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FAQs on Goldfish Environmental Disease 12
(ex: issues of poor water quality, overcrowding, unfavorable tank/water conditions, temperature, etc.)

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

Related Goldfish Disease FAQs: Environmental 1, Environmental 2, Environmental 3, Environmental 4, Environmental 5Environmental 6Environmental 7Environmental 8Environmental 9Environmental 10Environmental 11& Goldfish Disease 2, Goldfish Disease 3, Goldfish Disease 4, Goldfish Disease 6, Goldfish Disease 7, Goldfish Disease 8, Goldfish Disease 9, Goldfish Disease 10, Goldfish Disease 11, Goldfish Disease 12, Goldfish Disease 13, Goldfish Disease 14, Goldfish Disease 15, Goldfish Disease 16, Goldfish Disease 17, Goldfish Disease 18, Goldfish Disease 19, Goldfish Disease 20, Goldfish Disease 21, Goldfish Disease 22, Goldfish Health 23, Goldfish Disease 24, Goldfish Health 25, Goldfish Disease 26, Goldfish Disease 27, Goldfish Disease 28, Goldfish Disease 29, Goldfish Disease 30, Goldfish Disease 31, Goldfish Disease 33, Goldfish Disease 34, Goldfish Disease 35, Goldfish Health 36, Goldfish Health 37, Goldfish Health 38, Goldfish Disease 39 & Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate, Nitrogen Cycling, Koi/Pondfish Disease, Goldfish in General, Goldfish Behavior, Goldfish Compatibility, Goldfish Systems, Goldfish Feeding, Bloaty, Floaty Goldfish, Goldfish Breeding/Reproduction,

  

New Print and eBook on Amazon

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

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Goldfish with red lumpy operculum     7/25/17
I have a 60-65 gallon aquarium with 6 comet goldfish, 1 black moor, and 2 Chinese or Siamese Plecos. I have a hang on side filter system for 85 gallon tank and a submersible pump for circulation. There are variegated
philodendrons rooting in tank. When the tank was first started 2 years ago, my daughter threw some crawdads and snails and mollusks from a creek in with the fish. The snails and mollusks were eaten and the crawdads eventually killed off each other. Saturday's are 10% water change and vacuum days.
<Good. I'd increase this to 20-25%>
Water conditioner is added with new water....sometimes distilled, other times tap.
<Likely no conditioner necessary, and is the distilled nec... Oh, I see this below>
We have hard well water.
<How hard? GH, KH?>
Ph is usually in low to mid 7s. Ammonia is always less than or equal to 0.25 ppm. One in the past I noticed a fish with red streaking of its tail fin that went away untreated.
<Ahh; then I WOULD keep using the conditioner, or store the new change water a week in advance of use>
The black moor was a Wal-Mart guilt buy that brought ich to the tank a year ago. It was treated with malachite green....something that turned water ugly almost opaque green. It cleared up fast. Now. 1 week ago, the largest goldfish had a lumpy red operculum on right side. Looked like a mass.
<I see this in your pix>
It wasn't there the day before....I remember because family was visiting and looking at fish. Oh--temp of tank is around 70 in summer and cooler in winter. By that evening the lump had spread like a thick red ring with extra slime (??) at periphery of lesion.
<Good description>
I don't have an isolation tank. I added 1 tablespoon aquarium salt to each 5 gallons and put a heater in water....max temp it gets to is 78 degrees Fahrenheit.... pulled out my charcoal and floss filters (2 of each.). The initial site looks better if not pale with darker splotches. I thought it was working but next day the red ring crossed over top of head
and to other side. The margin that advances is very red and highlights the periphery of each scale. I don't know septicemia in fish but it's the closest I can match image to. However, all fish are acting fine eating fine. No flashing, rubbing. Only the one fish has symptoms.
<Thankfully; perhaps it has a/the weaker immune system>

We had one fat bivalve that was missing it's creature the day before I noticed signs. It was only one and it hid in gravel under big decorative rock forms. Can't swear fish ate it but they eat everything. I bought some quick cure..... for what???? ....my daughter swore she saw ich and was frantic....so treated 3 days.....did 25 percent water change. The fish looks same except the ever advancing red line with snotty margins.
<Mmm; I wouldn't use the Quick Cure here... too toxic, and won't help>
The first picture is day one....I know it's a side view but it really just looked thickened. I thought is it a tumor?
<Yes; this is my assessment as well>
The second picture was the next morning. I tried to swab site and look at it under a scope, but I wasn't sure what I was looking for. I know what dog parasites and Protozoans look like but not fish. I saw little Coccidia like clusters....ovals with a circle inside. I also saw a couple budding yeast like ovals. This may be a wild goose chase though. I read many posts and went through dichotomous keys....never found the answer.
<I suspect this is a tumorous growth, and not a pathogenic condition (Sporozoan, Microsporidean...) as if the latter, most all fishes would be similarly afflicted>
Please help. I need to stop letting the kids put live edible wild caught critters in tank. I need to cut back on number of fish, but don't know where to move fish to....my husband is over more tanks. The water quality hasn't changed really. It fluctuates little. There is small amount of algae on glass but not much. Sonya
<I'll refer you here to our generic "Goldfish growths FAQs":
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/GFGrowthsF7.htm
and the linked files of the same name above.
Not treatable.
Bob Fenner>

Fwd: Goldfish with red lumpy operculum  7/27/17
Thought I'd update.... I did 25% water change and changed filters and charcoal. The fish 24 hours later looks amazing relative to the day before.
<Great news!>
The swarming margin crossed over to other side and all that is left is little red ring. The right side - the original side - is discolored but not inflamed at all that I can tell...pale operculum and a c shaped crescent of black pigment. It truly looked like a mass and it changed so fast day to day. Thanks for your time. I've grown quite fond of my daughter's fish. I'd hate for anything to happen. I will do bigger percent water changes from now on. Thanks again!
<Incredible improvement... just by fixing the environment. Bob Fenner>

