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FAQs About Goldfish Disease/Health 36

Related Articles: Goldfish Systems, Goldfish Disease, GoldfishGoldfish Varieties Koi/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 37, Goldfish Health 38, Goldfish Disease 39, Goldfish Disease 40, Goldfish Disease 41,

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)
Eye Troubles
Lumps/Bumps/Growths (including idiopathic tumors)
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

Help with a bottom crawling Fancy Oranda... Env., nutr. dis.   11/14/07 Our 1 1/2 year old fan tail Oranda has been on the bottom of our #30 gallon tank for over a month now. It's eating well & does get excited upon feeding, but the least bit of exertion leaves it gasping for breath. The body is 3" long with a very long white tail. It normally eats goldfish pellets that has been soaked overnight in some of their water <... needs, needed more than this> We have recently moved it to a 3 gallon tank to feed solely medicated food. That would be Jungle brand "Anti Bacteria Medicated food for internal/external bacterial infections" <Not of use here> It has been 3 days on it and continues to eat well. Our Pond Care master test kit shows this tonight; Ammonia- 0 parts per million Nitrites- .25 mg. per liter <Must be zero> Ph- 6.5 (a bit soft) <Okay> Salt - nothing registers (we use 1/2 Tbsp. of aquarium salt per 5 gallons when we fill with reverse osmosis water) We do a 10-15 gallon water change weekly in the tank it shares with a black moor and a lionheaded goldfish. <Need more room...> My concern is that it may be hemorrhagic as I can see red streaks down the length of the tail. <But what is the net, a priori cause? Environment and nutrition> Maybe this is normal, but I see no other remarkable signs and after reading this web site for several days I don't find a clear answer. It is walking on it's fins, but we see no damage as of yet. Are we on the right track? We very much value your web site and opinions, and thank you for your help. Debra <Your goldfish need a larger world and better nutrition. These issues are touched on, restated, over and over on WWM's postings re. Bob Fenner>
Re: Help with a bottom crawling Fancy Oranda... reading  -11/14/07
Thank you Bob. <Welcome my friend> We sure thought the standard for goldfish was 10 gallons each <Mmm, no... with fancies or not... a good fifteen, twenty, even thirty gallons is needed with size> and with the weekly 30% water change the tank stays very clean. <I do like this percentage, interval. Is about what I do with my goldfishes> My only other question now is should I abandon this course of medication? I can't find "super sulfra" <Sulfa> locally, but if you advise to proceed with a course of treatment in addition to making the changes you recommended I'll try to find it on-line. Debra <I would not use the Sulfa or any other drug. Will not help, I assure you. It is possible that this damage will abate in time... with the feeding of low protein food... per what is posted. The cause/s, "cures" are the same as here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshmalnut.htm BobF>

Constipated Comet?  11/12/07 Hello WWM crew, <Paul> I am wondering if you could help me with regard to a sick comet that I have. I had this very same problem almost one year ago and I sent a similar email to you at that time (it's in the archives-Jan 19/07). Unfortunately, back in January, my comet died, and I now find another fish, which looks almost identical to the previous one, experiencing the same symptoms. I would very much like to prevent this from happening again. If you have any suggestions, I would appreciate it. Here is the information... I have 5 goldfish (Pondfish) that were moved indoors about two weeks ago. <Mmm, what was the temp. about this time?> They are being housed in a 70 gallon tank, complete with a Fluval canister filter. The water was moved from outdoors and is cycled. <Good> PH is 7.4, ammonia 0, nitrites 0, and nitrates currently 0. There are no live plants and temp is 68 degrees. I do 10% water changes (dechlorinated) every 7 days. Oxygen levels are very good. One week ago, one of my comets began to swim sideways at the top. Determined to help out, I decided to add .3% sea salt (1% every 12 hours, three times). Not knowing what parasites I may have introduced from outside, I decided that the salt remedy would be a good idea. My intention is to leave the water at .3% for 14 days and then dilute slowly from there. <Good plan> Anyhow, the gold comet seems fine now, but unfortunately, the large white/orange comet (7") now sits at the bottom of the tank, He has been doing this for about 3-4 days now and only comes up periodically to angrily gulp once or twice at the surface and then quickly sinks back to the bottom. He does come up to feed, but again sinks afterwards. He appears to be weakening. This behavior is almost identical to what my previously sick did almost a year ago. That fish died, and I'm trying to avoid a similar fate. <Mmm, could be "just" psychological... bummed by the move from the bigger pond, to a small glass-walled box...> Some additional info...I may very well have been overfeeding (pellets) the goldfish since arriving indoors. <I would feed VERY little period... and only low (les than 20% nominal) protein foods> The sick fish is a voracious eater (a glutton actually!) and eats whatever he can grab. <Good sign... "A fish that eats is a fish that lives"> The reason I had fed them so much is that I have a two inch yearling in the tank that never seems to get to eat as the others are very aggressive during feeding time. Anyway, I fed the fish very little while outdoors. To try and remedy the problem, since yesterday, I have been feeding the fish thawed, skinless peas. If it is constipation, I understand that this could help? The sick fish has fed on the peas on two occasions. <A good plan as well> I have not added a picture of the sick comet, as it looks virtually identical to the previous one I had sent on Jan 19/07 (those pics are in the archives). Do you think constipation is the problem, or perhaps an internal parasite? <Neither> Also, would a floating basket help, which would keep him off the gravel floor? <I would not be concerned or do anything here> I haven't lost a fish since last January, and hope not to repeat soon. Any help/suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Paul Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada <I urge patience... Stick to your salt dilution, feeding plan... and all should be well. Bob Fenner>

Query small lumps on fins & tail of goldfish   11/11/07 I have 3 goldfish in a ~30L tank: a comet, a fantail or regular goldfish(?) & a red-cap (I think). I've had them a year. <Whoa... a 30 litre tank? For real? WAAAAYYYYY overstocked for four Goldfish, and comets especially need all the swimming room you can give them. Goldfish health is directly proportional to the amount of space given them. One Goldfish needs not less than 100 litres/30 US gallons, and for each additional fish you need to scale that upwards. Four decent size Goldfish will need something around the 180 litres/50 US gallons mark.> The comet and the fantail(?) have recently developed little lumps along the edge of their tails and fins. The lumps are small, but a little bigger than a grain of salt; and round, and only along the bottom edge of the tail and the leading edge/spine of the fins. <Early stage Finrot or fungus. Difficult to tell from the photos. In any event, it's necrotic tissue plus a secondary infection of some sort. Easy enough to cure with anti-Finrot/Fungus medication, but you wouldn't have to deal with this at all in a bigger tank with better water quality.> The lumps aren't clustered, but spaced quite evenly. (the photo shows white dots on other parts of the fins - but they are just dots on the glass) <Think: pus-filled swellings. Dead tissue, rotting away, with bacteria and/or fungi helping themselves to the nutrient soup and weakening your pet Goldfish.> The lumps are white but head-on you can see a bit of dull orange/brown in the middle of each one. Nothing I've read about fits completely. The closest, I think, is Lymphocystis, though I can't discern any cauliflower-like texture, and unlikely(?) in my freshwater goldfish. <Not Lymphocystis. That's not really common on Goldfish. Goldfish get something called Fish-pox, a similar but taxonomically distinct virus. Lymphocystis tends to go for "advanced" Perciform fish, which is why it is associated with marine fish.> I took the comet to my local aquarium shop, but he didn't recognise the condition. He didn't think it was Ich. <Indeed not.> The fish seem otherwise well and I haven't seen them scratching or rubbing at all. <Fish typically scratch or "flash" when infections attack their gills, which seem to be hypersensitive to irritation. That's not what's going on here.> I wouldn't be surprised if it was caused by 'dirty' water - I hadn't changed the water for weeks (have now). (I know I should change 30% every week but usually only get time every 2-3 weeks.) <In a 30 litre tank these fish have little to no life expectancy. I can't be any more frank than that. Have you tested for nitrite? I bet there's nitrite or ammonia in this tank, because small tanks invariably have small filters. Goldfish are heavy polluters, and need filtration comparable to what you'd install for giant catfish or marines. The filter certainly needs a capacity equal to six times the volume of the tank in turnover per hour. Moreover, Goldfish are very sensitive to acidity. They are fish from hard, alkaline waters and want a pH at 7.5 or so and lots of carbonate hardness. Stick them in a small tank and do water changes every three weeks and you're exposing them to dramatic pH changes as the water acidifies. Water changes need to be 50% per week, without fail. If you don't have time for your pets -- you shouldn't have them. Get a cactus or some pet rocks. Not fish. Fish need water changes, they need space, and they need their carers to look after them. Please reflect on the needs of your animals, and decide if you are willing to give them the care they require to survive. The alternative -- forcing them to live in poor conditions because that's all you have time for -- is animal cruelty. Period.> Thank you, <I hope this helps, Neale.>

