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FAQs About Goldfish Disease/Health 41

Related Articles: Goldfish Systems, Goldfish 101: Goldfish May Be Popular, And They May Be Cheap, But That Doesn't Make Them Easy Aquarium Fish by Neale Monks, Goldfish Disease, GoldfishGoldfish VarietiesKoi/Pond Fish Disease, Livestock Treatment SystemBloaty, Floaty Goldfish, Gas Bubble Disease/Emphysematosis, Pond Parasite Control with DTHPHole in the Side Disease/Furunculosis,

Related FAQs:  Goldfish Disease 1, Goldfish Disease 2, Goldfish Disease 3, Goldfish Disease 4, Goldfish Disease 5, Goldfish Disease 6, Goldfish Disease 7, Goldfish Disease 8, Goldfish Disease 9, Goldfish Disease 10, Goldfish Disease 11, Goldfish Disease 12, Goldfish Disease 13, Goldfish Disease 14, Goldfish Disease 15, Goldfish Disease 16, Goldfish Disease 17, Goldfish Disease 18, Goldfish Disease 19, Goldfish Disease 20, Goldfish Disease 21, Goldfish Health 22, Goldfish Health 23, Goldfish Disease 24, Goldfish Health 25, Goldfish Disease 26, Goldfish Disease 27, Goldfish Disease 28, Goldfish Disease 29, Goldfish Disease 30, Goldfish Disease 31, Goldfish Disease 32, Goldfish Disease 33, Goldfish Disease 34, Goldfish Disease 35, Goldfish Health 36, Goldfish Health 37, Goldfish Disease 38, Goldfish Disease 39 Goldfish Disease 39, Goldfish Disease 40, Goldfish Disease 42, Goldfish Disease 43, Goldfish Disease 44, Goldfish Disease 45,

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



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

New Print and eBook on Amazon

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

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Goldfish (aquarium size; health; no surprises)   10/14/08 Hello there <Ave,> I have this black moor for 16 months. Lately it is getting sluggish and spent half of the day ' sleeping '. <Some fancy Goldfish have trouble swimming due to their deformed anatomy; they are, in particular, sensitive to poor diet, and constipation can cause all sorts of swimming problems. Do read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWsubwebindex/gldfshmalnut.htm Goldfish need a greens-based diet, and standard Goldfish food -- ironically -- isn't good for them when used all the time.> Sometimes it hides in the plants and would be like almost dead for several hours during the day , other days it would swim fixed vertically in the aquarium for hours. It always try to do that near the thermometer as if it was looking for a protected place to stay closed to . <Do please review water quality and water chemistry. Goldfish need hard, alkaline water to do well. Aim for pH 7.5, hardness 10+ degrees dH. They need clean water as well: zero ammonia and zero nitrite. It is VERY DIFFICULT to keep Goldfish healthy in tanks smaller than ~125 litres/30 gallons. If the tank is smaller than that, then the FIRST thing we will recommend is buying a bigger tank. Note to other readers: review the needs of any fish PRIOR to purchase if you want to avoid having to buy another tank months or years down the road! Goldfish also need a filter. Because they are messy, you need a filter that offers 6 times the volume of the tank in turnover per hour. In other words, if the tank is 150 litres in size, you would use a filter rated at 6 x 150 = 900 litres per hour.> It ' bottom' scales got all white some month ago ( is it an ulcer ? ) although it still perform his poo duty on a daily bases and it seems that this week some white spot appears on the body scale. <I assume "poo duty" is some sort of euphemism for defecation? Again, this is a common problem caused by feeding Goldfish the wrong diet.> It still eat reasonably well ( I feed him with frozen pee, courgettes or frozen worm once a day ) and I have lately tried to make a 20% water change with salt and Melafix to treat any bacterial infection. I am also treating for the white spot with an anti white spot liquid... <Both Salt and Melafix are useless for bacterial infections. Whitespot medication is specifically for treating the Whitespot parasite (Ichthyophthirius multifilius) and isn't a general cure-all. I'm fairly sure this fish is suffering from poor water quality and/or diet, in which case improving conditions is the solution, possibly in conjunction with using an antibiotic/antibacterial to deal with any Finrot or Fungus that may appear.> Funnily enough it is also playing with the filter bubble on the surface ( also it could be gasping for breath ) . <The latter; clearly the fish is distressed.> The aquarium is a 4 gallons one the fish is alone <Four gallons! Are you kidding me? Absolutely NO WAY this fish can be kept in this aquarium. Go... now!... to your nearest aquarium shop and buy a tank not less than 30 gallons in size. If you aren't able to do that, have the Goldfish re-homed by returning it to the pet store. Apart from maybe a single Betta, no fish, REPEAT, no fish can be kept in 4 gallon tanks. Just think for a second: that's the size of a bucket. Would you imagine any fish spending its life in a bucket and staying healthy? Obviously not. Just because the "bucket" is made from glass and in a square shape instead of being round and made from plastic doesn't magically change the rules. Four gallon tanks have NO BUSINESS being used to keep pet fish.> Can you help <Have done so. It's now up to you: change the tank to a much bigger one; find it a proper home; or leave the fish to suffer a miserable death. Those are the ONLY three options on the table.> Regards Deis <Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Goldfish (aquarium size; health; no surprises) 10/16/08

Hi Neal
<Hello Denis,>
I will follow your advise and move for the bigger tank.
<Great news! Your fishkeeping hobby will be much easier. And you will have a happier Goldfish! Buy him a friend or two, and they'll make your life much nicer. I love Goldfish, and well looked after, few fish are as genuinely happy to be around people. They can make excellent pets.>
Just a few more question though, Clearly the diet is not an issue as the base is a mixed of green based stuff.
<Good.>
Some more question about the white scale near the defecation area is this normal ?
<Difficult to say without a photo; would assume it was Finrot or Fungus simply because of the other issues, and would treat accordingly. But Goldfish are notorious for random colour changes thanks to their rather mixed up genetics. Did you know they all start off green-brown when they're young? They only become gold (or whatever) as they mature. Sometimes they change back, or lose their colour in places, ending up looking like calico cats.>
The other issue is that the fish is quite active from 6 pm till 2 am, then it spend time ' sleeping or being sluggish ' I mean there surely is an issue with the water that I will check as well, but if this was the only issue clearly the fish would be underactive at all time of the day ... what do you suggest ?
<Likely reacts negatively (becomes sluggish) as ammonia/nitrite levels go up, perhaps after being fed. As the water becomes better (ammonia/nitrite go down) the fish feels happier and becomes more active. Would be thinking along those sort of lines, anyway.>
regards
Denis
<Good luck! Neale.>
Re: Goldfish (aquarium size; health; no surprises) 11/10/08
Thanks Neale Very useful indeed, I am going to feed the fish less for some times. There might be some constipations symptoms in the air, although to be fair it has its normal small poo this morning.  I usually feed the moor once a day with 2 pees or it eyes size equivalent in food. It's got a plant in the aquarium, do you feel this is all right to leave it foodless for 2 days as I am leaving for work tomorrow back on Thursday.  What do you reckon? shall it smoothen the symptom? Regards Denis <If there are plants in the aquarium, your fish will eat those if he gets hungry. That will be good for him! Goldfish can go without food for two weeks without problems. In ponds, Goldfish do not eat during winter at all!  So when you go on holiday or business trips, just leave your Goldfish without food, or maybe just a bunch of aquarium plants to eat. Cheers, Neale.>

question for you, Could you help me to save my goldfishes?  10/14/08 Dear Sir, <Hello,> Could you help me to save my goldfishes? <Will do my best.> I lost 5 pieces during last 4 weeks, before I lost them I noticed that their tails (down body) were getting harder and harder, and not soft any more and couldn't wave very well; sometimes they made their bodies upside down. The major problem is the tail becoming hard (firm). I only have 4 pieces goldfishes right now, one of them gets same sickness and very sick. <Most Goldfish deaths come down to diet and poor environmental conditions. Or put another way, too many people [a] feed them the wrong thing; and [b] keep them in small (or unfiltered) tanks. Goldfish are, fundamentally, pond fish that eat algae and soft aquatic plants. If you decide to keep them indoors, you have to remember that, and look after them accordingly. Do see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWsubwebindex/goldfish101art.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWsubwebindex/gldfshmalnut.htm These two articles cover virtually all the common mistakes.> Please tell me how do I save my fishes? (I tried different of drops already but not work). <Medications are a waste, and possibly a danger, unless you understand the problem. Would your doctor give you a handful of drugs without asking you what was wrong? Of course not.> Thanks so much!!! Looking forward to your help!!! Jing <Cheers, Neale.>

Swim bladder, GF, env.   10/11/08
Hi Crew,
<Mike>
Thanks for your time and great advice. I have a full grown Oranda goldfish that is displaying symptoms of swim bladder or digestive problems. At rest, he lies on his right side at the bottom of the tank (which is pretty much all day). He obviously has lost the ability to properly balance (I've had him more than 3 years and this is the first time he's had this symptom/behavior). The symptoms appeared about 10 days ago. He still eats eagerly, swims in short bursts, and is alert and responsive when I approach the tank. He is not showing any physical damage or deterioration (yet). I have not seen him "poop" (for lack of a better word) in several days. A week ago, his poop was white with a few air bubbles, which led me to conclude he was suffering from swim bladder problems.
<Mmm, no... not likely related>
I skipped feeding for 3 days, but have been feeding small servings of Spirulina for the last few days (fearing that without any food he would become weak and succumb to the stress that must accompany lying on his side all day). I've also been treating the water with Epsom salt for the last 10 days, and have made water changes every 2-3 days to try to eliminate water quality as a possible cause or complication. Ammonia and nitrites are zero, nitrates are below 20 ppm.
His tank mate (an Oranda about half his size) is healthy and showing no signs of problems.
<Good, and a good sign>
They live in a 20 gallon tank
<Ooohhh>
with a Fluval 104 and a Top Fin 30 filter. The water stays at room temperature (no heater).
<Mmm, well...>
I've read and followed the suggestions I've found in past posts (no food, Epsom salt, vegetable food only, excellent water quality).
<Yes>
He is not showing signs of improvement and I don't have any more ideas on treatment options. I've considered massaging his stomach area but figure I'd do more damage than good or, at minimum, increase his stress.
I'm concerned that continuing to feed him is making the problem worse (if its a digestion problem), but don't want him to become weak due to lack of nutrition. Also, the only time he really swims with any vigor is if I feed him and the movement seemed like something that should be encouraged (maybe helping dislodge whatever is causing the problem).
<Yes>
I don't want him to suffer (not sure he is suffering, but it can't be comfortable for him now) but I don't want to put him down if there is anything I can do to make him better. Suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you very much.
Mike
<What these fish really need is a larger world... a bigger tank... at least twice this volume. There is summat of a negative feedback loop at work here... Metabolites mal-affecting the health of the fish... that they're producing... you're diluting, but not enough... Look for a bigger tank. Bob Fenner>

