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FAQs About Goldfish Disease/Health 25

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,

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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,

Real trouble

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

Goldfish With Acne  - 10/14/06 My Goldfish has two red dots in between his eyes. It almost looks like someone poked him with a pin point needle and left a mark. Yesterday there was only one, now there is another one, making two. They are symmetrical and I am really worried. He has also started to breath a lot faster than normal. I can send pictures if it will help but I really need to know what to do. The Vets around here are so expensive and I am by no means a rich girl. Please Help God Bless, Lisa K. < This could be the start of a bacterial infection. Start by doing a 50% water change, clean the filter and vacuum the gravel. If things don't get better after a few days then place him in a hospital tank and treat with Nitrofuranace as per the directions on the package.-Chuck>

Fin Rot On A Koi  - 10/14/06 I have a 55 gallon freshwater tank which houses 3 small Plecos, 1 catfish (3 inches), and three (recently added) small Koi (around 2 inches). My plan was to enjoy the Koi until they outgrew their current tank, then transfer to a pond at my grandfather-in-laws farm.  When I purchased the new fish from the pet store I saw no signs of sickness either on them, in their tank mates, nor in the tanks near them. After letting the water in their bag adjust I added them to my tank. (I did skip the quarantine - should have done it but the tank is very sparsely populated) The calico and yellow/white coloured fish were perfectly fine, but as I added the third grey/white I noticed a pink salmon coloured spot at the top of his dorsal fin. Initially I assumed (yes I know what it means to assume) it was the result of a bite or some other injury. Since the problem is one pre-existing from the pet store I really don't know if it was caused or if it developed. The spot, however, was at first the same size as the tip of a ballpoint pen, but has grown to almost 1/4 cm over the course of a week, spreading down towards his body. The fish does not act distressed, nor do others. All are active and eating, and I have not seen any signs the others might have the same problem. Years ago I had some comets go through a bout of Ick, but this spot doesn't look like the spots they developed. I am stuck, since this is the only prior experience I have had fish-sickness. I have found a good number of articles describing fin rot and various bacterial growths, but I have found nothing to quite match this problem. Most of the problems seem to either deal with fins breaking off, separating, or bacteria (usually black) that begins at the base of the fin. The spot is at the top of his dorsal fin and it is salmon pink. I realize it is difficult to diagnose fish without pictures, but I would greatly appreciate help identifying the problem. Thank you very much for your time. Sincerely, Sarah < Goldfish and Koi are often kept in very tight conditions. The water quality is not always the best. High levels of waste in their tank generate stress and diseases. Fin rot is a result of high ammonia or nitrate levels. Place the fish in a hospital tank and treat with Nitrofurazone. If it is not cured by then I would recommend a sharp Exacto knife be used to cut in infected portion of the fin away and remedicate.-Chuck>

Tank Crashed  - 10/13/06 Hello, Please help. I don't know what's wrong, what to do, why this is happening. 3 months ago I thought I had a wonderful set up and had been enjoying my tank & fish friends for months (at least 6) without incident & lots of joy, I thought I'd finally figured it out. Historically I'd lost 2 Orandas & 1 fantail. Owing to swim bladder disease: 2 sank, 1 floated.  Also, 1 Oto died a long time ago.  I'm new & was definitely overfeeding, and don't know what else I did wrong. Only one persistent problem: fighting black hair algae which I had imported from a reputable aquarium store on a Madagascar lace plant purchased August 2005.   Tank: 70 gal planted with huge tiger lilies (leaves big as my hand) and several other huge plants of all colours. Algae was there, I just had to cut off any leaves with the hair plus I gave up on the slow growers to an extent. Inhabitants: 2 Orandas (one now dead (6 1/2 - 7 inch), one still alive (5 inch)...very loving Approx 11 Otos (I had 3 babies born in the tank that I watched grow from teeny 3/8 inchers & see-through).. loads of happiness.  One baby (smallest) still alive plus others Previous Water parameters: 0 mg/L ammonia 0 nitrite 5 nitrate 5-10 phosphate pH 7.0 very hard water 22 +1/2 cup aquarium salt with 50% water changes every two weeks. temp 74 (night) to 76*F (light on) Horror struck one day approx 4 months ago when my large Oranda got a large bloody scale on his right mid-side. The only thing I can think of is I remember seeing them playing and he zoomed across the bottom gravel and must have injured his side (they used to play a lot). Long story short: increased aquarium salt (coarse) to 3 cups (found out later I should have been weighing it). Lost almost all my plants, but not my Otos or my lilies. Bloody scale healed and just as I thought all was well (approx 2 wks) I did a water change and the split second of starting to fill it up, he flipped upside down and sank. I tried everything including salt, Maracyn II, Furan 2, EM tabs,  tetracycline,  isolation, re-introduction. He was eating well and desired to. He got long blood streaks in his tail, then later pure black veins in tail & dorsal fins, black blotch on head, but amazingly kept trying to live, sitting in my hand, eating etc. His tank mate hardly ever left his side and the Otos never bothered him.  In the last 2 days of his life he breathed very laboriously and rapidly and in one day had instant fin rot (fins were never ragged till this point).  He passed away at 1am after desperately clinging to life for approx. 3 months and I had tried everything I knew to help. He is sadly missed. Determined to resolve my problem, I have since bought 4 more fancy goldfish (3 Orandas, 1 red cap, 1 black moor).  My plants started to revive, and two of my Otos were very pregnant.  In talking to the aquarium store, I got the bright idea to purchase a 9 watt CoraLife UV sterilizer, and hooked it up to my Eheim Prof II filter. I also put ROWA phos to help with my algae problem.  Like an idiot, I cleaned my Eheim with tap water & changed my filter pads...wanting to be sure it was extra clean. Now I have total devastation: My oldest surviving Oranda now has red veins in his tail fins and the bottom 1/4 inch seem to be "bent" inwards and never straightens out. He has white stringy poop sometimes, other times normal.  My next oldest Red Cap is also getting red veining is his tail fins (currently in the aquarium approx. one month since my overhaul). I've lost 5 Otos in 3 days including my two pregnant older Otos (one was huge with eggs & the other had maybe 20).  My tank's parameters are going crazy.  I'm constantly fighting Ammonia and have added double and triple doses of PRIME water conditioner and Big Al's water bacteria.  My ammonia goes from 0 to 0.6 mg/L though lately from 0 to 0.3.  My nitrite is never zero but is 5 mg/L. My nitrates are normal for my tank...also 5.  My phosphate has dropped to almost zero. pH is 7.0.  I'm afraid to turn on my UV because every single time I do my ammonia comes back and my iron turns to zero.  I do a frenzied water change to decrease the ammonia & each time it goes to zero...then back to 0.3 again in 1 to 3 days.   I'm afraid of adding too much aquarium salt in case I'm killing my nitrifying bacteria, but I'm afraid not to add it because I want to prevent disease.  I can't understand why my Otos are dying out ...they definitely have lots of algae on the glass & leaves (no more hair algae, but they never ate that anyway).  Their bellies are nicely plump, no redness at all, and look like they should be alive.  After each set of deaths my ammonia has been 0.3.  My aquarium doesn't seem to sparkle like it used to and in fact, there is tiny debris in the water despite weekly 30-50% water changes plus the extra emergency ones I've done. There is no left over food and very little poop (I'll scoop it out if I see it). One last thing, I have seen every goldfish bang into the gravel for about 1/2 second and scrub their side of their head...then never again.???  Until now I had never seen any of my fancy gold fish do this. I don't know what has killed my Otos. I don't know why I still have ammonia & nitrites coming & going. I don't know what the UV is or is not doing. I am scared to death my oldest Oranda is deathly ill and won't recover (red veins, bent tail, odd poop).  Yesterday even his body appears a reddish hue (I often play/pet him when attending plants or during water changes. I held him a little out of the water during a water change, so am sure this wasn't a lighting illusion). I've seen normal poop from all my goldfish and Otos.  I've seen white filamentous poop from 2 gold fish. They have excellent food: Daily: Omega One goldfish flakes, Hikari sinking pellets, frozen Sally's: brine shrimp, frozen freshwater food, frozen goldfish food. Once a week they get squashed cooked peas. Occasional Omega One Spirulina. I don't know if my gold fish are fighting bacteria, intestinal parasites, gill flukes, and/or poor water conditions. I don't know how to stop my Otos from dying. I don't know how to correct my water problem & return it to stable & sparkling. I don't know if I should keep using the UV. Please help me. Thank you, Eileen < Medications have a way of affecting the good nitrifying bacteria. First off I would recommend a hospital tank for future fish acquisitions. As for now you have no nitrifying bacteria and spikes in ammonia and nitrite levels are stressing your fish and causing all kinds of diseases. Do a 50% water change, vacuum the gravel and clean the filter. Do not fed the fish while they are sick. Treat with Nitrofuranace or the Furan 2 that you already have. Follow the directions on the package. When the fish are cured you need to add carbon to the filter and do a 50% water change to remove all the medication from the water. When the tank is clear you can add Bio-Spira from Marineland. Then start feeding the fish. Feed them once a day and only enough food so that all of it is gone in two minutes. When the water stabilizes the fish will settle down too.-Chuck>

My goldfish  - 10/13/06 Hi, <<Hi, Kirsten. Tom>> I've had my goldfish for a few weeks and about two days ago, I noticed he got some kind of a black spot on the tip of his nose.  I don't know what it is, or what it means...please help me. <<Kirsten, without more to go on than what you've sent, I'd venture that it's nothing to be concerned about. Your Goldfish may have scratched his nose on something in the tank or while rummaging around at the bottom. As sores heal on fish, they appear black in color. The 'fish equivalent' of a scab like you or I get when we cut or scratch ourselves. Just part of the healing process.>> Thanks! <<No problem, Kirsten. Tom>>

Goldfish With Internal Infection   10/11/06 Our Oranda's (Nemo) behavior is indicating that she has some sort of disease and her health seems to be deteriorating.  Between my husband and I we have spent many hours monitoring her behavior and searching the net for answers.  What we have come up with is either black spot or TB.  We would like to treat her but would appreciate your opinion on which we should treat her for based on the following symptoms: -floating on her side -black spots on fins and body, belly is almost completely black -"hanging" from plants -hiding under plants, and filter -has been spitting up food since last meal about 24hrs earlier -lost weight -can right herself and swim with great effort for a short period of time, doesn't seem interested though Non of our other fish have shown any signs or symptoms similar or otherwise.  We have isolated her to a nurse tank to prevent any spreading of her condition to the others and to allow for treatment.  We have checked levels of ammonia, pH, nitrates, and water hardness - everything is normal to low or non existent as it should be.  We feed all of our goldfish peas regularly, however; Nemo's diet for the past few days has consisted only of peas as this was suggested to help the "floating".  Any feedback you could give us would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time, Corrie <Your goldfish has an internal infection. Do a 50% water change, vacuum the gravel and clean the filter. Treat with a combination of Metronidazole and Nitrofurazone or Clout. The sooner you start to treat the better the chances are of a complete recovery. As the bacteria grows inside, it distorts the swim bladder and causes the strange swimming behavior. The black spots could be a normal color change or else it is a secondary bacterial infection caused by the trauma of running into objects.-Chuck>