My bubble-eyed fish... floating, reading  11/9/07 Hello, I have a problem with one of my bubble-eyed fish. and I have enclosed pictures of him. he takes his time floating at the top of the tank like he is dead. This lasts for long periods of time, then he tries to turn over which he can struggle with. Other times he's happily swimming around and eating the only diff thing is that his belly looks a little bigger. Also it seems to happen mostly evening/ night time. Well that's when I notice it. all the other 3 seem to be happy and greedy as usual. can u explain the reason for this and how I can prevent this happening as I love him too much 4 him to die! Thank You, Lowenna <Genetics and nutrition. Read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshmalnut.htm and the linked files above till you understand. Bob Fenner>

Dead Goldfish  11/07/07 Hey there, <Jim> My Comet goldfish died tonight and I don't know why! I had two and when I got back off holiday one of them was just lying on the gravel not moving but still breathing. I tried giving them peas and bloodworm and keep them off flakes and I also missed a day of feeding in case the fish in question was constipated. My sister was feeding them while I was away but I think she just fed them flakes. I checked my water and there was no sign of nitrites or ammonia. When I got home from work today he wasn't breathing, no gill movement nothing. I picked him up out the water and he didn't flinch, but he doesn't float. I have took him out and put it in a bucket to take a closer look at and it seems to have a greeny brown tinge to it and on its white under belly it has green just after the gills. <Mmm, good clues> I just want to try and find out how he died and whether my other goldfish will catch it. They were only young about 2" body length not including the tail and live in a 20 gallon tank. I'm sure I did everything right vie had them for 8 months I spent days researching about goldfish when I first got them. If it helps the fish in question has been known to lie on the gravel before but using the non feeding and only feeding peas trick I mentioned it was normally ok within a day or 2, also I haven't seen it poop for a days before its death. Could you please help me find out was happened? They are my first pet fish. Should I stop trying to be a fish keeper? Thanks in advance Jim <Can't tell definitively from what you've stated... but reads like some sort of overt environmental problem... Perhaps an aerosol in the house, cleaner... maybe just low dissolved oxygen. Bob Fenner>

I wonder if you can tell me what is wrong with the goldfish at my gym  11/6/07 Hi WetWeb Media, <Tony> I wonder if you can tell me what is wrong with the goldfish at my gym. <Will try> The fish seems very bloated. He/She has been like it for some time. Recently the poor thing lost an eye. There are 3 fish in the tank, and a sucker fish. <Yikes... might be the sucker fish... Take a look on the Net re "Chinese Algae Eaters"... notorious...> Can I buy something from you to help him/her. I don't know if the bloating and eye loss are related?? <Perhaps to some degree... though the vast majority of such bloat situations are mainly due to foods and genetics... Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshmalnut.htm and the linked files above> Thank you in advance. tony. <Welcome. Bob Fenner>

To medicate or not to medicate? Goldfish   11/6/07 Hi there I have 2 small fantail goldfish in a 20 gallon tank with an AquaClear 30 filter (filled with 2 filter sponges and a BioMax bag). Unfortunately I set up the tank and put the fish in before I knew anything about cycling, so I am currently still establishing the biological filter. I test the water every day and this morning it was Ammonia 0.25, Nitrite trace amount (not as much as 0.25 but not 0.0 either), Nitrate 0.0 and pH 7.0. I have been doing 20% water changes every 1-2 days to keep the ammonia lower than 0.25, and so far I have never got more than a trace of Nitrite and I have never had any Nitrate. I use Seachem Prime to dechlorinate my water and I feed them goldfish flakes and peas (and frozen blood worms occasionally), as much as they can eat in 2 minutes, twice a day. My question is that one of my fish has developed a tiny white fluffy patch on her tail about 1mm square, that I believe is fungus due to the poor water conditions, and I am wondering if I should medicate her now and risk disturbing the biological filter, or leave it a while and see if it clears up on it's own first? It doesn't seem to be bothering her at all, and it hasn't gotten any worse since I first noticed it, but I would hate to leave it too long and cause her to get really sick. Do you know if fungal infections ever just clear up on their own? I have some Melafix that claims not to disturb the biological filter, but I am dubious of this claim as it's supposed to be antibacterial. Do you suggest I put the Melafix in now, buy something better than Melafix and put it in now, or wait to see if it gets any worse before doing anything? Thank you for any guidance you can give me. I am very new to this but doing my best to learn how to look after them properly. Thank you, Bernadine. <Greetings Bernadine! Treat at once. It sounds as if you have Fungus or Finrot, both of which are provoked by poor water conditions. The Ammonia level is lethally high, and until you get that down to zero -- every day -- your fish will keep getting sick and will likely die soon. So let me save you some work there by telling you to concentrate on getting the ammonia down to zero. Cut back on the food. One meal every other day, no more. And provide very small amounts. Don't worry about them starving: Goldfish overwinter outdoor for months without eating! The ammonia problem is much more important at this stage. Now, Melafix is basically useless as a cure. It might have some function as a preventative, but that time has passed. Get some sort of combination Finrot/Fungus medication. Make 100% sure you have removed any carbon from the filter. If your filter has carbon in it, remove the carbon and bury in the garden and them pour liquid cement on top. Carbon is completely useless in your sort of aquarium. Replace the empty space where the carbon went with some more biological filter media. Filter wool is fine. Carbon removes medication, which is why you need to remove the carbon (and in my opinion never put it back). Now treat the tank. If you follow the instructions carefully, there's no risk to the filter. You likely won't be able to do water changes while adding the medication (usually you need to add doses every day for 3 days or whatever). But once done, do 50% water changes every day or two until the ammonia comes down to zero. That will stop your fish getting sick again. Once they're healthy, do 50% water changes every week. Good luck, Neale.>

Re: To medicate or not to medicate?  11/06/07 Thank you so much Neale. <No problems.> I will go and buy some Finrot/Fungus medication today and do everything you suggested. <Very good.> Just to confirm though, once the treatment is over, the fish are healthy and I have water changed my ammonia down to zero again, do I keep doing water changes every time the ammonia gets above zero, or do I just do it weekly after that no matter how high the ammonia gets? <Hopefully the ammonia will stay at zero forever. In a stable, mature aquarium, you almost never detect any ammonia because the bacteria use it up virtually instantly. So normally all you need to is a 50% water change every seven days. It's worth testing the ammonia once in a while, but ordinarily, after the tank is more than 3-4 months old, this is something you won't need to be worried about.> The tank hasn't cycled yet so I assume that within a day or so the ammonia would get high again. <Correct. During the "immature" state, ammonia and nitrite will be detectable because there are not enough bacteria in the filter to use them up.> Will the bacteria have enough to eat if I keep doing water changes every time I find ammonia in the tank? <Yes.> I have read the 'Establishing the Cycle' part of the website and it says to take action if the ammonia levels approach 1.0ppm, but a lot of other answers on the site say anything over 0.0 is lethal, so I'm not sure which is correct. <They're both right, but it also depends. If you're cycling the tank with an ammonia-tolerant fish, then ammonia levels of 0.5 to 1.0 mg/l will not cause fish deaths in the time it takes you to do a water change. Zebra Danios (in freshwater tanks) and black mollies (in marine tanks) are classic examples of such fish. But most other fish will get sick at the first sniff of ammonia. Fancy goldfish get Finrot, angelfish simply die, guppies get fungus, and so on. Any ammonia above 0 is bad, but a few fish will put up with for a longer than most others.> Does the 'anything over 0.0' rule just apply to mature tanks, and if you are cycling with fish you have to let it get up to 1.0 so that the tank will cycle? <No, you don't need 1.0 mg/l of ammonia for the bacteria to mature. After all, the 1.0 mg/l of ammonia is the ammonia the bacteria *aren't* using, it's the "surplus to requirements" ammonia. So do the water changes, and the bacteria will look after themselves.> We can't get BioSpira here in New Zealand or I would buy that to speed things up. <Don't worry about it. Never used it myself either. Just do what you're doing.> Sorry about all this. If I ever get another tank in future I will definitely be doing a fishless cycle. <Once you have one mature freshwater aquarium, you can remove a portion of the filter media from the old tank and put it into the filter in the new freshwater aquarium. The new tank is instantly matured! So you won't have to cycle a tank ever again anyway.> Thanks again, Bernadine <Good luck, Neale>