Sickly Goldfish   10/3/08
Hello, I have a goldfish problem and I have not been able to find a solution on your web site... I have had my 55 gal. for about 5 months, it was originally for piranhas but we could not get our levels right so we bought 5 feeder fish from Meijer to get the tank cycled. When we bought the fish we lost one within a couple days, the rest were doing fine, levels were OK.
<Do please tell me what "levels were OK" means. Understand that Goldfish need very specific things: zero ammonia and nitrite, pH around 7.5 to 8.0, and hardness in the "moderately hard to hard" scale of whatever test kit you're using. Water shouldn't be too warm either, room temperature (around 15-20 C) is ideal.>
Then about a month ago we had a fish disappear...(literally no scales, no body; emptied tank, searched around it, looked in filters {no other animals besides fish in the house and no one home at the time}) We thought maybe the two bigger goldfish ate it??
<Goldfish can't catch and eat anything bigger than, say, a baby Guppy. They don't have teeth in their jaws for a start. But they will consume dead animals, though that isn't something you want to encourage because of the risk of diseases being transferred from dead fish to healthy ones.>
Anyway back to the history of the remaining three gold fish two have got to be about 3 inches long but one has not got much bigger then when we got him, he is about 1 inch long, after the other fish disappeared the small fish seemed to hide in the plants most of the day, we thought he was intimidated by the bigger fish so we got two feeder fish of a different smaller variety hoping it would bring the small one out more, it did for a day or two then the feeder fish that was the same size disappeared and we noticed that the small one was back in the plants a lot.
<Odd; Goldfish are gregarious, but sometimes bullying does occur, particularly between males.>
Well I was looking at him yesterday and I noticed his mouth is covered with a white film and there is barley a pinhole for an opening, I could not find a description matching this on your web site.
<Likely mucous production, perhaps in response to some type of opportunistic infection. Would recommend treating for Finrot/Fungus/Mouth Fungus immediately using a proprietary medication containing Formalin and Malachite Green. Many brands available; consult your retailer.>
I tried to talk my husband into helping me catch it and use something to make his mouth open but he says I will kill it if I try. Have you ever heard of this fungus or whatever it is? It is just on his mouth like it is growing a white film cover. When I added the new feeder fish I also added 2 baby Plecos and I already had a snail, all the other fish including the feeder that is left are doing great..
<Do treat promptly. Be aware that Plecs and Goldfish don't make ideal tankmates because of differences in temperature requirements. Plecs need to be maintained at around 24 C upwards, and that's very close to the maximum temperature for Goldfish. Conversely, Plecs can't be kept in unheated tanks. They might linger through summer, but they'll die in winter.>
My water levels are:
nitrate 20 ppm; nitrite 0 ppm;hardness150 GH; alkalinity 180 KH; PH 7.2.
<pH is a bit low, but otherwise fine.>
Could you tell me how to treat the small fish ?( I am not sure what kind they are I could not find them)Should I try to open his mouth and remove the film or is there a medication I should try first?
<A proprietary formalin/malachite green combo; here in England I favour eSHa 2000.>
Also I wanted to let you know due to your site I have a healthy fish tank and have learned most of what I needed to know to get my tank correctly balanced with plants, fish and algae eaters. Although I can not get the fish to eat plant material, I have tried peas, spinach, blanched lettuce, and rice, they won't touch it. They have almost destroyed one of the 2 plants we have but we are going to try to find duckweed to grow just can not afford it yet.
<Goldfish (and Plecs) are herbivores, so adding live plants is a waste of time if used as decoration. But cheap plants like Elodea are ideal and inexpensive foodstuffs for Goldfish. Here in England a bunch of Elodea costs about £1, and will feed Goldfish -- with no other foods else added to the tank -- for at least a week, if not two. Tinned peas are another good choice. For some reason the canning process makes the peas very tasty to a wide variety of fish. Do try other soft vegetables and grains from the kitchen. Like children, Goldfish prefer the "wrong" foods, so to some degree you have to be cruel to be kind: put the vegetables in the tank, and if you add no other food for a week, fine... eventually the Goldfish will cotton on.>
I am sorry if I jump around a little on subjects I am just trying to give all the info you may need to help me... I have 2 external bio filters and an under gravel filter with 2 charcoal towers and do water changes @ 25-50% every couple weeks and clean the gravel approx once a month. I do not have an ammonia tester. I really hope I have provided enough information so you can help me, I really appreciate your website and the assistance you offer. Thank You... Desperate Goldfish Owner Cassidy
<Hope this helps, Neale.>
Re: Sickly Goldfish   10/4/08

Hello,
Thank You so much for the information... By levels OK they were at 0 for all except PH that was at 7.8...
<So, you mean ammonia and nitrite are zero? That's good.>
I will be heading out to find medication soon for the little guy. My water temp is 74 degrees F the gold fish don't seem to mind I tried to lower the temp when I read that they do better in lower temps (was at 78 when first started) but my heater is touchy;
<Are you sure you bought the right size heater for your tank? If the heater is oversized or undersized, you will indeed have problems keeping the right temperature. Moreover, when heaters seem unreliable, they're best replaced: a jammed heater can boil your fish, while a heater that fails to switch on is no good at all. If the heater is under a year old, just get the thing replaced by your retailer. Otherwise, I'd heartily recommend removing it and replacing it.>
what I would like to know if you have time is if my Plecos will survive, they are doing a wonderful job of cleaning the brown algae my tank has developed.
<I don't recommend mixing Goldfish with Plecs. Plecs require slightly warmer conditions to do well in the long term, though this varies between different Plec species somewhat. But the bigger problem is that Plecs are even larger and messier than Goldfish, so unless this tank is huge (by which I mean measured in the hundreds, not tens, of US gallons) keeping two Plecs and a school of Goldfish once mature is going to be hard work. Adult Common Plecs are up to 45 cm/18" long, and make a huge amount of mess. Goldfish range from 20 cm/8" for the fancy varieties through to as much as 60 cm, though typically 30-40 cm, in the case of standards like Comets and Commons. In other words, you need at least a 100 gallons for a group of two cats and multiple Goldfish, plus a filter suitable for big, messy fish. While things might work now, over time you're gradually going to see the water get cloudy, the nitrate levels stay high, and maybe the fish becoming more prone to disease thanks to pH instability and reduced water quality. I'm not saying what you're doing won't work, but rather you'll have your work cut out for you as these fish grow and become steadily more demanding.>
None of the fish/Plecos seem to be bothered, no gasping for air or swimming funny or staying at top or bottom, will I lose the Plecos when winter hits?
<Yes, if the water temperature gets below, say, 22 C for any length of time. Feral Plecs have become established in the southern part of the US state of Florida for example, but they can't extend their range even into the north of the state because the winters are too cold. So unless you're in a place as consistently warm as Southern Florida, then Plecs need a heated aquarium.>
I am in a really cold state.....Thank You again for your help you guys are wonderful, I will let you know how the small fry is doing if you'd like...
Cassidy
<Well, I hope this helps, and good luck with your fish! Neale.>

