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FAQs About Goldfish Disease/Health 5

Related Articles: Goldfish Systems, Goldfish Disease, GoldfishGoldfish Varieties Koi/Pond Fish Disease, Livestock Treatment System Bloaty, 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,

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

Regarding Fantails I was just wondering is it normal for my Fantails to lay upside down. I find them like that once in a while and when I get close they take off. Thanks Mike <<Dear Mike; It is not normal, but it happens quite a lot with fantails and other fancy goldfish. I highly recommend doing some reading up on goldfish care. Use your search engine to look up "goldfish constipation" and "swim bladder disease" because these are things they are most prone to getting sick with internally. External problems are usually Finrot (due to bad water quality) and bacterial infections. Every goldfish owner should be aware of the symptoms for these problems, so you can see them coming and head them off with the proper care. One thing I will tell you is to TEST your water with ammonia, nitrite and nitrate test kits on a weekly basis, until you are confident that your water quality is consistently excellent. This is THE most important thing when it comes to keeping fish healthy...all fish! :) -Gwen>>

Goldfish Emergency I have a goldfish I have had for a very long time but just recently it has started to get very bloated and all of his scales have fallen of in that area please help. Thank you   <<Hello. I will repeat to you something I just told another person: I highly recommend that you do some reading up on goldfish care. Use your search engine to look up "goldfish constipation" and "swim bladder disease" because these are things they are most prone to getting sick with internally. External problems are usually Finrot (due to bad water quality) and bacterial infections. Every goldfish owner should be aware of the symptoms for these problems, so you can see them coming and head them off with the proper care. One thing I will tell you is to TEST your water with ammonia, nitrite and nitrate test kits on a weekly basis, until you are confident that your water quality is consistently excellent. This is THE most important thing when it comes to keeping fish healthy. :) Best of luck. -Gwen>> 

Striped Fantail Tale Hi just a quickie. I have just bought a new tank as well as a new calico looking fantail to go with my other two older fantails.  Unfortunately one has been hammered by the new fish and his tail is really stripped. I have put the new fish in another tank but the victim is on his death bed.  Will he recover? Do the tail's eventually heal? He just lies in the one spot all the time and looks very depressed. Is there hope for him/her? can you tell the sex of a goldfish??? Anyway, any info would be much appreciated. *Sarah* <<Sarah, you can try to save him. Keep the water in good shape by doing regular water changes. Test your ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels, and hopefully he is still eating? If he isn't, he may not survive. Goldfish can recuperate well if given good care. You must keep him separate from the others, though, until he has fully healed. Fish will pick on weaker individuals, so chances are he was not healthy when you brought him home. Do a web search on goldfish care, and hopefully he will pull through. I would keep him in his own tank for at least a month, so he can become strong enough to take care of himself when you finally return him to the main tank.  It's hard to sex goldfish unless they are actively spawning, or if you have bred them before and know what to look for. You may as well just guess, you have a fifty-fifty chance of being right :) -Gwen>> Goldfish Problems Hi again Gwen, Still need your opinion. Well I have to tell you my fishy (Stripes) is not doing very well.  His body has bloated so bad, it looks like it is about to explode (still upside-down).  Sometimes in the morning his body is so skinny, it looks like he's waste finally came out of his little body and he becomes a sinker instead (but that only happened a few times).  So I put him in a small floating container tonight, in the tank, so he can still see the other fishies and to keep in the good water.  I read in a book not to feed him for four whole days because it would clean his whole system.  So I decided to feed him peas maybe just once a day for four days to try to help him, or maybe every two days.  Nothing else worked.  Would this kill my fishy if I didn't feed him at all for four days?  I'm so heart broken for him, he's just a baby.  I really want him to get better, do you think this would work? W.Leger <<Hi Wanda, I'm sorry to hear about Stripes. I assume he is eating still? As long as he is eating, there is hope. Keep his water clean, as you know. Not feeding him for four days at this point seems cruel, this is NOT an ordinary constipation problem, so the "normal" rules (like withholding food for four days) don't apply. Instead, I would feed him some frozen daphnia, but I don't recall if you had trouble finding this at your LFS. The problem with being on vacation (as I am at this moment) is that I am using someone else's computer, and don't have access to my previous emails with you. At any rate, keep up the struggle, and hopefully he will show improvement soon. Hang in there! You are doing a great job so far; sometimes though, it is up to nature and sheer luck...-Gwen>>   