Goldfish with Ich  10/11/06 Thank you so much for answering my initial questions! <You're most welcome.> I bought a 10 gal. tank tonight and have it filtering now with power filter. <Wonderful - the fish will be much happier in there!> I unfortunately have a new problem... my white fantail apparently has Ich. There are tiny white grains on the tail fins. <Yes, does sound like Ich.> I did read the link about Ich, but much of it reads like Greek to me. <I understand - it's like learning a new language from scratch.> Could you please explain in layman's terms what I need to do for this poor fish? The new tank will have filtered for 24 hours at about 10 p.m. on 10/11. Do I need to treat the fish before or after transferring to the new tank? I'm afraid to leave the fish in the small container any longer than necessary, and do not have another suitable tank available to quarantine the ichy fish. <So let me understand - you have two goldies, one affected with Ich and one not? Are they currently together in the 1 gal. you previously referenced, or are they separated?  If they are separated, that's good.  I'd recommend moving the healthy one into the new 10 gal., and keeping the affected fish in isolation.  Ich is a parasite, and if at all possible, you want to keep from introducing it into the main tank.  I understand you are concerned for the fish being in a too-small container, but for temporary purposes, with sufficient water changes, it should make-do for a suitable "hospital" tank. With regards to treating the Ich, you generally have several options, ranging from medication, increasing temperature of the water, increasing salinity.  Personally, I like to use the heat/salinity method as opposed to medication.  You'll need a heater, a thermometer, a hydrometer (to measure the water's salinity) and aquarium salt.  Slowly (no more than 1 degree an hour) raise the temperature to about 80 degrees.  Additionally, add aquarium salt (again slowly) to raise the salinity to around 1.002 or 1.003 (pure freshwater is 1.000).  These heat will speed up the parasite's lifecycle and the salt will kill it.  Make sure you are doing water changes while treating the fish - you should keep him isolated for about 4 weeks.  Do check the other one closely for any signs of white spots...this disease is highly contagious.  If both are affected, then obviously treat both.  Again, you are lucky since you haven't introduced the parasite into your main tank...I'd suggest treating them in the 1 gal., then moving them in a month or so, when all is well.  Here's a helpful article describing the parasite and its treatment in more detail:   http://www.kokosgoldfish.com/IchPrevention.html - you can also read on various medications that treat Ich, should you want to go that route instead.> Thanks for your time and patience! Pam Bass <Hope I've helped.  Again, do check out the book I previously referenced - it also discusses Ich (along with other diseases) and how to treat and prevent.  Best of luck, Jorie>
Goldfish with Ich...follow up questions
 - 10/13/06 Hi, Jorie. <Hello Pam> Here's my trouble. 1. Both my fantails are in the 1 gal tank. <OK> 2. Only one shows signs of Ich. But I assume both must be treated as both have been exposed. <There are always parasites and bacteria present in fish water; if a fish is healthy enough, its immune system should kick in to prevent it from becoming sick.  Never a good idea to medicate when no symptoms are present.  If you are positive the one shows absolutely no signs of Ich, I'd suggest moving it to the 10 gal.  Do keep an eye on water parameters, as that tank isn't cycled yet.> 3. I chose to go the medication route as I have been ill myself the last few days and haven't been able to go looking for a hydrometer. <Am very sick also- I understand.> 4. The medication (Formalin and Malachite Green) instructs to remove the carbon from filter during treatment, but the model I have has bio filter and charcoal built into one unit (I am now using a power filter instead of the undergravel filter). The water is continually dirty. <Remove the entire filter, as it will only suck out the medication if you don't.  Do larger water changes - 75% at a time if you must.> 5. I'm having extreme difficulty keeping the ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels down even with 25% water changes daily, Ammonia Clear and Cycle (nitrifiers) <Ditch the Ammonia Clear and Cycle and simply increase the water changes.  This will go a long way towards helping your fish, even more so than the medication.  Once you get the water clean, start the medication (I still suggest the heat/salt method, as QuickCure is a *very* harsh med., but I understand why you are doing what you are doing.> 6. Both fish are not happy. They keep hanging out under the water flowing back into the tank from the filter. Trying to breathe? They don't *seem* to be struggling to breathe. <If there's ammonia in the water, this explains it.  Change as much water as necessary - leave only a little in the tank for the fish, and change everything else. Don't overfeed.> 7. They are not lethargic, lacking appetite, or gasping for air at the surface. <That's good.>   What is my best route? Should I go ahead and transfer them to the main tank? <The non-affected one, yes - I wouldn't move the affected one.> More water changes? <YES.> I don't want to stress them out more than they already are. <I understand, but fish cannot survive with toxins such as ammonia and nitrites in there water.  The two products you are adding are cr&p, in my opinion - throw them away and simply increase your water changes.  Again, once the ammonia and nitrite levels are good, you can medicate if you so choose, following the directions on the package.>   I would love it if you could point me in the right direction. Thanks for your time Pam Bass <You're welcome. Jorie>
Re: Goldfish with Ich...follow up questions
 - 10/21/2006 Dear Anyone, Jodie's email never made it to me. Don't know what to do about this fish. Getting VERY worried. The pustules on her body are huge now and they've turned yellow. Her fins are disintegrating and turning a kind of bloody color. She's hiding in the hollow log and won't come out unless she knows I've put food in. I've increased heat and salinity, but I'm afraid she's getting too sick to make it. Desperate for help now. Would be grateful to hear from anyone. Thanks, Pam Bass I'm curious how much salt is currently in the water - can you measure with a hydrometer/refractometer? it shouldn't be more than 1.002 or 1.003...goldies won't tolerate TOO much salt. For what it's worth, I think you are doing everything in your power to help this little fish...it may just be too late.  Keep in mind that euthanizing is always an option if things are truly awful...pure clove oil will slowly put the fish to sleep, comfortably... Sorry for your pain/troubles.  Hopefully the other goldfish is still doing well in the 10 gal? Best, Jorie>

Goldfish Tale, err... Tail - 10/8/06 Hi, <<Hello, Megan. Tom with you this morning.>> My dad has 5 ordinary goldfish in a large tank.  One of them is about 2.5 yrs old, and has developed a very crooked tail.  He is working overtime just to swim around the tank.   <<Understandable given its condition'¦>> And I noticed when he goes towards the bottom, he ends up flipping over and it takes a while for him to flip himself right-side up.   <<Sounds like this may involve a couple of problems, Megan. 'Flipping over' is almost always associated with swim-bladder issues/problems. Goldfish, in particular, are highly susceptible to this. My bigger concern, however, is the development of the crooked tail/spine. There are several potential causes of this condition including vitamin deficiency (vitamin C, primarily), injury, electrical shock, genetic abnormality and piscine (fish) tuberculosis (Mycobacteriosis). The last of these typically involves other symptoms such as fin/scale loss, growths on the body, ulcerations/sores, a sunken abdomen among others. You haven't mentioned any of these in your post. I do want to point out, in the interest of health and safety, that this disease can be communicated to human beings through contact with the infected animal and/or aquarium water particularly if the person has open sores, cuts, scrapes and the like on his/her hands or arms. Not a cause for panic or undue concern but it's something that we all, as fish keepers, need to be mindful of.>> It's very sad.  Is there anything I can do?  Is it inhumane to allow him to live like this?   <<Megan, a couple of the possibilities I've mentioned can probably be dismissed as unlikely. All of your fish receive the same food so I'd discount vitamin deficiency here. (Not impossible that your pet might have a genetic anomaly that would prevent the assimilation of certain vitamins but that would be a 'stretch', diagnostically speaking.) Likewise, electrical shock seems equally unlikely since only one fish is affected. Injury? It would take a pretty good 'crash', such as jumping out of the tank, to damage the fish's spine like this. Without other symptoms to back up a claim for TB, I'm inclined to believe that your Goldfish has a genetic abnormality which is only now showing itself. As you might guess, there's not much to be done for this. If the fish is still eating properly, you might try feeding shelled peas in order to treat the possible swim bladder problem. Another treatment would be a bath in Epsom salts which is effective in 'purging' the fish and getting things back in order internally. Whether, or not, it's humane to allow your pet to continue on like this presupposes that nothing can be done to alleviate the condition. I'd try what I've suggested above before making any decision to euthanize your fish.>> I don't know anything about goldfish, and I can't find anything online that seems to deal with his situation directly.   Thanks, Megan M. <<I hope all turns out well for you and your pet, Megan. Tom>>

Goldfish With Eye Trouble - 10/9/06 Hi, I hope you can help me. <Jorie here...will sure try.> I looked on the net and did not find what I was looking for.  I have a regular goldfish.  I got him at Wal-Mart about 2 years ago.  A couple days ago I noticed a red spot under his eye.  It looks like internal bleeding.  Today I noticed a smaller red spot under his other eye.  He/she is in a tank alone.  I changed the water a couple weeks ago (half).  He/she does have problems with a persistent swimbladder disease and I normally use peas, spinach etc. for food. Any info would be appreciated.  My son loves him & I would hate to have something happen due to neglect on my part.  Thanks!!!! <Well, let's start from the beginning.  First off, how large is the system you keep this goldfish in, what type of filtration does it have, how often do you normally change water and in what amount.  Have you recently tested for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate, along with pH?  Since none of this information was provided, I'm going to assume you haven't - sounds like you need to read here for starters: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm Also, if you aren't familiar with the nitrogen cycle, read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwestcycling.htm With regard to the symptoms you are describing, please see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshdisease.htm  The swimbladder disorder could be due to constipation, and the peas and spinach should help.  I would also suggest using sinking pellets instead of floating ones - this will help alleviate the goldfish gulping too much air.  Read here for additional info: http://www.goldfishinfo.com/ailment1.htm#bladder The "red spots" you are describing could be septicemia, but it also could just be adverse effects from poor water conditions.  I'm a bit disturbed when you say "I changed the 50% of the water a couple of weeks ago".  Goldfish, as mentioned in the articles above, are exceedingly messy fish and create a great deal of waste.  They need good filtration in their tanks and frequent water changes.  I am willing to bet this is a purely environmental problem that can likely be remedied with frequent water changes.  Try improving the conditions of the fish's tank, as per the links above, and watch for a few days/weeks...I'll bet you'll see marked improvements. Jorie>

Help. Goldfish, no useful data  10/7/06 I found your address on a goldfish site and I was wondering if you could help. My goldfish Ipod's eye is all puss like, he won't eat, and his color has gone from very black to a sort of gold. He's a bubble eye- or something like that. For a while now he's been going to the top of the tank and we figured he just liked it up there, but once I read something on this site about the water quality. Could you tell me if that's what you think it is? I'm really worried about him.   Thanks for your time, Sam Snyder <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshdisease.htm and the linked files above. BobF>

What's wrong with Nemo the goldfish   10/5/06 Hey there, we are having trouble diagnosing the problem with our goldfish and I was hoping you could help...  We have an orange female goldfish that we have had for 2 years... a cross between an Oranda and something else apparently bread <bred> to have trouble swimming. <A true statement> Anyway, about 7 days ago she started to seem lethargic and spend most of her time resting on the bottom at about a 45 degree angle with her head above her tail or resting at the top in the same manner most of the time.  She shows little interest in food which, being a goldfish, is her only real hobby. <We won't mention the other common behavior>   About 4 days ago we noticed a dark spot about 1-2 mm long on her bum.  Today, I notice that the darkness seems to have spread very slightly to the outer parts of her fins, especially, with lethargy continuing.  The water quality has been fine and the other fish in the tank (Oranda, Pleco, and Cory catfish) are as normal.   There are snails in the tank as well, though this doesn't seem to match cysts from them and I don't think it is melanophore migration as it seems to be spreading.  The only changes in the tank environment is that it was cooler than normal for a few days (about 65 degrees F.) <This should be okay...> and I have fed the fish relatively more cooked pees than fish flakes lately. Any advice would be appreciated, Matt <Mmm, well, "melanization" isn't unusual in goldfishes... portend no real disease per se... And the other fish species mentioned don't seem mal-affected by some negative change/s in the environment... You do eschew the too-much dried food diet from your statement re the peas (but please do read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshmalnut.htm...) I would simply do the regular maintenance/water changes and monitor water quality at this point. Bob Fenner>
Re: what's wrong with Nemo the goldfish    10/6/06
OK... the blackness is spreading very quickly now.  Now a bit of black on all the fins, all over the underside of the fish and some on the head.  I have separated the fish to another tank now.  should I treat this fish with some liquid fungal cure? Thanks, Matt <I would not... again, this is highly likely "non-pathogenic"... developmental, con-genital... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshbehfaqs.htm and the linked files above, OR search for "goldfish, color, change..." on WWM. BobF>

