FAQs on Goldfish Genetic/Developmental Disease
Related Articles: Goldfish
Systems, Goldfish Disease, Goldfish, Goldfish
Fish Disease, Livestock
Treatment System, Bloaty, Floaty Goldfish,
Disease/Emphysematosis, Pond Parasite Control
with DTHP, Hole in
the Side Disease/Furunculosis,
Related FAQs: Goldfish Disease 2, Goldfish Disease 3, Goldfish Disease 4, Goldfish Disease 5, Goldfish Disease 6, Goldfish Disease 7,
8, Goldfish Disease 9,
10, Goldfish Disease
11, Goldfish Disease 12, Goldfish Disease 13, Goldfish Disease 14, Goldfish Disease 15, Goldfish Disease 16,
17, Goldfish Disease 18,
Goldfish Disease 19, Goldfish Disease 20, Goldfish Disease 21, Goldfish
Disease 22, Goldfish Health 23, Goldfish Disease 24,
Goldfish Health 25, Goldfish Disease 26, Goldfish Disease 27, Goldfish Disease 28, Goldfish Disease 29, Goldfish Disease 30,
31, Goldfish Disease 33,
Goldfish Disease 34, Goldfish Disease 35, Goldfish Health 36, Goldfish Health 37, Goldfish Health 38, Goldfish Disease 39
& Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate, Nitrogen Cycling, Koi/Pondfish
Disease, Goldfish in General, Goldfish
Behavior, Goldfish Compatibility, Goldfish
Systems, Goldfish Feeding, Bloaty, Floaty Goldfish, Goldfish
- Some genetic "deformities" are used to breed
different varieties of goldfish (ex: "pop-eye"
- Commonly, breeding has lead to goldfish especially prone to
loss of orientation. This can manifest in different ways.
Sometimes the fish will float upside or sink to the bottom. If
they are "sinking" to the bottom and appear unable or
unwilling to swim to the top, feed with sinking pellets.
- "Kinks" in tails and fins are usually genetic
Some of these points, stated in context
and elaborated on below, are highlighted in blue to make them
easier to find.
New Print and
eBook on Amazon
What it takes to keep goldfish healthy long-term
by Robert (Bob) Fenner
Question about cute- ugliest "bought from Wal-Mart' in goldfish
I'm have bein g looking for a place that maybe can help me. I got this- I t
hink/not sure- baby goldfish in Wal-Mart. So far I have it on my 2 gallons
emergency/quarantine jar trying to figure it out what is the best for him.
He was in the goldfish' s tank and I paid as one because I saw him and he
didn't look like the others so bought it to request him and see if maybe
have a better chance with me. I have an extra 10 gallons tank getting ready
for him so I'm planning to move him there soon. I have 2 goldfish in a 40
gallons for which km getting the materials together to build them at least a
60 gallons tank since I know they will grow bigger very soon.
In other words, space and having a bigger tank eventually for him will not
be an issue. He eats, swings, goes up and down, and he is very friendly with
me- let me pet him...lol...not very common in the others....my concern is
how he looks, is normal? Is deformed?
<Yes; this latter... could be genetic (pre-determined) or developmental... >
One eye is pitch black and his mouth is really small- like a Betta. I'm
just don't want to gert him or do any harm. I love him already, he is very
sweet and I want to give him the best care possible but I'm not even sure he
is a goldfish.
Thank you for reading and helping.
<There is a high incidence of diseases of all sorts with such commercially
produced comet goldfish... This one may go on to live for years in your good
care. Bob Fenner>
Sick goldfish! 3/30/16
<Liz; your image files are an order of magnitude larger than we allow>
<Read my book?>
I was just wondering if you could help me please. We have had 4 goldfish (3 fan
tails) for about a month now, and for the last two days I have noticed that
something is wrong with 1 Gill of one of them (I have attached pictures below).
<Not new likely. This is a common genetic defect... in the
worst bred variety; and only American... Comet.>
Unfortunately, as I am writing this on behalf of my parents, I do not have the
parameters of the tank/size of the tank etc. to hand, however, I would very much
appreciate an opinion on the following please. I have researched online and I
cannot tell whether it is due to infection or possible just an
incomplete gill that we had never noticed before.
<The latter almost assuredly. Otherwise a physical trauma.... from a
house cat? Power filter? At any length, not something "to treat". May live a
good long while as is>
It looks red with a bit of white" fraying". The other gill is fine and there
hasn't been any attacks from the other fish to my knowledge.
Any guidance/ideas would be much appreciated! Thanks in advance,
<Cheers, Bob Fenner>
Re: Sick goldfish! 3/30/16
<Liz; your image files are an order of magnitude larger than we allow>
<<My apologies, I have tried a different photo but still may be too big>>
>Ah yes; phone pix. We unfortunately are limited to 50 megs of incoming mail
storage. Past that, all get bumped<
<Read my book?>
<<I'm sorry, I don't quite follow what you mean? I assumed the website would
have a team responding to questions therefore I did not know who I was
>Ah no; sorry for the obscure Beatles referent... "Paperback Writer"
starts with "Dear Sir or Madam, will you read my book"...<
I was just wondering if you could help me please. We have had 4 goldfish (3
fan tails) for about a month now, and for the last two days I have noticed
that something is wrong with 1 Gill of one of them (I have attached pictures
<Not new likely. This is a common genetic defect... in the worst bred
variety; and only American... Comet.>
Unfortunately, as I am writing this on behalf of my parents, I do not have
the parameters of the tank/size of the tank etc. to hand, however, I would
very much appreciate an opinion on the following please. I have researched
online and I cannot tell whether it is due to infection or possible just an
incomplete gill that we had never noticed before.
<The latter almost assuredly. Otherwise a physical trauma.... from a house
cat? Power filter? At any length, not something "to treat". May live a good
long while as is>
<<No cats, may be filter but it looks like the gill "cover" is completely
missing, rather than it being damaged through trauma so I agree
possibly genetic defect>>
It looks red with a bit of white" fraying". The other gill is fine and there
hasn't been any attacks from the other fish to my knowledge.
Any guidance/ideas would be much appreciated! Thanks in advance,
<Cheers, Bob Fenner>
<<Thanks, I appreciate you taking the time to respond>>
A mystery... GF beh., genetic issue?
Hello! I have a rather specific question, and I have searched the board
a bit and haven't come up with a sufficient answer. I appreciate your
I have a 55 gallon tank with an AquaClear three-stage filter in the
40-70 gallon size. It's not a live-planted tank. I have one 12 inch
bubble bar across the back on one side. I change 25% of the water once
per week, vacuuming the gravel at that time. During the day it's lit
with "daylight" LEDs, at night it's lit with "moonlight" LEDs. It's been
established since September, and my water quality is steady with 0
ammonia, 0 nitrites, 8.3 pH (I know a little on the high side, but quite
steady), and 20-30 ppm nitrates. Temperature is steady around 72 F. I
use a dechlorinator, aquarium salt at 1tbsp per 5 gallons, and Stress
Coat occasionally as directed. It's stocked with one 2 inch
Oranda, one 1 inch fantail, two 2 inch Ryukins, one 3 inch leopard
sailfin plecostomus, and one 4 inch Ryukin, whom this question
is about. I feed twice a day. I choose from a variety of freeze dried
brine shrimp, flake food, Emerald entrée frozen omnivore cubes, and peas
occasionally. I also feed the Pleco zucchini or other fibrous veggies
once weekly, and he has two large pieces of boiled Malaysian driftwood
with which he is totally obsessed. To clarify, I don't feed a mix of all
of these at the same time- I rotate them. I learned a while ago not to
overfeed, and do my best to follow the three minute rule.
All of my fish are bright and very interactive, they occupy all levels
of the tank- they don't just "hang" at the top or bottom. They're such a
colorful, wonderful show! They come to the front to say "hello" (and beg
for food, the little weasels!), and are generally totally delightful.
They do not pick on each other at all- no nipping, fighting, or
aggressive behavior of any kind. They have ample hiding places and caves
to sneak into if they feel threatened. I feel as though they're
satisfied and quite happy. However, after water changes, the 4 inch
Ryukin has taken to lying on the bottom of the tank, utterly motionless,
for about two or three days. She will still come up to feed, and she
seems pretty "normal" while eating. This has occurred after every water
change since we moved her to this tank in October. She does have an
unfortunate history of spending a little time in an uncycled tank last
May due to her owner's lack of understanding of aquarium cycling. She
always is the most listless of the goldfish even on her good days, but
most of the time, she's at least swimming around, not looking stressed
out at all, and interacting with us just like everyone else.
I apologize if this has been covered in a previous post. I searched the
site and didn't discover the answer I was looking for. I enjoy your
site, and have used it as a relatively new hobbyist and value it
immensely. Any input or advice as to why she acts like this after water
changes will be earnestly followed. Thank you in advance!
<Hello Jessica. My guess here -- and it's only a guess -- is
that the Ryukin has a deformed swim bladder to some degree (all
fancy Goldfish do) and in this case it is sensitive to changes in water
temperature as well as making it difficult to swim even on a good day.