Black Moor and Eye-fluid Hey there! I sent this a while ago and I'm resending it after reading your FAQ on FAQs :) Thanks! Hello! I love your website and all of the information available, it's definitely helpful in a tight spot. I have a black moor "Hagen" (who has been completely bright orange for the past few months) 1 year old. He lived in a 12 gallon tank with another black moor until just recently and now they  live in a 46 gallon bow-front with three mystery snails. The quality of their water has been great (until now, because their tank is still cycling the ammonia is 0, but the nitrites are .03), and I do water changes to keep it under control. However, for a few months now he's had these fluid-filled sacks around his googley eyes. (He had it in the 12 gallon with great water quality). One of his eyes is worse than the other and sometimes the donut shaped bags get puffier. I've tried adding salt to make the swelling go down, but I'm cautious not to add too much because it will shock my snails. Do you have any idea what might cause these water-sacks? Could it just be a genetic defect? Also, my other black moor Hämma has kinks in her tail fins, making them really wavy (not to mention the bites that Hagen took out of them a while back leaving V shapes in the ends). The kinks were there when I got her about 6 months ago, but seem to have gotten worse and multiplied over time. Do you have any idea what may cause this kind of deformity? Thanks. <<Hello. The kinks in the tail are usually a deformity, not much you can do about it, really. I believe it is due to inbreeding. As for the sacks, please tell me what your water parameters are, exactly. A nitrite level of .03 is not perfect, and can cause stress. Black moors are extremely sensitive at levels that most other fish can tolerate quite well, so even low levels can create problems. Also, how high did the ammonia levels get during this cycle? While the fish were in the 12 gallon, what did the nitrAtes measure at? Were there any problems with ammonia or nitrite in that tank? Once we have eliminated water quality problems (Sorry, I need to ask for specific levels, many people test only two of the three levels, since most master test kits leave out the nitrAtes....) The problem could be aggression from the tankmate (whether or not you have seen any indication of it, it can still be there..), or some form of physical eye trauma. Moors are prone to eye problems, firstly because they tend to "bonk" into things in the tank, especially small tanks, and especially since many of them suffer various degrees of swim bladder problems, making them ungainly at the best of times. The best thing to do is keep up with the testing and the water changes, and hope the moor pulls through. A mild antibacterial like Melafix may help, but it also may wipe out what few nitrifying bacteria you have already cultivated. You may have to move him back into the 12 gallon tank, all alone and with no decorations to bonk into, and treat him there instead. Separating him from the other goldfish may also help him heal faster. -Gwen>> 
Re: Black Moor and Eye-Fluid
I just tested the NitrAtes. I followed the directions exactly and came out with 10ppm. This seems low. What else could it be? Should I just wait a couple days, see if he gets better, and if not, put him in a hospital tank with some salt and MelaFix? <<Hmmm. This could mean that the tank isn't quite cycled. What happens is that the ammonia become nitrite, which then becomes nitrate. Ammonia starts low and increases, then the nitrifying bacteria reproduce until they can consume the amount of ammonia being produced. Then the same thing happens with nitrite. However, if the bacterial colony is being disrupted (like say, by using Melafix, among other things) then the bacteria never get the chance to reproduce enough to control the amounts being produced, and your tests will show small amounts of ammonia and nitrite, as in your case. So...you need to keep testing regularly so the levels of ammonia/nitrite stay at around .25 ppm (by doing water changes). Stop using Melafix for now, until you have zero ammonia, zero nitrites, and your nitrates are all that is left to test for. In the meantime, yes, you can move him to a hospital tank, and leave his tankmate in the main tank. You need to realize that the bacteria will only colonize enough to handle the ammonia being produced by the one fish, so when you re-add the Moor later on, you may want to double- check the ammonia levels to be sure that the bacteria is handling the new bio-load. It sounds more complicated