Help with a goldfish, hlth., env.  -- 10/02/08 Hi, My name is Rebecca and I have a goldfish (Mr. Pez) he has been with me for more than 7 years, Mr. Pez is alone in his tank cause he ate all the friends we bought for him (goldfish also and big enough) while he was little so we stop trying. <He ate his tankmates? That's EXTREMELY unlikely. He may well nibble at their bodies when they were dead, but Goldfish are NOT fish-eaters and don't even have teeth in their jaws with which they could catch other fish! So apart from things like newborn fish, they are completely harmless, and indeed naturally herbivorous. Fancy Goldfish are best kept in groups with similar varieties (Orandas with other Orandas, moors with other moors, and so on) to avoid problems at feeding time, because some varieties are more "handicapped" by their deformities than others.> Mr. Pez is very playful and eats all he can so we go with the two min. rule, he eats good quality goldfish pellets and has been a very healthy fish, never sick before. <Pellets not enough... tend to cause constipation (long, thread-like faeces will be visible). If you're unlucky, chronic constipation causes other, more serious problems like loss of swimming ability. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWsubwebindex/gldfshmalnut.htm > A little more than a year ago he developed a skin lesion that looked like a missing scale so the skin looked pinkish but quite normal I kept watching close and looked the same for over a year but it has been changing for the past 4 months now the lesion grew and the color looks like if it has blood inside. <Likely an ulcer of some type to me, but the image isn't sharp enough to be sure. Cysts tend to be the same colour as the body, while ulcers look sore and bloody. But without a sharper picture, I honestly can't be sure. You can't do anything about cysts except wait for the fish's immune system to fix the problem; Ulcers need treating with a suitable antibiotic such as Erythromycin (sold at pet stores as Maracyn in the US, otherwise from vets) or an over-the-counter antibacterial (such as eSHa 2000) from your pet store.> I can't be sure if it is micotic, bacterial or a tumor so I kinda need help to figure this out. Mr. Pez lives in a 'recommended' 40 lt. tank something around 11 gallon, <Far too small... whether a cyst or a tumour, water quality surely to blame somewhere along the line. Goldfish can't be recommended for tanks below 100 litres (26 US Gal.), and even 150 litres (40 US Gal.) isn't excessive.> water temp around 27C°/80 F°, and he is around 13cm/5.11 in long without the tail. <Water is FAR too warm for Goldfish. Make sure the tank is out of direct sunlight, and preferably kept in a relatively cool part of the house. The recommended maximum temperature for Goldfish is 25 C, and Fancy Goldfish do much better between 15-20 C.> He has lived in this tank size since we purchased him and he was around 1/4 of his actual size. No live plants, just one plastic, not sure about the filter but keeps his water very clean, looks like an aqua clear power filter and uses activated carbon bag, foam filter and another bag that I think it's for ammonia (light colored gravel). <Carbon is redundant in this aquarium and a waste of space. Likewise unless you're replacing the ammonia-remover with new ammonia-remover EVERY WEEK, it isn't doing anything but wasting space. Much better to use a filter stocked with good mechanical and biological media only. For Goldfish, doesn't matter what the filter, so long as it offers not less than 4 times the volume of the tank in turnover per hour, and realistically for good water quality 6 times the volume of the tank. In other words, for a 100 litre tank, use a filter rated at least 400 litres per hour, and ideally 600 litres per hour. These ratings will be on the pump or filter packaging.> The filter is external and works like a waterfall and it is almost half the size of the longest part of the tank. also has a big submergible water pump for air. I have seen Mr. Pez going to the surface to breath but not that often, this is the only strange thing I have noticed apart from his skin problem, he is happy, plays, swims, eats and loves to follow me around. I can't taste the water because where I live you just can't find water testers so we do what we can to keep him healthy, we don't change the water unless we need to, due to a malfunction of the filter that happens from time to time so we replace the filter and that's it. we don't change the whole tank, just enough to keep it nice for Mr. Pez and we use a siphon to remove the bottom and we just keep the filter clean. <The following is essential, no matter where you live: replace 25-50% of the water WEEKLY. Doing that will minimise problems with pH drops as well as nitrate concentration.> We also use antichlorine and Methylene blue with conditioner to treat the water used to refill his tank and aquarium salt. <Hmm... dechlorinator certainly essential with each water change... the other things largely pointless, possibly harmful if used routinely...> I would gladly call the vet to check him out but there are no fish specialist here. I even take my dogs against my will and just for shots. very bad animal care here so that is why I am trying to find out what to do. I hope you can help Mr. Pez, I'll attach some pics so you can check them out. Sr. Pez1 shows the problem the best I could Sr. Pez2 shows how big it is, you can see the lump in the left side. Sr. Pez3 another angle, taken from the side, the lump is in the right of this pic. Sr. Pez4 shows it a little bigger. Sr. Pez5 this pic was taken from the top of the tank. <OK.> everything else looks normal in Mr. Pez, his head looks normal in size and color, eyes are clear, scales bright and shinny with a beautiful orange goldish color and they look healthy as usual and close to the body, fins relaxed and used to maintain position and swim, tail in a nice position relaxed when he is not moving and wiggled while swimming, etc, no discoloration or broken parts, no spots of any kind, no slime or cotton like stuff or something attached other than the lump. his mouth looks normal, etc. not too shy or still nor too excited, he floats perfectly as you can see and he was showing off while taking pics that is why you can see him in almost any angle. <Indeed.> The tank water hasn't been changed for the pics, this is the usual water any given day, the green parts are because of indirect sunlight and you can see the submergible pump at the back so I'm kind of worried about the breathing behaviour. <Aquarium too small... water quality likely poor... problems here entirely environmental, and need fixing.> Where I live can be very hot so just once I had to cool down the temperature with ice because it was raising a lot, has been ok these days though. <OK.> Sorry about any spelling mistake, obviously English is not my native language. <Your English is fine!> Thanks a lot for your time and help. <Happy to help> Rebecca. <Do read these: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWsubwebindex/goldfish101art.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWsubwebindex/gldfshmalnut.htm Hope this helps, Neale.>

Re: help with a goldfish 2   10/3/08
Dear Neale:
<Rebeca,>
thank you very much for your quick response, I was truly worried about my pet so before I read your response I moved sky, oceans and ground to find someone who could test the water and after reading all I could at WetWebMedia. I did contact a biologist and helped testing ph and nitrates and of course as you suspected OMG!! you can imagine the readings. water was way too acidic and nitrates are at their max. reading range, so regardless the outcome I decided to take severe action so knowing how strong Mr. Pez is, I changed 50% of his water and replaced it with the usual tap water I use with the dechlorinator and the metilen blue (bio-guy told me to even apply a drop of metilen blue directly over Mr. Pez lesion, he was racing around his tank so I did it just once and no more) after this I tested his water again and ph was neutral but nitrates were still too high (over a pink chart of colorimetric being the light pink the less nitrate level, my tank is fuchsia, so... the worst) not sure if it is the same color in every nitrate test, that is why I'm making the color comment.
<Methylene Blue is an anti-parasitic and anti-bacterial medication, but do be aware that it can kill the filter bacteria quite quickly, and is toxic to fish over the long term. It used to be widely used, but has been far superseded by safer medications based on Formalin, Malachite Green, and antibiotics like Erythromycin.
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/methblueart.htm
I'd honestly recommend sea salt as a "tonic" over Methylene Blue; Goldfish have a high tolerance for brackish water, and salt is harmless to filter bacteria.>
Unfortunately I live in a part of Mexico where you would be afraid of going to the doctor imagine taking your pets to the vet (one of my dogs actually died due to bad vet care) so you buy your goldfish and they tell you must not change the water unless is too polluted and that's it, that they almost live in acid and that 28°C are the perfect temperature for your goldfish. Of course not even mention the hydrogen cycle or something close to it and if you ask for testers everyone looks at you like if you were an ufo paranoid people.
<Not changing the water is how fish were kept here in England even into the 1980s! It was assumed that "old water" was better somehow. We now know this isn't true, largely from experimental work done on fish farms. The more water changes, the better. In a small aquarium, you should be changing 25-50% per week. Nothing else you do will be such a cheap, easy way to keep good health! Big water changes remove acidity and keep the nitrate level low. If you have soft, acid water, then I'd argue doing 10-20% water changes every 2-3 days would be even better. The problem is that the pH drops in all aquaria because of the biological processes that occur. But in soft water, there's nothing to buffer against the pH drop, and so the pH changes are rapid. In hard water (which is more common in Mexico, as I understand it) pH changes are buffered and should be slower.>
Luckily (I hope) for Mr. Pez, I do enjoy playing with him and noticed him acting odd, and after the water change and the bad result (like no change at all) I did some more research and decided not to wait, so today I got a brand new house tank for my poor baby 150lt all for his enjoyment with another Aquaclear external waterfall filter (this one is for 60 gallons or so it says) and a very powerful air pump which has a filtering system as well. well, after the first 50% water replace there was no change in the water nevertheless he did stop going up to the surface for air but he was a little nervous and It was my strong believe that this would be a very bad thing that just going to be worst over the time, like being inside a bubble and breathing the same air over and over and over and just once in a while a little window opens just for seconds. I also added bacteria to his tank in an effort to maintain at least some balance while I set up the new environment for him. Tomorrow I will change just 25% of his water just to keep it as "breathable" as I can for the moment. I will add bacteria to the new tank right away to start the cycle but I'm not very sure how long should I wait till changing tanks, people at the pet store says that I just need to wait 24 hours but I have my reserves on this advice. Today I will check out the setting new environment links to be as prepared as I can for this mayor tank change but if Mr. Pez looks like he is not holding on... I will be transferring him pretty soon.
<Yes, do understand that the bigger the tank, the easier keeping a fish becomes! It's really as simple as that.>
About the water replace and the no change I was so alarmed so I find some information that you may want to look at, it is about Why water change does not control nor eliminate nitrates and the link....http://www.fishyou.com/fish-nitrates-water.php this of course could be wrong and I don't have many realistic chemistry info in this subject to believe or deny this info but I do think that my fish is making more waste that the environment can handle and this article made me doubt about just the water replace solution (in my case and aquarium size).
<The article you link is correct: doing a 25% water change will not reduce nitrate concentration by 100%. But that isn't the intention. If you assume that the toxic level of nitrate is 100 mg/l, and that the nitrate concentration in your aquarium goes up by 20 mg/l per week, then after 5 weeks clean water will become dangerously toxic (20 + 20 + 20 + 20 + 20 = 100 mg/l). But do a 25% water change and you drop the nitrate concentration to 75 mg/l, making it safe again. If you keep doing water changes, over time you make sure that the nitrate concentration never becomes too high. But water changes are about MUCH MORE than nitrate. As mentioned, they're also about pH regulation. All aquaria have a net pH decline over time. Nitrate dissociates into nitric acidic, phosphate into phosphoric acid, organic materials into tannins and other organic acids. By replacing 25% of the water, you are removing these acids, reversing the pH change. In addition, as the pH drops, carbonate hardness (measured in degrees KH) is used up. By doing water changes you replenish the carbonate hardness in the aquarium water. Since carbonate hardness buffers against pH changes, you need at least some carbonate hardness in most aquaria to ensure a stable pH.>
The carbon and ammonia remover are inside the filter and we change it as recommended by the manufacturer but as you said, it wasn't enough for my fish.
<Ammonia remover (Zeolite) is redundant in aquaria with biological filters; carbon is not useful if you are doing regular water changes. Both are most useful as ways of getting money out of your pocket in return for very cheap to produce chemicals!>
About his diet... he is what everyone knows as the common goldfish a little rounded in shape and we bought along with him another but with veil tail and a Pleco or plecus, he did ate the Pleco or plecus not sure about the name at the pet store was recommended to keep the aquarium clean, he was ok one day and the next day there was just half of his body and he was still sucking at the glass but at the bottom of the aquarium, and some time after that, the veil tail fish appeared half eaten too, his tail was gone, one fin and one whole side of his body was chewed, I mean... I thought it couldn't be a piranha hiding in my small tank... so he was left alone for a while, then I bought some smaller fish (Neons in Mexico) like 5 of them, very small and he also ate them so mine is not that vegetarian after all. I have never had any digestive problems with him, the opposite actually, his poop is big and thick and he poops every day, is this big poop constipation? it does look like a knitting thread they are big.
<Yes, likely constipation.>
Researching here I did start giving him some peas and spinach and my fish hates me at this point!!!
<And little children don't like eating vegetables... doesn't mean they shouldn't eat vegetables!>
I had to give him some pellets because he wouldn't feed and he follows me around and smacks the glass with his tail and wiggles side to side like crazy looking at me every time I get near him. guess veggies makes him miserable. Today I tried grinding some peas with spinach, carrot and some rice I put some vitamin with garlic for fish on it and I'm freezing the mix to see if he eats some instead of pellets. I damped the pellets before feeding him with the veggies puree and he refuses to eat even his pellets unless they are given as he is used to, he picks them and he starts chewing chewing and chewing then he makes a disgusting gesture like if he was about to vomit them and he spits them out (the veggie damped pellets) I was hoping he would pick up the carrots but nope, same thing and remember this is a feeding machine fish. I'll keep trying but I don't want him to starve above all the environmental problems. all the food was cooked nothing raw.
<Unlikely to starve... all sorts of safe foods to try... cheap aquarium plants (Elodea) are the best.>
Now... to end my endless mail (sorry Neale) about his lesion today I caught him trying to "take down" the air pump, I can hardly have things like thermometers hanging around because he likes to "kill" them but I saw him under the pump and kicking it with his body not scratching or at least it doesn't looks like he is scratching.
<He has very odd behaviour for a Goldfish...>
his behaviour with things in his tank is this... with gravel he carries it to one side until he can see the bottom of his tank and I have less than half a cm. of gravel. with plants he kicks them to the sides or bites them. With the filter tube he goes there and smacks it with his head he has managed to unlock the tube once or twice and he likes to rest by the heater and he swims a lot by it. so maybe the lesion is just a scratch that has been getting worst since we change to this air pump that it's bigger. If this is the problem I should see a change with the new pump. It doesn't look like an ulcer but half of it looks soar and like if it had some coagulated blood inside the other half looks pink and not really bad. could it be fish pox?
<Possible; Fish Pox on Goldfish usually looks like molten candle wax. Very distinctive. Can't be cured as such, but will go away in time, assuming the environment is healthy.>
Thanks for the temperature tip, I'll get it down slowly.
<Cool.>
Thank you for all your help, I hope my fish will be just fine when he arrives at his new tank. I´ll try to take a better resolution pic so you can check it out but with the nitrate level I make his skin problem aside until I can fix his environment and make him stronger, otherwise I'm afraid I'll kill him if I try to medicate him.
<Do read, understand before adding stuff to the water. Remember, doctors go to medical school *before* they start writing prescriptions for drugs!>
best regards
Rebeca and Mr. Pez
<Cheers, Neale.>