Question and pictures moor and 1 other goldfish      3/19/17
Alison; please re-size your images (90 some percent) and re-send. We can't accept large file sizes (yours are taking up more than half of our mail server space). Bob Fenner
Question and pictures moor and 1 other goldfish      3/19/17

Omg of course Bob, I'm so sorry, I am not so great with that stuff. Okay so for now here is the black moor. I added a pic of him about a week or so ago too so you can see him then and also the resized pics of what he looked like when I found him dead last night. :( he has this large black spot on him but of course I never noticed before because he was so black .
<Hard to know precisely what this is from the photo, but my money would be on an ammonia burn. The fish also seems to have a damaged cornea. In this situation I would suggest optimising water conditions (zero ammonia and nitrite, of course) and raising the hardness a little if your water is soft (Goldfish prefer hard water, so a teaspoon of sodium bicarbonate per 5-10 gallons can help a lot). Avoid very cold conditions when keeping fancy
Goldfish; Moors are fairly robust, but even they don't like water colder than, say, 18 C/64 F, particularly if they're sick or damaged. Certainly, don't expose fancy varieties to frosty, overwintering conditions outdoors.
Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Question and pictures moor and 1 other goldfish      3/19/17
Here is the other fancy fish that is now a weird tiny red spotted sick looking fish with a white sick hue to him. I hope you can see the pics? He is amazingly still alive after I took out the dead black telescope friend and put him in this different tank. He used to be a shiny silver grey color? His fin keeps clamping down he swims around all crazy. I'm so sad I don't know how to help!?
<Again, the red colouration of the fins suggests irritation (just as it would with humans) so I'd be looking at environmental conditions before anything else -- see my previous email. I'd also treat with an antibacterial or antibiotic as per Finrot just in case. Not Melafix or salt, but something more reliable, such as Kanaplex or eSHa 2000. By the way, that green-grey is the natural colour of Goldfish; they're all born that colour, and as they mature, they develop the colours we've bred into them. Some never quite change, which sometimes gives you interesting bronzy or brassy coloured fish that might not be as colourful as standard Goldfish but gives them an understated charm of their own. Cheers, Neale.>

Can Goldfish Develop Tumors?         9/17/16
Hello all:
<Hey Deb>
I have a plain old "feeder" goldfish from Petco that I bought years ago so he wouldn't get eaten. His name is Q-tip and he's about 16 or 17 years old now. He's in a 5 gallon tank
<Uhh; "bonsai'ed"; dwarfed from negative feedback from metabolites, lack of oxygen...
>
by himself and has been for many years now. Today, I spotted what looks like a growth (kind of gray-ish/reddish) in the middle of his back.
<I see this in your pic>
It's at the base of his dorsal fin, right where it connects. I initially thought it was a piece of food or feces that stuck to him, but it's not.
Any ideas on how I can help him?
<A real environment. Needs MUCH more room especially. Please read here re:

http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/gldfshsystems.htm
and as much of the linked files above as it takes>
Thank you so much for your help.
Debbe
<Oh, and to answer your subject line (which you could've done by following our suggestion and searching WWM ahead of writing); yes; goldfish do develop tumors; but this bump is most likely a sore from this animals confinement alone.
Bob Fenner>

please help. Poisoned in a bowl /RMF; brusque as usual       7/10/16
hi
<Holly... what's with the lack of punctuation?>
i have had my goldfish, jack the fish, for 4-5 years. this past week i was out of town and having him fed. when i got home his bowl was terribly dirty.
<Uggh! Mate, goldfish are NOT bowl-fish. Yours has been Bonsai'd by metabolic poisoning.... >
i changed the water and cleaned the bowl and then two days (maybe 1 1/2) later my fish developed dark red spots all over his body. i added melaleuca to the water and salt yesterday. he is not looking any better today. however, he is eating and seems fine. i am really worried about him. i have included a pic. thanks so much for your help!
holly
<READ here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/gldfshsystems.htm
You want this fish to live some sort of quality existence? It's up to you to supply it. Bob Fenner>
please help /Neale       7/10/16

hi
i have had my goldfish, jack the fish, for 4-5 years. this past week i was out of town and having him fed. when i got home his bowl was terribly dirty. i changed the water and cleaned the bowl and then two days (maybe 1 1/2) later my fish developed dark red spots all over his body. i added melaleuca to the water and salt yesterday. he is not looking any better
today. however, he is eating and seems fine. i am really worried about him. i have included a pic. thanks so much for your help!
holly
<Hello Holly. Goldfish invariably sicken and die in bowls. Maybe quickly (most die within weeks of being purchased) but some survive for longer periods. As you've discovered, bowls contain so little water they can't dilute overfeeding problems. Apart from the fact your fish clearly has ammonia burns and likely bacterial secondary infections, I can't offer you any useful advice if you continue to keep him in a bowl. Just isn't viable. Daily water changes and treating with anti-Finrot medication will help in the short term, but longer term, you need to plan an aquarium, 25-30 gallons minimum. Do read here:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/goldfish101art.htm
Melaleuca products such as Melafix are extremely unreliable and potentially harmful, and salt provides no real value here. These two products sell well (and continue to be sold) because they're cheap, and those aquarists with little knowledge about fish healthcare make their purchases based on cost rather than usefulness. I can't think of any situation where Melaleuca is the answer, and salt is only useful in very specific situations, such as treating against Whitespot where copper isn't safe. Anyway, do read; do write back if you need some help going forwards. Cheers, Neale.>