As you hopefully know, gases expand and contract with changes in
temperatures, so a gas-filled bladder will get bigger in warm water and
smaller in cold water. If you change the size of the swim bladder, you
alter the ability of a fish to swim. Normally such changes are so slight
they don't affect the fish, primarily because the swim bladder is the
size and shape it is meant to be, and evolution produced a swim bladder
with some ability to work across a range of temperatures. However, fancy
Goldfish have deformed swim bladders because we messed around with their
body shape through genetic manipulation (i.e., selective breeding). Net
result: such fish are less perfectly poised to begin with, and small
changes to the size and shape of their swim bladder has a much bigger
impact on swimming ability. Goldfish are what are called "physostomous"
fish, alongside other relatively primitive groups such as tetras, barbs
and catfish. These have the swim bladder (which is essentially a highly
modified lung) connected to the throat. To add air to their bladder they
need to gulp air through the mouth, and to empty the bladder a bit they
need to burp out air through the mouth. Until your Ryukin is able to do
either of these to compensate, it'll either sink or float depending on
the situation. Obviously if she can't easily gulp air from the surface
because she can't swim easily, it'll take her longer to properly adjust
her swim bladder. But regardless, in an aquarium no real harm is done
provided the fish can breathe and feed normally. Taking care to avoid
water temperature changes so her swim bladder doesn't need to be re-set
too often, and boosting the amount of fibre in her diet to avoid
constipation that causes further swimming problems, are probably the two
key considerations here. Cheers, Neale.>
Oranda with curved spine(RMF, thoughts?) <<Same as before...
<Hello again Gina,>
My 10 year old Oranda has slowly developed a curvature to her spine- it
is close to the base of her tail and it causes her to preferentially
swim in circles in the direction of the curve. It is a gentle curve- not
an injury and has been developing over a year. My water is as follows:
PH ranges throughout the year from 8.5 to 9.2
<This is very high… likely a factor. Goldfish like hard water to be
sure, 10-25 degrees dH is fine, but the pH should be no higher than 8.5,
and ideally around 7.5-8.0. Is there any way you can mix your tap water
with RO or rainwater, maybe 50/50?>
RedOx is waayyy too high at 356
I feed the fish home made gel food with stabilized vitamin C, Spirulina,
carrot, spinach, kale, red pepper, zucchini, shelled peas, garlic, yam,
salmon fillet, acidophilus powder, kelp powder. All veg are organic and
are steamed in bottled water then blended and then vitamins, gelatin
<In and of itself, organic doesn't mean a good diet, but the range of
foods you're offering is very wide, so I think we can rule out dietary
shortcomings, a very common reason for developmental abnormalities.>
I have a probe in the water to ground stray voltage. All the traditional
causes do not seem to apply. The fish also has floatation issues but
only immediately after she eats- she starts to float right away and is
back to normal about half an hour later.
<Which points the finger here at changes to the shape of the digestive
tract and/or position of the swim bladder brought about by the spinal
curvature. As food moves along the digestive tract, centre of mass
changes, while centre of buoyancy stays constant, so the orientation of
the fish will change.>
I can't find anything that seems a likely cause unless I am not
providing adequate nutrition with the home made food or there is a
persistent bacterial infection. The fish does have a very mushy belly
near the vent- I have tried 10 days worth of Baytril intraperitoneal
injections which did nothing but stress me out every time I had to
inject the fish (the fish was fine with it all). I use home made food
because the fish is so large that I can't find a suitable sized sinking
pellet. Any advice or suggestions would be very much appreciated.
<There really isn't any advice here. Spinal deformities are impossible
to treat. Indeed, you may not need to treat, assuming the fish is
otherwise happy, e.g., can feed adequately and doesn't get picked on by
its tankmates. Maintain good water quality, ensure a good diet, and
generally keep an eye on this fish for any signs of suffering.>
I religiously maintain the tank with 2 x weekly water changes (about 25%
with Prime treated water that has say for a couple days). I have a
serious problem with brown algae- not sure why but all 4 of my tanks are
rife with it and I have trouble controlling it. I am not sure if this
ties in but I thought I would mention it just in case….
<Algae doesn't normally cause health problems for fish, but rampant
algae can indicate problems with water quality and/or water chemistry.
Review these, and act accordingly. Given how high the pH is in your
tanks, I do suspect water chemistry is a factor. Can't comment on the
specifics without at least knowing your general hardness (degrees dH)
and ideally the carbonate hardness (degrees KH) as well.>
<Most welcome, Neale.>
Re: Oranda with curved spine (RMF, thoughts?)<<>> 3/10/13
<<The usual: genetics likely, perhaps pathogenic disease, nutrition...>>
Thank you Neale- great to hear from you- your advice is always
<Thanks for the kind words.>
As a matter of fact I do have an Vertex Aquaristik 100 gallon-per-day RO
unit available- it is not operational but after your reply I promptly
ordered a new membrane and cartridges and just installed them tonight.
When I used it before, it was only reducing the pH to about 7.8 at best
(I guess that it better than what it is at right now).
<And well within the comfort zone for Goldfish, which do best between pH
7 and 8.>
I had also purchased a pressure tank that was specifically made to hold
RO water. I stopped using it as the membrane became damaged and to be
honest, I was not sure how to properly use RO in a freshwater tank. I
had been mixing it at a 50/50 ratio with tap water (which brought the pH
down to about 8).
<Which is fine and usually safe.>
I had some concerns about the aggressiveness of RO water and was not
sure why my pH was still so high after filtering.
<Removing some of the dissolved minerals rarely lowers the pH below 7,
what it tends to do is lower the pH from 8 or 8.5 down towards pH 7.5.
If you remove all the minerals you should get around pH 7, but stably
acidifying the water to, say, pH 6.5, is a whole other thing. You need
to add an "acid buffer" for that, and unless you're breeding soft water
fish, it's not worth the effort. Halving the hardness of VERY hard water
is, on the other hand, a very good idea, even if the pH doesn't seem to
go all that low.>
I used a 50/50 mix of RO to tap as I wasn't certain if it was safe to
use straight RO.
<Never use straight RO water. Always mix with some hard tap water unless
you have the knowledge and skills to add appropriate soft water
buffering salts (often sold as Amazon buffer or Discus buffer).>
The high pH of the RO filtered water seems to suggest that the water is
still quite mineralized but without sending a sample to the lab I don't
know if the proper minerals are present.
I currently sit my tank change water in a 205 litre holding tank that is
made of food-grade plastic but it is not safe for RO water. I tried to
find a 205 litre container that was RO safe but they would be a special
construct and very expensive. I believe that remineralizing the water
would make it safe to sit in the container, but again, I am not sure if
this is even necessary.
<Storing RO water in food-safe containers should not be a problem. Or,
as Bob would say, "read, don't write…"
This has been gone into many times, here and elsewhere.>
Regarding remineralization, I have Wondershells and Seachem Replenish
that I purchased along with the RO unit for the purpose of
remineralizing the water if needed.
<Wondershells are pointless if you [a] already have moderately hard to
hard water and [b] are keeping hard water fish. All they are is lumps of
calcium carbonate that slowly dissolve, raising the carbonate hardness
(KH). If your KH is above, say, 5 degrees KH, this isn't needed.>
I don't know currently the degrees dH of my tap water as my test kit is
not working for some reason- I added 50 drops of the reagent and no
<Seems to be you have no general hardness. Do try again though, or have
your retailer test a water sample for you.>
The last time I tested (about a year ago) it was 9 degrees. The KH of my
tap water is 6 to 7.
<So, moderate carbonate hardness; fine for Goldfish.>
I have been using Phosguard to try to reduce phosphorus in the water- I
suspect my algae problem may be in part to the homemade food as it
breaks down in the tank quickly if the fish misses a piece and this is
one of the reasons I do twice weekly water changes with gravel
vacuuming. I bought a RedOx meter which shows a reading of about 350- my
admittedly vague understanding of RedOx and goldfish is that ideal RedOx
is in the order of -110. In short, I know my water chemistry is off and
I think that I have the components I need to correct it but my know-how
is shaky! I am going to flush out the new filters and then I will test
the kH and pH of the RO water- if it needs to be remineralized I would
be interested to know what products you suggest and if I am on the right
track with the RO water.
<Would suggest no products… just reading. Start here:
…and follow the links.>
PS you gave me advice a couple years ago on a small, weak little black
moor and I am pleased to report that he is still very much alive and
quite a bit larger now!
<Ah, good to know! Neale.>
Re: Oranda with curved spine (Bob, am I being unfair to
Flash forward to the end of June- the Oranda is still upright and is
still voraciously hungry but half way through the Baytril treatments she
began to pinecone (that was about a month ago). I was surprised that
she developed Dropsy in the middle of treatment, especially
since the Baytril had worked to stop her from bobbing around upside down
at the top of the tank. The vet ordered some Oxytetracycline to try- one
intramuscular injection every week for three weeks. It helps for 2 days
after the injection (the scales flatten and the swelling reduces
noticeably) but then the Ascites returns.
Her gills are still a healthy red colour. Oddly enough her wen has been
growing like crazy the last few months- she looks great except for the
swelling and the scales.
I am armed with 1/2 dozen bottles of clove oil if she shows signs of
being in pain (which I assume will translate into not eating and being
inactive) but I am heartbroken at the thought of euthanizing this very
much-loved 10 year old fish.
I have the tank temperature at 30 degrees and I reduced the water level,
added a second Eheim canister filter and another powerhead. I have 1
tablespoon per 10 gallons of Epsom salt in the tank. I'm not sure if
this is in any way relevant but I don't have any aquarium lighting
(haven't had for about 8 months since I had a fire scare with a
canopy-style light removed them from service in all my tanks): I am
saving for better and safer lights.
Right now the fish is not on antibiotics as her last Oxytetracycline
injection was a week ago. I have gel food with Kanamycin and
Metronidazole in it but have not used it since I am worried about their
effect on the kidneys. I have been changing 50% of the tank water twice
Have I really tried everything?
