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FAQs on Goldfish Environmental Disease 6
(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 7Environmental 8Environmental 9Environmental 10Environmental 11Environmental 12& 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

Floaty fish, GF... env., nutr... again 1/18/12
Hello, its me again! I have been mailing you about one of my comet goldfish about 6-7 inches long and about 11 yrs old, he keeps having an issue with staying at top of tank,
<How large a system?>
sometimes he struggles to swim to bottom, I give him a shelled cooked pea about every 2-3 days and add a tad of Epsom salt to tank, I clean the tank 2.5 gallons about every 3 days, it is a twenty gallon,
<... too small>

I bought some baby shrimp sun dried Gammarus today, wondered if it would cause more harm then good with his digestive issues, I also changed from Wardley to tetra fin
<I would NOT feed goldfish flake foods when they're any size>
as you did say (I think in one of the mails, ) that tetra fin is ok??
Thanks again
Cathy Hart
<Read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshmalnut.htm
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
Re: Floaty fish 1/18/12

Hello, I didn't see if it was ok to feed the sun dried shrimp,
<These are fine for occasional use... once/twice a week>
if it was ok to use with Tetrafin?? Will it cause more harm then good, I know the tank is too small, If each fish is suppose to have at least 10 gallons,
<Thirty for one... Read here:
and the linked files above>
I am about 10 gallon short, they have room to swim and do quite well at that, until this one has swimming issues. I will get new tank ,but cant right now, they have been in this one for over 9 yrs. they eat well, and
the water is good, except the gH is 0.
<... unsuitable. Augment... per your reading above. B>
all other parameters are perfect. I did see in one of the mails I sent the reply to using tetra fin was ok?? Told me Wardley should me taken off the market, this is what they was eating. Thanks
Cathy Hart
Re: Floaty fish 1/18/12

I was told by American aquarium people , they sell food, to buy aqua master pellets goldfish wheat germ pellets low in protein, I crush them and use the flake as sort of a glue to hold together to make little round balls, they eat if fine, as one is blind, just changed to Tetrafin and found these sun dried shrimp, I was told to buy low protein food, (why I was sold this aqua master food) I found it don't help being low protein as still floats every so many days and I give him a pea. I know people that sell stuff will do just that, makes me wonder if they are really telling me the truth about what to use or just pushing a more expensive product. that is why I asked you.
Thanks again
Cathy Hart
<Keep reading.><RMF gives up, sends on to Neale>
Re: Floaty fish <<RMF input>> 1/18/12

I am reading!!
This part * Goldfish prefer hard, slightly alkaline water conditions*
<Yes, on the whole.>
I f my gH is 0
<This is low. General hardness is measured in degrees dH or mg/l calcium oxide.>
and kH is up around 200
<But this is high. Does your water come out of a chalk aquifer or similar?>
<<Mmm, RMF would add Neale's Rift Lake concoction to supplement, Ca, Mg here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/RiftVlySaltMixF.htm
and on the Net re the need for such>>
and ph is near 8 which type water do I have,
<Okay; sounds fine for Goldfish.>
Would the Lake Malawi salt be a good fix??
<Yes, can be. But you have lots of carbonate hardness already; carbonate hardness is measured in degrees KH or mg/l calcium carbonate, and 200 mg/l is a high level.>
I can find that online, but never heard of it before?
<Don't worry. Your water sounds fine for Goldfish. If you wanted to raise the general hardness a bit, without changing the carbonate hardness, add one teaspoon Epsom salt per 5 gallons/20 litres water. You should find that ups the general hardness ("GH") reading. Add less or slightly more if the value isn't quite right. About 100 mg/l would be perfect, but anything between 50-150 mg/l is fine.>
I am feeding them some veggie flakes as it stated in the reading I am doing, should help huh?
I have good filters as stated and clean water a lot as stated , I just don't have the large tanks as stated in my reading, all in all everything but water parameters are good aren't they?
<So long as ammonia and nitrite are 0, yes, they're fine, taken alongside these other values. The size of the aquarium makes a big difference to fish health, and a tank smaller than 30 gallons will never be a "good" aquarium for Goldfish. Remember, they're pond fish, so taking them indoors and keeping them in a fish tank is far from ideal.>
I appreciate your talking to me
<Glad to help. Neale.>
Re: Floaty fish

Thank you Neale!! I do have one more question, I know having 3 goldfish about 10 yrs old in a 20 gallon tank is not good, but with all I do and water being good, will they be okay for a while longer yet, they have been in there 9 yrs now, will they die??
<Yours sounds as if it's fine. Leave it be for now. If you get a bigger tank, great, but be sure to carry across the filter and as much water as possible, so that you don't expose the fish to any sudden changes. Moving from a good small tank to a bad bigger tank isn't an upgrade! It's important to keep water quality good and water chemistry constant.>
I worry about moving them as the time back when I moved them out of 10 gallon, I had a terrible time with ammonia, it was then they still made BioSpira and once I found it they survived, thought I was going to lose them all. SUCH stress on them and me!!
Would a 30 gallon tank be ok for them later?
<Sure. Try and get one that you can fit your existing filter straight into without any fuss. That'd be ideal! Moving from one glass box to another glass box isn't the problem; moving from one aquarium with a mature filter and one set of water chemistry to another aquarium that has an non-cycled filter and different water chemistry is where problems start.>
I might be able to place one that size in room, but still cant right now.
What is lets say pushing the limits to the very edge of having 3 goldfish in a tank?? What size is pushing the limits but can still thrive <30 gallons should be okay for fancy varieties, 35-40 gallons ideal.
Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Floaty fish

I feel so much better when I talk to you!! <<Chatting... too much per day>>
<Glad to help.>
I did notice your thinking these are fancy goldfish,
<Yes; haven't been in this discussion at the start, I think you were talking with site owner Bob Fenner before.>
is 20 still ok for now with all I said about what I do and water parameters for Comet goldfish? I wont bother you anymore today, you've been very helpful, thanks again!
<Comets are a bit bigger and swim faster, so I'd allow them more space than fancies. If yours aren't that big, say, 15 cm/6 inches, they may well be fine in 30 gallons. But big specimens will need a tank something like 120 cm/4 ft in length so they have space to zoom about. They can be very lively! Do read:
Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Floaty fish
Hello Neale,
I was thinking till late last night and doing some reading, I want to try to move my comet fish to bigger tanks, soon, what are your thoughts on fishless cycling?
<It's a good idea. Just be sure you do it properly.>
If you think it is not a bad idea, what is best way to do it??
<Ideally, don't do it all! If you already have an aquarium, you shouldn't ever need to cycle another aquarium again. Set up the new tank, disconnect the filter from the old tank, and reconnect it to the new aquarium. Or, if you want to aquaria on the go, divide the filter media in the "old" filter into two, and put half in the "new" filter. Job done! Failing all of this, you can cycle tanks quickly by moving a few cups of substrate from the old tank to the new tank, and then "feed" the filter with pinches of flake food every day (as much as you'd use with fish in that tank) and let the flake decay inside the filter and provide the bacteria with food like that. After 3-5 weeks the filter should be pretty well cycled; if ammonia and nitrite are at zero, you're done!>
If I cant move all the fish , I will take one largest out of the twenty and give him his own twenty?? Not sure about all that, if you think fishless is best I might move them all into larger tank, Just thinking, Thank you again
<Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Floaty fish... Why Neale Why? Limit resp.s to one a day, please, unless an emergency
I am confused with one statement saying it is a good idea and the next saying Ideally don't do it all,
<In other words, doing a fishless cycle is better than sticking fish into a non-cycled aquarium. But even better than a fishless cycle is using an existing mature aquaria to instantly cycle a new aquarium by donating biological media. If that's confusing, then stick with a fishless cycling method.>
and what is aquaria on the go??
<A mature aquarium; one that's been running a few months.>
Do you think the smaller tanks they are in might be why they are in trouble a lot of times??
<Unquestionably. The bigger the aquarium, the healthier the fish will be.
Obviously a really big aquarium poses its own problems, but for Goldfish, tanks in the 30-55 gallon size are infinitely better than anything
Do you think if I get started this weekend they will still be ok in the old tanks until I can put them in new ones,
One more thing, since they are now in too small of tanks, I clean the gravel about 2.5 gallons every 3 days, will they still have enough bacteria in gravel to use in new tank??
<Why not set the new aquarium up on Saturday, and leave it running overnight without any fish. Then, on Sunday, move the fish into a bucket, move all the gravel from the old aquarium into the new aquarium, and then move the filter from the old aquarium to the new aquarium.>
I am getting all the new stuff but worried Really worried!!
<Don't be.>
Sorry for all the questions, I know these fish need change and I will try, but I don't want to lose them due to stress of their age and moving them!!
Just need to be able to talk to someone and have a bit of guidance I guess Cathy
<Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Floaty fish
Oh I forgot to ask, These fish in one tank are about 6-7 inches comet goldfish and have small pea sized gravel, should I change the size of it??
<I'd move the old gravel into the new tank. Add some new gravel if you want.>
The other tank has a bit bigger gravel, about NOT quite the size of a dime, should I change this one , this fish in other tank is about 10-12 inches long?? They all can get it in there mouths?
<Yes, normal behaviour.>
I see them do it when I watch them eat
<Goldfish sometimes choke themselves on gravel that is too big to handle in their mouths easily. But that's rare. They do seem to like sifting fine gravel though! Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Floaty fish <Squawk!> 1/18/12

Ok I will start on sat, a few more things I am confused about if you don't mind more questions! This part
"Why not set the new aquarium up on Saturday, and leave it running overnight without any fish. Then on Sunday move the fish into a bucket, move all the gravel from the old aquarium into the new aquarium, and then move the filter from the old aquarium to the new aquarium."
When you say set it up and let it run all night, what do I do with old filter from old tank, take it out to run on new tank, all night, or leave in old tank till next day??
<Well, if you have a new filter for this bigger aquarium, plug that in and run it. In all likelihood, the filter for your smaller aquarium won't be enough for the bigger aquarium, so at the very least, you'll want a second filter to run alongside the filter you already have. Remember, you're aiming for a turnover rate around 6 times the volume of the tank per hour.
That can be one filter or two filters. So if your original filter isn't big enough, find a second one that will act like a "top up" filter.>
I have had a filter pad in one of the hang on back filters since nov 29th, can I use it , how much longer can I use this filter pad??
<Years. Rinse every couple of months.>
Should I still add some flakes to it for making bacteria??
<If you are adding the fish to this new aquarium, and the original filter you have now alongside a second filter, then you'll be adding fish food anyway! Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Floaty fish 1/20/12

OKAY!! I think I am ready, I will get new filter and add old one too when I set up new tank, I will use this stuff I seen on your website, Dr Tim's one and only too, should this make is safer for them with the change?? along with the old stones and filters??
<Yes and yes.>
I will have to order it and rush it here! I cant thank you enough, I sure hope it works out for them, I get so nervous, I really like them and almost killed them once moving them, but I used all new stuff!
Have a good day or evening, wherever you are!
<Glad to help. Do try our Forum, here: http://wetwebmediaforum.com/forum.php
It's a good place to get step-by-step help, bounce around idea, and learn from others' experiences. I think from here on in, you'll find the WWM forum a more useful place than the FAQs, which really are for
life-and-death emergencies. Good luck! Neale.>
Re: Floaty fish 1/20/12

What are your thoughts on my using the one and only, old gravel, old filter and getting a few healthy feeder goldfish (borrowing) from my fish store,
<Mmm, I see your comments below, but am skeptical... feeder comets always have carried numerous biological diseases. I would NOT do this>
they are healthy , she keeps them a while to make sure before she sells them, she said I could borrow them and bring them back , if I did this I could make sure the tank is cycled before adding my big old fish , is this a good idea??
<No. Better for you to read:
and the linked files above. BobF>
Fw: Floaty fish 1/21/12

Hello, maybe just one more question on my going ahead with tank changes, I had asked a question below on the filter cartridges, I am going to alternate using them for putting up 2 more twenty gallon tanks so each fish can have a tank!! I will take filter pad 2-3 months old and place in new tank with half its old tank water and half the gravel and one fish, and repeat for next tank, I need to know if you meant the following in sentence below saying (Years. Rinse every couple of months) in regards to my asking how long before changing filter, I want to make sure you know if it a whisper filter cartridge with carbon, not a sponge or anything but a cartridge with carbon in it, is it still ok to keep for years, they get pretty dirty, I will use them for now but wanted to make sure you weren't referring to something else thinking I might have that.
Can you stack 20 gallon tanks one on top the other on a frame, what about 30 gallons, can they be stacked the same way?
<Do start by reading here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/aqstands.htm
What you'll find with WWM is if you go to Google, and enter a search term like -- WetWebMedia aquarium racks -- you'll quickly be presented with a bunch of pages on what you're after. As you will see, it is possible to arrange tanks in all sorts of space-saving ways, but some are safer than others!>
I am trying to get into the forum as suggested, Do I have to register to ask questions??
<Yes indeed! http://wetwebmediaforum.com/register.php
Please know I am reading as much as I can understand on here, it is a great place. Thanks again You've helped me to sort this out
<Glad you're enjoying the site.>
Have a nice weekend,
<And to you, Neale.>