Please help urgent.. goldfish losses  9/23/08
Hello dear Neale,
How r u? Hope so you will be fine there. Neale I have lost my one fish and 2nd is seriously suffering from the same disease. One my small pearl scale is dead and my black moor is ill. I don't know what happened suddenly. Firstly I lost pearl scale. They both were fine and doing well but once I realized that the eye of pearl scale swallows. I thought that was due to the fungus infection then I remove half of water and change it. Then medicated it but I lost it. And now my black moor was very fresh yesterday but today I realized it was acting very slow and most of the time lying on the gravels. I don't know what has happened to it now. It's not showing any specific sign of ailment. What should I do please help me. I very much worried about them. It's also out of scale. I have removed it from the aquarium because I thought it may harm other fish so I have put it into the fish bowl, where water level is very low. Even I have controlled their diet now. I don't know what has happened to my fish all of sudden they all were fine. I was very happy to see them happy. But now L what should I do. Please help me.
Thank you,
Ali
<Greetings. It's very difficult for me to recommend anything here: when a succession of fish sicken and die, it ALMOST ALWAYS means there's something wrong with the environment. In other words, there's no "quick fix". You need to go through the list of things Goldfish need, and make sure that you are satisfying them all. To recap briefly: A big tank (not less than 20 gallons, and preferably 30 gallons upwards); a decent filter (at least 4 times the volume of the tank in turnover per hour, and realistically 6 times for adult Goldfish); and hard, alkaline water (pH 7-8, 10+ degrees dH). You should be doing 25-50% water changes weekly, and taking great care not to overfeed. If in doubt, feed only every other day, and instead leave bunches of cheap aquarium plants in the tank for the Goldfish to eat (Elodea are ideal). Check in particular the nitrite concentration (which should be zero) and the pH (which should be stable from week to week). Unless you get all these things right, adding medication will have little/no long term effect. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: please help urgent.. GF    9/25/08
Hello dear Neale, <Hi,> Thank you so much Neale for your time. I want to ask that how can I make water hard for every week? <Explained elsewhere on WWM, see: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwh2oquality.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwhardnessfaqs.htm > And ill check the whole list that you have mentioned me. Neale I will buy live plants like elodea and Egeria they both you had mention once. Now I think I should feed them just for once in a day, should give them break from their feeding for one day. <Correct; one day give them flake/pellets; the next day let them eat plants.> Now days I am also giving them peas by making them very small, by cooking them in boiled water. I am very much upset but with your so quick response feeling better. <Glad to help,> Thank you
Ali
<Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Daphne update for Neale 9/23/08
Hi Neale,
just thought I'd let you know how I am getting on.
<Thanks!>
Daphne is still hanging on. My Hexamita meds arrived in the post on Sat, so I have been using them (last dose yesterday). Daphne looks less bloated but her scales are still pine-coning. She cannot really move much.
<Will take time...>
Yesterday and today she had a small white thing sticking out of her more swollen part of her body. It seemed to grow longer - up to about 3mm. I thought I would try to photograph it but it appears to have burst as there is a small white cloud of puss-like white matter hanging around the site where the protuberance was.
<Likely necrotic tissue rather than a parasite eating its way out!>
It also looks like she has Finrot starting, although she is in a large 25 litre box with an airstone in it which is not ideal.
<Agreed; Finrot has a tendency to develop where you have a weakened fish in relatively poor conditions.>
If she could be saved I will do a large water change now the meds are over and get a cheap sponge filter.
<No time for a sponge filter to mature; would rely on a box filter stuffed with Zeolite.>
I did phone the vet, and although he was sympathetic he said that he is not a fish expert. I am afraid if I move her she will die.
<Too bad...>
I have tried to take some pictures but my camera will not focus properly, all I can achieve is a orange blob, not much good for identification, sorry.
<Use the "macro" setting -- otherwise digital cameras are poor for photographing fish. The macro setting often has a flower emblem. A photo is so helpful for us.>
What do you think - any ideas? I don't want to give up on her, and really don't want to put her to sleep, but don't want her to suffer either. Help.
<Finish the Hexamita medication, and then begin a Finrot treatment immediately. During the Finrot treatment, change the water 24 hours after each dose. In practise most medications have stopped working by that point, so the problem of diluting the medication shouldn't be an issue. Do 50% water changes. With luck, she'll start pepping up. Obviously don't feed her at all!>
Many thanks, Michelle
<Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Daphne update reply for Neale 9/23/08

Hi,
not only are you my goldfish guru - you're my camera guru too!
<One tries to be modest, but...>
Have managed a picture - if it is too big let me know and I'll try to re-size it.
<Because of limited space for e-mails, Bob does ask that incoming photos be less than 500 kb in size. On Mac OS X 10.5 at least (what I use) just open the image in Preview, and then use the "Adjust size..." command to scale the image down and/or change the resolution; for web work, a 640 by 480 image at 72 dpi is usually ample.>
The place where the white puss came from is the lighter orange spot up from
her bottom fin, just behind her gill, where the scales are beginning to
stick out.
<Ah, I see; yes, likely just dead tissue and bacterial scum.>
I will do a 50% water change now, then go and find a filter and some Finrot
meds.
<If you have a mature filter, you can take media from that to "jump start" a new bubble-up box filter (what I use in hospital tanks) otherwise use chemical media (Zeolite) instead.>
I haven't fed her since I moved her and I have been testing her water
too.
Thanks for the suggestions. I will keep you informed!
<She certainly does appear to have dropsy, and that's a difficult thing to fix. Because dropsy occurs after some degree of organ damage, it's not good odds that you can repair the damage and so allow her to get better. Epsom salts can alleviate the swelling to some degree, and tending to the other diseases in their turn will help.
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/dropsyfaqs.htm
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/epsomfaqs.htm
Beyond that though, this is a question of time, optimising water conditions, and praying to the Fish Gods.>
Michelle
<Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Daphne update thanks for Neale 9/23/08

Hi Neale,
Thanks. Sorry about the size of file - if I need to send anything again I'll try to make it smaller.
<Cool.>
I guess that it wasn't the news I had hoped for but I will give it some more time. I have installed a Fluval 1 Plus with half my mature filter in it. I will monitor my levels. I am using Interpet no 8 for the fin rot and will carry on reading the links.
<Good luck with the treatment; if it doesn't work, try something else. I have to confess to not having the best of success with some Interpet products. It's always a good idea to be prepared to switch medications if one doesn't work. Eventually you'll have experience of which of the ones available in your area work best.>
Me and my daughters are praying to the Fish Gods and anyone else who will listen. (If you happen upon them could you put in a good word for me!)
<Hmm... perhaps Bob F has their e-mail?>
Thanks for all you've suggested. I'll let you know how we go, be it good or bad.
<OK.>
Best wishes, Michelle
<Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Daphne thanks for Neale  9/25/08 Dear Neale, <Michelle,> just thought I'd let you know that unfortunately Daphne took a turn for the worse last night. She was laying on her side all yesterday evening and was barely breathing this morning. I have just put her to sleep (not an easy decision for me at all). I used the 2 step clove oil and vodka method - I hope that was the right choice. <Sorry to hear about this outcome.> She did go peacefully although I am heartbroken. She was a lovely, friendly, lively fish and I enjoyed the short time we had. Thanks for all your help with her, I have certainly learnt a lot over the past week and hope it will help me give Monty a much better life. <Indeed yes, it is important to transfer hard-earned lessons into useful practical skills. And don't forget Monty *will* want a friend. Do take care to buy from a reputable store, and look over their other fish too to get an idea of overall standards. Buying healthy fish is half the battle. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/AqBizSubWebIndex/hobratestrs.htm > Thanks for being so kind and understanding. All my best wishes to you and the rest of the crew who help us who are struggling. Michelle and her girls. <Thanks for your kind words. Good luck, Neale.>

need help with my redcap Oranda... no data of use, reading     9/20/08
I have had my redcap Oranda for a while now, & he has always been very healthy looking & lively. In the tank with him is a Black Moor. about 3 1/2 weeks ago he started to develop black blotches on either side of his cap and I didn't think it looked right. I did some research and everything I found said it was normal for a goldfish to change colors.
<Can be>
I wasn't completely convinced so I was keeping an eye on him to look for any other changes. about a week and a half ago he began to get red streaks and spots on his fins (all of them) under his chin is very yellow and some of his scales look either missing or pushed up.
<Not good>
the funny thing about it all is his attitude/quality of life hasn't changed a bit, he is still very lively & doesn't have any of the lethargic symptoms I've read about with every fish disease I've been able to find info on. I went to the petstore and asked for some advice and they gave me "API Aquarium Pharmaceuticals Pro Series E.M. ERYTHROMYCIN" anti-bacterial fish medication powder.
<Actually an antibiotic... of no use here>
I ran the full course of treatment & did a 25% water change, but he still looks the same. I have been spending at least a half hour everyday on the internet looking for answers to no avail. I'm hoping you guys can help me because Kevin (the Oranda) is my biggest fish and I've had him the longest. I would appreciate anything you could tell me. Thank you
-lynsay
<Need to know re your system, water quality/tests, maintenance procedures, foods, feeding... Please read here to get an idea of the types of information we're looking for to help you, your fish: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshdisease.htm
the linked FAQs files above. Bob Fenner>
Re: need help with my redcap Oranda -- 09/20/08