<Yes. I think you are doing all you can. At some point it becomes a
cost/benefit calculation, and if the fish remains sickly, and especially
if it isn't interested in feeding or socialising, it may well be time to
"call it a day".>
I am having a hard time trying to reconcile the fact that I am probably
going to lose her in the next month or so and knowing that I have done
everything I can will help.
Thank you, Neale:
<Sorry we can't offer any silver bullets here Gina; do think you're
doing your best for this fish, especially with regard to help from the
vet. Hope things improve though! Regards, Neale.>
Goldfish fin curl, and algae
I have a couple questions regarding a goldfish tank I've been
having problems with, but first I'll give a brief description
of where I am and how I got here.
I recently decided to rent a house, and upon moving in we
discovered the owners of the property graciously left us a bottle
of wine with several wine glasses, some plants and flowers, and a
fish tank containing various types of goldfish, with another
small fish that I've been having trouble identifying.
<Mmm, send along some well-resolved pix as attachments>
Accompanying the fish tank was a small note saying "We
couldn't take the fish with us, if you don't want them
feel free to flush them."
The fish were completely neglected under the care of their
previous owners, and I've never had a tank of my own,
although I've always had some interest in learning the hobby,
so I've been rushed into trying to care for them. There were
6 fish total in a 29-30 gallon tank, 5 of them being, I believe,
various types of goldfish and the small, unidentified, hyper
<Mmm, this is or will be (w/ growth) too many... I'd give
away a couple, three. Craig's List is a good tool
The filter media was completely black with no spare filters to be
found, and dumped a good deal of nasty looking goop into the tank
when we opened it up. We ended up replacing the entire thing with
a Tetra 20-40 power filter. Along with the new filter I've
been changing the water weekly with a gravel vac, purchased test
kits for pH, ammonia, nitrites, nitrates, and phosphates, and
have been trying to do as much research as possible to keep the
remaining fish healthy.
One of the goldfish died a few days after we moved in, another
obviously had a swim bladder infection, and it died a few days
after that. That was about 6 weeks ago, and since then everything
has appeared to be okay, but now I've noticed algae growing
on the gravel, and on the tank ornaments.
<Not to panic... this does just happen>
Some scum or algae grows on the glass but I scrape it off every
week with water changes.
In addition to the algae, one of the fish's top rear fins has
begun to curl over at the top within the last week. Another fish
I find seems to be slightly struggling to swim, and often lies at
the bottom of the tank on his belly, and sometimes seems to be
gasping and shakes his head rather violently while swimming.
I've read 2 goldfish articles on this site, and yesterday
ordered a pump, air line, and will be purchasing a bubble wall to
help with aeration and circulation. One of the articles
recommended 20 gallons per goldfish, which I am obviously not
supplying, so I'm aware of this issue also. Testing indicates
somewhere between 0 and .25 ppm ammonia, 0 nitrites, about 2 ppm
phosphate, about 20 ppm nitrate, and a pH of 7.4.
<Mmm, all but the ammonia are fine>
I've included some links to pictures I have uploaded to
fileshack, showing the overall tank, the algae on the gravel with
a bit scraped off, the fin curl, and the fish I haven't been
able to identify (hard to capture, he's hyper). Thank you for
any help or advice you are able to give with these issues.
<Mmm, these pix aren't opening for me... Please do
continue w/ the maintenance you list above, and your reading, and
send these images as attachments here when you have time. Bob
Re: Goldfish fin curl, and algae 1/23/12
Bob and crew,
Thanks for your reply and suggestions. Here are the pictures
again, uploaded as attachments this time upon request. Do I need
to do anything to the gravel to remove algae?
<Mmm, no; not really>
I've read somewhat conflicting stories of cleaning gravel
because of the danger of removing beneficial
<Well, one can "over-clean"... especially larger
grade (as here) substrates. I would only vacuum half the tank per
period... let's say the right side this week, left the
Included are pics of the fin curl (best I could capture),
<This is not problematical. Simple genetic/developmental
the gravel with some algae scraped off, the fish I can't
identify, and the entire tank.
Please help my Lionhead! 12/7/11
Please help me identify this disease!!!
I am writing with a very serious problem and I need help fast. My
2 year old lion head suddenly presented with 2 black spots on her
head- they appeared yesterday morning. She doesn't have much
of a wen yet- it is just developing. The spots are about 2 mm x 2
mm- I took her out to inspect the spots and they are holes! I put
a bit of hydrogen peroxide 3% on a Q-tip and swabbed the hole
yesterday and it was fairly shallow. Tonight it is much deeper.
It looks like the beginning of HITH disease but the hole is lined
with black. She has also developed black "smudges" on
her sides and her tail has black streaks. It looks like she is
smudged with charcoal! The black smudges on her sides have gotten
worse since I noticed them yesterday. There is a black moor in
the tank with this fish and I can't tell if he has black
smudges because his colour would mask anything if it were present
but I don't see any holes or depressions in his head or
The tank is a 50 gallon. It has been established for 2 years and
has three filters.
Ammonia is 0, nitrites are 0, nitrates are 10, pH is 8.2 and I
have a UV sterilizer. I have not added anything new to the tank.
I always change 30% of the water once a week and I use a
dechlorinator. Please, I have had fish for several years and I
know that this is NOT ammonia burns. I can't find any
references to black spots of this kind anywhere on the internet.
I am very scared at how quickly the holes have deepened but there
are only two and one is worse than the other so I know if I act
fast I can save this fish. I need to know what I am dealing with
so that I can treat correctly!!
Can you help me identify this before it kills my fish?
<It's highly unlikely this is a biological disease... i.e.
infectious or parasitic... Given the age of the fish, your
maintenance... no mech. for introduction. The environment is also
not likely at fault here, given your upkeep routine. Instead, I
suspect this is some sort of "growth" of the fish
itself... Melanocyte stimulation... let's say, like
"hormones" and pimples in human teens. No treatment
advised, or necessary... perhaps improving, enlarging the diet...
I use Spectrum pellets exclusively for my fancy goldfish, and
have for... about a decade. Please see WWM and elsewhere on the
Net re this brand>
Tonight, when I inspected the holes I dabbed very lightly with
peroxide again and then I dabbed on some bio-bandage. I also
added 1 tablespoon of salt per every 5 gallons of water.
<I would not do any of these; and would stop... More damaging
I took pictures yesterday but they are really washed out and the
black holes don't appear as dark or as large as they do in
real life. They were taken last night and the holes in the head
are about twice the size now and about 2 mm deep as well. Please,
please help me!!
<Again, not to panic. Bob Fenner>
N. Alabama, need Vet to trim Oranda wen
from eye 5/21/11
I live in North Alabama (Huntsville/Madison County) and recently
purchased some exotic goldfish from a reputable local pond supply/Koi
<I too rank them as such on the basis of your stmt. re their selling
high end/cost fish>
One is an adorable calico Oranda with a very developed wen.
Unfortunately, the wen completely covers one of the fish's eyes
(the other eye is clear).
Given the popularity of Koi/Goldfish ponds in this area, it never
crossed my mind that I would be unable to find a veterinarian within
the northern region of our state that would accept a healthy goldfish
for a relatively simple procedure (but not simple enough for me to
attempt since the eye is completed occluded). The pond store where I
purchased the Oranda sells Koi that range to up to $15K in price; they
had a $1200 Ryukin the day I was there. So I was stunned when I
contacted them for a Koi/Goldfish veterinarian referral and they said
no area vets accepted fish as patients. Can you image paying $15,000
for a fish, with no health care plan?
<Heeeee! I can't imagine paying such money for even a human...
w/ or sans health care plan (which BTW I lack as well)>
I called every exotic pet vet and clinic in our Yellow Pages, and came
up with nothing. I also checked with local pet stores and aquarium
shops; nothing. Do you have a database, or word of mouth, on vets in my
area that might be willing to perform this procedure, even if they
don't advertise fish care as part of their practice?
<I do not, but know where I'd look/ask next. The closest
"pond society"... Otherwise, I will tell you, having done
such "cut jobs" myself that it's not that hard for you to
I'd actually be willing to use a fish enthusiast experienced with
this procedure if I knew how to find one; I've seen several
impressive "amateur" videos of this procedure on the
<Oh! Again, do talk yourself into doing this procedure yourself. Bob
Someone suggested I contact Auburn University's School of
Veterinarian Medicine. Auburn is at least a 4 hour drive from here, so
I'd like to exhaust all other options before I take that path.
Little calico (I'm still working on a befitting name) can see fine
from her one eye now, but her wen, and that of my other 4 Orandas, will
have a continuing need for trims, so finding a competent local resource
is important (they are all in aquariums, btw, not in my Koi pond). And
how else will that store ever sell their $1200 Ryukin?
Any help you can provide will be greatly appreciated.
GF, dissimilar size eyes
I have a new pet goldfish (her name is Giselle), this is my first fish
<Welcome to the ever-fascinating world of aquatic life
When I chose her at the pet shop, I noticed her one eye was larger than
the other however when I enquired the lady working there, she said it
was nothing but a 'defect' that fish can be born with, and she
is totally normal.
I followed correct procedures before placing her in tank, however when
I eventually let her into my tank, she seemed very 'slow' and
when she swam, swam 'on her side', also just lay still at the
bottom of the tank a couple of times.
I started researching about goldfish, just to broaden my knowledge, and
by chance I came across a page about diseases where I read for the
first time about pop eye. I immediately assumed this is what she had.