Black Moor with hair?   10/4/06 First off, thank you for any help you might give me. I looked all over the site for information (which is what led me to think my fish might simply be gassy) but nothing seemed to fit exactly. <Okay> Brief history: new 10 gallon tank with a Tetra Whisper filter. Tank was started with Aqua Safe and BioZyme and allowed to run for a few days before the fish were put in. <Mmm, needs more time than this to establish cycling/biofiltration> Ammonia level at last check is: 0.5. <Toxic> (I'm not sure that the test kit I'm using is accurate.. it's a Red Sea product and somewhat hard to read.) Seachem Ammonia Alert tag reads "safe." Nitrites/Nitrates: unknown. No test kit at work right now. <I really dislike the "Alert Tags"... inaccurate... I encourage you to purchase/use an inexpensive liquid reagent kit of your own... Maybe the Aquarium Pharmaceutical line...> The initial fish (Mr. Pink and Mr. Orange) were two 2" goldfish that had previously been in a 1.5 gallon tank. They seemed thrilled to have more room and have been doing quite well. <I bet!> The latest addition is a 2" Black Moor, Mr. Black. <Ten gallons is too small for (ultimately) even one goldfish...> The person who purchased him did so based on his tendency to keep to himself. On the second day of having Mr. Black, we noticed he had some red streaks on his chin. <Good observation> They seemed to lessen over the next day or so and I thought it might have been bad water at his old home (Petco). Yesterday, we noticed tiny red spots on Mr. Orange's chin. I purchased Maracyn-Two and started treatment today, following a 1/3 water change and addition of some aquarium salt (1 tablespoon). <Mmm....> Mr. Black has now taken to floating to the surface, partially on his side. <Very bad> When he's not doing that, he'll swim around periodically and then wedge himself in the corner behind the filter, completely sideways. I see no spots or growths on him and no more of the red streaks on his chin. He ate well earlier today. If the lid of the tank is opened, he'll come swimming out, looking for food. Is it most likely a swim bladder issue or an over-feeding issue? <Neither... direct/root causes are likely poor environment (the ammonia and all else it points to) and parasites... very likely Anchorworm/Lernaea, Flukes/Trematodes> (There are a number of people in the office and I wonder if they might feed him while I'm not looking.) <Hopefully not. I would caution them against this practice and hide the food/s> Something that appears unrelated but I'm curious about is the "hair" Mr. Black is sporting. At first glance, it looks like bubbles on his skin but when you look quite closely, you can see that they are tiny little black "hairs" all over his body. Is that normal for black moors? <No... more evidence of possible parasitic presence... This will take a while, but please read, starting here:  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm and the linked files above, particularly Systems, and Disease. Bob Fenner> Carey Roberts
Re: Black Moor with hair?  10/4/06
I spent several hours yesterday reading the section you mentioned. None of the information seems to match Mr. Black's symptoms completely. The "hairs" I mentioned are so fine and short that they really do look like tiny bubbles at first. All the pictures/descriptions I've found re. Anchorworm show much larger parasites. There is no accompanying redness or scratching, either. <Good input... if these "hairs" are numerous, uniformly so... I'd consider that they're just parts of the animals scales (or if linear, the lateralis system) and not worry... though such inadvanced fishes (cyprinids, minnow family, include goldfish) have cycloid, not ctenoid (comb-like) scalature...> We moved Mr. Black to a hospital tank (ph 7.4, ammonia 0, temp. 76/78°) and he swam around almost normally for about 20 minutes before finding a spot to tuck himself behind the filter. He is eating but he takes a little while to be interested in it. I tested the original tank's water again (after performing a 50% change late yesterday) and the ammonia level is 0. I'll be purchasing nitrite/nitrate test kits today to check those levels. <Good... And I'd look into the product "Bio-Spira" as the best very fast way to establish cycling> Would you recommend I treat for fluke without knowing for sure that's what the issue is? I hate to dose Mr. Black unnecessarily. Thanks again, Carey <I would not at this point... too toxic/debilitating... it may well be that this fish's difficulties are mostly a matter of "being new", the ammonia exposure, poor treatment ahead of your acquisition. I would supply stable/optimized environment, nutrition... and time/patience at this point. BobF>

Urgent help needed please. FB Goldfish Dis., nutr.   10/4/06 Hello , I need some advice as my red cap Oranda is really sick , pretty sure he has swimbladder as he is floating at the surface of the tank and loses his balance when swimming. He has also lost his red colour and his fins have red veins in them, really worried about him. I Test water quality regularly and sure it is ok as the black Moor who is in the same tank has not long ago has spawned and had  baby fry. I have added salt to the tank and treated with swimbladder disease potion but it didn't work . So I waited a week did partial water change and repeated process, still no luck! So I waited again did partial change and tried Methylene blue waited no cure!! Now trying to feed fish shelled peas to see if that works, but if it doesn't what can I do?!?!? Could it be something else wrong with the fish??? Please help Charlotte <... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshmalnut.htm and the linked files above. Very likely this fish's troubles are a matter of its breed and feeding history... environmental secondarily. Bob Fenner>

Really don't know what wrong with our fish!  9/29/06 Hi, <Hello> Can you please help us treat our 2 oldest fish. They are nearly a year old and have all of a sudden had a personality transplant! We have a tank 4ft x 12in x 18in and have had 5 goldfish (2 are 4" long and the rest are a lot smaller) and a small shoal of white cloud mountain minnows in there for a few months now. The 2 oldest goldfish have now decided to eat all but 3 of the minnows - <Unusual> even though they get fed little and often - and are acting strange. The more aggressive of the two is currently sitting in the corner of the tank next to the heater (which is only there to keep the temp constant) <Good> with her head at the top of the tank and her tail pointing to the gravel. The other one is lying on the floor in the plants. <Bad signs> We have treated the fish with a tea tree medicine <Why?> and changed the bio filtration so it does not contain carbon (this will take the medicine out of the water). Our filter is big enough to cope with a 5 ft tank so we know the filter is not the problem. We are quite clued up on fish care and regularly change about 1/3 of the water but we are stumped!! Any ideas what we can try?? Thanks for your help Natalie & Aaron <Something wrong with the environment here... You have water quality test kits? What do they tell you? Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm and the linked files above. BobF>

Goldfish problem...  9/26/06 Hello, my son has a goldfish and his name is Mack, Just lately (over the last 2 days) have noticed what appears to be poo, stuck in only what I can assume is his bottom (assuming its male) anyway, sometimes it is green in colour and other times it appears to be red in colour I hope it is not serious can you please advise me as to what the problem if any could be. thanks. Mel. <Likely just fecal material... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshfdgfaqs.htm and the linked files above. BobF>

Black moor with blood in eye   9/26/06 Hi, I have searched all day and can not find what I need to know. We have what I believe to be a black moor by looking at pictures on the web. Yesterday I noticed in one eye a streak of red, which I assume to be blood, lying in the bottom of the eye. This does not seem to be in the way of his pupil it is a very small streak. Physically he is fine in every other way. Is there something I should do and what caused this? Please and Thank you. <Good observation... this sort of bloodiness is often an indication of "something" improper in the environment... most often "poor" or unsuitable water chemistry if both eyes are involved... and simple mechanical injury if one-sided. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm and the linked files above... re your set-up (possible decor, water chemistry issues)... RMF>

Black Moor and Lionhead - URGENT   9/26/06 I am so confused by differing information not just from different aquarium shops but also by different staff from the main shop I use. <Need to investigate, educate yourself... make up your own mind...> My tank is 30litres and at the moment I have one small black moor and a slightly larger Lionhead. <This tank volume is too small...>   The tank was set up on 1st August, the black moor put in a few days later when the water levels were ok. <Not useful... discrete data please, not subjective evaluations>   3 weeks later I put the Lionhead in.  At first the black moor seemed to bully the Lionhead, looking like it was chewing its tail but not causing damage and I was worried, but it seemed to settle down.   <...> For the past 3/4 weeks I have been having ammonia problems, <......> (possibly caused by having an additional fish or from having to feed peas because the Lionhead has swim bladder problems) <.........> necessitating a daily water change of about 10% with added 'Tap-safe' and also additional bacterial product to boost production.  The levels have now reduced and I thought I was on the better side and my fish were safe.  However yesterday I noticed that the Lionheads tail looked chewed, the aquarium asked me to take the black moor in to check for bacteria under the microscope, it was clear, so it seems that the black moor is actually eating the Lionheads tail now and caused quite a bit of damage.  I have now started using anti-bacterial product to help with the healing, but I just don't know what to do about taking the black moor back to the shop. <Return one or both>   Last time it settled down and I don't want to have to return a living thing with a name when its something that might rectify itself.   <Highly unlikely in this setting> I bought these fish as I thought it might give me something else to occupy my time whilst going thru a break-up, and a couple of weeks ago when I thought I may lose them because of the high levels of ammonia I was in tears, so I really don't want to have to take one back. But I do wish now that id never started with the fish, they are certainly a lot more hassle than I ever envisaged. Please try and reply quickly as I have to make a decision tomorrow if I have to remove the black moor.  I have no way of having another tank, I've already spent a lot of money and I don't have the space. Thanks Lisa (Manchester, UK) <Return one/both... long walks... new hobbies, contact old friends... Bob Fenner>
Re: black moor and Lionhead - URGENT  9/26/06
Tank volume isn't too small, it has the capacity for 3 goldfish. It measures 16"x16"x8" <... is too small...> what an abrupt and rude response.  I shouldn't have wasted my time. <Please... read where you were referred to. RMF>

Question about goldfish   9/26/06 Hello Bob. I have found your website most helpful. Great job. I have 4 smallish fancy goldfish in a 40 gal aquarium that also has rocks and a bigger rock in it. They are all eating and swimming normally but I have noticed on one of them there is a blister like thing on his tail fins. The tail fin is two sections that split in the middle. Where they connect (near the top back of the fish) is where the blister is. It is not white but mostly clear almost fluid filled looking. Any ideas on what I should do? <Mmm, likely nothing... could be an owee from... running into a rock... but probably not something "treat-able" per se> Should I put him in a different tank for a while? Thanks so much. Jolene <I would not. Unless you've recently (weeks) added other livestock, this is most likely sign of traumatic injury... and will heal of its own accord. More damage to be done by moving, treating. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Black moor eye problem    9/22/06 Hi - I was wondering if you could help me. I have a black moor, almost one year old, who I think is suffering from 'cloudy eye'. However, instead of the entire eye having a milky appearance, it seems as though there's a solid white growth coming from inside the pupil. Is this cloudy eye? Thank you so much, Lindsay <Most such complaints are external... bacterial though termed fungal... and if one-sided, due to a mechanical injury initially... and if bilateral, almost always due to "poor environment" influences. Internal? Could be genetic... my best guess. I do hope this fish spontaneously cures. Bob Fenner>

Beautiful fish is sick:(  Goldfish, Lernaea?   9/20/06 Hello, I just bought a red and white fantail about 2 weeks ago. She seemed to be sick at first and I treated her with something for velvet. <?> It seemed to help and she was fine for about a week. Now, she is barely swimming around. She stays in the upper corner of the tank and doesn't move. She's not breathing air at the surface, just hanging under it. The other fish in the tank are fine though. <Are these goldfishes?> I'm checking the water right now and so far the ammonia is at 0, ph is neutral and right now I'm waiting for the nitrites and after I'll check the nitrates. Anyways, she has two black splinter like things in her tail <Ahh! Likely Anchorworm, Lernaea> and then on her chin she's got a black spot/lump (can't really tell if it's sticking out or not, I think it might be though.) <The beginnings of this copepod parasite> I put her in a salt bath for now. I didn't know what else to do. She doesn't seem to have any other symptoms other than the black spots, the splinters in her tail and that she just hangs in the upper corner of the tank. Rarely ever goes out for a swim. And she also has major clamped fins. Ok, I just checked on her and she seems to be doing  a tiny bit better in the salt bath. I had put three pieces of food in there and now two are gone so I'll assume she ate them. And she's swimming around a tiny bit. I'm going to see if I can take some pictures of her spots to send along. <Good> Oh, and the nitrites are 0 and the nitrates are 15. I don't know how well those pics will show. The flash made those spots hard to see. Nope, I'll try again. :) All right, I took these without the flash and I think they took better. Yeah, she definitely seems more lively, she protested to that second pic. I did that to her before, (turned her on her side with the net GENTLY, and she didn't even move.) Well, you can kinda see in the pictures but they are a bit blurry. For now I'll keep up with occasional salt baths since they seem to help her. Thank you in advance,   Lindsay <Mmm, can't make out much with these images, but I would treat with an organophosphate-containing med. for Anchorworm stat! Bob Fenner, who encourages you to "look up" the above terms on the Net>