I have a 20 gal Freshwater tank,
<Ahh, much too small...>
Aquaclear BioMax filter, Ph stays at a 7.2 to 7.4 range, at the time of first signs only a black moor and a Pleco were also in the tank. 25% water change done every Monday.
<Good interval, percentage>
all other fish look fine.
<Read: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm
Your problem/s are induced, environmental in nature. BobF>

Goldfish help! Hlth.   9/15/08
Hi Everyone!
Before I launch into my problem I just want to say how brilliant your website is; as a new fish mum it has a great source of info! I have become totally hooked!! : ) I do wish I had found you before I got my tank though!
<Thanks for the kind words.>
I am having a bit of trouble with my fantail, Daphne, as she has developed a lump/swelling on her side yesterday. Her scales are sticking out pinecone-like and it looks like dropsy but only really on her right, above her pectoral fin.
<Much more likely dietary/constipation. One issue with "fancy" varieties is that in making them deformed, breeders have not only twisted their bones but also their internal organs. There's really no predicting how well -- or otherwise -- a fancy variety will do in the long term. It's perfectly possible for fancy goldfish to develop blockages in the alimentary canal, particularly when feed dried foods. By default, it's good advice with fancy varieties to "pamper them" by feeding almost entirely vegetable foods and high-fibre live foods (such as Daphnia). Use dried foods at most once or twice a week.>
The other side looks normal but her scales look a bit pushed out especially behind her gills. She has a patch of about 4 darker orange scales in the area that is swollen. They have been like that for about 1 month. I haven't fed her since yesterday morning.
<If this was true dropsy (i.e., Oedema) you'd expect the whole body to swell as tissue fluids accumulated. As this hasn't happened, I'd tend toward the problem being digestive. Overall health is another clue: if the fish is swimming about, it's unlikely to have dropsy; fish with dropsy usually look withdrawn, off-colour, and often become lethargic.>
I have had my fish for just over 4 months. She is in a 60 ltr tank with a common goldfish and a Hillstream loach (Beaufortia kweichowensis). Both fish are about 4.5mm long (without tail). (I am saving for a 180ltr since discovering your site!)
<Hmm... the Hillstream Loach isn't an ideal companion; while both enjoy cool water, the Hillstream Loach ideally wants a strong water current, which your fancy Goldfish might resent. So keep an eye on circulation, ensuring that you have a strong filter pushing the water all about the tank, but not with too much turbulence.>
I change about 20/25 ltrs of water every week, vacuum the gravel I replace the filter pads every two weeks. Rarely touch the bacterial filter. I use AquaSafe to treat the tapwater with and make sure it is within 2 degrees of the tank water temperature.
<All fine.>
I do have trouble with my pH as it tends to creep up from 7.8 after a water change to around 8 - 8.3. My nitrates seem to vary with water changes too.
<Interesting. Normally pH drops, because the usual biological process, such as nitrate accumulation, acidify the water. For the pH to rise over time tends to imply either the presence of calcareous "stuff" in the tank (coral sand, seashells, etc.) or else ammonia concentration is dangerously high.>
My readings are pH 8.0, Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 10. I test the water every week.
<All sounds fine. What's the carbonate hardness? I wonder if the water is quite hard and basic when you add it, and it goes down during the week?>
I feed them a mixture of Tetrafin goldfish flakes, TetraVeg flakes, Pleco wafers, peas, spinach, peppers, broccoli, cucumber and occasionally rice. They have live plants which they love too.
<Peppers wouldn't be on my list of things to give them. Spicy foods generally don't do animals any favours.>
I had a problem with PopEye and slight swelling in her the afternoon before we were due to go on holiday - 4 weeks ago. My LFS recommended Interpet No 9, as I had seen both fish with some stringy white poop occasionally that week. They suggested that it may be a bacterial infection.
<I have yet to hear of a fish for which Interpet Number 9 was the cure that saved them. Completely useless product in my experience! It's something retailers in the UK sell because we don't have access to antibiotics without a vet's prescription. But at £5 a pop, it's basically an expensive placebo. If any UK fishkeeper has a fish with a real, live bacterial infection, it's almost always better value to go to a vet and get the Erythromycin or whatever. Certainly cheaper than using useless medication and then buying replacement fish.>
Monty, my other fish looks thin but I try really hard not to overfeed them. My mum gave the second dose while we were away. The fish were fed flake food every other day whilst we were away.
<Hmm... would suggest observation, and either treatment with Erythromycin or else something tailored specifically for Hexamita, such as eSHa Hexamita "Discus Disease". Hexamita is a protozoan (not a bacterium) quite common in the digestive tracts of various aquarium fish groups, notably cichlids, but also goldfish. In the US the standard treatment is Metronidazole, but that's not available to UK aquarists over the counter, so you'll either need to visit a vet, or else use eSHa Hexamita. Classic symptoms of Hexamita include white, stringy faeces, because the parasites irritate the gut, which produces mucous, turning the faeces a distinctive colour and texture.>
I changed their water when directed to do so by the Interpet instructions. Daphne looked much better but her eyes didn't seem quite right so I gave them another dose 4 days later. I changed their water as directed again on Saturday. I have to admit that I took 30 ltrs out. The lump must have developed overnight as I only noticed it yesterday lunchtime. At first I
assumed that she'd eaten too much spinach but I haven't fed them for 24hours and it remains the same.
<OK.>
She is swimming fine and is begging for food as normal, although she is spending a bit more time at the top of the tank than she normally does.
<Ah, again, something that goes with digestive tract issues, because of problems with the swim bladder that often become associated. Do see here:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWsubwebindex/gldfshmalnut.htm
>
I am still seeing occasional stringy white bits on poop from both fish, but then they poop normally, short/medium thick green (or whatever they have eaten).
<OK.>
Whether this is coincidence but about a week or so before Daphne developed PopEye I gave them some freeze dried Tubifex worms. It has crossed my mind that perhaps they were somehow involved in this. They only had them once.
<Unlikely a factor.>
Can you suggest something? I don't want to make things worse by doing the wrong thing, my family and I love our little fish! Thank you in advance for taking the time to read this. Best wishes, Michelle (England!)
<Hope this helps, Neale.>
Re: Goldfish help! for Neale   9/16/08
Hi Neale, thanks for your swift response! <Most welcome.> I have ordered the eSHa Hexamita medication on-line. I am glad she made it through the PopEye if the Interpet No 9 is useless! She must be a fighter then. <Looks like it. To be fair, just as with most human medicine, the job of drugs is to give the body a chance to fight off infection by itself. Sometimes even a slight benefit can be just enough for the fish to get itself healthy again. Given fish live in a warm, wet environment ideal for bacteria and fungi, they must have astonishingly effective immune systems. When you see the harm Piranhas do to one another when mating, and yet they recover just fine, I think this proves the case that these so-called Lower Vertebrates can teach us humans a thing to two about good health!> Meanwhile I will try the Epsom salts as suggested, and carry on with the veggies. I didn't realise about the peppers (they are ordinary bell peppers not chili peppers though!) <They may be harmless, but I wouldn't use them. Then again, I hate bell peppers with the heat of a nova, so I may be biased.> Is frozen Daphnia OK? <Yep, if they'll eat it. None of my fish are particularly enthusiastic. Frozen brine shrimp are accepted a bit more readily.> As for my water... my tank water tests at 14 degrees KH and 18 degrees GH. <Perfect for Goldfish, which LOVE hard water with lots of carbonate hardness.> My tap water tests at12KH and 18GH with a pH of 7. This difference in pH has been bothering me during water changes. I have coloured gravel which was specifically for aquariums, I have a piece of bog wood, and two plastic aquarium decorations, along with about 5 live plants and an airstone (which is where my Hillstream Loach likes to sit). <Ah, there it is: the Loach looks for water current, and finds it here.> I can't understand why the pH should rise. I'm happy to change any of this if it helps. If you've any ideas I'm all ears! <I don't understand it either. Wouldn't worry too much. The high carbonate hardness will moderate any changes to well within what the fish can handle, especially with regular water changes.> I'm off to find some Epsom salts now! Thanks for your help again, Michelle <Good luck, Neale.>
Re: Goldfish help update - not looking good, for Neale   9/19/08

Hi Neale,
<Hi,>
Just wanted a bit more help with Daphne if that's ok.
<Sure thing.>
Put some Epsom salts in the water, and even got her to eat some frozen Daphnia yesterday morning. Did a water change last night and added some more Epsom salts as suggested in the link. She was still swimming around, albeit slowly and clumsily, but this morning she was laying on the bottom of the tank. She wouldn't eat this morning. She was still on the bottom of the tank when I got back from work today. I noticed that it is a bit red (possibly bloody?) at the front top of her gill plates, especially on the side the swelling is and a bit on one side of her nose, again the side where the swelling is.
<Ah, yes, the gills are sensitive and can become bloody if infected somehow. Do try to improve aeration, if only by making sure the filter is running at full capacity so there's lots of circulation. If the gills look very red, that might be irritation to overdosing Epsom salt (check the other Goldfish for a similar reaction) or possibly an infection. A photograph of this fish would really help us make an accurate diagnosis. It's very difficult to be 100% sure about the health of a fish we can't see -- what I'm going by here is that the majority of bloaty goldfish have dietary issues.>
She has a small amount of white poop too.
<So things are moving...>
She is still sitting on the gravel but has swum about (I think her swimming is more controlled than yesterday though), even up to the top of the tank.
<Good.>
Hexamita meds have not arrived yet.
Monty is fine and loves the Daphnia!
<Good.>
Is there anything I can do? I would hate to give up on her, but can't bear to let her suffer.
Thanks in advance, Michelle
<Keep up the good work, and maybe send along a photo? Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Goldfish help update - not looking even worse...  for Neale   9/19/08