Could it be anything else other than pop eye?
<Yes... quite a few possibilities>
I started reading more about pop eye (thats where I came across your
site, which is *BRILLIANT* by the way) So I put her in an Epsom salt
water solution, hoping it would drain the liquid or make it smaller, as
I had read, but it has been two days and her eye is still the same
size. I must add though she is much more alive though and seems very
happy. She is swimming properly and also eating (which she didnt do in
the beginning), its just the eye still bothering and worrying me.
<I would not be concerned>
Will it ever go down just with the use of Epsom salts?
<Could be genetic, congenital... a defect as we've both
mentioned. In which case, no... it will not change>
Is she in any kind of danger due to having pop eye?
Thank you so much (in advance) for taking the time to read and respond
to my email.
<As time goes by, with growth, familiarity, the disparity in eye
size will lessen. Bob Fenner>
Re: My Goldfish Butch.....update. 8/4/10
Neale...I think I have successfully moved Butch into his new 30
gallon tank with 280 over the back bio filter.
The glass tank is so much bigger than what I had before that
there were structural integrity issues with my stand. It's
made of steel and very heavy, I have no idea what is but I found
it on the side of the road in the industrial area of Seattle.
If you can picture sitting a rectangle (tank) over an oval of
steel and while the front and rear are all supported the corners
are not. I knew what I was doing when I filled up the tank (the
first time) that way but I was so paranoid about losing the fish
I just did it. I have since corrected this issue buy putting a
very nice piece of wood underneath to support those corners.
<OK. But do be aware that most woods will warp over time,
especially when subjected to the heat and moisture of an
Now that I have this big beautiful tank can I ever expected my
fish to get better?
<Yes, assuming water quality remains good.>
He eats regularly, his tail is mostly free of the blood streaks,
his eyes have just a very faint white spot with no more popping
in fact when I look at the Popeye pictures I saw via WetWeb well
he was never that bad.
<All sounds promising.>
The thing is he still sits in the corner tail bent over most the
time but when he swims he swims very fast. I know it's my
fault and I will probably need to just live with the disability I
may have caused but it is possible he will get better with time.
He still seems to swim very wonky like he's slightly
paralyzed on one side. I will be happy to send some photos if it
would help and if you have the time to advise.
<Fish can, do suffer from things like paralysis and strokes.
Just as with humans, they may get better on their own, or they
may not. There's not very much you can do beyond ensuring a
balanced diet and good water quality. Yes, a photo would
For my tank, I just put your standard ferny like plant in
<Java fern is good, but the "Umbrella Fern"
Selanginella wildenowii is not an aquatic fern and will die,
ruining water quality as it rots.>
and a rock I am told will add some alkaline to the water.
<Possibly, but as algae and bacteria cover the rock, this
effect will be reduced. Pretty pointless, really.>
The duck weed does not appear to be doing well which appears to
be the opposite of what I normally read about. I also made
sure to use all the same water from the ten gallon tank and the
rocks. Obviously I still have a lot to learn and am also looking
into getting a good book on goldfish/tank health.
<Hmm "looking into" should be a bit more positive.
You SHOULD own at least one good aquarium book. Used books on
Amazon cost pennies, so there's no real excuse not to have
one. See here for some ideas:
I would like to get more plants and maybe a little buddy for him
but should I wait until the tank is cycled (which I need to read
<Don't add any more fish until the present one is healthy.
As for plants, I'd get a clump of Indian Fern; it's a
floating species, very easy to grow, edible, and helps improve
Many thanks from all the way over here in Seattle.
<Glad to help. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: My Goldfish Butch.....update. 8/5/10
I hear you on the wood and am aware of it.
The fern I mentioned, I'm fairly sure is Hornwort but I will
also look for the Indian Fern as you mentioned and hold off on
<Hornwort is a fine alternative to Indian Fern, and a better
choice for unheated tanks in some ways. The only downside is that
Goldfish don't tend to eat it, so it doesn't provide the
extra fibre and vitamins that Indian Fern does. But still,
it's a great plant and a useful oxygenator if provided with
Last night he was more active than I have seen him in the 6
months. I checked the water at 6pm and my levels were: Nitrite
.25ppm, Nitrate 0ppm, Ammo .50ppm, PH 7.6 maybe slightly
<OK, the nitrite and ammonia aren't good, so there's a
good chance your filter isn't working properly. That you have
non-zero nitrite levels implies ammonia or chloramine in the tap
water aren't the key problems here. If you have zero nitrite,
but the same non-zero ammonia level in both tap water and
aquarium water, it's often a problem with your tap water
supply best handled through use of appropriate water
conditioners. If you have nitrite in the aquarium, that tends to
imply a biological filtration issue, since the nitrogen cycle is
clearing working part-way through.>
So I did a 25% to 30% water change and got the Ammo down to .25
an hour later.
I am confused as to letting the water cycle and changing it. Am I
correct that the water changes must continue while the tank is
<Yes. Indeed, it's essential, otherwise ammonia and
nitrite reach levels so high they stress the fish.>
I've read so much on WetWeb that after awhile (as I'm
sure you hear) it all starts to meld together.
<Well, yes, that can happen.>
What confuses is me is allowing the levels to spike and then
right themselves naturally and how that happens if you're
constantly changing the water.
<What you're aiming for is a balance between providing
ammonia and nitrite for the two kinds of bacteria, whilst also
keeping the ammonia and nitrite levels low enough they don't
harm your fish. You also need to remember
this: if you have fish in the aquarium, there's a constant
source of ammonia, and in turn of nitrite. So any ammonia or
nitrite you detect with your test kit is ammonia or nitrite *the
bacteria aren't using*. At that precise moment, it's
surplus, wastage, doing nothing but harming your fish.
You can dilute it without problems because there's more
ammonia and then nitrite coming along from the fish, like a
conveyor belt. In fact the more you dilute it, the better for
your fish. This is different to using a fishless cycling method
where you add, say, 5 mg/l ammonia at 8 AM in the morning and
that has to last the bacteria all day long until the next dose
the following morning. Fishless cycling methods are big daily
doses one at a time, while cycling with fish involves constant
supplies of much smaller amounts of ammonia. With me so far? In
other words, you can dilute the ammonia and nitrite in an
aquarium being cycled with fish as often as you want because
there's no set concentration of either you're trying to
maintain. Instead you're actually trying to remove whatever
ammonia and nitrite are surplus to requirements at that moment,
knowing full well that the fish will be producing more ammonia
all the time. An analogy might be this: giving someone a big
bottle of water to last them all day, or else
showing them where the tap is. The chap with the bottle of water
is carrying around a measurable number of pints he gets through
during the day. The chap using the tap doesn't need to carry
any water around because he has access to a constant supply. Just
so with ammonia. Fishless cycling is like the chap with the
bottle, and you need a measurable amount of ammonia in the water.
Cycling with fish is the chap with the tap, you don't need a
particular amount of ammonia in the water because there's a
constant supply from the fish.>
Can you clarify what I may have already read? Ugh do you ever get
tired of repeating yourself or is the re-education and the life
saving gratifying enough to slog through it day in and day out?
Fish must be your passion and now I understand why I (it's
more technical) have become a little obsessed myself.
<Fishkeeping really comes down to growing bacteria. Sounds
silly, but there it is. I guess like other microbial activities
like making wine, bread or cheese. Once you understand the
bacteria, everything else is comparatively
easy; if you don't get the bacteria right, keeping fish can
be a nightmare.
The good news is that once established bacteria are very hardy
and low-maintenance, and as engineers are learning all the time,
fantastically subtle and efficient. If you think about what your
filter is doing for maybe 4-5 watts of electricity, it's
I WILL GET a couple books instead of thinking about it, TODAY in
I will forward a couple pics tomorrow.
Keep up that attitude/passion Neale it's very refreshing.
<Glad you think so!>
<Good luck, Neale.>
Re: My Goldfish Butch.....update. [Bob, does this fish
look skinny/deformed to you?]<<Yes. Likely
genetic rather than developmental>> 8/5/10
Ok...now I see why I was so confused by what I read about the
And am I assuming correctly that you are not implying a failure
with the filter but that it's not yet seasoned so to
The wine and cheese analogy is very effective.
My only plan now is to get the levels correct for the fish and
with that said my pictures of Butch, who I now may be a female,
<He/she looks like he/she has a skeletal deformity. This is
not uncommon among fancy Goldfish. Can be related to diet, but is
more usually genetic.
He does look a trifle slender though; Bob is more of a Goldfish
person than me, so I'm asking him to chime in here. As/when
the filter kicks in properly and you have non-zero ammonia and
nitrite levels, you might up the
protein part of the diet a little, and let him/her bulk up a bit.
I don't think he's starving though, so that's not the
problem here. Just a bit on the svelte side for Carassius
He's still stressed but I'm still hoping for at least 10
more years of at the very least comfort. IF you notice anything
about my fish via the photo's please advise. You're the
<Shame my last g/f didn't think so!>
<Good luck, Neale.>
|Re: My Goldfish Butch.....update.
[Bob, does this fish look skinny/deformed to you?]
Neale, as woman who dates women don't you fret.
<Thanks to a 'fridge full of cheap white wine, I generally
It's very hard for females to deal with smart, exact, precise
forms of intelligence with all the messy, emotional minding reading
issues we have.
<I'm glad I didn't say that!>
The bigger issue could be REAL HONESTY. We claim to want it but
can't really handle it. I can but again I am not your average
<Oh gosh, I should tell you of a female friend of mine dating a
40-year-old man who I swear operates like a teenage girl.