Sickly fantail... more imported Lernaea   9/17/06 Dear WWM Crew, <Eddie> I have searched through several of your e-mails and articles but am having trouble identifying the solution to my problem.  I may be using the wrong terms to search.  So I will try to explain to you here and see what you can tell me.  My husband and I currently have one calico fantail goldfish in a 30 gallon tank.  This is the last surviving goldfish of three over the last few months. <... what happened to the others?> Recently, I noticed the fish hiding in his little cave.  Upon closer inspection I noticed that one of his eyes has turned black around the rim. The other eye still looks to be intact.  However, his skin also seems to be falling off. <Something very wrong here> It looks like lots of stringy things are hanging off of the fish. <... perhaps Anchorworm (Lernaea)> My husband tested the Ph and it is within normal limits.  We checked the filter and it is working, but the heater had stopped working. My husband and I went out to Wal-Mart at midnight to buy a new heater that could begin working immediately.  Meanwhile, we placed the fish in a smaller fish bowl and he seemed to perk up.  The fish is eating and swimming fine in his smaller bowl (with no heater).  But the stringy things are still hanging off of him and now a fuzzy patch has formed on his side.  Can you please direct me in what the problem may be and how we can treat it? <Yes... please do use the Net to look up the above terms... look at "Images" on the search tray... is this what you have?>   I read about fish diets and Epsom salt as well as parasites.  But I have no idea where to begin treating this fish.  I would appreciate any help you can give.  Thank you for your time. -Rachelle <The most effective, available remedies here are organophosphates (insecticides)... Dimilin and DTHP/Masoten/Dylox... as you will soon find. Bob Fenner>

The Solution to Pollution is Dilution!  9/16/06 Dear Bob, <Not Bob, Pufferpunk here but I'm sure I can help.> Please help!  We are lucky enough to have an established Juwel Trigon 190 aquarium with 2 large black moors in there.  One has completely turned gold but I am not worried about this.  Basically, our water has been cloudy for months now and we can't seem to rectify the situation.  Through testing we have found out that ammonia levels are fine and nitrates and nitrites are at a safe level.  Our PH is very low however and so we have recently bought some "PH up" which we are adding every 24 hours to bring the PH up 0.2 at a time.   <Your pH is probably low from the acid produced by fish waste.> I don't know where to start with the goldfish - the "gold" black moor has a lot of trouble swimming and is often seen to be upside down.  She cannot balance at all and so we have put a see through "tunnel" in there at the moment which she goes in for a rest.  We've managed to fix her a couple of times by adding Aqualibrium salt to the aquarium and using swimbladder treatment.  Obviously we can't keep putting salt in the aquarium and so now I'm thinking of trying the peas idea I keep reading about as I'm not sure what else I can do for her!!  Any ideas? <Peeled frozen peas will help with the swim bladder problem, along with zucchini & algae wafers.  Goldfish are basically plant eaters.> The other black moor is having problems with her eyes.  We noticed a while ago that they seemed to be very cloudy like she was going blind.  We treated the water with Melafix and this seemed to clear up although it looked like she had a hole in her eye (which has also healed up now).  Anyway, her eyes are fine now but tonight we saw that she had a bit of blood in both of them and now we're really worried.  We've taken out the carbon sponge (in the filter) and added Melafix as I read on the internet it might be septicemia. I suspect most of the problems we have are down to water quality but we don't know what to do about it.   <Water changes.  Most serious goldfish keepers do 90% per week.> We've tried Accuclear and the only thing that helps is partial water changes.  I'm not sure if the partial water changes are ok to do however, as we changed the green "bacteria" sponge in there a few weeks back.   <You should be able to just rinse those out.> I am aware of bacterial blooms but we had this problem before we changed the sponge.  Actually, we left the other green sponge in there too long by accident but I don't know if that could have caused the cloudiness.  It's important to tell you that it is a white cloud and not a green cloud, we have vacuumed the gravel and have no algae build up in there.  We are at desperation point now and just want to help our fish!  Please, please, please can you offer any words of wisdom?   <I would test the water for ammonia, nitrites (should be 0 at all times) & nitrates (should be under 20) and water changes accordingly.> ps - if you don't reply personally to emails, where can I find the answer on the website?  Hopefully you will be able to help us. <You are getting sleepy... you only hear the sound of my voice... you must do water changes... water changes... water changes... water changes...  ~PP> Thank you in advance. Yours sincerely, Lynsey Newton

Bloated Goldfish Not Responding To Treatment, Put Out Of Misery   9/16/06 I contacted you ten days ago about my fish. Been treating him as you suggested but he's got worse is my little friend dying. If so should I put  him out his misery? I have read clove oil is the best way. So sad to see him this way. Thank you for your advise. <Bloat is very difficult to successfully treat. Early diagnoses, suing the right medication, and the fish having enough strength to show some resistance are all factors. Putting your fish out of his misery is actually very simple. Put him in a small container and add a couple Alka-Seltzer tablets. As the tablets release the CO2 the oxygen levels begin to drop. The fish goes to sleep and then eventually dies. If the tablets dissolve before the fish has died then keep adding them until he does die.-Chuck>

Goldfish With Disease Problems   9/11/06 Hi I'm after some advice! I have an 18 gallon tank with 2 fantails! One of my fantails has recently had a spate of problems! First, he had a few white goo-like things on his body which I treated.  2 days later he was totally swollen and triple his size. I got advice and treated him for constipation and gave him some peas after fasting him for a few days! The swelling went down but then under his right front fin he got this patch of slime and a red sore, hanging from him and more white patches.  I treated him for slime and velvet and after 4 days seemed to be fine! I came home tonight and he now has the white slime on his bottom fins and is rubbing on the walls of the tank he is also swollen on one side scales sticking out) and still has a few white slime/lumps on his back! I basically don't know what to treat him for now! I have been using Interpet but don't want to treat for slime if its dropsy! The other fish a white fantail seems to be fine and both are eating normally Really in need of help Mel < Do a 50% water change , vacuum the gravel and clean the filter. Treat with Nitrofurazone or Kanamycin as per the directions on the package. This should help.-Chuck>

Goldfish With Internal Infection   9/11/06 Thank you for your useful advice for our floaty goldfish. Although the symptoms are very similar our goldfish is in a pond with about 100 others - none of which have any symptoms. I am therefore unsure as to whether it is the same 'condition' as you describe. The fish in Q is definitely getting bigger but doesn't have any mobility problems - i.e. he easily comes to the surface although he doesn't eat very much. He seems happy enough. Do you have any other suggestions as to what the problem or solution might be. Any ideas would be very welcome as we are at a loss. Many Thanks Clare < I still think there is an internal infection. It may not be in the intestine but one of the organs. Eventually the stress with get worse.-Chuck>

Lump On Goldfish  9/9/06 Hi I was looking through your website and wondering could you help me.  I have a goldfish (about 5 years) I have noticed a lump on its side near it's eye. I do regular water changes etc and treat the water with tap safe, do not overfeed it etc.  I keep my goldfish in a smallish goldfish bowl with no filter etc. At this point I have put in 'Disease Safe' (made by a company called Interpet).  Can you give me any more information or guidance on what to do. Thanks, Nigel And Joanne < The lump is probably the result of an injury that may have become infected. Not familiar with Disease Safe, but I would try an antibiotic like Nitrofuranace or Kanamycin if it gets worse. Follow the directions on the package.-Chuck>

Tony the Black Moor, not well  - 09/10/06 Hello, how are you? (Good I hope), <<Hello, Melyssa. Tom here and doing just fine, thanks.>> I have a black moor (Tony), and I think he/she may have dropsy. His/her scales are sticking out, but not much. I put him/her in the hospital tank and used Maracyn 2. It's eating a lot as usual, and is swimming around and not at all lethargic, but it's starting to look like some of the fish I saw on the internet when I looked up dropsy. Does it really have dropsy? And, if it does what can I do to treat it? <<Rather than medicating your Goldfish based on the "chance" that it may have an internal infection, Melyssa, I'd suggest that you try cutting back on Tony's feedings. You offer that Tony's still eating "a lot", swimming normally and doesn't appear lethargic. This doesn't sound like a "sick" fish to my thinking. Also, Dropsy is a pretty broad-based term for a condition that could be caused by any number of things. Better to look at feeding habits, water parameters, aquarium maintenance and so forth before stressing your fish with medications that might not even be necessary. (Remember that simply moving Tony from one tank to another is extremely stressful to him.) This isn't to say that Tony doesn't have a problem but, going off of what information you've shared, I'm reluctant to "jump" on this and start suggesting a treatment regimen that might not assist in anything beyond the cash flow of your local fish store.>> thanks, Melyssa <<If there's something else that you observe that can give us something more "solid" to go on, Melyssa, please write back and we'll be more than happy to go from there. Tom>>

Out of control tank/aquarist 9/8/06 In March 06 I set up a 10 gallon for my little girl. <Wonderful!> I bought 10 feeder fish to stabilize the tank and a Pleco (all about 1-2").  Within 1-2 weeks 8 feeders died.   <Not good.> I bought 10 more and all but 1 died. <Even worse.> None of the 3rd batch died. <Honestly, this is like a bad joke or dream - at some point, I would hope, any reasonable person would realize that the answer to multiple dead fish is NOT to replace them with new ones, not having addressed ANY of the problems which caused the original deaths. I daresay this isn't too much to ask...> I then had 9 - 3 to 4" goldfish, 1 original goldfish at least 6" and the Pleco about 7".  The tank began clouding up badly and brown algae grew uncontrolled.  We cleaned, changed filters, etc about every two weeks for 6 weeks. <Not frequent enough water changes.> Then the algae changed to green and had to be cleaned once a week. <Again, water should have been changed daily.> That lasted for 3 weeks.  Last week we got a 29 gallon tank, purchased all new filter, rocks, airstones, etc. <Hallelujah!> The only return items were the fish. The filter is a Cascade 200 and can be used in a 50 gallon tank. The Ph is 8.0.  Within 2 days the tank started to get cloudy again.  We are on a well but water is filtered 3 times before it even gets into the house.   I feed them 2-3x a day and the  Pleco gets 2 wafers a day. I don't know what to do. Any ideas about how to stabilize my tank?  Thank you for any light you can shed on the problem.  CH <OK, let's start from the beginning.  First thing you need to do in any new tank is establish the nitrogen cycle.  There are a few ways to accomplish this, but the most humane way is without any fish, using a small piece of cocktail shrimp, or a little bit of fish food.  When the food breaks down, it will first produce ammonia, then nitrite, then nitrate.  Using a test kit (I personally like Tetra's Master test kit - accurate, contains everything you need, and isn't too expensive), you need to take daily readings of the levels of ammonia, nitrite and nitrate.  You will see a spike in each (in that order), then a decline.  Once all levels have gone to zero, the cycle is complete.  *However*, it's a bit of a different story when live fish are involved.  Basically, it becomes a catch-22 - yes, you need the nitrogen cycle to establish, but more importantly, you need to remove the toxins (i.e., do water changes) to keep the live fish comfortable.  Read here for more information on cycling - http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwestcycling.htm So now, you have the Pleco, obviously, but do you still have 10 goldfish? (I wasn't sure what you meant by "return items" above.) If so, this tank is woefully overstocked.  It's great that you have a filter capable of handling up to 50 gal./hr., but still, that's not going to cut it.  Additionally, the common Pleco can grow up to 18", and the goldies, if common feeders, can reach pretty large sizes as well.  You are going to have to make accommodations for these fish, sooner rather than later.  Right now, I'd say you should have *no more* than the large goldfish and the Pleco, and that is pushing it.  Better yet, can you return the feeders to the fish store, where they can be re-sold?  The Pleco won't reach his full size for some time, but be aware that he will eventually need a larger tank.  Alternatively, are you reading to set up a 75 gal. or larger tank? If so, you may be able to house everyone successfully. The cloudiness of the water and the algae indicate that your water parameters (levels of ammonia, nitrite and nitrate, as mentioned above, as well as phosphates, in the case of the algae issue) are too high.  Again, I can only speculate without the results of a reliable test kit, but I'd suggest doing *daily* 50% water changes, at least while you have these *11* fish in the tank.  Also, goldfish are notoriously messy...the eat and poop a lot. With regard to feeding, overfeeding can contribute to poor water conditions.  Only feed what the fish will consume in a few minutes, a couple times per day.  If excess food is left floating in the tank, remove it ASAP. With regards to the well-water, even though its been filtered, it may have lots of "undesirables" in it.  I'd suggest testing it with a reliable test kit to determine your starting point. (Also, I should point out that when using tap water, you need to let it sit for at least 24 hrs. before using it in a fish tank, to let the chlorine/Chloramine dissipate.)  If your source water isn't great, that will undoubtedly cause problems as well.  The tap water may be high in phosphates, in which case, look into either reverse osmosis/de-ionizing units, or a filter media called PolyFilter (or a combination of both). I've thrown a lot of information at you here.  I'd like to recommend a very helpful beginner's book called "A Simple Guide to Freshwater Aquariums", by David E. Boruchowitz.  The author explains water chemistry, cycling, feeding, etc. very well.  The only quarrel I have with it is that he tends to overstock his tanks a bit.  Also, look here for basic necessary info - http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwsetupindex.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/taptrtmnt.htm Hopefully, at least, this experience has taught you to research any live animals and their care requirements before you purchase them. Best of luck to you and yours, Jorie.>