Indoor Pondfish... comp., hlth.  11/5/07 I have 2 big Koi (about a foot in length), she's one of them, the other is a boy, 4 smaller Koi (2-3 inches) and a gold fish. I have seen one of the 3 inch ones nibble on her side a little bit, but I don't know if its eating her scales. I also saw the foot long boy suck on her fin a little bit, but it looked like he was doing no harm to her. I may possibly be able to provide a picture, I'm not sure, but if you're interested, let me know. I think she's also getting some red on her. <Koi -- like all over Cyprinidae -- only have teeth in their throats, not behind their lips. So they can't "bite", and as such are unlikely to cause any harm by "mouthing" one another. It's just possible they might suck at dead skin tissue out of curiosity, but I can't see how Koi (or Goldfish) could actually cause damage to healthy tissue in the first place. So, provided the fish are healthy, I wouldn't worry too much about this particular behaviour. On the other hand, if the fish are developing red patches, that can indicate some other problem. Koi are especially sensitive to poor water quality, and neither Koi nor Goldfish will do well if the water is soft and acidic. So, check water quality and chemistry. Reflect on other maintenance issues, such as diet and whether predators might be getting into the pond and causing physical damage. Cats and herons will both damage large fish even if they fail to kill the fish. Leeches, fish lice and various other parasites can sometimes get into ponds and cause physical damage. Hope this helps. Neale>

Re: Indoor Pondfish... comp., hlth.  11/5/07 Well, the thing is, my Koi are in a tank inside the house not outside, so they're not really exposed to any predators. Should I take her to a pet store and get her checked out or should I just treat the water like there's something in there? So you don't think there is anything wrong with my fish? except maybe the patches? <You're keeping Koi indoors? In a tank? How big is this tank? Koi are (obviously) big fish. Maximum size is around 90 cm/3', and even an average specimen will exceed 60 cm/2' in length. They are also fast-growing fish: a well cared for Koi will be reaching that sort of size within 5 years or so. (Koi were, after all, originally bred as food fish.) As a result, they generally do not do well indoors except in indoor pond-type arrangements in conservatories and the like. In an aquarium you'll have problems maintaining the good water quality Koi need. So, before discussing anything else, let's have some Cold, Hard Numbers! How big is the aquarium? What sort of filter are you using? How often do you do water changes, and how much do you change each time? What is the water chemistry (especially the pH and general hardness)? Have you done a nitrite test? When kept in anything other than optimal conditions Koi are subject to a wide range of diseases that can cause 'red patches' on the body, such as Finrot, fungus, Fish Pox, slime diseases, etc. A photograph will help. Treatment depends upon identifying the disease and also ensuring water quality is sufficiently good that the Koi can heal itself alongside whatever medication you use. Under good conditions Koi live for decades and show a very high degree of hardiness and resistance to disease. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Indoor Pondfish... comp., hlth.  11/5/07 well my uncle just gave us the Koi and the tank is a 10 gal and we're working on a pond for outside. we have 2 filters. I don't remember the names of the filters, but one is for a 20gal and the other is for a 50 gal. Since I've had them for about a week or so, we've changed it once and we changed a little more than half of the water. maybe 3/5 of it. am not sure about the water quality and the pH level. my mom or aunt might know so I cant tell you. ill try and get you a picture of the fish as soon as possible. thanks! <Hmm... Koi can't be kept in a 10 gallon tank, and even a 50 gallon tank will be nothing more than a temporary holding tank. I think you said one of the Koi was about 30 cm long -- such a fish cannot be kept in a 10 gallon tank, end of story. So my guess would be that the water quality is very poor. Ammonia and nitrite cause all kinds of problems, and these will be at the root of your problems. Build the pond ASAP. Cheers, Neale.>

Poop on my goldfish  11/5/07 Hey, I bought a couple of regular goldfish a few weeks ago now ( just the plain orange ones) and I noticed they have poop hanging out of them, it looks like a long string just hanging there. Why does this happen? <Can be a few things... such "feeder" goldfish (aka Comets) are often raised in deplorable conditions, fed minimally... and are parasitized externally and internally... The stress can show up as behavior you mention, as well as pathogenic disease... There is a common misunderstanding that goldfish are "easy" to keep... particularly lowly Comets... If you intend to raise these, I would run them through a series of treatments to rid them of Protozoans and worms. This is quite an undertaking, and has a good deal of related material to understand to do properly. If you're committed, I would start reading here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshdisease.htm and the linked files above, keeping good notes. Bob Fenner>

A couple of updates and a question... Horatio, Smudge... goldfishes on the up and up   11/4/07 Good morning, all at WWM, and we hope you're enjoying your Saturday! <Yikes! I did; now it's Sunday!> A couple of updates first: Our goldfish, Horatio, was having trouble keeping himself level in the water; we asked Bob if cutting out the vitamins we soak his food in would be a good idea (as nothing else seemed to be a problem and this was the only unknown) and Bob said that, while he'd never heard of this happening, we should give it a shot. He also asked to let him know what happened, so: a few weeks on, the "tilting" has occurred less and less often, and now it doesn't ever happen. So we don't know why that helped, but it did, and that's the important thing! <Yes> Second update; several Crew members very kindly took an interest in our "Goldfish Auschwitz" problem (Bob and Neale in particular) and the subsequent rescue of our veiltail, Smudge, who wasn't being looked after very well and had developed fungus and Finrot. Thanks to your guidance, the rather nasty damage to his tail has fully healed and he's started growing, which is great. <Ah, very good> As ever, we really appreciate all the wonderful help you've given us...but we do need to ask you something else now! <Okay> We have a new tank for our three goldfish, who are currently living separately but we're hoping to get them into the new tank. The trouble is that the new tank has developed a strange smell over the last couple of weeks straight after cycling normally. The smell has remained after many three-quarter water changes and doesn't seem to decrease at all even after fresh water is added. Parameters are pH 6.5 (ish; it decreases after water changes as our tap water is about pH 5.5; obviously it's not ready for goldfish with that pH but we'll deal with that once we've sorted this problem), ammonia 0, nitrates 0, nitrites 0. We've washed the glass, used a gravel pump multiple times to clean the inch or so of gravel and cleaned the filter material. A couple of days ago we dropped a couple of strands of Egeria in (partly to see if it survived and partly to see if there was any improvement) which is doing well, although it is a fairly hardy plant so whether that means anything is debatable. The only other thing I can think of is that the smell seems to be caused by a gas build-up, as it is very strong on opening the lid and faint thereafter. <Mmm, and likely linked with the low pH... And will likely abate with this being raised... I would try simple sodium bicarbonate here> We are considering emptying the tank, washing it and boiling the gravel; essentially starting from scratch as we have absolutely no intention of putting our fishes in potentially unsafe water. We did want to ask you about it first though, in case you have any advice, as it would be great to avoid cycling the thing again and our fishes are getting a bit bored and depressed from being alone (they were doing okay but then we both went back to university and they've been quite lonely since), so the quicker we get them together the better. <Okay> If you have any suggestions they will be most gratefully received, and once again our sincerest thanks for all your help to date. Enjoy the weekend! Sarah and Oliver <I do think your plan is plausible... You might try (instead) bleach/washing all in place... but dumping, cleaning the gravel in very hot water... though more intensive work, is even more sure. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Re: A couple of updates and a question... goldfish  11/6/07 Hello to you all at WWM, <Hello.> Thanks once again for your help, we will attempt using the bicarbonate of soda option before resorting to cleaning and recycling the tank, but a question on using this if you will indulge us please. How should we go about this so as not to harm the fish? <I always dissolve additives in the new water, and then add that water to the tank.> We found one of Bob's old replies on this subject, saying "a level teaspoon per ten gallons of new water, mixed in, allowed to set for a day or more before use," however, we have a couple of questions to hopefully clarify this response. 1) Are you using Imperial or US gallons for this measurement? <Doesn't really make much difference. But I prefer to use metric measurements to avoid precisely this problem!> 2) From reading WWM, some seem to be advising mixing all the bicarb for the water change in a glass, and adding it directly to the tank, but Bob suggests here to mix it in with the water for the change, and leave all of it to set for a couple of days before adding it to the tank. We don't have the ability to store the 15 gallons of water necessary for each change, so we wanted to ask why this is advised, and if there is another way to go about it safely. <Here's a trick I do with making brackish water in a hurry: Make up a litre or two of hot water in a kitchen jug. Add the salt (or bicarb, in your case) and let dissolve, so that you make a brine solution. You can let this solution sit for a while if need be. Empty the tank of 1/2 the water. Pour the brine into the buckets of new water, and then pour those buckets into the aquarium.> 3) Should we be worried about the bicarb interacting with the dechlorinator we use (Interpet Fresh Start)? <No.> 4) Will the pH remain relatively stable once the fishes are added, or should we expect to have to keep adding bicarb occasionally? <With each water change. What part of the UK are you in? Most of England has very hard water with a high carbonate hardness, and pH remains very stable somewhere between 7.6 to 8.2 depend on the exact water supply. So here in Hertfordshire for example adding bicarbonate of soda is redundant, give that the total hardness is 270 mg/l and the calcium content is over 100 mg/l. It's what fishkeepers call "Liquid Rock" and harder than even the water in Lake Malawi! Unless you're doing something extreme to your aquarium, the pH in a tank with such water will be extremely stable. This is especially true if you're doing 50% water changes each week. So do you live somewhere with soft water on tap? Are you using water from a domestic water softener?> As ever, thank you very much for your much appreciated help, Sarah and Oliver <Cheers, Neale>