Ask WWM, GF, comets, 12, and more in a 55 gal., trouble 1/16/12
Hello Crew I would like to thank you in advance for your time. Well I have searched the net and asked many people about my goldfish problem and no one seems to know (and I can't find anything remotely close to what is happening to my fish) I found a large "boil" on the side of one of my goldfish, when I went to catch it in the net the "boil' burst and a lot of whitish, yellow pus escaped into my tank. I squeezed the boil and the contents looked just like boil guck. Then put the fish into a different tank but it died anyway. I changed the water in the 55 gal. tank added salt, but about 3 weeks later found another fish with the same "boil" on its side. I quarantined it and it is still ok and eating but the lump is still there and turning red around the base. I have treated the water in the quarantine tank with Metronidazole and Praziquantel and salt, but it has not diminished the lump.
<Mmm; should take care of Protozoal and most "worm" issues if applied correctly>
The fish I have in my aquarium are comets (12), 2 buffalo heads, a tadpole, a feeder minnow, and a tiny grey catfish. I have a 2 filters going, one fluvial about a galloon filter (under the tank on a shelf) and one that goes on the outside back of tank, also 3 large bubblers 2 across the back of the tank and one just off center in the middle. Any help you can give me would be greatly appreciated.
<Well, the boils could be resultant from Trematodes/flukes, Nematodes/roundworms, and more... would/could look though a microscope at the "puss" sample... Or could be resultant or ameliorated through water quality issues. How large are the comets? What tests for water quality... esp. Nitrates, do you have? I do hope/trust you're executing good-sized/volume water changes here weekly. No treatment suggested w/o knowing what the root cause/s are here. Bob Fenner>

Goldfish question - Not eating/bloated... Lack of data, rdg. 1/6/12
My goldfish, which is 2 years old, has cut back or stopped eating. This started about 3 weeks ago. It stopped eating as much. It naturally is one that hangs out in the bottom of the tank but it always ate. There is a second goldfish in there who eats everything.
<... what size tank is this, what foods fed, what sorts of filtration employed, what water quality measures?>
Anyway, about 3 weeks ago, the fish stopped eating much at all no matter what we tried to give her. About 1 week ago is pretty much stopped eating.
No pellets, no sinking pellets, no flakes. If we are lucky the fish would eat one. What I did notice is that when the fish ate the pellets, most times, it would swim and then let go of the pellet, which would float back up to the top of the tank.
Water is changed every week.
<? How much and how?>
We have tried Melafix for the past few days.
<Worse than worthless>
The other thing I noticed is that the fish looks bloated. Like someone inflated the fish. The fish is still defecating and seems to be doing so quite a bit. What can be done here? Thanks.
<Read: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/goldfish101art.htm
and the linked files above... answer for yourself the above questions. Bob
Re: Goldfish question - Not eating/bloated 1/7/12

In response to your questions:
1) 10 gallon Tank
<Too small...
Please read here:
and the linked files above. Your fish are being poisoned by their own metabolic activities in this too-small world>
(2 goldfish in there and we have had them for 2 years). Food is Tetrafin Floating Variety Pellets, as well as sinking ones, been eating this for 2 years. Quietflow 10 is the filter. (filter changed 1X month). 5ml Aqueon
Water Conditioner added whenever we change water.
2) Water changed every week. 1/2 replaced. Done after the Gravel Vac is used to clean.
Fish is clearly bloated. Rocks on bottom of tank are not large so is it possible the fish swallowed one? Or could it be pregnant? or Sick?
<The latter... environmental
... BobF>
Re: Goldfish question - Not eating/bloated... getting the msg. 1/8/12

So what I am getting is to get a larger tank. In the meantime, what else can I do for the fish? It's clearly bloated and won't eat.
<... better environment>
Re: Goldfish question - Not eating/bloated... env. 1/12/12

Could this be from swallowing a rock/pebble? That is what the pet store guy suggested.
<Not likely, no>
We emptied out the tank (minus some water to keep) and changed the bottom pebbles with new larger rocks that they can't swallow. Changed all of the "plants' and items in there as well with new ones.
Fish still not eating and bloated.
<Patience, reading, understanding, action... B>
Re: Goldfish question - Not eating/bloated... Owner not getting it... Env. issue 1/13/12

OK so new thing. The fish has recently started hiding in the bottom lower corner of tank, upside down but not for long periods. Not eating at all.
We tried putting API Anti-parasitic fish meds in there. Other fish is fine and swimming/eating as normal. This one is now just laying all day and night (with a few exceptions) at bottom right of tank and completely upside down and also fidgeting/spasming. Still breathing....
<You've read?>
re: Goldfish question - Not eating/bloated 1/14/12
I don't understand. Response very vague....
<See WWM re your "queries", and my continuously consistent responses... IF you don't fix the environment (larger tank, more/better filtration and hence water quality), this fish is doomed. Period. B>

re: Goldfish question - Not eating/bloated... going out w/o rdg. 1/14/12

I was kind of looking more for a fix (the things you mention are long term. Pet store person thinks they did swallow a pebble as there were signs of abdominal bleeding. The fish passed this morning.
<... This fish was killed by ignorance. RIP. B>
re: Goldfish question - Not eating/bloated 1/14/12

Ignorance? Perhaps. Lack of compassion on the website's end. Perhaps.
<From the Latin, meaning "to bear pain with?". Never. The site itself is strength against this argument. Think on this>
re: Goldfish question - Not eating/bloated 1/15/12

OK let's rehash. You asked me questions, I answered them. I did water changes daily.
<Not what I advised... the larger, better-filtered system>
I asked if could be a swallowed rock, you said probably not. Turns out probably was.
<Dissect the fish and see>
I tired every med I could think of.
<Not advised... too debilitating
. Most aquarium med.s are like human medicines a hundred years plus ago... Mercuricals, Arsenicals... toxic to the host...>
I got my water tested at the pet store yesterday after the fact for PH, Nitrate, Ammonia etc...
<... water can't be transported, tested accurately... Has to be done "then and there"... nitrogenous metabolites come and go...>
So explain to me where "ignorance" came in? I notice you don't post the response on your website when the result is bad.
<Ludicrous. ALL are posted>
Interesting. I don't doubt you want to help by having the website, but when your advice does nothing or hurts the situation, you can't hide from that either.
<... What is maturity? To me, the coming to grips w/ ones limitations...
Placing this fish in suitable env. would have likely extended its life. Did you do that, after repeatedly being asked, led to read? No sale. B>
re: Goldfish question - Not eating/bloated 1/16/12

The only thing I didn't do is go buy a larger tank. And I am sure even if I had and it died, you would say it was too late right?
<Read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/GFEnvDisF5.htm
the linked files where you were originally referred>

Goldfish ill, please help 1/5/12
Hi, I hope you can help me.
<Me too>
I have one goldfish about 5 years old in a 10 gallon tank.
<... this volume is too small to support this fish>
I noticed a black mark on his gill, so I did a 25% water change, I must admit I hadn't done a water change for 6-7 weeks.
<Poor. Should be done weekly; more often in your case due to the too-small size of this world>
I read online that it could be Ammonia burn, so two days later I did another 25% change. Two days later I took sample to PetSmart, they said Ammonia was fine, but Nitrite was a little high.
<As toxic>

So the next day I did a 25% water change. (all water was treated with water conditioner).
<Won't make up for a lack of biological filtration, and again sufficient volume to dilute wastes twixt water change-outs>
All water parameters were normal after that. My fish now has black marks all over his side, like he rolled in paint. I thought he would recover, but now he is sitting at the bottom of the tank. I don't know what to do?
<Simple patience, and if you really care, moving it to an adequate system.>
Do I add aquarium salt to help with stress, etc.?
<Mmm, not really, no>
(haven't used that before) I read online it could be nitrate poisoning, so what can I do? should I get a pump to make bubbles in the water for oxygen?
<Best to have you read here:
and the linked files above. As you'll find, goldfish are really not that easily accommodated; nor are they historically...
DO write back if you have further concerns, questions, after reading. Bob Fenner>
Re: Goldfish ill, please help 1/5/12

sorry, it's me again. Just wanted to add that I became a happy fish owner because I wanted to save this fish as it was in a centerpiece at a reception:(
Thanks for the response. My fish (Phin) is still on the bottom, it came up to eat yesterday, today it tried but couldn't find food too well. There is one veterinary in my area that will see fish, they will give no advice over the phone. I'm worried that the stress of transporting him in some way and back (probably a total of two hours) will be too stressful in an already stressed fish.
<... I wouldn't take this fish to a Vet. What you need to do has been stated, you've been referred to read>>
But I guess there is a chance he has something else and not nitrite poisoning. (he seems to be exhibiting all the symptoms) Online they said it is called "brown blood" or met-hemoglobinemia. I did some salt and added some oxygen bubbles, is there anything else I can do if it is this?
Do you think it is more detrimental than good to go to the vet? Thanks again.
<Read please... stop feeding till you can/do get this fish into a viable env. BobF>
Re: Goldfish ill, please help 1/7/12

Hi, I'm worried that I may have mis-diagnosed what was going on with my fish black discoloration. He is still staying on the bottom, but yesterday he came up to find food and swam around quite a bit, I was feeling hopeful, but then I noticed his spine is curved.
<Induced scoliosis... from the too-small conditions>
So now I am concerned about fish tuberculosis, the signs seem similar, and unfortunately I didn't test the water initially but just jumped to conclusions because of the black spots. Could the bend just be from the nitrite poisoning? Is this TB very prevalent? is there any way to tell?
and is it contagious for me and my other pets. Thanks.
<There are bacterial tests the same as for humans... Mycobacteria can "get around"... but this is highly unlikely the issue here. One last time... the real problem is and has been the environment:
> > <Best to have you read here:
> > http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/goldfish101art.htm
> > and the linked files above.

Goldfish full of air - Please help 12/27/11
I started an aquarium a few months ago, a Bio Orb 60 (60 l)
<Mmm, these are really poor systems for most all aquatic life... too little surface area, paucity of water movement and filtration... Please read here
re: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/BiOrbF.htm
with two 4-inch goldfish.
Recently, I have added two more goldfish

into the aquarium, a week apart. One is about one and a half inches, and really feisty, and the other is about two and a half inches, and a total lamb. They all seem to get on well, and given the size of the tank, I consider the aquarium complete.
<These fish won't live long or well here>
One of the 4-inch goldfish developed a habit of eating bubbles quite early on.
<... these fishes... are physostomous... Have connection twixt their throat and swim bladder... use this in part for aerial respiration. Your fish is gasping... "for air">
After talking to some other fish keepers and checking the net, I concluded that it could be due to the fact that the dry pellets I was originally feeding them floated, and she might be expecting food to exist at the surface, so gulped bubbles in a hopeful manner that she found some food. I have also heard that those pellets are full of air, and also as she had to come to the surface, she was eating them and swallowing air in the process.
So I switched to fish flakes,
<... trouble. Please read here:
and made an effort to release them under the water surface, so that they would not float back up. But her habits seems too set in now to quit. I'm not sure if you have seen a Bio Orb 60
<I have... some friends (CASCO, SeaClear/Tradewind...) bought the company a few years back. Oh, how I wish they hadn't... These expensive "toy" systems are worse than worthless. NONE of them can/do support aquatic life for anything near reasonable time frames. They are fish killers>
before, but the way they are set up is that the air pump pumps air through the centre of the tank via a tube, and the bubbles float to the surface, and then across to the rim. I have tried discouraging her from eating bubbles, by tapping sharply on the glass
<My friend... DON'T do this... IS extremely damaging>
when she is doing it, in an attempt to condition her behaviour, but all its appeared to have done is that it has made her behave as though she is a naughty child caught eating sweets before dinner - she runs away when she sees me near the tank, to where 'she' believes she is out of sight, on the other side of the tank, and carries on eating bubbles. To prevent the bubbles moving across the water like that, I increased the water level so that the bubbles gather around the water-friendly
aquarium light, i.e. they won't end up at the rim where she eats bubbles, but now she still gulps air as though she was still eating bubbles.
A little while ago, I noticed her resting at the top of the tank, with her top fin out of water. I realised that her being partly out of water can't be good, so I kept a closer eye on her behaviour. She needs to struggle a bit to swim to down to the gravel in the tank, and the moment she stops swimming she floats up again. A couple of time she sort of floated on her side - just for a moment, but she did. I checked the net again and also your site forums - thanks for making other people's emails available for reference by the way; a lot of comfort for a worried fish owner!
- and came to the conclusion that it could be swim bladder disease.
<... no>
I followed a medical regime, and also changed their diet - fearful that I might have been overfeeding them, I semi-starved her for a few days (I know some people suggest to totally starve them for 3 days, but I didn't have the heart to completely deprive them of food (they have got their 'begging' trick down to almost
wrenching my heart out!)) and fed her a thawed frozen de-shelled pea once a day for 3 days, then fed them flakes in the morning and a couple of peas at night (for all fish) from then on. But her habits have not changed. Its painful to see her struggle so much - I don't think she is in any pain, and she likes her food, but I want to try and improve her lifestyle if I can.
I'm on top of water maintenance - every one to two weeks I change about 25% to a third of the water - using the de-chlorinator as necessary and weekly I use the water cleaner that also balances pH. I also added aquarium salt to the tank a month ago. I don't think overfeeding is the problem - the other 4-inch fish (same size), he is the same breed, and eats more of the food, but has none of the problems she has.
I'm not sure what to do.
<I am. See below>
I honestly don't think she had a bacterial infection such as swim bladder - I think she is just full of air. Is there something I can give her to help her expel the air, that might solve her problem. I am always checking their bodies for signs of other illnesses, but I haven't seen anything.
Please advise.
Kind Regards
<IF possible, convert the Bi-orb to something else other than an aquarium... a fancy vase or palludarium perhaps. And read here:
re what these fish really need. A system of several times this volume, w/ sufficient surface area, water movement and biological filtration. Yes, you've been duped... this "tank" can't accommodate these goldfish, not even one specimen. Bob Fenner>
Re: Goldfish full of air - Please help -- 12/29/11

