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FAQs About Goldfish Disease/Health 24

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 36, Goldfish Health 37, Goldfish Health 38

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

Sick Goldfish. Something amiss with the original set-up, maintenance, obviously poor nutrition, compounded with the introduction of an infested (but with what?)  8/25/06 I have asked many people from pet stores and even showed someone that has worked for a pet store 10 years my poor sick Goldfish and no one knows what's wrong.  First the basics.  She's about a year old. (I don't really know if it's a girl or boy)  She's the kind with a red thing on her head. <A "Wen"... a Lionhead variety...> She's been pretty healthy all her life.  Except for she has always seemed to "sleep" for awhile in the corner of the tank daily. <Environmental...> I assumed she was sleeping. <Mmm, no. Something amiss in this fish's habitat, water quality> her fins always dropped and she just sat there.  I have tried very hard to keep her healthy.  I do frequent water testing and her water always tests really good. <Non-informational... this is an opinion, not useful fact>   I do water changes about once a month.  She is in a 20 gallon tank and has always been by herself.  I felt she was lonely <Don't get lonely... this is an anthropomorphism on your part> so I bought her a friend. (another goldfish) <Oh oh...> Everything was going fine until the last couple of days.  She was moving pretty slow (so was the new fish) so I did a half water change. <Good> They immediately started swimming again.  However, about a week later she started slowing down again.  Then today she was upside down on the bottom of the tank breathing slowly. <Very bad> I immediately tested water.  everything was perfect.  She began swimming really good again and my pet store suggested (stomach bloat from eating too much air and to give her inside of peas)  She is still eating and has NEVER lost her drive to eat.  So later on in the day I really started looking at her.  She has really bad ripped up fins that I have never noticed before.  This could be from the new fish.  However, she also has something that looks like blood under her skin next to her gills. (one side only)  I separated her from the other fish. (who is perfectly fine)  She is just floating around letting the water take her around.  She is really sick.  Do you know what's wrong? <Not well enough from the paucity of data offered...> Is it too late to save her?  She's our office fish and we love her! Any suggestions would be helpful.  No one else seems to know what it is. Shannon <Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshdisease.htm here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshmalnut.htm and the linked files above. Something amiss with the original set-up, maintenance, obviously poor nutrition, compounded with the introduction of an infested (but with what?) new fish... Bob Fenner>

Oranda Goldfish and Mystery Snails   8/24/06 Hello WetWebMedia Crew! <Me Bob, you Jane> First of all, I am very impressed by your website. I am new to the aqua world, and I found so much useful information here. <Ah, good> Here is my story. Four months ago, I got a ten gallon tank, cycled it for about a week with filter, water conditioner and then got a small Oranda. <Mmmm, likely needed to cycle longer...> Everything was going well, he was eating well and growing fast. I was feeding him flakes, sinking pellets and peas or spinach. I was also fascinated with mystery snails, so I got five of them from my LFS. <Yikes...> For a while, everybody looked good and healthy. Then, one of the snails stopped moving around. I separated him from the rest but he died few days later. <Stinky!> One by one, three more snails died. I think that one of them was in the tank for a while before I noticed that it has died. I should mention that I was changing water more or less every day, about 2 gallons each time. But when the snails got sick, the water turned smelly and greenish and I had to do water changes twice a day. <Oh, yes> Ammonia levels were good according to the color chart. Then one morning I found my Oranda on the bottom of the tank, not moving much and not interested in food which was unusual for him. I continued to do water changes, then went to my LFS and they suggested Maracyn 2 medication. <... for?> Got that, took the filter out and started medicating. By then, Oranda was gulping for air all the time, and the water was slimy. Yesterday I found my Oranda dead. He was beautiful. Do you think he got sick because of the snails? <To a large extent, yes... their deaths likely poisoned the water, increased stress levels too high, too fast> Is it a bad idea to have mystery snails with goldfish? <Mmmm, no... "like" about the same water quality, not predaceous with each other... But both need to be healthy, fed...> Is it possible to have both and keep them healthy? I appreciate your advice. Thank you! Jane <Yep... please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwsnails.htm and here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner> Re: Oranda Goldfish and Mystery Snails  8/25/06 Thank you, Bob. <Welcome Jane> LPS <LFS... the other applies to stony corals...> guy recommended Maracyn 2 for dropsy after I described my situation to him just as I did it to you. <... okay> I have to confess, I got four more snails right before my Oranda died (again from the LPS). Now I am somewhat afraid to get another goldfish. At least for a month or so, until the water is clean again and assuming the snails are alive and well. <A good idea to wait at this time... Cheers, BobF>

Goldfish in bowl, atrocious English 8/25/06 hello, < Howdy! > I have had a Veiltail(?) fish for about 8 months, and another one that looks just like it in shape, but it was much smaller and blackish red. about three days ago the little one mysteriously died, right before I was going to do their monthly tank cleanout. < You may need to perform the water changes more often. > I have a small tank, about a gallon, gallon and a half and I always keep it clean. < That size tank would definitely benefit from weekly partial water changes! > the water is room temperature, and the filter is underground. I am a first time fish owner and I thought this tank would be perfect for starting up. < That is a common misconception. Unfortunately the smaller the body of water is, the less time between drama and disaster! That tank is truly too small for goldfish of any sort. > anyhow, right when the little fish died, I immediately cleaned out the tank, for fear it would somehow infect the larger fish. About a day later, that one started acting weird. it stopped eating  and swimming, and still continues to lie motionless on the bottom of the  tank. < If you changed out too much water, that can throw the stability of the biological filtration of the tank out of whack. > yesterday I found it floating upside down behind the plant I  keep in the tank, until I nudged it a little bit with my net. my dad  suggested I clean the tank out again, at which time I noticed the water was  a bit warm. < You should pre-mix your water change water the night before, to allow the chemicals to work and to allow the temperature to stabilize. > after cleaning again, I put in the usual 10 drops of START  RIGHT contaminate reducer but it still acted as if it were dying. I have noticed  that its tail and fins were rotting, and the area where its gills are turning red. I actually thought I saw a trace of blood when it moved in the  water. I wasn't sure  what I was doing wrong. < Probably too much food in, too many fish, too small of a tank, and not frequent enough partial water changes. > I haven't changed anything in  their diet, or water type or anything. I thought maybe it wasn't getting enough  oxygen in the water because of its rapid breathing. but please, if you have any  advice on what I should do, please tell me. < Does anyone use aerosols, carpet fresh, room deodorizers, air fresheners or the like? If so, this could encourage the problem we are currently experiencing. > thank you very  much < Good luck! RichardB >

Black moor, overnight in a bowl...    8/22/06 Just this summer my boyfriend bought me 2 black moor goldfish. These are not my first pet fish I've had betas and I grew up helping take care of a large tank of tropical fish. They have been living happily in a 10 gallon tank <Need more room...> with a tadpole and an African dwarf frog for over a month now. As I was preparing to move back into my dorms I transferred the two fish into a smaller 1 gallon tank. They were only going to be in this tank over night <Would have moved to the bowl just ahead of transporting> and during the drive to school (its only an hour away). This morning I woke up and one of the fish was dead and had turned a yellowish gold color. <Good description... stress...> The other fish was staying at the top of the tank. <Yes... lack of oxygen, likely high ammonia due to stress, dead tankmate> I changed the water and put the tadpole and frog in a different container as well as putting the fish in a different tank so I could clean the other one. <Good> My other fish has also turned slightly yellowish, no where near as bad as the dead one but I can only assume he's heading in that direction. <Agreed> I've been researching for over an hour and can't seem to find a good explanation. What could be causing this? thank you, Claire <In a word: "stress"... best to get all back into larger quarters ASAP. Bob Fenner>