Re: A couple of updates and a question, goldfish  11/07/07 Hi Neale, and thank you very much for the response. We greatly appreciate the time you spent on our query. <Not a problem. Always happy to help people who rescue fish in distress!> In reply to your questions, the water that comes out the tap was (when last checked a couple of months ago) around pH 6-6.5, and we don't use any water softener (knew we should have gone to university in England...). <Ah, you live in a soft water area. Good for laundry and making whiskey; not so good for brewing beer or keeping Goldfish. My advice would be to partially fill the filter with crushed coral (1/3rd the filter should do). Crushed coral is a cheap way to provide "buffering capacity". The acidity will be neutralised by the calcium carbonate, and the carbonate will also raise the hardness. These are both things Goldfish need to do well. While the crushed coral approach is cheap, you do need to check the pH and hardness levels are raised sufficiently, and once a month or so the filter will need cleaning and the crushed coral must be deep cleaned under hot water to wash away the bacterial slime covering it. There are other solutions, such as adding a certain amount of Malawi salt mix which you can home-make cheaply enough using equal amounts of baking soda, Epsom salts and marine salt mix all stirred up and then added a teaspoon at a time to each bucket of water until you get the water chemistry you want. At a guess, one to two teaspoons per 3 gallon bucket should be ample. You're aiming for pH 7.5 and around 10 degrees dH or so. Goldfish. Really, making soft water hard is dead easy and there are many approaches that work.> If you have any further advice (beyond "move"!) we'd be very grateful. <Hah! No, enjoy your nice soft water. Great for tetras, barbs, Apistogramma etc. Just not great for Eurasian cyprinids like Goldfish or Koi.> Thank you very much for all your help, Sarah and Oliver <Take care, Neale>

Unusual case of Pearlscale dropsy?  11/4/07 Hi, <Hello,> I was wondering if you've seen this condition before. I'm assuming it is dropsy. Depending on the cause I might be able to treat my Pearlscale. <Difficult to tell on a Pearlscale goldfish I admit!> I'm in Australia so antibiotics aren't readily available due to restrictions; I might be able to get something through a vet though. <Indeed. Here in the UK the laws are similar. Antibiotics for fish can be usually obtained from a vet at about £20. Antibacterials can work well as an alternative, but usually only if the problem is caught early on. Prevention is, of course, even better than cure.> Water conditions seem to be very good, readings are almost all normal, although temperature has been very high for a few weeks now (averaging 24c) There has been a change in alkalinity from acid to the alkaline side of neutral (7.2). This is due to both a change of tank from one far too small to one the right size for three fish (slightly over 120 litres), also we're now receiving are water from a reservoir in a limestone area (teabags are fizzing now). <Goldfish prefer hard, alkaline water. The harder and more alkaline, the better really. What Goldfish don't like is soft and acidic water. Ideally, aim for pH 7.5, moderate to high hardness.> At the moment I'm lowering the salt level in the tank from a very high level (probably about 2.75 micro Siemens, to 2.25 last week and now its down to 1.5). I've read that high salinity can cause fancy goldfish to retain water as they can't easily get rid of excess salts. <Goldfish are basically salt-tolerant fish. Wild fish can be found in areas up to about 50% normal seawater salinity (15 ppt to be precise). So I can't imagine the "teaspoon per gallon" salt doses people use with Goldfish cause any serious harm. That said, the addition of salt to the Goldfish aquarium isn't necessary and I don't recommend it.> The bubbles on his skin (around a dozen) aren't growing fast but have been there for a week and a half now. I'm currently treating with Melafix to help prevent a secondary infection. <Melafix is a complete waste of time for treating established infections, which would seem to be what's going on here. Get into gear and use some sort of anti-Fungus, anti-Finrot medication to help with the external infections.> The Pearlscale also seems to be constipated so I'm going to replace some of those salts with Epsom salts, I'm hoping that may also help with the fluid retention. <Wouldn't bank on it. Epsom salt is primarily for helping with constipation, because it is a muscle relaxant. If it has any effect on fluid retention, the effect will be modest, particularly if the underlying problem is a bacterial infection.> I'm going to set up a hospital tank as well but as I'm not sure what medications I should be using, let alone what will be available. For the time being I'm trying to keep him as unstressed as possible in the hope he comes right himself. <Moving him to a hospital tank may make some sense, especially if the fish has trouble moving about and feeding properly. Dropsy doesn't tend to be infectious, but there's no point taking chances.> Anyway any thoughts you have on causes and treatments would be greatly appreciated. <Hmm... Dropsy is generally caused by environmental issues that provoke bacterial infections of the internal organs. Metronidazole and Nitrofuranace make the standard cocktail for treating Dropsy. But you also have to figure out what environmental issues might have been at work.> I've been getting some great help through Koko'sGoldfishWorld. There's a full description of symptoms, treatments applied and general thoughts online at http://www.kokosgoldfish.invisionzone.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=63659&st=0&gopid=704024&#entry704024 I've a good idea of the general treatments for bacteria induced dropsy but thought this might still possibly be something else. Because of the change in tank there's been new plants, gravel and a log so there's been plenty of opportunity for parasitic infection. The recent changes in conditions (alkalinity and temp) also might be playing a role. <Agreed. Goldfish appreciate stable water chemistry, which is why high levels of hardness and carbonate hardness are so important.> There's pictures online at http://www.mu.edu/~buxtoni/puregold/disease/dropsy.html that look similar. If I do move the fish to a hospital tank with no salt is there a likelihood of inducing osmotic shock? <If you're concerned, then put water from the main aquarium into a large bucket. Add the goldfish. Over the next few hours, slowly remove portions of water and replace with fresh, dechlorinated water. Afterwards you can lift the fish out and safely move it to the hospital tank which will be filled with more fresh, dechlorinated water.> I'm guessing this might be minimised if its offset by having Epsom salts in the water. Also would you be aware of any appropriate meds available in Australia, even if only to Vet's (this is bit of a long shot I know). Many thanks, Best wishes, Iain <Hope this helps, Neale>

Re Neale: unusual case of Pearlscale dropsy? 11/5/07 Hi Neale, Thanks for the reply. I'll get my girlfriend to phone around some of the local vets and see if they carry either or both of those anti-biotics. We'll get him into a hospital tank for the treatment. Once I get that going I'll see if I can find out what's wrong with the main tank. That could take some working out; at least we're learning a lot from all this. Thanks again, Best wishes, Iain (& Helen) <Hello Iain. Sounds like you have a plan. Vets are often quite happy to help you treat your fish. Tell the vet the symptoms, and see what he or she suggests. In the meantime, good luck! Neale>