than it is...and most people go thru this without testing at all, and without detriment to their fish, but in your case, it is better to know exactly what is going on in your tank so you can prevent further stress to your pretty black Moor. Hang tight, things will improve. Oh, and test the hospital tank, too. Both salt AND Melafix can adversely affect nitrifying bacteria. Salt will do so at higher levels than I would recommend you use, but it's not easy to measure the salinity at low levels, so just be sure to measure out your salt precisely, and keep track of how much you need to re-add when doing water changes. It can creep up to high levels over time, which is one reason I tell people to only use salt to treat with, temporarily. Some people love to keep their fish in salted water all the time, they don't realize their tanks can approach brackish conditions over time. This WILL affect biological filtration, since the nitrifying bacteria in saltwater and freshwater are not the same. -Gwen>>
Re: Black Moor and Eye-Fluid
The ammonia levels didn't get high at all. When I took them out of their 12 gallon, I transferred the old gravel and the old bio-wheel, and had been adding Cycle to the water. I checked ammonia and it never got above .3. The Nitrites were .03 for a bit, but never got higher than that, and have been 0 for the past few days. <<While the fish were in the 12 gallon, what did the nitrAtes measure at?>> I never tested NitrAtes. As you say below, my master test kit didn't include a NitrAte test. I'll be sure to pick one up. However, there are and have been live plants in the tank and very good aeration if that makes a difference. I left the lid-flap off to keep the water cool and when it evaporated, I removed 10% of the water and replaced it to top it off. So water changes were small, but done regularly. <<Okay, you will need to test nitrates. Grab yourself a test kit for it at your LFS, I imagine the levels are extremely high. You would most likely need to do weekly 50% water changes to keep it at an acceptable level. If you use your nitrate test kit regularly, it will tell you how often you need to do them. Please do NOT rely on a few plants to use up the nitrates, it's not going to happen. Test it and see.>> <<Were there any problems with ammonia or nitrite in that tank?>> Nope, The moor with the eye problem lived in that tank for a year, from the time he was less than 1" big. He never showed any problems and I was very consistent on minor water-changes and cleaning the whole system out. <<Again, you must test for nitrates.>> Now that you mention it, his tank-mate was being a jerk yesterday and chasing him around, trying to bite him in the butt. But I haven't seen this behavior before, and his eyes have had the bags around them for months. <<All fish will pick on weakened tankmates. You need to separate them>> <<Moors are prone to eye problems, firstly because they tend to "bonk" into things in the tank, especially small tanks, and especially since many of them suffer various degrees of swim bladder problems, making them ungainly at the best of times. The best thing to do is keep up with the testing and the water changes, and hope the moor pulls through. A mild antibacterial like Melafix may help, but it also may wipe out what few nitrifying bacteria you have already cultivated.>> I've added Melafix to his water many times before, mostly for minor fin-tears or possible tail-rot. Everything has cleared up within a couple of days. I added Melafix yesterday as well, because his eye-bags were especially puffy. However, I also measured the water, Ammonia was below .3, Nitrites were 0. KH is 7, Ph is consistently 7.8. In the old tank, the water was the same over a long period of time. <<Ammonia/nitrite at any level will stress your fish. And Moors, as I mentioned (and this varies from fish to fish), cannot tolerate ANY levels of ammonia or nitrite. Melafix can interrupt biological filtration, so perhaps you should not use this until your nitrifying colonies become more well-established, say another month or so. Ammonia MUST be at zero for your fish to heal properly.>> And nitrates must be kept low, as well. Please heed this, I can guarantee this information from my own personal experience with these fish. Yes, there are times when goldfish are tough enough to be resilient, but not all goldfish are created equal, and Moors are fragile. Some Moors more so than others.>> Thanks! I'll be sure to check the NitrAtes as soon as I can get a test kit. <<Good luck! Be sure to let me know how it goes. Happy Fishkeeping! -Gwen>>