8 month old tank...1 black moor still alive ( have had 6 others die in turn!) What's wrong with out tank?? Too small...   8/23/06 Hi, <Hello there> Basically we got our 28 litre tank (GB) Xmas 2005....and put in it our beloved black moor, Mr. Bankouli (don't ask...the children named him!)...and also Jimbo another fancy. <Eight or so gallons is not enough room for these...>   A few weeks later we added a couple of mountain minnows and another couple of fancies, <...> having been told this would be ok by the pet store <If told we could walk on the ceiling... I still wouldn't believe them> (we now realize this was probably too many!).....  So in went Dimbo and Liccle and we added a filter (a Fluval 1plus) at the same time.....all was well, or so we thought for a little while until Liccle started hiding around the bottom of the tank...this lasted a week until he died.  We didn't know why <"Environmental stress"> ...but the others looked ok so we just put it down to bad luck (as we were new to it all).  Soon after this, though....Dimbo started to lurk around in the weeds but was still interested in food, then gradually got worse.....I started looking into what the problems could be and realized that the flaked food we had been giving them every day wasn't the best....and having read about <Good...> swim bladder etc....added bloodworms and peas to their diets.  It was too late for Dimbo who I think had overeaten.....I also cut back on their feeds.  A shame the shop didn't give us more info but you live and learn is the only way I can look at it I guess. <Not to trust one source (even us/I)...>   At this point we decided from info I'd read...not to add any more fish...it was probably about right now.....but Mr. Bankouli and Jimbo seemed to be gasping at the top of the tank....this had been going on for a while (this tank ain't big enough for all of us!).... <Bingo> but I also got concerned about oxygen.....so we bought an air stone and pump etc.......which of course the fish loved!  This all sounds good ......and was for a while until Jimbo became poorly, at this point we started to get upset we're doing something wrong..... <Ah, good> Jimbo appeared to have swim bladder too but I wondered did we have bacteria in the tank.... <They're everywhere...> no signs obvious except for enlarged gills and soon having medicated with basic shop medication..... Jimbo died too.  Soon after getting over Jimbo's death..... we added Spot another fancy to keep our Mr. Bankouli company... he loves to chase the 'ladies' after eating!  Though, he's not a bullying fish at all...he's very affectionate to his tank mates....'Spot' and he were very happy together for quite a few months, and we thought we'd got it sussed at last!  Unfortunately... we had a very hot spell of weather during July and my partner was away working when the water turned and we didn't change it for a couple of days longer than normal.  Spot didn't look well... <See Spot go, no Spot no...> but improved after the water change and I hoped he'd be ok.   But. gradually he worsened...I treated the tank with salt and a Mela fix.... <...> having become inactive and lurking in the weeds, within a few days he had died.  I put it down to something to do with the water? <Yes, too little of it...> But is there a bacterial problem? <Perhaps induced> Well, next we got Speedster, <On its way to motoring into obscurity...> a Pearlscale from a different shop (as our other one is moving soon)....we had the Pearlscale for only a couple of day when he developed fin rot...I tried to treat it with MelaFix <Worthless> and salt but it was worsening and bloody streaks were in the fins...then the little minnows started to nip...so I took him back to the shop.  They hospitalized him.....and I hope he is now ok.  It turned out he was hemorrhaging or something....but was this to do with our tank? <Yes... too crowded> We then had a Paradise fish who was only with us a day (not even time to be named!) before he beat up our Mr. Bankouli (the black moor).....he was a mess, and we were so upset....obviously the Gourami was returned to the shop straight away!  We returned with a another moor (of speckled variety)... <No....> who Mr. Bankouli was terrified of for a few hours before becoming best friends!  At this point (this was last wk) we were hopeful.....they were getting on well, and Mr. Bankouli's scales were healing (I added salt and MelaFix).  BUT then they got Whitespot!!!  Gutted!!  Mr. Bankouli didn't have it very badly but 'Mrs.' Bankouli (they had an arranged marriage!) <I see> was becoming more riddled daily.  I treated with the medicine as per the instructions and within a few days Mr. Bankouli was looking a lot better ( he suffered some nipping from the minnows which I was worried about but it passed)....At this point I removed Mrs. BK to a hospital tank, I was just concerned she would pass more on the Mr. BK.  The tank is I'm sure too small and not really suitable but I didn't want her to die (and I felt it was inevitable unfortunately) in the main tank....I continued medicating in smaller measures but she unfortunately died today. <Likely the "medicine" killed off the biological filter/bacteria...>   I just can't believe it <I can> ....I would love to put another fish in to keep Mr. BK company.... <Please... don't> but we don't seem to be able to keep them alive......why is Mr. BK ok?? <"Acclimated"... classical habituation to ambient conditions...> When all the other have had the same treatment and died....I don't understand any more! <Or less either!> Mr. BK does not have anymore white spots on him at the mo....I have salted the tank....and treated the tank for Ich with white spot treatment.  After that I don't know what to do.....Can you help please? Or tell me what I'm doing wrong? <Yep... easily> As I say, I'd love to put in another fancy to keep Mr. Bankouli company but I don't want to have any more fish die......he seems to be rock hard Mr. BK!   I'm sorry it's such a long email but I wanted you to know the whole situation in case there's anything that helps you to help us!  Thank you.....Karen, Colin, Merle (9) and Zak (4). <Your tank is too small for even the one fish... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner, 54... today> ... More re dead/killed goldfish?   8/23/06 Basically....I wonder......where did the white spot come from?? <Umm, one of the newcomers...>   I forgot to mention that a previous fish and Mr. BK did have it mildly but with treatment it cleared up quite quickly.  Did it arrive on the fish....or did we have it in the tank? I've read this doesn't happen....? <What doesn't happen?> Also, general info on our tank.......it is in our kitchen......I am concerned there are fluctuating temperatures..... <Could be a factor... the tank should have a heater... set "low"> the ceiling is plastic and the room gets hotter when its hot.....and colder when its cold (if you know what I mean.) <A heater...> I also forgot to mention that Spot developed Dropsy...at the very end of his little fishy life. We've had so many different diseases in this tank....I'm so confused. Karen, Colin, Merle, Zak <Umm, get, keep reading... BobF>
... More re dead/killed goldfish?   8/23/06
> Sorry...I forgot to ask.....is it possible Mr. BK is an asymptomatic carrier?  Can I therefore not add any more fish to his tank? Thanks, > Karen, > Colin, Merle, Zak Hi...I wasn't chatting with anyone yet....thanks for getting back to me...I've just resent the mail.....have you got it? Thanks....Karen <Thank you... did receive (twice)... not likely the original fish was an asymptomatic carrier... but good question... Could be. Bob Fenner>

Goldfish in trouble   8/23/06 Hey Crew. Here's my situation. I have two fantail goldfish in a 33 gal. tank. I've had these guys for nearly a year and a half now, and after overcoming my initial rookie mistakes (overstocking an un-cycled tank) they have gone on to thrive and grow into two lovely fish. <Yay!> In the past few days I've noticed trouble though. One had what I initially thought was a fin injury (the tip of one caudal lobe was gone). I added some aquarium salt at 1 tbsp per 5 gallons and kept an eye on it. <Good> My observations yesterday were that the initial "injury" wasn't any worse, but I did notice some fraying on the other caudal lobe of the same fish. Also upon very close examination, I noticed some very faint red streaks in the tail of the other fish. So far both fish are behaving normally. Water tests revealed ammonia and nitrite at 0 ppm, nitrate at 10 ppm, and pH of 7.7. The only thing amiss here is pH; I usually only test weekly, and last week it was 8.2. My pH is consistently in the 8.0-8.2 range, so this makes me wonder if fluctuating pH is the root cause of my problems. <Mmm, maybe a contributing cause... would be better near neutral...> I'll begin testing daily to monitor that. The tank is stable and mature, I can't think of anything else that's been out of place lately. I'm inclined to try and medicate these fish; is there a specific product you'd recommend? Thanks in advance for your help, gang! JM <I would not "treat" these goldfish given what is stated above... but would "step up" my water change procedure to 20-25% a week or so... Bob Fenner>

Fantail with White Smudges on Tail   8/21/06 Thank you for such a great site.  It's really been helpful but I can't seem to find the answer to my question.  I have a 10 gallon tank, Whisper filter, aerator and 25 watt heater with a 2" fantail (Harold - 4 months) and a 1" veiltail (Mike - 1 month).  I did a weekly 25% water change/vacuumed gravel yesterday.  Today, water tested (as usual) Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 20, <I would keep the nitrates at no higher than this> PH 7.2, Hardness 250, Alkalinity 80 (using Mardel test strips).  I noticed some small white smudges on Harold's tail fins.  They are not spots - more like small smears.  I've had some trouble keeping the water at a constant temperature. <Mmm, how inconstant?> The tank is near an outside wall (only available spot) so I have a heater and try to keep the water temp at 67 - 68. <You might want to move the tank a few inches away from the outside wall... attaching a quarter, half inch thick Styrofoam insulating panel (can buy, cut from Lowe's, Home Depot...) will greatly reduce the outside thermal influence>   The last heater was apparently broken since it raised the temp to 74.  The new heater seems okay and the temp is back to 67. <I see> Would the fluctuation in temperature cause the smudges? <Not likely by itself... but the high nitrates along with this... a very real possibility> What is it and should I start some kind of medication (no hospital tank)? <I would NOT. Too likely that such addition will throw your water quality out of whack... be much more harmful> Both fish sometimes swim around tilted to the side.  I feed soaked sinking pellets twice a day and peas every other day.  Could this also be attributed to temperature stability? <Not by itself, no>   Thanks so much for all your help. Adriann <Daily water changes of about 10-15%... replacing the water with aged... Would be the route I would go here. I do agree with you re the high likelihood that the smudging is environmental in origin... Fix the environment, and you'll fix the goldfish. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Goldfish septicemia?   8/21/06 Hello, and thank you in advance for your help. I have a 20 gallon aquarium with a power filter with three comets (two approx 2 inches and one 4 inches). <Will eventually be too crowded...> The two smaller fish are new to me (about a month) and I don't know if my problem is environmental or possibly came with the fish. <Could be either, both... am sure you're aware... had you read on WWM re> The aquarium is still cycling. Today's water qualities are: Ammonia 0; Nitrite 0.25 (down from 5.0); <Yeeikes!> pH 6.6-6.8. After discovering the toxic nitrite level, I have been doing frequent water changes. However, one of my fish has random dark reddish-brown patches on it's body and fin edges that are getting worse each day (today is the third day since I first saw them). <Could be just resultant from the nitrites presence> The fish has seemingly normal behavior, swims frequently and apparently with ease, very interested in eating, does not hang out at the top or bottom of tank, etc. The fish definitely seems worse after eating protein (bloats, fins down, slow-moving) so I've just been sparingly feeding the fish peas. <Good> The other two fish look and act healthy. I'm wondering if this is septicemia and if the discoloration at this point reflects damage that has been done already (prior to the water changes) and is just manifesting on the outside of the fish or if it is continuing damage. <Mmm... septicemia, literally "dirty blood" is generally bacterial involved... resultant from a good number/mix of environmental, nutritional, pathogenic challenges...> I've read through the forum and have seen conflicting info regarding adding salts and correcting the pH. I'm also wondering if a biological filter can grow on epoxy-coated gravel. <Good question... can/does in time... despite its "smoothness", chemically inert properties... sorts of "bio-film" form on it, and the detritus/mulm twixt supports microbial activity> Can you please advise me what the best course of action is for how to save this fish and not endanger the others? Thanks again, Tami <Mmm... yes, please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm and the linked files above. I would not "treat" this system as in dumping in chemicals... Bob Fenner>
Re: goldfish septicemia? Tom Explains All! & Politely to boot   8/21/06
<<Hi, Tami. Tom with you this time.>> Thank you so much for your quick reply. <<That credit goes to Bob.>> The fish is still acting well, interested in food and swimming normally. The dark patches are continuing to spread. The nitrite level is being maintained at 0 - 0.25. <<Okay.>> I've re-read the article you posted as well as the FAQs re nitrites and color changes, and I still have a few questions. If the patches are due to nitrite poisoning, at what point would they go away? What is it about nitrites that cause this? Is there a way you can tell easily that it is nitrite poisoning vs. an infectious process? When a fish changes colors as part of its maturation, is it patchy or more consistent? <<Tami, I'm going to take all of your questions in a "lump", so to speak and, hopefully, provide some insight. Nitrites "bind" with the hemoglobin in the fish's blood. What this means in "normal people terms" is that it "attracts" the oxygen away from the hemoglobin molecules, which are the components that carry oxygen through the bloodstream. What does this mean? Bright red blood is oxygen-rich. Dark red blood is oxygen-poor. The dark patches you're seeing are the result of oxygen-poor blood reaching the skin, hence, scales of your fish. In extreme cases of nitrite poisoning, the hemoglobin is so depleted of its ability to transport oxygen that the fish (in our case) literally suffocates. In milder cases (yours, I suspect), there's enough oxygen being delivered to maintain the fish though there are outward signs of oxygen deprivation. Not seriously, but enough to display itself as you've seen. Were this Septicemia, there would be no "patching" but rather "puddling" or streaking. Provided that there weren't any secondary water condition problems, i.e. nitrite issues, you'd see bright red streaks in the fins or along the body. In short, the hemoglobin would be intact and, the internal "bleeding" would be the likely result of a pathogenic cause. Now, will the dark patches go away? Tami, frankly, I don't know. My "gut" feeling is that these will return to their normal coloration but I can't state this definitively. As for coloration changes as your fish mature, with Goldfish this will likely come in "patches". A small change here and there. With other fish, these changes are broader, sometimes resulting in an adult being darned-near unrecognizable from the juvenile of the species.>> Thank you again for your help. <<I hope I have here, Tami. Interesting questions and I'm glad you asked. :) Tom>>
Re: goldfish septicemia?
  8/27/06 Thanks again for all the great info. Tank chemistry is being satisfactorily maintained and the dark spots on the fish are finally fading. You have been so so helpful ... <<Great news, Tami! Thanks for letting us know. Tom>>