My Goldfish might be sick... no useful info., or reading   11/1/07 Hi, thanks for taking the time to read my message, <Welcome> I have a goldfish which I have kept in a tank for about 10 months or so. (Zippy) There was also another fish (Sharpay), who died several months ago of a Fungal Disease. <Mmmm... what re the root causes of the "fungus"?> My fish now has a red bump on what looks like the side of his gill. It looks almost like an ulcer, but it does not appear to be changing his actions, for he still is eating and swimming around the tank, which is about 14L. <How large is this fish? What water quality test results have you to share?> I also had a Golden Sucking Catfish, <Mmmm, I hope this is NOT a Gyrinocheilus species... See WWM... re Chinese Algae Eaters> to clean my tank, but it died today. I went up to feed them, and the sucking fish (Stipp) was lying in the corner of the tank, upside down. Zippy also had the red bump. Is the death of Stipp and the bump on Zippy a coincidence, or do they have something in common. Please reply soon, I fear he is dying. <I fear you haven't followed directions in searching our site before writing. Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Popped Blister On Oranda Head  -- 10/24/07 While doing my weekly water change one of my large Orandas swam past the siphoning hose and it sucked his blister, it is not bad but I have concerns. He is swimming fine eating great should I leave it alone? I feel like it may slough off by itself. If you can give me a idea what to do I appreciate it ! Sincerely, Karen <Hi Karen, yes it will heal itself, but since it's an open wound, you need to prevent secondary infections. Use a combination Finrot-Fungus medication of your choice. Remove carbon from the filter, if you're using carbon. Keep on top of water changes: to promote good healing, your fish needs to be kept in spotlessly clean conditions. And next time, be careful! I always put my fist around the inlet pipe when sucking water in, placing my index finger just above the nozzle, ready to close off the suction if a fish, invertebrate or plant gets too close. Cheers, Neale> Re: Popped Blister On Oranda Head -- 10/24/07 Thanks sooo much and I thought about my finger over the tube afterwards, how dumb of me! I love your site I have been steadily there for 2 days now.   A lot of great info there. I followed the advice I was given and in just in the last 15 hours it is already on the mend. I am so relieved, again thanks for your help!! Angel <Glad to help. Good luck, Neale>

Black Moor. hlth.   -- 10/24/07 I have a Black Moor whose eye appears to be swollen. It has been like this for about a month now. All around the edge it is clear and puffy looking. Is there anything I can do?<Wow, this is the THIRD question about Pop-eye I've answered today. Must be some sort of record. Anyway, here's the skinny on Pop-eye. While it can be triggered by mechanical damage, such as accidental abrasions, the fundamental problem behind Pop-eye is water quality and water chemistry. If your fish are in conditions less than optimal, Pop-eye becomes a very real risk. So the cure is two-fold. Firstly, you use something like Maracyn 2 to kill the bacteria causing the swelling. Secondly, you optimise water quality so that the fish can heal itself. In the case of goldfish, this means you need to make sure your pet is in a spacious tank with a proper filter, with zero ammonia and nitrite, moderate to high levels of hardness, an pH around 7.5-8, and water changes of 50% per week. Do these things, and your fish should recover. Pop-eye isn't a fatal disease if handled properly and the prognosis is good if you use the right medications and methods.>Also, we are moving, and I am wondering whether it is really stressful for the fish to be moved. <No, if you do this right your fish will be fine. Transporting fish is (for example) much less complicated than moving cats or dogs.>We will be driving for about 14 hours to our new home. I am a bit hesitant to take him with us, as he is 6 years old, and has something wrong with his eye. Is it better to give him away to someone that will take care of him?<If you're looking for an excuse to dump a pet that you don't want any more, this really isn't a valid one. Goldfish can be easily moved from one place to the next. Get a 3-5 gallon bucket with a lid (from a hardware store this shouldn't cost much at all and they're wonderfully useful things to have anyway). Partially fill with water from the tank, but leave around 50% filled with air. Put the fish in, and secure the lid. If the weather is very cold, you might want to bundle the bucket with towels or something, but if you put it inside your car it should be fine. Goldfish tolerate low temperatures very well. Once you get to your new home, set up the tank, get the filter running, and then slowly fill the bucket with "new" water from the tank at about 1-2 litres every 10-15 minutes. This will let your goldfish "taste" the new water conditions and begin the acclimation process smoothly. More importantly, this process will also let the water in the bucket come to room temperature, so there's no thermal shock when you gently lift the fish out of the bucket after an hour or so and place him in his new home. There's no rush involved, as your fish will be happy in a decent sized bucket for 24 hours, even 48 hours. Fish are very forgiving about travel, so long as you don't rush things and make any changes around them as gentle as possible.>Thanks, Rebecca<If you are moving a long distance, moving the glass aquarium might be risky. While the glass itself is fine, the seals between the panes can be easily twisted and broken. So take great care that the aquarium is always fully supported at the base and isn't placed somewhere it can be bounced around. Nothing will ruin your day more than a leaky aquarium! But here's an ideal: mail order a new tank to arrive at your new home. Take the opportunity to order a size larger than you have. As well as giving your pet a nicer home, you'll also have one less thing to worry about when you arrive, because the new aquarium will be securely packaged for delivery and unlikely to be cracked or leaky. Good luck on your move, Neale.>

Dropsy in my goldfish, no useful data    10/24/07 Hi hope you can help. My fancy tail goldfish has dropsy I followed all instructions on your site but the condition has not improved. I added Epsom salt as directed started treatment with Maracyn and started feeding brine shrimp. But it does not look any better. <Mmm, how much time has gone by? Water quality test results?> I have a 30 gallon tank with a penguin bio wheel filter its in the tank with 4 other goldfish. <Too crowded...> Any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks Chris. <Nitrate concentration? I'd keep reading. BobF>

About my goldfish, dis. & homeopathics... avoiding non "fixes"   10/23/07 My two new goldfish have recently been developing small white spots on their back fins and I was wondering if that might be Ich and if there is a homeopathy remedy that can cure that? If not what else would you suggest? Thanks for your help! Concerned Fish owner <Sounds like Whitespot/Ick. No homeopathic remedy that I know of. Various tea-tree derivatives (Melafix, Pimafix, etc.) are on the market but they don't really work reliably. Avoid them. Don't mess about with this, because Ick is a killer. Go straight for medications that work. Your local retailer will have a variety based on copper and/or formalin. Do also review aquarium conditions -- fish get sick because of the aquarium, nine times out of ten. Review our articles on goldfish care. Cheers, Neale>

Growth on goldfish tail... no useful info.  10/16/07 I hope you can see clearly enough to tell me what the growth is on the goldfish tail. It isn't throwing it off balance yet, but if it continues to grow, it might. Right now it is the diameter of a nickel. Should it be removed, and if so, how? Thanks <... likely a result of the environment... Improve this and the growth will rescind. What is the measure of metabolite... Nitrate here? How is this system filtered? The marbles shown do not have sufficient surface area for nitrification, nor buffering capacity for a crowded reductive body of water... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Re: Growth on goldfish tail    10/24/07 I checked the water, ammonia was 0, nitrites 0, nitrates 40 <Much too high... toxic... should be kept under 20 ppm> & ph 7. I took your advice and improved water quality with water changes over several days until the nitrates were down to less than 10 and added baking soda to bring the ph up closer to 8. I haven't yet changed the glass stones, I am not sure where to get the ones that would help buffer the water, <Just "natural gravel" from a fish store...> I don't want to just collect smooth stones from outside in case they release other minerals into the water that shouldn't be there. <Good point> Any advice on the type of rock and where to get them would be helpful. <LFS> As you can see in the latest photo, with the water improvement, the growth developed streaks of blood and is not showing signs of rescinding, unless the blood is a sign. Any other suggestions? Thanks, Kim <At this point to be patient... these tumors take a long while to resolve (months, years, sometimes never), but are rarely very debilitating, fatal... If discrete, once the tank is more stable, the nitrate under control (please read here re: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwnitrates.htm and the linked FAQs file above), you might consider a surgical removal... with sharp small scissors likely best... around the growth. Bob Fenner>