Urgent at store now      6/21/16
I have a 20 gallon fish tank with three regular gold fish you'd get at a fair. I haven't got around to cleaning it so it a little dirty. My big orange one got stuck in a house. I got him out and he was swimming sideways but still alive. I've been keeping him up right all day and to keep him from going sideways. But now his face is turning a darker orange and the
top fin at the very top is getting red like veiny looking, his scales are coming off a little and his body is getting pale. If I let go he goes side ways and tries to make his left side facing down. Also one of his gills look swollen. Before all of this he was acting weird and wasn't swimming much and stayed at the bottom of the tank away from the other fish as much
as he could.
<Let me have you do some reading, Olivia, here:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/goldfish101art.htm
Short term, do a big water change (say, 50%) and ensure the filter is working. Medicate as per Finrot, though not using something unreliable like Melafix, but instead a decent antibacterial or antibiotic, such as Maracyn or eSHa 2000. Follow the instructions, and remember to remove carbon (if used) from the filter. Long term, 20 gallons will always be "tight" for a Goldfish, and something a bit bigger, 30 gallons or more, will make their lives much better. Bear in mind adults are the size of side plates! Hope this helps, Neale. PS, we're not an urgent care service but volunteers who dip into the email inbox once or twice a day! So if this email arrives later than you'd hoped, sorry about that.>
Re: GF... env. hlth., no rdg.         6/22/16

I sent an email about my goldfish just a second ago and my email won't open. So I'm gonna try it through message. I have a twenty gallon tank with three goldfish.
<Too many fish; too small space.>
I'm not up to par with everything like I should. And I also haven't cleaned there tank in a couple of weeks. My big orange gold fish got stuck in their house and when I got him out he went sideways but was alive. So I've held him straight all day. But he's getting worse. His head is turning a darker orange, the top of the top fin is blood red, two scales have come off, and he is very weak.
<The bloody areas on the fins are the beginning of Finrot; do a series of water changes, ideally 50% today, and 20-25% each day for the next 2-3 days, to freshen the tank up. Medicate as per Finrot, removing carbon from the filter. Add medicine *after* a water change to allow 24 hours to "soak into" your fish. Use a reliable Finrot medication, such as Maracyn or eSHa 2000, but not stuff like salt or Melafix.>
For about a week or two he's been very distant and stayed at the bottom of the tank in a corner mainly to hide. He's to big for the house so I think he went there as last resort to get away and got stuck. Please help I am driving to store right now. His left gill looks swollen or the right one is just not opening right one of the two. And when he slants he prefers to
have his left side down. If he goes right side down his body won't bend like it does vise versa.
<Do some reading, here:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/goldfish101art.htm
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/gldfshmalnut.htm
And follow the links at top to the pages and pages of FAQs on Goldfish disease, almost always caused by environmental shortcomings. Hope this helps. Cheers, Neale.>

Gold Comet w/ fungal infection? Hypochondria sans knowledge; the usual       5/10/16
<Jas, 14 megs of the same pix? >
Hi,
I don't have much experience with fish disease as I don't really get sick fish but just once every 15-24 months (except for the occasional Endler's female guppy getting skinny). Does my Gold Comet in these photos look like it has a fungal infection?
<More like "Spring" Viremia to me>

What medicine and frequency of dosing would you recommend? Currently I am stocked w/ Melafix, Pimafix,
<Worthless. PLEASE search on WWM and READ re these scams>
API Tetracycline, Furan-2, Kanaplex, Tetra ParasiteGuard, Mardel Clout, and Seachem  ParaGuard.
<None of these will treat viral troubles>

Here are some treatments I gave to my Gold Comet last month that may have or may not have contributed to this fungal infection by causing immuno-compromise:
<Wowzah!>
4/7/16 from 5:33-6:20pm put Comet in a bucket that had 12 tsp of table salt for 47 minutes
4/9/16 from 5:18-6:20pm put Comet in that same bucket again for 62 minutes Then I moved the Comet to a 5 gallon x-large bucket to be treated w/ Tetra ParasiteGuard in case it had internal parasites, anchor worms, or fish live
4/12/16, 12:04am poured dissolved 3/5 tablet of Parasite Guard inside to treat possible fish lice
4/17/16, 9:46am did 25% water change
4/17/16, 12:24pm dissolved 2/5 tablet of Parasite Guard before pouring it into the bucket
4/19/16, 4:31pm did 30% water change and then threw in 3/5 tablet of Parasite Guard (since upon reading the directions again realized I didn't have to dissolve the tablet prior to putting it in the bucket unless I had "soft water and/or acid water with low alkalinity")
4/23/16, 4:02pm did 25% water change and then threw in 1/2 tablet of Parasite Guard
5/5/16, 7:54pm did 25% water change <-- I actually should have done this 48 hours or 7 days after my last dosing of Parasite Guard on 4/23/16 depending on if I was treating for anchor worms and lice (water change after 1 week)
or not (water change after 48 hours)
Thanks,
Jason
<READ here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/GFinfectionsFAQs.htm
These issues are almost always a result of environmental issues. DO review Goldfish Systems on WWM, Water Quality, Filtration.... Bob Fenner>
Re: Gold Comet w/ fungal infection?      5/10/16

I also have Seachem Focus and Seachem Garlic Guard
<Good products but of no use here
. B>