My Poor Goldfish   8/16/06 Hello, I hope you can help me. I have a goldish (just an common orange fish, not sure of breed) <Very likely what is called a common or Comet goldfish...> which my three year old niece won at a fair and I offered to take him in and care for him. The first thing I did was to go out and replace his bowl with a tank which came with gravel, carbon filter and plastic plant. This tank is a 20 litre tank, which I was assured was ample for my goldfish and a couple more if we wanted, <Mmm, no...> after reading through your website though I decided it was too small for another fish. <Correct> We have had Carrot (yes, I know, but she is only three years old after all!) for about 6 weeks now, and he has been fine and dandy in his tank. I do a 20-30% water change once a week, and also test the water once a week with a kit which tests hardness, pH, nitrates and nitrites. It doesn't test for ammonia though. My water is always clear, and we now have some brownish algae on the plant pot and the tank walls, <Good> so I am assuming the tank has now matured? <Likely so> I use a water treatment to de-chlorinate the water and also a water conditioner which  is supposed to be good for goldfish skin (slime?). <Yes> I feed Carrot three times a day with Nutrafin Max goldfish flakes, which are low in ash and phosphorus (just in case you needed to know that!). He gets as much food as he will eat in about 5 min.s. I also feed him thawed and shelled frozen peas every other day. We also bought Carrot a live plant for the tank <Very good> as the plastic one doesn't contribute much, there are three varieties but I'm not sure what they are. He doesn't really seem interested in eating them though. <Some are not "tasty"> Right, that's my background information. Sorry it's a bit convoluted but I though I'd give you as much information as I possibly can. These past couple of days Carrot has been feeling quite under the weather. He keeps floating either at the top of the tank or resting on the bottom. He has several scales missing on both sides, his dorsal fin is clamped down and he is gulping (for air?) quite a lot. <Bad signs> He doesn't seem to be interested in food and takes no notice of me when I go and see him, whereas previously he'd get quite excited. I can't seem to find out what is wrong with him. <Very likely something "brought in" with the fish... takes a while to express itself... could be even just the change from living in a pond setting... cooler, more stable water quality, and the new setting> From what I can gather off your website, he seems to have symptoms of velvet, parasites and bacteria! I don't want to go filling the tank with things that he may not need so I wondered if you might be able to help? He also seems to have a whitish bloom on his skin and seems quite bloated and very lethargic. I don't understand what might have made him like this? <Mmm, could be many things as you've surmised... a good general treatment involves "aquarium salt" here> I took some water from the tank to be tested at our local aquatics centre and they said all our levels of everything, including ammonia, were perfect. I though maybe it was ammonia poisoning but now I don't know!! <Not likely with the system up/going this long> Please can you help poor Carrot? Kind regards Samantha Kimber <Please consider the salt treatment... Safe, often effective... not nearly as toxic as other "medicines". Bob Fenner>
Re: My Poor Goldfish  8/20/06
Thank you very much for your help with Carrot. I added some aquarium salt, as directed on the packet, which was supposed to be 0.9% for treating fish with disease, which they advised to add gradually over three or four days. <A good approach...> I had only got up to 0.6% concentration when the water started turning quite cloudy yesterday and I woke up this morning to find poor Carrot floating belly up. <Yikes...> Is the water supposed to do this when you add salt? <Can... what likely happened is a die-off of your microbial life... some of which are essential... in converting biological waste> Was there anything else I could have done to help Carrot? <Mmm... a larger tank, careful quarantine... likely prophylactic treatment... As stated (see WWM re Goldfish), Comets are particularly fraught with large, diverse parasite loads, high stress...> Please could you advise how to make my tank safe for another occupant? Many thanks Sam Kimber <... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwsetupindex.htm Much, much to state/share. Bob Fenner>

Goldfish Ich   8/19/06 Hi, <<Hello. Tom>> My black moor has only recently caught Ich, and I have been using Melafix to try and cure it. <<Melafix is not particularly effective, if at all, against Ich. It might be used as a follow-up treatment once the parasites are eradicated but won't do the job by itself.>> I have been reading that I should use salt instead. <<This is our recommendation, yes.>> I have some AquaMaster Conditioning Salts, and I was wondering if I could use this, and if this was the type of salt that they were talking about. <<No. Aquarium salt is what is prescribed. Pure sodium chloride. The AquaMaster product contains additional elements and is "designed" for conditioning water. Probably not likely to be as effective as plain aquarium salt. Two to three tablespoons of aquarium salt per five gallons of water is a good place to start. Remember that elevating the temperature of the tank water is not an option with Goldfish so avoid doing this. Sounds like you caught this early, though, which is a big advantage.>> Thanks again. <<Glad to help. Tom>>

Jeremy, got a tank....   8/24/06 <<Hey, Jeremy.>> Hey Tom, just wanted to let you know that as soon as I received your e-mail, I went to Wal-Mart and bought a 20-gallon tank with a Whisper filtration system. Right now, I am just waiting for the water to sit a little while to reach room temperature before I add the black moor. Hopefully this will solve the problem. I wanted to thank you very much for your help earlier. <<Happy to help any time I can, Jeremy.>> I just started college at the U. of South Carolina and the black moor and my dark red gravel makes for the perfect Gamecock fish tank. -Jeremy <<Congratulations on starting at a fine school. Best of luck to both of you! Tom>>

New Art: gold fish dyeing, Actually Goldfish dying... no useful info.   8/17/06 Hi <Hello> I recently moved my tank and had to change the water. my fish are dying one by one. they sit on the bottom with there mouths open . as I had been reading on your site my fish could have the benz. <As in Mercedes?> they are about 10-15 years old if it matters. <Does... someone has been doing things "right" for a good, long time> some seem fine while some are in a trance. some eat and some move around. the 1st fish that died couldn't swim down he keep floating to the top. its been 5 days since the change, 4 of my 13 has died. I feel bad for them and don't know what to do. how can I de-benz them? they look to be clean skinned and healthy nothing growing on them. it almost seems like they are suffocating.                                   Thanks                                       Scott                                                        ps: fish are friends <Scott, your English is atrocious... And your answers are here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm and here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshdisease.htm and the linked files above. Get reading. Bob Fenner>

Is it fin rot? Goldfish hlth.   8/16/06 Hi, <Hello there> I have a question...I hope you have the answer, please, please. <Will likely have a/some answer...> We have had  our comet goldfish for almost five years.  He's been living in a five-gallon tank and has not had any problems.  We recently added two young comet goldfish.   <... too much for this volume period... and likely the newcomers had/bear many pathogens> It's been about a week and something is wrong with our older fish.  It appears as though his ventral fins are gone.   <Yikes> Just little points  are sticking out where they used to be.  He's still eating and swimming like normal.  What may be happening?  Was adding the little fish a mistake? <Yes> An aquarium store gave us some advice...we did a partial water change, removed the charcoal from the filter, and have started adding 1/2 tsp. of Melafix.  What do you think?  Does that sound reasonable?   <Mmm, is "something" to do... but will not save these fish, no> Any thoughts or advice on this would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, The Rawleys <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm and: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshdisease.htm and the linked files at top. Bob Fenner>

Sick Lionhead Goldfish, no useful info.   8/11/06 Tested water and water quality is great. <Need numbers... as you might guess> However, my goldfish has 2 lumps on it body. They are just behind the gills on both sides of the goldfish (in the same place on both sides, it kinda looks like it swallowed a stick and it is making its skin stick out on both sides). At first it only had one lump then a few days later on the other side another has come up. Do you know what this is caused from? <Not from the information presented. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Spinning goldfish, no useful info.   8/11/06 my gold fish suddenly just started to spin around. Also last night my mom just added water to the tank. But all the other goldfishes seemed healthy except my big goldfish. I don't know if this is a disease or  is there something wrong with it. Since it keeps spinning and can't swim straight, it can't eat. I tried to hand feed him but it didn't work; also the tail is bended on its right side so it always spinning to the right side. He does this the whole time. He can go down and up while spinning. What is this cause? Is there something wrong with it's tail or is it the water? <Can't tell with the information presented> Since I checked the water and everything is ok. Please answer this. ** Katherine Nguyen ** <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
Re: spinning gold fish, reading  8/12/06
so you cant really tell what the cause is...well do you know if spinning is a symptom of a disease or something else; <... yes... is posted where you were directed to read, search> because my mom said it might because of old age. But we had this goldfish for almost a year since we bought him at the pet store. Back then he was small and now he grew to a bigger size so I don't think he can die now. <... Read. Bob Fenner>

Goldfish changing color after being treated for Ick   8/11/06 Hi <Hello> I hope you can help me. After only three years of fish keeping I consider myself very much a beginner and despite looking on the web I have not found an answer to this. I have a 55 litre tropical tank. I have some assorted tropical fish but also two goldfish (they started off this hobby when someone was throwing them out and I took them rather than see them euthanized). <Mmm, not a good idea to keep mixed...> As we have a stove in the room where then tank is located it became very warm and after a year or so of that we thought we had better buy a heater to ensure that if the stove went out our fish did not die (I am just trying to explain why I end up with a mix of tropical fish and goldfish) Anyway I take great care of the tank and water quality etc and even just last week when I checked everything with my test strips ph etc was all fine. However I introduced some new fish a few weeks ago and I think that the water they came in may have had Ick in it because my two goldfish are now showing symptoms. I have checked and it is classic Ick, not male breeding spots. I read about adding salt to the water and did so. I also got Jungle Ick guard and after a partial water change and vacuuming the gravel I added it in the correct dosage last night. <Good> However this morning I notice that my two goldfish have discoloured tails and fins. Is this normal or have I done something wrong? <May be stress marking from the medication... the ingredients are actually quite different in their effect depending on water quality... rather toxic in more soft, acidic (and warmer) water> I would really appreciate your help Claire Kelly <Mmm, but some "genetic lines" of goldfish are also much more easily given to changing color... Best to continue with the treatment regimen here... But I would separate the goldfish and tropicals ultimately. Bob Fenner>
Re: Goldfish changing color after being treated for Ick   8/14/06
Bob I really appreciate your reply. I have noticed the colour change seems to be reversing itself so it probably was stress and I just panicked. <Ahhh!> I intend to continue with the treatment regime and continue to monitor water quality which as of Friday was still grand <Good> As for the mix of tropical and goldfish I appreciate it is not ideal but I can't face the idea of giving my goldfish away to someone who won't look after them as well as I will and I don't have room for another coldwater tank. So far everything seems very happy together (until this case of Ick of course) Once again I appreciate your response Claire Kelly (Northern Ireland) <Thank you for the follow-up. Bob Fenner, Southern California>