Hi Bob,
Thanks for your prompt response!
I agree that they are overpriced - I'm just glad I didn't buy it new!! But thanks for the heads up. I will look into a suitable aquarium.
Unfortunately, as much as I love my fish, I have many financial constraints on me at the moment (don't we all in this economic climate!),
<Ah yes>
so until I am able to replace the Bi-Orb, could you suggest some temporary measures that I can put into place immediately, given the problems mentioned in my last email, i.e. my fish gasping for air, and being full of air, etc.
<Yes... though it may seem antithetic, do drain this system down 1/4 to 1/3 from the top... having more surface area is of greater use than the total volume... AND do be VERY careful re feeding... just a few pellets twice a day... AND DO change out about 20% of the water per day... and replace w/ simple tap water (cold)... to dilute metabolites>
Also, I read your article about flakes; is my feeding regime okay, or should I change it and how?
<Look to Spectrum brand pellets... is what I feed my fancy goldfish exclusively>
I feed them flakes in the morning and a couple of thawed frozen de-shelled peas each at night. Am I under-feeding/overfeeding?
I have four fish; two 4-inch goldfish, one that is about one and a half inches and one that is about two and a half inches.
Kind Regards
<Keep your eyes on the ads for sales, perhaps a used system of size... CraigsList in your area. Your fish will weaken and die soon w/o being moved to a suitable environment. Bob Fenner>
Re: Goldfish full of air - Please help 12/30/11

Hi Bob,
<Hello Sama>
Thanks very much for your advice, I will follow your suggestions. In addition to lowering the water level, I have put in some oxygenating tablets that I had bought previously, hopefully this will hold till the new tank comes
<Mmm, they're only good for hours really>
- thanks for the CraigsList reference. Also, I will stick to Spectrum brand food. Thanks so much for your help!
<Certainly welcome>
On a separate note, do you know why only one of the fish is gasping for air, and none of the others, including the one of the same size and breed?
<Can be ascribed to "different fitness level"... fishes have high hematocrits (packed cell volumes)... i.e. lots of hemoglobin; but low dissolved oxygen... about 8 ppm w/ our atmosphere at 21% (210,000 ppm)... Have to work hard to respire... and given some types of insults... e.g. exposure to nitrogenous metabolites, hemolyze... lose oxygen carrying capacity. The one is "weaker" from such.>
Kind Regards
<And you. Bob Fenner>

Black Moor goldfish at bottom of tank... Uncycled move after long abuse 12/19/11
Hi All. I love the site and have been a long time aquarist. I've had some kind of aquarium in my house for over 20 years now, most recently a full blown reef setup which I'm slowly tearing down after 6 successful years, it's just too much "gear" for my small condo. My girlfriend moved in and brought with her a Black Moor goldfish, his name is "Mr. Teentsy". He's a great fish. She has kept him (brace yourselves) in a 2.5 gallon tank for the past 4 years since getting him as a small juvenile.
<Well, it appears this abuse has caught up w/ Mr. T.>
He's grown to a full 4" or so (including fins). There is nothing in the tank but the fish, water and a single marble. No filter, no heater, no gear of any kind. With this setup he was getting 100% water changes weekly to biweekly and always seemed ok. Recently, I got him a 16 gallon tank!
<Still too small, but much better>
We also got him a filter and some gravel. This was about two weeks ago.
Now, knowing that this is a new tank with a new filter (HOB) I have been doing partial water changes of 30% to 40% a couple of times a week and feeding very very minimally so as to let the cycle happen
<Should have been cycled in advance of moving>
slowly and without too much drama. The fish seems to have been loving the new home. Until last night. Last night we did a bigger water change, about 40% and he seemed fine until we looked later on and he was laying on the bottom. He typically responds to external stimulus, like us waving at him or turning the kitchen light on .. that usually brings him up to the surface where he "puckers" for food. This is pretty status quo for Mr. Teentsy. He's not doing that anymore. Now all he does is lay on the bottom.
I am getting a test kit tomorrow to check the ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and PH but I'm concerned because this only started _after_ a water change!
<Likely just timing incident... I'll stick w/ my guess re nitrogenous poisoning>
Yes, we use dechlorinator/chloramine water treatment and we let the water sit for a day before putting it in the tank. He seems to have difficulty getting around, he seems very lethargic and doesn't hang out near the top of the tank like he typically does. I didn't know people could get this attached to a goldfish but if anything happens to him my girlfriend and I are going to be really really sad. He does not have any signs of disease or trauma. Fearing that water quality is the issue we have put him back in his old 2.5 gallon tank
with 100% fresh water in it.

Water that was treated of course and has been sitting since last night.
This was about twenty minutes ago and since then he kind of just swims to the top and then sinks (faster than normal is my impression) and hangs out at the bottom then goes up again and then sinks. I'll be checking his main (new) tank for ammonia/nitrite/nitrate tomorrow after work when I can get the kit. Right now he's in 100% clean water.
<Cleanliness is not biological sterility>

Please help.
Also, thank you for providing years and years of valuable information for us aquarists you folks truly are a fantastic resource and your efforts are very much appreciated.
Happy Holidays.
Steve & Megan
<Please read here:
I'd be looking into means to instantly cycle the larger system... and move the fish to stat. Bob Fenner>

Hi! GF injury 12/16/11
Hello, Sigridur here, again.
I've been looking over your site and searching Google, but Im not finding any sure answers on this... Today, when I came home from the store, I noticed that Natsu had hurt his head. It doesn't look very serious, and I'm pretty sure he just hit one of the fake coral decorations (I removed them, as I had been worried for a little while about that happening but had hoped that the placements had been smart enough for them to avoid them).
<I do agree re this injury and your moving the decor>
He still swims around quite happily
I'm mostly worried about him getting an infection. I read I should do regular water changes (I already do them 2-3 times a week, about 10-15 liters depending on how much I need to go through all the gravel)
to keep the water pristine. I also add some gH powder to the water i change to get the hardness up and a little bit pH powder to get the water less acidic (i couldn't get the rift valley salt mix made as i cant get a hold of what i needed in Norway and i didn't want to chance ordering it and have to wait till after Christmas while they were still sick..). The Finrot that was a problem last time is completely gone. (The medicine the store had and recommended was Myxazin, which they told me was very normal and good medicine (it was a 5 day treatment). )The tank is 25 degrees Celsius, and i have no heater. its just affected by the room and the light... don't know how to get it any lower :(
<Not to worry. I don't use heaters w/ my fancy goldfish (indoor, aquarium) systems either. Room temperatures are fine, as long as the house itself doesn't vacillate a great deal (more than a few degrees C diurnally)>
Is there anything else you suggest I should do while he's hurt? Should I get a hold of something to prevent infections?
<Nothing that I would add to the water here. Not likely to be of use, and in such a small volume as your tank, too likely a possibility to kill your biological filter bacteria>
also, a few other questions once I'm already asking... I've started doing intensive research for when I can upgrade to a 450++ liter tank (crossing fingers i can get a tank shortly after Christmas with people
upgrading/downsizing or something alike! >.<), asking in the petstore, Googling almost all day and reading anything I come across, and so on, but there's still a few things I'm still wondering. The main one, that I'm struggling with finding an answer to, is the Max Limit I can stock. If my math is anywhere near right, then in a 450 liter i can have about 10-13 fish, depending on type ofc.
<This is about right for fancies... Comets need more room... likely five will/would be the limit for this sport>
Im planning on having about 3 fantails, the rest comets (thinking 3), common(2) and, if I'm lucky, a Shubunkin or two.. Another one is diet. I feed them flakes 3 times a day (i suspect that's probably too often, should i cut down to two times?)
<I would definitely switch to a high quality pellet variety/make instead.
The Spectrum or Hikari brand. Read here re:
most of the week, however on Wednesdays they get brine shrimp for lunch, so to say, and on Saturdays they don't get flakes at all, but some bloodworm and brine shrimp, then a few hours later they get some pees and grape pieces... anything else you would suggest?
<The reading>
any other suggestions towards plants, decor, and such would be highly appreciated, I've read almost all the goldfish related articles on your site and am just hungry to learn more and be able to (hopefully) make a goldfish 'paradise'
<Ahh, good>
Ps: I've recently noticed my "fantail's head has started to grow.. seems that she's a Red cap Oranda, which ofc no one in the petstore informed me of.. Im slightly worried as Orinda's aren't listed as compatible with Comets nor commons,
<Fancy goldfish aren't really so w/ comets, Shubunkins... the latter are too rambunctious, competitive for foods>
and because they're not known as beginner fish... I'm slightly considering giving her away or trading her for a fantail, but I don't even know how to find an owner that knows enough about Orandas to take care of her... should i just ask in the petstore if i decide to give her away, if they know about anyone who has Orandas? :/
<Yes; this or Craigslist or such>
(I've added some photos of Natsu and his injury, the fake corals i suspect to be behind it, as well as the tank)
Thanks in advance!! It means a lot!!Sigga, Mirajane, Gajeel and Natsu!
<Thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner>

Mouth rot in Shubunkin, env. 12/15/11
<Hi there>
I'm asking this question on behalf on my boss's fish, who has recently developed what I would call severe mouth rot. She has two Shubunkins ( I'm think their comets ) in a 20 litre tank
<This is at least one issue... this is only about five gallons. MUCH too small...>

( which I know is not suitable at all. But she won't listen) the fish are about 5 cm.s, long. Just recently one has developed very bad mouth rot, so much so that its mouth is all stringy and starting to look more like a gaping hole. I've tested for ph, nitrite, nitrate and ammonia.
Ph: around 7
Ammonia: about 40
<Mmm, no. This is likely Nitrate... much too high by twice...>
( I've added ammonia remover and got it down to about 20, still not good I know, but better)
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate:0, which I find worrying, and suggests that the tank is not cycled
In terms of treating the mouth rot I have added king British disease clear, what else do you suggest I do? Would dapping with hydrogen peroxide help?
<ONLY providing a livable environment will work>
And also in terms of the tank? Is it possible to maintain good levels for the fish to thrive, even though the small size, or should I just suggest I take them home and put them in my pond?
<Ahh! Yes I would>
Thank-you for taking the time to read this.
Kind regards, Kate
<I think you wrote before... or someone w/ a very similar situation. Please read and have your boss read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/goldfish101art.htm
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
Re: Mouth rot in Shubunkins 12/16/11

Thank-you for replying,
I'll try my best to persuade her to put her fish in my pond, and get some white cloud minnows instead.
Do you honestly think the fish with mouth rot has a chance? Or is it best to humanely dispose of it?
<Goldfishes have astounding capacities to endure hardship and rebound. I would place these fish in your pond. BobF>
Re: Mouth rot in Shubunkins 12/16/11

Ok then :) thank-you for your advice
<Welcome! B>

Comet Goldfish, no lips, bunk water quality... the usual 12/13/11
Dear WWM Team,
I have had a beautiful Comet goldfish for nearly 4 years now
<Should be 6-8 plus inches in length...>
and he has been incredibly healthy. We recently moved house and changed the water in his tank. Now he has some quite severe black burns on both sides of his body and bright purple streaks through all his fins.
<Environmental; as usual>
He has been gasping at the surface and sometimes lies at the bottom with clamped fins, he has also very sadly lost his lips

and his mouth looks very sore. I am so saddened by this, we have tried to treat the water as well.
Levels of Nitrite (0-0.5)
<... has to be 0.0>
and pH (7.0) seem normal however the Nitrate levels are sky high.
<... 20 ppm max.>
We have had the same filter for the entire 4 years and I am not sure if this is part of the problem since it has done a good job up until now. I don't like seeing my goldfish like this and I really don't want him suffering. It would help if I knew if a recovery was possible and if not, what I should try and do?
Kind regards,
<Bigger world, better/more filtration, more frequent maintenance... Read
here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/goldfish101art.htm
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
Re: Comet Goldfish 12/14/11