Bloaty Goldie - More Info, Please - 08/19/2004 I have a goldfish that we have had for a long time but just recently its started to get very bloated and its scales have come off in that area.   <We'll need more info to be able to be of much help - how big is his tank?  Any other fish with him (how many, what are they)?  Do you test for pH, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate?  If so, what are the readings?  What have you been feeding the fish?  When you say he's gotten very bloated, is he just very, very fat looking, or are his scales sticking out, like a pinecone?  Has he been pooping?  If so, what color is it?> I will do any thing to sort this out.  Please help, thank you. <Without details, the best I can do is recommend that you make sure his diet is appropriate (lots of greens - Anacharis/elodea/Egeria or other water plants available for him to munch on, blanched zucchini/cucumber, frozen/thawed peas with the shell removed, spinach....) and be VERY cautious NOT to overfeed him.  Offer him only foods of high roughage content while he's bloated; peas, daphnia, and adult brine shrimp are some options, here.  Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) added to the water at 1 tablespoon per 10 gallons will help him pass any blockage in his gut.  Wishing you and your goldfish well,  -Sabrina>

Sick Goldfish 12 Aug 2004 <Hi Brenda, MacL here with you today.> we have a gold fish that has a bulge on the outside of its body . it looks white, could you tell me what this is please. <It could be several different things Brenda and without seeing it I can't be sure. Please take a look at this site and see if anything looks similar. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/parasitcdisovr.htm, I'd be glad to look at a picture if you could provide one of them as well.>

Goldfish Health We recently set up a 155 gal tank in my home, about 8 weeks ago..  We have 4 goldfish (fancy gold, black moor, fancy spotted and albino) ranging from about 1 1/2 inch to 3 inches and 2 tiny Cory catfish.  2 of the goldfish (the black moor and the fancy gold are the oldest and were transferred from a 5 gallon tank along with the Cory cats).  Unfortunately, I don't know the sex of any of the fish. All has been well until a few nights ago when I noticed the largest of the gold fish (fancy gold) sticks close to the bottom of the tank, with lots of mouth movement and not socializing as usual (this gold fish and the black moor typically spend a lot of time swimming together and chasing one another), and eats less than normal.  There are no apparent problems with the appearance of this fish.  Their doesn't seem to be any problems with the water or the other fish. Can you offer any advice? <<Hello. Do you test for ammonia, nitrite and nitrates? It seems unlikely in such a short time and in such a large tank that any of these could reach toxic levels, however I really do advise getting all three tested ASAP. That done, and if everything looks all right, it could be something else...Do you have adequate aeration and circulation? This will help your fish breathe easier, and keep the temperature more stable. In such a large tank it is easy to have warm spots and cold spots, you must keep the water well circulated. Especially during warmer summer months when the tank temp can climb into the 90's if unmonitored. Normally, fish lacking oxygen will gasp at the surface, so your problem may be a parasitic one. Your fish may have gill flukes, easily remedied by adding an anti-parasitic medication to the tank, such as Quick Cure or Maracide. Ask at your LFS to see what they have in stock. I would wait a few days before adding meds, just to be sure it is indeed gill flukes, it's hard for me to tell without actually seeing your fish, so you will have to use your best judgment. If the heavy breathing doesn't go away AFTER you check the temp and circulation, then by all means, add the medication. Remember to remove your carbon while medicating, as carbon removes meds. -Gwen>>