Dead Feeder Fish...   8/11/06 WWM crew- <<Hi, Amy. Tom>> I am writing because I am watching my friend's saltwater and freshwater tanks for 3 days. Yesterday (2nd day), I came to her house and 7 of the 10 fish in the freshwater tank were dead (feeder fish). They were covered in this white film. <<Sadly, not at all uncommon. Feeder fish are just about the lowest end of the "fish" chain, care-wise. If it's "contractable", these fish will get it.>> The other fish left seem to be doing ok but one is developing white crystals on it as well. I went to the local PetSmart with a water sample and they said all the levels were normal. They recommended Ick treatment ASAP. <<"Normal" isn't a great deal of help to us but it sounds like they made a good call on the Ich treatment.>> So, I bought this Jungle brand Ich Clear stuff. It seems to be doing the trick but I am not sure where I should proceed. I am not a fish owner but since I have no way of contacting my friend about her own fish I am hesitant to do a second treatment when she will be home in less than 24 hours from now. <<Amy, pretend that you are, in fact, a fish owner. Proceed with the manufacturer's recommendations and fill your friend in on what you've done. No time for "expounding" here.>> Can Ich really develop this quickly to kill 70% of the fish in one day? <<If Ich killed these fish, they were "long gone" at the time of purchase (assuming they weren't being "kept"). Ruthless as Ich can be, it doesn't kill that quickly though it's possible that neither of us knows the real "time frame" here. My concern, and the one you should pass along to your friend, is the "white film". My best guess is that this is Columnaris, a bacterial infection that's highly contagious. This may have precipitated the Ich outbreak in the other fish but will require different treatment.>> Also, is it possible that the wrong food (i.e. saltwater fish food) could have caused this outbreak? <<Relax, Amy. Cryptocaryon/Oodinium (saltwater Ich) would not fare well in freshwater. In fact, a common treatment for saltwater Ich is a FW "dip". You haven't "messed up". :)>> Thanks for your time! Amy <<Hope all turns out well. Tom>> Thanks Tom. I really appreciate it. I saved the last 3 fish and they seem to be doing well. I will pass the other information along to her. Amy <<Glad to hear this, Amy. You did a fine job given the situation you found yourself in. Tom>>

Pop Eye or Late Blooming Telescope on Fantail - 8/10/2006 I have sent two of these in about two weeks time so I am attempting to use this e-mail I found in your FAQs on FAQs.    I DEEPLY apologize if you have gotten the previous two and just been very busy. <Mmm, have not seen. Thank you for sending this here> Shellie _________________________________________ I have three goldfish and one Pleco in a 55 gallon long tank.   Two are fantails and one is a comet.    All of them act normal and get along for the most part.     There is some nipping and chasing but it never seems to be serious.    We have had them since Nov 1st, 2005.   My question is on the smallest fantail.    He is a beautiful fish but his eyes are starting to protrude. <I see this>        I first noticed about two weeks ago and I have been watching them very carefully daily if not several times a day.      We are very attached to these fish.   If it helps, they were babies when we bought them, only 1-2 inches including tails.   I belong to a pet forum and have posted about this issue before but I get conflicting answers.     Can you tell from this picture if Sara has pop eye or his Momma had an affair with a telescope eye? <Really believe it is the latter... Seem uniform, the fish looks like it's in good health>       Sorry about the name, my son named them and we didn't know he was male until he got the white dots on his gills.      I really hope you can help.    By the way, my water parameters are all within the normal ranges.   I know the tank is small so I change the water every third day, including cleaning the canister filter.         I can send a different picture if this one doesn't help. Shellie __________________________________________   I sent this once and waited about 48 hours before re-sending.         If you just have not had the time to get to my e-mail I deeply apologize.           At this point I am going to assume it was lost and re-send with a receipt so I know you get it.      Thank you. <I would not be concerned here. Bob Fenner>

Re: Your response to Re: Pop Eye or Late Blooming Telescope on Fantail   8/11/06       I wrote to you about my fantail, Sara.     He either had pop eye or was simply a late blooming telescope eye.     I just wanted to thank you for your reassurance and send you a couple of photos of my babies.      Despite being in an aquarium, they are very vibrant and I am proud of them.      Thank you once again. <Ahh, thank you for this> P.S. I was inordinately pleased that I was not asked to correct my mail.      Having been out of school for several years I figured I would have many errors. <Heeee! Make a few myself... daily. BobF>

Balloon Mollies in 10g tank that housed goldfish which died... Goldfish health, Melafix, Molly Sys.   8/8/06 Hi Bob, <Anish> I found your site today while searching for information on Balloon Mollies.  Love the site.  It looks like a place for compressive and complete information on maintaining aquariums. <We try> I have a 10 gallon tank in my office that housed a single small fantailed goldfish and two live plants. <Now nice>   I have a filter that cycles 100 gallons per minute.  Nothing else.  I had this setup for a little over a year and my little Princess (originally my daughters goldfish) prospered.  A lot of people in my office complained that Princess was lonely and needed company (as if I was not enough!) <Mmm... they are wrong here... anthropomorphic... Other life is not "like humans" necessarily>   So my wife bought me a black fan tailed gold fish who was nearly twice as big as Princess - Al Capone. <A fitting name here...> Al Capone bullied Princess on the first day but after that left her alone.  However pretty soon Princess began to show symptoms of stress.  She got Ick and died.  I couldn't tell she had Ick because of her color.  I only realized it was Ick because Al Capone also developed the white spots.  I immediately treated the water with Wardley's Ick Away but I was too late.  Al Capone also died.  I followed the instruction and removed the carbon filter when treating the water.  This was my first experience with Ick.  I had never even heard of it before. I changed about 75% of the water and treated the water with Ick Away and Melafix and left it for three weeks.  Got the water checked and was told by the local pet store that everything was good. <Mmm, I would have "nuked" the tank... done a biocidal bleach wash...>   This time I got two really small fan tailed goldfish (silver was James Dean and the gold was Skippy) and two snails (apple I believe - Speedy and Sleepy).  The very next day there was Ick on James Dean. <... might have come in with it/this... or gotten from the existing tank... a resting stage>   As soon as I added the fish I added Melafix also (as it says on the bottle to treat for three days when adding new fish.) <This "medication" will not really "treat" anything... Particularly not a protozoan infestation>   So I added Ick Away and some more Melafix.  Two days later James Dean was dead and two more days later Skippy was also dead. <Do you see a pattern here?> As I was treating James Dean and Skippy I also noticed these really small transparent worms in the water.  I could only see these because the aquarium is against the my window (no direct sunlight). There were quite a few of them - I couldn't count how many.  Their sizes ranged from 2-4mm in length and could easily be mistaken for just particles in the water except for their rhythmic twitching (like someone bending and opening a finger over and over again.)  I took the worms to the pet store but they couldn't tell me what it was. <... could be flukes... other worm phyla... Require microscopic examination to determine down to the phyletic level> They also told me to raise the water temp so I bought a heater and heated the water up to 80f.  None of this helped.  I should add that once I put the carbon filter back the water cleared and the worms disappeared. <...> Apart from the Ick the only other common symptom on all the fish was the blackened stomach.  I checked your site for fresh water diseases but I could not find any mention of these worms or the blackened stomach symptom. <Look for the terms "Fluke/s", "Monogenetic Trematodes", "Digenes"> The two snails are doing fine though. <Likely vectors here> I don't think I had the correct diagnosis.  I think Al Capone brought the worms to the aquarium. <Maybe... but much more likely the snails>   Ick was probably a secondary as the fish were stressed by the worms. <Possibly> Now, I have taken the tank home and am trashing the gravel and the plants.  I am going to clean the aquarium with boiling hot water to kill any eggs etc. left by the worms.  Will try to do the same with the filter assembly and bio sponge.   <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/clnornart.htm and the linked files above> I want to try Balloon Mollies this time.  I'd like to have five of them (four females and a male).  Is a 10 gallon tank big enough for five balloon mollies?  Would you suggest three instead of five? <Is big enough> I'd like to reintroduce the snails to the new setup.  Do you think there is a chance that the snails my be carrying the worms? <Yes. I would keep these isolated (in a jar should be fine) for a month or more> The last time I set up the tank it was just a question of adding plants, gravel, water and treating the water with Seachem Prime and then adding the fish.  I read that I should add some salt to the tank and have the water heated to about 80f.   <Mmm, a bit high... I'd set the temperature in the mid 70's F. range> How long should I have the setup before introducing the fish to the aquarium?   <Till it cycles... see WWM here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwestcycling.htm> Should I add Melafix when introducing the fish to the aquarium? <No... is worthless... perhaps worse than worthless... as it gives folks a false sense that they're actually doing something... and they're generally not> My aquarium does not have a cover. <I would get/use one...> As a result nearly one gallon evaporates daily that I replenish daily with Seachem Prime treated water.  I keep the aquarium filled so its almost overflowing.  Is this OK?   <No... the Mollies may well jump out as well> Do I need to have a bubble/air pumping machine? <Do need to have filtration... See WWM re Molly Systems...> Sorry for the long email and my many questions.  I look forward to your reply. Regards, Anish C. <Take your time here my friend... Bob Fenner>
Re: Balloon Mollies in 10g tank that housed goldfish which died.  8/8/06
Bob, <Anish> I did not realize that you had such a good forums section.  Apologize for boring you with my long email.  I will post my questions there. Sorry for the trouble. Regards, Anish C. <No problem. BobF>

Very sick goldfish    8/7/06 Hi, <Hello there> I hope you can help me! <Me too!> I have a very sick 13 year old goldfish. She lives in a regular tank, by which I mean, no heaters, water purifiers, or air circulators (or whatever else you can get, it's just a tank with water, no extras). I'm not sure how many gallons of water go in there, but I am sure that it is big enough because she always seems to have enough air, and has always swam about happily. I generally clean the tank every two weeks, but I was away for my work, and my roommate didn't clean the tank for 6 weeks, when I came back earlier today the inside of the tank was all green and my goldfish was laying on her side, in an arch at the bottom of the tank. <Yikes> I immediately cleaned the tank, and but her back in the clean water, but she is still laying in the same position. When I try to roust her, she will move, and try to swim normally, but will kind of flop/turn over onto her back and then back onto her side (it's almost like she can't use her tailfin properly, but I don't know). She is also not eating. I don't see any strange marks on her. <Likely just "environmentally" beat/stressed> I live in Holland, in Europe, and it is now 2 in the morning. I will go to a pet shop tomorrow, to see if they can be of any help, but any extra information/tips you can give me would be very much appreciated! Thanks, Michelle <Though you've gotten by w/o them, I would add some purposeful aeration and filtration now. Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm and the linked files above. I do hope your goldfish makes a full recovery. With improved environment, and time (weeks) going by, there is a good chance for this. Bob Fenner>