Re: Gold Comet w/ fungal infection?      5/10/16
Hi Bob,
<Jason>
I read only about 25% of the linked article on Goldfish Infections that you provided as it is a very long read.
So I did a word search on "Viremia" and found just one post mentioning it.
Your response in that post was that it was not treatable directly. What do you mean by not treatable directly?
What should I do then?
<... read further? Improve the fish's health indirectly... through improved environment and nutrition principally
>
There is a possibility that my Comet along w/ my other fish in my 55 gallon tank (it was previously in this tank) may have had contact w/ Tetrahymena (Guppy Disease) since the bucket I used to clean my 55 gallon's largest HOB filter (the AquaClear 70) was previously used to clean the HOB filter (Fluval C2) of my 5.5 gallon tank that may have had Tetrahymena back in January as I lost all 30 guppies in there. I did disinfect the bucket on several occasions with Potassium Permanganate before using it to clean my AquaClear 70 filter. However, I read that Potassium Permanganate
is unable to kill some Protozoans like Tetrahymena- what do you think?
<Bleach... see WWM re>
How does Viremia compare to Tetrahymena- do they have similar symptoms and thus sometimes get mistaken for each other?
<? Not to me. You can take a look at my bio.... I've taught classes on fish pathology... written extensively on topics therein... I almost always use comet goldfish for presentations... they never disappoint; harboring a dozen or more pathogens...>
Can Viremia wipe out a tank full of Endler's Guppies, esp. affecting the females?
<.... not likely; no>
Though it is possible that my Guppies had Fish Tuberculosis instead of Tetrahymena or Columnaris according either you or Neale when we discussed this back in January. I did have a few fish that did have Fish TB symptoms
like a hunched back and skinniness.
<There are a few other causes of such symptoms>
Thanks,
Jason<Keep reading. BobF>
Re: Gold Comet w/ fungal infection?      5/10/16

Hi Bob,
<Jas>
To improve the environment, I'll be sure not to put any unnecessary medications that could further immuno-suppress the Comet.
<Good>
It's going to be tough improving nutrition as he has only eaten maybe once about 3-4 weeks ago (some dry blood worms) and before that he didn't eat for about 4 weeks.
<Not good. A plug here for New Life's "Spectrum" pelleted... what I used exclusively for years w/ my Goldfish>
I might have to try something like frozen brine shrimp, frozen blood worms, or live food.
<Try the sinking pellets first. High palatability, complete nutrition. Bob Fenner>

Re: Gold Comet w/ fungal infection?      5/11/16
For sinking pellets, I have Hikari veggie and carnivore mini pellets.
Recently I also got the Hikari carnivore medium pellets.
<I see>
The only NLS brand stuff I have are jumbo FLOAT pellets which a lot of my fish don't care for (it also has a strange odor). So though I've read a lot of comments online boasting how good NLS brand is, these jumbo FLOAT pellets are the opposite of being "great".
<Thank you for this input>
For the NLS pellets you're recommending, what size and type (like there's something called Thera+) should I get to feed my sick Comet? I usually order things on Amazon.com.
Thanks,
Jason
<You could use their Thera; but I would just use the un-laced variety of a small size... Goldfish have no real teeth.
B>

Re: Gold Comet w/ fungal infection?     5/13/16
On May 11th or the afternoon of May 10th, most of my Gold Comet's symptoms went away.
<Ah good>
When can I put him back in my 55 gallon tank which has 2 Kissing Gourami's, a Convict/Red-Point Honduran Cichlid Hybrid, Butterfly Koi, Tilapia (from a nearby stream), Clarias Fuscus (Hong Kong catfish), and Trinidad Pleco?
<Never. Not compatible with these others; and this tank is already overcrowded physiologically and more
>
Should I worry about transmission of Spring "Viremia" to any of these other fishes?
<Your GFs problems were environmental; caused by your poor choices.... stop writing and start reading. Re the needs of this mish mash you've tossed together. B>
I'm under the impression that he'll be more likely to eat if have him in the 55 gallon tank as compared to the 5 gallon white bucket I have him in right now.
Thanks,
Jason
Re: Gold Comet w/ fungal infection?     5/13/16

Oh yeah, I also have a Yoyo Loach in that 55 gallon tank.
<....>

Re: Gold Comet w/ fungal infection?     5/14/16
According to this presentation
http://www.vet.cornell.edu/microbiology/FishDisease/AquaticProg/documents/NEUSAHA.pdf:
"Dead or dying fish that are suspected to be infected with VHSV or SVC should be immediately submitted for evaluation to regional agencies."
My fish is neither dead nor dying. Is Spring Viremia such a rare disease in fish purchased at pet stores that it must be submitted to a wildlife agency when the fish is dying or has died?
<Mmm; could be other viral issue; but... the root cause here as already mentioned twice: Environmental>
Is it more likely that the Comet I purchased became a carrier while it was at a pet store (in this case Petco, which doesn't have the best reputation for having healthy fish) or that it was infected by water, water plants, and/or fish from a local Hawaiian stream?

Re: Gold Comet w/ fungal infection? Poisoned by treatments    5/15/16
According to this
http://bluecollarprepping.blogspot.com/2014/08/potassium-permanganate-for-water.html
:
2.5 mg/L of Potassium Permanganate will completely kill bacteria.
But you need 50 mg/L to completely inactivate viruses, a dose 20 times that needed to kill bacteria.
This is my calculation:
*50 mg/L to PP to inactivate viruses = 10 tsp/L = 10 tsp/0.246 gallon = 40 tsp/1 gallon *
*While in contrast you just need 2 tsp/1 gallon to kill bacteria - however, I usually just use 1/2 a teaspoon of Potassium Permanganate per 2 gallons of water to disinfect my buckets*
*So do you think I really need 40 tsp/1 gallon to inactivate viruses?* I read online that Spring Viremia can also affect Guppies, so perhaps what wiped out (within just about 1 week) almost 30 guppies in my 2.7 and 5.5 gallon tanks was Spring Viremia and not Tetrahymena.
So that would mean that the Cobra Guppy that I got at Petco was a carrier of Spring Viremia rather than Tetrahymena. But there's also the possibility that adding 32 tsp of Aquarium Salt to my 2.7 gallon and 25 tsp of Aquarium Salt to my 5.5 gallon could have killed the guppies and/or made them sick.
<No sense using these or any other treatments. Please read on WWM re Goldfish Environmental Disease/s. RMF>
Re: Gold Comet w/ fungal infection?     5/15/16

I don't really see much or any symptoms of Spring Viremia anymore.
<.... are you reading? NOT Viremia, env.!>
Is it okay to now move him from the 5 gallon bucket to my 55 gallon aquarium?
According to the link you provided me earlier (http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/GFinfectionsFAQs.htm)  the Comet/other goldfishes do a lot better in larger aquariums/fish ponds.
Should I be worried about him transmitting Spring Viremia to my Butterfly Koi in the 55 gallon aquarium?