Ick Black Moor Hi, <Hi, Mike D here> I have a variety of different goldfish. They have all been fine till now. Our Black Moor is sick. The last couple of days he has hid at the bottom of the fish tank in the corner. Looks like he is having problems swimming. He keeps tipping to his side and even upside down.<This could be a congenital problem with just the one fish, as many have "defects" from the centuries of line breeding and inbreeding, or it could be a symptom of poor water quality with this one just the first to show symptoms> I caught another fish attacking him yesterday so I have taken him out and put him is a small bowl.<Wise choice. While it seems cruel, sick fish are often attacked and killed by the healthy ones> I went home at lunchtime today and thought he was dead but he wasn't. He is only just moving. What should I do?<My first suggestion would be to purchase a basic test kit to check water ammonia and nitrogen compound levels in your main tank, and then increase water changes as needed to keep everything in line.> I read up on one of the forums that he could be constipated and to give him peas???<This sometimes helps, adding fibre and roughage to the flake diet. Another remedy used with some success is to add 1 tspn per gallon of Epsom salts to the container with the ailing fish. You truly don't have enough information for anything but general remedies for this one individual, and sadly, it sounds like it may already be too late> We do regular water changes and feed the fish flakes.<Water changes are good, but only if enough is being changed to keep water conditions stable, with roughly 25% per month the minimum suggested. If the tank is regularly overfed, the water changes need to be increased or feeding adjusted. I suggest feeding only enough so that it's completely gone within 5-10 minutes. Even several times per day is fine, as long as there's no excess accumulation left to decompose. As to food, it never hurts to very their diet as all foods are not created equal and some brands barely adequate to sustain life.> Please help.<Get your test kit and try to monitor the ammonia/nitrogen levels in your main tank to prevent anyone else getting sick and keep your ill guys bowl as clean as possible with the peas and Epsom salt for now and keep your fingers crossed> Kind Regards Tanya

Black Moor Eye Problem Hi, <Hi! Mike D here> Recently (with in the last week) I noticed that my black moor has what appears to be blood in the bubble of his eye.  It originally started as a small spot of blood and went away, but today, I noticed that the blood has come back and pooled at the bottom of the eye.<If it was a one tome occurrence I wouldn't attach any significance to it, but since it has returned it may be noteworthy>  He lives in a 10 gallon tank with a filter.  The only other fish in the tank is a Pleco who is about 3 inches long.  Other than the "blood" in his eye, he seems to be fine, and has a healthy appetite.  Any help would be appreciated<The causes could be many, from something as simple as a weak blood vessel in that area that's just a chronic irritation to something more severe, such as a reaction to ammonia or nitrogen compounds that build in the tank. Purchasing a basic test kit would probably be a good start so you'll know if this is the area causing the problem. Increasing the frequency of water changes can often solve problems such as this all by itself, which improves the overall water chemistry. One last thing, of course, is to watch and make sure that you aren't having a fighting issue between the two fish....many Plecostomus species have a little "mace" type spiny club along either side of their jaw line that they use to drive away fish that insist on getting too close, with an occasional rare specimen known to turn homicidal and begin eliminating tank mates.> Concerned Owner

"Quick Cure" for Goldfish With Ick <Hi, Mike D here> I have been treating my goldfish for Ick for almost a week now and he still seems to have the parasite. His tail is drooping and he stays on the bottom of the bowl
<looking poorly is not the same thing as "still having a parasite">.
I have live plants in the tank, should I take them out during treatment?<You don't say how large a tank he's in, but the ingredients in this medication are definitely not conducive to healthy plant growth> I'm using QuickCure
<Actually, this is one of my personal medications of choice and is a pretty decent product>, it claims to work in 2 days.<OK, while it's a pretty fair product, this IS definitely a bit of an exaggeration> Is there anything else I can do?<Without knowing anything about your tank size, filtration, etc., it's difficult to say. I, personally would have transferred him to a special treatment tank as I NEVER treat my main tanks themselves. A few things you'll want to do for sure are 1) some partial water changes ASAP as the tank MAY have a build up of formalin and Methylene blue (both very lethal in overdose amounts), as well as any excess ammonia and nitrites that may have already been present in your tank. 2) I'd suggest getting some basic test kits and a treatment bowl for future outbreaks, and 3) I'd continue treatment for 7-10 days minimum WITH partial water changes every other day until done.  Without knowing any of your tank parameters, I strongly suspect that he's now suffering from poisoning from at least the four previously mentioned chemicals, so the water changes (up to 50% if need be) will have the fastest immediate visible beneficial effects> thanks so much<Your very welcome and good luck>