Sick black moor... eaten by a CAE, poisoned with "medicines"...   8/2/06 We have a black moor and an orange and white fan-tail. They were both doing fine then one morning we looked and they had Ick. <What might have "brought this on?"> I have treated them for the Ick <With?> and the gold and white fan-tail seems to be doing ok. He was gasping at the top of the tank some and scratching against the thermometer, but that stopped, <Could be the protozoan, the medication, both, neither...> from what I can tell, after doing water treatments and adjusting the ph. <How?> Unfortunately, the black moor, after the Ick treatment got this white film all over. <Poisoning... likely the treatment> This was yesterday, today his pretty little fan-tail is about gone, and he is no longer all black, most of him is silver. We have a algae eater <Not compatible. Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshcompfaqs.htm> and he was chasing the black moor yesterday trying to clean him. <No. Eating the goldfish... needs to be separated. Immediately> Today, not only is he without a tail and mostly silver he is staying on the bottom of the tank on his side, and really doesn't want to eat. <... would you? Poisoned, placed with a fish that is riding you, sucking off your body mucus, means for maintaining ionic/osmotic integrity...> He gets lodged under plants sometimes, and when we remove the plant he floats to the top only to turn around and sink again to where he is laying on his side. I have treated for Ick as I said <Again, how? Realize that you are not relating facts, but opinions...> and followed with the fungus treatment <Of what make-up?> like I was told to do and he seemed to be getting better, until last night. Is it possible that the algae eater has done something to make him worse <Ah, yes> or is there something else going on that I don't know? Please help, my children are very upset that their fish is sick. JULIE COOPER GEORGIA <Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm and the linked files above. And do remove the CAE... Bob Fenner>
Re: Sick black moor... eaten by a CAE, poisoned with "medicines"... acting w/o knowledge...   8/3/06
Sorry about being so vague in my email. I bought these fish from Wal-mart and that had a Plecostomus with the these fish. <Can work out...> I used Something called Fungus Clear by tank buddies and when that didn't work I did a 50% water change and the guy at Wal-mart told me to use Wardley essentials Ick Away. <Mmm, not to cast dispersions out of hand, but I would seek out more than just this one source for useful, valid information...> I used this exactly as it said. I didn't use as much as it said to use though. <... not a good idea> I didn't want to overpower the fish since he seemed so weak. I use Aqua Plus tap water conditioner and something called Cycle, <Not a worthy product... search WWM re... inconsistent, placebo...> these were what the girl at the pet store told me to use, because when I test the water everything is fine but the PH and the hardness. Ever since I started using these everything reads normal. After reading over your website, I had all ready decided to remove the black moor from the tank especially since it seemed to be worse and the other fish was doing better. I put him in a separate tank with fresh water, and he seemed to be doing better, he was breathing better and trying to swim around some, but then he just stopped. He went from acting like he was getting better to dead. I am still curious as to what was wrong. <Likely environmental stress, a good-sized parasite load, loss of biological filtration from the "medicines"... all at play here> You see I bought an Angel fish from Wal-mart also and the same thing happened to him. <... do you see a pattern here?> He started out with the sugar like crystals on the body, so I treated for Ick like the pet store told me to. He was fine for about a day, the crystals were gone, he was doing fine then within 24 hours his fins were pretty much gone <Cycled off...> and he was coated in a cloudy white substance that was hanging from his body. This didn't kill the angel fish, as it probably would have but what killed it was that the cover on the end of the water pump had gotten knocked off and he got stuck to it over night. But this did kill the other Plecostomus that I had in the tank. <Or more likely the medicine... directly, and/or indirectly from the same loss of nitrification> I thoroughly cleaned the tank twice after this before getting any new fish. But what I'm wondering is...... when I had the angel fish and the Plecostomus that died I also had the one I have now. The one I have now spent 4 months in the tank by himself before I ever got any new fish and I thought it would be safe to add other ones. <Likely so> Is it possible that the one I have now is a carrier of something? <Possible, but not very likely. Much more likely that the new goldfish brought in all their own/new pathogens. Very common, and not confined to Wal-Mart at all> I'm new to this whole thing and not sure. Any help would be nice this way I know for future reference. By the way the tank temperature and all readings are staying where they should be. Thanks Julie Cooper <Please do read on WWM where you've been referred... Know, then act. Bob Fenner>

Goldfish 911  7/31/06 Hi, <<Hi, Megan. Tom>> I had two goldfish, they were living with each other for about a year. Last week both of the fish all of a sudden had a big red spot on their heads, I first thought that they might of hit each other? <<Seems unlikely to have collided that hard, Megan. In fact, I'd say it was impossible.>> The next day the smaller one was dead. <<I'm very sorry to hear this.>> The other one's head is not getting any better and now he has red streaks they look like veins on his tail. <<He has bacterial hemorrhagic septicemia, Megan. Do a massive water change...now! Keep his water conditions as close to perfect as possible. If you can find oxy-tetracycline at the fish/pet store, I would recommend this for treatment. There are other anti-bacterial medications available. The best medication, at this point, would be in food that he'll eat since it'll work much faster/effectively. Unfortunately, this isn't always possible since one of the first signs of a sick fish is the loss of appetite.>> He is also always on the top gasping lately. <<A combination of factors, Megan. Either the tank conditions aren't good, which is why I encourage you about the water change or, there are a build-up of fluids inside of your fish that are inhibiting the uptake of oxygen - too much pressure against his organs.>> The photos aren't that clear, sorry. <<They're clear enough to see what's wrong with him.>> Please help quickly, I don't want him to die, too. <<None of us do, Megan, but he's very sick. Doesn't mean he can't get better, though. Just going to take a lot of work.>> Thank you Megan <<Keep me posted, Megan. Tom>>  

Sigh...sick fish, again (New owners). Goldfish, bend repair site   7/31/06 Dear Bob (et al.): <Anne> This is the second time I've sent this e-mail -- when I realized I hadn't heard from you I was trying to figure out what had gone wrong -- and I realized that I hadn't shrunk the photos! D'oh! Sorry! <No worries> Unfortunately, since I first wrote, the situation has gotten worse. My fiancé added an extra aerator in case Mojo was at the surface because the oxygen was too low, and we started feeding them Medi-Gold to treat whatever might be causing the lump on Jojo's tail. Today, the lump is black and gray, and they are both sitting at the bottom of the tank. They have been there since this morning. They ate fine but haven't moved from the bottom of the tank since feeding. We are doing a 50% water change today (although the water parameters are still good) but are worried. Neither fish is clampy, and neither seems to have trouble moving when needed. They are just choosing not to. This is the original message, from July 25: We've written you all several times and always had good advice from you. We last wrote to you to tell you how well the goldfish (Mojo and Jojo) were doing -- unfortunately, this is no longer the case. We recently (a month ago) discovered a whitish lump on Jojo's tail fin. We read up on possible diseases and added some salt to the water. Unfortunately, the lump has only grown (albeit slowly). Both fish are eating and swimming well, although Mojo has taken to eating bubbles (any ideas on how to get him to stop?). <Might actually have to delete the source of the bubbles> We feed them peas, sinking sticks, and sinking flaky things. Their water is good -- we do regular water changes (one is scheduled for tomorrow). Their nitrate is a little high right now because we're on the cusp of a change (40), and we've had a problem keeping their pH up, but all other parameters are good (nitrate is 0, etc.). When their pH is low, we add pH up. I have attached photos of the lump -- any ideas? How can we solve this latest goldfish challenge? Thanks! Anne <To me this "lump" looks like a resultant "repair site" from an altercation (bending) of this section of the caudal fin... a physical injury... It may be that there is nothing "treatable" here at all... Other than good maintenance, nutrition. I would reduce any given water change to about 25% maximum at any given time/week to reduce stress concurrently. These injuries take time to heal, but almost always do. Bob Fenner>

Re: Happy fish! (New owners)   8/19/06 Hi Bob! <Anne and Craig> Just wanted to say thanks for answering all of our queries -- it's such a relief knowing that we can find professional and good advice about our pets! <Ah, yes> I also wanted to let you know that Mojo and Jojo seem to be doing quite well :-) Jojo's still got a lump on her tail, but it still doesn't seem to be bothering them. We also lowered the temperature of the room, which seems to have helped in terms of activity. All in all, happy fish and happy owners -- THANKS! Anne and Craig <Good. Thank you for the follow up... these "crimped fin" affairs can take months to resolve. Cheers, BobF>