What should I be expecting? Goldfish hlth.  10/16/07 Greetings Crew! After reading through your site I was overjoyed when I found a similar question pertaining to my original issue. One of my comet goldfish, pearl, started to float vertical with her head towards the bottom of the tank (never the best of signs) and her belly had turned a blood red. After developing a more severe case of the bloody scales with the addition of a cotton like substance hanging off of her I educating myself a bit more and came to the conclusion she had a bacterial infection (septicemia). I have been treating with Maracyn-two and I am on the 4th day of a five day treatment. Although the bloody scales have cleared up she has developed a growth on/in her left gill and the left side of her face looks red raw and soar. I read an article (Farewell to Fungus by David Schleser) where it talks about the gills being burned chemically and thought perhaps the Maracyn-two might have caused the added problems but I've followed the instructions with regards to dosage in the instructions. Her overall behavior has been well, considering; she spends more time on the bottom of the tank resting but she still swims around every now and then and she still comes out to eat. I'm wondering if this is a side effect of the medication or if there is something else I don't know going on. Any information with regards to what could possibly be the problem and any recommendations would be greatly appreciated by myself and pearl. Regards, Angela <Angela, it's difficult to say precisely what's going on here because you don't provide much information about the environment your fish inhabits, or how you care for the fish. Here's the deal: many (most) times inexperienced aquarists blame things like "parasites", "internal bacterial infections", or "swim bladder problems" they actually don't have a clue about how you actually diagnose these things. Indeed, more often than not, Goldfish get sick because of either environmental or dietary issues. Specifically, without access to a microbiology lab, it's impossible to know for certain that your fish has septicaemia. Advanced Finrot would cause identical external symptoms (and left untreated Finrot bacteria will indeed causes septicaemia once the bacteria work in from the skin into the body cavity). Septicaemia is, after all, not a disease but a symptom and can be caused by a whole variety of things. So let's get down to basics. How big is the aquarium? What's the water chemistry? What kind of filtration are you using, and how often do you do water changes? What are you feeding your Goldfish? Here's the correct answers: for one Goldfish, you need a 30 gallon tank. Water chemistry should be "moderately hard" to "hard" on whatever scale you're using. The pH alkaline, ideally around 7.5. Goldfish need strong filtration (a water turnover of around 6 times per hour is good) and 50% water changes per week are essential. Diet should be very mixed, with something like 50% of the food coming from vegetable sources. Elodea and other aquatic plants are great, otherwise tinned peas, Sushi Nori, spinach, algae flakes, etc all work well. Live or frozen foods like bloodworms and daphnia are useful treats. Dried flake or pellet foods should be the *minority* food items. Failing on any of these issues causes problems. Not enough greens? The Goldfish becomes constipated, buoyancy is lost, and the bloated fish floats about wrong way up. Water quality not right? Finrot and fungus set in, and then the fish gets increasingly sick with loss of fin tissue, open sores, dead skin, etc until the fish dies. Fungus is the alternative here: cotton wool-like growths on the dead skin. Mouth fungus (actually a bacterium) is yet another malady caused by poor water quality. Randomly treating the symptoms before you've stabilized and optimised the environment and diet is like sticking your finger into a leaking dike -- ultimately pointless. The other big mistake people make when medicating fish is to leave the carbon in the filter. I'd ban carbon from freshwater aquaria if I could, or at least make it a "prescription only" drug for expert aquarists. I can't begin to tell you the number of times someone's said that a medication didn't work, and it turns out they left carbon the filter. So check this as well. Long term, under stable conditions and with proper treatment, fish recover from light to mild bacterial infections rather well, and lost scales and fins grow back quickly. If the bacteria get inside the body cavity and cause organ damage though, the prognosis is not so good. Cheers, Neale.>

Sick goldfish in a small aquarium  10/14/07 Hi guys wonderful help site, I have a celestial goldfish about 1 and a half months old. He lived by himself in a 2.5 gallon tank until today when he received a friend, another goldfish. When I was putting the other goldfish in the tank I noticed that he has a red spot on his stomach and he continually swims around on his back with his stomach on top of the water. Then I noticed that he has a small red spot around his left eye also. I change half his water every 1-2 weeks and feed him regularly. I have not tried to treat him with anything yet for fear of making it worse but I continually flip him back over when he is on his back with his net. He is not lethargic or hyper, and does not exhibit any abnormal behavior except he continually tries to swim behind his filter an in the process flips himself over again. Please help me I would hate to have him die without at least trying so save him. Thank you for your help. <Greetings. For a start, your tank is too small for Goldfish. A 2.5 gallon tank is really just a bucket with a fancy name. Indeed, I have buckets twice this size just for doing water changes. Imagine I locked you up in a small automobile, and the space inside there was not just where you lived and exercised but also your kitchen and bathroom. How long before you got sick? That's where you're at keeping a Goldfish in a 2.5 gallon tank. Long term, Goldfish need a 30 gallon tank, minimum. Failure to do this ends up with sick fish -- you will find it very difficult to provide the good water quality these fish need in such a tiny space. The red spots are likely early-stage Finrot or fungus. These are classic symptoms of poor water quality. Check your ammonia and nitrite levels; if they're not exactly and precisely Zero, you have a problem. Changing the water IS NOT A SUBSTITUTE for having a proper filter. You HAVE TO DO BOTH! Next up, the "floaty, bloaty" goldfish likely has swim bladder problems. This usually follows on from people failing to give a Goldfish its correct diet -- PLANTS! Giving them just flake food = sick Goldfish. Simple as that. So, please have a read of these two excellent articles, and then see what you can do to improve the lives of your pets: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm , http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshmalnut.htm . These animals depend on you to do the right thing; if spending the time and money on their requirements is too much for you, then don't keep animals as pets. Keep