Everything has to be talked about for hours, and the slightest
thing causes resentments that surface
weeks later. Makes no sense to me.>
As far as the diet he/she is now on veggie flake food in the
morning and around 6pm he/she gets 3 to 5 peas and blood worm.
<As I say, once the filter beds down, add some more protein-rich
stuff to his diet, perhaps goldfish flake in the morning, veggies
at night. Cheers, Neale.>
Swim Bladder Infection? Goldfish
My name is Dawn.
I have a 20gal. tank with a Marineland BioWheel 200. I had previously
had four comets in that tank but recently after much reading on your
site, donated them to a local botanical garden park where there are
many ponds with Koi and goldfish.
I figure this would be a better home for them than my twenty gallon (I
also didn't want to take them back to the pet shop so they could be
sold as feeders).
Back to the my question, I have one Fancy goldfish left (a Calico
Ryukin named Pepper). I adopted from the pet store (Petco) six to eight
weeks ago. The reason he was not sold to me because he has a swim
<Almost never really a swim bladder infection. It's worth
mentioning neither of my fish health manuals mention this disease. Have
you ever heard of KreislaufstÃƒÂ¶rung? It's
something Germans worry about endlessly, devoting huge amounts of time
to recuperating from, but it doesn't actually exist. Swim bladder
disease in fish is the same. Rather, it's a way aquarists (and
seemingly shopkeepers) describe fish that are, for one reason or
another, not swimming properly. Likely causes including constipation,
exposure to toxins, or systemic bacterial infections. But the swim
bladder itself is just an empty bag of air, and not very likely to
become inflamed or infected.>
I was in there one day looking for dog stuff and wandered over to the
fish department where I see this fish sitting on his tail. It is quite
comical. He sits like a Buddha and waddles when he swims vertically. He
did not seem to have any disease and looked clean. He is also a very
stronger swimmer given his condition. I found the store manager and
asked about the sitting goldfish and he said that the fish had been
that way for at least 6 months. No one would buy him because of his
sitting on his butt all day long.
The manage then told me that if I wanted him he would adopt him to me.
I went home to think about it and decided I'll check back in a week
to see if it is true the fish is "surviving" like this. Sure
enough, he was alive and seemingly healthy aside from the waddling back
and forth with his belly forward. I agreed to adopt him and took him
<Almost certainly, this fish is either constipated or deformed.
Fancy Goldfish are prone to problems with constipation because of their
deformed spines and distorted swim bladders, so even the slightest
blockage of the gut can cause all sorts of swimming problems. But
"belly sliders" are also common among farmed fish, especially
deformed ones like Fancy Goldfish. If the swim bladder is the wrong
shape, too small, or not properly inflated, the fish cannot swim in
After much research I found that he could have a tumor, genetic
abnormal growth, constipation, swim bladder infection, etc.
I have tried a fast of peas, medication (Melafix), changing his water
35% of water every other day, no pellet food, moth balls and other live
plants for him to munch on. I don't want to medication him too
aggressively and because from is strange swimming pattern he eats,
swims, rests, plays and pretty much is "normal", no sores to
pimples and even gets along with the comets when they were around.
<Indeed. Would take care not use anything abrasive on the bottom of
the tank though. Ideally, leave it bare, with black paper or something
underneath to limit reflections. Otherwise soft silica sand would be
ideal. Why? Because the scales at the bottom of a fish aren't meant
to support the weight of midwater fish, and they're easily abraded,
especially around the anus and fins. Damage can quickly become
infected, and that leads to sickness.>
The pet shop also tried treating him (with what they did not say/ or I
remember them saying) before adopting him to me. My water conditions
are Ammonia-0, Nitrate-0, Nitrite-0, PH-(I don't know but I use
Zehpirhills Spring water to change their water and nothing else)...
<Not all spring water is ideal. Unless you have soft water, then
ordinary hard tap water that has been dechlorinated is absolutely
I want him better
<Don't think that's going to happen...>
but I also have been running his water with an all natural no chemical
approach aside from putting marine salt
<Marine salt? Why?>
and plant food in there every water change. I would really appreciate
any suggestions. Thank you so much for your wealth of information. ( I
spend hours at work when it's slow reading your FAQS page. P.s:
sorry for grammatical mistakes I didn't catch.
<Hope this helps. Cheers, Neale.>
re: Swim Bladder Infection? 06/09/10
Hello again! Thank you for your response.
<Glad to help.>
As to the substrate, I have a combination of gravel (mostly pet shop
brand) they are smooth surfaced and larger than the small bits you
usually see with the generic blue gravel.
The Marine Salt I guess is overkill since I was afraid he would get
stressed out from my squishing around in his house every time I change
Also I have a few live plants, driftwood and rocks from Lake Malawi,
the rocks have algae on them and he like nibbling at that. Should I
throw a couple handfuls of sand in to line the bottom?
If so, how would I go about vacuuming and cleaning the tank to keep the
sand from falling through the gravel? I feed him anything from peas,
bloodworms, shrimp, seaweed, and as I mentioned before all the
are live plants. I also have another question, I have the Marineland
BioWheel 200 (turnover 200/hr). Is that too many current for a 20gal.
<It's a lot, yes. For Fancy Goldfish, turnover rates 6-8 times
the volume of the tank per hour is about right, towards the lower end
if the fish can't swim well. But if there aren't any obvious
problems, I wouldn't worry.>
I also just bought a Fluval U3 (turnover 160/hr if I can recall) and is
planning to put it into a new 40gal. tank with the BioWheel along with
a Pleco and two more fancies. Are my aspirations obtainable?
<For a 40 gallon tank, you want a cumulative filtration rate (i.e.,
with one or both filters attached) of a total of 6 x 40 to 8 x 40
gallons per hour, i.e., 240 to 320 gallons per hour.>
Since I have read on the sight that for goldfish the turnover rate
needs to me 6-8 times the volume of the tank. However even with the
BioWheel 200 for the 20 gal I find that if I don't change the water
every other day the
ammonia goes up.
<Do check the filter is [a] set up properly and [b] has lots of
biological media. Don't waste space with Zeolite or carbon for
example. Really all you want are sponges and/or ceramic
(I secretly wonder if my mother is feeding them when I am not
I work full time and go to school. I also have a golden retriever that
needs just as much care and attention. So if there's any way to
limit water changes to just once a week or less I would be more than
overjoyed to learn about. Thank you again Crew for all that you do. I
appreciate you spending the time to answer my questions.
<Happy to help. Cheers, Neale.>
re: Swim Bladder Infection? 06/09/10
WHOOPS! not saltwater aquarium salt- freshwater salt. Haha you must
think I'm trying to kill my poor fish. I use the Aqi freshwater
salt (1 table/5 gal?)
<Likely does little good or little harm.
Freshwater salt doesn't raise the pH and hardness, which is
something Goldfish appreciate. On the other hand, Goldfish tolerate
sodium chloride quite well, so small amounts of what is basically
cooking salt won't harm them.
AHHHH! NEALLLLEE!!!!!!!! -Pepper is
playing dead and my blood pressure can't take this!
Hello again Neale,
(I do SINCERELY apologize for writing you again so soon)
I have a few questions (still reading the web site everyday) just to
make sure I've carried/carrying out the correct procedures. I'm
not too confidant on my diagnoses of what's going on yet also as
far as tank size I am 99% sure I am doing everything correctly.
Researched, water change, water tests, 2 filters, vacuum, nutrition,
water conditioner, temperature, live plants, love, attention, not to
mention gooey talk....
I got home from school today and Pepper (the one we decided had a
genetic problem with his swim bladder and is waddling around the tank
discombobulated) was upside down suspended like he had croaked and went
fish paradise. My heart stopped and when I dashed to the tank he
"woke" and acted as if nothing was the matter.
I am waiting a couple of hours for the water I conditioned yesterday to
hit the 24hr. mark so I can do a water change. Do you think I should do
25, 30, or 50 percent?
<Unless there's a good reason to do otherwise, I'd stick
with 25% on any one day.>
I did a water change yesterday (about 30%) I didn't fill it up as
much as I usually do because I ran out of water that I know for sure is
safe and conditioned. There is about 3-4 inches left from water surface
to the rim of the tank. I also took out one of two 10gal. Aqueon (older
filters from another tank) filter and put in a Fluval C2 (119g/h
turnover rate and it can a flow adjuster that I turned to min. so that
the fish wouldn't be tossed around and there would be less chance
of saturation in the small tank- 20gal.).
I rinsed out all new media before putting it into the filter and onto
the tank. I just did a water test Ammonia -.50 (high, thus the water
change is a bit),
<Yes, but would still only change 25%, or at most 25% twice during
the day, with at least 3 hours between the two water changes.>
Nitrite- 0, PH 8.2 (from tap but I'm leery about messing with it
and also the fish have not yet seem to be bothered),
<A pH of 8.2 is fine. Goldfish are MUCH happier with high pH levels
than low pH levels. In ponds, pH can go up to around 9!>
Nitrate- 0. This is test results from 5 min. ago. I fed them this
morning with cooked lettuce and peas mixed together.
Yesterday they had a veggie frozen food mix. The day before that they
had blood warms and Omega One goldfish flakes. I've been doing 2
water changes a week and have been keeping the older filters in until I
(yesterday) then I switched the filter to the biggest size possible and
am planning on leaving the smaller older one on with ammonia removers
in it only until I get a bigger tank.