Dear Bob,
Thank you for your prompt reply regarding our Comet goldfish. Our plan is to perform a 50% water change once per week.
<Good; this is about what I do w/ my fancy goldfish systems>
We have got filter boost solution and tap water clear solution
<What is this product? What active ingredients?>
to try and solve this problem. We did one change last night, and levels of nitrite and nitrate have fallen quite dramatically. The injuries to his body and the loss of his lips have all began since we did our first water change once we had moved house. Thank you also for the article you sent me the link for, it was very useful. My last question is, do most goldfish make a recovery after injuries like this?
<Mmm, no. The vast majority die from the root issue/s not being solved>
I am worried he may not be able to eat properly because of the damage to his lips.
<Tis so. Do look for smallish Spectrum pellets...>
Thank you for all you help,
<Welcome. BobF>

My Pearscale's tail has almost completely eroded, iatrogenic 12/13/11
<I'll assume this further query subsumes yours sent last hour>
Hi, I started off with a Fantail (Scarface), a black Moor (Dopium), a Ryukin (Kapone), and a Pearscale (Ju-ju B). They were all about an inch long and in a 30 gallon tank.
<Too small if these were of any size>
About a year later I transferred them to a 55 gallon tank with 2 40-60 gallon Aqua-Tech filters (I wanted to start off with that size to begin with, but couldn't find one I could afford). About 6 months after I upgraded to the 55 gallon tank, my Pearlscale started to get these little white dots all over him (the other 3 were unaffected).
<White dots? Uniform in placement? This is typical of this breed/race of goldfish... Not a disease>
I suspected Ich and treated with QuICK Cure.
<Copper and Formalin... too toxic, and likely to kill off your nitrifying bacteria>
I followed the instructions, which were to remove carbon from filter and add 1 drop per gallon of water daily. It seemed to be working and all the fish were getting perkier.
About 3 days after starting the treatment I noticed that all 4 fish were getting red streaks in their tails and had started to get a white cottony growth all over them, so I called the number on the back of the QuICK Cure bottle and they advised me to put the carbon filter back in for about 12 hours, do a 50% water change,
<Good moves>
treat for the fungus (since it was only a 4 day treatment), and after the fungus treatment, continue treatment with QuICK Cure.
<Bad move>
I did as directed and treated the Fungus and Hemorrhagic Septicemia with Fungus Clear made by Jungle. All the fish except the Pearlscale improved.
After the Fungus Clear treatment, I put the carbon back in my filter for 12 hours, then did a 50% water change and continued the QuICK Cure treatment.
<... please search, read on WWM re Formalin... a biocide... kills all life>
My Pearlscale's condition only worsened and about 3 days later, we lost him. I was EXTREMELY upset after losing him, I had always been able to safe my fish, even when I thought there would be no hope. Since the rest of the fish seemed ok, I discontinued treatment and put the carbon back in my filters. I decided not to add anymore fish for about a year, but after I saw this cute little white Pearscale, I couldn't resist (I named him Ghostface). About a week later, I noticed the same white dots,
<Please, stop. See the Net, fish books re Pearlscales... they HAVE dots>
so I started treatment for Ich, but this time I used Ick Clear by Jungle (since Jungle products have always worked for me in the past). I have been treating for 2 days and he seemed to be improving until I woke up this morning and found that his tail has almost completely eroded away, there are only a few strands left. I have put him into the 30 gallon tank I started off with and added the Ich treatment. I have no idea what to do next,
<I do: read. Start here:
scroll down to the Goldfish tray>
or how to help my poor fish. He's trying to swim and I hand fed him a few flakes. Please help, I don't want him to suffer and I feel horrible. I also want to add that I test my water levels 2times a week (Jungle's 5-in-1 test kit) and the levels are always within the normal range on the dipstick. I also use Start Right complete water conditioner whenever I clean or do a water change in my tank. Thank you for your time and consideration in this matter.
Tara Biglen
<What to state here? The damage done to your fishes is iatrogenic... the medicines employed toxic... Please learn to search, read on WWM ahead of writing us. Bob Fenner>

black bubble eye, "Send in another GF w/ env. dis." 12/13/11
We have had our black bubble eye goldfish for almost a year along with our orange goldfish, and a Betta.
<Not compatible... goldfish shouldn't be housed w/ tropicals>
They were all purchased at the same time. We have a 10 gallon tank
<... too small, polluted>
for them, and they have all seemed to be doing fine. The black bubble eye fish (Denny) has a lot of blood in one of his eyes,
<... environmental>
and he seems to be floating side ways on the surface of the water, but when I come close to the tank he swims down to see me. I don't know much about chemicals for the water, but I do change 25% of the water every 2 weeks, and clean out the filter. What is wrong with my fish, and how can I help him?
<Please read here:
and the linked files above. The goldfish need a larger world, the Betta its own that is heated and filtered. Bob Fenner>

My Chinese Algae Eater, mis-stocked w/ goldfish in too small a world 12/1/11
Just 2 days ago I bought a CAE along with a weather loach as a addition to my tank. My tank has approximately 30l and already holds three single-tailed goldfish.
The pet shop I bought the CAE and the weather loach told me that the CAE won't be aggressive to my goldfish and will be comfortable in cold water. I guess they were wrong. It was my fault I didn't research the CAE first before buying it and now I have things complicated. The CAE is just about 3 cm long and already turned out to be aggressive. After I researched the CAE and read the WWM forum about him I decided to take action immediately.
I couldn't stand the thought that the CAE might be that aggressive. I noticed that one of my goldfish has a pink, almost red gill on one of the sides and was swimming a bit uneven. It looked like something sucked to it and it wasn't there before. From what I then researched, I assumed it was the CAE so I moved him into my emergency aquarium and decided to bring him back to the shop tomorrow. I'm writing to you for advice not only on the CAE and the goldfish, I'm writing because I'm a beginner fish keeper and need a lot of advice. Firstly, did I do the right thing about moving him into a different aquarium and what should I do if the pet shop won't have him back?
<Mmm, t'were it me, destroy this fish. Humanely. See WWM re euthanasia>
How could I ensure he has a safe trip back to the pet shop?
<Place in a chemically inert container w/ a half a pint/litre of water or so...>
Secondly, if the goldfish was hurt by him what should I do?
<Nothing really; other than provide good water quality and nutrition>
And thirdly, is the weather loach suitable for my tank?
<Yes; though this volume system is too small for all... or will shortly be so>
In the past I already had about 3 fish tanks but sadly, all are gone. So I'm writing to you for advice about my current tank because I don't want my fish to end up like my last few. Firstly, the first 2 fish in my tank were from my mothers work after an accident. The tank smashed and my mother brought them home, it was about 3 months ago. The 2 fish are both single-tailed goldfish and from what I researched, are about 1 year old. 2 months ago I bought another single-tailed goldfish to keep them company and they're all getting together fine. 2 days ago I bought the weather loach and the troublesome CAE. My tank doesn't have a heater but I'm currently searching for the cheapest option but I do have a filter. I have 2 plastic plants, one small decoration and one driftwood with fake flowers. Is my tank big enough to hold my 3 goldfish
<Sadly, no. Please read here re:
and the linked files above>
and the weather loach (which I named Steve)? (I'm bringing the CAE back to the pet shop so I'm not counting him)
I'm a bit concerned about the weather loach... Again, it's my fault I didn't research it before buying it and listened to the shopkeeper. I noticed that one of the goldfish picked at him once but it didn't do it after that. Still, I'm worried about the weather loach and I'm not sure if I should turn him back along with the CAE or not. Should I give him a bit more time? From what I read about the weather loach, they can grow quiet big but they aren't aggressive, I just wanted to make sure because this is one of the only sites I trust really. Is it normal for the weather loach to suddenly stop in mid-water for a few seconds?
I noticed him do that quiet a lot and I'm a bit worried... Do the weather loach need a specific temperature?
<... please learn to/use the search tool on WWM... your answers are all archived there>
I don't have a heater yet but I can make some heat from a red lamp from my lizard (who's gone now, she caught a deadly disease and sadly didn't make it). The red light gives out quiet a lot of heat but I'm not sure if it would be suitable for an aquarium, any advice?
<If the temp. doesn't vacillate a great deal where the tank is, it should be fine w/o a heater>
I need some help with finding out the gender of my goldfish.
<Not important.>
I searched and searched for any useful advice but I only found really advanced ones. Could you please give me some useful and easy to read advice for a beginner?
<Yes, become familiar w/ WWM. See here:
scroll down to the tray on Goldfish>
It would mean a lot. My gold fish are about 8-10 cm in length, could you tell me the age of them?
<Not really; they're likely stunted. NEED to be moved to larger quarters STAT!>
There's this particular goldfish I'm worried about. A few days ago, a red line formed at the top of her head were her brain is, what can it be?
<Environmental stress...>
She swims normally, has a normal appetite and isn't bothered by that thing at all but I'm still worried about her. I don't have a picture of her because she wouldn't stand still. But if you need a picture I can always try harder to take one. The third goldfish seems normal.
I'm attaching a picture of my tank and the injured by the CAE goldfish. If you can't see the photos please say so. If you have any more additional advice, please, I need as much as I can get.
Thank you for reading this,
A concerned person.
<Convert your concern to action. READ re your aquatic charges, meet their needs, and you'll have long-term pets w/ little maintenance. Bob Fenner>
Re: My Chinese Algae Eater

Thank you for replying. I will take action as soon as I can.
<Tres bien! BobF>

sick goldfish :(... Not searching/reading on WWM ahead, GF in too small a world, over-treated 11/30/11
First of all I would like to apologize (in advance) for my bad English. I have a 1 year old goldfish (black butterfly moor). He and his 'brother' live together in a 50l aquarium.
<Ahh Milica... this is too small a volume for goldfish... Messy animals w/ a need for space. DO read here re: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm
and the linked files above>
He is about 7-8cm long, and the other one is twice as much smaller.
The temperature in the aquarium is 23*°C.*
<What measure of nitrate here?>
I feed them with Tetra Goldfish Gold Japan.
They had some plastic plants in their tank but I removed them because they kept on hurting themselves on them.
I try to change 2/3 of their water every week. For that I use JBL products, such as: Biotopol, Algol and Clearol.
<What are the active ingredients in these products? Many Algicides are toxic... mixing all three together may well be trouble... the last is likely a flocculent of some sort, effectively removing the first two...>
Since I bought them, I always seem to have some kind of problems with the bigger one. He had some problems with his eyes (I don't know what's it called in English) and I treated it with JBL's Fungol. That happens almost every month.
Now the problem is, as you can see from the attached files, something is happening with his anus.
<Perhaps a prolapse>
I noticed it about 3 hours ago. It looks big so I guess he has that for much longer.
I was feeding them when I noticed that he was sick, but he ate without any problems. Looks like it's not affecting his mood or appetite.
I would really appreciate your help, and I hope it will be soon so I can treat him before it gets fatal.
<No more treatments... they won't fix the root problems here, that are due/exacerbated from these fish being in too small a world... Read and write back if this isn't clear>
Thank you,
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Re: sick goldfish :(, prolapse... 12/12/11
Sorry for not answering to your questions earlier, but I didn't want to bother you since everything was going much better.
I have changed 20% of their water every two days. And I have tested the water twice a day, everything was fine. I stopped using so many products, and it seems to work.
I didn't feed them for 3 days and then started an English peas diet, as I read it is the best food for them. Now I feed them every two hours instead of twice a day. I read that is the best way for them considering their stomach issue.
The prolapse or whatever that was looks much better now. It is almost gone.
Hope it will be gone soon... Completely.
<Me too>
So I guess you were right about the 'small world' they are living in. I think that is the biggest problem here.
I hope I will be able to buy them an 180l aquarium next month, so they can finally be happy and most important of all healthy.
I feel so awful for having them since it is obvious I wasn't ready and well educated. And most of all I feel awful for trusting the salesman at the pet shop I bought them.
So, anyway, thank you! I hope there won't be any need to contact you again!
<Do stop on by to read if/when you have time. BobF>

Panda moor goldfish 11/19/11
We have a 10 gallon tank the water was tested and we were told it was fine.
We bought four goldfish.
<Ahh my friend; this system is too small...>
The following day our panda moor was dead. We replaced him with a new panda moor and this one keeps swimming at the very top of the tank it constantly opening and closing his mouth like he is
gasping for air. Is this normal?
<Not normal. Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm
and Neale's piece: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/goldfish101art.htm
and as much of the attached files linked above as you feel necessary. Bob Fenner>

Odd behavior of goldfish
goldfish health/environment 11/15/11

Hi. <Hiya!>
I have two goldfishes in my 20 litres tank with a filter.
<Way to small for this fish.>
One of the goldfish is always resting at the bottom of the tank and not moving any of its fins or tails at all.
<Likely showing signs of the poor environmental conditions.>
It is breathing normally and only comes up when I feed them.
<For now, not sustainable in the long term in this tank.>
However, the other fish is behaving normally and is very healthy and active. <Ditto>
Both eat normally. I also spotted something like an injury a little behind the right eye of the goldfish. It is just a white line that looks out of place and ends in a piece of brown colour something, slightly protruding.
<Again likely caused by environment/injury.>
I wonder if this has anything to do with the behavior. Thanks for your kind attention and please help and reply as soon as possible. Thanks in advance.
<Please read here and review links above for proper case of goldfish -
Good luck, Sugam>
Jia Tan
Re: goldfish health/environment 11/16/11

