, courtship is very vigorous and difficult to ignore. Much chasing and splashing!> My main question is, however, is if Brandy has internal parasites. Just today, I noticed that there was white stringy poop on the bottom of the tank (and I'm assuming it's from Brandy as the thickness of the poop is rather thin, compared to YJ's, whose poop is usually thicker). <Probably fine. Internal parasites are far less common than people think. The best sign of parasites is rapid emaciation, that is, however much the fish eats, it gets thinner. Differences in the texture of the faeces are more about dietary factors than parasites.> The thing is, I've searched your website for answers to this question and I'm starting to get a little confused as to what it could be as most of the responses say that it MAY be internal parasites, although not necessarily. I'm also starting to think that maybe Brandy isn't round and heavy in the belly but bloated due to the internal parasites? <Fancy goldfish are notoriously difficult to diagnose in this regard because they have such mutated shapes. The deformities bred into them make it difficult to tell "normal" from "abnormal" body shape. If a fish is loaded with internal (gut) parasites such as worms, the body cavity will be swollen but typically the fish will also lose swimming ability too. This may be deliberate on the part of the parasite, since it "wants" the fish to be eaten by a predator so the parasite can make its way into the next host in its life cycle. If your fish is swimming and feeding normally, then chances are it is fine.> Both of them seem fine and are eating well. I feed them JBL Goldperls and some thawed peas every time I do a water change. <Try varying the diet a little more. Goldfish are omnivores and respond positively to as mixed diet as possible. Lean towards plant material, and use meaty foods sparingly. I'd suggest a ratio of 4 parts plant food to one part animal (or flake) food. Floating plants are a convenient way to start here, using things like Elodea. Skip feeding them once or twice a week and the goldfish will nibble contentedly on this stuff. Because these foods are low protein but high fibre, they "fill up" the goldfish nicely, keeping its guts nice and clean. Goldfish are essentially similar to humans in dietary needs, more veggies, less meat being the key to good health. You can raid your salad bowl for goldfish food, too. Most anything green leafy is good for them. Have a read of this: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshmalnut.htm > I'm very concerned about them, although this may seem like a small matter to others as I've grown very attached to both of them and I don't want them to be sick, not even slightly. <An excellent attitude!> Your help and advice is very much appreciated. Sincerely, Phylicia <Cheers, Neale>

Feeding Peas to Goldfish (& Other Fish Too!)  5/7/07 Dear sir/madam, <Pufferpunk/Jeni here today, I'm a madam.> I have read a lot about the benefits to feeding peas to goldfish to help their digestive system. <Absolutely> Do the peas have to be crushed once they have been skinned or can they be put into the tank whole? I have a image of a whole pea stuck inside a little fantail!!! <Depending on the size of the fish, either way is fine, as long as you defrost them 1st.  Also, try algae wafers. ~PP> Thanks for your help, Chris Stone

Goldfish feeding  3/29/07 Hi, How long do you keep the sushi Nori, lettuce or spinach on the veggie clip. <It's safe until it disintegrates really. Minimal protein, so not much effect on water quality in terms of ammonia/nitrites. But when it starts to look messy, pull it out, just to save it going in the filter and clogging it up. Your weekly water change is the time to siphon out any crud you missed that might be hiding in the gravel.> Do you need to change it daily? What if the fishes don't eat all of it in a given day. <Most fish won't eat their greens on the first day; they like it softened up a little. I find by the second day they're enjoying it, and by the third, it's time to throw the greens out and put some more in. Also try vegetarian ("livebearer") flake food; usually made with Spirulina algae, and makes a good green food for omnivorous fish generally.> thanks <Your welcome, Neale> Carole Gauthier

Goldfish, trouble... env., nutr... both?  2/1/07 Hello. I'm a beginner fish caretaker. And I have a number of problems. My fantail, Charles, is not doing too well. I got him about 3 months ago and he seemed fine up until about a week ago, when I started to notice rips in his fins. <From?> A day went by and his condition got worse (lethargy, floats at the top on his side) <Env., nutr.?> I separated him from the other fish to treat him. I gave him some Melafix, bought him some new food, and feed him peas. Now, in his hospital tank, he is looking worse. He's bloated, floating on his side, lethargic. I really want to save him, but I don't know what else to do! My other problem is with one of my other fantails, Peanut. He acts normal, but he goes to the surface and it looks like he is gasping for air. After he started doing that, I got them an air pump, but he still does it! Before they got sick, they were in a 10 gallon with 2 other fantails and 3 small comets (I know this was too small, I have moved the others to a much bigger tank since then). <Good...> I would make a partial water change every week and feed them once a day. <With?> I had a 10-30 (?) gallon filter in it and an air pump. Please help. <Not enough information proffered... But you can/will find your answer by reading here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm and the linked files above... Could easily be water quality, lack of filtration, poor nutrition at root here. Bob Fenner>

Peas Hello, I absolutely hate peas but I love my fish so I thought that  I would do this pea thing for them. So after skinning a few peas I didn't really know what to do next. Do I have to cook the peas before I feed them and some of them are a little large, would it be sensible  to cut these down a bit more. thanks. hayli fairy x <Likely a good idea to prep. a batch of peas: "blanch" (microwave in a bit of water), allow to cool, pinch the skin off just before feeding... BobF>

Fancy goldfish gasps for air after feeding   1/11/07 Hi all, <Taran> Firstly, thank for offering a superb website!! Hopefully, you can help me solve my fancy goldfish problem. <I do hope so as well> I have a 49-gallon tank that contains five goldfish: a black moor, an Oranda, a Ryukin, a panda telescope and a fantail. They are all about 4½ inches long. The tank is filtered with an internal filter, that filters 600l per hour and an external filter that filters 1000l per hour. <Good to have the redundancy here. I would only clean one out per maintenance/water change period... to preserve biological filtration> There are also two air stones in each corner and many live plants. I change 30% of the water each week. Here is my problem. Every time I feed my fish they gasp/gulp for air, immediately after feeding. In between feedings they occasionally gulp the odd air bubble. However, at no other time during the day do they gasp for air as vigorously as they do after they have been fed. <I see...> My Oranda especially seems to suffer and gasps for air for up to an hour an a half after being fed. The Oranda sometimes turns upside down on its back after I feed it and remains in this position for a couple of hours. I feed them pre-soaked sinking pellets (soaked for 5-10 min.s) once a day and pea's or occasionally blood worms in the evening. I have tried 3 different of pellets (2 x sinking and 1 x floating and always soaked) vegetables, bloodworms, brine shrimp and raw shrimps. However, after each feeding all the fish are gulping or gasping at the surface. I have noticed that the fish seem to gasp for longer when fed high protein foods compared to the vegetables. <Ah, yes... harder for them to digest> Water tests show that I have no ammonia, nitrite and nitrate is at 25ppm. Can you help me to solve this problem? I will appreciate any advice you can give me. Many thanks Taran <It may be that the amount of food is at play here... either too much at one time, and/or that your fancy goldfishes are in too-bad shape to eat and swim about much... I would "cut back" on their portions, perhaps split the offered feedings into another time or two in frequency per day... and slim them down a bit... Better for their health in the long run. Bob Fenner, who often also is gasping for air after pizza and beer>

Goldfish not eating - first thing to check is environmental conditions   1/7/07 Dear crew: Two of our gold fish do not seem to be able to open there   mouths, they go to fetch the food but never open their mouths. They don't want to swim around, and are spending most of there time on the bottom of the tank.  They are losing weight and their colour is fading it makes no difference what food we put in the tank. Regards, Stephen Walker <Stephen, first thing to check is environmental conditions.  How large is this tank, how many goldfish are living in it, how long has it been set up, is it filtered, have you tested for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate recently? Everything you mention can be a symptom of poor water quality; I'd be willing to bet there's a buildup of toxins in the aquarium.  I'd suggest doing a water change ASAP, and measuring the water parameters, if you haven't already.   Here are some helpful links on properly caring for goldfish: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm http://www.kokosgoldfish.com/ Best regards, Jorie>

Goldfish has dropsy... Pea-feeding   12/8/06 > your article you said to feed the fish peas but how exactly do you do that after the skin is off. <Mmm, I generally just "pinch them out" and feed the blanched pea inside as is> I mashed it and it floated to the bottom. <Mmm, I wouldn't mash...> I so not think my fish can even get to the bottom. <May need to keep such a debilitated fish purposely in a shallow water setting...> Please explain.  Also, I have added Epsom salt about a 1/5 tsp since I have only a on gallon tank. <Too small> Tell me what else I can do. <Read... and soon... show your concern by engaging, educating yourself... then acting... http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshmalnut.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner> Millie
Re: goldfish has dropsy, feeding peas    12/9/06
I have mashed to the point where he could it and dangled it from hemostats.  He would eat it and spit it out.  I did not think they could eat a whole blanched pea. Millie <Ah yes... can/will pull on the mass till part of it is freed. Bob Fenner>

Goldfishes! Goldfishes! Goldfishes! Feeding 12/4/06 Okay, hi guys. <Hi Ashley, Pufferpunk here> Basically, I've had fish for a good portion of my life but they were always my mother's, so I just got to watch them and enjoy. <I started out my fishy career on the top of Mom's clean laundry basket, peering into Dad's 15g fish tank.> Now I have my own fish tank and beautiful, playful goldfish.  I have a 55 gallon tank and 14 goldfish.  We originally got the goldfish as "tank testers", as recommended by friends and family to do so, and then were going to get Oscars and Cichlids (who would eventually then eat the goldfish) so we weren't very concerned about them.  Now we have formed an affection for them, even naming a few after family and friends (like one is named after the boyfriend's dad because he's orange and white but has an orange mustache).  So, after all this blabbering... All I really need to know is how often can/should I feed them?  Right now we're on a routine of 3 times a day, morning, when I get home from work and before bed, of small amounts.  There never seems to be any food left, but I really don't want them to be over fed. <2-3x/day is fine, as long as they eat it all.  I'd skip one day/week from feeding, to give them a good day to digest everything.  That can be tank-cleaning day.  Do a 90% water change & clean out the filters.  They will get quite dirty with that many goldfish.  I suggest overfiltration, for these heavy eaters & high ammonia/waste-producers.  Eventually, those fish will grow a foot long & you'll need about 30g/fish.  If you do well with them, they can live over 20 years!>   And I also don't know what the actual breed of goldfish is, they're those $.24 ones that are meant to be feeders. <Those are called comet goldfish.  GF are basically omnivores, which means they are plant-eaters, so give them some plants, like anacharis & hornwort to eat (may make a mess of them though), in addition to algae wafers & frozen peas (thawed & skinned).  Good luck with them!  ~PP> Thanks so much!  Ashley

Appropriate tank sizes  9/28/06 Hello! <Hi there> Your site is really amazing. I've had a fantail goldfish for about a year and just recently he's been showing signs on swim bladder (floating upside down, trouble moving, and slightly distended sides). I'm going to try and make a change to his diet. <Good> Your site really seems to recommend peas, but I'm not really sure how to prepare them. <Mmm, frozen/defrosted are best... but canned can work... de-skinned... by pinching> My main question today was if I should increase the size of this tank. He is currently in a 2.5 gallon tank, Mercutio (my fish) is about 2.5 inches long, but it isn't very wide. He seems to have been doing well in this size tank so far. What do you think? <Needs much more space... and will be much easier for you to keep clean as well> A Big thank you in advance, you guys really know what your talking about! Jen <Bob Fenner>

Goldfish Not Eating Normally   8/31/06 I'm sorry if this is a repeat, but I really couldn't find my exact problem on your site (after an hour).  Last month we bought 4 (tiny) goldfish at the fish store - 3 fantails and 1 which looks like a cross between a fantail and an Oranda (it has an Oranda head but a fantail tail).  This last one started giving us concern about 10 days ago.  He/she hid under a rock for about 3 days, never coming out to eat.  Prior to that it was as happy as the rest of the group.  I tested the water, which was fine for pH, nitrates, etc.  We did a water change anyway.  Over the next week he's slowly coming out more and more, but still not eating, and still avoiding the other 3 fish.  He tries to eat, seems interested in eating, but "misses" the food - he swims up, tries to bite it, but never gets any.  I haven't actually seen him eat anything lately.  His sides now look "ridged" which I'm guessing are his bones showing through.  He has not seemed bloated throughout this, nor otherwise diseased - no fungus, no rot.  His swimming is fine, but slow, and he can cover the entire tank.  The fish are in a 95 gallon tank.  I've been feeding them flakes (yes, I've now read your advice and will start in on vegetables promptly).  When he started acting odd I would occasionally throw an algae wafer in just in case it helped.  I feed them twice a day.  We also have a pleco in the tank, otherwise no other fish (hence the algae wafers). Unfortunately we do not currently own a quarantine tank.  Your advice would be most appreciated - this is the one fish my 3-year old daughter picked out.  Thank you.    Jen. < Do a 50% water change, vacuum the gravel and clean the filter. I don't see any specific disease problem here so maybe a big water change will give him a boost. Watch him closely to see if his vision seems OK. damaged cloudy eyes can affect their ability to get food.-Chuck>
Re: Goldfish not Eating - Follow-up  9/18/06
Just a quick follow-up on my earlier e-mail (from maybe 20 minutes ago).  I tried chopped cooked peas, no skins, but I got the same result.  The sick cross-breed eagerly swam to them over and over, looked like he was trying to eat them, but didn't / couldn't.  I noticed his mouth looks very very small (compared to the other fish) and he was more interested in the smaller pieces.  I then chopped them up extra fine, but still no go.  My other 3 fish are getting fat though.  Just thought this might be helpful.  Thanks again.  Jen <Mmm, don't see the prev. corr. Have you read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshfdgfaqs.htm and the linked files above? Perhaps environment at play here... Bob Fenner>