<Any filter media that says it is an "ammonia remover" is
Zeolite. This is not what you want here. Zeolite is for hospital tanks.
It needs to be constantly replaced and/or recharged. Even in a small
aquarium with tiny fish it's expensive to use compared to
biological media. Instead, focus on having mature biological filter
media: sponges and ceramic noodles. Don't waste your time with
Zeolite or carbon.>
I use NutraFin AquaPlus to condition the tap water (both chlorine and
chloramine). However the gallons of water that leave out for more than
a week start to turn green (the water).
I figured that since I leave them outside the sun has something to do
with algae growth???
I used it because I figured that algae (green) is healthy.
<Well, yes, up to a point.>
This is also yesterday. I was going to write you and ask about it but I
didn't want to abuse my privileges and know that other people with
dying fish need your time.
<Not a problem.>
I also read WWM everyday like I said so I thought I could eventually
find something that pertains to the issue of green conditioned water. I
don't know if this is a big factor. (I am wondering if I should
test the green water. Stupid me I should have.)
<It's really not a huge factor. Any reason you can't use the
conditioner on fresh tap water? If you have hard, basic water out of
the tap, then simply adding water conditioner should make it INSTANTLY
suitable for use in aquaria.>
I hose off the feces and junk stuff from the filters with the garden
<Whoa! Treat live biological media like you would a fish. It's
JUST as sensitive to changes in water chemistry and temperature. Much
better to empty water from the aquarium into a bucket, place the filter
media in there, squeeze or rinse the media to clean it, and then put it
back in the filter. It doesn't need to be spotlessly clean. If you
want to thoroughly clean the filter media, then clean just 50% of the
media every 6 weeks by rinsing it under a lukewarm (aquarium
temperature) tap in the kitchen.>
I also read on the site that this is not a good thing to do that I
should rinse it with old aquarium water instead but I stopped doing
that because it was not getting cleaned and there is A LOT of gunk on
the filter anyhow (filter works with the gunk I check every time I do a
water change by the way). Did I goof up here?
<Yes. Do read about rinsing media under the tap, above. That's
what I do. The chlorine won't kill all the bacteria, and provided
you're only cleaning HALF the media that way, the remaining half
will quickly make good any damage.>
I let everything sit out and dry off
<Argh! No NO NOOOO! Drying = dead bacteria!>
before I put it back into the filter. I don't know what
Pepper's issue is.
All I've read indicates that most "wobbling and upside down
scare your provider to death" types of behavior is water related.
I am changing the water twice a week (even though you told me once is
ample but I still saw ammonia on my tests so off go and change the
water every time I find ammonia)
<Yes, but ammonia is NOTHING to do with water changes. Ammonia is
about poor filtration. You're abusing your bacteria terribly!
Bacteria are our friends. We have to be nice to them. We depend on
them. The art of keeping fish is the science of keeping bacteria alive.
Get that right, and everything else is easy.>
His fins are raised, the other two (Mandy and Cane) are doing good and
seen healthy. Nothing that indicates parasite, fungus, ich, etc.. They
swim and eat and beg for food. It is just today that this new symptom
occurred and I am besides myself. If I forgot to mention it I also
vacuumed the gravel yesterday but I will just do a water change
<Again, go easy with the gravel. A good stir and siphon to suck out
any detritus is fine. But don't wash it with soapy water or
anything like that.>
If there are any details I've left out please let me know. If you
don't remember me I will gladly send the last messages back so that
you can do a review. (it's Dawn, the one that offered to buy you a
round -I did and I
hope you got it-)
<Yes, thank you.>
Could this be the "end point" for his deformity? I don't
know and don't know where to start. Would it be more humane to
euthanise? I don't know if I can even do that without breaking my
heart. GOOD GRIEF
<I suspect it's a filtration rather than fish effort.>
Thank You so much again for your time and effort! I am anxiously
awaiting your reply.
<Happy to help. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: AHHHH! NEALLLLEE!!!!!!!! -Pepper is playing dead and my
blood pressure can't take this!
<Hello again Dawn,>
Pepper is really a Super Trooper, he's still so perky after all the
abuse I've inflicted on him. I think I'm going to change his
name to RamRod.
Gooey talk = baby talk- "Good morning my fine flippered
I woke up this morning and he was back to his normal dork self. He was
sitting in the middle of the tank with his back to me so I am relieved.
I'm sure if he could talk he would have a few choice words for me.
The filter media I used before switching to the Fluval C2 was the kind
with the felt squares that is shaped like a pocket and hold a
tablespoonful of carbon (which I'm sure by now no longer
<Indeed not. Carbon has a working lifespan of about 1-2 weeks, after
which it's essentially just biological media. It's actually not
bad biological media at all, but there's a slight risk that toxins
it absorbs can be leached back out again, so it's generally not
used as biological media.>
It has plastic around the edges to keep everything intact. The felt
material is really hard to clean without rubbing or "pressure
washing" if you will that's way I've been hosing it
<Your filter should have some sort of pre-filter, typically a white
pad of some sort. This is meant to trap solid waste, and is essentially
disposable, though you can aggressively clean it under hot water if you
want. If you're getting solid waste on the biological media you
can't rinse out, then you don't have a pre-filter, or
aren't cleaning the filter often enough.>
After work today I am going to stop at a couple of LFS to try and find
some. The Fluval has a sponge in it but I'm going to get extras.
(Any suggestions on brand names and what to look for as for a quality
<All much of a muchness. The best value is usually ceramic noodles
for biological filtration, plus a sponge or pad for the pre filter. But
with some filters you may be locked into certain
The tap water I use for the fish I condition at least 24hrs. Last time
I attempted to use it right away it didn't turn out too good.
After the last time we talk I chucked the plant that didn't belong
and now just have a couple in there. The rocks have algae on them and
the water is always clear!
(I was proud of this because I thought I was doing all the right things
to keep a good environment for them since there's 3 waste producers
of dynamic proportions in a small tank. However, I think I've been
doing too good of a
I have a couple of little questions. I notice that RamRod have been
poop stringy clear poop occasionally. His poop has always been
irregular, but I thought it was because of his condition. Like I've
said he is active and seems healthy.
<Goldfish are herbivores; they produce a LOT of faeces. Unless the
strings are really long, or consistently white and mucousy, I'd not
be too concerned.>
One of the other fish, the Red Cap Oranda, developed a black line above
his upper lip nowhere else. It looks like a mustache. (He looked like a
Frenchmen.) It has since started to disappear. I'm real curious if
it's color change or if he injured himself.
<May be either. Again, unless there's obvious signs of
infection, wouldn't worry.>
Thank you Neale you've been so much help. I'm going to get you
another round as soon as I get paid again! :))))
<Very kind of you.>
Also will it be alright with you if I write you once I am in the
process of upgrading to the bigger tank?
I wont need a lot of help I just need a trusted source of reassurance
just in case I hit a bump and am in doubt to what to do (and can't
find answers). I promise I wont write for every little thing! I just
want someone (like my Professor) to check my work and grade my progress
that I know I can trust.
<By all means do so. But do also introduce yourself to Lynn and the
others over the WetWebMedia forum. Sometimes, it's nice to chat
with others and share photos, ideas, and get feedback. We're always
happy to provide advice here at the FAQ, but I certainly enjoy spending
time on fish forums, too.>
If not I completely understand. :) Thank you again I really appreciate
your help. (RamRod too).
re: AHHHH! NEALLLLEE!!!!!!!! -Pepper is playing dead and my blood
pressure can't take this!
Oh! I forgot one more thing- is there a way to tell how long
RamRod's life span will be because of his handicap?
<Not really. But fancy Goldfish can comfortably live for at least 10
years, and 15 years is far from unusual. Standard Goldfish usually live
for longer though, typically 15-20 years. Simply being
"disabled" should dramatically alter longevity assuming the
fish can eat easily and avoid being bullied by other fish.>
I want him to have the most comfortable and carefree life for as long
<Indeed, why not!>
I've researched how big they can get and I want him to have that
chance like all the other kids.
I'm think about putting a handicap sign sticker on the tank and
starting a goldfish rescue and education organization in my area. Like
WWM. What do you think?
<Oh boy, I think that's a great idea, but where to begin!
There's a lot to be said about simply educating those around you.
Helping out those with pet fish, and in particular educating those
*thinking* about buying a pet fish.
Goldfish are wonderful pets in so many ways, with an aristocratic
pedigree going back to the Chinese emperors, and yet we tend to treat
them like they are disposable freebies. Anyway, you might start by
seeing if there's a fish club in your city or state. There are pet
rescue agencies and volunteers who specialise in fish, and again, these
might be worth contacting. Sometimes even the little things can help:
adding a section about what you've discovered about your pets on
your Facebook page for example can get ideas across to people who'd
never dream about picking up an aquarium book. So there are lots of
things you might consider. Cheers, Neale.>
Goldfish with Congenital Birth Defects
I spoke to you all a year ago about the interactive 55 gallon goldfish
tank that I manage at my elementary school.
<Well then, hello again!>
It contains three fancy goldfish, a redcap Oranda (Wanda), a red
(Hairy) and a calico fantail (Cosmo).
There are also a few fancy guppies and nine White Cloud Mountain Tetras
and a Pleco.
<The Plec and the Guppies are tropical fish, so I hope this aquarium
has a heater.>
The tank is planted with Anacris (sp?) and I do a 25% water
change/vacuum weekly. All of the fish are very healthy, happy and
active. The goldfish are about 2-3 years old and growing nicely except
for the Calico Cosmo who, I noticed when I first got him into the tank,
seems to have a deformed gill plate on one side.