Re: Gold Comet w/ fungal infection? Poisoned, mis-placed....        5/16/16
Hi,
You forgot to type your message.
<Nope; READ here:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/GFenvirondis2.htm

Re: Gold Comet w/ fungal infection? .... abuse     5/24/16
Hi,
When I put my Gold Comet back in my 55 gallon tank about a week ago, it was attacked over and over by my Kissing Gourami until much of its back's scales came off leaving white meat exposed along w/ some redness. So I removed the Gold Comet and put it back in the 5 gallon bucket. Now its back is getting redder. Should I put in any kind of medicine or antibiotic to assist it or should I just let the Comet's own immune system heal these injuries?
Thanks,
Jason
<You've repeatedly written in w/o taking our advice. YOU are responsible for the troubles your fishes are suffering. Re-read our prev. corr. and/or go elsewhere. Robert Fenner>

What's wrong with my fish?      4/28/16
I noticed these on my daughter's fish yesterday. I don't know anything about fish and my husband usually takes care of them.
<Mmm>
This doesn't seem normal to me. Is there something wrong, are the sick?
<Yes... the markings... opacity to fin membranes, petecchia... point to deficiencies in the environment ("water quality")... Need data on the system water tests... Please READ
here:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/gldfshsystems.htm
Bob Fenner>
Thanks in advance for your help!
Yours truly, Lana


High pH causing frayed fins?       4/17/16
Hello there,
<Amanda>
I have been having issues with frayed fins in my adult veiltail goldfish, and am at my wit's end trying to figure out what is causing it. I am rigorous in my tank cleaning practices - I change 50% of the water weekly and have no detectable ammonia, nitrite or nitrate (I know no nitrate is unusual, but I have confirmed it many times with two separate API liquid test kits). However, the water in my city is extremely hard, at 8.1 pH, 180
ppm kH and 235 ppm gH. Is it possible that this could be causing the frayed fins?
<Not likely; no... these values are fine for "modern" fancy goldfish
>
Of note is the fact that there is absolutely no redness, fungus or anything around where the fins are torn; they are simply ragged. My tank is decorated with a smooth piece of driftwood and many live plants, so there isn't really anything she could be cutting herself on.
<Are there any "algae eaters" present?>

She does spend a lot of time resting on the bottom, but she swims normally and has a great appetite - she just seems to become winded easily. I have an external canister filter and two air disks (I added the second one yesterday in
case oxygenation was the issue). My tank is 50 gallons and set at a temperature of 72F. She is in there with her fry, who have experienced none of the fin or bottom sitting problems the adult goldfish have. I returned the father to my boyfriend's tank when he was experiencing the same fin fraying, and he has improved greatly since. My boyfriend is on the same city water I am, but lives on the other side of town. We both live in Watsonville, California, which is between Santa Cruz and Monterey.
Any idea why this would only be affecting the adults, and not the fry?
Could it be the hardness or pH, or something else entirely in my tank water that my test kits don't pick up? If it is the hardness or pH, is there something I should be doing to correct it? The only additives I use are Ultimate water conditioner, and Excel and Flourish for the plants.
Thank you,
Amanda
<Nothing "jumps out"... again, are there sucker-mouth catfish, the Chinese Algae Eater present? Bob Fenner>
re: High pH causing frayed fins?       4/17/16

Thanks for the quick reply, Bob. I do have an albino bristle nose Pleco named Pacman, who is about 5 inches and has been with us for several years (since he was a juvenile). I've never seen him bother or even interact with any of my fish at all; he is very solitary.
<Night time.... needs to be separated>

In addition, Pacman lived in my boyfriend's tank up until about a year ago and his fish did not have frayed fins - it only occurs in my tank, and only with the adults.
Glad to hear my water values are fine, at least. I fill my tank from the patio hose faucet, and was concerned something could be introduced through the piping. Should I try filling from the sink using buckets (the Python
water changer can't hook up to any of my indoor sinks), or is this not likely to be the problem?
<Remove the Loricariid. BobF>
re: High pH causing frayed fins?       4/17/16

Will do ... I have an extra tank I can put him in. Thanks!
<Welcome. Oh, do search/read on WWM re compatibility of these two fish species... common for "Plecos" of various sorts to "ride" goldfish... their mucus being "sweet". B>
re: High pH causing frayed fins?    4/18/16

Update: So I have been paying close attention to what's going on in my main tank, and noticed that my veiltail's own babies seem to be the culprit!
<Interesting; but am sticking w/ the cat. Many fish offspring do feed on their parents slime coats. See my article archived on WWM re "The Function of Body Slimes in Fishes".>
I got up early this morning to find about 3 of them chasing her around the tank and nipping at her fins! Is this unusual? Do young goldfish often gang up on slower-moving adults? The babies are around 9 months old.