Green Peas   8/20/06 Hello Bob and... <<Tom? :)>> No question this time, just an observation that may help some of your readers. I notice by reading many FAQ'S and articles on WWM that most of you recommend frozen peas for certain fish. For those of you with arthritis, shelling the peas is a little difficult. I use the dried peas in a bag like to make split pea soup. Soak them in water for about 10 min. and they seem to work fine. Just thought some of your readers may benefit from this...Thanks...DR <<Thanks for the tip, DR. Will pass this along (as you know, by now) and I'm sure others will, indeed, benefit. Thanks, Tom>>

A few goldfish tips that have worked for me    8/13/06 Dear Crew, <<Hi, Shellie. Tom with you.>> I have written to you before about my fantail, Sara. Once again, I would like to thank you for reassuring us that he did not have pop eye. I have continued to keep an eye on him and always will but now I do not worry about him. I have only had goldfish for about a year but I did successfully raise two Fantails, a Comet and a Plecostomus without stunting them in a 10-gallon tank. This was not done on purpose however, but bad pet store advice was the culprit. With nearly daily water changes and meticulous attention they have all grown and prospered long enough to survive a move to their current home which is a 55-gallon long. It is by no means their permanent residence and I do know they will outgrow that one as well in time. The point of this e-mail is to share a feeding regime that I found works for me. I refuse to admit how often they are fed on the grounds it can and will incriminate me. However, I can tell you that variety is the most important element I have discovered. When these fish were first purchased, I found to my dismay that you are told to feed them a variety but there didn't seem to be much of that in goldfish food. You could find different sizes of food for different sizes of goldfish but that was about it. However, there were many brands of goldfish food and when I read the cans I discovered that every company makes it differently and even may have different ingredients. Having a Pleco, I also noticed that I could add sinking algae tablets and shrimp pellets to my goldfish diet. I have to work hard to make sure the Pleco gets his own food! Anyway, if you find this advice useful, please feel free to pass it on. My babies get Wardley All Natural (no colors) Goldfish Flakes, TetraFin Goldfish Flakes, ColorFin Sinking Granules, TetraFin Goldfish Crisps as well as sharing Aquarian Shrimp Pellets and the standard algae discs with the Plecostomus. At all times in the tank they have either spinach, red leaf lettuce, green leaf lettuce, zucchini, cucumber or romaine on a veggie clip. I do not feed them all of these foods at the same time or even necessarily in the same day. With this method though, they get a lot of variety and I have never had a problem with swim bladder, ich, or other fish stress diseases. Even in the 55-gallon I clean the tank and filter every three days with the requisite water change/gravel vac. My point is that you don't have to give up your goldfish if you have found out the hard way they have an inappropriate home. With very conscientious care and a lot of hard work, they will survive and even thrive for a time in a smaller home. I would never recommend you put them in a small place on purpose and you definitely should be seeking a bigger container as soon as possible, but you can keep them healthy and happy long enough to get a bigger tank. Thank you for listening. Shellie <<Uncharacteristically, I've left your post completely intact because, frankly, there's nothing I could add to or detract from. It's well-written, concise and makes a number of very good points. Many can/will learn from this and my thanks to you for sharing your experience. Continued success to you, Shellie. Tom>>
Re: A Few Goldfish Tips That Have Worked For Me   8/14/06
Dear Bob, <Shel> I will not write you guys again unless I have problems so I don't take up your valuable problem solving time. I just wanted to let you know when I didn't receive an e-mail back I assumed you hadn't gotten my mail yet or you were kindly letting me know it was not of use to you. To my surprise, I find my mail on your query page with glowing praise following it. To say you made my day is an understatement. I am deeply honored that you think this novice is worth listening to. Sincerely, Shellie <No worries. Thank you for pursuing the message... we have continuing problems/issues with our webmail. Am glad there are "work arounds". Cheers, Bob Fenner>
Re: A Few Goldfish Tips That Have Worked For Me   8/14/06
Dear Tom, I am so sorry! I just noticed after I sent my response that you were the person giving the praise. Please accept my apologies for mixing up names as well as sending you another mail correcting the error. It's a little embarrassing to praise the person complimenting you on your accuracy and yet the name is incorrect. Shellie <<Shellie,      If this were the least of my worries... :)    Your post was excellent and that's all I really care about.    My best,    Tom >>

Goldfish and Brine Shrimp  8/2/06 Hi! <<Hi, back! Tom here.>> I think you'll be glad to hear that I have gotten a much larger tank and so far all is going well. <<I recollect this conversation and I'm very glad to hear the good news!>> I was just wondering if I could feed my goldfish frozen brine shrimp or bloodworms? <<The brine shrimp? Yes. There's roughage here that shouldn't pose a problem. I'd be reluctant about getting too "crazy" with the bloodworms, though.>> I feed these to my tropical fish, and was wondering if I could do the same with my 2 small goldfish. I just really want to feed them something different, and I think it would be great if I could feed them those things. (They eat flakes and peas at the moment). <<Oh, lots of different things that you can feed Goldfish that'll make them happy. You do want to steer clear of foods high in protein, however. Meaty foods, particularly. Goldfish have long digestive tracts designed to handle veggies like algae, zucchini, spinach, etc. Unfortunately, foods high in protein are for fish with short digestive tracts. Kind of a matter of digestive "speed", really. If fish, or any other animals, assimilate any food in their digestive tracts too quickly, it leads to blockage/compaction. Goldfish, despite their sometimes "silly" eating habits, are designed to feed primarily on algae. They need lots of vegetable matter in their diets.>> Thanks again for all the help. Great site!! <<Thank you very much and, do research our site for Goldfish diet. Sabrina contributed a fine article regarding this that I'm sure you'll find enlightening/informative. Tom>>

Trying to feed a varied diet... for Goldfish   7/31/06 I've learned a lot from this website, thank you! I wonder if what I'm reading pertains to simple "feeder" goldfish as well as the fancy varieties. I have three goldfish in a 20 gallon tank; two are approx 2 inches and one is approx 4. <Mmm, getting to sizes that you may need to look for a larger tank> I fed the larger one almost exclusively earthworms from my compost bin and houseflies, and occas flake food. I realize now that this was too much protein. <Yes> I just upgraded the tank and added the two smaller fish. I bought floating pellets but they seemed to get lost in the bubbles from the aeration from the power filter and the fish didn't seem to notice them. <"Sticks, wafers" that are more discrete, sinking will work out better> The small fish weren't interested in the blanched lettuce clipped to the side of the glass and the large one was unable to get bites out of it and then lost interest. They did eat peas that were squished out of the casings. The nibbled at blanched cucumber but it didn't look like they actually got any of it. Am I trying to feed them food that is inappropriate for their size? <Yes, good that you realize> Do you have suggestions for other ways to vary their diets and interest them in different food? I don't think I want to mess with the hassle of trying to grow live plants in the tank. Thanks, I look forward to hearing from you. Tami <Do seek out prepared foods in the formats mentioned. For goldfish specifically. There are several brands that make/offer such. Bob Fenner>

Re: Trying to feed a varied diet  7/31/06 Thank you so much for your prompt reply! I have a couple of questions to clarify your advice. When I asked if I am feeding food that is inappropriate, I'm confused by your reply "Yes, good".  Are you saying, "yes the food is inappropriate, good for you for figuring it out" or "yes this is good food for your fish"? <Sorry for this confusion... I did amend the response before posting to the public... The middle meaning. Good that you figured this out> Thank you for your suggestion for looking for prepared foods, I will do that. But I am also interested in feeding fresh veggies. Do you have any other suggestions for how I can make them more appealing/obvious or easier for the little guys to eat? <Really a matter of blanching various types to see what is palatable... small pieces of zucchini type squashes are some faves> And what do you suggest for feeding critters ... should I buy freeze-dried, frozen or continue to forage for live earthworms? Thanks again! You guys are great! <Better (most convenient) to use commercially prepared frozen/defrosted small-ish worms, crustaceans... but not in excess... Bob Fenner>

Red Cap Oranda - Red is fading  7/15/06 Hello, <<Hello, Dan. Tom with you today.>> I have had a Red Cap Oranda for one year and just recently the "redness" of the cap is fading. In fact, it's almost entirely gone now! Apart from that, the fish seems perfectly healthy - swims well, eats well, etc. I have another Red Cap Oranda in the tank and that one is fine...at least for now. Any thoughts? <<Coloration changes in Goldfish are not uncommon particularly during their first year. While I've not run across your specific situation there are several factors at play including genetics, diet, exposure to sunlight and age. Since your pet appears to be quite healthy otherwise, and your other Red Cap hasn't (yet) shown any signs of the same thing happening, I would suspect a genetic predisposition to the fading and/or loss of color. Something of a more "hands-on" nature might be to investigate supplementing your Orandas' diets with Spirulina algae. The carotenoid pigments in Spirulina have been reported to significantly enhance the coloration in Koi and Goldfish so, if you feel like doing a little "dabbling", it might be worth a shot.>> Thank you very much, Dan Feins Beverly, MA <<My pleasure, Dan. Tom>>

Goldfish digestion    6/4/06 Hey Crew. <<Hey, Justin. Tom>> Forgive me if this question has already been answered; I searched the archives but couldn't find anything quite like it. <<Let's see if I can help, then...>> I have two fantail goldfish in a 33 gallon tank. I've had these fish for over a year; they are robust and in good health. I think. I've noticed something odd lately with the amount of feces they produce. I know goldfish are known to produce a lot of waste, but in the year I've had them I've never observed this. Long strings of feces, sometimes reaching a couple of inches. The poop is solid and dark in colour. <<I see no real reason for concern with this. Depends on the food they're eating. Short as opposed to long strings is more ideal but I don't see a problem.>> When I first saw this, I suspected they had been constipated, and things were finally starting to flow, so to speak. I held off on feeding for a few days, but by the fourth day, they were still producing a lot of waste. Since then, I've fed very sparingly (once every 3-4 days) but still see them producing a lot of waste, every day. At this point, you'll probably want to know about their diet. <<This would help, yes.>> I try to be very balanced (frozen bloodworms, frozen brine, dried daphnia, dried Tubifex, flake food and peas) but recently realized I was probably giving them too much protein. <<The brine shrimp and daphnia will have a "cleansing" effect as will the peas. Goldfish, as you now are aware, don't process proteins well. The flake food can be problematic if proteins constitute too much of its make-up. Best case? Proteins should account for 20%, or less, of the ingredients contained in the food.>> But I stopped this practice month or so ago, so I'm not sure if it may still be the culprit here. Since this phenomenon began, I've been feeding only Omega One goldfish flakes, and peas.   <<Look into blanched vegetables as supplements to your pets' diets. Spinach, lettuce, cucumber, etc. provide the types of nutrition your Goldfish require. Please research Goldfish diet on WWM.>> Is it normal for goldfish to still have food in their systems, this long after a feeding? <<More likely that they're still not getting enough veggie matter into their systems.>> There is no other source of food in the tank for them to snack on, other than what I feed them. Aside from the waste production, the fish look and behave normally. Thanks in advance for any light you can shed on this. JM <<Happy to help, Justin. Good luck with your pets. Tom>>

A question about Goldfish feces  - 05/10/2006 Good Evening, Crew. <<Hello, Alfredo. Tom again.>> I have 2 goldfish, a small Ryukin and a small lionhead, in a 50 litre tank. They are kept at 26 degrees and have a hang-on filter, a powerhead, and an undergravel filter. <<Still have the UGF? Pull it out, my friend. Old technology and likely to lead to more problems.>> I feed them once a day and never more than their eye volume (by the way, is it the volume of one or two eyes?). <<One.>> Their diet consists of brine shrimp, thawed skinless peas, and sinking pellets. <<Consider adding some flake food here. High in vitamins and other "good stuff".>> Today's water test readings are as follow : Ammonia : 0 Nitrite: 0 pH: 7. Nitrate: 5 <<All good.>> I noticed today that the Ryukin was producing a long, transparent feces that floated to the top as if filled with air. Is this normal? <<No, it's not. Should be short and dark.>> If not, please tell me how to fix the problem. <<A change in diet may do the trick. If not, Metronidazole for internal infection may be in order here.>> I love my goldfish very, very much. Thank You, Alfredo Echeverria Ripstein <<De nada. Tom>>
Re: a question about Goldfish feces -revisited
 - 5/11/06 <<Hi, Alfredo.>> I appreciate your quick reply, Tom. I am sorry to bother you again. What change (as you suggest below) should I make in the goldfish's diet? <<Never a bother to help. There are high-quality flake foods formulated for Goldfish that you might try adding to your pets' diets. These are enhanced with vitamins and should be fairly high in carbohydrates. Goldfish don't digest proteins particularly well.>> Should I medicate right away or should I change the diet first and await results? I am scared that if I wait it would be too late, or that the condition might worsen. <<I don't like to recommend medicating a fish when the "condition" may not be a direct result of an infection. The "flip side" to this is that it's far easier to medicate a fish with food than treating the tank water. Actually, it's better overall for the fish since treating the water for internal problems is not the better of the two options.>> As always, I appreciate your help tremendously. Thank you. Alfredo Echeverria Ripstein <<Again, any time, Alfredo. Tom>>