He always has to swim harder and his breathing is a little more rapid.
I hypothesized that the deformed gill plate is the cause of his lack of
<Damage to the operculum makes the gill lamella more vulnerable to
damage and perhaps parasitic infection. But the key thing is that
without the operculum the fish cannot create the same amount of suction
inside the gill chamber, so the fish will have to work harder to push
water through its gills. So if the aquarium gets too warm, or is
overstocked, or has poor water circulation, lack of oxygen will stress
this fish before it affects the other Goldfish.>
On Friday, while doing the water change, I noticed that Cosmo was
swimming frantically, and spinning, and ending upside down at the top.
It was a holiday weekend coming up and I contemplated euthanasia so no
find him dead on Tuesday morning before I got in.
But he is very cute and I just couldn't. So I moved him to our ten
gallon hospital tank after putting in a teaspoon of salt. I added plant
material to the tank and wished him well. Today he is still alive.
Equilibrium seems stable but he is sitting listlessly at the bottom of
the tank until someone walks up. (He might just be bored since the
other tank is VERY active.) I feed veggie-based sinking pellets and
parboiled spinach and peas in addition to the plants in the tank.
My question is this. We are going on Summer Break and I am here only
once a week for my water change. Last Summer the fish were fine on this
schedule, but is there anything else that I am missing that will help
<Very little, to be honest. Goldfish aren't happy kept alone,
but a struggling fish is at risk of being pecked at by minnows and
guppies, so there's a risk in mixing them. If the fish recovers and
seems happy enough, you could reintroduce him to the community and see
what happens -- these are social fish and DO NOT like being on their
(besides take him home with me)
"Learn Something Everyday!"
<Sorry I can't offer any magical solutions here. Cheers,
GF, mysterious losses -
I have three 2-inch Ryukin goldfish in a 46 gallon tank. The tank has a
Marineland Penguin 100 double Biowheel filter. The tank's
biological filter is mature: Ammonia = 0; Nitrate = 0; Nitrite = 0;
Chlorine = 0; pH = 7.1 or 7.2; Alkalinity = 40; and Hardness = 50. I
have an aa-aquarium UV sterilizer. I have a bubble bar and an air
stone. Temperature is maintained between 74 and 76 degrees F. The fish
are fed a varied diet of Nutrafin goldfish pellets, blanched, shelled
peas, and occasional pre-soaked flake food.
<I'd feed more green material... perhaps have some
Anacharis/Egeria present for this purpose>
All new fish are quarantined in a fully-cycled 10 gallon tank with
comparable water parameters, bio-wheel filtration, UV sterilization,
and aeration with a bubble stone. They are quarantined for 1-2 weeks
depending on observed behavior and symptoms. They are treated with
PraziPro and Medigold before being introduced into the 46 gallon tank.
When a fish shows indications of disease, they are quarantined, fed
Medigold and/or treated with PraziPro or a salt bath, based on observed
symptoms. I am writing because my fish do not live more than six
I don't know what I am doing wrong. Any advice would be
appreciated. Additionally, if you know of any aquatic veterinarians who
treat goldfish in the Northern Virginia area, please let me know. Thank
you. Sincerely, Goldfish Mom
<Mmm... I suspect the quality of the goldfish may be a factor here.
Many goldfish are genetically "weak"... I'd look for a
specialty breeder, importer; for your excellent protocol and system. Do
read here re:
Re: Goldfish sel. 4/19/10
Thank you, Bob. I appreciate you getting back to me so soon! Do you
recommend any particular breeders?
<Gosh, it's been so long since I've been involved in the
trade... though I do keep fancies myself... I suggest contacting folks
through the GSA: http://www.goldfishsociety.org/
and asking them re breeders that may be in your
"neighborhood". Cheers, BobF>
Mystery goldfish illness
Dear WWM crew,
I have a sick goldfish and I don't know what, if anything, I can do
to help it.
The fish is in a heavily planted 220 litre tank with two other small
goldfish (2 and 3 inches, the sick one is about 4 inches in body
length), several white clouds, several zebra Danios, 6 Corydoras panda
on the bottom, 5 Siamese algae eaters (Crossocheilus siamensis) and
some "algae eating" shrimp.
The tank is filtered by a Fluval 305, lit with 2 39W T5 bulbs, and
stays consistently at 24-25 degrees (I have heaters set to 24, but they
rarely turn on, through summer the temperature is unavoidably higher
than this some of the time).
<I'd leave turned on... will only actuate (thermostatically) if
the temp. drops>
The water chemistry is consistently as follows (tested with API test
- ammonia - 0
- nitrite - 0
- nitrate - 15-20ppm
- PH 7.0 to 7.2
- KH 5
- GH 6
I change 10-20% of the water weekly, this seems to keep the nitrate
level stable without my needing to use too much water for water changes
(drought here in south-eastern Australia)
I notice no aggression in the tank other than sometimes the SAEs chase
The fish are fed a mixture of Hikari sinking pellets, goldfish pellets
and flake, plus the goldfish eat the plants and the SAEs and shrimp eat
The sick fish has no symptoms other than it is getting caught in the
plants, or wedged into spaces between the wood and the side of the
tank. So I guess that it is swimming weakly and/or has swim bladder
problems causing it to be unbalanced in the water. When still it does
seem to be sitting a bit "nose up" in the water compared to
usual. There are no external symptoms at all.
The fish has been like this for several weeks now. I expected it to die
soon after I first noticed it was sick, but it hasn't. I have moved
it into a large breeding net inside the tank, which allow some swimming
space but not a lot. The fish is forced to rest and can't get
caught anywhere, but it can still see its mates (and indeed the other
goldfish are pretty much constantly hanging around by the sick one in
its pen) and has the filtered water. I could put it into a quarantine
tank, but the largest I have is only 20 litres and I am not certain
that this would be better: it would be more swimming space but no
socialisation and possibly worse filtration.
<Good points, reasoning. I would not move this fish either>
I am, however, worrying that the lack of exercise it is now getting
will be making it sicker. Every few days I let it out of the
"pen" for a while but it invariably ends up stuck in the
plants at the bottom of the tank after a short time, so I don't
think that's very helpful.
Lacking any specific symptoms (and also given that we don't have
access to a very good range of medications here in Australia), I have
not medicated at all.
<Good. I wouldn't>
I am certainly starting to think that euthanasia may be the best
alternative for this fish, but I don't want to give up just yet. Do
you have any suggestions for anything else I could do other than what I
<Actually, no. I suspect this one fish is "just genetically
gimpy"... It will either rally or not. I would do as you have...
and try to be patient>
Thanks very much,
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: mystery goldfish illness
Thanks very much Bob, I appreciate your advice.
Just to clarify: the two heaters are plugged in all the time, but since
the tank basically runs at 24 degrees unless it is unusually cold or
hot in the room, the heaters rarely turn on.
I only have them there to keep the temp from dropping below the level
the lights/filter heat the water to anyway.
I wish I could justify the expense of a cooler, to stop the tank
getting too hot in the height of summer, but that's just too
expensive, and the fish seem to be OK with it anyway, for a few days at
<Actually, have seen, had fancy goldfish that were kept in systems
that the water temp. seasonally was in the 90's F.... With
sufficient space, circulation, aeration, not a worry>
It is certainly possible that this goldfish is genetically weak, since
I bought it for all of about $3 in a pet shop at the start of my
fishkeeping career (along with a 40 litre tank for 3 goldfish,
don't comment, I know so much better
now - the moral is do your research before buying the animal!)
<Always a good idea... and though it is only a guess on my part...
there are MANY such instances of poor heritable characteristics in this
ever-popular cross, as well as several other popular aquarium fishes
that have been "line bred" for too many generations>
<Life to you my friend. BobF>
Bowl obstruction ? 1/24/10
My name is Susan and Ive been using your website for several
years for guidance for my two goldfish (Curly & Larry I think
Moe died from a dislocated jaw, too much banging around in too
small of a tank several years ago poor thing
could only open his mouth if I squeezed his head and no gravel
was found in it). My two remaining goldfish are about 5years old
and the live with an algae eater; Doe Doe, who is about six
months younger. Currently they are living in a 55 gallon long-
tank and have the Rena Filstar XP3 filter system. My goldfish
were won at a carnival, so they are standard comets.
<Heeee! This is how many of use got started in the
About 2+ years ago my one goldfish started having a difficulty
passing stools. Looking back I cringe at my ignorance,
overfeeding them with flaked food whenever they seemed hungry, so
they are quite large. I cant fit my entire hand around their
girth. The past year or so the goldfish mostly live off oats
(green peas binds Larry up too much) and other green veggies do
also. Occasionally he steals the DoeDoes algae wafer and then its
bottoms up for 24 hours or so. Over time I noticed his abdomen is
lopsided, jutting out sharply on his back right end, it almost
looks like he has a permanent wrinkle.
<Yes. Appears that part of the musculature is missing>
Sometimes his side becomes so swollen his scales in the area
appear to hemorrhage like their being pulled off. It doesnt look
anything like dropsy. The attitudes of the fish are all fine,
happy, active and hungry all the time. Occasionally Larry will
sit on the bottom of the tank for several days or fight to stay
horizontal, but hes always social. I attribute some of this
problem to his size and the swim bladder not being able to adapt
to the body size, however Curly doesnt have the problem and Curly
is slightly larger.
Now I just try to keep Larry as comfortable as possible without
Im hoping you have some insight to his odd torso shape.