Thanks for the advice. Anyway, I did like to know what is the optimum size of the tank, in litres, for my two goldfishes. Both are around the size of a grown man's hand. Thank you for your kind attention once again. <No worries, happy to help! Please do read the link I sent you as well as the other links in the top tray of the page. What you have is roughly a 5 gallon tank and you should be looking at somewhere in the region of 20-30 gallons (about 80-120 litres) for these fish. Given the described size of your fish, please do act quickly! Cheers, Sugam>
Re: goldfish health/environment 11/17/11
Thank you. And what do I do to improve the water condition and environmental condition of the fish tank?? <Read and act my friend. All the answers you seek are in the link I have sent you. You need to spend time studying the FAQs on WWM> And the fish that was injured is a Red-Cap Oranda. This morning, I realised the area around the injury, which is the red cap on the fish, has got a layer of skin peeling off and showing the raw flesh of the red-cap. Is this serious and do I need to treat it?? <For starters you need to test your water and correct any abnormalities through water changes. This is in likely a secondary (likely bacterial) issue that has resulted from poor water conditions. You need to address this first. If indeed bacterial,, you will need to treat with an antibiotic like Maracyn>
If I need to treat it, how?? And is it better to decorate the tank or leave it plain?? <Your choice, if you get the remaining conditions right, this is the least of your worries.> If it needs decoration, what kind of decoration do you suggest?? <Again, please focus on reading about the correct conditions for the Oranda rather than worrying about plants and decor at this stage. As I have said before, you tank simply cannot accommodate these fish. Fix that and read where you have been referred to and only after that should you start thinking about these tertiary issues. Here is an additional link for your reference -
I cannot stress this enough; you need to have these fish in a much much larger tank and also need to get up to speed on how to maintain good water conditions - Sugam>

Goldfish "wedging". Hlth./env. 11/13/11
Hello WWM!
<Hi Teresa!>
I am a first time writer, getting back into the hobby. I previously focused on goldfish and am having a problem with my current fancy goldfish.
When purchased two weeks ago the goldfish was fine, swimming fairly normally (once he was here I noticed that one of the fins on his tail was malformed, much smaller than the other three.
<Mmm, likely was this way, ala "Nemo"; genetically>
From my observation it is not from disease but a natural defect as the fin is whole, just tiny). The fish is in a previously cycled 2.5 gallon tank
<Much too small to sustain a goldfish>
with an internal filter (he is being upgraded to a 10-gallon tank
<This too unfortunately>

soon when my 20 gallon finishes cycling and I can move my Danios; he is about 2 inches long). The levels have been perfect (0 ammo, 0 nitrite, 0 nitrate) and I have done five 30% water changes in two weeks.
<Likely will need to be done much more frequently if this fish is to survive, have any quality of life. Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm
and the linked files above by title/interest>
The goldfish had swim bladder issues about two days after he came home and I did a water change and only fed peas for about a week which fixed the issue. He still seems to excrete much less waste than any other goldfish I have had. The fish is on a flake and pea diet now.
<Do skip the flake food format... Quality pelleted foods are the most appropriate nowayears>
For the past four days I have checked on him only to find him "dead," tilted slightly to the side on the floor of the tank. Then, once I try to net him he hops up and swims around normally. Now he has started to be even crazier and wedges himself behind or under the filter and just stays there. He is breathing perfectly fine and the tank balance is normal. He swims fine when provoked. I thought maybe the pressure of the filter was too much for him but he does this even when it is off. I added a decorative cup for him to swim through in case the water stream was too powerful with his gimpy fin and he liked that a lot at first. Now he is wedged under the filter again. I would have taken him back to the store but my husband likes him. I see no other issues with him, he looks to be in good condition. Is he just an odd fish with a gimpy fin?
<Mmm, I suspect a few possibilities. One, psychological, being kept alone in such a small volume... the other environmental; either too much CO2 (likely) or too little dissolved oxygen, any number of the usual parasite fauna that Is almost omnipresent on cultured goldfishes... All to be temporarily solved by being moved to larger quarters... w/ tankmates likely>
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Addition to Goldfish "Wedging" 11/13/11

I forgot to mention that the fish also floats tilted on his side with his fins clamped.
<Very bad/poor behavior. I'd be moving this fish ASAPractical. BobF>
Re: Goldfish "wedging" 11/13/11

Thanks Bob!
<Welcome Ter!>
My 20 gallon is the first tank I am doing "right" (research, cycling, bioload) and your site has been extremely helpful! Thank you so much. I am going to try to get this goldfish out!
<Yay! BobF>

Goldfish with Septicemia sore, env. -- 11/08/11
First of all, I want to thank you guys for being here. I always come to your site in need.
Secondly, I am having an issue with Juju, my mother's 2in Pearlscale. I had her in a extremely small bucket
with Nien (a 2in Ryukin), which I understand was awful, however it was only temporary as I was setting up my normal 10gallon.
<Too small to house goldfish... See WWM re>
They both developed ammonia poisoning, which seemed a given. Nien now has ammonia burns, but I'm much more worried about Juju.
Juju has developed a case of septicemia, and has a GIANT sore on her dorsal.

I'm kind of worried, as I've been treating both with Maracyn Two for the past three days.
<No sense... That is, no treatment will cure this environmental insult...
You NEED/MUST improve their world>

Most of her redness has departed, however the sore remains. Would it be possible to cut it off using a Exacto (razor) blade, or should I not risk it and carry on with the Maracyn Two?
My only issue with the Maracyn is it's price, it's really expensive.
Also, if you can't get to this until a few days later, it's OK, I have enough Maracyn Two to last until Friday.
Thank you!
P.S.: If you need a pic of the sore, please just let me know, I can get you one.
<3 <3 <3 zOe <3 <3 <3
<... read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/goldfish101art.htm
and the linked files above... particularly "Tanks". Bob Fenner>

A fishy question. GF in the usual too-small setting 11/2/11
I have been searching through your FAQs pages but still can't find any previously asked questions that suit my needs specifically enough to be useful. So I apologize if in essence the question is a bit mundane.
<No worries Enchantress>
About a month a go a bought a Nymph goldfish. At the time I stupidly convinced myself that it would be low maintenance and perfect for my hectic, university driven life. I was wrong.
<Yes; goldfish are actually not easily kept fish>
Since then I bought two other nymphs to keep the original fish company but the problem is that my tank would only be about 13 gallons
<Too small>
by my estimation and contains a castle, filter and two small fake plants.
I have been reading up a bit since then about how Nymphs can grow to 12 inches long and that keeping them in a small tank will cause fish to eventually die a horrible, horrible death.
<You are correct>
My fish are still only small, with the oldest (Sir Reginald) being no more than 2 inches long. What I need to know is how long I can leave them in their current tank before it becomes absolutely necessary for me to put them in a larger tank for the sake of their health.
<Mmm, hard to state... One can go to extraordinary lengths; checking aspects of water quality daily, changing out water that has been pre-made daily, having redundant chemical and biological filtration... and keep such fish/es in small volumes till they're stunted... But what is the purpose?
Better for you to re-think and re-stock this small volume w/ more suitable livestock. Towards that ends please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/stkgSmFWSysF.htm
and the linked files above>
Thank you,
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

My Black Moor is sick! Sys. 10/17/11
Hi - I really hope you can help, I've had goldfish for about 3 years but they've always been your standard type. One died so I only have one left so my brother bought me a black moor fish. The plan was for them to live together in a tank (20L I think)
<Ahhh, much too small to keep goldfish/es in...>
as the shop told me the black moor was fine to live in cold water. When we put the new fish in the original fish (standard goldfish) started chasing the black moor around the tank, trying to get it in to a corner or push it up and out of the water. I didn't think this was right so I took the original fish and put him in a separate tank.
I did this within in about 2hours of having put the black more in the tank.
The problem now is that the black moor has something trailing out of his back end; it's about 4/5 inches long with the inch or so closest to its body red and the rest white. The part closest to its body is also slightly thicker than the rest. Obviously this is not good or normal but what should I do? I couldn't find anything else on the internet so I hope you can help.
I've been feeding him Tetra Goldfish flakes and he has been eating and has also been active although he spends most of his time at the top of the tank. He has some gravel, glass stones and, 3 plastic plants and a filter in his tank. Thanks for any help you might be able to give.
<Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm
and the linked files above till you understand... There are other fish species that can be kept in such tiny volumes... Look into these. Bob Fenner>
Re: My Black Moor is sick! 10/26/11

Hi thanks - I checked and the tank is 30litres but the fish is only 4/5cms long so surely that's ok?
<No; dead soon: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm
The shop I bought him in says it was fine. I've been treating him with anti internal bacteria but it doesn't seem to help, do you have any ideas?

Goldfish env/hlth, writer's spelling/grammar 10/14/11
Hello! my name is Sydney, <Hello Sydney, Sugam with you> I bought a goldfish I would say around 3 weeks ago, and I left for Winnipeg this thaksgiving weekend, <You had me worried there for a second. Had to read your email a few times to figure out why you left for Thanksgiving in October! Only just realized you are in Canada! Guess, I need another cup of coffee!> and the person who was feeding him turned out to be feeding him to much!! So when I came home and cleaned the fish tank it was filthy, I did a little more than 50% and then filled it and on the same day did another 25% water change, anyways, I came home and he had ick <Ich>!! So I got my friend to give me some ick medicene <Ich medicine> and it ick <Ich>is gone but now he is acting very strange, I have a 5 gallon Fluval chi actuarium and hes <he's> been staying at the bottum <bottom> far right hand corner by the heater and now he has migrated underneath the filter, he hardly ever moves, and before I left for Winnipeg whenever I fed him he would be up and about and eating everything in sight!! now he just stays there and let the food float to him, I am extremly <extremely>worried because he is my second fish, my other fish died from ick <Ich>! .. he looks like he is about to die .. hes not swimming upside down or anything like that.. I thought it was swimbladder <swim bladder>disease but he doesnt <doesn't> match any of the simptons <symptoms>... if you could tell me anything that would be wonderful!
<Sydney, do please make it a practice to run you email through a spelling and grammar checker. That way I can focus on answering your query rather than correcting these issues. Now on to your questions; despite what you have seen in popular culture, goldfish cannot and should not be successfully kept in small tanks. A five gallon is simply not large enough for goldfish. I implore you to read more about goldfish and you can start here - http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/goldfishfaqs.htm
Your fish is likely struggling because of the constraints of the environment it is in and the diseases as well as behavior are likely a direct result. Please do take remedial action before getting any more fish.
Please also review the articles and FAQs on setting up and maintaining freshwater aquaria.>
Thank you!
<Good luck! Sugam>
Re: Goldfish env/hlth, writer's spelling/grammar 10/14/11

I apologize for the bad grammer <grammar>, long weekend. <No worries Sydney> I did a 25% water change this morning and he seems fine, but hes at the top a lot blowing bubbles, my other fish used to do that as well.
<Sydney, as I mentioned earlier, goldfish are really quite a messy fish and do require a lot more room. The behavior you are seeing is likely due to the water conditions being less than ideal and perhaps even toxic. This is also why the water change probably helped to an extent by diluting the toxins. Have you tested your water parameters?> I really dont <don't>think the size of the aquarium is the porblem <problem>, I mean ive <I've>had a comet in a fish bowl and he lived for 3 years with just a hose putting in air ever once and a while. <Sydney, goldfish can live well beyond the period you mention. Despite popular belief, they are not the least demanding fish around and actually do require significant room and good conditions to thrive and reach maturity. The hybrids you mention are perhaps a bit more sensitive but do keep in mind that us humans have the single largest role in how our aquatic pets get on. If you are committed to keeping goldfish and want to provide them with the right conditions, do please read the sources you were referred to earlier. There are other fish that might be better suited to the tank you have currently and if space is a concern, I might suggest looking up species that would be better suited to this tank size. > ive <I've>read that fancy goldfish aren't very good starter fish, because they are hybrids, is this true?? thank you <You are welcome. Please read the links I sent you earlier.>

Comets dying off 9/23/11
We have some comets and yesterday one of them seemed to be having convulsions on the bottom of the tank and then swim around all over really fast and darting then drop again. He went over to the filter suction and died. Now this morning another is behaving the same. Its horrible seeing them like this. What could it be? He is having another convulsion :(
Another looks to be swimming on an angle too. The water has been getting changed. What can we do, seems like we can't keep fish in this tank.
<How big is this tank? Most Goldfish that die prematurely are killed when their owners put them in too-small aquaria. For 2-3 Comets, you need at least a 30 gallon tank, and some would argue more, because Comets are one of the faster-moving varieties of Goldfish that do seem to like to swim about. Do read:
Differences between what that article states you need for Goldfish, and what you're providing, are likely at root cause here. Cheers, Neale.>

swimming funny 9/23/11
Hello, I mail you every once I awhile regarding my fish , I am the one if needed for reference that has 3 med sized goldfish in 20 gallon tank,
<Too small; likely the ultimate cause of any problems you're having. Do bear in mind Goldfish are big, messy fish bred for ponds. A small aquarium just isn't going to provide the conditions they need in the long term.>
I do regular cleaning, 2.5 gallons every 3 days, I started to use prime, I don't know why, just thought it might be better as I have one in this tank,
<One what? Seachem Prime is a good water conditioner. Use it as instructed to prepare tap water for your aquarium.>
with large white eye, I alternate cleaning filter pads, I recently started using two different foods, Hikari Lionhead small pellets and pro gold, they were eating flakes,
<Dried foods do tend to promote constipation.>
I have to make tiny balls with crushing them and adding bit of water to let the smaller blind one eat well, and that he does, right now and it is getting worse, I noticed my healthiest one, never had problems, swimming with a bit of struggle to get to bottom, he then goes to top and sort of relaxes until he looks as he will start to flip onside then starts swimming again, Please help me to know how to correct this for him, before he flips over and cant get back to normal!
<Can't be sure, but do suspect constipation is the issue here. Do try the cooked peas/Epsom salt treatment for a week or two and see what happens.
Don't feed ANYTHING other than peas or fresh greens (spinach, pondweed, etc.). Do read:
Cheers, Neale.>