Lola, the Pampered Picky Eater - 04/19/2006 Hi Sabrina <Steve!  Good to hear from you!  I hope your Abelmoschus crop is doing well - I'm still interested in trying to grow this plant some time.> This is about Lola, the large fantail. <I do very clearly recall.> She was very stable for several months on a diet of mashed, cooked, peeled peas, cooked zucchini, and minced, boiled greens.  When I feed her the greens, she has large, dark green, well formed stools, which she doesn't have with the peas.   <Sounds like good goldfish poo.> Other vegetables like mashed, cooked beans and carrots seem to constipate her--as evidenced by a period of immobility and large, well formed stools.   <Immobility is definitely a symptom to avoid....> I was--and am--concerned about a varied diet so I thought I would give both goldfish (Golda and Lola) some defrosted, frozen brine shrimp enriched with Spirulina for protein.  I was hoping...    They both loved it.   <Adult frozen or live brine shrimp is another very good food to use to help correct constipation, actually, as it is very high in "roughage" content.> Golda was fine, but 3 days after the seafood, Lola stayed on the bottom, dorsal fin clamped, barely moved and barely ate!    <Yee-IKES!  Any possibility that this was coincidence and related to some other variable?  Water parameters ideal, I trust (ammonia, nitrite ZERO, nitrate less than 20ppm)?> She didn't interact with Golda at all--even though Golda was constantly nudging her, trying to get her to move.  This was the worst she had been ever.   <Disturbing.> The next day, a long, irregular white thread started to emerge from her anal spot.  I had read that this was not a good sign.   <Indeed....  Can be a symptom of a number of internal complaints (including constipation), but usually associated with parasites.  I would probably wager that it was from constipation (again).> After fasting for a day, I returned to her usual diet of peas.  It has been 3 days of slow recovery--and a few long, thin green stools-- but she is definitely improving and eating more!    <Ahhhh, good.> Today she raised her dorsal fin when I fed her and she actually started to resume her old feeding behavior of chasing Golda away from the peas so she can (try to) eat them all.  (Golda is no dope--she sneaks in when Lola isn't looking and gulps down a lot.)   <Heh!  I'm glad she's improved....  Whew!> She is still "resting" with clamped dorsal fin but not nearly as much.  Now when I enter the room, she gets up and swims around.  It appears that mashed, peeled peas are the only food she can tolerate without digestive distress.   <What about the other greens that gave her well-formed stools but no distress?> I read that a constant diet of peas can cause cataracts.   <To be honest, I wouldn't know - however, a diet of only one thing can in fact be harmful, just for not giving "well-rounded" nutrition.> I am completely at a loss.  Just about everything besides peas causes some distress as evidenced by immobility and then large stools.  (When she gets just peas, I never see stools.)  Yikes!  Could she be that fragile? <Yes, she really could.  "Fancy" goldfish are notorious for having digestive issues, and once in a while they can be as bad as Lola.  "Fancy" goldfish are bred to be (literally) deformed - deformed, shortened bodies leads to deformed "innards", too.  In Lola's case, deformed to the point of being dangerously unhealthy.  For this and other reasons, I am not a fan of selectively bred fish; I'm still not even sure where I stand on things like fancy guppies and long, fancy finned Bettas....  But I won't get on my soapbox now, I promise.> What do I give her for better nutrition?   <Hey, I don't know if I'd written this before our last correspondences:   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshmalnut.htm .  In Lola's case, I would try with some aquarium plants like Anacharis/Elodea/Egeria....  Maybe also some floating water lettuce or watersprite, as these plants have tasty dangling roots that would be of good nutritional value.  If it were me, I would also experiment by keeping a small tub outside with water lettuce or watersprite in it and "change out" the one(s) I keep in the tank every few days - this way, not only would the plants have a chance to grow their roots back, but you'd be brining in some nice tiny little organisms living on the roots that would also be consumed by the goldfish, adding more nutritional worth.  I canNOT speculate how this would cause Lola's sensitive tummy to react, but if it were me/my fish, I would try it.  You know her better than I do, though, and know better what you can/should risk....  A tough call with the experiences she's had thus far.> How much protein does she need?   <Mm, not a great deal.> Has anyone tried baby food with goldfish?   <I don't know....  Honestly, I fear this would foul the water significantly and very quickly, so I wouldn't recommend it.> Do I need to boil the greens even more than 5 minutes? <Nah, even 5 minutes is longer than I do; they just need to be soft enough for her to munch.> As usual I am so grateful for your help with Lola.   <And I am glad to be of service to her and you.  Thank you for your diligent care of your animals!> Steve <All the best to you,  -Sabrina>

Tank creep, FW systems, platies, growing Elodea   4/6/06 Hello Crew, I have a couple of questions. I just in the planning stages yet, but I have this image in my head of a warm freshwater tank with lots of live waving grass and many fish flitting about (instead of a single Betta in a tiny 2.5 gallon tank). So with that in mind; would it be O.K. to have 4 blue Dalmatian Platys /(Xiphophorus maculatus)/ & a Betta /(B. splendens) /in a 10 gallon tank? <Yes> Or should I be thinking 15gal? Can I have more than 4 Platy's in the 10gal? <Bigger is better... but a ten will do... until/unless the platies reproduce...>   I have fairly hard water (with Ph at 7.6), and figured that the platys would be the best choice.  I don't want to spend a lot of money on lights (and conversely the electric bill) <You are wise here> so I'm thinking that Java Fern & a Sword Plant would work with low/natural lighting,  hard water & the proper substrate/plant food.  Do you have any other thoughts on plants? <Lots. Posted on WWM>   The second question relates to Goldfish (your basic comets) and Anacharis. My two very special and beautiful Goldfish think it's the yummiest stuff ever & mow it down. Is it possible to just have a special plant tank (or bucket) with just Elodea/Anacharis (a farm tank, no fish)? <Yes> I'm feeling a bit cheep about lights and filtration (especially since this plant will just end up in a goldfish tummy), but I don't want to be that cheap so it doesn't grow. Thanks, Ann. <You've got a bunch of good ideas Ann. Bob Fenner>

Re: Various Goldfish Questions ... fdg.  - 03/17/06 Thank you Bob for your reply and for that link. <Welcome> I actually decided yesterday to scrap the flakes entirely since they caused my poor Pearlscale so much trouble... so I made a batch of gel food instead! It has peas, beans, carrot, egg, rice, salmon, paprika, and a little bit of the flake food just for the nutritional content. <Sounds very good> I had been supplementing the flakes with Cos lettuce and peas, and the occasional shrimp when we had them - but I think this and the gel food will be much much better! <Yes> I moved the Pearlscale back to the main tank because he looked so miserable, and he perked up straight away. He is no longer head standing but has more trouble maneuvering than he used to. I'm going to add Epsom salt to the main tank and continue with the peas and gel food. It is alright to replace the rock salt I usually put in the aquarium with Epsom salt indefinitely as a replacement, or is this just a short term treatment? <Best not to keep salt on these fish continuously> Thank you for all your help, Emma <Again, very welcome. Bob Fenner>

What in Cornation? Goldfish food   3/17/06 Dear Bob <Deirdre> Sorry for bothering you again but I think that I'm after doing something really stupid - I was trying to vary their diet a bit and gave them 4 kernels of sweet corn tonight to see how they'd like it - however I never took the skins off - will they be able to pass it? <I think so, no problem> I feed them peas all the time but always shelled - I just can't believe how idiotic I was not to see the possible dangers in what I was doing... I searched all around to find specific information on this before getting back in touch with you - I am very fond of these little guys.. Thanks a million for your time and patience Deirdre <This too shall pass! Bob Fenner>

Goldfish and Possible Mal-Nutrition, Environmental Disease - 03/08/2005 My 4 year old fantail goldfish " Maggie" seems to be feeling poorly.  Yesterday and today, she's had a serious loss of interest in food.  She has no visible "critters" on or under her scales.  Her focus are normal for her.  She seem to be having trouble staying "afloat".  She just sinks to the bottom of the tank.   <A likely sign of mal-nutrition.  Please read here:   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshmalnut.htm .> She has no interest in play time, which we do every day, and she just loves.  I'm at a loss. I can't seem to find any material with these symptoms.  Also, her tail seems to be drooping from the attachment point of her body.  Any suggestions you can give would be greatly appreciated.   <First and foremost, test your water.  Ammonia and nitrite must be ZERO, nitrate ideally less than 20ppm.  It is possible that your fish may be suffering from environmental disease.  Please read the following link for more:   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshdisease.htm .> Thank you,  -Donna <All the best to you,  -Sabrina>
Goldfish and Possible Mal-Nutrition, Environmental Disease - II - 03/09/2005
Thank you very much Sabrina.   <Sure thing, Donna.> She seems to do better at night when we put her in the "hospital net"  and let it just surface.  She seems to go up for air and then the next morning she's fine.  But by 5pm she right back to square one.  We bought an algae eater.  He might have the cancer they get.  He has been separated.  Seems like every time we get a new fish, Maggie gets like this. <Please read those links I gave you, and test your water....  that will likely reveal some things you can correct for her.> Thanks.  -Donna <Wishing you well,  -Sabrina>
Goldfish and Possible Mal-Nutrition, Environmental Disease - III - 03/11/2005
Sabrina, You're welcome.  Maggie is doing much better.  She's sleeping in the squid cave now.  She was all over the place yesterday.  Got kinda tired around 900pm and took a snooze, but was up around 10pm last night.  Could be a good possibility that she had the same thing that the algae eater had.  Cotton Mouth.  They were given Pimafix from Petland.  No offense.  As you know the treatment takes 7 days.  So we shall see how they are doing then.   <I feel pretty strongly that Pimafix and Melafix are of no real value in treating advanced bacterial diseases like columnaris/"cotton mouth" - also, you've mentioned no symptoms that resemble columnaris to me.  Please test the water as previously mentioned, maintain optimal water quality....> Will keep you posted.  Thanks very much for all your services.  Have a good weekend. <Thank you; you as well.  I do hope you read and gain some good information from those articles.> Donna,  Shelton, CT <Wishing you well,  Sabrina, of the Santa Cruz mountains in CA>

Koi starving syndrome - 2/28/2006 Hi,   I am so upset as to be very distraught because I think I have inadvertently "starved" one of my best koi fish!     I purchased a lot of feeder baby koi to "save" them and tried to keep them thinned out enough in my tank so as to give them a good chance for survival and growth.  Well, in so doing, it appears that one of the original koi I had bought individually in the store has been starving and I didn't know it until it's too late, or is it?   <Never too late if the animal is alive>   Isn't there ANYTHING I can do to make his stomach expand again?  He absolutely won't eat the fish food.  I've put the NovAqua water conditioner in which has vitamins and Echinacea, etc., but it is useless.  Isn't there a thing I can do?        Thanks,   Leslie Wilson <Small amounts of food offered frequently (a few times per day), moving the fish (if not already) into a smaller aquarium... using some cooked rice present almost continuously, along with blanched/microwaved terrestrial greens... Bob Fenner>

Goldfish feeding question   2/24/06 We have one small goldfish in a large bowl.  We will be away for a couple of days and wonder if it will be ok with no food for 2 full days or do we need a pet-sitter? <No... I would not risk this... too much chance of over-feeding. Bob Fenner> Please advise! Many thanks, Bonnie

Goldfish With Eating Problem   2/14/06 Hey, my comet has had this problem for almost a week now, he just  can't seem to eat his food properly. I feed him very sparingly once a day and  he seems keen to eat - he collects it from the surface, seems to have  a job swallowing then spits it all back up again...and more (food from a  previous day or more I guess). I have always fed him very little so am very  confused and worried to what's wrong. Is it possible he's swallowed an aquarium  stone? Or could something else be wrong with him? I've had him for four months  now and he's never had this problem before. Please help! Shanna < Check the mouth area for an obstruction. Catch him in a net. While in the net point the head up and look in the mouth with a flashlight. Remove any obstructions with tweezers.-Chuck>

Goldfish (malnutrition   2/9/06 They are fed "TetraFin" goldfish food.  What do you suggest I do differently? <... Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshmalnut.htm and the linked files above... Bob Fenner>