<I'd keep doing what you're doing. I suspect the
deformity here is borne of genetic expression, perhaps cancer at
some stage... but in any case, "not curable". Bob
Goldfish has bulged eyes
Hey I have had help with my fish so I was wondering about some goldfish
that we have gotten & 1 has its eyes bulged out of his head. The
rest of the goldfish do not have this. Is this a disease that I need to
get taken care of?
<Mmm, likely not... Most probably an expression of genetic
variability... IF pathogenic, likely all others would be similarly
& do I need to separate it form the others.
<No need to separate, but would like you to review the needs, esp.
environment and nutrition of this animal. Read here:
and the linked files above. Plus, do send along a clear image if you
Angels on your pillows, Judy
<Maybe if they're cute. Bob Fenner>
Black Moor eye missing I have
read the posting about the black moor fish with no eyes but I still
need to ask about it. I have a 125 gallon tank mainly small goldfish
with three small black moors, one small koi one pleco two very small
Bala sharks and two larger channel catfish (against my better judgment)
<Agreed!> Total of 28 fish. I love my black moor fish and it is
so responsive seems very smart! Today I went to feed the fish and I
noticed one of the black moors eyes are missing! I am so upset! Are
they prone to this happening or was this a predatory act? <Since
their eyes are "popped" out of their head, it wouldn't
take much for them to lose one, either to a predator, or even bumping
into something.> I of course am wanting to blame it on the catfish
but they aren't chasing anyone or anything like that. I am ready to
flush them if they are responsible but I can't tell what happened!
<Please don't consider anything as cruel as flushing a living
creature. Never mind the horrible death it could suffer, if it lived,
it may grow into a very large predator that was not meant to survive in
the lake or stream it winds up in, disturbing the ecological balance
around it. Just return them to a LFS.> Please help me! Does this
happen with black moors often? Should I separate the black moor or
should I take out the catfish. Are they likely to attack others in the
tank. Please help I am so upset I am rambling but I need some advice!
<Goldfish with deformities like popped eyes, celestial eyes or
bubble eyes are best kept together. They are not as strong swimmers,
nor can they see as well as "normal" goldfish. He should be
able to live out his life just fine w/one eye.> Thanks Janet
Upside down goldfish Hi! I don't know if you've
addressed this problem in your sight before but my goldfish has been
acting very strangely. There are two that are swimming upside down and
I don't know why. They always stay at the surface of the tank. At
first we thought it was cold so we put a heating generator in the water
for it to warm up because the weather was turning colder. The fish are
literally in a vertical position swimming around the tank as though
there was nothing wrong. I'm afraid something may be happening to
them. Could you please tell me what's wrong? Anna Doan. <Yes...
this "syndrome" is borne of two circumstances, genetics and
diet... some goldfish varieties have been bred over generations such
that they easily lose orientation... especially in face of being fed
too much in the way of "dried foods"... At any length there
is some discussion of this archived on the www.WetWebMedia.com site on
the Freshwater subweb, under Goldfish Disease (many FAQs and Disease
article on them). Your fish will likely respond positively to being
treated with Epsom salt, a change in diet, possibly the addition of
some palatable green plants (like Egeria/Anacharis), and maybe the
lowering of the water level in their system. Please see WWM re. Bob
Goldfish With Malformed Mouth Hi, You seem to be able to
offer a lot of sensible advice to people and I wonder if you can offer
any thoughts on my situation? I was given 3 goldfish and a couple of
minnows (I think) and a small plec which were all living very happily
together before I got them and have continued to do well. However, I
noticed at the time that the smallest goldfish actually has a malformed
mouth and struggles to eat very much. Over time, this appears to have
worsened to the point where it is struggling to breathe and eat at all.
It is noticeably smaller than the others and swims manically to try and
get water moving through the small hole it now has, bless. Other than
that, the remaining fish are all very healthy, have fun winding the
plec up from time to time and are keen to eat (and poo everywhere!). I
change around 40-50% of the water weekly, and I'm sad that the
above problem is manifesting after a lot of care and attention to
ensure their survival and happiness. If you have any ideas, I would be
pleased to hear, but I think deep down there's nothing I can really
do. Many thanks, Gavin <<Dear Gavin; I must agree, there
isn't much you can do. You seem to be taking great care of them
otherwise, so keep up the good work. One thing you can do is buy
yourself some test kits. Ammonia should always read zero, nitrites also
should read zero, and try to keep your nitrates low by continuing your
weekly water changes. And remember, you can't win em all! Best
Sick Goldfish... environmental/nutritional We have two Lion
Head Goldfish. One is white with a red head, and the other is all red.
We noticed odd behavior in the white one, when it would float belly up
all the time. <This is a problem with it's swim bladder. The
fish can not keep neutrally buoyant.> We cleaned the aquarium, fed
it peas, and gave it medicine. That problem seems to have ceased, but
now, the same fish will just kind of lay on the bottom of the tank in a
corner. <A fish with swim bladder problems will either be floating
or sitting at the bottom since it has difficulty keeping himself even.
With a fish like this It's best to feed it sinking pellets so that
it will not swim to the surface and ingest air... Which will only
hinder it's buoyancy more. The problem is most likely a physical
one rather than medical. Goldfish have been breed with such unnatural
body shapes that many fish have swim bladders that are not balanced
with it's bodies shape. This fish will most likely need extra
attention all it's life.> We have other fish in the aquarium,
and whenever the white one goes to the corner, the other fish will kind
of check it out to see what it is doing. <That's a goldfish
trait... They always swim over and inspect fish that are floating or
sinking. Sadly the fish do it to see if the other fish is edible.
goldfish have no problems eating other dead goldfish.> I don't
know if it is laying eggs or what. Also, it looks as though one of its
tail fins is bent. What is going on with this fish??? <You would see
male goldfish chasing female goldfish before the fish would be laying
eggs. It's quite noticeable action. If you would like to learn more
on breeding goldfish there are many sites and books devoted to it. A
good starting point is www.goldfishinfo.com. As well as going to you
local bookstore/library and looking through the books. The bend fine is
most likely from the fish bumping into things. If it's not to badly
damaged the fin might regrow back to what it was before.> Blessings,
Lee Butler-Brown <Good luck with the fish -Magnus>
Goldfish with dissimilar size eyes Hi! my name is Karen I
have a question concerning a bubble eye goldfish, he is in a tank with
3 other goldfish. we have had him for about 5 months and today his one
eye as in the pupil is a lot smaller than the other? Is this a genetic
thing? can that happen over night? the eye sacs are still the same
size? < I suspect that your goldfish is blind in that eye. Sometimes
in is genetic. Other times it may have been damaged during handling.
Run a net by your fish on that side and see if he responds. There is no
way to reverse the damage.-Chuck>
Panda Oranda Hi guys, <Liam> Thanks for the help
you've given me in the past, and now onto business ;-) I have a
query from a colleague of mine: He has a Panda Oranda which is mainly
white, with brownish patches. Recently he has noticed that the head and
tail of the fish are turning a yellowish colour. The fish seems happy
enough, swimming ok, eating etc etc. No obvious signs of disease on any
of the other fish in the tank and ammonium/nitrate/nitrite levels are
negligible. The fish is being fed a regular flake mixture. <I would
expand this fish's diet... not feed it exclusively on
dried-prepared foods... Please see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshfdgfaqs.htm
> My immediate reaction was that it was probably a natural colour
change, but any help would be most appreciated. Thanks! Liam <Is
very likely as you state, a genetic unfolding... though color, health
could/would be improved with a broader diet, close care as to water
quality. Bob Fenner>
Orandas with impaired equilibrium Dear Mr. Fenner,
<Kim> I have had 2 Orandas in a 55 gallon aquarium by themselves
for the past 2 years. All has been great with water changes weekly and
all ammonia , pH , nitrate levels correct. About one month ago my one
large Oranda started swimming upside down and had trouble righting
herself. She now stays at the top of the tank upside down. My second
Oranda about 2 weeks ago almost stopped eating entirely and has lost a
lot of weight. I have tried an all vegetable diet, peas, green beans,
etc. but to no avail there has been no improvement with either one of
them. I have tried the over the counter medications from the LFS for
swim bladder disease but this has not helped either. <They almost
never do> I have also tried the Epsom salts in the tank. Is there
anything else I can do? I do not want to lose them and I really need
help. Thanks, Kim <This condition is truly a heartbreaker... and
all-too-common in "roundish" breeds of goldfishes... The best
one can do is to prevent such by good maintenance and avoidance of
exclusively dried food diets... once the condition occurs, placing the
affected specimens in shallow water (still filtered...) adding Epsom
Salt, waiting and keeping trying foods is about all one can do as far
as I'm aware. Once the fish/s loose enough body fat, they often do
right themselves. Bob Fenner>
Goldfish zit We have several varieties of goldfish in a 35
gallon tank. One of the fish has developed a hole in the top of his
head with white stuff hanging out. It looks like a big zit. He is not
acting weird. He is eating and active. Please let me know what you
think this could be and what we need to do to treat. Thanks, Jeri
<Could be "nothing"... the expression of a genetic,
developmental order... or an (environmental) manifestation... I take it
you have adequate filtration, nutrition, do regular water changes...
have some water quality test gear... that all is in order there... If
so, I would not worry, or add anything to the water to effect a
change... will likely "clear of its own accord". Please read
and the linked files at top, if you would like other related input. Bob
New Print and
eBook on Amazon
What it takes to keep goldfish healthy long-term
by Robert (Bob) Fenner