Five goldfish are fighting for life: Env. 9/7/11
Please help me save my babies;
<Will try.>
Three weeks ago I was faced with a circumstance that was extremely sad to see, with me having a tender hart towards living beings, I just couldn't let them die. Well to give you a clearer picture of what I'm trying to paint out for you in words would be this:
This person had bought a total of five goldfish (1-11/4" Fantail, 1-1-1/4" Black Moor Telescope, 1-1" Ryukin, and 2-1" Comets). He originally had them in what looks to me to be a 2, possibly a 1 gallon bowl.
<A bad start.>
Then he decided that he didn't like the fish so he left them behind a desk for about a week to die! I quite sure that without filtration and water changes not to mention a tank they would have die. I just couldn't ignore what was happening so I toke my last 100 dollars and bought a 15 gallon (yes, I do know that the needed way more than that but that was all that I could do at that time just to save them.) tank, two filtration systems, API testing kits of Ammonia, nitrites, nitrates, ph, and stress coat, and pound rocks.
<I see.>
Needless to say I test my water two times a day some times three because I don't want them to die. I've been changing their water daily 75%, and I don't mind. I've gotten use to the nitrite stage in this. Here are the most recent test results; Ammonia 0.ppm,
nitrites 3.ppm,
<This your problem.>
nitrates 5.ppm.
<Also good.>
I worried about them and I could really use your valuable pearls of information to help me save them. I've become so attached to them that I don't think I would forgive myself if any were to die on me now.
I also would like to let you know that I did purchase a Top Fin 75 gallon tank; however, I'm waiting for a Penn Plex canister 1000 with 265 gph at 100 gallons to come through the mail. I think that they would probably need more filtration than that and I'm working on that also. I want to cycle that new tank before I move them to their new home for the fancy goldfish and temporary home for the comets (plan to buy their own 75 gallon tank).
I'm just worried that they'll die in that little tank before I could make anything safe for them. I mean, they are healthy (they come to the front of the tank, they swim all over the tank, their colors are very vibrant, their dorsal fins a straight up when they aren't swimming about.). I guess I've covered everything. Please, please help me. I don't know what to do but I very worry and could use some help saving them.
Fighting for life,
<Here's the deal. It sounds like your filter is about half-way cycled if ammonia is zero but nitrite is high. So that's the good news. The bad news is that nitrIte is almost as deadly as ammonia. What you need to do is twofold. First, don't feed the fish. At all. Not for the next week. This will let nitrite go down a bit. After 7 days, you can add very small meals every other day, and by "small" I mean that each fish eats a flake about the size of its eye. The second thing is this" daily water changes. I'd say 25% every day for the first 7 days, and then 25% every 1-2 days for the 14
days after that. The aim is to dilute ammonia and nitrite as much as possible. With luck, by the time the filter cycles the fish will be in good shape. As/when the new aquarium arrives, connect this mature filter to that aquarium, and if you have a new filter, connect that to the new aquarium AS WELL as the filter you have now. Be sure to leave them running TOGETHER on the same tank for at least 4 weeks, so bacteria can spread from the mature filter to the new one. If this means there's more water current than your fish want, turn the filter flow rate down (many filters have taps or dials for this). Hope this helps. Cheers, Neale.>

Looking for kumbaya? GF/Env.; too low pH... GF Comp. 8/23/11
I have two fish tanks, one 26 gals. and one 36 gals., which have contained goldfish for years. They've slowly died out, and as of this very day (sob!) only 3 are left. What I'd like to do is put the remaining 3 goldfish together in the 36-gal. tank and convert the 26-gal. tank for other freshwater fish. One lonely goldfish still lives in that 26-gal. tank, and it is, of course, fully cycled. It has a 50 gal. AquaClear filter, an air stone, gravel, and a few plastic plants pretty much covered with algae. Strip-type tests (which have been pretty consistent for years) indicate that the hardness (GH) is roughly 150; alkalinity (KH) about 20-40; and pH about 6.2-6.5.
<Now, that pH is far, FAR too low, and is likely one reason your Goldfish haven't thrived. While Goldfish are adaptable animals, they do prefer hard, alkaline water conditions. Raise the carbonate hardness using sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) to around 100-150 mg/l, and you should get a nice healthy pH around 7.5. Alternatively, use the Rift Valley salt mix described in this article, at about 50% the quoted dosage:
Again, that should be a cheap and effective way to make hard water.>
I know next to nothing about fish other than goldfish, and I'm hoping for a 'package' suggestion! (Like, please just tell me what to do!!) Here's what I'm looking for, in rough order of importance: 1) Compatibility (little or no aggression) among inhabitants, and otherwise happy fish;
<For Goldfish, by far the best companions are other Goldfish! But Weather Loaches can also work extremely well. Obviously neither of these needs heating, so they're ideal for unheated tanks. Goldfish are bit big and messy to work well with tropical fish; or rather, if you do keep them in a subtropical aquarium, you have to be MUCH more diligent about filtration and water changes than you'd be with, say, Guppies. I wouldn't mix Fancy Goldfish with really anything other than Weather Loaches because they're too prone to being fin-nipped, but Standard Goldfish (single-tail varieties like Comets and plain vanilla Goldfish) can be treated just like large barbs, and kept alongside species compatible in terms of size and water temperature. For example, at 20-24 C/68-75 F, you can keep Standard Goldfish with things like Peppered Catfish, Corydoras, paleatus, a peaceful, SCHOOLING catfish from subtropical South America.>
2) relatively easy care;
<Both Peppered Catfish and Weather Loaches are hardy and easy to keep.>
3) good looks; and, of course, 4) fish that are fun to watch.
<Both my suggestions are very fun, and because they live on the bottom, they add activity to a different part of the aquarium.>
In sum, I have two questions: What combination of fish would work well? And, is there anything I should be concerned about in the transition of the tank from goldfish?
<All depends on whether you're keeping the Goldfish or not. For more general stocking ideas for a tank simply for tropicals, some further thoughts are here:
For a casual community tank with minimal effort and much fun, tolerant of soft, slightly acidic water, obvious choices for a tank at 24 C/75 F would be Corydoras paleatus, Corydoras aeneus, Ancistrus sp., Rineloricaria sp., Pristella maxillaris, Thayeria boehlkei, Danio rerio and Danio albolineatus. All of these are peaceful and about as bullet-proof as you could want. Neon Tetras could do well, and would add some bright red accents to the tank, but quality varies wildly and I wouldn't buy them until the tank was settled and the other fish thriving. If nothing else, buy the best quality Neons you can, and ideally, quarantine them first. For personality fish, the gouramis Colisa fasciata or Colisa labiosa can all work well at this temperature, but males may sometimes be a bit pushy. Farmed Angelfish are definitely an option, but do be aware they view small fish, like Neons, as food. Shrimps will also thrive at this low-end tropical temperature, and the Red Cherry Shrimps are particularly fun. Do note that copper kills shrimps quickly, so don't add them until you've quarantined or treated all the other fish for Whitespot, or else, if you need to medicate, use salt/heat instead.>
Many, many of your postings have helped me with my goldfish over the years, and I can't thank you enough for your help, both then and now.
<Hope these help. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Looking for kumbaya? 8/23/11
Thank you, Neale; very helpful! I'm sorry I wasn't clearer that I have no intention of mixing the goldfish with the new fish; they'll be in separate tanks. I'll work on the pH, as you suggest. Should I be aiming for a pH of 7.5 for both the goldfish tank and the tropical tank?
<That's an excellent idea. Don't worry too much about the precise pH though; aim instead for moderately hard water, a general hardness of around 10 degrees dH, as this is about the minimum for happy Goldfish. If you're keeping just the South American and Southeast Asian tropical fish mentioned in my last message, then softer, more acidic water is fine, 5-15 degrees dH general hardness is about right for the undemanding species listed. In other words, you could do very well maintaining both tanks at 10 degrees
dH, ~ pH 7.5, using the same water chemistry in both tanks.>
Unheated, the tanks are now at about 70-71 degrees, and they'll be a few degrees cooler in the winter. I have no problem adding a heater; should I?
<For Goldfish, leaving this tank unheated will be fine. Likewise with Weather Loaches. But tropical fish, even the low-end species, do need a minimum of 22 C/72 F, so a heater will be needed.>
Thanks again!
<Most welcome. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Looking for kumbaya?
Perfect! Thanks so much. I have all the information I need now. :-)
<Glad to help. Neale.>

2 black comet goldfish... the usual; env. et al. dis, no rdg. 8/17/11
Hi, I am wondering if you can help me. 3 days ago I bought a black comet goldfish and put it in my 60 litre tank
<Will need much more room than this... and no quarantine? Most "new" comets, even fancy goldfish have parasitic and infectious problems>
along with my other gold fish and weather loach which are all fine but the day after the black comet was swimming really weird, its like it couldn't get its balance and when it swims it ends up on its side (either side). So I tuk <took> a water sample to the shop I purchased the fish from they tested it
<Such samples change w/ time. You can't get accurate readings w/o testing right then and there>
and said everything was fine part from my ph levels were slightly higher
<... where's the data? Opinions are of no value here>
than there's but nothing to worry about but that maybe what is wrong. So they gave me a replacement fish another black comet
and we also purchased another golden colour goldfish.
The next day (today) when I got up the golden colour goldfish was fine but the replacement black comet is doing exactly the same as my last?? Very confused. I have quarantined both into my temporary small fish bowl and treated them both with disease safe which treats goldfish for a number of diseases.
<Won't work>
But I am wondering if you have any idea what could be wrong? Now they are both in quarantine
I have noticed that one of them is swimming around the top and the other is swimming on its side around the bottom? Please help. Thanks
<Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshdisease.htm
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
re: 2 black comet goldfish 8/21/11

Thanx for your response but your answer was of no help to me. The disease safe treatment you said 'wont work' actually did and my fish fully recovered and is happily back in the 60 litre tank which by the way is big enough for a very small 1 and a half inch comet gold fish a 5 inch weather loach and 3 2-3 inch gold fish!
<... No, tis not>
So I won't be asking your rude, sarcastic, arrogant self any questions about my fish again if I ever do come across any problems in the future!
Thanx for your none useful help!
<Keep reading. B>

13 year old gold fish dying? 8/11/11
Good Morning:
<And you>
My goldfish has been like this since yesterday morning. I knew something wasn't right for the past few days... he wasn't swimming around much, only rousing himself for food. The night before he was like this he was swimming vertical. He was disinterested in food yesterday. He's the only fish in a 22 gallon tank.
<Too small... Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm
and here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/GFenvirondis.htm
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
Any help would be most appreciated.
Re: 13 year old gold fish dying? 8/11/11
not sure if his picture came over...[image: IMAG0242.jpg]
Providing the tank is too small - what can I do for him till I can get a bigger tank? Thanks again
<... Read where you've been referred to... Keep measuring for water quality, doing partial water changes... B>