Goldfish being eaten by CAE, crowded in a system that's likely uncycled and mis-fed dry food only. Now, what's the problem?  - 2/4/2006 Hi, Great site that you have. I have 3 fish in a 10-gallon tank. 2 goldfish and 1 algae eater. I don't exactly know that how big they are, sorry. There names are, Charmander, Tiger, and Stripeback. <Keep your eye on that algae eater...> I have just noticed today that Tiger( biggest and oldest in the tank) is acting funny. He rarely goes up to the surface when food comes( I feed them flake food) <Not good alone> and has a long, brownish/reddish big streak on his tail. And he is swimming very slowly. I don't know what to do. I changed the tank completely <Also a bad idea> just recently and he seemed to be doing fine. Also, we just got the algae fish a couple of weeks ago. Does that have something to do with it? <Not likely> And today, I saw the algae eater on Tiger's tail, sucking on it, like trying to clean it. <Not! Is damaging your goldfish. Should be removed immediately> Any help would be appreciated. Thank you for reading. <See the subject title above? Read on WWM re Goldfish Feeding, Systems, Algae Eaters... Bob Fenner>

Goldfish Poop 1/22/06 Bob, we have 16 Comets in a 4' indoor tank.  All had been going well for the first few months.  We fed them the food recommended by the pet shop when we bought them.  It is called TetraFin goldfish crisps.  When this food ran out we just bought another type.  Since then the fish have had long feces trailing behind them.  I have since finished the second lot of food and have gone back to the original product thinking this would solve the problem.  But it hasn't.  I was thinking that we were overfeeding them, so have been very vigilant with how much we give them for the last few days, but this has not solved the problem.  Any ideas please.  It is not a good look when the tank and the fish look so spectacular but the fish have long feces trailing behind them.  Please help. Gavin & Ann-Louise Nolan <Hello, Gage here tonight, as long as the fish doo is green or brown in coloration your fish are in good shape.  The best thing that you can do is provide them with a proper diet and see if it makes any difference, for more information on a good Goldfish diet please see the following article.  Best regards, Gage http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshmalnut.htm >

Goldfish Not Eating   1/7/06 Hi there, I have 2 goldfish (sex unknown) I have had them since  November 05. They have been fine until yesterday. We fed them as usual and  noticed this morning that they had not touched their food (which is unusual as  they have normally eaten it in the night) and still haven't touched it today. I did change the food half way through today just incase I  had affected the food as I was cleaning before hand. I have been feeding  them with some pellets that the pet shop sold with the  fish. I would be grateful for any  help. Thank you, Dawn < Change 50% of the water, vacuum the gravel and clean the filter. Wait a couple of days before feeding. If they don't eat then treat with Metronidazole for internal bacterial infections. When they start to eat give them a food high in fiber and vegetable matter. Feed them once a day and only enough food so that all of it is gone in a couple of minutes.-Chuck>

Goldfish bottom feeders  - 01/03/2006 Hi to the Crew <Hello to you> Congratulations on a wonderful site.  I have really enjoyed reading and picked up many more new tips. I have been keeping fish for quite a few years and always find this a fascinating hobby where I am constantly learning new things. <I as well> I have recently returned to keeping goldfish after having Frontosa for about six years. It is a long story about why I have had to change my whole set up which I wont bore you with here.   <Am going to Goldfish from Africans soon myself> My tank is only small 2 foot long by 18 inches wide by 18 inches tall.  The tank is planted with elodea and sword fern and Java moss with a nice piece of driftwood, I have just started using a C02 unit very successfully for the first time.  I have an Eheim canister filter and a sunlight.  Needless to say my Goldfish are very happy, there are just two of them, they are about an inch long and are calico.  I know I will eventually have to get them a bigger tank but for now things are going fine.  So what is my question?  Well the Goldfish I have kept in the past have always been very active bottom feeders turning the gravel over with gusto.  This included fancy varieties doing this.  However my two Fantails just don't feed off the bottom. I feed them twice a day and have a variety of different foods I feed to ensure that they get all the nutrients they require, and of course they munch on the elodea. I now have a nice patch of algae growing on the gravel it is so untouched.  Is this something peculiar to them or is it common for goldfish not to turn over the gravel? <Mmm, nope. Some fancy goldfish (as individuals more as sports) don't feed much here> Your thoughts on this would be much appreciated as I am quite puzzled by it, especially as the Goldfish seem so healthy. Many thanks Elizabeth <I'd look into a couple of large mono-sex snails... Please see here re: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwsnails.htm Bob Fenner>
Re: Goldfish bottom feeders   1/4/06
Dear Bob <Elizabeth> Thank you so much for your response....seems my Cosmo and Wanda are a bit special.  Incidentally, for those people out there reading my message, I found that having a planted tank really helped with the cycling of the tank (not just providing the fish with roughage). <Agreed... and strongly encouraged>   I put Cosmo and Wanda in the tank and fully expected an ammonia spike as the filter had to cycle.  I tested the water daily for 3 months wondering when the ammonia spike would come and it never did, unlike my previous experiences with plastic plants. <Mmm, to give/offer credit where due. An old (now deceased) Alan Willinger used to encourage the sale/replacement of "used" polyethylene plants (they made the Second Nature and other lines...) by retailers for this very purpose... to bag up sold "seeded" faux plants as if they were live...> All I can think is that the real plants absorbed all the fish waste and so made my tank cycling a much more gradual gentle process. <This and provided microbes doing this...>   After this experience I can't say enough how good a planted tank is and hope that in the future I have such well behaved goldfish....(well here's hoping)  I am also feeding them Spirulina tablets as a result of reading your site alternated with conventional fish food.  I will follow up on the snails and let you know how I get on. Regards Elizabeth <Real good. Thank you for sharing... you have saved and improved the lives of many future goldfish... Bob Fenner>

Feeding Goldfish  - 01/03/2006 My black moor and angelfish died. I bought 2 more fancy goldfish and now I have 4. They are happy and very cool. I feed them healthy stuff and everything is going great now. Can you just tell me if feeding them lettuce and peas is good (that's what I do) please answer. < Vegetable matter is very good for goldfish but may not have enough protein in them for long term health. I would still recommend a high quality goldfish food like Spectrum or equivalent. Feed once a day and only enough food so that all of it is gone after two minutes once each day.-Chuck>

Goldfish... with goiter?  12/15/05 Hello, <Evening> I have a fantail, all of sudden last week it looked like he was choking and he was just sitting at the bottom of the tank.  Anyway i <"I", sigh...> didn't like the way he was and took him to the vets, the vet gave him a antibiotic injection. After i got him home i noticed that his gill area is swollen ( i know fish don't have chins but it looks like his chin is swollen). <A good clue>   He still swims about as normal but he swims with his head up. sometimes jumping out as well as though he's catching something. After swimming about a bit he still sits at the bottom of the tank. I don't know what to do. ave checked the water and that's fine. is there anything i could give him? Please reply. Thank you Charlotte <Your fish may have an iodine deficiency... I would administer Lugol's solution... a stock solution at a drop per five gallons every three days for three doses, and place a drop on the fish's food for the same regimen. Additionally, a level teaspoon of Epsom Salt per five gallons of system water should be placed. Bob Fenner>

Whatever Lola Wants, Lola Gets....  10/10/2005 Hi <Hello.> I wrote a while ago about my large (body is 3.5") fantail, Lola, who was just staring off into space all the time. <Sabrina with you, today - please for future reference include previous correspondences when possible, as there are a number of us answering questions, and plenty of questions being answered; without the name of the crewmember or the previous correspondence, we have no idea where to route replies or continued correspondences.> Everything checked out OK with water quality and Lola's health. I started feeding peas and she gradually became more active -- and obsessed with eating. <Sounds like a goldfish!> You guys suggested I get her a dither fish. Today I put a medium (body 2") fantail goldfish in with Lola. Lola immediately started chasing the new fish. So I fed them both peas --at the same time. Lola chased the new fish aggressively until it barfed up the food it had just eaten.  <Mm, it probably didn't actually regurgitate, just spat it out.> Lola immediately ate the barf.  <My guess is the new fish did not know quite what to do with the peas yet, and Lola just relished this uncertainty. Give it some time.> Now Lola is only mildly annoyed with the new fish. The aggressive chasing has stopped; more like a moderate teasing now. The new fish is not happy.  <Give it some time.> The dorsal fin is not clamped however. Is this aggression about not feeding them enough?  <Possibly, but could just be even friendly. Or stranger yet, the newcomer may be female, and Lola may be a mature male. Again, give it some time.> I give the larger Lola 3 peas a day. Is it about territory?  <Unlikely.... goldfish don't tend to be territorial.> They are in a 20 gallon tank with filter. Is the tank too small? <Will be in the long run.> Is this just "getting to know you" behavior? <Likely.> Is Lola afraid she will not get enough food with a new friend in the tank? <Perhaps.> Would a munchie plant help the situation? If so what kind? <An excellent idea. I would recommend Egeria/elodea/anacharis.... A few species of plants fall under these names; all grow similarly and goldfish love to eat 'em.> Should I separate them permanently if it continues? <Again, give it some time.> Should I also feed them frozen brine shrimp? <If you like.> Besides green veggies and rice, what else would round out their diet well? I read so much about their digestive problems and have eliminated the dry food (even soaked dry food). <Sounds like you're doing great so far. Some frozen brine would be okay to add to this, or frozen bloodworms once in a while.> Do they need protein from other than plant sources? Can they eat Abelmoschus manihot leaves? (It's a human food crop in the tropics and loaded with protein.) <I have absolutely no idea whatsoever. I thank you for mentioning this plant, though; I just had an opportunity to learn about Abelmoschus - apparently okra is in this genus! How neat! But, again, I have no idea whatsoever if A. manihot leaves can be eaten by fish.> Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Tell me what to do and I will do it!  <Lola is indeed a lucky fish to have you as a pal.> Lola is a family pet and I hate to see her being so mean to her new friend--such as it is. <Give it some time; hopefully this will sort itself out in a week or two.> As usual I thank you for your valuable advice and for your incredible web site! <And thank you very much for these kind words, Steve! I do hope all goes well with this.> Steve Erickson <Wishing you, Lola, and the newcomer well, -Sabrina>
Whatever Lola Wants, Lola Gets.... - II - 10/12/05
Hi, Sabrina <Hello, again.> Thanks again for your advice. As you said, the situation is quieting down.  <Ah, good.> In fact, Lola is back to staring off into space, motionless. The new fish, Golda, doesn't understand Lola's behavior and tries to rouse Lola into swimming around. I expect she'll be back to her old self soon.  <Yes, they will sort things out with time.> It's amazing that she has these emotional phases. But that's why we all care for her so much!  <And a good reason, too.> Regarding A. manihot: I can send you some seeds to grow the plant. It's very easy to grow in any climate.  <If this can be done legally, I'd absolutely love to do so. Where are you from?> Right now most of the garden is fading but the 7 foot Abelmoschus is still blooming.  <Wow!> Perhaps you guys could experiment with feeding the leaves and flowers--which taste like lettuce-- to goldfish. With its high protein content, I suspect that it would be an excellent food source for them. <Certainly a worthwhile idea!!> Thanks again. <And thank you, as well.> Steve <All the best, -Sabrina>
Whatever Lola Wants, Lola Gets.... - III - 10/12/2005
Hi Sabrina <Aloha, Steve.> I live in New England and I am sure there are no restrictions on Abelmoschus manihot.  <Ah, very good. I thought you were outside the US for some reason.> I originally bought the plant at a local garden center. I start the seeds in the early spring and mid-June (for a later crop like now). I'm not sure if there are restrictions in your area. You can check on Google. Let me know--I have lots of seeds! <I will find out, and let you know - I am indeed very interested now.> Steve <Wishing you well, -Sabrina>
Whatever Lola Wants - Tasty Abelmoschus, Peas, Goldfish Nutrition - 11/20/2005
Hi Sabrina <Hey, Steve!> Can fantails live solely on peas?  <Mm, possibly. I imagine a more varied diet would be better.> Whenever I feed Lola frozen brine shrimp, rice, lettuce or other veggies, she goes into a funk and doesn't move around. Could this be some kind of constipation?  <Yes, perhaps. Though, it's odd that lettuce and other greens would bring about constipation in a goldfish.> It takes a few days of a pea diet for her to start moving around better. I am, however, concerned that Lola is not getting enough nutrition with just the peas.  <I share your concern.> If the single food diet is not good for her, what would you suggest?  <First and foremost, I'd try live plants, especially Egeria and Elodea - "Anacharis", to some. Umm, I think I may have written this article after our last correspondence - you might get some ideas here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshmalnut.htm . If you've seen that already, my apologies.> I did feed the other goldfish blanched and chopped Abelmoschus leaves with no negative results. <Ahh! Nifty! I do believe I'm going to have to try this plant some time. I think I've even got a spot to grow it where the deer can't get to it.... we shall see.> <<Okra, eh?  Mmmm.. slimy!>> They seemed to like it. The leaf is rather tough though and needs to be blanched for a while. <Good tips, thank you for this.> Next year I'll harvest more leaves and freeze them for the goldfish.  <An excellent plan, indeed. For Lola, I think I might recommend trying some different canned veggies - asparagus was one I always gave to my fish; also green beans (which I love, fresh, canned, cooked or straight out of the can! Mmmmm....).... Maybe you could try other pea-like beans - limas, perhaps? Also you might try frozen or canned spinach.... And anything else you find in that article that you haven't yet tried. And again, I'll emphasize live plants, here.> Steve <All the best to you and Lola, and your Abelmoschus crop, -Sabrina>