Comet with Fish Lice, Anchor Worms, or Tetrahymena?    3/24/16
<7.6 megs of uncropped pix files? What are and why do we state limits on file size on WWM?>
Hi,
Here are some photos of my Gold Comet with white spots that are a little protruded/raised around its scalp/forehead area. For the past 1-2 days it has been hanging near the surface of the water. None of my other fish in my 55 gallon are showing any symptoms.
What do you think it is and what should I use for treatment (and how long, etc.)?
<.... Looks to be "prenuptial tubercles"... Read here:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/gldfshreprofaqs.htm
and on the Net Re. Not a crustacean parasite; and not likely Tet. Could be some sort of "mucus reaction" to something water quality involved... but you give no data re water tests, the other livestock....>

Current anti-parasite medications I currently have stocked at home are ParaGuard, Tetra ParasiteGuard, and Fritz Aquatics Mardel Clout.
Other meds I have on hand are Melafix, Kanaplex, Furan-2, and Tetracycline.
<...? No to using any/all of these. Hypochondria>
The reason it could be Tetrahymena is b/c I cleaned my AquaClear70 Power Filter in a 3 gallon bucket that was sanitized with Potassium Permanganate but previously had contact with my 2 Guppy tanks that were infected with
Tetrahymena, Fungus, or Fish TB (as you mentioned in a previous email as a possibility). Tetrahymena or some other protozoan could have still been transmitted even though the bucket was disinfected w/ PP multiple times
since PP is not very effective against Tetrahymena and/or some other Protozoans according to some sources I've read on the internet.
Thanks,
Jason
<Read on! Bob Fenner>


RMF cropped

Re: Comet with Fish Lice, Anchor Worms, or Tetrahymena?    3/24/16
<Another 4 megs of blurry pix...>

Forgot to mention that you might want to "zoom in" a little to get a better look at those white spots/protrusions on its forehead/temple area.
<Mate.... why not crop your images before sending? BobF>
Re: Comet with Fish Lice, Anchor Worms, or Tetrahymena?

I also just noticed that my two Kissing Gourami's are surfacing for air a bit more often than usual.
<Do you have the goldfish housed w/ these Helostoma... and a Convict Cichlid? NOT compatible. See as in READ on WWM re the requirements of all species you're tossing together here. Stress and water quality are likely the real issues here. B>
They also may have a little bit of hole in the head. Could this be caused by the slightly rusting "valve to the waterline
of a freezer" that I am using for my CAP-1200 filter. I have attached 2 pictures (taken on 2/16/16) of the filter before I attached the valve (which is now slightly rusting) to it on 3/4/16.

Re: Comet with Fish Lice, Anchor Worms, or Tetrahymena? More errors         3/25/16
Hi Bob,
<Jason>
Regarding water tests and other livestock. Today I got that aquarium's water tested at Petco and they said I had slightly high Nitrates
<.... how high is this? Have you read on WWM re? You want to keep under 20 ppm>
and very slightly high Nitrites.
<Any is toxic; at high pH, deadly. Read re this as well>

They recommended at least a 25% water change and removing the valve that might be slightly rusting immediately.
<Good>
As I said previously, the two Kissing Gourami's might have a few holes in their heads. My Clarias Fuscus, Iridescent Shark,
<... remove this. See WWM re Pangasiids>
Convict, Butterfly Koi, Yoyo Loach, and Tilapia show no signs/symptoms of disease.
<What a mis-mix of livestock.... read re all please. Don't write, READ.
BobF>
Thanks,
Jason

Re: Comet with Fish Lice, Anchor Worms, or Tetrahymena?    3/26/16
Hi Bob,
<Not sure you got Bob's recent reply... he's off in Tahiti or wherever, diving and studying reef life... and that means he's stuck with the equivalent of dial-up internet connection. Sending 13 MB of images as an email attachment isn't helpful or perhaps even do-able. So I'm going to jump in here...>
The first 3 photos are of my freezer valve attached to my CAP-1200 Internal Filter. In the 3rd photo you can see the silver color turning a little gold/light brown. Possibly it is rusting? I haven't taken it out yet.
<I would not put ANY metal object in a freshwater aquarium that isn't explicitly designed for aquarium usage. Titanium and stainless steel are both generally trustworthy, but other metals and alloys can react, especially in acidic water conditions. Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc, and can corrode in water. Zinc should, in theory, corrode first (it's more reactive) but copper is so toxic to aquatic life I'd not be taking the risk.>
Photos 4 thru 6 of my Kissing Gourami, you can't see the hole in the head until pic #6.
<Do you mean "IMGP0456"...?>
There are two holes on the left side of its head a bit above its eye.
<Barely visible to me. In any event, if you suspect Hexamita, or something similar, then treating with Metronidazole alongside an antibiotic (Nitrofuran usually recommended) is pretty much the only easily accessible treatment. This combo will deal with a variety of other pathogens too, so it's a good way forward. Will of course make the usual reminder to remove carbon, if used, from the filter, as well as any other chemical adsorbents.
Kissing Gouramis are basically hardy animals, but they're widely mis-kept, and like a lot of cichlids, prone to dietary deficiencies because they should receive some fresh green foods as well as plankton in their diet.
The connection between Hexamita and vitamin deficiency is widely assumed to be a strong one, and I'd urge you to read up on this, as well as the importance of low nitrate levels (~20 mg/l or less) where large fish are being maintained. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Comet with Fish Lice, Anchor Worms, or Tetrahymena?    3/26/16

Hi Neale,
The freezer valve is made by a company called Brass Craft. So I should assume it is made of brass and thus should be taken out in the near future.
In the meantime, what parameters should I measure? Are there freezer valves that are made of titanium, stainless steel, or plastic?
Thanks,
Jason
<Ideally you'd use PVC valves and pipes in an aquarium. Many different kinds out there, including ones sold specifically for use in marine aquaria with big sumps, pumps, and so on where the standard Eheim, Fluval and other
filter fittings aren't sufficient. One issue will be the acidity of the water, and I'd be a lot more concerned about copper if the pH was below 7 than others. In the meantime, you can use a copper test kit (sold for marine aquarists) to measure your water's copper content. If it's zero, then it may well be the brass is absolutely fine, and nothing to worry about provided you do regular water changes. If it's not zero, then that can be a stress factor for your fish in the long term. What's the brass freezer valve for? I came to this conversation late, I'm afraid! Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Comet with Fish Lice, Anchor Worms, or Tetrahymena?    3/26/16