Water Changes  9/7/06 Hi, <Hi, Pufferpunk here.> I understand that this issue is more than adequately addressed on your webpage but the more I read, the more confused I get so please be patient with my tale of woe. I bought two goldfish for my daughters 3 weeks ago.  I got a 20g tank and let it sit for about a week, putting a small amount of flake food in everyday.   <Did you test the water, during this cycling process?  How about a 90% water change, before adding the fish?> After introducing the fish, I overfed which resulted in high ammonia.  After doing partial water changes every several says and reducing feed, I have the ammonia down to .5ppm.  Today, however, the nitrite shot up to 2ppm.  One of the fish is hanging out on the bottom behind a plant.  I did a 50% water change and the ammonia is now .25ppm and but the nitrites are the same.  The fish still looks stressed.  I have been adding API stress coat, Cycle (which is see is junk) and ACE (also junk?).  I have no live plants, about 2 inches of gravel and a Whisper 20 filter.  Water temp is between 75 and 80 which is probably too high but not sure how to lower it (I live in the Mojave Desert). <Definitely a bit uncomfortable for goldfish...> I plan to add a real plant and switch to frozen (thawed) peas for feeding.  What else should I do!?  How much of an emergency is this?  <Ammonia & nitrites are extremely toxic to most fish.  Goldfish are a bit hardier than tropicals & can handle poor water conditions a bit better.  I still suggest water changes, water changes, water changes!  Your tank is still cycling.  The only product I'd add is Prime.  ~PP> Thanks, Russell
Re: Water Changes Nitrites and fancy goldfish- help
Seachem's Prime  9/8/06 OK thanks!  This morning the ammonia is 0ppm and the nitrites are still 2ppm.  The fish still looks stressed but ate.  Neither fish went for the peas but ate the flake food OK.   <I would feed very minimally, while trying to cycle your tank.> What is Prime?   <Prime is IMO the best water conditioner to use for your fish. removes chlorine, Chloramine and ammonia. See: http://www.seachem.com/products/product_pages/Prime.html> Water temp is down to 72 after leaving AC on all night. <Glad to hear they're doing better.  Keep doing water changes.  ~PP>
Re: Water Changes Nitrites and fancy goldfish- help Seachem's Prime  9/8/06
OK got the Prime (I found it on www right after my email this morning) and added a plant so we will see what happens.  Also did a 25% change.  How long does it take the Prime to work?   <Should work instantly.  Are you using enough for the entire tank, not just the water you're replacing?  You should be.> Also, I assume that even if the Prime is working and detoxifying nitrites, it will still test positive.  Think I read that somewhere.  Thanks for your help!  My daughters don't want to loose their new pets. <With the right care & tank size, they can live >20 years!  ~PP>

Goldfish In New Tank  - 09/07/06 Hello, I have been reading through your FAQs for a few days now and didn't find anything that I thought really matched my little guys' problems. I would continue searching, but one already died and I'm afraid of waiting any longer, so I hope it's ok that I e-mailed. First I'll give some info about the tank. It is a 10 gallon All Glass aquarium with an Elite power filter that uses mechanical, chemical, and bacterial filtration. The tank is about 3 and ½  weeks old and was set up as follows. On the day that we bought the aquarium and the filter we added gravel, a piece of driftwood, some seashells, and 3 plastic plants. All were bought from the pet store and were rinsed in hot water before placing in tank. We added tap water treated with API water conditioner and let the filter run for about 48hrs. We then added a few live plants (mostly Elodea, a small java fern, and some others whose names I don't know but which the fish seem to like eating) and after a few hours 3 small ( 1 in.) Pearlscale Orandas. (at least they were sold as such, but after further investigation I think they are Crowned Pearlscales). All 3 came from the same tank in the store. The 1st week we changed approx. 35% of the water, with smaller (25%) water changes for the next 2 weeks. The water is treated with the conditioner ahead of time and let sit for at least 48 hrs before adding to tank. We performed water testing 3 times for ammonia and nitrite which always came back as 0. We use the same tests that the pet store uses. While I don't think the tank has fully cycled I think it is going well because the bio filter is now completely brownish green, and smells really fresh. We also have some green algae growth. The fish are fed Hikari Oranda Gold pellets, veggie flakes, deshelled peas, and freeze dried baby shrimp (minimally since we know they are mostly vegetarian). All pellets and flakes are soaked before feeding. We do not overfeed and on the one occasion that not all was eaten we scooped up the debris. All seemed fine until 2 days ago one of the fish, (Tubby), started staying on the bottom of the tank wedged under some plants. From the day we got them he seemed to keep to himself, sometimes hiding in the plants, but would always come out to swim with the others and ate very well. I saw no signs of disease on them, but I did think that all their gills were a little red. I did not really worry because it was symmetrical on both sides of each fish. The night before he died, Tubby sat either on the bottom of the tank or behind a plant, but did come up to eat. His skin looked clear, so did his eyes, but he was gasping. The next day, when we came home from work, we found him dead, floating head down and completely vertical, with what seemed to be a small amount of blood pooled around his gills, top of his head (under the skin), and redness around his vent. Is this some sort of disease or a byproduct of him being upside down for about 10 hrs? We removed him from the tank and immediately tested the water. Ammonia and nitrite were 0. Just to be safe we did a 40% water change and vacuumed some of the gravel, especially the part where we found him. Retested the water which was 0 again. Our main concern now is for the other 2. They seem very healthy, clear skin/eyes, active, eat well. They are orange and white, and now that we are paranoid we keep checking them to see if anything new develops, so I saw a little bit of pink by their tail, and their gills look a bit red but they always looked like that. The pink by the tail does not run into their fins. I don't remember if they had it before or not, but it doesn't seem to be part of their normal coloring. Do we need to medicate them in any way? I don't want to treat them with any harsh chemicals and stress them out if they are not really sick. We have a smaller tank that can be used as a hospital tank if needed. We do not currently have an airstone, should we get one? The tank is longer than it is tall so the water surface area is pretty large. Basically, any advice you can give us would be greatly appreciated. We really love the little guys and will do anything necessary to give them a chance. As a side note, I read that if Pearlscales lose their pearl scales they will not regrow them, replacing them with regular scales instead. I am a little sad because I think the little guys were roughed up in some way since they don't have a few (about 15%) of their pearl scales anymore. Thank you for taking the time to read this long e-mail, Emma < Get rid of the shells. As they dissolve they will add minerals to the water that will affect the pH. The redness sounds like a bacterial infection. I would put the fish into a hospital tank and treat with Nitrofuranace as per the directions on the package. I you have to treat the main tank, this medication may affect the good bacteria you are trying to cultivate, so watch for ammonia spikes.-Chuck>
Re: Goldfish In New Tank... Fish On The Road To Recovery  9/8/06
Chuck, Wonderful news...Last night I thought for certain that sadly, Pearl fish was nearing her end she was REALLY bad). As a last attempt I increased her dosage of Maracyn-2(by just a half tablet or so )and turned down the lights in the room so she could get some good rest. At 2 am I walked in on her and found her swimming and dancing in the light of  the  moon coming through the window and into her tank ....A wonderful sight !Today she's been off the bottom of the tank, swimming to the top and has began eating again. Chuck, Thank you for being there for us during this uncertain time. I believe she's 70% well now, However, she's a little skittish, frightens easily. Have you ever heard of this in a sick/recovering fish? < Fish are normally shy. Once she recognizes you a food source she should be back to her old self.> Once again, Thank you for your selflessness and for your sharing..... < Thank you for your kind words.-Chuck>

Bubble-Eyed Goldfish With Cloudy Bubbles  - 09/07/06 Hello, I have been searching the web for the answer to my question for a while now with no luck. I recently bought a Bubble-Eye Goldfish. After bringing him home I noticed his bubbles were all white, as if filled with milk. Reading that it is most likely a fungus, I bought some Pimafix and started treating him. It seemed to do really good and cleared up his bubbles. Here's my question though... the fungus (I am assuming it is the fungus) has clumped to the bottom of his bubble and won't go away. His bubbles look like they have chunks in them sitting at the bottom. I kept treating him, and the fluid in his bubbles has cleared, but the chunks won't go away. I don't know what to do about this. He is acting perfectly normal and social, and is eating well. If you have any suggestions, it would be greatly appreciated. Thank you, Shannon <The solids that have accumulated in his bubbles may be absorbed and go away over time. There is nothing you can treat it with to make these go away.-Chuck.>

Treating A Goldfish For An Internal Infection  - 09/07/06 Chuck. I am so scared. I am crying as I write this. It's definitely an internal  infection- (Septicemia?) She's not TERRIBLE yet but she is not eating(4 days) not swimming. Since the infection is internal how else can I treat her?? She will not eat so, I cannot feed her meds and I'm afraid that the Maracyn-2 is not reaching her internally-Please advise...Jessee- Can I increase the dosage?( of Maracyn-2)Do you recommend any thing other than Maracyn 2 right now? < I would still do the water changes as recommended. Then treat with a combination of Nitrofurazone and Metronidazole. These are absorbed into the fish through the gills. It is better if the Metronidazole is ingested but most of the time the fish aren't eating anyway. If you cannot find these then try Clout.-Chuck>