To Medicate or Not to Medicate? GF... trtmt induced issue 7/31/11
Hi Crew,
My story below is long, but I wanted you to have the full background on what's been going on with my tank. Please keep in mind the below events took place over a three month period.
I have a75gal tank with 2 goldfish - a comet and a Shubunkin. Setup includes two 300 gph HOB filters with double the normal biological media in both (no carbon) plus an internal power filter mainly for additional water circulation. I religiously perform a weekly 25% water change with 24 hr aged,
<I'd leave it to age longer... a week if you don't mind>
conditioned tap water and ammonia/nitrite are both always zero. pH is consistently 8.2 thanks to my hard water (KH=13) and nitrates were zero because of the few plants in the tank. A few months ago, my Shubunkin started bottom sitting and I could see a black spot inside both gills.
<Mmm, a grub?>
Looked worm-like and after a couple of weeks it still hadn't gone away and the fish got to the point where she looked almost dead. Everything I read online suggested either parasites or internal infection, so I treated with Prazi while feeding MediGold antibiotic food.
After the first day, the fish was way better and by the end of the treatment, she was eating and swimming normally - an amazing turnaround! Unfortunately, the minor fin rot she had developed while ill got much worse despite the medicated food. (The comet had also developed some red streaking at this point, but no rot. I couldn't stop him from eating the MediGold even though he didn't need it.) I stopped the antibiotic food after 30 days and stuck to extra water changes instead (2-3 times per week) for the fin rot, hoping this would take care of it.
But something must have been out of balance in my tank because about the same time, I had a bad outbreak of cyanobacteria, which I've never dealt with before.
<The MediGold... might have changed the microbial make-up here>
(In hindsight, perhaps too much light without enough fast growing plants.) Anyway, I continued the water changes for many weeks while continuously scraping the BGA off of everything only to have it grow right back. The plants became choked with it, so I removed them to a smaller tank and dosed them with erythromycin to confirm BGA.
(It was gone after a couple
days.) Back in the main tank, the fin rot continued to get worse on the female Shubunkin, but the male comet stayed the same, so it was suggested to me that the male may be nipping the female. I had seen some chasing, so I added a tank divider to separate them while still allowing the water to flow through. Still, the female continued to get worse, but the red streaking on the male went away completely. He is 100% back to normal! Because the female continued to worsen (over half her tail was gone and all fins had rot), it was suggested to me I should give the MediGold another chance since it should cure fin rot. The theory was that, with the male no longer nipping, she would be able to heal. Instead, I persisted with the water change + time approach, but had to concede it simply wasn't working. I finally broke down and tried the medicated food again for 14 days. While there was some improvement in certain spots, overall the rot continued to worsen, so I stopped using it a week ago. Right after I stopped, the rot rapidly took a turn for the worse. It may be important to note that it was during this week
I finally solved the BGA problem by reducing feeding and keeping all light off the tank.
It's pretty much BGA-free now and hopefully everything is back in balance in the tank. I was wondering if the BGA die-off could have been why the rot took a turn for the worse this week?
<Oh yes; could have>
Anyway, now that you have the 3-month history, the #1 question is, to medicate or not to medicate?
<I think I'd go the salt treatment route here rather than MediGold:
The female's fin rot is getting dangerously close to her body, while the male is perfectly normal. I'm starting to get concerned the fin infection could be fungal and would greatly appreciate some expert advice. Thank you!
<Thank you for sharing, writing so completely and well. Bob Fenner>

Worried about my goldfish. Same ole... too small sys., not cycled, no reading... 7/21/11
A friend of mine gave me a fancy goldfish for Christmas, and I have grown very attached to it. I love this fish very much, and want it to be happy and healthy.
I knew nothing but the care of goldfish, I cleaned his tank, and fed him and all was well. He lived in a 1 gallon fish tank for a while without a filter and a bubble stone, or air stone. I'm not sure of what it's called.
<This system won't work.>
I'm not sure of the type, he's almost 2 inches long, grown at least .5 inches since we've had him. He's gold with black and brown spots all over, and a fan-like tail, he's kind of circular in shape, his name is Mr. Fish.
5 months of having him we decided to introduce another goldfish that I had won from the carnival into the tank, everything was still ok. Mr. Fish did bully the other goldfish for a little while, but eventually they started to get along.
Last week I won more goldfish from the town carnival, 9 more to be exact and bought a 10 gallon fish tank
<Won't work... Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm
and here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/goldfish101art.htm
and the linked Systems FAQs files above>
to put them all in - within the first few days the water turned extremely cloudy and Mr. fish kept hovering at the top of the tank - I looked it up and figured it was ammonia poisoning from overcrowding of the tank, so we got rid of 8 of the fish and gave them to friend - we exchanged about 60-70% of the water and let it sit for a while and tank cleared up nicely so we reintroduced Mr. fish and his friend from the last carnival and a smaller one I had won from the most recent one , the smallest one died the next day.
I realize my mistakes now. Overcrowding of the tank, not allowing the water cycle to take effect before adding in the new fish, a little over feeding.
I do not want my fish to suffer or die from my stupidity.
<Ah yes and good>
As of now Mr. Fish spends most of his time at the bottom of the tank, he will occasionally switch spots or swim around for a little while, he seems to be moving at a sluggish pace (I loved watching him swim when he was in the smaller tank, he used to "Dance" and it was really pretty.) Mrs. Fish, (the first carnival goldfish from last month) is fine, not acting differently other than going down to Mr. Fish when she sleeps, or staying near him like she is trying to protect him, though earlier I observed as Mr. Fish was trying to swim Mrs. Fish would nudge into him or crowd around him and not give him any space.
Mr. Fish is also not eating, he hasn't eaten at all since we introduced him into the new tank yesterday (Before reading about the water cycle)
We bought our own water test kits and the ammonia levels are high "stress" is the term the strips used, the Alkalinity is high as well. We do 20-30% water changes every day, hoping that after a week or so everything will even out and my fish will start to act like his old self again.
I was thinking of moving Mr. fish or Mrs. fish (just one) back into the 1 gallon tank
<Not a good idea... way too small>
and seeing if that helps at all, but I'd like some help from you folks first. I apologize for my emails length, and if it goes off topic, I'm just really tired and really worried about Mr. Fish. Please get back to me as soon as you can, I love Mr. Fish very much and would like to help him survive.
<Read where you've been referred. Do write back if you still have questions, concerns. Bob Fenner>

Fantail Fish problems' GF, uncycled, too-small sys..... 7/20/11
<Hello there>
We got a young fantail about a week ago. Our aquarium was set up 7 days prior with Aqua plus, Cycle etc.
<Mmm, this Hagen product is "hit or miss"; and doubtful that this system is indeed cycled if this is all that was done>
We had the water checked at the local
aquarium before we bought it too, and it was fine perfect for any goldfish.
<Again, doubtful>
It is a 35 ltr tank.
<Too small...>
So we bought the fish about 10 days ago, and for a week, it seemed fine, although we noticed it kept going to the top, and gulping. We thought it was just looking for food, although we bought sinking pellets so that it could forage for food on the bottom. I have only fed it twice, I did not want it developing swim bladder from floating food. But now it keeps floating, hanging there (not upside down) it is as if it is a trance, or asleep. Sometimes it sits on the bottom, just sits there. I am worried it is sick, but cannot see any recognizable signs ( I kept fish years ago). It's dorsal fin is up and it doesn't have any signs of fin rot, or Ich, so I am worried now, but don't know what to do. What advice can you give me?
<Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/goldfish101art.htm
for an overview quickly... and here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwestcycling.htm
and the linked files above where you lead yourself>
Best wishes
<And you. Do write back if you have further concerns, questions. What is necessary now is to "cycle" this small system... Within months though, it will be necessary to have a much larger world even for just this one goldfish. Bob Fenner>

Treating Goldfish Septicemia 7/10/11
Dear WWM,
I have a 1.5 year old, 6 inch fantail goldfish currently living by himself in a 37 gallon tank. I believe the fish to have septicemia. I feed him goldfish flakes in the morning and de-shelled peas in the evening (I started the de-shelled peas after doing some research several months ago).
I do 20-30% water changes approximately every two weeks. The tank has an ammonia, nitrate, and chlorine level of zero; a hardness reading of 75 ("soft"); and a pH level of 6.8. I add salt, water conditioner, and Seachem Prime to all new water added to the tank. Until about 6 months ago, he was living in a 10 gallon tank which probably had less than ideal water quality (hence, the upgrade to the bigger tank). Shortly before moving to the bigger tank, I noticed red streaks on his tail fin. I hoped that the new tank would correct this, but it did not.
A few months ago (incorrectly advised by a pet store worker) I gave him Pimafix, then Melafix. After no signs of improvement, I did some research and decided to give him Maracyn Two. I created a "hospital tank" out of the old 10 gallon tank with half fresh water and half water from the 37 gallon tank, ran the filter without any carbon, and gave him the medicine per the instructions on the box, but noticed no signs of improvement after treatment. About a month ago, I noticed the red streaks were spreading and the end of his tail fin was turning white. So, I created a new "hospital tank" (10 gallon) with 20% water from the 37 gallon tank and 80% fresh water and treated him with API's T.C. Tetracycline, following the instructions on the box, using a filter with no carbon, and using all 10 powder packets. I still did not see any signs of improvement.
Attached are a few pictures of my fish:
- Picture #888 was taken around the beginning of 2011 just after moving to his new tank.
- Picture #905 was taken today. You will notice the white color of the end of his tail fin and red streaks along the side of his tail fin.
- Picture #909 was taken today and might give you a better view of the red streaks along the side of his tail fin.
Is there any advise you could give me on how to treat my goldfish? Thank you very much for your help.
<I don't this this is Septicaemia yet, Brad. Instead, I think what you're looking at here is incipient Finrot. Both Septicaemia and Finrot are caused by the same types of bacteria, and Finrot can become Septicaemia given the chance. Finrot begins with normally harmless heterotrophic bacteria moving into the small blood vessels in the skin, including the fin membranes.
There the bacteria multiply as they feed on tissue fluids. They multiply because the immune system is, for whatever reason, not able to drive them away. So when you see Finrot, the question you ask is why aren't the white blood cells doing their job. Anyway, as the bacteria multiply they clog up blood vessels, causing the telltale pink streaks and clots, and as blood flow diminishes, surrounding skin cells die and turn white. Eventually the skin and blood vessels decay and you get the raggedy look of Finrot.
Anyway, Finrot is relatively easy to cure, and there are any number of treatments. Because multiple bacteria species can be responsible, treating gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria at the same time is a good idea.
So one approach is to use both Maracyn and Maracyn 2, as these treat both types of bacteria. Alternatively, you can use antibacterial medications like Paraguard that are more broad acting if a bit less reliable. The other thing to do is review water chemistry. Goldfish dislike soft water and tend to be sickly in such conditions, especially if the tank is a small one.
Raising the general and carbonate hardness is well worth doing, perhaps using a 50% dosage of the Rift Valley salt mix. Do also review diet, because without plenty of fresh greens, Goldfish will never be as robust as they should be. Do read:
Cheers, Neale.>

Tinchy Stryder and Tinie Tempah have Dropsy! GF in too-small world 7/5/11
Dear team!
Thank you for this fabulous site. I come here often to read and learn,. and have written to you before about a different matter but unfortunately today I just don't know what went wrong... I love my little fish and always want the best for them.
I have a 60 liter tank... 1 goldfish (Tinchy Stryder) and 1 black moor. (Tinie Tempah)
<Mmm... need more room>
They are approximately 1 year and a half and 9 months old.
I know 60 liters is not very large but the fish are still smallish...the quality of water is always good.. I test for ammonia (0) and Nitrite (0) GH 250/500
KH 180 -PH 7.6. Nitrate is between 0 and 25. This may sound odd but I find it hard to read the pink colours on the indicator.
<Me too w/ some colorimetric assays... There are others>
I always assume it should be fine as
ammonia and nitrite are normal. I know its low!
<Mmm, I'd have it checked against another kit>
Anyhow... I came home 2 days ago to find both on the bottom of tank...TS was very swollen...TT not really but he was obviously not feeling well.
TS was very dropsy like. I decided to treat with eSHa 2000..
<?! Not useful here>
(3 day course) I added some aquarium salt today...there is no improvement and I now in fact have 2 pine cones..one on the bottom of the tank and the other one on the bottom or just floating around the aquarium looking 'high', occasionally swimming. It is super depressing.
They ate some spinach today but I don't know about tomorrow..They've been on a healthy diet of peas/spinach/cucumber and brine shrimp the whole time I've had them..I have 3 life plants that they usually snack on. I do really think I've provided them with an healthy environment. The only thing I can think of is the unusually warm w.end we've had a week ago and I was away, so the windows were closed.
2 weeks ago I also bought a new plant from the aquatic centre. The plant came from a tank without fish,. just plants..I thought I would be safe from introducing decease.
<Not likely to do so>
I did see 2 tiny slugs last week that I removed. Do you think I introduce decease after all? I would just really like to learn from all this. I don't know if my fish can be saved at this point but I'd like to know why I cant keep them alive. I started with a bowl 2 years ago and lost those 2 fish after 1 year..(obviously) . Then I bought this 60 liter and know all about weekly 25% water changes
and vacuuming the gravel once a month for poop and to feed them vedge and not to over feed. When I go away for the w.end I just don't feed them. Rather that then someone over feeding them.
<A wise choice>
When I read about Dropsy, one describes it as a result of unhealthy circumstances and environment..or bad diet..
There is no sign of Finrot or other stress induced decease..What went wrong?!!
<Likely "metabolic feedback"... Please read here:
and the linked FAQs file above. One of the purposes/uses of larger volumes/systems is to dilute "wastes" that mal-affect the physiology and behavior of our aquatic charges. I would use this 60 l for something other than goldfish. Bob Fenner>
Re: Tinchy Stryder and Tinie Tempah have Dropsy! 7/5/11

Thank you for your reply Bob!
I have read the articles and understand that my 60 liter tank was just not good enough.
I've had Tinchy since he was super small,. like a baby and he has grown fine in the past 18 months..
Tinie has not been with me that long, about 3 months.. They got both sick at the same time!
<... environmental. Do you understand this?>
Maybe it matters too that the oval shape is vertical and not horizontal so that there is less bottom space for them to roam around.
Too bad.. Poor Tinie Tempah died last night but Tinchy is still hanging in there..but on the bottom of the tank.
He seems unable to move but tries and sometimes his efforts are rewarded.
He is very uncomfortable as he cant choose where to rest and just ends up in awkward positions on the rocks. You said my medicine of choice was not going to do anything helpful here, but it is listed in your article about treatments,. also for dropsy ?
Should I try something else now?
<Water changes>
Overall I think his appearance has not worsened.. He is less bloaty and doesn't seem glassy or deteriorating .. The fin on top of his back (dorsal) is also up and
not clamped. His breeding is quick though, as before. How come he's so heavy and on the bottom unable to swim?
<Can't say>
I'm still hoping he's not dying and super ill with something he can overcome.. If its not to be I will get smaller fish..
Thank you for your kind advice.
<Welcome V>