The brass freezer valve is shown in the 3 photos preceding the 3 photos of the Kissing Gourami. It was originally supposed to be for reducing the flow of this very powerful filter. But now it is much more so for redirecting the flow to go down instead of sideways. The flow actually can't be turned down that much as it then goes back inside the filter and makes it rattle and make a noise - which I suspect is not a good thing, i.e. the back pressure would probably eventually damage or destroy the filter.
<Gotcha. Okay, there are a couple easy ways to deal with excessive current.
The easiest is to turn the outflow towards something immoveable such as the glass walls of the tank or a tall, vertical rock or bogwood root placed in the way of the current. Anything that will dissipate the energy more evenly. With fish like Gouramis adapted to relatively still water conditions, you could keep adding rocks and roots until the whole tank is a proper tangle of debris, and they'll be much happier. Another thing you can do is use a spray bar. This will distribute the water current across a wider distance. The longer the spray bar, the more holes, and the less strong any one stream of water will be. Angling the spray bar so it sprays above the waterline will actually waste some of the energy sending the water up and then in the noise it makes coming down, i.e., by transforming kinetic energy into sound energy and gravitational potential energy. Make sense? Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Comet with Fish Lice, Anchor Worms, or Tetrahymena?     3/27/16
"Regarding water tests and other livestock. Today I got that aquarium's water tested at Petco and they said I had slightly high Nitrates and very slightly high Nitrites.
<.... how high is this? Have you read on WWM re? You want to keep under 20 ppm>"
Hi Neale, above is from my last email exchange with Bob. Regarding his question... I actually meant that the nitrates were slightly above normal and the nitrites were very slightly above normal.
<<Okay, to be clear about this. Nitrite should be zero. If it isn't, stop feeding and review. Non-zero nitrite means the biological filter doesn't have the ability to fully complete the oxidation of ammonia to nitrite and
then nitrate. There are four main reasons: too much food; too many fish; not enough filtration/filter media; or the biological filter hasn't been matured/mature media is being killed back during filter maintenance.
Review, and act accordingly. As for nitrate, "normal" levels are anywhere between 10 and 40 mg/l, depending on the situation. Here in England, a lot of urban tap water has nitrate levels of 40 mg/l right out of the tap, so
you'll never get it lower than that. Nitrate isn't especially toxic, so for most fish species that isn't a big deal. But cichlids, mollies and a few other freshwater fish are much more sensitive, and for those you need to
keep the nitrate well below 40 mg/l, with 20 mg/l being a more healthy level. Goldfish aren't sensitive to nitrate, so provided nitrate is within the 20-50 mg/l range, you should be fine, assuming of course you're keeping up with regular water changes. Obviously lower nitrate levels are better, so if you have tap water nitrate levels of 10 or 20 mg/l, then you want to try to keep nitrate in the 20-30 mg/l range. Nitrate is an insidious stress factor in that it isn't acutely toxic in the short term, but long term does seem to be associated with a variety of problems. That's why lightly stocking tanks, providing regular water changes, and where viable, using fast-growing plants to remove nitrate make a big difference to fish health in the long term.>
If the rusting brass valve is affecting the water should I expect to see some of the fish going to the surface for air more often than usual?
<Possibly, but I'd want to use a copper test kit before casting aspersions of that sort! Even if you don't want to buy a copper test kit, any decent aquarium shop handling marines should be able to do the test for you, if
not gratis, then for a dollar or two.>
Where can I buy the spray bar that you speak of? Is it from a popular brand or a generic brand?
<Fluval and Eheim make them, among others, but they're all generic in the sense of being interchangeable. Standard canister filters use either 12 or 16 mm fittings depending on the model (the 16 mm fitting is for the larger ones, the 12 mm for the smaller) and you can swap Eheim and Fluval parts freely so long as you get the diameter right. I don't know what pump you're using on your system, but if you measure the outlet, then visit the online retailer of your choice, you should be able to find a spray bar that works.
I just looked on the US Amazon site, searched "spray bar", and came up with a bunch. Of course if you've got some oddball pump working there, perhaps something designed for ponds or marine aquaria, you may have to do a bit more research. I guess in theory you could even make your own. All you need is a PVC tube that fits over the pump outlet, blocked at one end, attached to the pump at the other, and with a series of holes drilled 1-2 cm apart all along its length. Nothing too fancy. The more holes, the better the flow of water (less strain on the pump) and the less current per stream of water. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Comet with Fish Lice, Anchor Worms, or Tetrahymena?     3/27/16

Hi again,
I called Home Depot, which is where I bought the freezer valve. They said it is made with chrome-plated brass. Is the chrome sufficient for shielding/insulating the brass?
Thanks,
Jason
<In theory chrome plating should resist corrosion. But I'm not an expert on that! Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Comet with Fish Lice, Anchor Worms, or Tetrahymena?     3/27/16

I just measured my Nitrite and pH levels with my Tetratest Laborett. This kit is 4-5 years old so should it still be effective? I did not see any expiration date.
<Should be okay, but yes, the chemicals do "wear out" with time. They break down with exposure to light, oxidise, whatever...>
My values:
*Nitrite level <0.3 mg/l (yellow color),
pH 5.0 (light yellow color)*
<Sheesh! That's your problem right there.
Do not, Do Not, DO NOT try and change the pH in one fell swoop. Instead, go read this:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/fwh2oquality.htm
Scroll down to the Rift Valley salt mix bit. Make up a bucket of water using this recipe, you can skip the marine salt mix if you want, or substitute non-iodised cooking salt if you have some. Regardless, the carbonate hardness from the baking soda will raise carbonate hardness and in turn pH. General hardness comes from the Epsom salt. Do a series of water changes using buckets of water of this sort, but don't change more than, say, 25% per 24 hours. Rapid pH changes are dangerous to fish, even if you're changing them to the better. In the future, once you find the pH levels off around 7.5, you can try half-dosing the Rift Valley salt mix, but Goldfish in particular thoroughly enjoy "liquid rock" hard water, and'll be just fine with the full whack. Does this all seem doable?>
So it looks like I desperately need to increase my pH to around 7-7.5. How can I do this? The test kit instructions for pH said that I need to do a 1/3 water change if the value lies below 6 or above 8.5. There is a
possibility that like you said the pH has become acidic due to the rusting brass/copper and that it is dangerous if below a pH of 7.
<Hope this helps, Neale.>