Hello Neale,
<Michelle,>
thanks for the advice. I don't know what to say. I had to go to work this morning and Daphne really didn't look good. Monty was a bit quiet too. I was really desperate so I decided to try the Interpet No 9 again, although you thought it was useless. (Me the novice fishkeeper (and I use the term very loosely now) can't hold my nerve).
<Well, it's better than nothing I suppose. I've just never seen it cure anything... The problem for British aquarists (indeed, most aquarists outside the US) is that antibiotics are not available over the counter without prescription. So where an American aquarist would use a tried-and-trusted antibiotic such as Erythromycin ("Maracyn") British aquarists have to make do with what are effectively antibacterials, drugs that are a good step down in terms of efficacy. While these can work early on in the infection cycle, in the same way antiseptic ointment can help keep wounds clean on humans, once the symptoms become severe (i.e., noticeable) the infection has usually progressed beyond what antibacterials can manage. Antibiotics may still be helpful, but you'll need to approach a veterinarian surgeon for those. As a ball-park figure, the last time I spoke with someone who got antibiotics from a British vet it cost them about £20. On the flip side, vets will at least be able to give you precise information on dosages, and can better identify the problem than I can via e-mail. So if the fish is valuable to you, the £20 spent on seeing a vet is certainly better use of your money than the £5-10 on pet shop medications offering little to no hope of a cure.>
Well, got home about an hour ago and found Monty resting quietly on the bottom. He's not bloated and all his fins are up. I have done a 25ltr water change with no Epsom salts added and put the carbon back in the filter. I have turned the airstone up too.
<Well, if Monty is happy, then likely the water is fine.>
I have tested the water and it reads: pH 7.9, Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 9.
<All sounds fine.>
I am sorry if I have done a stupid thing with the Interpet meds. I can change the water out every day if you think that might help.
<When using medications, there is usually a strict protocol to follow re: water changes. Usually you don't do a water change until the medication is finished. Read the leaflet that came with the medication you have, and follow precisely!>
I feel a total failure. I really thought I had been looking after my fishes well over the past 5 months.
<You're not a failure. Look, Goldfish are among the most difficult fish to maintain as far as beginners are concerned. They're big, messy, and to some degree the fancy varieties are inbred and consequently less hardy than the regular type of Goldfish. I think most of here at WWM would make the point that there are many better fish to begin with than Goldfish. It's ironic that people view them as being "easy pets" because they simply aren't. In any case, what matters is that you try your best, you read everything you can, and that you try and learn from any failures. I have certainly made lots of mistakes over the years, some really dumb! Like sticking wood sprayed with insecticide into an aquarium and watching all my fish turn over and die within minutes. In other words, you're not alone in experiencing problems. The "failures" in life are not the people who make mistakes, but the people who fail to learn from them...>
Will try to send a photo too.
<Good.>
Many thanks, Michelle
<Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Goldfish help update - looking even worse I for Neale    9/20/08

Hi Neale,
thanks for your kind words -it has made me feel a bit better.
<Cool.>
I was a bit upset as I have enjoyed caring for my fish; other people keep telling me that they only clean them out once a month or less, feed them only flakes and never test any water and their fish have lived for years.
<Trust me... these people drive me nuts too! It's a lot like parenting I suppose: there are plenty of bad examples of parenting out there, as you'll see on any visit to a grocery store! But while they might subjectively think they're adequate parents, they have no idea how messed up their kids really are. Here at WWM we try to put best practise out fair and square. We've all been doing this for a long time, and try to save our readers from making the mistakes that we made.>
They look at me as if I'm mad when I tell them what I do. It's frustrating, although I suppose the wet web media crew must already know that!. Still I guess you're right - keep going and keep learning.
<Quite so.>
I decided to change the water as I was worried that the combination of the Epsom salts had made things worse. I will leave things be for today and try some patience. I may well phone the vet - we do love her. Monty has perked up a bit so that has to be good.
<Great! Often vets will be very sympathetic and helpful.>
If I manage a decent photo I will send it to you. Thanks again for your support, Michelle (feeling a bit better!)
<You're doing all the right things; keep learning, keeping making an effort. Eventually it will fall into place and you'll find keeping fish relaxing and easy -- which it actually is once you're doing it right! Like riding a bike or dancing or really anything else that looks hard to begin with but isn't once you have the knack. Good luck! Neale.>
R
e: please help me (Goldfish; health, environment?)   9/11/08
Dear Neale,
<Ali,>
Hello, I hope you will be fine there.
<Pretty good... exhausting day travelling "on assignment" for a fishkeeping publisher.>
Neale I got some questions regarding fungus.
<Oh? By default, assume Fungal infections come from water quality issues (so test Nitrite) or from physical damage (e.g., by clumsy handling, or sharp objects, or fin-nipping tankmates). 99% of the time, these are the causes of fungal infections.>
My one of the black moor was suffering from fungus and I treated him and he is recovering slowly but today I have observe that my white & orange gold fish is also suffering from the same problem.
<See above; do please understand Fungus ONLY happens when the fish's immune system is weakened. So you need to ask _why_ this is happening; on their own, cures may lift the symptoms but won't stop them coming back again unless the causes of the fungal infection are fixed. In the case of Goldfish, review especially aquarium size and filter performance.>
I have treated the aquarium now. But I wanted to know that what could be the reason for fungus? What are the signs for fungus I want to confirm that because their upper fins got a small gap between them as its being separated by force?
<If the fins are damaged, but the infection cured, there will be a "gap". This should heal over time.>
I am very much upset and worried about them please help me. Ill be thankful to you.
Thank you
Ali
<Hope this helps, Neale.>
Re: please help me (Goldfish; health, environment?)   9/16/08
Dear Neale, Hello, hope you will be fine there. <I am indeed quite fine, thank you for asking!> Neale first of all thank you that you gave me your time for solving my problem, today I have changed my aquarium water more than half and add some drops for anti chlorine, blue Methylene and some drops for fungus infection. Actually I am used to change my aquarium half of water weekly isn't it enough to maintain the water quality? <Provided the tank has adequate filtration, 25-50% water changes per week should be adequate. But the "proof is in the pudding" as we say in England. If your tank doesn't stay clean and healthy, then more water changes will be required. Usually problems happen when the tank is overstocked, over-fed, or under-filtered.> And also filter runs 24hrs daily, air pump also work with it 24hrs. As you know that I have 2feet long 1.5 feet tall and 1.4 feet width size aquarium. I got 2 black moor one is 1.5 inch second is 2inch, 1 pearl scale goldfish 1inch, 2 red cap goldfish 2.3 inch, 2 Ryukin goldfish of 2inch and one red & orange goldfish of 1.7 inch. I think they are small. <Agreed, these are small fish now and the aquarium and filter should be fine. But they *will* grow and need more space. And only by testing the water for nitrite can you be 100% sure that the aquarium and filter are adequate.> They all seem very happy together chasing and playing with each other. <Goldfish certainly are lovely in big groups! Sounds as if they are giving you much pleasure.> I used feed them twice a day blood warms in the morning and other feed in the evening. <Do consider not using bloodworms/flake food so much. Save these for 2-3 times per week, and do the rest vegetable foods. Almost anything soft and green will do: cooked peas, cooked rice, cucumber, courgette, blanched lettuce, cooked spinach, live pond plants (Elodea for example).> Neale please guide me if I am doing something wrong. I wanted to have large aquarium but I think that it would be difficult to take care of large aquarium as I have to go to the university daily. Please guide me thank you. <I think you're doing fine right now. Do keep reading, and keep learning. Test the water at least every couple of weeks, for nitrite at least. Always remember, the bigger the tank, the easier it is to keep! But otherwise, just carry on being careful.> Thank you, <Happy to help.> Ali <Cheers, Neale.>
Re: please help me (Goldfish; health, environment?)   9/16/08

Dear Neale,
Hello, thank you so much Neale for your time and for your help.
<You're welcome.>
Neale what I think is that I am used to feed them a lot that is why my aquarium may become under filtered.
<Oh?>
Should I feed them twice or just for once?
<Two small meals per day is safer than one big meal. But only you can judge: You need to give enough the fish are healthy, but not so much they get fat, or worse, you overload the filter and detect ammonia and nitrite in the water. Do read the Goldfish nutrition article, if you haven't done so:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshmalnut.htm
>
Today I have feed them with cooked rice (boiled rice). I feed them by making the rice in very small dot form size. They all ate very quickly. This was my first experience to feed them with such kind of food.
<They only need a small amount of this. Rice is very starchy, which is fine for herbivorous fish, but shouldn't be given too often or in too large a quantity. Maybe 10-20% of their diet. Make the rest mostly green foods, with a minority portion (15-20%) protein-rich foods like bloodworms or fish flake.>
How should I use cucumbers and blanched lettuce to feed them, I mean in boiled form or in what form?
<Cucumber is fine just a thin, raw slice put in the tank. Use some lead weight to hold it down, or else a rubber band to attach it to a stone. Improvise if you must, but use things that are non-toxic! Lettuce should have some boiling water poured over it, so that it wilts. This breaks the cell walls, making it easier to digest.>
To feed black moor is very difficult I don't know why, they feel very difficulty while finding the food.
<Indeed, "fancy" fish often find it difficult to compete with Goldfish that have a normal body shape. Green foods are a good choice for them because you can put quite a lot into the tank without ruining water quality. If there is plenty of all the fish, then there's less competition. Squashed or whole tinned peas work well, as do cheap aquarium plants (Elodea for example).>
But here all pet store advice to give flake foods to them? What should I do now? Please guide me. My friend has taken my pearl scale from me and now I have 7 fish in my aquarium. Hope so they will miss her but they all seem happy. Neale also please refer me any reading if it's necessary. God bless you.
Thank you,
Ali
<Do take care to read through some of the other Goldfish articles here at WWM. There are links from the Goldfish nutrition article given above. Plenty to keep you busy! Cheers, Neale.>
Re: please help me (Goldfish; health, environment?)  9/16/08