Great Start On Goldfish - 10/09/2005 Hello! <Good morning! Sabrina with you today, on holiday in Hawai'i> Wonderful site, I've been searching and reading for a while now. <Ahh, good. That's the best start you can give your fish.> I have a 29g tank set up for a young calico lionhead (who I do not have yet, he is on hold). <Beeeee-autiful! I'm assuming you plan to set up and cycle this tank first, eh? SO glad to read this. You're off to a great start.> I was originally going to fall into the "goldfish/ Pleco " trap, but knew I should wait until I had done more research. <I'm smiling bigger with every sentence!> I plan on just the one lionhead, and then upping to a 55g when he is bigger. (Unless you suggest making the switch now.)  <Ahh, wonderful!! Unless he's already *massive*, the 29 will be a fine home for a long while. Do consider getting him a couple pals when he's into the 55 (or sooner, if they're all quite small), as goldfish seem more comfortable with conspecifics around.> Since the Pleco route can be dangerous, <Mm, I wouldn't say so much 'dangerous' as 'undesirable'.... Common plecs grow to be massive.... 18" or so.... and prefer somewhat warmer temps than are ideal for goldfish. If you want tankmates of a different species, look to the weather/dojo loach.> I'd still be interested in another bottom algae eater "fish". <Mm.... Some of the smaller plecs might be of consideration, here; but you'll still have the temperature preference issue.... I know clown plecs can hail from surprising cold waters, but they're more of a wood and meat eater, if I recall correctly (no guarantee of that!).> In addition to the best filtration I can find, I also plan to vacuum and water change once a week, so I thought a snail might be a good choice. <Sure, if you like snails.> I've done some reading on the apple snails, but can't seem to find a lot of info on snails AND goldfish in the same tank. Will one snail/one goldfish get along? <I'm sure.> What extra food/attention will I need to give the snail? <Plant matter.... Likely same fare as what you will be offering the goldfish.... Blanched human consumption greens (spinach, cucumber, zucchini....), live aquatic plants like Egeria/elodea/anacharis....> In a 29 or 55, is more than one snail necessary? <Mm, 'necessary'? Depends upon what you wish the snails to do.... Be pets? Eat algae? Eat plants?> How big will the snails get? <They do call them 'apple' snails for a reason.... Make a fist. Imagine it's a snail. There ya go!> Will our heroes make it through the treacherous mines?? (It's Friday. I'm giddy) <Heh!! It's Sunday morning (wow, sorry for the delay in response time!) and I'm almost giddy, too. Quite an ocean view here for answering fish questions!!> Thanks so much for the help. :)  <You bet.> P.S. If you know of any definitive resources on the differences (if any) between ranchu and lionheads I'd be interested. It's a neat subject matter! <In all honesty, I do not. If you do come across any, send some links my way; I'd like to take a look. Also, I'd like to touch a bit on the algae janitorial work you expect of the snail(s).... There are other methods of algae control; perhaps the best/most efficient is by outcompeting the algae for nutrients with other (vascular) plants. Plants like Anubias sp., java fern (Microsorium pteropus) and java moss (Vesicularia dubyana) will hold up to most plant eaters, goldfish and snails included. Do please take a look through our Aquatic Plants articles, about fighting algae and such.... You may find that you don't need an algae consumer, and can stock more around what you like than what you think your system might (or might not) need. I'm not at all trying to discourage you from an applesnail, mind you! They're pretty cool animals. Wishing you well, -Sabrina> 
Great Start On Goldfish - II - 10/10/2005
Thank you so much for the reply! <Oh, sure thing!> I was looking for the snail as algae control/pet. I decided on a golden apple snail, since according to applesnail.net http://applesnail.net , the Pomacea bridgesii prefers and does well on artificial fish food, along with dead and rotting plants. So, another question to come to mind would be- What types of artificial foods (in addition to peas, blanched greens, and eventually possibly live Water Sprite) would be good for both lionhead and snail? <Anything primarily vegetable in nature.... Spirulina flakes/pellets/wafers, frozen prepared vegetable fish foods (like Ocean Nutrition's "Formula Two").... Plenty of options. Sushi Nori is an easy option.> I was recommended gel, and I'm not sure if there's a brand preference. <In all honesty, I'm not familiar with gel fish foods.> I have floating pellets and flakes, but after reading more, I'd really like to avoid that swim bladder problem!  <A very good problem to avoid.> I pick up Charlie (the lionhead) this evening, and am waiting until my LFS gets some golden apple snails in. Any advice is appreciated!  <I imagine the snail will enjoy any of the same veggie matter you offer the goldfish.> Thank you again!! <Any time, my friend. Wishing you well, -Sabrina>
Great Start On Goldfish - III - 10/12/2005
Ok, last question, I swear! My lionhead is now happy in his new tank! <Ah, good.> He's very friendly, and even comes to the front of the tank (when I was expecting a much longer adjusting period). He does spend some time in his chosen "spot" tucked behind a bit of rock, and on the gravel, but it doesn't seem like a sick or unhappy habit. I feel he's just settling in.  <Likely so.> Now Charlie is a small fellow, about 1 1/2", and the bubbler I have in there is pretty big- a flat round disc about 2 inches across, placed under the gravel. I was concerned that he wasn't "enjoying" the bubbles, and felt trapped on the "quiet" side of the tank. I just turned it off briefly, to see if he prefers the lessened agitation. Should I hold off on the bubbler until he's a bit bigger, or is his aversion to swimming the whole tank just due to him settling in? <Could be. You could get a valve for the airline to shut off some of the flow so it would be less intense, if you like. These are usually sold at large/r fish stores, in packages of things like "T" splitters and such, near the air pumps and air tubing. There are brass ones, and clear or green plastic ones.> I searched "goldfish" and "bubbler" and "small", but didn't find anything related to the goldfish size. (Or lack thereof). Your site has been SO very helpful, and I appreciate the patience for my multiple questions. <Glad to be of service.> Can't I send a box of cookies to the Crew or something? <<A box of See's dark chocolates are always a good way to go.  Marina>> <Mmmm, peanut butter with chocolate chips? Just kidding.... your thanks and the fact that you have learned something that you can now pass on to others is more than thanks enough!> :) Julie <Wishing you the best, -Sabrina>

Dropsical Goldfish - 10/06/2005 Hey Crew. Thanks so much for all the help you've given myself and others. <And thank you very much for these kind words - means a lot to us, really.> Once again I've come to seek your advice. Nova, my 1" Pearlscale goldfish, has come down with dropsy. Water parameters in his main tank have always been good (ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrates consistently in the 15-20 range), so I'm not sure what the cause of this was. <Possibly/likely dietary....  What do you feed him?  Prepared dry foods like pellets and flakes are often a cause for concern in fancy goldfish....  A diet of aquatic plants and blanched human-consumption greens (peas, cucumber, spinach, zucchini....), supplemented with occasional dry or frozen fish foods often "cures" this condition and prevents its return.> As I write this he's been in a 3 gallon hospital tank for two days. I've medicated with Maracyn Plus, added  1 tbsp of Epsom salt, and raised the temperature to 27c. He's still gamely swimming around, and even still has his appetite, and this has inspired me to leave no stone unturned in trying to save this little guy. So far he's not getting any better or any worse. I know dropsy is almost always fatal, but is there anything else you can suggest that might help this fish? <"Dropsy" us just a term applied to a set of symptoms, just like "sneezing" can be related to an allergy, the flu, or an irritant in the air, there are many causes for dropsical symptoms.  I suspect what your fish is experiencing is dietary.  If, however, it is from a bacterial infection, foods medicated with Oxytetracycline would be my treatment of choice.  For now, I would get some frozen peas (thaw, and squeeze the inside out of the shell, discard the shell) and feed him a couple.  Discontinue all other foods for now, apart from possibly aquatic plants like anacharis/elodea/Egeria.  Hopefully a good diet will help this fish recover.> JM <Wishing you well,  -Sabrina>

Re: Peas?! & Goldfish  9/29/05 Hi, <Hi again - I am so sorry that I didn't see this e-mail until so much after you sent it...it somehow got lost in the shuffle!> I emailed couple of wks ago (amateur with fish here) and Jorie (lovely) gave me loads of useful information. <I'm glad I could help.> I just wanted to quickly ask about...peas. I bought some frozen peas and put them in the tank - the fish pecked at them so to speak but didn't eat them, following day I decided I would squash them so they would be smaller and maybe they would eat them (thought they don't have teeth to break the pea so I would help out?!) They seemed to suck the bits of pea in their mouths then spit it back out!! How rude - they were birds eye as well not some cheap rubbish brand! Should I try sweet corn, my fish obviously don't like peas (neither do I though) and I had to pick the peas outta the tank as they weren't having any of it! Any advice?? <Although I don't have goldfish, I've tried feeding small bits of peas to constipated Bettas - some will take the peas, others won't.  I think it's just a matter of taste.  One thing you can try is soaking the pea (I wouldn't "squash" it, but maybe cut it into 3-4 smaller pieces, if the whole pea is too large) in garlic extract, something like Kent's Garlic Xtreme (or I'm told that pure garlic oil that comes in capsules in the grocery store spice aisle will work also)...couple of drops in a cup of water to thaw the peas in, and this may enhance the taste enough for the fish to show some interest.  You certainly can try corn, but I don't know how well that would go over either.  Basically, you are trying to get some "roughage" in the fish's diet...if you can't get the fish to accept peas, corn, other veggies, you could try an herbivore flake or pellet food as a supplement to the fish's normal diet.> Thanks in advance - Cheryl. <Again, so sorry this response is so late, but I certainly hope this helps you!  Best, Jorie>

White Goldfish Care  9/29/05 Hi, I have been trawling through your pages for goldfish. Lots of helpful advise on diseases, tanks, water etc. I have got the bug for fishes - few months back I got new house and decided I wanted some fishes so got 3, then someone said you should never have 3 in a tank (1 gets lonely and they fight or something) I was horrified so as the fish shop say my tank can hold 4. I decided to get another. I have 2 orange/gold ones, a red capped with white body one and the new one - an albino - am sure! Its so tiny and white with big black eyes - is there anything I should do different with this one? Strange question  I know but I don't want it dying (or any of the others). Oh also, feed them some peas (Birdseye ones not cheap rubbish) and some sweet corn and weren't having any of it. Well they picked at them but didn't seem able to eat them? It was like me trying to digest a football - they are so tiny the peas seemed so big? Thanks v much & keep up great work, Cheryl < You have a white goldfish not an albino. Care for this fish as you have for the others. You can take the frozen peas and run then through a blender to make a paste that will easier for your goldfish to eat.-Chuck>

Goldfish question, health... really nutrition  9/23/05 I've been reading a lot about constipation in goldfish and actually had to deal with it last week.  That fish had a trail of brown feces trailing from it.  I tried the pea remedy and she was fine the next day.  Now, however, I have one with white stuff trailing from it .  What is that?   <Fecal material> He's acting OK right now.  I have been feeding flakes, which they love , but recently got some Spring and Autumn pellets that have lots of veggies and will probably be better for them. <Please read on WWM re Goldfish, Pondfish Feeding> The pkg said they soften quickly and even small fish can eat them.  These guys are still small,  only a few wks out of the petstore, and they tried so hard to eat the things.  I don't know if they sank or what, but went back to the flakes.  These fish are in a small garden pond with filter and fountain.  Anyway, my real question is about this white stuff.  Thanks for your help.  Chris <Look into blending in some fresh foods... not dried alone. Bob Fenner>

Goldfish And Food Aggression? - 09/20/2005 Hi! <Ahoy thar, matey!> I was wondering what to do about one of my black moors: he fights with the other one in my tank over food and actually pushes the other one away with his nose (there are only 2 fish in the tank). As a result, the other fish gets less food. Should I feed more? Separate?  Please advise. <I would recommend that you try offering live plants like Egeria/anacharis/elodea that can just be left in for them to munch; also, blanched human-consumption veggies like zucchini and cucumber also are a good plan.  See here for more:   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshfdgfaqs.htm .  Wishing you well,  -Sabrina>