Goldfish Troubles -- 10/07/07 <<Hello, Tayla. Tom with you.>> I happened to stumble upon your website. It couldn't have happened at a better time. <<I think I'm glad to hear this, Tayla. :) >> I have a total of 4 tanks in my house, one 65 gallon, one 35 gallon and two 15 gallons. I'm having problems in one of my 35-gallon tanks which houses one 1 ½ inch Oranda, one 3-inch fantail and one 1 ½ inch fantail, and one 4-inch black moor. <<The tank's too small for this many Goldfish, Tayla. I'd rather see these fish in the 65-gallon tank.>> The tank has no rocks in the bottom and no plants for decor. <<Any substrate at all? Fish become highly disoriented with clear glass at the bottom of the tank. They understand: light above, dark below. Otherwise, you've got stressed fish on your hands.>> It has everything glass inside, wine glass, vase, etc. (The fish love it this way, a lot more than when they had plants.) <<Tayla, a lot of movement from the fish doesn't necessarily mean that they're 'happier'. Could be that they are but, it could also signal stress in your pets.>> The problem I am having is that Ich broke out in the tank from a Pleco that was transferred from one tank to that one. <<Possible. Did you notice signs of Ich on the Pleco before the transfer? Once again, the 35-gallon tank is over-stocked. The addition of the Pleco only makes matters worse.>> The day after the transfer, the tank that I took the Pleco out of ended up in a breakout of Ich. Three days later it was my Goldies. <<You don't mention the stocking of the 'other' tank, Tayla. Please understand that Ich doesn't simply 'break out'. The parasite must first be present, of course, but doesn't typically affect fish that are healthy and unstressed. Water conditions/quality play a very big part but stocking of the tank is also very important.>> The Pleco was then removed from the tank. That happened about 6 weeks ago and the Ich will not go away. I treated for 3 weeks with quick cure with no improvement, so I changed to Super quick cure for 2 weeks, still no change. So my final thought was salt. I added 1 tsp per gallon every 12 hours until it reached 3 tsp per gallon, reading .3 on my saltwater tester. <<Depending on how you're running the tank, i.e. cold water, the lifespan of the parasite is vastly different than running a 'tropical' tank. In a tropical tank, the lifespan of the parasite can be measured in days. In a cold-water tank, this might be weeks.>> It has been in the tank (with 25% water changes daily, replacing the salt when I do a partial change) for one week now, with no improvement. <<Again, Tayla, this is temperature-dependent. Elevated temperatures speed up the life-cycle of the parasite and allow the medications, whatever they may be, to attack the parasite in the 'Tomite' evolution of its life cycle. (This is the only part of the basic three-stage life cycle where the parasite is susceptible to being destroyed.)>> Now, starting today, my Oranda is sitting on the bottom of the tank, she is still eating very well, swimming around a little bit here and there, but she is covered in Ich spots from her head to the tip of every fin. I'm at a loss as to what else to do with this tank. I'm not sure how to get rid of the Ich. <<The hell of this is -- if you'll pardon the expression -- is that the parasites can't be affected with medication while they're embedded on the fish. They're impervious to anything currently known in the hobby. In order to do anything, you've got to raise the temperature in the tank to speed up the cycle of the parasite. In other words, you have to 'force' the parasite into the 'Tomite' stage to kill it. This only occurs after the parasite breaks off of the fish, encysts itself and reproduces. The 'babies' (sorry) are the only stage of the parasite vulnerable to the med's.>> Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. <<You've already got the long-and-short of it, Tayla. Please, review your stocking plan. Goldfish need LOTS of tank space. Folks don't realize this, for the most part. Your 35-gallon tank would be fine for, perhaps, three of your Goldfish. Beyond this, unless you're very experienced, it's an accident waiting to happen.>> I feed pre soaked flake food twice a day, divided frozen peas, broccoli head and dried shrimp. The shrimp is fed once every other day. <<Keep the proteins down to a minimum. Veggies are very, very good so I like your regimen. Zucchini, spinach, greens of most any variety are great. (Whatever you don't like to eat, yourself, unless you're a vegetarian -- in which case I apologize. :) )>> Thank you, Tayla <<You're welcome, Tayla. Tom>>
Re:  Oranda Question - 10/08/07
Tom, <<Hello, Tayla.>> Thank you for your quick response to my questions. <<Happy to do so.>> As for the temperature of the tank, sorry I didn't mention it in my previous email. It has been raised to 85 F. and has stayed there for the last 3 weeks. <<Good to hear but I would recommend slowly lowering this to about 80 degrees. While Goldfish actually do quite well at temperatures between 72 and 75 degrees, 85 degrees for an extended period is likely to add more stress to the situation. Something we don't need right now, as you can imagine.>> I do ammonia, pH, GH, KH, Nitrate and nitrite tests every other day in all of my tanks to make sure everything is good for them. <<Very good. Exceptional, really.>> They do have some scattered glass rocks, red, glue and green on the bottom of the tank, as well as inside of the wine glass and vase. <<Again, reflective or shiny substrates should be avoided with any fish. Black substrates, though not my personal 'first choice', are actually best for most fish in this regard.>> My Oranda did something odd yesterday, I'm not sure why. If you have any inputs or ideas as to why this happened, I would love to hear all about them. She started by bottom sitting all day, which was no different that the day before, (but she has been eating, great appetite) but she started twitching and shaking her head very hard, bolting around the tank with her mouth wide open. She did this for about 10 seconds before returning to the bottom of the tank, still holding her mouth open. She stayed like this for about 3 minutes and finally slowly closed her mouth. I had to leave the house and didn't get back for about 2 and a half hours. When I got home she was fine. She wasn't bottom sitting anymore, she was swimming all around the tank. <<What you've shared is a 'classic' description of a Goldfish with an object of some nature caught in its mouth or throat. In the vast number of cases, it's a stone or piece of gravel that the animal picked up while scavenging at the bottom of the tank but could also be a piece of food that 'went down the wrong pipe'. This may have been semi-lodged for a while and finally loosened itself enough to be 'coughed' up. Not always easy for us to guarantee a 'diagnosis' of a condition or a behavior but I'd bet money on this one, Tayla.>> Thanks, Tayla <<Once more, you're quite welcome. Tom>>
Re: Oranda Question (III) - 10/07/2007
Tom, <<Greetings, Tayla.>> Again, I thank you. <<No thanks needed, Tayla. Happy to help.>> I think am going to take your advice on the black rocks in the tank, what do you think of sand instead? Or is sand not good for goldfish tanks? <<I like your thinking but don't really think that 'sand' is the way to go with your Goldfish. Goldfish are messy. Not to disparage them but they create a great deal of waste. Can, and probably will, be problematic with a sand substrate. The waste works its way down, even through sand, and creates 'pockets' that can, eventually, be dangerous to your pets if they burst forth with the gas that are by-products of bacterial feeding. Better to go with a coarser substrate in your case.>> I also did find homes for some of my goldfish out of my 65 gallon tank, leaving my 2 Plecos, one Shubunkin and one tuxedo goldfish, so I moved my 3 inch fantail from the 35 gallon. So now my 65 consists of 5 fish and my 35 has 3. <<Excellent!>> I was wondering if you have any suggestions for filtration. Right now my 65 gallon has a whisper canister filter and my 35 has the double flow back. I believe I should trade filters between tanks so the 65 has more water flow than the canister can provide. <<Most canister filters provide more-than-adequate flow. What you really want to concentrate your attention to is GPH of the filter. With Goldfish, you want to look for a total exchange of, minimally, 7-12 changes per hour. For example, for your 35-gallon tank, you'd want to look at a filter that provides, at the least, approximately 280 GPH. This accounts for the fact that manufacturers tend to overrate the GPH of their filters. Go figure. :) In my opinion, an Emperor 280 would be a very fine filter for your 35-gallon tank. Aqua-Clear also makes very fine HOB filters. Don't overlook that these can be run in tandem, i.e. two filters on the same tank. Same applies to the 65-gallon tank.>> Thank you for all of your advice and input. It really does help a lot. <<My pleasure and I'm glad I could assist.>> All I want to do is make my tanks good for my fish. So far, after the fish transfer, my ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels have dropped very close to 0 which is great to see. <<Indeed! You've done extremely well. Give yourself a pat on the back!>> Thank you again, Tom. Tayla <<More than happy to help, Tayla. Keep in mind that I'm not doing the work. You are. The credit for success belongs to you, not me. Best regards. Tom>>
Re: Oranda question.
  10/12/07 Hello Tom, <<Greetings, Tayla.>> I am going to trade my filters today. I noticed that the 65 doesn't have much surface movement, and the 35 has more than enough. <<Sounds like good thinking.>> But I decided to break down and get a 95 gallon tank that I am going to have set up probably this next week after I build a stand for it. (No worries, I know how to build a stand that won't collapse under the pressure and weight of the tank.) <<So I can uncross my fingers? :) (I'm teasing you, of course.) I'd be willing to bet that most do-it-yourself stands are actually over-engineered. Not necessarily always engineered 'correctly' but, wood, if that's the material to be used, supports far more weight per square inch than most people imagine. About 750 lbs. per square inch, if memory serves.>> I'm going to put all of my fish in the 95 gallon tank. Well, what I am asking now of your expertise in goldfish is: What kind of plants can I put in the tank. I am looking for some that the fish can eat, and some that they will stay away from to ensure that my decor doesn't get eaten down to nubs leaving me with no plants in the tank? <<Some -- okay, all -- of the folks on the Crew are much better with plants than I am. My track record with fish is excellent but I can kill even artificial plants. (It's a Divine gift of mine.) However, since I don't want you to lose your good opinion of me, I can give you a site with some pretty good pointers on dealing with Goldfish and plants as well as a fairly decent selection of plants to consider, as a beginning, anyway. http://thegab.org/Articles/GoldfishPlantsLowTech.html>> Should I take all the water from my 65 gallon, put it in the 95 and add 30 of fresh, or just do half and half? <<I'd use as much as possible from the old tank, Tayla. Might as well make good use of it.>> I'm trying to do the least amount of stress on the fish as possible through the transfer from one tank to another. I have 3 tsp of pure sea salt per gallon of water in all of my tanks to rid of Ich, which is gone now :). <<Hurray!>> Should I leave it at 3 tsp or drop it to 1? <<Your fish won't need the salt now, Tayla. Best to let your fish get back to what's natural for them, which is a salt-free environment. One thing I might add here, though, is that you should take a good look at your Goldfish and make certain that they're in good condition. An extended battle with Ich can leave wounds on the fish when the encysted parasites break away from the host fish. Salt does have healing properties so you might just want to lower the dosage to a minimal level for the time being. Otherwise, I'd let it go.>> Any advise would be greatly appreciated, as it has been so far. Thank you again. <<Always happy to help, Tayla.>> My fish and sizes are as follows for my tanks, all fish will be combined into the 95. In the 65 I have: 3 Plecos, one chocolate, one leopard, and one Sailfin. Two are 11 inches and one is 8 inches. The 8 incher is a new one after a month of quarantine, healthy as can be. <<Glad to hear this.>> 2 Shubunkins, one is 7 inches and one is 1 1/2 inches. 1 fancy fantail at 6 inches, not including tail. <<Normally, I would admonish someone not to keep Goldfish with tropical fish but we've already touched on this so this is 'special'. Many experienced Goldfish keepers will run their tanks in the mid-70's F. Warmer, of course, than most of us tend to think as being appropriate for Goldies. I've a Sailfin Pleco in one of my tanks and a Gold Angelicus Pleco in another (among others), both of which I keep at 78 degrees F. (I've gone a couple of degrees higher but everyone seems more active at 78 degrees.) Anyway, you're going to have a little experimentation on your hands. You're going to be right on the 'cusp' at about 75 degrees. Lower and the Plecos will suffer. Higher and the Goldfish will.>> In the 35 I have: 1 Oranda, 3 inches not including tail. 1 black moor, 5 inches not including tail and 1 small fantail at 3 inches not including tail. <<Your 35-gallon tank is a good size for these fish. It's a good stocking arrangement that you won't want to trifle with, if you get my meaning.>> *my Oranda, moor and fantail all have very long fins and average about the same length as the fish, so with tails included it is double the sizes I have mentioned.* <<We don't count finnage, Tayla. Body size is what we're really interested in for these purposes.>> Thanks, Tayla <<You're welcome, again. Tom>>