Dear Neale,
Hello, thank you Neale for your help. Ill takes care regarding their nutrition. Thank you some much. God bless you.
Ali
<Glad to help. Good luck with your fish! Neale.>

battered fish, GF  -- 09/07/08 Hi, I recently bought a few common or comet (not to sure) goldfish from a garden centre. When I got the fish home I noticed that their back fins were noticeably damaged and raggy looking. Also one of the fish had appeared to have torn their tail right down the middle. Is this damage a sign that these fish could turn violent towards ones I already have? <Unlikely; Goldfish are gregarious, and while there will be a pecking order, they won't damage one another. Among other reasons, they don't have teeth. If the fins are damaged, it's most likely either physical trauma (clumsy work with the net, for example, by the store clerk) or else Finrot caused by bad water quality.> And is there anyway I can repair the damage to the fishes bodies? <In the UK, I'd recommend a medication called eSHa 2000. Make sure you use it as described, and in particular remove carbon from the filter (if you use it). Provided you have good water quality (zero ammonia/nitrite) and 25-50% of the water is replaced every week, the fins should heal good as new in no time at all! If these are going into a pond, you'll need an equivalent medication for pond fish. Look for something that treats BOTH Finrot and Fungus, just to be on the safe side.> Thanks. <Cheers, Neale.>

fin regrowth or fungus, env. GF dis.   9/2/08 Hello, I have browsed you excellent site many times but cannot get an answer to a few specific questions. I have a 75 litre tank with 2 goldfish ( one large about 5 inches..."Jaffa") and the other regular size, white "Pearl". Also had 4 Bristlenoses in the tank. All working well for 2 years. Always maintained water parameters. <These fish need more room/volume than this...> Everything was going well. Went away for 5 days and upon return I noticed large goldfish on his side covered with fuzzy white stuff...(he looked dead but was still moving his gills and mouth ever so slightly) and little Pearl not moving much at bottom of the tank. With closer investigation I found two dead Bristlenoses covered in the same white fuzzy stuff, hidden under the ornaments. <Environment... food et al. decomposing...> Did an emergency water change (two times 50%) and have changed the water 25% every day since. The big one, Jaffa, did an amazing recovery after removing the dead fish and emergency water change. The little Pearl picked up almost instantly. My father (also a fish keeper) told me to use antiseptic & completely start afresh...Have not cleaned the filter yet as I am wary of all the water changes and getting rid of the beneficial bacteria. <Good> Jaffa's white areas turned into fin & tail rot, and both eyes clouded over. Half his beautiful tail fin is gone and both pectoral and pelvic fins affected in varying degrees. I poured "colloidal silver" into the tank and also used appropriate amounts of Multicure and aquarium salts. A week later and with water changes every day Jaffa is on the mend and hungry again. Wasn't eating when I resumed feeding so had to "hand feed" him peas. When I bought him..he was an amazing orange & black goldfish(hence the name...Jaffa). Black on all the fins , his telescopic eyes, and along his top & dorsal. He lost all his "black" over several weeks after I got him home and was completely orange! and remained so until now. Tank is now stable...Ph Ammonia & nit. all correct. He is so much better now... One eye has returned to normal but the other is still clouded. I've noticed fin & tail regrowth but this is the confusing part.... His pectoral and pelvic fins show signs of regrowth and his tail is looking well with whitish (not fungus) areas. Now the black seems to be "creeping" back, is this regrowth... there seems to be conflicting information about fin regrowth and what it should look like...some say it should look white while others say it should look black? <Can be either color... as long as it is regrowing...> How do you tell the difference between the regenerating "white" and fungal "white"? <Microscope, scraped sample...> What else should I do? Should I keep up the Multicure & aquarium salts? <No to both... a larger system is what is needed> How often & for how long. Would the colloidal silver affect the good bacteria? <Yes... is toxic> I have tried to take photos but keep getting flash glare on the tank However managed to get a couple without the glare.. confused, Sabina <Put the camera close to the tank... if you have a macro lens... right up against it... dismount the strobe/flash if it can be taken off and hold it at an angle...> PS. What type of goldfish is the large one....he has bulging telescopic eyes, slim body and long single (beautiful)caudal tail? <Appears to be a comet... Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner
>

Re: fin regrowth or fungus, GF  -09/03/08 Hi Bob, Thank you for your quick response. It is wonderful to know that I have access to such an expert and am able to ask such silly novice questions. <Not silly to me> Initially, we started off 2 years ago, with a ghastly goldfish bowl (why do they still sell these things!!!) and two goldfish, a white fantail and orange fantail. (A present for my 12 yr old) Of course the novelty soon wore off for her, and I (Mom)ended up looking after them! (not to mention..getting sucked in to the whole idea of keeping fish!! <A wonderful activity, interest> Realising how cruel the Bowl was, we upgraded the environment and got a bigger tank....the AR 126 ...which was still too small! Realising this was still too small, we upgraded to the 75L. The shop guy told me a 75 litre tank was more than adequate. <Mmm, no> We now have two tanks, both AquaOne models with everything built into the lid areas. Then I went a little crazy and bought many types of cold freshwater fish over the years.. guppies, 2 Pearlscale, a calico, and a particularly a nasty algae eater that started sucking the goldfish!!! <Ah yes... likely a CAE> All gone on to fish heaven! I've now decided not to get any more (until a bigger tank) and to concentrate on my remaining "survivors" Big Tank. AR510 Jaffa, the big comet Pearl the little white fantail (one of the originals which came with the BOWL! we lost the orange one ..SOB! sniffle!) two Bristlenoses about 6cms Little tank AR126 Casper, the albino Bristlenose Ozzie, the upside down catfish <Synodontis nigriventris... a social species> (Odd pairing..I know...but Casper seems to prefer his company to other bristles! they seem happy together. ) My dream is to get a four foot tank...eventually.... (and another saltwater tank full of seahorses, when I become more adept) but it becomes so costly once you get all the other things...filter..etc <Mmm, perhaps some dwarf species...> Unfortunately finances prevent us from getting a bigger system..at the moment. My main priority is to Jaffa. I love him dearly and as cruel as it sounds, the other fish are expendable (more to the point...I can offload the others to my father's larger tanks...) 1. In the meantime, what could I do to the existing tank & its occupants.? I have added an extra internal filter (pumps about 380L /hour) to the larger tank <More frequent, small water changes... 15-20% twice a week... the use of carbon in the filters... Great care in what, the amount of foods> 2. Should I take out the 2 Bristlenoses? and the other smaller fish? <Mmm, likely better to have them there for help with clean up, social interaction> 3. How big a tank do you think Jaffa the five incher needs? <At least forty gallons... about 192 liters> Regards Sabina PS Regarding the colloidal silver.....Came across the stuff when I was studying Naturopathy 15 years ago. When my kids were all little and always coming down with something...I was sick & tired of doctors saying "its a virus ...nothing we can do...but rest & endure it." I have used this with great success (as a natural antibiotic)on all my family members whenever they are ill. With no weird "blue'' or graying of the skin side effects.(indeed it cuts down the afflicted "sick "time by 75% and naturally helps the body to fight off the illness on its own, very rapidly. Where others are ill for a week... with the silver my kids are back on deck after one day!! Does wonders with gastro! ...in fact anything....throat infections, ear infections, eye infections, bacterial and Viral...it works for us! (I Even got my doctor(holistic integrated) on to it ...and we prefer to use it to conventional antibiotics!!) I've used it on my dogs eye infection! (cleared up in a day) and have used it in the tanks with no "side effects" or deaths. You are right however, that it can be toxic... I.e.. if the silver is combined with other elements e.g. salts, the particles become "bigger". There is much(conflicting) information on the internet about it and over the years I have researched it profoundly. I have found a particular brand (with safe amounts of silver)that works for us WITH NO TOXIC side effects. <Salts of silver used to be "stock" aquarium remedy items years back (before the Bunky Hunt bro's were involved in inflating the price of the metal), but have largely been supplanted with copper compounds... Cheers, Bob Fenner>

ill fish? ... goldfish    8/31/08
hi, just last week I won a common goldfish on a hook the duck stall, he is around 5.5cm long and for the first few days appeared fine (although not very active). However, today I noticed that he would swim up into the corner of his tank where he looked like he was 'rubbing' himself or shaking around. I then looked closely at him and I think he may have some tiny white specks on his tail and fins (but not his body), I'm unsure if this could be the white stones I have in the bottom of him tank? This is my first fish and I change a portion of his water daily and feed him every other day but I am really worried about the way he shakes in the corner and his 'spots'. PLEASE HELP!!!
<Greetings. If the "white specks" look like salt grains, then it is entirely possible the fish has a disease called Ick/Whitespot. There are numerous medications available; here in the UK I happen to prefer eSHa EXIT. It's inexpensive, easy to use, and effective. Do remember to remove carbon (if you use it) from the filter. Now, more significantly, since this is your first fish, it's very important you understand the basics. Goldfish -- despite being cheap to buy (or win!) -- are difficult to keep. They don't last long in bowls, for example, and keeping them in bowls is cruel. They do need a big tank; in my opinion not less than 30 gallons so that you can keep at least 2 or 3 specimens (they are gregarious and need friends). They also need a filter. People foolishly try to avoiding doing these things, and invariably end up with sick, unhappy, and ultimately dead fish. Do start off reading here:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/goldfish101art.htm
I'm not a fan of white stones in fish tanks. Think about this from your fish's perspective. He's evolved to live in a place where it's light above and dark below. His colours are darker above and lighter below so he blends in. When the ground underneath his is some bright colour, it's rather like you being kept in a room with constant loud music or horribly bright light: it's just not nice. Plain vanilla gravel is fine, a thin layer of silica sand even better. Do remember Goldfish get big, are comparatively smart, and live for a long time -- so it's worth making an effort to make them happy. When they're kept well, they become very tame and genuinely happy animals that enjoy human company. The alternative is a sickly, morose, unhappy fish doomed to an early death. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: ill fish?  8/31/08
thanks for the email. my dad took me out today and we bought a nice big tank for him and some black stones. I'm planning on buying (or winning) him a friend once he settles into his new home (and gets better). I am also now treating him for Whitespot and am hoping for a speedy recovery.
<Cool. Keep reading, learning about these animals, and you should have many good years together! Cheers, Neale>