Goldfish on side; no obvious causes for illness... ahhh, yeah   9/4/06 Dear Crew,   This morning I found my goldfish (an Oranda) is lying on her side, bent into a U-shape, and breathing occasionally. She had been acting "confused" for about 4 days now - she no longer responded to me, did not come up to eat her flake food, <... trouble here> and would "sleep" in areas of the tank that were different to her usual spot. However, physically, nothing appeared wrong with her and she was pretty active. Fins are normal - not frayed, streaked or clamped; scales are lying flat & shiny; no obvious wounds or marks on any part of her body. She is 2 years old, about 3 inches long and in a 25 litre (6.6 US gallon) <Too small...> tank by herself, with a carbon & foam filter and air pump. I change 40% of her water every three weeks as well. <More frequent, smaller percentages...> Again, the water in her tank is clear. She is fed with flakes once every 2 days. <Principal cause...> The only difference I can think that might have happened to her system lately is about 3 weeks ago when I changed her filter insert without rinsing it first, and the water became extremely cloudy (probably from residual carbon), but then the filter removed it after about 2 hours. <Env. secondary cause>      On finding her on her side, I did a 50% water change with conditioned water, and changed her filter insert as well, just in case it was malfunctioning. I also kept a sample of the water to check for nitrites etc., but will have to do that later as there aren't any pet stores close by. Unfortunately it's very difficult to get hold of antibiotics such as Kanamycin here in Australia without a prescription which involves taking the fish to a vet for an very expensive consultation (and probably stressing the fish more)... so I was hoping you might be able to offer some more "low tech" ideas. I have had a few bad experiences with my previous fishes (which is why I know about the antibiotic availability), and so now try to be vigilant & careful with my friendly Oranda, so I am a bit upset about this.   Hope you can help.   Mel <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm and here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshmalnut.htm and the linked files above. Your fish has suffered from an inadequate diet and environment. Bob Fenner>
Re: Goldfish on side; no obvious causes for illness   9/5/06
Dear Bob,   Thank you for your prompt reply. Unfortunately my goldfish died last night. I will definitely take your advice on board for any other fish I may get in the future.   Regards,   Mel <Thank you for the update... sorry for the loss... and cheers to learning, bettering oneself, the worlds of others. Bob Fenner>

Sick goldfish   9/4/06 <<Hello, Amy. Tom here.>> Our goldfish was doing fine one day and then the next day when we checked on it, it was floating at the top of the bowl! But we want to know what happened to it. It's body got extremely fat and looked as if it was bleeding internally, and the eyes were really swollen. <<Very sorry to hear about your Goldfish, Amy. My best advice? Never, ever, keep a Goldfish in a 'bowl'. Goldfish need large aquariums that are properly filtered and properly maintained. They're messy fish that produce large amounts of waste which, in turn, pollutes the water they live in to the point that it kills them. Furthermore, even the smallest of the popular Goldfish varieties grow too large to be housed in a bowl. In general, you should consider a 30-gallon tank to be the absolute minimum size for any Goldfish you buy. Now, based on what you've described of your pet, I'd say that it died of Bacterial Hemmorhagic Septicemia. This is probably most common in Goldfish though it can/will affect other species of fish. This is a bacterial infection that attacks the blood system of the fish and breaks down the vascular walls resulting in the "internal bleeding" and swelling you observed. One of the first signs of this is red streaks in the fish's fins particularly the tail. This is followed by the fish becoming lethargic and not eating normally. Left untreated, the fish soon dies as yours did. Many kinds of bacteria reside in our aquariums without adversely affecting our fish IF the fish are kept in good water conditions, are fed the right foods and have the room they need to move about and grow properly. When fish become stressed, it's an invitation for all types of problems to develop. This is why I strongly recommend that you forget about 'bowls' for your next fish and purchase a properly sized tank. Lots of great information on our site about what the "Do's" and "Don'ts" are for Goldfish. Best regards, Amy. Tom>>

Red Cap Gill Disease, Popeye?   9/1/06 Hello Crew! <Paula> Great site, more info than I've ever seen! <And more so all the time!> I tried e-mailing a couple of weeks ago but had e-mail issues apparently, I don't think it made it to you. <Dang!> Through all my research on your site I think I have narrowed down the problem to Popeye and Gill Disease (maybe). "Tweety" (Red Cap Oranda) <Wait... I did see a query with a goldfish named Tweety: Is posted here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshdisfaq25.htm> is in a 30 gal tank with "Bubba", a large (approx 3 inches not counting his beautiful tail) Lionhead.  Tweety is about half the size, his head seems to grow more than anything!  We have had these guys for 3 years. Tank levels are good - nitrates, nitrites, ammonia (even though I'm afraid I've over fed them in the past.  That has come to an abrupt end!  I was shocked by what I learned on your site about how much to feed.  They beg so-o-o-o good!) <Heeee! Like me and pizza!> I think our frequent water changes and "clean up" gang helps. (2 Large and 1 small snails, Hillstream Loaches and I would like to get a couple of Cory cats.) <Can likely go here> Bubba is very healthy but Tweety became very lethargic after we returned from a week vacation.  I made sure they were not constipated when we returned as I am concerned that auto feeders may dump too much when we are not here to monitor.  I still gave him peas just to make sure.  His breathing became rapid and first one eye seemed to pop out and then both (just the "glass" part not around the eyes.  This is noticeable as his Wen usually covers half his eyes.  It now sticks straight out over his eyes).  After some time, probably 3 weeks of research I came upon Maracyn Two as a treatment for Popeye and Gill Disease.  This is the only Disease I could find to explain his rapid breathing although his gills are not discolored or swollen.  I wonder about gill flukes but I thought the Popeye may signal an bacterial infection.  I treated according to package directions for 5 days.  Now we are taking few days break to see if it is helping.  He still has a very healthy appetite although seems weak and has to rest between bites.  He also is moving more and tries to do his little "sideways scoots" (such a happy little fish, so much fun to watch) but stays along the bottom seeming not to have any buoyancy.  I wondered about swim bladder, but his tummy looks normal and his scales are not standing out. <Could be fatty degeneration internally nonetheless...> I'm very careful to give them lots of veggies) Aquadine Spirulina, Veggies and a little Ultra-Gold once in a while.  And of course peas.  I discovered on your site that too much protein could cause Tweety's Wen overgrowth. <Yes... and internal difficulties. Good that you've centered on the new diet> I used to love to hand feed them shrimp, they learned very quickly to take it from my fingers. Anyway, should I continue with the Maracyn-Two right away, wait, try something different? <I would continue your course here... and leave this as is> Today his breathing seems to have slowed a bit until he exerts himself.  He's such a sweet little guy, I really want help him.   Tweety got his name because he looked just like Tweety Bird because his Wen came to a point above his mouth and he even has a little chin and cheeks, when you look down on him from above as he begs at the surface of the water.   (In the past anyway, he hasn't been able to get to the top of the tank for some time now.)  Bubba is just a big goofy guy, the name just seemed to fit!   No offense to you Bubba's out there! <None taken, am sure> Sorry this is so lengthy, but any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.   These guys mean a lot to us and I want to do what I can. Thanks, Paula S. Busa <Finish the antibiotic treatment, continue the improved diet (along with Sabrina's advice re Elodea), regular water changes/maintenance (again, with testing...). Bob Fenner>
Re: Red Cap Gill Disease, Popeye? 9/2/06
Thanks much for all your info!  I feel like I have a course of action, at least for the time being.  It's very empowering! <Ah, good> I had my water tested today at my LFS and all is well. <Mmm, do know that water changes with time, transport... best to have/use ones own kits>   0 Nitrites, Nitrates and ammonia.  Ph is neutral.  Unfortunately they won't have the yummy plants Sabrina suggested until next week.  (They have to have them in stock for the local schools, for their projects). <Yes, commonly used for such>   It is our only store within 60 miles so I will wait and keep Tweety on peas until then.  I also invested in my own testing kits, so I can more closely monitor things. <Oh! Good>   I now realize a test once in a great while isn't sufficient. Bob, I think your suggestion of fatty degeneration internally really has merit.  The guy at my LFS thought so also and suggested just the peas for the time being.    He also suggested that a diet change while on vacation may have brought on this episode.  I switched to a smaller "crumble"  rather than the veggie, spiraling based Aquadine I had been using, so no more of that.  It's something I used quite a while ago with another spiraling based pellet.  The change may have been detrimental.  He also suggested salt, but I will wait a couple of days to let the Maracyn-Two finish treatment.   I really like the idea of making the plants the primary source of Tweety and Bubba's food intake.  I feel that it will be so much more natural and less chance of error on my part. <Yes>   They also were out of Maracyn-Two so I used the last of mine after another water change.  (Only enough for one treatment. I thought it couldn't hurt since it seemed to help).  Tweety was scooting around the bottom quite a bit tonight but after all the excitement of a water change and so forth he was really panting and puffing again.   Hopefully after a rest his breathing will calm a bit. Thanks, you guys, for your suggestions and we will see how things progress.   Hopefully Tweety will continue to rally and I will have good news.  This has been a great learning experience an we feel quite hopeful! :D Thanks again, Rich and Paula Busa Hamilton, MT  (Sabrina, we love Id and BC, just finished a cruise to Victoria!) <Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Fish Didn't Make It  (Goldfish) - 09/01/06 Dear Chuck. I hope my email finds you and your fish healthy and well! I have some bad news, I did everything you suggested, but I guess I was too late, I found Maggie dead today, I guess the stress of it all got to her, we are very sad, my son is crying, so am I, I suppose a positive thing to come of it is that I now have these additions to the tank, and hopefully it will protect all of the fish I now have or will ever have from a similar fate! Thank you for your thoughtful suggestions.  Sadly, Charlie and Benjamin < Sorry to hear that Maggie didn't make it. Stress is a big killer of fish. Hopefully now with lower water temps and lots of hiding areas things will settle down.-Chuck>

Sick Goldfish  - 09/01/06 Last week on the 23rd August 2006 at night my Goldfish seemed sick. It was floating on its side and looked as if it were going to die. We thought it just had air trapped inside. The next day it was worse. It stayed at the bottom of the fish tank and barely moved. The tail was floating towards the top of the fish tank. We changed the water and clean the filter. It looked as if the fish was getting better but still wasn't swimming around the fish tank as usual.3-4 days later it had what seemed like blood on a few of it's scales on the right near it's fins. Some of the fins on the right had bloody streaks including the tail. The parts of the tails that had blood streaks on them broke off the next day. Today the fish's tail has become filled with blood. It looks like the tail is bruised. We are very worried about the goldfish. Is there a cure for this? Here are some pictures of the Goldfish. Thanks Yasmina < The bloody fins are bacterial infection. Do a 50% water change, vacuum the gravel and clean the filter. Place the fish in a hospital tank if possible for treatment. Treat with Nitrofuranace as per the directions on the package. If you need to treat the main tank then the medication may interfere with the good nitrifying bacteria so watch for ammonia spikes.-Chuck>

Re: Goldfish With Bacterial Infection-Bloody Fins   9/6/06 Chuck, Thank you so very much for getting back to me so quickly! I noticed a red vein in Pearl-fish's tail (Pearl is her name, she's a comet goldfish) and her pectoral fins looked red at their base so I began a treatment for Septicemia (Maracyn-2). I placed a food pellet in her tank since she hasn't eaten in a few days and I also did a partial water change and salt treatment. After all this, she looked a little better- she came up off the bottom of the tank and seems to be improving- slowly. If she does have a bacterial infection, how long would it be before I started to see a marked improvement? I'm so scared. I love her. Thank you, Jessica < Do a 50% water change, clean the filter and vacuum the gravel. Follow the directions on the package. You should continue to see improvement and a complete cure in three or four days if the medication is right for this bacteria.-Chuck>

Goldfish Growing Bubble On His Head   8/31/06 Hi -- I have a four year old fantail goldfish -- perfectly happy in his tank (his companion died about 18 months ago). He has developed a very large bubble on his head (approx 10mm diameter), it doesn't seem to be bothering him but looks very unsightly and I am concerned that he is in pain. This is my 11 year old daughter's pet and I would hate for her to find him suddenly dead in the tank like she did the last one -- any ideas what is wrong with him and suggestions of what I can do. Thanks Lynne < This could be the result of some trauma to his head while swimming around. If it is fuzzy then it is a fungus that is growing on damaged tissue. If it is an actual bubble then it could be a result of some bacteria growing under the skin. I would recommend a 50% water change, vacuum the gravel and clean the filter. Treat with Nitrofurazone in a hospital tank if possible. If you have to treat him in the main tank then remove excess medication with carbon after treatment and then watch for ammonia spikes. Medications usually affect the good nitrifying bacteria.-Chuck>