Goldfish Cycling Distress  7/28/06 HELP!   <It's Pufferpunk here to try.> I am a very bad goldfish dad--I set up a new tank for my goldfish - here's what I have:  30 gallon glass tank with a bubble   wand across the bottom which produces a LOT of bubbles, a whisper 50 (??) box filter that will circulate 330 gph--so the water is being circulated pretty well.  I have a large 3" fan tail, a little fan tail (maybe 1" max--he is tiny), and a medium/small plecostomus.    They've been living happily together for a while.  So, of course I was impatient and didn't let the new tank cycle enough before I put   the fish from their old tank to the new and now I have some elevated ammonia levels and the water is cloudy.  I know about the nitrogen cycle and I know that I didn't do things right.  I want to get my fish through this with the least amount of stress that I can.  I   did a 20% water change two days ago and am wondering how often I can do this without extending the time for the tank to stabilize.  I'm adding a capful of Stability by SeaChem to my tank per the directions to try and speed things up.  From what I'm reading in the FAQ pages, I need to simply let things run their course as best as I can, with the assurance that things will stabilize in time.  My fish don't seem stressed out and are heartily eating the (limited) amount of food I'm giving them.  Thanks for your help--I just don't know if there is anything I can do other than do some frequent water changes and wait. <I'd do a 90% water change & add Bio-Spira directly to the filter, to instantly cycle the tank.  Otherwise, is the old filter still available?   I'd put that on the new tank then.  You can do as may large water changes as are necessary to keep the parameters at safe levels. Stability won't help as far as I know.  Bio-Spira is the only product that contains LIVE nitrifying bacteria in it.  ~PP> Dallas Ryan
Re: New Tank Syndrome with Goldfish
  7/29/06 <<Hi, Dallas. Tom with you to give Jeni a break.>> Unfortunately the old filter is not available.  I can do a massive water change - but I should let the water sit out overnight -   correct? <<Negative. Properly dechlorinated, you can put your new water in almost - give it a few minutes - immediately.>> I want to make sure it's room temperature.   <<The least of your worries, right now, Dal. If it comes out of the tap feeling close to the temperature in the tank, you're "golden".>> I will go out and find the bio Spira right now so that we can get this going... <<Good man, and a good call from PP. The credit's hers.>> Thanks for your help. <<PP did the work. I'm simply filling in a little spot here.>> Dal <<Tom>> Dallas Ryan
Re: New Tank Syndrome with Goldfish
  7/29/06 <<Hey, Dallas. Tom again.>> Found the BioSpira off to get it now - will fill up the buckets and let them sit while I go get the stuff - then we'll be good to go.   I won't be able to do a 90% water change - not enough buckets - but I'll do my very best - I'll send out an update - thanks for your help! <<A tip? Don't do the BIO-Spira first. Take out the water that you can, then put new, dechlorinated water in. Take it out again and put new back in. Repeat as necessary. Not the same as a full, pure 90% change but, we must do with the tools we have. You'll get close enough. After all is said and done, then add the BIO-Spira. (Calls for some interpolation, i.e. guesswork :), but there shouldn't be a problem, just a lot of legwork.)>> D <<T>> Dallas Ryan
Re: New Tank Syndrome with Goldfish. Goldfish in Distress  7/29/06
Ahhh - good call - I can definitely get to a 90% change with the 3 5-gallon buckets that I have then...  Then put the Bio Spira in at the  end - I have two filters so I'll put half in one and half in the other... Now, why didn't I think of that? <Sounds like it might be time to buy a Python for those water changes!  Most serious GF keepers do 90% weekly water changes, to keep up with the high waste (= high, toxic levels of ammonia) in their tanks.>   ON another note - I went to the fish store and they had dozens and   dozens of goldfish - big ones - all in a tiny tank - most were lying on the bottom dead or gasping for oxygen.... very very sad...  And they were beautiful ones too... <sorry to say a lot of fish die before making it to our tanks... Sad stare of affairs. =o{  ~PP> Will update on what happens.... Dallas Ryan
Re: Update: New Tank Syndrome with Goldfish
   - 08/10/06 <<Hi, Dal. Tom once again.>> Well, just wanted to give you an update: <<Much appreciated...>> I did the 90% water change, and added the Bio-Spira - with no seeming affect - the water was still really cloudy the next day - and then seemed to get a lot greener and cloudier!  So, I did more water changes - that went on until this past Sunday, when I did yet another 90% water change, added more Bio-Spira, and hoped for the best - I was getting really depressed, as the water was never clear, and I was sure it was not good for my fish. <<Frustrating to be sure, Dal.>> So, the water got a little more cloudier, and then it got cloudy and green.  So, I did a little thinking... if the bio-Spira was doing it's job, it would have taken care of the ammonia, producing nitrite, and then other bacteria would produce nitrate, and that's what algae love to eat.  So, when the water started turning green today, I thought that's what was going on.  So, I took a chance and added algae fix to the water to get rid of the algae.  This afternoon when I came home, the water was FINALLY CLEAR!!  The fish seem fine, and for the first time since I put the fish in, the tank is clear. <<Life is good!>> So, I have a couple of questions: <<Fire away...>> 1) Was my assessment right on what was going on with the tank? <<Presented with what you've shared here, it would have been my assessment of the situation. Don't know if we're "right" but the logic is solid. :)>> 2) Is my tank FINALLY cycled? <<Only a check of your water parameters would confirm this, i.e. nitrate levels, however, I'd go with a big "thumbs up" based on what you've described.>> 3) Will I have to go through this same process (cloudy water, etc) every time I do a water change?  That would be a bummer. <<It would indeed and, the answer to your question is no. You won't be doing any more 90% water changes (repeat this back for me) and, your tank should have reached a state of equilibrium at this point. In other words, what's going in is being processed or eliminated. Minor, maintenance-level water changes should not affect your tank - negatively - in the least. From here on, though, leave the Algae Fix in the bottle. It did its job well but algae "problems" from here on need to be addressed at the source. Excessive lighting, over-feeding, lack of water changes, exposure to direct sunlight, et. al., are all responsible for algae growth. Chemical treatment, beyond what you've done so far, is not the way to go. Eliminating the source of the problem is.>> Thanks again for all your help! Dal <<I'd like to thank you for coming back and sharing your experience, Dal. More than a couple of folks will gain from what you've gone through and learned. My best. Tom>>
Re: Update: New Tank Syndrome with Goldfish
 - 08/11/05 <<Hello, Dal. Tom again.>> Just a bit of feedback on the questions - > 2) Is my tank FINALLY cycled? > <<Only a check of your water parameters would confirm this, i.e.  nitrate levels, however, I'd go with a big "thumbs up" based on   > what you've described.>> Yes, all parameters are in the safe and clear range!  WHEW! <<Great!!>>> 3) Will I have to go through this same process (cloudy water, etc)   > every time I do a water change?  That would be a bummer. > <<It would indeed and, the answer to your question is no. You won't  be doing any more 90% water changes (repeat this back for me) I will not do any more 90% water changes... and, your tank should have reached a state of equilibrium at this point. In other words, what's going in is being processed or   > eliminated. Minor, maintenance-level water changes About 20% at a time?  A few painters buckets full a week?  For the 90% water changes, I did 6 painter's buckets full - so I'd do 2 /   week - this sound adequate?  (don't worry, the buckets are ONLY USED for my fish!!) <<Sounds fine, Dal.>> > should not affect your tank - negatively - in the least. From here on, though, leave the Algae Fix in the bottle. It did its job well   > but algae "problems" from here on need to be addressed at the source. OK - I certainly will leave it in the bottle - I want to get some big snails anyway - and they don't go well with the algae fix... <<True...>> > Excessive lighting, over-feeding, I feed them (one big goldfish, one tiny goldfish, one medium Pleco) about 7 peas a day, and some freeze dried blood worms - they finish   this off w/in 10 minutes.  I think I learned my lesson from before with overfeeding.  They seem to really like the peas. > lack of water changes, exposure to direct sunlight, No direct sunlight - some indirect light though.  And the florescent light for the tank.  Maybe leave that off during the day, and only on   a few hours at night before we go to bed?  <<Depending on the level of indirect light, you might leave the tank light on a little longer than this. Try six to eight hours, if possible, and observe.>> > et. al., are all responsible for algae growth. Chemical treatment, beyond what you've done so far, is not the way to go. Eliminating   > the source of the problem is.>> Your site is invaluable!  You all are doing such a great service - I can't tell you what a relief it is to have happy fish in a sparkling   tank!  And there will be NO MORE ADDITIONS beyond maybe some snails... D <<Thanks for the very kind words, Dal, and keep up the good work! Tom>>

Help! Jumped Goldfish...   7/28/06 Hi Bob - My poor 2 year old comet, Ali, jumped out of the tank yesterday and I found him on the floor when I got home.  He's the only one in a 2.5 gallon tank. <Too small...>   I have no idea how long he was there.  His gills were still moving and one fin but his body was all stiff and turning white in color.  I put him back in the tank immediately.  He had a fine white film shedding off his entire body, he seemed to get a bit better through the course of the night.  He was able to use all fins and tail again and seemed to be limbering up slightly but seemed to have trouble eating and moving around a lot.  He's normally a very hyper fish and jumps a lot.  Well this morning we went out to find him against the holes in the tube that take in the water for the filter.  It seemed he didn't have enough strength to fight against it so we turned off the filter (the filter is a new addition to the tank so he's used to not having it.) and moved him out of the spot he was in, he seemed to be stuck.  When I left him today he was laying on the bottom on the rocks but he was still breathing and looking around.  I'm very, very upset.  The pet stores have not been helpful at all.  Is there anything I can do to save him or was it already too late when I left him this morning? <There is some hope. I would medicate this fish with a bit of aquarium salt> Any information would be so so helpful.  Thank you in advance. Saraiel <Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/saltusefaqs.htm Life to you. Bob Fenner>