Re: Comet with Fish Lice, Anchor Worms, or Tetrahymena?     3/27/16
"Regarding water tests and other livestock. Today I got that aquarium's water tested at Petco and they said I had slightly high Nitrates and very slightly high Nitrites.
<.... how high is this? Have you read on WWM re? You want to keep under 20 ppm>"
Hi Neale, above is from my last email exchange with Bob. Regarding his question... I actually meant that the nitrates were slightly above normal and the nitrites were very slightly above normal.
<<Okay, to be clear about this. Nitrite should be zero. If it isn't, stop feeding and review. Non-zero nitrite means the biological filter doesn't have the ability to fully complete the oxidation of ammonia to nitrite and
then nitrate. There are four main reasons: too much food; too many fish; not enough filtration/filter media; or the biological filter hasn't been matured/mature media is being killed back during filter maintenance.
Review, and act accordingly. As for nitrate, "normal" levels are anywhere between 10 and 40 mg/l, depending on the situation. Here in England, a lot of urban tap water has nitrate levels of 40 mg/l right out of the tap, so
you'll never get it lower than that. Nitrate isn't especially toxic, so for most fish species that isn't a big deal. But cichlids, mollies and a few other freshwater fish are much more sensitive, and for those you need to
keep the nitrate well below 40 mg/l, with 20 mg/l being a more healthy level. Goldfish aren't sensitive to nitrate, so provided nitrate is within the 20-50 mg/l range, you should be fine, assuming of course you're keeping up with regular water changes. Obviously lower nitrate levels are better, so if you have tap water nitrate levels of 10 or 20 mg/l, then you want to try to keep nitrate in the 20-30 mg/l range. Nitrate is an insidious stress factor in that it isn't acutely toxic in the short term, but long term does seem to be associated with a variety of problems. That's why lightly stocking tanks, providing regular water changes, and where viable, using fast-growing plants to remove nitrate make a big difference to fish health in the long term.>
If the rusting brass valve is affecting the water should I expect to see some of the fish going to the surface for air more often than usual?
<Possibly, but I'd want to use a copper test kit before casting aspersions of that sort! Even if you don't want to buy a copper test kit, any decent aquarium shop handling marines should be able to do the test for you, if
not gratis, then for a dollar or two.>
Where can I buy the spray bar that you speak of? Is it from a popular brand or a generic brand?
<Fluval and Eheim make them, among others, but they're all generic in the sense of being interchangeable. Standard canister filters use either 12 or 16 mm fittings depending on the model (the 16 mm fitting is for the larger ones, the 12 mm for the smaller) and you can swap Eheim and Fluval parts freely so long as you get the diameter right. I don't know what pump you're using on your system, but if you measure the outlet, then visit the online retailer of your choice, you should be able to find a spray bar that works.
I just looked on the US Amazon site, searched "spray bar", and came up with a bunch. Of course if you've got some oddball pump working there, perhaps something designed for ponds or marine aquaria, you may have to do a bit more research. I guess in theory you could even make your own. All you need is a PVC tube that fits over the pump outlet, blocked at one end, attached to the pump at the other, and with a series of holes drilled 1-2 cm apart all along its length. Nothing too fancy. The more holes, the better the flow of water (less strain on the pump) and the less current per stream of water. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Comet with Fish Lice, Anchor Worms, or Tetrahymena?     3/27/16

Hi again,
I called Home Depot, which is where I bought the freezer valve. They said it is made with chrome-plated brass. Is the chrome sufficient for shielding/insulating the brass?
Thanks,
Jason
<In theory chrome plating should resist corrosion. But I'm not an expert on that! Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Comet with Fish Lice, Anchor Worms, or Tetrahymena?     3/27/16

I just measured my Nitrite and pH levels with my Tetratest Laborett. This kit is 4-5 years old so should it still be effective? I did not see any expiration date.
<Should be okay, but yes, the chemicals do "wear out" with time. They break down with exposure to light, oxidise, whatever...>
My values:
*Nitrite level <0.3 mg/l (yellow color),
pH 5.0 (light yellow color)*
<Sheesh! That's your problem right there.
Do not, Do Not, DO NOT try and change the pH in one fell swoop. Instead, go read this:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/fwh2oquality.htm
Scroll down to the Rift Valley salt mix bit. Make up a bucket of water using this recipe, you can skip the marine salt mix if you want, or substitute non-iodised cooking salt if you have some. Regardless, the carbonate hardness from the baking soda will raise carbonate hardness and in turn pH. General hardness comes from the Epsom salt. Do a series of water changes using buckets of water of this sort, but don't change more than, say, 25% per 24 hours. Rapid pH changes are dangerous to fish, even if you're changing them to the better. In the future, once you find the pH levels off around 7.5, you can try half-dosing the Rift Valley salt mix, but Goldfish in particular thoroughly enjoy "liquid rock" hard water, and'll be just fine with the full whack. Does this all seem doable?>
So it looks like I desperately need to increase my pH to around 7-7.5. How can I do this? The test kit instructions for pH said that I need to do a 1/3 water change if the value lies below 6 or above 8.5. There is a
possibility that like you said the pH has become acidic due to the rusting brass/copper and that it is dangerous if below a pH of 7.
<Hope this helps, Neale.>

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