Harry the Black Moor... sick   8/30/06 Hi there, <Hello there> I'm the proud owner of a beautiful and very sociable black moor called Harry. He has enjoyed good health for years, since 2003 when I bought him (or her, I don't really know) and grown like a weed, but recently he has developed two main problems that make me worry. His left eye has grown much bigger than the right one, and now it has a foggy white cloud on.  I've read of some illness called pop-eye and cloudy-eye, it sounds like that could be it, but I have no idea how to treat them, or if that is what Harry has. <Mmm, dissimilar eye-growth can be nothing to worry about, but the cloudiness... on one side? Likely a bacterial (though called fungal often) complaint resultant from a physical trauma...> Also, he has developed a few cottony looking dots on his left side fin which go away when treated with Pimafix, only to come back as soon as I stop using it.  I find in the water some fluffy looking strands as well, that sometimes cling on Harry's fins. <Mmm... mostly stress related... environmental> I tried Melafix to treat the eye with no results whatsoever.  I also had to take the carbon filter out in order to treat with Pimafix and Melafix <... these are leaf extracts... "teas" if you will. Not real medications> but that meant cloudy water and a very unhappy Harry gasping for air at the surface.  I bought goldfish books, but they are all pretty vague about illnesses and especially treatment. I am at a loss who to ask for advice as my local vet doesn't treat fish, and fish stores around here either don't have a clue or suggest I ask a big fish store, but there are none around here, besides it's difficult to explain exactly what Harry's symptoms look like. I'm not sure if you offer this kind of diagnosis service, <See WWM... is about all we do> but if you can gather from the pictures I'm enclosing what is Harry's problem I will be very grateful, I hate the thought that he might be suffering in any way.  I was told to test the water but I wouldn't know what the results mean, or what to do about it. His tank is 14x8 inches, <Ahh... too small, unstable... likely troubles with ammonia, nitrite, vacillating pH, dissolved oxygen...> and it has filtration (sponge+carbon) and a 100lt per hour pump (you can see it in the pics).  Should I get him a bigger home?   <Yes, this is the best step in improving this animals life, health> Should I change his water with bottled spring water?   <No, not necessary, advisable> At the moment its tap water treated with Tetra tap safe goldfish and Cycle. <Is likely fine> He eats freeze dried daphnia, TetraFin Gold Japan, Sera FD mixpur (daphnia, Tubifex, Artemia salina, red mosquito larvae).  He also eats a Scottish made fish food I buy loose in a big fish store, (they suggested Pimafix) they're sinking brown pellets, and he loves that.  I tried giving him peas and lettuce but he lets them float and doesn't seem into them. <Mmm, need to add a bit more "non-dried" food in the diet here...> If you can't help, could you point me anyone who can please? <Yes> Thank you very much, please find enclosed pics of Harry's that show his ill symptoms. Barbara <Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshdisease.htm and here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshmalnut.htm and the linked files above. I would move this fish ASAP to larger quarters, maybe administer a bit of aquarium salt, improve the diet... Bob Fenner>

Goldfish has red eyes & doesn't eat   8/29/06 We recently acquired 3 goldfish from an elderly woman who couldn't take care of them. Two are fancy, one "Mr. Carp" is a "regular?" goldfish and about 3.5" long.  He is not eating or I believe he is blind and can't see the food.  Both his eyes are red and he is laying on the bottom of the tank with fins closed and a bit tilted.  When I feed the fish he gets active and appears to be looking for the food but it passes right in front of him and he never gets it.  I put aquarium salt in the water, did a 30% water change, <Good> added 5ml of Melafix to the 10 gal tank.  The other two fancy guys seem fine.  Can you help me save Mr. Carp or is it too late?      Blue in the Garden State <Likely a water quality issue... this "world" is too small... Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Black Moor Sick After Eating   8/27/06 When I awoke this morning, both black moors that I have in my 20 gallon tank (those are the only two fish I have) were swimming perfectly and happily as always. However, after I fed them, 10 minutes later one is perfect as always and the other's eyes got real big and he is extremely sluggish. He moves on occasion, but it is slow movement and he seems to get tired quickly and pick a corner to sit in. The two fish used to play often, chasing each other and everything. Now the healthy fish is continually bumping the ill fish lightly with his nose, seemingly trying to get him up to play with him. However, he is more or less unresponsive to the healthy moor's efforts at play. PLEASE HELP!!! I've gone quickly from two very active fish to one. Thank you. Jeremy < Sounds like something happened during the feeding this morning. A couple things might be going on. Ate too much and the stomach is distended putting pressure on the other organs. Hopefully the digestion process can slowly move the food along. It could have picked up a piece of gravel or sand while eating and it is lodged in his throat. If you feed pellets then a hard pellet could be lodged in his throat and it will take awhile for the pellet to soften up. To prevent this from happening again you should presoak the pellets and soften them up before feeding next time. You fish has not been poisoned or else both would be ill. It happen too quickly to become an disease.-Chuck>

Red Cap Oranda Down And Out - 08/26/2006 Dear Crew, <Hi, Rich and Paula!> I have scrolled through the FAQ's on your site for days and am afraid the fish will die before I find the right one.  We have had two Orandas for 3 years and they are now in a thirty gallon tank.  The Lionhead is has grown considerably (about 4 inches now, excluding tail fins), but the Red Cap's Wen has done more growing than anything ( He is about half the size of the large one).  He is a very happy fish and loads of fun but he has developed a problem the last couple of weeks and we are at a loss as to what to do.  We came back from vacation after a week and they both seemed fine.  (I am always concerned about constipation when auto feeding them, they seem prone to it)   <For a jaunt of a week, simply providing them with some Elodea/Egeria/Anacharis or other good munching plants to nibble is plenty - no need to use an auto feeder.  If you have only the two fish in the 30 gallon tank, you can consider growing enough of a few species of plants with them to allow the plants to be their primary source of nutrition at all times, not just on vacations.> Then the Red Cap became lethargic and seemed to be breathing harder. I gave him peas just in case but this did not seem to be his problem.  He would still eat but became non-responsive after a week.  This only lasted over a weekend but then he seemed to improve.  He is still eating fine but seems weak, I sometimes confine Bubba (the large Lionhead) until I am sure Tweedy gets his fill.  Although his breathing becomes even more labored after he eats, even when I make sure the food is allowed to soften.  I also notice that his right eye seems to be protruding (just the "glass' part, and this is really only noticeable since his Wen has grown half way over his eyes, it now sticks out).   <These are strong indicators of a water quality problem - have you tested for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and pH? I added  salt to the water a few days ago and that seemed to help a bit, but now I fear he is growing worse again.  Tank levels are good, so water is clean.   <"Good" meaning what, specifically?  Ammonia and nitrite MUST be ZERO, nitrate below 20ppm.  pH should ideally not too much below 7.0 and not above 8.0 ish. Do another partial water change and more salt or medicate?   <I wouldn't medicate yet; none of what you have told me suggests symptoms of a particular illness, and medicating "randomly" is more dangerous than not medicating at all.> We were concerned he may have swallowed a small pebble but a blockage surely would have killed him by now.  ( I  have had to remove large pebbles from both their throats on a couple of occasions.  Especially Bubba, he is such a glutton). <Might be time to switch to a smaller gravel that they can spit out easier.> Help!  I hate to just watch him die.  Could he pull out of it on his own?   <Hopefully so.  Make sure they have a lot of greens in their diet, and pristine water quality, and watch for any further symptoms to crop up.> Rich & Paula Busa  Hamilton, Montana <All the best to you,  -Sabrina, formerly from Bonner's Ferry, ID, and really missing the ABC Diner in Creston, BC>

Pearlscale With Infection  - 08/26/06 Hi, I'm having a problem with my new Pearlscale. I had a lovely Pearlscale (named golf ball by my son) which died whilst I was on holiday and my brother was "looking after" my fish. I tried very hard not to accuse him of fishcide. So I left my tank for a while after to see if anything else happened but everything was fine, so I treated myself to a new one. I have a BiOrb 30 with 2 other small fantails and some mountain minnows. I'm quite good with the upkeep etc with filter and 30% water changes. I regularly check nitrate and ammonia levels. The problem is, the first few days he skulked about on the bottom, and hid in a log tunnel I have. I put this down to stress of a new tank etc and him just being different to golf ball who darted around like a mad thing. Then I noticed his tail and fins looked "shredded" and he was having trouble with swimming, so I transfer him into my sons baby BiOrb which has only minnows in case the others were bullying him or something. He seems a tiny bit better and livelier with his swimming but his fins and now his Pearlscale's are in a dreadful state he has hardly any fins or tail left at all, and his scales look like they have been eaten away. he just has these white patches where the lovely Pearlscales were. The minnows haven't been bothering him as far as I can see. I've looked on the net at fin rot but doesn't look anything like the pictures I've seen. I've attached photos not sure if they are any use) What do you think it might be and is there anything I can do to rescue him? Do you think he was poorly when I bought him? I don't hold out much hope of him recovering to be honest. Sorry for waffling on. Many thanks Emma. < Do a 50% water change, vacuum the gravel and clean the filter. Treat with Kanamycin. It is a wide range powerful antibiotic that should work if it is bacterial. This is done best in a hospital tank because the antibiotic will probably affect the good denitrifying bacteria.-Chuck>