Goldfish Nutritional/Environmental Disease - 09/02/2005 Dear WWM, My fantail goldfish is acting abnormal. First off her belly seems a little swollen and she is most of the time hiding in a corner. <First indications of nutritional or environmental disease....  Be testing for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate; maintain ammonia and nitrite at ZERO, nitrate less than 20ppm....> The only time she seems active is when I tap on the glass to get her attention <I would urge against this....  can actually be harmful.  Water carries sound much easier than air; what is a gentle tap to you might be like a whack with a baseball bat to the fish.> or when I feed them. <As for feeding.... and the bloating....  Please consider feeding a lot of veggie matter (thawed frozen peas, with the shell squeezed off, blanched cucumber or zucchini, etc....) and offer plants like anacharis/elodea/Egeria for them to graze.  A constant diet of pellet or flake food with too much protein content can cause gut blockages (bloating, constipation) in goldfish.> If you could help to see what's wrong with her that would be great. Also, another one of my goldfish seems to be having trouble swimming.  Well, not really swimming but sometimes she seems to be falling to her right side and having trouble getting straight. <Also likely environmental and/or nutritional.> If you could help me with that too it would be great. <Please read here:   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm .> Thank You! <Wishing you well,  -Sabrina>

I've noticed that my goldfish is eating it's own tail. 8/22/05 <Whaaat? I do not think this is possible, my friend, unless the goldfish is a well-trained contortionist...> It's not that I'm not feeding it myself, there is goldfish food at the bottom. I clean out my bowl about once a week, so I would say there is about two days of food at the bottom. I will soon clean it out again because of the food at the bottom. <You should not be feeding the fish more than it can consume in 3-5 minutes.  This leftover food is decomposing in the bowl and likely polluting the water...I'd guess there's a fair amount of undesirable ammonia, nitrite and/or nitrate in the bowl at the moment.  Don't ever let unconsumed food add up like that.  Cut down on feedings and if, for some reason, you do notice extra food on the bottom, suck it out with a turkey baster or the likes.  How big is this bowl? How much water do you regularly change? Please consider stepping up the water changes and feeding less, much less from the sounds of it.> but why is he eating it's own tail. this morning it had the top half of the tail left and as of this evening he only has a nub of a tail and a few scales missing. He's the only one in the tank. There is a snail for algae and an air filter. <I'd guess this is some sort of fin/tail rot, something which is caused by poor environmental conditions.  Follow the above instructions re: additional water changes and drastically reduced feeding (remember: if the fish doesn't eat it in 3-5 min.,  you've fed too much!) and I'd guess the problems will rectify themselves.  In the long term, consider upgrading the bowl to a tank with filtration...goldfish are notoriously messy (but beautiful) fish that require a good deal of space and lots of filtration.> Need a helpful answer quick, Rae <Good luck! Do read on www.wetwebmedia.com the articles about filtration, cycling and feeding in the freshwater area. Jorie>

Goldfish Goodies - 08/04/2005 Howdy!   <Hello, again!> I have 2 Oranda goldfish who LOVE bananas, oranges, grapes, and peas.  How often should I feed these "treats"?   <The fruits I would keep as a very seldom treat - but greens like peas, zucchini, spinach, and the like are *excellent* regular food sources.  Far superior to flake foods.  Keeping plants like anacharis/elodea/Egeria available for munching is also a good plan.> Currently I feed them a small pinch of flakes in the morning, give them a 5 minute snacking period (they munch on whatever fresh food I've put in their veggie clip) in the afternoon, and another pinch of flakes in the evening.   <Sounds adequate, depending of course on what a "pinch" is to you - my pinch may be quite a bit smaller than yours ;)  But all in all, sounds great.  Try to aim for flakes with more veggie content than high proteins; Spirulina flakes or Ocean Nutrition's "Formula Two" flakes (and frozen cubes) are great.  Frozen prepared foods are great options.> Their 25 gallon tank is given 25% water changes (gravel is vacuumed) every Friday morning (they live on a very regular schedule- both feeding and cleaning- otherwise I have a tendency to forget!), water test: Nitrate 10 ppm, Nitrite 0 ppm, GH 60 ppm, KH 40, ph 7.2.  I've read a lot about what sorts of food (aside from flakes) they can eat, but have found nothing in the way of how often it can be fed.   <All sounds perfect.  Do please keep greens in their diet!> I'm creating a small book (geared towards children, as they live in the lobby of a child psychiatry office) in hopes of promoting the both the joys and responsibilities of caring for fish.   <A wonderful, noble endeavor, indeed!  Thank you for taking the initiative to do something like this!  I would be delighted to see it when finished, if possible.> Many of the patients have expressed interest in the hobby and I want to make sure I give accurate info (and make sure I'm not overfeeding the little guys!).  Thanks very much for your help! -Jennifer <Again, a wonderful endeavor.  Sounds like you are very much on the right track.  Wishing you and your goldies well,  -Sabrina>

Goldfish Not eating 7/29/05 I have recently set up a new 20 litre starter tank following all the advice given by my local supplier. <This tank is too small...>   After allowing this to stabilize for a couple of weeks I have stocked it with 2 goldfish.  One seems to be fine but the other appears to be unable to eat and has been like this since I introduced it to the tank about a week ago.  It seems to be eager to eat and approaches food but never makes any attempt to eat it and just noses the food about the tank. The fish seems unable to open its mouth and I suspected mouth rot could be a factor but there is no sign of redness or wasting of the mouth and no signs of fungal infection. It was fairly lively to begin with but is now more listless.  I would be grateful for any advice you could give me. regards Sandy <Likely environmental... Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwestcycling.htm and http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Floating goldfish 7/26/05 Hi there, I have an Oranda goldfish that floats on the top of the tank upside down shortly after every feeding. <A not uncommon developmental "disease" with roundish goldfish breeds, mis-feeding>   I have changed food, and I also soak the food now before feeding her.  It doesn't seem to help.  Is there a special type of food for this type of bladder problem?  Will it harm her health to float upside down? thank you, Freckles Mom <Yep... please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshfdgfaqs.htm and on to the many disease FAQs files linked above... or learn/use the Google search tool re goldfish swim bladder disease. Bob Fenner>

Goldfish feeding 7/14/05 I have a 45 litre tank with filter, pump, and light with 5 goldfish: 1 fantail, 4 nymphs. One of my nymphs rarely eats any food. <Odd> I feed them fish flakes but that particular goldfish never comes up to the surface to eat and even when it does come up it gets scared of the other fish and runs away. Should I feed them food that sinks to the bottom? <Yes, I would... pellets, other fresh, frozen/defrosted foods> And also, how big can nymphs and fantails grow, and how long does it take? thanks Amanda <Both can attain several inches in length... but not in crowded, polluted conditions... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm Bob Fenner>

Goldfish Not Eating Enough? We have 2 goldfish over 5 years old who have started spitting their food out. They were also breathing slightly heavily but a full water change appears to have sorted the breathing problems. We have also tried a different food and they still do the same. Otherwise they seem fine - swimming around and active. What could be causing them to do this and what needs to be done so they start eating normally? <When goldfish are small they seem to eat like pigs. They need to eat quite a bit because they need fuel to grow on. After awhile their metabolism slows down, they grow at a slower rate and they don't need to eat as much because they really don't require as much food. Feed them once a day and only enough food so that all of it is gone in two minutes once each day.-Chuck> 

Begging Goldfish Hello, thanks for the great site, v.v. helpful!! But I do have one question regarding my goldfish. I have 4 goldfish; 2 calico fantails, one (new) Sarasa comet, and one common goldie together in one tank. The fantails are about 1.5" each, the common is about 2.5", and the comet is less than 2". I feed them 3 foods in rotation (for variety) They get Daphnia, flakes, and floating pellets. They also have one live plant in their tank to munch on (don't know the name, but it is a green and bright purple plant with long leaves) I feed them 2 pinches of food in the morning, and 1 small pinch in the evening. However, they constantly seem hungry. Up to recently they did not always seem hungry. But since I introduced the comet last week they are always looking for more food. Am I feeding them enough? <Sound fine. Goldfish are famous for training their owners to over feed them. They will be fine being fed once or twice a day with as much as they can eat in a minute or so. Even skipping a day once a week is fine. The more you feed, the more water changes you will need to do. Goldfish produce a lot of ammonia in their waste. Don> 

Goldfish not eating I've had my goldfish for nearly 2 years. Over this time he has lost some scales and had the odd illness but has always been a happy fish. <Lost scales? From what?> Last week, however, he stopped eating and was sitting at the bottom of his tank, not eating and gasping and with rapid gill movement, as well as a very pale mucus appearance to his faeces.  <Yikes.... please provide information re your set-up, particularly filtration... and maintenance procedures... do you change water regularly? Check your water chemistry? What do you feed, how often?> I treated him with Slime and Velvet control and a tonic which seemed to perk him up and he started eating again. I have made a water changes of around 30% since this and added a small amount more of his treatment with this. However, recently he has been swimming around his tank very slowly and not like his usual self, the mucus excrement has returned and he has not eaten for 4 days now, and the gasping and gill movement have returned, and he is now staying close to the surface of the water. I was just wondering if there is anything you could suggest that might help him, it's hard to see him so low when he's normally so happy. Any advice you could give me would be very much appreciated. Thank you, Kim. <Kim, something is definitely off here... very likely some aspect of your fish's environment... Do you have any ornament/decor that might be poisoning the system? Like a seashell or piece of metal in the tank? Please read through our section on goldfish, their husbandry: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/goldfish.htm see the blue files above? These are links... Please go through the articles on Systems and Disease. Bob Fenner> 

Anorexic Goldfish Hello Again, <Hi there> Well I was right, there was something wrong with my older fish Beau. He died five hours after I put the new fish Cow (named for his white and orange markings lol) in there. That first day Cow ate very well, almost like he was competing for food with Beau. But ever since Beau has been gone I haven't been able to get Cow to eat.  I thought perhaps he didn't like flake food because the first time I fed him I'd fed them with crumbles I'd presoaked. so I fed him those instead, but he mostly ignored them. Every morning I feed him a few flakes hoping he's just not use to be fed from the top. <Good try> But every day when I come back from class it's still there. So in the evening I feed him crumbles and he hasn't eaten those either.  I've read on your site that new fish sometimes don't eat, but the first day he did! Is he lonely? Or is there some other problem I should consider?  Thank you for your help! <Not lonely... maybe just not used to these sorts of foods... like you waking up and having to eat everyday at the sushi bar... Do look into some other food formats... pellets that sink, frozen/defrosted, even some cooked, squished peas... and see if your goldfish will accept some of these... take care to remove any uneaten foods about five, ten minutes later. Bob Fenner> 

Goldfish questions Hello. <Hi- this is Jorie> I just want to ask a few questions about gold fish. My gold fish is fan tail. It is new. But I don't know how it can eat. I fed it once. Although the food is at the bottom, it doesn't eat. Is it normal? It may eat when it is hungry from the bottom? <It is entirely normal for new fish not to eat at first.  How long have you had the new fish? What kind of food are you attempting to feed it? You can always try stimulating appetite with garlic oil extract, but at this time, it may just be a settling in period.> how many times should I feed it? <You should generally feed your fish one to three times per day, ONLY the amount they can consume within three minutes.  Do not leave food lying around the bottom of the tank, as it will decay and cause toxin buildups in the tank.  Having said that, are you familiar with the term "cycling" of a new tank?  If not, I'd suggest you do a water change ASAP, trying to suck out any leftover food from the bottom.  Try to match the temperature and pH of the new and old water as closely as possible.  What you are doing is removing toxins such as ammonia, nitrites and/or nitrates, all of which will spike at some point prior to the "cycle" of the new tank being complete.  These toxins are all very poisonous to fish and cannot remain in the water while fish are present.  Do consider investing in a test kit to measure ammonia, nitrite and nitrate, along with pH, if you don't already have one.  For now, though, just keep up with regular water changes and I suspect your fish will perk right up.> please give me an answer. Thank you........ <Good luck with your new fish.  If you are new to the hobby, I recommend checking out a book called The Simple Guide to Freshwater Aquariums by David E. Boruchowitz - he's got some very good advice (except for his proposed stocking plans) that is quite easily digestible by beginners. I found it extremely helpful when I first started keeping FW fish. Jorie.>

Goldfish not eating Hi my name is Tara. I have three goldfish and just got them yesterday. They are true comets. I believe these fish are not that old yet and they are not eating! I put food on the top of the water and they don't even come up to eat it. I pushed the food down after so it would sink and they still don't eat. This morning I tried to feed them a pea. Still they wouldn't so I took the skin of the pea and mushed it up. They just wont eat! I am very worried. I would like these fish alive. I love fish but 1.) how do I get them to eat and 2.) this is the first time I have had fish. How do I keep them nice and healthy and better yet alive! Please help me. Tara <Hi Tara, Don here. you just need to give them a couple of days to get use to their new home. It's normal for them to not eat for the first few days. Make sure you get any uneaten food out of the tank. The best advise I can give you is to keep the tank clean. But don't empty it out. Siphon out about 25% from the bottom using a gravel vac. Replace with fresh water. Do this every day or two for the fist two or three weeks. Once or twice a week after that. A big tank, a good filter and fresh water are key. Good luck with your goldfish>    