Sick fantail  08/28/08 Hi WWM Crew, There is something seriously wrong with my fantail goldfish. She started getting red streaks around her gills. I found out this might be a bacterial infection, so I took out the carbon filter and gave her a 5 day treatment with Maracyn-Two. I just finished the treatment and she doesn't seem to be any better. In fact, I think she's just getting worse; she's hiding in a decorative arch in her tank and won't come out to eat. Right now, I can only see her tail. It looks like she is kind of floating in the top of the arch. I don't know what to do! Any suggestions or information would be greatly appreciated. This fantail means a lot to me, and I really don't want to loose her! Thanks for your time and all you do. <Greetings, and thanks for the kind words. Right, what I'd do first is switch to a different medication. Maracyn and Maracyn-2 have different antibiotics (Erythromycin vs. Minocycline) so tend to treat different strains of bacteria with different levels of success. But the bigger picture is that we need to know information about the aquarium. Bacterial infections are caused (mostly) by opportunistic bacteria such as Aeromonas and Pseudomonas that are sitting about doing their thing in all fish tanks. Only when conditions are so poor that the immune system of the fishes gets compromised are they able to switch from doing their normal thing (consuming decaying organic matter) to causing disease (attacking living cells). Contrary to popular belief, Goldfish are not indestructible, and they do need very specific conditions to do well. So, let us know how big the tank is, what filter you are using (in particular its turnover in litres- or gallons-per-hour), and what the nitrite and pH levels are. All these are critical to understanding the conditions in the tank. If the conditions are poor, you can throw all the medications you want at the fish, and it won't get better. Cheers, Neale.>

Sick fantail, env., fin/body rot...  8/22/08 Hi, I have recently added another fan tailed goldfish to my 15.6 gallon tank. <Too small... you can't get Goldfish in tanks smaller than 30 gallons. Well, you can try, but you'll not be able to provide them with acceptable water quality. So your solution will almost certainly involve buying a bigger tank. What made you think a 15 gallon tank was acceptable? No book will tell you that, and if you listened to "the guy in the pet store" without doing your own research first -- well, you've learned a valuable lesson.> Everything was normal with him/her until the following morning. I found my new fish unable to control its posture and it was quite sluggish. It swam up side down and bobbled around the tank. I tested for ammonia and nitrites and everything was 0. I did several 20% water changes morning and night for the past two days and he seems to have recovered. The pet store figured that it may have been a bacterial infection or an air bubble, I also had them check the water and they said it was in normal ranges except for my ph which was 7.8 but that's how it comes from our farm well. <The water pH is fine.> Now the fish has a new problem, on its left side it has a white growth on it's scales and on its top fin, I'm not sure if it is bacterial, parasitic or fungal. It looks like a fuzzy growth, I'm attaching a picture of the affected fish depicting the white growth. Can you identify this and recommend and medications? <Your fish has Fungus, and possibly Finrot as well. These are both triggered by POOR WATER QUALITY, period, end of discussion. No matter what your nitrite/ammonia test kits say, if you have fish with Fungus as bad as this, the water quality simply isn't acceptable. Check the filter is working properly and adequate to the task: Goldfish need a filter rated at a turnover of 6 times the volume of the tank. So for the MINIMUM aquarium for Goldfish, 30 gallons, that means you need a filter rated at 180 gallons per hour. You will need to treat with a suitable Fungus/Finrot medication, not junk like Melafix, but something serious, such as Maracyn or eSHa 2000. This fish already has one fin in the grave and another on a banana skin -- left untreated the infection will enter the body cavity and the fish will die. Once you've treated the fish, you MUST buy a bigger tank. Failure to do so is simply setting yourself up for a constant battle with sickness. Do see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWsubwebindex/goldfish101art.htm Cheers, Neale.>

Re: sick fantail 8/22/08
Ok, I know there a cheaper tanks at Wal Mart and they are larger than the ones Home hard ware. Would you think Wal Mart has good tanks and how long should I cycle the tank before adding the fish. <Most any aquarium these days should be good enough to last many years. Plastic all-on-one tanks are popular, but they do get scratched easily so I prefer the glass ones. Shop around; here in the UK at least the best value in tanks is to buy them online. You can also buy a used tank, but do bear in mind old tanks can be leaky, especially if moved carelessly, so test the thing outdoors first and patch any leaks with (aquarium safe) silicone sealant.> I could also transfer over the filter media from the old tank to cut down time? <Absolutely! If the water chemistry and temperature in the new tank are the same as the old tank, you can plug the old filter right into the new tank. You can then stick your fish in there right away. As and when you have the funds/inclination, you can add a new filter, either to supplement or replace the old one. We can discuss this down the road if you want. But the main thing is to upgrade the tank so your fish can enjoy better water conditions in the long term. Cheers, Neale.>

Lost image  

Re: sick fantail  8/22/08 Ok, should I treat my fish in their current tank and wait for symptoms to disappear before moving the fish to the new one? <You'll have to treat immediately either way; whether you do so in the existing tank or a new one is up to you. Makes little difference, though a bigger, healthier tank will of course improve the odds of a speedy recovery. Cheers, Neale.> Re: sick fantail  8/23/08 Sorry to bother you again but I went a picked up some fish medication today. Its called PimaFix from API, its an anti fungal treatment derived from a African bay leaf tree I believe. <It's made from Tea Tree oil. Anyway, it's rubbish. Very unreliable. At best it can be used as a preventative but it works far too inconsistently to have any other value.> I did some research on it after giving the recommended dose to the tank and it said that the fungus is able to grow on the fish by attaching to damaged tissues. <All aquaria contain fungi. They're normally beneficial, and live in the substrate and in the filter breaking down organic matter into the chemicals the filter bacteria can process. What happens is that when water quality drops, the fish's immune system weakens, and it can no long keep these normally easy to control fungi outside of its body. Physical damage provides a way in for the fungi, and the damage can be anything from cuts through to burst blood vessels in the fins (which happens under poor water quality conditions).> It is possible that the fish created a sore for himself while in the cave decoration, he was sick while inside there and could have been rubbing on the side of the cave while resting. <It's possible, but unlikely. Nine times out of ten, probably ninety-nine times out of a hundred, Fungus and Finrot come about from water quality issues. That's why they're considered "beginner's" diseases by experienced aquarists -- they are just so unbelievably common in immature and too-small tanks.> Hopefully this treatment works and heals this fish up and prevents the others from getting it as well. <The disease doesn't "spread" because the fungal spores are in the water anyway. Your job is to keep your fish in good quality water, so that their immune system prevents fungal infection. In any event, the Pimafix probably won't work. I'd like to be surprised and find that this cheap, non-toxic product was as reliable as the copper- and formalin-based medications or antibiotics such as Maracyn (the drug of choice in the US for treating Fungus and Finrot). But so far, I haven't been impressed with Pimafix or Melafix, and neither have most of the crew at WWM. Do see Bob Fenner's words of wisdom here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/homeopathfaqs.htm > I just noticed that after giving the medication the ailed fish is swimming around normally now, earlier he just stayed in one spot for the most part. Also the bottle recommends that I do a partial water change after the 7 day treatment but their cite recommends it every three days depending on the organic load of the tank, which instructions do you suggest I follow. <Probably doesn't matter either way. But I wouldn't be using this product, and would heartily recommend returning and exchanging for Maracyn (in the US) or eSHa 2000 (in the UK/Europe) as you prefer.> Its a daily dose for 7 days and can be continued if necessary. <Whatever. Do be more critical about "homeopathic" and "herbal" remedies -- none of them are tested by vets, unlike the traditional medications that use antibiotics, copper, formalin and organic dyes like Methylene blue. There's a reason for that... these New Age medications don't work! Cheers, Neale.>

Re: sick fantail  8/26/08 Oops, I hit send last time before typing, <Oops indeed!> but I've noticed that after giving the herbal antifungal that the white cottony growth is shrinking, It is coming off of him quickly. <Cool. If it works for you, so much the better. The argument that Bob and I have with this product is not that it doesn't ever work, but rather that it doesn't work reliably. If an animal's life is at stake, why take the chance?> personally I avoid the doctor as much as possible and use herbs, I may only require an actual prescription once ever two years. <For a healthy male between 20 and 40, the need for prescription drugs is often very low (zero). So the fact you use herbs is neither here nor there.> I do use tee tree oil on my self and do know that it is a strong antifungal/antiseptic, I use it on my cuts and it heals them quickly. <Lots of things are antiseptics, such as honey, garlic and onions, but if I was suffering from gangrene I wouldn't want a doctor to prescribe them! It's important to put things in perspective. Most of the sickness and physical damage you will experience needs little to no treatment, and your body will heal itself assuming you are basically healthy and getting a balanced diet. This being so, feel free to use all the garlic, tea tree oil and cranberry juice you want. They'll do no harm and may even do some slight good. The problem with "New Age" medications is when they are promoted *instead of* medications that have been clinically tested. So you need to be scientifically rigorous about this sort of thing.> But it does seem to be working very well for the fish. <Fab.> I shopped around for a new tank yesterday but the largest I found was a 29 gallon and they were out of stock, I have one more possible store to try today then if not I will have to take a trip into the city <Well, good luck with the shopping! Cheers, Neale.>

Re: sick fantail (Melafix, efficacy of)  -08/27/08 Yes I agree with you, I've now noticed that the redness has disappeared and it appears that the affected area is healing, it doesn't seem to be getting worse but there the area is still slightly white. <All sounds like steps in the right direction. Keep treating, and so long as things improve, then you're home free.> If it was life threatening to the fish I would have gotten a drug based medication, herbal medications usually will do the same thing but are often slower to take full effect. <I'd argue with this. What I'll concede is that herbal medications can work usefully under some circumstances, and some aquarists prefer to at least try them out first before using other, more potentially toxic, medications. I'm not one of those aquarists though!> Yes there is a certain point where it is necessary to get a medical prescription. For example I sometimes get painful ear infections that used to last for about a month but I do have a herbal liquid that I rub on the side of my neck and in my ear and it reverses the infection within a day, but not all herbs are that strong. <Agreed; I'm not an MD so hesitate to offer medical advice.> Sorry this has little relation to fish topics. I know here in Canada they are attempting to pass regulations through the World Health Order or Organization that will cut off our access to herbal remedies. <Somewhat different trends here, with at least some complimentary medicines now available on the National Health Service state healthcare programme, for example acupuncture. Provided complimentary therapies are tested and proven to provide effective support or remedies, I have no argument against them. The problem with Melafix and Pimafix is that they haven't been tested as rigourously (if at all) as traditional medications such as antibiotics, organic dyes, and formalin.> Basically we would have to go to the doctor for garlic and the sorts which is just stupid. <Indeed.> A lot of people are protesting it so hopefully it doesn't pass. But thanks for your help with the fish, if it gets worse I'll head back to the pet shop and get him stronger medication. <Sounds as if you've got it sorted. Good luck, Neale.>  

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

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