Serious Fissues. Goldfish Troubles  8/24/06 Greetings! <<Hello, Mary. Tom with you.>> I have been reading for hours anything that has to do with my goldfish troubles and I am amazed at the depth of your knowledge!  Your articles are so very informative - I've learned quite a bit - but it seems that each situation has unique factors and I cannot come to a solid conclusion without describing to you my problem, in detail, and then waiting for your opinion. <<I'd like to thank you, for all of us, for the complimentary introduction. The "unique-ness" of each situation is what keeps us on our toes though I appreciate that it can be a bit frustrating when looking for an "identical" scenario.>> I have had, for approximately one year, a ten gallon tank with 3 goldfish.   <<I prefer not to throw out the "punch line" too quickly, particularly in a post as well-written as yours is but, as you may have read here, a 10-gallon aquarium is too small for even one Goldfish, let alone three. I'll try to elaborate on this as we go on.>> They are the wide-bodied variety: Tango, a topaz color, Dottie, probably from the Moor family, has dark eyes, an orange with brown spotted body and a beautiful long and flowing tail which is brown with 'highlights' and last, White (all named by the kids) who is an iridescent white and has a big orange patch on the head.  Oh - and I almost forgot - we have 2 little snails - the Cleaning Ladies - dime sized.  We had one previously, but I think the fish ate it.  We found a piece of it floating - yuck.  White recently died and was immediately replaced with the closest imposter I could find at Petco. <<Sorry to hear about White. Your snail, too, for that matter.>> In retrospect, I now think that the death was my fault.  Due to a busy extended period of time - over 2 months I'm embarrassed to say - I figured it would be a good idea to finally clean the tank with a good wall scrub-down (had a good amount of algae growth), gravel 'toss & siphon', a cleaning of all plastic plants, rock and coral structures with plain hot tap water and a two-thirds or more water change.  I have learned that my stupidity must have shocked the daylights out of them and caused White's immediate death - within a day of the change.   <<Ignorance, perhaps. Not stupidity. Taking a Goldfish for a walk around the block on a leash would be "stupid". :)>> We have well water, so there is no chlorine in this situation.  I did add a dose of Kordon Smart Start Instant Water Conditioning Kit:  NovAqua (Conditioner & Fish Protector) & Amquel+ (Instant Water Detoxifier) since there could be iron in the water.   We do have a water softener system.  Within a week, Dottie started drifting and would then shake herself as if to keep herself awake.  When I fed them she acted completely normal - eating her share zealously only to return to her drifty state once the feeding time was over.   <<Not uncommon for fish to "come alive" at feeding time from a lethargic state and, then, slip back into it.>> [I have been feeding them the sinking pellets (only - and now I know that this is wrong - thanks to you!).  I used to feed flakes but Tango got that swim bladder illness.  I didn't feed them for a week and then fed a few peas, which no one took an interest in, then only the sinking pellets and it hasn't returned.  I feed them every other day,  turning off the filter and aerator for ten minutes so the food doesn't go right to the filter and it's easier for them to feed from the bottom after the pellets sink.] <<I've mentioned this before in other posts but even the best of foods, if not varied, can/will lead to problems down the road. Might be a contributing factor here.>> Today, she stays in place, about mid-level, with her mouth pointed upward.  She even floated upside down a time or two -but not at the top.  The issue is not only with her as of yesterday evening. Tango has been setting at the bottom of the tank very still.  I first checked your site to see if maybe there was some sort of egg-laying involved, but upon further reading I think not. (But I'm clueless...so...)  Tango swims around and eats fine but keeps returning to the bottom.  And now today, Dottie is doing the same.  Even the 'newbie' White is doing it - though not nearly to the extent of the others.  White one is not nearly as round and is a bit skittish - the personality is very different - not friendly - could be because he's only been here about 4 days. <<New surroundings..."new horse on the team"...cramped quarters.>> I have called locals for advice.  One advised me that the water change was too great and put them over the edge and they could be dead within days due to pH change shock.  (I did the change Wednesday of last week.  White died Thursday night.  Dottie's symptoms began Monday.)  He also stated that I added the water back too quickly - that I should siphon it back through a small tube or add a cup every 15 minutes or so.  I tested the pH yesterday and today and it was between 7.0 & 8.0, which he said was okay. <<I agree, in principle, with what the gentleman told you. Large water changes should only be made under "dire" circumstances. There are different elements at play here but I agree that pH shock may be one of the primary factors. For what it's worth, there's a huge difference, chemically speaking, between a pH of 7.0 and 8.0. A factor of 10 times, actually. If your pH levels had dipped to, say, 6.0 and the change raised them to 8.0, this would be a factor of 100! It's based on the logarithmic scale which is why the factors change so dramatically.>> As the symptoms persisted and the both fish where 'grounded' today, I took the water to be tested.  The ammonia was high, they said, and it was recommended that I perform yet another water change - about 20 - 25% and that I add API Stress Zyme.  They also stated that it didn't matter how fast I added water back to the tank.  I love conflicting advice - makes life easy!  So, tonight I took water out and added it back in four portions about 10 minutes apart and added 5mL of the Stress Zyme.   <<Kind of falls into the area of "apples and oranges" on this one, Mary, so it's not quite as "conflicting" as it seems. A change of anywhere between 15% and 25% is typical and unlikely to be seriously problematic regardless of how quickly you pour the water into the tank. On a large scale change, it's a very different story. You didn't really get conflicting advice. It's just two different situations.>> Dottie is perfectly still at the bottom of the tank.  Her mouth is not even moving and breathing is barely noticeable.  She has teensy bubbles all over her - but I think that could be from the water change since they've just appeared. <<Look more closely, Mary. Do the "teensy bubbles" look like grains of salt? That's Ich, which is a parasite that attacks stressed fish. I've not known it to display itself so "globally" over a fish in a short period of time but I've seen fish covered in this and it's not good...at all.>> Tango is at the far back corner - very still - pointed somewhat upward at mid level of the tank.  His breathing seems labored - his gills are moving so that you see a big space with each breath.  He keeps opening his mouth like he's gasping, but what do I know?  And the white nitwit seems okay - figures. I also feel it's necessary to tell you that I keep my tank in the kitchen on the counter.  It is situated in the corner about 4 feet from the stove and 3 feet from the sink.  It's always been there.  The first person I called seemed concerned about that, saying that maybe any cleaning products I use could somehow be pulled out of the air by the filter.  He even asked if I burned scented candles, which I answered no. <<The "upshot", Mary, is that your fish are stressed to the point of "death's doorstep" because they're in a tank that is one-fourth - minimally - of the size they should be in. That no one that you spoke with suggested this to you is flabbergasting to me. Goldfish are ammonia "factories". They're messy eaters, they're messy defecators and they excrete ammonia through their gills. (I'm not making that up!) No reflection on you, per se, but the fact that these fish are even alive is amazing. Truth be told? Your fish are living in a sewer and nothing short of that. Sounds harsh and I certainly don't mean it to come off that way but you need to get your pets into a much larger tank, and soon. I would also suggest that you add aquarium salt to the tank immediately because I don't think your fish have "bubbles" on them. They're stressed badly and I believe, from what you've described, that they have Ich, which is one of the first pathogens that show up in these circumstances.>> I hope that this has not been physically painful to read - I just wanted to give you every molecule of information so that you could form your opinion.  Also, I referred to them as 'he' and 'she' - I have absolutely no idea - it helps with personifying I guess! <<Yes, Mary, it does help to personify them. Makes them less "disposable" as, unfortunately, too many folks think of them. I hope you don't take my "recommendations" as you being a bad "Mom". Sadly, the fact that Goldfish need lots and lots of room goes contrary to the popular belief that we can throw them in a bowl and they'll live forever. Couldn't be farther from the truth.>> Thank you so very much for your time and patience!   I look forward to hearing from you! Sincerely, Mary K <<If you have more questions, please get back to me/us. (I'd prefer it be me. I don't like leaving things "undone". :) Tom>>
Update to Fissues 1:45 a.m.
  8/24/06 <<Hi, Mary. Tom again.>> Hello again...just an update...Tango and Dottie are huddled up on the bottom in the far left corner of the tank ... kind of like yin & yan ... and White was inches away on the bottom as well.  They still have the teensy bubbles on them - especially their tails.   <<You already know this is Ich, Mary. No question. Take out about two gallons of water (like with a water change). Mix in four tablespoons of aquarium salt with the water to be added. This will bring the solution rate to two tablespoons per five gallons of water. (Probably a little higher, which is fine.)>> Tango's breathing looks labored still - a gap is seen with each breath.  There was slight movement by all and then they returned to their spots. What have I done?  They're so beautiful - I hope we can save them. <<Not a good time for "beating yourself up", Mary. This happens. Now, we have to save your fish. ;)>> Thanks again, MaryK <<Once again, Mary, please keep me posted. Tom>>
Re: Update to Fissues <Tom>
 8/28/06 Hi again, Tom <<Hi, Mary.>> Things are not so great here.  We've lost Dottie.   <<I'm sorry to hear that, Mary.>> I added the salt, as per your direction.  When there was no improvement, I purchased 'Quick Cure', which, as I'm sure you know, is supposed to relieve Ick within 2 days.  I just hated to see them suffer, as I am certain she did.  She looked absolutely horrid before her death.   <<I'm sorry that either you, or your pet, went through this. It goes without saying that I wish you had been able to write back with happier news.>> Tango is still alive, but his existence seems to be no more than torment.  He is at the top of the tank upside down gasping and had been so for the past 48 hours.  The new fish, who I have decided that I dislike immensely, seems to be trying to eat him!  Is this possible??   <<The "uglier" side of the hobby, as it were, but, yes, it's entirely possible/probable that your other fish will "pick" at him.>> I was advised to 'flush' Tango, but I couldn't possibly - but how else can I end his suffering?  I know he's not going to recover - his fins are all but gone.   <<I'm afraid that what I would do, and recommend, would be "objectionable" to you, given the allotted time left. "Flushing" is absolutely out of the question and, I commend you for rejecting this. Please look at this: http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-the-most-humane-way-to-euthanize-a-fish.htm.>> And then there's 'new fish'.  He's not white anymore - he's more of a flesh tone - not swimming well - he's just scary to me. <<Perhaps not the case, Mary, but is 'White' a Koi by any chance? I've run across such before and, if so, it would explain much. Koi are pond fish and are out of keeping with anything but very large aquariums.>> I'm certain that if I had written to you earlier and followed your plan, things would have ended differently.  (Are you feeling more like my shrink than a fish expert right now?)   <<I don't categorize myself as an "expert", Mary. Would that I could. :) (Many of those on the Crew, though.) More like, "Been there. Done that." (small gag at the phraseology) I've learned, sometimes the hard way, and know how frustrating/disappointing it can be when things don't go right. More than that, I've learned that I don't have the latitude to be ignorant or foolish about other life. This isn't, in any way, a reflection on your circumstances. It's just that we need to continue learning all that we can. The good news is that you are going to save some other fish from falling into the hands of someone who thinks it's simply "disposable".>> At least I know where to look to do things right next time. <<Very kind of you.>> I'm thinking that all I can really handle is this 10 gal. tank.  Maybe I'll do salt water next time around.  Could I possibly have 2 - 3 fish in a saltwater tank?   <<Quantum leap, Mary! Let's get the Freshwater end of this down first. :)>> I know - read, Mary, read.  And I will - I promise - No more trial and error for me!  The result of my error is too severe! Thanks so much, again! -Mary <<Very good. My very best to you and keep us posted. Tom>>

Re: Goldfish 911   8/27/06 Hi, <<Hi, Megan. Tom again.>> I just wanted to thank you for your advice! My fish is even healthier and happier than before! <<Wonderful news, Megan!>> I used an anti internal bacteria aquarium treatment from InterPet. <<Good to know this product did the trick.>> thank you so much! Your web site is really the best! <<Thanks for the compliment, Megan. Best regards. Tom>>

Goldfish Problems   8/21/06 Hi. <<Hello, Kat. Tom this afternoon.>> I just got three goldfish recently, they're my first pets, and they seem to have something wrong. They are in a 3-gallon (US) tank with a mechanical and biological filter. They are all about 1 1/2 inches long with the tail (I should be getting them a bigger tank...). <<Very much agreed on upgrading the size of the tank, Kat. Glad to hear you're already thinking of this.>> I think all three are fantails (or some hybrid that look like fantails) and two have little white spots on their tails. I think they have Ick? <<Sounds likely. Has the tank completely cycled yet? If not, this could be a strong reason for the Ich outbreak.>> They've been chasing around the third one which does not have white spots (one of the first two seems to be poking the third in the butt with its nose...). <<Trying to make points, perhaps? :) Actually, it's safest, from the standpoint of a "bully", to approach from behind. Kind of a Goldfish "sucker punch".>> They've all been eating normally (although the first two are a little more aggressive about getting their food). The third also has a damaged left fin. <<I don't want to accuse either of the other two but from what you describe, this may be due to aggression.>> They all have a line of small dots/holes(?) on both sides of their bodies from the top of the gills to the middle of the base of their tails. Is that normal? <<Absolutely normal. All fish have these. Anatomically speaking, it's called the "Lateral Line". Simply put, it's a sensory organ. Picks up electrical impulses and is useful in "echo-location" to aid the fish in relating to its surroundings. The lateral line is more apparent to us in some fish than others but, basically, appears like a line of "pores", i.e. the dots/holes that you refer to.>> I'm obsessively worried about these goldfish and very sorry for piling all these problems on you... <<No reason to be sorry at all, Kat. Other than clearing up the Ich and getting these fish into larger quarters, I don't see that you have a lot to worry about. The aggressive behavior of the "two" will, almost certainly, subside when everyone has plenty of room. Remember that these two are the ones with signs of Ich, as well. A bit stressful and likely to make them a bit "cranky".>> Is there anything I can do for my goldfish? I am feeding them TetraFin Goldfish Flakes and using Jungle Lifeguard All-In-One Treatment (I've taken out the activated carbon filter). <<The treatment is fine. You might look into the information on our site about Goldfish diet. They want, and need, vegetable matter in their diets and this should make up a big part of what they eat. High quality flakes are very good but all fish like variety just like we do. Also, don't forget about regular water changes. Goldfish are particularly "messy" not only in terms of what they don't eat but in terms of what they do eat...and get rid of, if you get my meaning. :)>> Thanks, Kat <<Any time. If you have more questions, please, feel free to write back. Tom>>

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