My goldfish wont eat ...I have 3 Dear Crew,      hi my name is Tara. I have three goldfish and just got them yesterday they are true comets. I believe these fish are not that old yet and they are not eating ! I put food on the top of the water and they don't even come up to eat it. I pushed the food down after so it would sink and they still don't eat. This morning I tried to feed them a pea. still they wouldn't so I took the skin of the pea and mushed it up. They just wont eat! I am very worried I would like these fish alive I love fish but 1.) how do I get them to eat and 2.) this is the first time I have had fish how do I keep them nice and healthy and better yet alive! please help me please. Thank-you -Tara <Tara,     Don't worry about your goldfish situation.  Everyone is a beginner at least once in their life.  Make sure your fish has fresh water and a big enough tank.  I recommend at least one inch per 5 gallons of water.  If you have a filter make sure you change 25% of the water weekly.  It will help them to keep healthy.  if they are in a bowl it will likely be too small for comets, (change the water daily until you can get a bigger tank).  As for the food goes you are offering the right food just give them some time.  Good Luck!! Mike B>

Feeding Goldfish with a Sinking Boat. Hi, I heard from someone that there is an entertaining method to feed goldfish with a paper boat. Mainly with a paper boat, cut a small hole, put some food on the boat and wait it to sink slowly. Does such method exist? and how does it work exactly? is there any precise folding for the boat. Elisa >>>Hello Elisa, The boat must be made into an exact replica of the Titanic, or this method will not work. The food pellets must be placed on the paper Titanic precisely in order to represent doomed passengers. Balance the boat with food pellets in such a way so that the food pellet passengers fall off of the rear of the boat first. Once these passages are dead, the boat should break in half, allowing the pellets (passengers) on the front half to begin falling to their death. Make sure you place small pieces of paper in the water in the water with a pellet or three on each one. This represents the pellets/passengers that made it into a life boat. DO NOT let your goldfish eat these! Problems may result that are beyond the scope of this email. By the time Leonardo and his lady on the front of the boat (you can use a different type of food for these if you wish) are eaten, your goldfish should be well fed. As far as plans for folding the Titanic replica, I can't help you there, but you can do a search on the net. Please only feed your fish in this fashion twice a day. cheers Jim<<<

Goldfish and lima Beans Hey! <Hey, right back-atcha!> Can gold fan-tailed fish eat lima beans? <Goldfish can have a variety of things in their diets, which I suggest you do with your fish.  Though I have never fed lima beans to my goldfish I do offer them shelled peas and other vegetables.   I would attempt Lima Beans once and see what the fish does.   If it is possible to peel the harder outer skin off the lima before feeding it might make it easier for the fish.   Remember a varied choice of food in your Goldfish's diet will increase it's health and it's longevity.   I've had goldfish last many many years this way! -Em <Good luck with the Goldies! -Magnus>

Goldfish food, feeding Hi, there. Just yesterday, I received a black moor as a "room warming" gift for my  dorm room, and I named him Sirius (Sirius Black, get it?).  It is my first  fish EVER.  However, when I fed him today, he just seems to suck the food  in, and then spit it back out!  The food that I gave him was Tetra Exotic  Sinking Mini Sticks.  Even the little bits that he sucks off the sticks he  seems to spit out.  He is a very energetic little guy, and he's very fond  of swimming into the back of the tank (as if he's looking for something), and I  can tell that he enjoys hunting the pellets...He just isn't swallowing  them!  Please, help me.  I'm very worried. < You new little friend may have been raised on some other type of food and may take him awhile to get used to the new food and surroundings. They can go at least a week without eating so give him time. Only give him enough food so that it is all gone in a couple of minutes. Excess uneaten food causes ammonia problems so leave the food in there all day. Remove it in a couple of minutes after you feed. Eventually he will learn to eat quick.-Chuck> Jesse

Goldfish Won't Eat I have checked and checked the internet for help with my goldfish but cannot find my situation anywhere. I have 3 goldfish in a 55 gallon tank (also 2 algae eaters...1 large and 1 small...and 1 other little white bottom feeder who never bothers anyone ever).  They are almost 4 years old and have been together since they were babies. I have tested the water (pH, nitrate, nitrite, ammonia) and everything is perfect. One has suddenly stopped eating.  The other 2 are as active as ever.  The troubled one has always seemed a bit more susceptible to stress than the other 2. There are no visible signs of disease or infection.  He just suddenly will not eat.  I feed my fish by hand a lot and he won't even eat if I force the food to his mouth.  He closes his mouth tight and turns away.  I know he's hungry because at first he goes to the top to eat, then it's almost like he smells the food to figure out what it is and decides to eat nothing. I feed them flakes, floating pellets, sinking pellets, krill, blood worms, Tubifex worms and brine shrimp.  I don't think he's even eating the sinking pellets...I can't wait forever to watch after I feed them, but I think the other 2 fish may be the ones eating the pellets that fall to the gravel. When I first noticed a problem developing, he would only eat blood worms, now nothing at all. Since he hasn't eaten for 6 days now, I am really scared for him.  Again, he is under no signs of stress, no gasping for air, no flying around the tank or against anything, he just won't eat. I do water changes daily, anywhere from 5 to 10 gallons and I use a water conditioner to get rid of the chlorine from the tap.  The filter is undergravel with 3 bubble stones and a power head that I use only during daytime hours to get as much oxygen in there as possible. Any help you can provide would be greatly appreciated.  If you need any more information about my tank or the inhabitants, please let me know and I will respond immediately. Thank you so much! Kim <<Dear Kim; Goldfish are herbivores. It seems to me you are feeding them quite a bit of protein! It may be wise to feed some Spirulina flake, buy a high quality food with Spirulina as the FIRST ingredient listed on the label. Also you can try to feed your goldfish some shelled peas (buy frozen and cook them for 5 minutes), even broccoli heads (blanched to soften). Your fish may be suffering from vitamin deficiencies. There are liquid fish vitamins available at most decent pet stores, you can soak your goldfish pellets once or twice a week, also, to ensure good health. The other thing that caught my attention was the undergravel filter. These do need proper maintenance. In other words, you should be tearing your tank down every three months or so to completely clean beneath the plastic grating, as this is where all the crud gets trapped. This crud will break down organically, and add toxins to your water. There are no test kits for these toxic gases (e.g. hydrogen sulfide!). I generally try to talk people out of buying undergravels, unless they are using reverse-flow powerheads on them, but even still, they can give you headaches. There are SO many efficient, easy to maintain hang-on advanced filters on the market nowadays that undergravels are not necessary. If you have not cleaned the undergravel filter in your tank, it is probably time to do so. There are precautions to take, however. You can't remove the UG plate when the fish are in the tank because if you disturb the substrate, you can possibly release gases and instantly kill all the fish in the tank. Yes, it happens! The best method is as follows: Carefully siphon 50% of the tank water into a Rubbermaid bin on the floor. Catch all the fish in the tank and transfer them to the bin. Try not to disturb any plants or decor while you catch them. Transfer the heater, and put in an airstone or secondary filter for aeration while you work on the tank. Once the fish are removed, you can then remove all the decorations. Live plants can be gently placed into another bucket, and covered with damp paper towels or a bit more tank water. Remove the UG plate. Now comes the tricky part...you need to clean the gravel without harming the beneficial bacteria. NOT an easy chore, and the reason why UG filters are so annoying. If you DON'T clean the UG filter, you risk poisoning your fish, and if you DO clean the UG filter, you risk ammonia spikes. At any rate, you should still have half a tank full of water, so siphoning the gravel should be easy. If you run out of water (siphons work fast...) just add a bit of new water, DE-chlorinated. If you would prefer to remove the gravel and rinse it in a bucket, do so, but again, use DE-chlorinated water, so you can try to preserve as much bacteria as possible. You may still have an ammonia spike, but just test the water and do the water changes accordingly. You can also add Bio-Spira, found at your LFS. It is the ONLY biological support product that I have found to actually work as it's supposed to. As you can see, an undergravel filter can be a bit of work to have. You might want to at least add additional filtration, like a Penguin BioWheel, so when you DO have to clean your UG, you don't have to rely on it as the sole provider of biological filtration. Or run your UG in reverse-flow. Your LFS will have reverse-flow powerheads that you can buy for this purpose. Best of luck! -Gwen>>
Goldfish Won't Eat II
He finally started showing signs of ick...small white raised spots on his head.  The other 2 goldfish seem pretty close to normal. I know that UG filters are difficult to maintain but that's all I've ever known and used.  I've had this tank with these fish for 4 years now with no problems.  I do every step of cleaning on a very regular basis and my fish are always wonderfully happy...they're actually pretty spoiled. Anyway, I bought Quick Cure and have been treating with 55 drops once a day (I have a 55 gallon tank) for the last 5 days.  My fish with ick spots just seems to be getting worse...has about 10 spots on his head, some bigger than others, and most disturbing to me is that he now appears to have big swollen blisters on his gills.  I've never seen anything like it before so I don't know if it's related to the ick thing or if it's an entirely different thing. My other 2 goldfish eat pretty normally and regular, but the one sick fish doesn't eat AT ALL and he hasn't that I've seen for probably about 10 days now.  He's starting to thin out, he pretty much has no energy, just breathes pretty labored, stays around the middle of the tank, not at the top where the oxygen is. I just want to make sure I can treat with Quick Cure for more than the 5 days it says on the bottle.  I know these white nodules need to fall off his head before I can get anywhere with this but they take so long to fall off.  I tried raising the water temperature by about 2-3 degrees but haven't noticed any improvement yet. Also, can I administer Aquarium Salt in the tank at the same time I'm treating with Quick Cure? I just don't want to overwhelm my fish with so many new things in their tank that they're not used to. I am just so frustrated, I don't know what else to do.  I love my fish like I would my own children and I'm watching Forrest (the sick one) aging by about 50 years every single day.  It's all on his head, the spots, the blisters, everything.  I believe I am following all of the suggested treatments listed on your website but my one fish remains sick and actually looks sicker than before I started treating it.  He eats NOTHING but just hangs around.  No fin rot, no drooping fins...everything about him looks okay except his poor little old man head.  All wrinkled with spots and big fat raised blisters on his gills.  Is it maybe too late for him now?  Or should I be more patient?  I just don't want him to suffer unnecessarily. Also, I administer the Quick Cure at night right before I turn their lights out, then the next day, when they're read to wake up and (hopefully) eat, I do a partial water change just to remove the floating debris and the debris resting in the gravel.  I replace it with tap water with Tetra AquaSafe added.  After doing a water change like this the morning after medicine has been put into the tank, do I need to add more medicine to compensate for the amount of water I just replaced?  Or, do I strictly stick to administering the Quick Cure just once a day with one drop per gallon of water? Please help!!! Thanks so much for your previous response!!!  I appreciate it more than you know! Kim <<Kim; I advise you to try removing the sick fish to a hospital tank, and start using an antibiotic on him. It may not seem like it to you, but the fish could have ich as a secondary infection due to some internal problem. See if your LFS carries Metronidazole, or Internal Parasite Guard by Jungle: http://www.junglelabs.com/pages/details.phtml?item=NJ054 which is added to the water, great for fish that are not eating. Yes, you can treat with Quick Cure for up to 5 days, but then switch over to the antibiotic with a bit of SALT in the water (one teaspoon per 3 gallons). Also, I honestly believe your UG filter is causing the fish to become sick...Hydrogen sulfide is a nasty gas that can be very slowly released into your tank water without you knowing, EXCEPT by the response of your fish. Sick fish for no reason could very well be related to your UG filter. Testing the water, as you have done, is all we can do, but there are no tests at the LFS for hydrogen sulfide. I do realize you have been using this filter for years with no previous problems, but I honestly believe it is time for you to remove the UG and advance to a better form of filtration. My recommendation is an Eheim 2217, or even an Eheim Pro. No, I don't work for Eheim :P They are just the best filters available to us average fishkeepers, and worth every cent. In any case, all you can do now is treat the fish and keep testing the water. -Gwen>>

Feeding Mishap My Goldfish Lucky is 8 years old. I have had him since he was a little grey fish. I won him at a carnival tossing balls into fishbowls. Anyways, my little cousin tried to feed him and poured a whole lot of food flakes in the tank. BY the time I realized it the food had been there some time. He was fine earlier but now he is floating upside down. I figure this is that bladder disease but I am concerned on what I should do first and if he will make it. He is strong, orange and about the size of my palm. He is not moving much and popping a little but still upside down. What steps should I take now to help him. Fasting...peas? I did change his water to get out the debris in his tank. Help!!-R <<Dear R, Is he a fantail or regular comet? How big is the tank, and what size water change did you do? How often do you normally do water changes? If possible, test the water for ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates, this will help us understand things better. Basically, he should not be floating. If you dump an entire container of food into a healthy tank, usually a few simple water changes are enough to save the day. This sounds more like a combination of not enough regular water changes followed by too much food being dumped and decaying over time, followed by a lack of oxygen, high ammonia, and who knows what else...how long was the food in the tank before you did the water change? Something tells me you will need to do quite a few more water changes before your fish will improve. I hope you can do so in time. -Gwen>>