Sick Black Moor   7/28/06 Hi Crew, <Sarina> I am looking for some advice. <Okay> I have a 180 Litre tank (46 gallons) with three small 1-2" goldfish, two fantails and one black moor.   I have had all three fish for about 6 months, the tank was fully cycled before they were added and therefore they have never been exposed (in my care) to ammonia or nitrite.   Current parameters are ammonia -0, nitrite - 0, nitrates -10 -15, ph 8.2 (this matches the tap water).  The tank is planted with Anacharis, java fern and another unknown plant,  which they eat, up root, and destroy just about as fast as I can replant and buy more. <Ah, yes... there are some plants not quite as palatable... listed on our site>   They get fed mostly veggies,  peas, cucumber, zucchini, broccoli and they get high protein fish food (sinking sticks) twice a week as a treat.  They have a filter and an airstone and have 30% water changes per week. <All sounds very good thus far> The only thing that has changed in this tank over the last month has been the temperature and the replacement plants (bleached, washed and soaked prior to putting in the tank).   Due to the heat wave the temperature of the tank has risen gradually from its normal temp  of 74 to 80 F.  To help keep the temperature down I have removed the lid and replaced it with a net and turned up the air pump to full. <Good moves> About 10 days ago,  I notice three white spots on the black moors' tail.  Not wanting to jump to the Ich conclusion I added 1 tablespoon / 10 gallons of aquarium salt and kept an eye on him. <Excellent>    The next day he had 7-10 spots on his tail,  and one on the base of his tail.   The other two fish showed no signs, but I treated the tank with King British White spot (Malachite Green, Acriflavine, and quinine sulfate), <Prudent> and brought the salt up to 1 tbsp / 5 gallons.  I did this every 48 hours until two days ago,  the spots had dropped off of him after two days of the treatment,  but I wanted to treat for  10 days to ensure I got them all.  Due to very minimal feeding the biological filter hung on,  with only one tiny spike in ammonia to .25 which was gone the next day. After the 4th treatment (so 8 days) I woke up in the morning to find the Black Moor lying in the gravel under a log.   They sleep in the middle of the tank so something was off.   Upon returning from work he was no better,  still under the log,  but he came up for food.   I was pretty sure this was the med's <Directly or indirectly, likely so> so I put carbon in the filter and changed 10 % of the water (stored, dechlorinated), and tried an extra airstone to see if that would help.  Unfortunately he found it difficult to swim in the extra current and has camped out under the filter,  lying in the gravel.  24 hours later he is still there,   he will look at you and wave his tail when you are near the tank but he won't swim.    When feeding the other two (completely happy unaffected fish, still ripping up plants) some peas this morning he came out got some peas swum around a bit then went back to his spot.  His fins aren't clamped, he's not red, not bloated, fins look normal,   I guess my best description would be he looks very tired. I keep changing a little bit of the water frequently hoping this will help but not wanting to shock him,   I don't really want to move him and cause him more stress and the other two are leaving him alone.   <I would not move this fish either> I am keeping the salt level up,  but as upsetting as it is to watch him I don't think I can do anything else for him.   <There is naught more... but time, patience> I have searched around for anti-biotic food,  but it isn't sold in the UK, and all the anti-bacterial medicines contain formaldehyde and the tank has been through enough treatment with the Ich medicine. <Too toxic> I guess my question is,  anything I have missed,  or should have done differently? <Not that I would likely do. It would be better if the system water was not quite so alkaline... if the pH were closer to neutral (7 ish...), but providing this expediently, consistently, might be more than what you want to do. There are means, the simplest would be to "blend" some tap/source water with "more filtered" (likely reverse osmosis)...> Did the Ich the medicine and the raised temperature leave him susceptible to an infection and he will either manage to fight it off or he won't? <Likely these were root causes, and am hopeful this fish will recover. Such things take time with poikilotherms ("cold-blooded" animals/life)>   Although considering how quick he is deteriorating I am not holding too much hope. Thank you for taking the time to read.... Sarina <I would reduce the salt content to no more than 1 tsp. per ten gallons again, look into safe, gradual methods of reducing the pH. Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwph,alk.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Sick Goldfish ... RMF's go    7/28/06 I would like to ask you a question about my goldfish. She is losing her orange color, having difficulty getting up to the surface of the water, and when she does make it up (with great effort) she gulps air and then descends again.   She spends most of her time just laying on the bottom of the tank, and she is listing to one side. <All bad signs> While searching the Web for answers I read about fish tuberculosis.  My fish seems to have many of the symptoms. This concerns me   (because I don't know if it is or isn't, and I don't know what to do for the fish) and also because it said that this disease is transferable to humans.   <Yes> While I washed my hands afterwards, I did clean out the tank by hand, stirring   up the gravel, washing off the rock, etc. <Unless there are breaks in your skin...> My cat also drank from the fish tank  while I was transferring the fish to a bowl.  Should I be concerned about  the possibility of TB, how could I know for sure if this is what my fish has, and what can be done for the fish? <Not able to tell from here... however Mycobacterial transference is not likely> If it is not TB, then I thought it  could be a swim bladder problem (my fish does have trouble with constipation),  but why is she losing her color? <Could be several influences> Thank you for listening to my question.  Any help you could give me is most appreciated. <Have you read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshdisease.htm and the linked files above? BobF>
Sick Goldfish ... Tom's much better go   7/28/06
<<Greetings. Tom here today.>> I would like to ask you a question about my goldfish. <<Fire away.>> She is losing her orange color, having difficulty getting up to the surface of the water, and when she does make it up (with great effort) she gulps air and then descends again. She spends most of her time just laying on the bottom of the tank, and she is listing to one side.   <<Not good, certainly, but having "peeked" at the remainder of your post, I've noticed that you haven't included any of the very important information that would be useful here. What "type" of Goldfish, tank size, type of filtration, water parameters (critical!), diet, etc. From our perspective, it's like asking us why you just sneezed. A cold? Hay fever? Allergies? Someone tickled your nose with a feather? Sounds a bit silly but I think you see what I mean. Fish can display very similar symptoms from a wide variety of causes.>> While searching the Web for answers I read about fish tuberculosis.  My fish seems to have many of the symptoms. This concerns me  (because I don't know if it is or, isn't, and I don't know what to do for the fish) and also because it said that this disease is transferable to humans. <<Possible? Yes. Likely? No. I understand your concern but I would suggest that it's not warranted. What you've described thus far could simply be due to your pet being in too small of an aquarium or living in water conditions that are sub-par. At this point, I really don't know.>> While I washed my hands afterwards, I did clean out the tank by hand, stirring up the gravel, washing off the rock, etc. My cat also drank from the fish tank while I was transferring the fish to a bowl.  Should I be concerned about the possibility of TB, how could I know for sure if this is what my fish has TB, and what can be done for the fish?   <<I think you should be "aware", as we all should be. Concerned? No. To know for certain would require a laboratory and a pathologist. A couple of indicators would be a sunken stomach or detention (sinking) along the back of the fish. Protruded eyes, loss of scales, lesions on the body of the fish would also be indicative but not definitive. As for what can be done for the fish in the case of TB, there are some treatments that would likely be out of the realm of the typical hobbyist. In all likelihood, the animal couldn't be treated effectively.>> If it is not TB, then I thought it could be a swim bladder problem (my fish does have trouble with constipation), but why is she losing her color?   <<Here, we go back to my earlier comments. Goldfish, regardless of their opportunistic feeding habits, require lots of vegetation in their diets. They don't process proteins well and become "compacted" when fed a diet that is too high in these. Much information on our site about the appropriate diet for Goldfish as well as the environment that they require to thrive.>> Thank you for listening to my question. <<Not a problem at all.>>   Any help you could give me is most appreciated. <<If you wouldn't mind, I'd like you to give me your name when you post again. Tom>>
Re: Sick Goldfish
  7/28/06 Thank you for your reply, Tom. <<Good to talk to you again, Debra.>> I do not know the technical name for  the Goldfish--she is orange in color, having a regular, slim, not a "fancy"  body type, with a black dot on her tail (which has always been  there).   <<What you have is either a Common Goldfish or a Comet Goldfish. Both are very similar with the Comet staying a bit slimmer than the Common as it matures. Both can attain 12"-14" in length at adulthood. (Can't blame you if you just did a "double-take".)>> She is now about 2.5 inches long from mouth to tail tip. She is in a two gallon tank. <<Way too small but I'll get back to this as we go on.>> It used to have an air stone, but I put a charcoal and "sponge type" filter in the tank when I found out that it would do a better job of filtering out the ammonia in the tank.   <<Good...with a proviso. While the airstone will do nothing for the ammonia, it does agitate the surface water of the tank and helps in oxygen exchange. This is where your Goldfish is getting its air to breathe. The larger the surface area, the more oxygen that enters the tank. The fact that she's gulping air indicates that she isn't getting enough oxygen from the water. (Small piece of "trivia": A fish's gills are much more efficient in extracting oxygen from water than our lungs are in extracting it from the air. We can "afford" this inefficiency because oxygen is so plentiful in our environment compared to a fish's. I add this for emphasis as well as a bit of extra information.) Side note: activated carbon is effective for no more than 3-4 weeks.>> I changed 80% of her water about every 1-2 weeks, with periodic full tank water changes. When she got sick, I did  a full tank change and rinsed her rock, gravel, sides of the tank, and plastic ornamental plants as I do periodically. <<When ammonia/nitrites are an issue, this amount is likely appropriate but, for now, I'd prefer to see you change out 15%-20% once a week. This presupposes that your ammonia/nitrite levels are at 0 and nitrates are below 20. A fish store can test a sample of your water for you if you don't have a test kit...which I would highly recommend getting.>> Previously, I was using regular filtered tap water for the water changes with several drops of "stress coat" to condition the water, but when she got sick, and I consulted a pet shop, they recommended that I use bottled water, which I did (I still added a couple of drops of Stress Coat, too). <<Neither "filtered" tap water nor bottled water are the best choices here. Filtering water removes elements that fish need, so-called "trace elements" though major and minor elements would be involved, as well. We almost always recommend that you acclimate your fish to whatever source of water you have at the tap - without filtering. Adding a good quality dechlorinator - one that eliminates chlorine and Chloramine - is all you need to do. (Chloramine is a combination of chlorine and ammonia, used in increasing numbers of areas because chlorine alone dissipates so quickly. Chloramine does not. Stress Coat TM) only removes chlorine, by the way. If your source of water is treated with Chloramine, you'd be introducing ammonia to the tank.>> I called my cat's Vet but was told that they don't see fish. <<About what you'd expect from a "cat doctor". :)>> They gave me the number for a fish Vet at U of P. I left several messages, but no one called back yet. I was told the Dr. was only in intermittently--so I turned to the Internet, and your postings for help.   <<Along with your commitment to your pet, we might just get this turned around.>> My Goldfish was very healthy prior to last week (except for the chronic constipation--I did try the peas in the past, but it seemed to only help a little-). She is still hanging on at the bottom of the tank, but is staying in one spot and if I put food in, she will  struggle to rise to the surface, but she mainly gulps a lot of air when she is  up there.   I don't know the chemical status of the water, but I just changed it all with the bottled water, so I don't think there is an ammonia   build up.   <<Goldfish excrete ammonia through their gills just like we exhale CO2. Regardless of the lack of fish waste/detritus in the tank, ammonia is going into the water. Back to what I mentioned about aquarium size now, your Goldfish needs to be in, at least, a 30-gallon tank. Commons and Comets are generally considered to be "pond fish" because of their adult sizes. Unless kept in a sufficiently large indoor tank, you'll ultimately run into one problem after another. Growth will be slowed/stunted leading to health problems like bone disease. Most importantly, despite your best efforts, a two-gallon tank can't dilute the toxins in the water adequately to provide a  high-quality environment for your fish. Any measurable amount of ammonia in the tank will cause the gill membranes to swell/thicken (basically being chemically burned) to the point that your fish will start to suffocate. The "immediate" thing to do now is put the airstone back into the tank and turn that "bad boy" up high! And, start making plans to get a much larger aquarium...>> She is very pale. When she is at the bottom, she lists to one side a bit. She does not look particularly emaciated, though. In fact, she looks fat like she is still constipated--and there are no visible lumps, bumps,   discolorations or spots (other than the one that she was born with), her eyes are not abnormal. She definitely has some sort of equilibrium issue, but she doesn't really fit nicely into any one disease category.   <<All typical of water quality issues with the possible exception of the constipation.>> When I first got her, I fed her the small pellet type food. When even the small pellets looked too large and hard (I would crush them a bit) I tried the flake food, but I think she prefers the pellets, so when she got sick, I switched back to the pellets). <<She needs vegetable matter in her diet, Debra. Goldfish don't process proteins at all well. Zucchini, spinach, shelled peas (which you've tried) among other common veggies are all good for her and will keep her "cleaned out". Brine shrimp also act as a laxative because of their "roughage". Also, do a search on our site regarding Epsom salts. Many folks have good success with a treatment of these.>> I hope this gives you more information, although I know it must be difficult to diagnose a fish sight unseen. Thank you for your time and any help you can give. <<I've probably given you more than you necessarily wanted here, Debra, but I've hit what I believe are the key points. Bigger tank, more filtration, aeration and diet. A little overwhelming, perhaps, but this is what your pet needs.>> Sincerely, Debra <<My best to you and your Goldfish. Tom>>
Re: Sick Goldfish   7/28/06
Dear Bob F., Thank you for your prompt reply. I did peruse the site you listed plus many others, but my fish did not fit nicely into any of the disease categories, so I  was still puzzled. I will copy Tom's email to me and my reply to Tom's email  FYI. <I see (place) all> I hope that this information will shed more light on the matter, and that  the problem may have a solution. And yes, my hands did have breaks in the skin  from playing with my cat who accidentally scratched me, and from torn cuticles,  that was why I was concerned. <... might be worth a visit to a medical center if you are indeed concerned>   I also quarantined my fish in a large glass  salad bowl while I was changing the water in her tank--I bleached out the salad  bowl and washed it with antibacterial soap --along with my improvised "net", a  slotted kitchen spoon (we do not have a dishwasher) but now I wonder if I should  just discard the bowl and the slotted spoon I used to transfer the fish  with. Sincerely, Debra <Mmm... there are a myriad of degrees-of-infectious microbes in most everyone's experience every day... I strongly suspect you have nothing to fear here. I would not discard these implements. Bob Fenner>