Gold fish maybe blind... env., nutr. 6/23/11
Im very concerned about my goldfish. She lives alone in a big tank (100L+)
<This is actually not "big">
no real plants only fake, has a filter and we do full cleans when its dirty ect.
<No such word, and complete clean-outs are a very poor idea... present too unsteady water quality, the very real possibility of poisoning>
She is about 6in long and is about 12 years old and usually quite content, very social, interactive, lays eggs, is a very calm happy fish in general.
However I started to notice her being antisocial
in past month or so, keeping to herself, not feeding correctly(we give her flakes
<... a very poor nutritional format for goldfishes of size>
but I noticed them accumulating on the bed which she usually hoovers up), strange behaviour such as no cooperation to go in the net for cleans like she always does. After observing her more I think she is blind because I started to notice her bumping into object
<Does happen... avitaminoses mostly>
and completely ignoring us. She is a white goldfish, and her face is slightly orangey, but Im not sure if that is because she has been bumping into things or because of an infection?
<Mmm, no... age, lack of nutrition>
Is the blindness because of old age?
<To a degree>
not sure how long she is meant to live for.
<A few tens of years possibly.>
Don't know if this help or is an additional symptom, but right before I noticed the 'blindness' right at the end of her tail , it seems ..limp? I thought maybe she hurt it, or it was crooked, but it continues to stay limp as if the end muscle is no longer working. Any ideas on what might have caught these symptoms? as far as Im aware her life style has been the same these past 12 years, very curious to what might have caused this all of a sudden.
Thanks for your time
<Put the term "goldfish blindness" in the search tool here: http://wetwebmedia.com/
bottom left corner or linked on every page... put the same term in the "highlight" feature on the upper left of every page found... to view the "cached" words... Read. Bob Fenner>

Black Moor Injury 6/17/11
Hi ... and thanks in advance for your help.
<Happy to assist you Daniel>
My adult Moor (he's about 6" nose to tail) had a run-in with the gravel vacuum last night. I put it down for just a second and turned around to find him flailing to get away from the suction.
<Yikes... been here>
There is now a large oval pattern on his right side (apparently where scales were scratched off from the tube). My biggest concern is that his dorsal fin is now split vertically in two.
<Mmm, in almost all cases these injuries repair>
I have two questions. 1. Is he in pain from this injury?
I would say yes . he's eating, but very mopey and listing to the right as if to favor the side injured. 2. What would you recommend to help him heal? I'm guessing stress-coat.
<Just good water quality and nutrition. I would not add "medicine/s" here, nor change your routines in the way of feeding or maintenance>
Your help and advice is greatly appreciated.
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Bloody eyes, red streaks in fins... GF, salt, env.... 5/31/11
Hello -
Two gold fish (fancy), one 3", 1", plus one golden apple snail 20 gallon tank, filtered, aerated
<Much too small for Goldfish in the long term.>
KH=3 (was 2)
Ph=7 (was 6.8)
Ammonia=.12 (was.25)
<Dangerous, and the reason your fish are sick.>
Temp=66 degrees
1) The small gold fish has two bloody eyes and streaking, the bigger goldfish has no bloody eyes but mild streaking, started two days ago.
Added some salt and Melafix, started daily water changes yesterday. Added Alkaline buffer when I saw Ph was below 7. Anything else I should be doing?
<Do read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/fwh2oquality.htm
There's a section on what Goldfish prefer in terms of water chemistry, i.e., moderately hard and alkaline.>
2) I'm worried if I add too much salt it will kill the snail? Can a snail handle 1 TSP salt per 5 gallons water?
<Indeed, Apple Snails dislike salt. But you totally misunderstand water chemistry if you're using salt to harden the water.>
3) What would be the ideal long run KH and Ph for this tank?
<See above link; also read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/goldfish101art.htm
Thank you!
<Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Bloody eyes, red streaks in fins 5/31/11
Thank you Neale, I will read the links, but to clarify I was adding the salt NOT to change the water chemistry (pH), but because I thought the fish my have a disease.
<Almost certainly do; sounds like Finrot, and needs to be treated accordingly, e.g., with eSHa 2000 or Seachem Paraguard. But Finrot is caused by environmental conditions, and without fixing the housing
problems, the Finrot will keep coming back. Let's be clear here about salt -- aquarium "tonic" salt doesn't cure Finrot. It has some value in treating Whitespot, but that isn't what you have here. Otherwise, salt is more often sold because it's profitable than because it's useful. Goldfish prefer hard, alkaline water chemistry, so the Rift Valley salt mix, used at 50% the quoted dose in that article should provide a cheap, effective fix. A 20 gallon tank is okay for Goldfish up to about, say, 10 cm/4 inches, but above that, you'll quickly see signs of poor health -- lethargy, bloating, gasping at the surface, stunting, Finrot, etc. For two adult Goldfish, a 30 gallon tank is what you want.>
I'll get to the links now.....
<Do add these to your reading list:
Hope they help. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Bloody eyes, red streaks in fins 6/1/11

Thank you, I read the links and they will be helpful for the future.
I have new values, undoubtedly from the water changes:
Nitrite is 0, Ammonia is 0, Ph is 7.2, KH is 3
<Your carbonate hardness is low, and lower than I'd recommend for Goldfish.
Do try using the Rift Valley salt mix, perhaps 25% the dose to begin with, and see what happens.>
The larger goldfish is still doing well, and outside of the mild red streaking in its tale, you would not even give him a second thought. The smaller one (a black moor who has always struggled because one eye is MUCH bigger than the other) seems to be worsening; about 75% of his eyes are filled with blood, was maybe 25% yesterday). Very listless, not eating.
Daughter is upset, but should I euthanize at this point?
<Not if fish is moving about. Do, please, treat for Finrot.>
I don't want to jump the gun if he just looks bad but can still recover.
With that said, good chance to teach her a lesson, no reason for him to suffer a slow death either. Any thoughts? I am leaning toward euthanizing it, which is not easy for her as we have taken many steps to "save him" over the years, but this time feels different unless you think I should overlook the very bloody eyes.
<Do also read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/euthanasia.htm
About 30 drops clove oil per litre of water does the job nicely. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Bloody eyes, red streaks in fins 6/2/11

Hello Neale
The fish is still with us, got some "Nitrofuracin Green" from the shop yesterday (they thought more septicemia then fin rot),
<Caused by the same bacteria'¦ essentially Finrot is the first stage, and if not treated, it becomes Septicaemia.>
will see how he does with the 10 day course they prescribed. He is in a hospital tank, I wanted to treat the other fish even though much fewer symptoms, but with the snail in there I did not know how the snail would do with the Nitrofuracin so we are just treating the one.
<Would remove the snail'¦. place in a large container, e.g., a quart jug, or a bucket, until the course of medication is done.>
You mention clove oil.
<For Euthanasia, yes; 30 drops/litre water take from aquarium, immerse the fish, then wait for half an hour.>
What is the clove oil supposed to do, is it different than Melafix?
<Yes! Clove Oil kills the fish when used this way as a sedative overdose.>
I haven't seen the clove oil sold in stores,
<Is also called Eugenol; not sold in pet stores but drugstores, pharmacies, health food shops. Used to treat toothache.>
the tea tree oil is everywhere and from what I have read on your excellent site is only mildly effective.
<Indeed, Melafix is at best a mild antibacterial medication. Bob F. is rather skeptical about it'¦ may cause problems if used without forethought.><<Am MUCH more than skeptical! RMF>>
I have taken your KH point to heart and agree, I have been throwing in shells to try to help, and a cuttlefish bone, hoping to not have to buffer with salts all the time but those attempts have not been working so will try your salt suggestion after the antibiotics.
<Cool. While adding shells and cuttlebones and whatnot will buffer the pH a bit, they do so unpredictably. Much better to add the buffering salt mix to each bucket of water so you know exactly what you've got. You can tweak the amount of Epsom salt and baking soda up or down to change the general and carbonate hardness levels respectively, until you get exactly what you want. For Goldfish, something around 10-15 degrees dH, 5-10 degrees KH would be perfect. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Bloody eyes, red streaks in fins 6/2/2011

Yikes! I thought you were mentioning the clove oil to fight the infection.
That would have killed the disease AND the host:) Thank you for the clarification and all the help!
<Indeed, sounds a necessary clarification! Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Bloody eyes, red streaks in fins, GF 6/5/2011

Hi Neale
Well, have held off on the clove oil, the panda moor with the blood eyes (fins look OK now) is about the same (the fins were never that bad compared to the eyes). He is on about his 5 day of the furazalone green multi treatment, and getting 25% water changes every day in 4 gallons of water in a 5 gallon hospital bucket.
A couple more questions if I could:
1) if this treatment will work, should I know in about 10 days or so (they gave me 10 days worth of the powder)
<Should see at least some improvement within that time. After the medications are done, optimise water conditions, do lots of water changes to keep the tank clean, and hope for the best. If needs be, repeat treatment.>
2) In the hospital bucket, he does not have the benefit of the heater that was in the main tank, and the temp in the bucket is 64 degrees. I though I read something on your site about blood clotting being changed by temperature in fancy goldfish, but after skimming through the FAQs I can't refind it. Is the lower temperature in the bucket impeding a recovery/causing a blood problem? It was very shortly after I took out the heater for the summer that he started having problems, but it could be coincidence as well.
<The optimal water temperature for fancy Goldfish is that of a warm room, so about 18-22 C/64-72 F.>
3) Once this ordeal is over I am going to start buffer the water (all values are good except for that pesky KH of 2). Before I do that, I wanted to make sure your buffer powder concoction would not hurt the golden apple snail I have in the tank.
<Will make snail very happy!>
4) Ideally, I would like to try to match future fish to my water and environment where I keep the tank. Any thoughts on good community fish in fresh water of soft water (KH=2) and water at about 64 degrees (I was using the heater to get it to 68 in the winter).
<Oh! Lots! Soft water is ideal for pretty much everything from South America, West Africa and Southeast Asia. At the cool water temperature you propose, then a mix of Peppered Corydoras, Danios, Dwarf Golden Barbs, Red or Black Phantom Tetras, Bloodfins, and/or White Cloud Mountain Minnows (don't keep these with Danios -- they get bullied!).>
Especially if the current patient dies, I will need to get a new friend for the other healthy goldfish and his snail pal.
<But do note that Goldfish prefer hard water, so you wouldn't want to keep them in soft water. Goldfish mix quite well with Peppered Corydoras in reasonably warm, moderately hard water -- 22 C/72 F, 10-20 degrees dH.>
Thanks again
<Cheers, Neale.>

!!Emergency- please help!! Dish soap in tank 5/22/11
Please help- someone has put an ornament coated in dish soap in my fish tank and my beautiful big black moor is very sick.
I removed him as soon as I realized what had happened but that was about 5 minutes after the soap was introduced.
Right now he is in a bowl of clean water and I have put 1/2 T of salt in the water.
Initially the fish's fins lost colour along the edges and he began to float on his side.
After adding the salt his fins returned to a normal black colour but he is still unable to right himself. His gills are barely moving- sorry for the messy letter but I am typing this with one hand. Is there anything else I can do or try?
<Place this fish in another established system of volume, increase aeration/circulation>
Thank you Gina
<Welcome. BobF>
re: !!Emergency- please help!! Dish soap in tank 5/22/11

Hello Bob:
I had done that but I think the initial damage was too great. Much to my profound sadness, the moor did not survive the night.
Thank you: Gina
<Ahh, sorry for this accidental loss. B>

Unwell Oranda... Env., how's your whole... reading family? 5/20/11
Hi there,
Our pair of two year old Orandas live in a 64 litre tank.
<... too small a volume>
One has developed a lump behind its hood and just in front of its dorsal fin which has now started oozing white fluffy stuff.
<Environmental... but not usually much of a problem. More of a warning sign>
The fish seems ok and hasn't lost its appetite. Water readings are: GH 180, KH 40-50, ph 7.3, NO2 0, NO3 70-80.
<... much too high. Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwno3faqs.htm
and the linked files above>
It was changed 5 days ago and the tank is usually cleaned (approx 50% water change) every 3 weeks.
<I do every week w/ my fancy goldfish... so should you>
I use tap safe and aquarium salt.
<... see WWM re salt use>
The aquarium is also fitted with a filter and an air stone.
I have been using Melafix antibacterial fish remedy for the last 4 days.
<Toxic and otherwise worthless... see WWM re as well>
I have searched the Internet for what could be causing it and I think it could bacterial or a fungus but I'm not sure so I'm wondering if you can advise?
<Yes... Read where you've been referred to. What you have here as a system for goldfish won't work, isn't working>
Many thanks,
<As many welcomes. BF>

New Print and eBook on Amazon

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

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

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