Goldfish and Pleco nutrition Hello- <Hello.> Right off hand id like to thank you for taking the time to read my message. <Glad to have the opportunity to help.> There area few things I'm am concerned about.  Firstly, I'm worried that my goldfish are getting too much protein, and I had read that it is good to give them vegetables to balance out their system, but they wont eat anything except their fish food, and blood worms. They're completely uninterested in spinach, lettuce, nor will they eat tiny pieces of cut up carrots.  They spit them right back out...  I cant seem to find anything they like! <Try frozen/thawed peas (just squeeze the shell off), blanched zucchini or cucumber, and offer them some anacharis/elodea/Egeria plants to eat - these plants should be quite inexpensive at your local fish or pond store.> Also, I just bought a gold nugget plec. <Oh, one of my favorites!> I purchased algae wafers to drop in after my goldfish are fed for him to eat, because I don't recognize any significant amounts of algae... the goldfish are eating these.  I'm worried he may not be getting the nutrition he needs either. <Well, to be honest, this plec (L-018/L-085, L-081, or L-177, all Baryancistrus sp.), is actually a meat eater.  I doubt that he'll ever accept algae wafers, but he would benefit from a bit of blanched cucumber or zucchini once in a while.  Offer him meaty foods, like frozen raw shrimp (just like you would eat), frozen bloodworms (from the fish store), or frozen prepared foods like Ocean Nutrition's "Formula One" (my meat-eatin' Hypancistrus plecs LOVE this).> Please help.  I don't want my plec to starve or my fish to get sick or die!! <Try the above suggestions, I'm sure they'll take some of those offerings.  The plec may be a bit tough to feed at first, as they're a bit skittish during the day, so you might try using a veggie-clip (like the ones for saltwater fish feeding) to get a piece of shrimp near him just after lights-out.> Thanks,  -Shiga Ryukin <Wishing you and your fishes well,  -Sabrina>

Red Cap Goldfish feeding Thanks for the info, I have a 5 gallon water tank N I'm saving up to buy a bigger one ;0)   I have on last Q. I bought floating pellets and I am only feeding him 5 that should be plenty right? <<Hello, yes, that should be okay. It's hard for me to tell you how much to feed, you have to use your best judgment. Just be sure that he eats all the food you give him. You do not want it to  stay in the tank and pollute the water. -Gwen>>

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

Peas for Goldfish?   1/15/04 hey another quick question, what kind of pea and does it have to be a frozen one, can it come out of a can? <Frozen is better (thawed, of course)>

Oranda goldfish Thank you for responding. When you say frozen goldfish food do you mean frozen daphnia and brine shrimp? <Goldfish will eat anything they can, though I have found that mine aren't quick to eat the brine shrimp.> If so, I started feeding them that and then read that too much protein can cause swim bladder so I stopped. <To much protein isn't especially bad, just that goldfish (carp) tend to eat more plant matter in their diet.  don't feed exclusively meaty foods, it's best to have a broad based feeding mix.> I feed them now either the sinking pellets or Tetrafin flake food. A small amount twice a day. Thank you. Kim <That is my feeding schedule as well.  And my goldfish are quite happy.  good luck -Magnus.>

It's a Floater, Not a Sinker.. >Hello, >>Greetings. >I have a question about my goldfish.   >>Ok. >I have searched the web and your site looking for an answer and it all seems so contradictory that I am unsure how to treat, if at all.  Here is some background.  I have two goldfish, fantail I think, one is gold and one is calico.  I received them as a gift in Sept. and have grown especially fond of them.  I am unsure how old they are, they are about an inch long or what sex they are.   >>If only an inch, they are still quite juvenile.   >They live in a 20 gal. tank with a few live plants, a bit of gravel, and some of that black substrate stuff that the plants are supposed to love, and a piece of wood (like drift wood but it sits on the bottom).  There is also a 1.5 inch Japanese algae eater of some kind in there that is doing a good job keeping the brown algae down and keeps to itself.  There is a filter that aerates the tank a bit and cleans the water.  Every ten days, I take out 20-25% of the water and replace it.  Once, I took a sample of water to the pet store to test and everything was good.  The fish are especially "clowny" when I come around and seem to have a lot of vitality. >>Sounds good, though if you're very good at keeping them, they will quickly outgrow that tank.  I see a minimum 55-60 gallon tank in their future. >So here is the problem, the orange fish, who I call Jane, was trying to expel a poop today that was unusual.  It was normal looking at the very end, the the rest of it looked clear, with bubbles possibly, that was kinked like link sausage.  It extended from "her" anus, I am guessing, to the end of "her" tail.  It took her apx. 10-15 minutes to shake loose of it.  It really wanted to get it off it seemed.  The feces floated to the top and I swooped it out to get a better look, I couldn't tell much.  It is like it popped or I smooshed it and there wasn't anything there.  So after searching the web, I have read this possibly associated with everything to dropsy, shedding eggs, fish gulping bubbles, internal parasites, constipation, malnutrition... I think that is all. But I am left with trying to discern if there is anything to do.   >>MOST likely you have fancy goldies (short, fat bodies, yes?).  In which case, MOST likely they're gulping air when they eat.  There are a couple of things you'll need to do.  First, they'll need to get a bit of vegetable matter into their regular diet.  Frozen peas, squeezed out of their skins are excellent for them.  They and the algae eater my also enjoy a small slice of zucchini, microwaved a short bit to help break down the cellulose, and weighted down left on the bottom of the tank.  Only leave that in for a day.  As for staple food, you need to start feeding sinking pellets and/or flake.  This is the best way to ensure that they don't swallow air (this is VERY common for fancy goldies, by the way).  Another EXCELLENT treat (they'll go NUTS for this) are mosquito larvae and daphnia ( http://www.petfish.net/daph.htm ).  Do know that this will not only get them to grow quite quickly, but once spring time comes around it will help spur on breeding. >This fish is happy, seemingly healthy, eats whenever I put food in there.  I feed them 1-2 times per day a small pinch of dry flake food.  The only unusual behavior I noticed is tonight, since the poo, the fish is vigorous in shaking its back end. >>Probably doing a "fish fart" kinda thing. >Any advice?  I am also finding contradictory information on how big these fish will grow - any idea? >>If nothing but a pond comet, they can hit 10" if given enough space and water volume.  If a fancy, I've seen them as big as 8".  Fancies are much more demanding and delicate, require lower water movement, no sharp objects in their tank, and no other rough or fast swimming fish or they may get injured. >Thank you in advance for your time as well as all of the info you provide in general. Kris >>You're welcome, and crack open that bag o' peas ASAP.  Offer only SMALL amounts, you don't want to pollute the tank.  If there is too much food left over, just do a small water change siphoning out what you can get.  If it's a big water change, that won't hurt them at all (it's actually pretty good for them).  Marina

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

Re: Eat your veggies! I heard that you can feed your fish peas. Is this true? IF so should I crush them up? How small. I have three Orandas and four regular gold fish (the 24 cent fish) the biggest fish is about 4 inches. Does the biggest fish still need his peas crushed? What other foods can I feed my fish? Megan <Peas can be given once in a while but not on a daily basis. Feeding your fish the inside of a thawed pea (no, it doesn't have to be crushed, just peeled) will help prevent constipation. It's best to feed your fish mainly a diet of normal fish food but other good treats are green beans (canned), zucchini (steamed with peel removed), and even a bit of lettuce once in a great while. Ronni>

Re: Goldfish Spitting Food Hi, <Hello> I just found your great website - I just wish I had found it earlier. I bought two fish in September - one of them, a black moor, got swim bladder problems and seemed very distressed so I thought it was kinder to put him out of his misery a couple of weeks ago.  The other one is a normal goldfish and is in a 10 gallon tank with a filter and air.  About a week ago I noticed that she had swelled up a little in the abdomen and she has started to spit out her food.  I have been feeding her on flakes which, having read your site, I will change.  Her eating seems very labored - she chews and chews and then - 70% of the time will spit the food out and go and try another piece.  I am crushing the flakes very small for her as this seems to help a bit. <Possibly dropsy. Look closely at her sides, are the scales sticking straight out? If so, this is definitely dropsy and can be treated with one of the Maracyns, available at most LFS.> I read somewhere that this can indicate fluke infestation and I dosed the tank with Goldfish Parasite Guard 6 days ago and repeated (with a water change) after 4 days but so far it doesn't seem to be any better. <This could be a possibility if the scales aren't sticking straight out. There is info on a safe treatment for flukes at http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshdisfaqs.htm> She is very active - swimming around a lot and playing in the bubbles of the aeration - she is a lovely little fish and I would really appreciate if you could recommend what else I could try to make her better.  Also, suggestions on what to feed her - I keep seeing peas mentioned - are these good? <The activity is a good sign. Peas definitely will not hurt her, just don't give them very often as they serve as a laxative. They are recommended when fish are constipated but can be given once in a while even if they aren't. Most fish will readily eat them and thoroughly enjoy them. Use a thawed frozen pea and take the shell off of it so all you are feeding is the very soft inside.> Many thanks for your help, Kind Regards, Miriam <You're welcome. Ronni>

Re: snails-Ramshorn Thank you in regards to the question of sex of the single birthing mother snail.  Now another for  you please.  I have 3 large goldfish or carp now, and was wondering if I can put snails in the same tank without them getting eaten. <This should work out fine. These minnow fishes don't generally eat snails>   Also, I do not use a heater in my carp tank, just room temperature, and do have snails born in another tank I have that have a heater, will they survive the temperature of room and if yes or no, can you tell me some names of snails that can survive with my carp in room temperature.   tanks, Paul <This also should be fine. Please see here re your last question: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/PondSubWebIndex/pdsnails.htm Most all of the larger species of snails sold in our interest (particularly of the genus Pomacea (= Ampullaria) will do well. Bob Fenner>

Help with a Constipated Gold Fish Hi Robert, <<Not actually Robert, but Jason filling in while Bob is away diving.>> Mike Kobert recommended I contact you as I seem to have a problem with one of my goldfish. I have a 50 gallon hex tank with a split tail fancy gold fish, a red cap and a junior black moor. The gold fish and red cap are very large. A couple of months ago I changed food and my very large black moor started to swell up. I discontinued food and researched problem. He apparently was constipated or had dropsy (sp?) Anyway, I se up a hospital tank with the Epsom salt treatment per the book recommendations. The moor eventually died.  <<I am sorry to hear this.>> Now my Gold fish (very large) is swollen and I haven't seen him poop for weeks.  <<uh oh...>> Do you recommend any other course of action besides he Epsom salt treatment.  <<have a recent account from another reason who had a similar problem with his clownfish. His solution was to add fish-oil to the food. You might want to try this.>>  It didn't seem to work for the moor.  <<No, it didn't did it, but unfortunately this type of problem can only go on for so long before it will kill the fish, so the Epsom salts may have come a little too late.>>  Do you think I should try to manipulate (squeeze) the blockage out?  <<not unless you are very familiar with the fish's physiology - no guarantee you won't squeeze something in the wrong direction.>>  I am at a loss and we have had him for a few years - hate to see him go to fish heaven!  <<It would be unfortunate to be certain. Do try the fish-oil.>> Mike says your the man when it comes to goldfish. I'd really appreciate any advise you can give me.  <<hope that's helpful.>> Thanks! Ted Burgess <<You are welcome - Cheers, J -- >>
Re: goldfish -friend of mike kobert
Thanks Jason! <<Ahh, you are quite welcome.>> We'll give the fish oil a try> <<Do let us know how it goes.>> Ted <<Cheers, J -- >>

RE: Goldfish help Can you tell me what kinds of food besides flakes to be feeding my goldfish? <fresh frozen green foods for a good staple, Spirulina enriched pellets, and do read further here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwfoods,fdg,nutr.htm  Best regards, Anthony>
RE: Goldfish help
OK, thank you. I've already been there once today, so I'll re-read the information.  <excellent... and add high protein foods on occasion if your goldfish is an Oranda with a head growth to increase its mass> One more question... how often can I use Epsom salts and aquarium salts for my goldfish? <as long as you are doing regular water changes to dilute proportionately... else you'll increase the water hardness to an uncomfortable level. Anthony.>

Re: feeding peas to fantails Hello!  I recently found your website and have found it to be very informative! Thank you! In browsing your site I read that I should be feeding my goldfish peas. I have started doing so and they LOVE them. I have one that will actually eat them from my fingertips! Now for my questions...how often should I feed them peas? <Daily if possible> I also feed them Tetra Fin flake food and a floating pellet that my sister feeds to her pond goldfish. Is there other food products that I should be feeding them? <Yes, items that are more "meaty" (like frozen/defrosted Mysids, Brine Shrimp), and even rice (cooked), other green vegetables (better blanched or microwaved than fresh). To take care to not feed dried-prepared foods to heavily to "round-shaped" goldfish varieties... as there is a "positive correlation" between this practice and developmental disorders ("gas-bladder disease", "fatty infiltration disease")> I have 7 in a 55 gallon tank ( I know, I know! I am 2 over what you recommend for that size tank but they are small fish right now.) I also have 3 snails, 1 frog and 2 live plants. Thanks for any info you can provide! Keep up the great service.....greatly appreciated!!! Kerry

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by Robert (Bob) Fenner

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