Popeye, Goldfish - 07/26/06 Hi.   <<Hello, Angie. Tom here.>> We have a ten gallon tank with a filtration box and an oxygen pump fitted with two tubes.   In this tank we have three goldfish. Will give you their approx. sizes of their bodies, not including tails: a potbellied Ryukin 3.2"; black moor 3.2"; and telescope eyed probably Yosakin 2".   <<First, the part you don't want to hear...your tank is far too small for these fish. The part you won't believe - or, at least, want to believe - is that they need to be in a tank in the 45+ gallon range. I'll, hopefully, clarify this as we continue.>> After initial parasitic treatment for a white cyst on the black moor; the smaller Yosakin fish named Dean started to lay at the bottom. Tried aqua salt...nothing...then his eye began to swell.  After calling every major fish store in town, and trying all recommended products and their subsequent protocols i.e.; Maracyn; t.c. Tetracycline; Melafix - then Melafix/PimaFix cocktail (currently on day 2 of this treatment).  Dean's eye is bigger than ever.   <<Did anyone discuss water conditions with you? Unless the eye has swollen due to trauma (injury), the very first culprits I'd suspect are poor water conditions and/or overcrowding. A 10-gallon tank isn't large enough to support even one of these fish from either a qualitative or, quantitative, standpoint. Goldfish produce relatively large amounts of ammonia either through waste products or breathing. (Yep, breathing!) They excrete ammonia through their gills in order to rid their bodies of this toxin. A double whammy, if you will. Tie this in with the fact that they are particularly sloppy eaters or, at least lousy scavengers, and you've got a "triple play" on your hands. Might sound like I'm being glib but I'm deadly serious. So, what to do? Large living quarters and heavier filtration. Come as close to, if not right on, the same level of dilution of toxins in their home as they would enjoy in nature.>> Poor little guy, he eats well and grabs food like mad during feeding times.  I keep promising him we're going to do whatever we have to get him well.  Nothing is working. His eye has now even sprouted more blood vessels to keep up with the rapid growth.  It also appears the black moor still has parasitic feces.  I really don't want to add anything else to the tank until Dean is better.  Is there any hope of him recovering...how would I know if he's had enough and whether I should have him euthanized. <<No way do I give up hope on a fish with a healthy appetite! Unfortunately, I can only supply you with my best advice which is to get your pets into an appropriate-sized aquarium with an equally appropriate filtering system. I won't blow smoke at you and tell you this will save Dean. I wish I could. I will tell you, however, that you will have done as much for them (and more) than medicating the bejeebers out of them has done thus far.>> This has been real traumatic for us all as we suspect his suffering must be great; has been going on for almost two months. <<I appreciate the efforts that you've made here, Angie. Many, sadly, wouldn't have given a fraction of the care that you've provided.>> Thank you so much for your time and compassion. Angie S. <<If you wouldn't mind, I'd like to know how things turn out. My best to you all. Tom>>
Re: Popeye
- 07/26/06 Tom, <<Hi, again, Angie.>> Thanks so much for your considerate and well thought out reply.  No, nobody seemed concerned with tank size when I mentioned it.  But was starting to suspect it by now.  We change the water at least once a week, due to the murky nature.  Finally took the substrate out for hoping that might help. <<Then you've seen, firsthand, what I've described. For what it's worth, I'm glad. No doubt there are many who think we're concocting some type of hoax where this topic is concerned. I assure you, as you are now aware, we're in earnest.>> A 45 gallon tank, though???... Oh boy.  I never wanted fish in the first place; however bought this tank after my daughter bought the orange Ryukin and a little bowl to take to college!  Oh...the fish never stepped foot in the dorm, daughter said it was too noisy. <<The dorm or, the fish? :)>> Holy Mackerel!  What if I buy this big ole' tank and it breaks?? <<Not trying to help you spend your money, Angie, but you might research acrylic aquariums if breakage is truly a concern. Acrylic is not without disadvantages, cost being one of them, but it does have distinct advantages over glass that may interest you.>> Seriously, though - I guess I'll get it.  It'll be worth it to see Dean happy.   <<If you have any further questions, we'll be here, Angie.>> Angie <<Tom>>

Stunting <Gold>Fish  7/25/06 Hi everyone, <Hi Sarah, Pufferpunk here> First of all, you guys are great. I am finding out loads about everything aqua on here, and am having a blast. <We aim to please!> I have spent hours popping around, trying to satiate my addiction but alas I fear it has grown worse! <Boy, does that sound familiar!  I now have 8 tanks totaling 440g & looking to upgrade...> Anyway, while going through things I came up with a question I couldn't quite find an answer to but first, the background: Like many other people, I too started out with goldfish, when I was much much younger. In fact, it was one of the infamous carnival comets! (Doe!)  That of course died and I got a couple of fantails which I kept in a small (20 tall) aquarium. Also, when I got these, I purchased a book on goldfish, following my then and still remaining obsessive compulsive nature of wanting to know everything about something that interests me. In that book it talked about goldfish being carp and only growing to the capacity of the tank and did not mention this as being a problem. In fact, if I remember correctly, this quality was listed as being a positive attribute, making it an ideal starter fish. <Actually, GF are extremely poor starter fish.  They are messy & produce a lot of waste/ammonia, requiring large tanks & huge weekly water changes.  Serious GF keepers do 90% weekly.  They can also live up to 30 years, growing over 1', in the proper conditions.> That was many years ago, the aquarium has since been broken down and resurrected again, this time as a tropical aquarium. Those fish died, though of what I honestly do not know since it was over ten years ago. My interest in the hobby has grown and I was toying with the possibility of a small outdoor pond, maybe of the half-barrel variety. This would probably be 30 to 50 gallons, depending on what I might find. <Lots of pond info at WWM.> Now finally for my question: you guys continuously say on this site that goldfish MUST have a very large, over fifty gallons, tank to remain healthy. What changed? <Nothing, I've known this for many years.  There is tons of poor info out there.> Have we learned more or is allowing these fish to grow to their full size now considered more humane? <Of course!  Would you like to be squished into a closet your whole life?  how long could you survive?  Don't you think you'd get depressed & eventually just quit eating, wanting to die?> You speak of "stunting" the growth but unless it causes structural abnormalities (besides the obvious dwarfism) why is this really a problem? In many ways, I see it as an advantage that a fish that can grow big but is bought small because "it was just so darn cute" can remain small, rather than the usual death because the fish grows to the size of it's container! <In the words of the wise scientist Robert T Ricketts: "Personally, I think there is a lot more to stunting than just one or two big items. Fish health and the ability to reach full genetic potential depends on a multitude of factors -- including the genetics, a healthy near-environment (basically water quality for fish), an appropriate environment (this includes décor, swimming space, refuge, current, lighting), and suitable food in sufficient quantity but not in excess. You need to know how big the fish should be (Fishbase is a reliable source for this), what sort of water and physical environment the fish lives in and what its lifestyle is -- schooler, lurking predator, active hunter predator, whatever, whether or not it allows or even may need conspecific or perhaps dither tankmates, or none at all. Any of these can and likely will change during development for any given fish. Tank size hits several of these points -- it allows for areas of current, for visually complex setups to explore, and space for swimming. Plus, it plays on PP's signature line of 'the answer to pollution is dilution'. With increased water volume, pollutants of whatever type will be at lower concentration than the same bioload will give in smaller quarters. Many or most fish seem to like areas of current, many do 'play' or exercise in the current. Hunters get some just by exploration of a complex environment. Schoolers (Auriglobus when young, Colomesus throughout their life) absolutely must have it or they will show 'caged animal' stereotyped behavior just to work off activity normal and in effect hard-wired into the animal. Fish need exercise. All mobile animals need exercise. Koi kept in shallow ponds do not develop normal configurations. They are too long and slender. They need depth as well as length and width. Without exercise, muscle mass will not be in normal proportion to frame and internal organs. Fish need to have whatever exercise they are willing to do to allow normal physical development. The space or volume bit has impact here as well. Pollution, whether from metabolites or hormones of general organics, suppresses normal growth and development. What levels of which are important? We do not know. We do that it varies from family to family for various pollutants over a substantial range. It is highly likely to vary from species to species within a family. In the best of all possible worlds, tanks would all be a high multiple of the length of the fish housed there. In reality, we rarely can provide that other than for the smallest fish. But we try to just as much volume as we can. We provide both current and relative calm, without having totally dead areas, in the tank, and we match the décor to the lifestyle of the fish. Naturally, we feed both well and wisely. We meet the fish's nutritional -- and for the special needs of different species-- and physical food suited to the particular fish. We provide enough to allow the fish to grow normally, but not so much that the fish is obese. Obesity is as great an issue for fish as for people and dogs. Too much food, not the best food, and feeding too often, all lead to problems. Water quality I'll assume as a given. Un-oxidized metabolites (ammonia and/or nitrite) are never detectable, oxidized metabolites (nitrate) are as low as is practical for us to provide, but certainly below 40 ppm nitrate, better below 20 ppm, best at or below 10 ppm. Organics are kept low by large water changes at sufficiently short intervals that hobby testable water parameters are never far off from the source water used for the tank (whether tap or processed or otherwise modified). That means the water you remove should be quite close to the water you will replace it with, excepting perhaps the nitrate titer, and the organic (which we cannot measure). IF you can provide all of this, your fish will, on the average, exceed the normal lifespan of the species in the wild, and frequently will be as large as if not larger than the wild counterparts. Anything less is stunting. Anything less will result in lower health and shorter life. To me stunting is insufficient space, improper diet and exercise, and both chemical and physical environmental deficiencies. Any or all of those lacks can contribute. Any or all can result in a stunted fish." Here is the entire thread I got this from: http://www.thepufferforum.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=4030&highlight=stunting Sorry for the lengthy question, you guys are great for your patience! <Long response for a lengthy Q!  ~PP> Sarah

Help we got Lice!  7/23/06 Great page. Thank you for all the super information. I have 2 Oranda both with what I think as Argulus. <No fun... and not uncommon...> Introduced the second Oranda about a week ago, I think he give the gift of Argulus to the other. <What a gift!> My original Oranda has been with me for about 2 1/2 years. The Older one is now covered, and all the other fish in the tank are attacking him. <Yikes> Started dosage of prima fix and Melafix until I saw the brown spots swim when I scraped one off. <Mmm...> Have just treated tank with Copper Safe, <All inappropriate treatments thus far...> and removed each fish and tired to scrape of the rest of the living lice. Not to much luck with that. <Your fish will be dead...> I am going to start an antifluke medication, which helped to remove anchor worms about on the older one years ago. <Ahh, now we're getting somewhere> Should I try salt, and how do I kill the rest of those creepy ECTO'S, without killing the fish. <Economic poisons... organophosphates... acetylcholinesterase inhibitors... Either Dimilin or Masoten/Dylox/Neguvon... Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/PondSubWebIndex/contrpdparasit.htm and the linked FAQs file above> The older one has frayed his fins, and the younger is taking advantage of the other. Help!!! Thanks, (the other fish in the tank are two small Cory's and one plecostomus. The Corys are also beating up the older sicker fish.) <Read on... act soon... Look for commercial products containing DTHP in one of its many generic-names. Bob Fenner>
Re: Help we got Lice!   7/26/06
Hi, Thank you for the information. One fish survived, the older one did not. We will keep the support of your great site for all of us fish lovers. Paul <Thank you for this update. BobF>

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

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

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