Shimmy the Goldfish  - 10/07/2007 Hello Crew, I have a 3 inch, 8 month old fantail, Shimmy, who has been living wonderfully in my 75 gal tank with four small tropical fish with a steady water temperature of 79. I know goldfish do better in cold, but to do environmental conditions, this wasn't possible, and she doesn't seem to mind. <Goldfish are fine in subtropical aquaria, provided oxygenation is adequate. They shouldn't be kept at above 25 C though, and ideally not more than 22 C. Heat stress can, eventually, cause harm and will certainly shorten lifespan.> She was one of the first fish I bought. I had three other goldfish (all different types) which all progressively died. I believe this was due impart to the water temperature problems and that is why I switched to the tropical fish. Shimmy loves swimming around with the tropicals because of their speed. <Hmm... more likely latent schooling behaviour.> I have a bio wheel dual filter and three bubble producing aquarium pieces. <Whatever filter you have, it should provide not less than 4x the volume of the tank in turnover per hour, and ideally at least 6x. The turnover rating for the filter will be quoted on its pump or the packaging.> Yesterday, she was having some buoyancy issues and I quickly isolated her and fed her a pea and within a few hours she was fine. Today I noticed that she was not moving very much, was gulping for air at the surface and seemed to be breathing more rapidly. <Could be a variety of things... water quality, water chemistry, lack of oxygen, toxins in the water...> She also seemed to be moving her left fin less than usual. I checked the water levels: gH 120, kH 120, pH 6.0, NO2 0, NO3 0. I did a 50% water change just to be safe. The water levels were the same but there was no change in Shimmy. <Whoa... pH 6 is WAY too low for goldfish. Goldfish need hard, alkaline water. Aim for a pH around 7.5, and hardness around the 15 degrees dH, 10 degrees KH marks.> After about 5 hours I decided to give her a salt bath. I put 2tsp of Epsom Salt in a 2gal bucket filled with aquarium water. I put her in the bucket for about 30sec then put her back in the tank. She's no longer hanging around the surface and is swimming a little more, but still seems to be breathing rapidly (opening and closing her mouth a lot) and is still not moving her left fin as much as her right. I haven't fed her anything since the one pea yesterday. I was going to withhold food for a week and see what happens. Would another salt bath in a day or so also be recommended? Any help you can provide would be great. <Salt baths won't help. Not really sure what you were hoping to achieve. A 30 second salt bath with an Epsom salt concentration of 1 teaspoon per gallon will have no affect at all on anything. While I can't say for certain, my assumption is that your fish is suffering from Acidosis, that is, exposure to a pH well below its safe range. Use whatever technique to raise the hardness and pH you prefer. I'd recommend adding a couple of cups of crushed coral to a canister filter so that this would provide chemical filtration. Clean and/or replace the coral every month or two, or whenever you see the pH dropping. Remember, the pH has to be changed alongside the hardness; there's no point just adding pH buffer to the water if you don't control the hardness as well. Your water is quite soft; good for rain forest tropicals like tetras and barbs, terrible for goldfish and other hard water fish.> Thank, Linsay & Robert <Good luck, Neale>

Blinded Black Moor :( -- 10/09/07 Dear Crew, Sorry if my answer is somewhere on your site, but I have been looking and cannot find it. I have two comets and a black moor sharing a tank. There were two moors originally but one died and when we found it, it had one eye completely missing - the whole big bubble was gone and there was just a crater left. This was very disturbing, however isn't as disturbing as the fact that now the second moor is missing both eyes and is still alive. To start with the moor seemed to be growing a white substance over part of his eyes so we took a water sample to our local aquarium who told us were over-feeding them and had bad ammonia levels. As directed we cleaned out the whole tank, balanced the water, stopped feeding them so much and they looked better. The whiteness over the moors eyes was still there but was not increasing, so I assumed it would take some time for it to go away and all three fish seemed energetic. Then today in the space of a few hours both his eyes have disappeared. Firstly, what the hell happened to them!? I have this horrible idea that the other fish ate them... And secondly will he live like this? Is he in pain? What would help? He looks damn scary but if he's not suffering I'd certainly like to keep him alive, and I feel rather like I'm failing. Help please! Thanks, Lesya <Lesya, fish don't lose their eyes for no particular reason. Almost certainly, your fish lose their eyes because you have not looked after water quality. "Cleaning the tank" doesn't have any long term effect at all, and I have no idea what you mean by "balancing the water". Goldfish need clean water, and that means a reasonably large tank (not less than 30 gallons/110 litres) with a decent filter (providing turnover equal to 4-6 times the volume of the tank per hour). Water changes need to be 50% weekly, and dechlorinator must be used with each batch of new water. Overfeeding must be avoided, and part of that is to use plants, not animal or flake foods, on a regular basis. So, to answer your questions in turn: [A] What happened to the fish? You did. You let the water get foul, and the fish got sick, and you did nothing about it until it was too late. [B] Is he in pain? Difficult to say with fish, though recently scientists have begun to conclude that fish do indeed feel pain despite the differences in their nervous system compared with our own. At the very least, losing their eyes while being poisoned will be stressful. [C] What would help? Proper aquarium care. Yes, you are failing, and animals are suffering because of it. But not all is lost. There are plenty of articles here about keeping goldfish. Start here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm . Read, learn, make the changes you need to, and move on. Good luck, Neale.>

Red Cap Oranda Losing His Cap -- 10/09/07 Hello. This is my first time to this site. I was just wondering what the best way to treat my red cap Oranda would be. I've recently noticed that he is slowly losing his red cap. I just checked him again and the spot on his head has grown. Is it the start of a parasite? Or is it a fungus? I have other gold fish in the same tank. Thanks -Aaron <Your fish may have injured himself by running into something. The wound may have gotten a fungus or a bacterial infection. Do a 50% water change, vacuum the gravel and clean the filter. Treat with Nitrofurazone. This medication will turn your water a yellow-green color but is effective against both parasites.-Chuck>

Pearlscale with bubbles on skin 10/2/07 hi <Hello> I have a Pearlscale that has developed these large air bubbles (up to 5mm) along his back nearer the rear, flowing the line of his round belly. they look like liquid is trying to push through his sides, creating bubbles of thin skin. they seem to burst and be replaced quite frequently. and you get clumps of 3 or so bubbles together. he has had these for about 5days. <Perhaps air embolism... Emphysematosis> PH 7 ammonia o nitrite 0 nitrate 4 when I notices this I added salt, normal medicinal level, but this doesn't seem to have made a difference. <Mmm, no. Won't> He spends a lot of time resting at the bottom, but can swim normally as soon as he is disturbed or there is food. 30 gal, his other tank mates are a Ryukin, that's absolutely fine, and a light sensitive Oranda that always hides near the bottom. <Mmm... if it were the above-stated physical complaint, all would be affected> I would welcome any ideas and an idea of how serious this condition is. Many thanks Cate <Please give a read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/PondSubWebIndex/PdBblDisease.htm and the linked files above... Do the predisposing factors mentioned "ring a bell" with something that was done in/with this system just prior to the observed change? Bob Fenner>
Pearlscale with bubbles on skin - pictures 10/2/07
I've managed to get some pics for my previous mail below...sorry for the quality, but you can see the size of the bubbles <These do appear to be more fluid-filled than a gas... Could be tumorous... from what cause/s, influence/s? Do you have water quality test history to relate? What re these animals nutrition? BobF>
Re: Pearlscale with bubbles on skin - pictures 10/3/07
Hi Bob <Cate> I will move back to sticks and start feeding them some peas. The bubbles look no different toady. after that what would you suggest? Just wait it out for a while and see what happens, or medicate with something (not my preferred option)? <The former> Thank you for your advice :) Cate <Welcome. BobF>
Re: Pearlscale with bubbles on skin - more problems with other fish  10/12/07
hi bob my Pearlscale is still growing skin bubbles, even more now than before and not swimming from the bottom unless really disturbed. Also my Ryukin has developed a problem. the first few spines on his top fin are clamped and turning white. Is this fin rot? I obviously must have a bacterial infection or something. What would you suggest would be the best form of treatment? Thanks for your advice Cate <Bob's not about, so I'll step in here. Goldfish with skin complains are best treated in the first instance with a combination Finrot-fungus medication. In the UK at least, a good all-round medication is eSHa 2000. In other areas, look for an equivalent combination treatment. Make sure you remove carbon from the filter (if you're using it). Aquarium conditions are to blame 9 times out of 10, so review the conditions in the tank. Goldfish need hard, alkaline water; lots of space; regular water changes (50% weekly); and a filter producing a turnover of around 6 times the volume of the tank in turnover per hour. Avoid using live foods that might bring in disease, such as Tubifex worms. Conversely, make sure you use lots of green foods. A bunch of Elodea pondweed is an ideal "salad bar" for goldfish and you can let them eat that stuff instead of flake or pellet for several meals per week. Cheers, Neale>

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

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