Goldfish help! My Goldfish for last few days has been sitting at the bottom of its tank.  It has not been eating because it finds it hard to swim to the top of the tank to feed and it has a white moldy bit near its rear end.  I have removed the log and one of the two plastic plants in the tank to give him/her more room.  I have also set up another tank full of clean water to transfer him/her into once the water has oxygenated.  The fish has also dug a small hole and the other fish seems to be protective of him/her.  I have two goldfish, the other seems perfectly healthy.    What could be causing this behaviour? and is there anything I can do to help my fish? < Sounds like you fish has an internal anaerobic infection. Try treating with Metronidazole and follow the directions on the package. It is caused by dirty water, too much food, too high a temperature or old food that has begun to rot and has been eaten.-Chuck> Thank you Jess

Another Bloaty Goldie? - 08/10/2004 Hi Crew. <Ahoy thar!  Sabrina with you, this evening.> I  recently adopted a friend's Black Moor and 38 gallon tank.  "Blackie" is a fairly big fish, and seems to be an awkward swimmer (I'm not that familiar with how a fish like this should look in the water - all my other fish, in a separate tank, are tropicals, and good swimmers). <"Fancy" goldfish are most all funky swimmers.  If you're concerned about the fish's behaviour, I urge you to observe the fancy goldies at any local fish stores - look for healthy specimens, and watch their movements; it'll help to familiarize yourself with what's normal and not.> Anyways, sometimes, Blackie seems to get turned over when he's grazing on the bottom of the tank. He usually rights himself eventually, but a couple of times I've found him in the corner, nose down, or upside-down, and I have to move his plant or decorative rock out of the way so that he can turn around.  Is he just getting stuck, or is he sick? <Upside down doesn't really sound good....  Do you find the fish to be "floaty"?  What is its diet?  If he's on strictly dry prepared foods, I'd recommend giving him some good greens (blanched zucchini, cucumber, peas, also a hearty offering of live Anacharis/elodea/Egeria plants available in the tank).  It could be that the fish is constipated.  Getting him on a better diet will help to clear him of any blockage and will prevent him getting in this state again.  There are other possibilities here, as well....  I'm assuming you know what to look for in generally 'sick-looking' fish?> Another thing, yesterday I added our other goldfish (a common goldfish that we purchased when we were cycling our first aquarium a couple of years ago) <Might want to look into some fishless cycling options, if you haven't already.> to the 38 gallon tank as a companion for Blackie.  But "Goldie" seems aggressive towards Blackie - he chases him around, and looks like he's trying to nibble on him.   <The fact that regular/common/comet goldfish are not malformed makes them poor candidates for tankmates with "fancy" goldies; the comets tend to outcompete the fancies for food, and can tend to pick on their more cumbersome counterparts.> Is he trying to mate?   <I somewhat doubt this, but it is possible.> How can I tell their sex? <During breeding season, mature males will develop small whitish bumps on the operculum.> Or is he picking on Blackie because he's sick? <Entirely possible - but I'm not completely convinced that Blackie's sick, yet.  Can you describe Blackie's condition in a little greater detail?  Is the fish very lethargic?  Clamping its fins?  Exhibit any abnormalities (red streaks, eroded fins, strange bumps/lumps/marks, anything at all out of the norm)?  Are you keeping an eye on ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate?> I'd appreciate any insights you can offer into the behaviour of these goldfish. <Again, fancy goldies are very much poor swimmers in general, but I urge you to go observe lots of others so you have a base to compare Blackie's actions to.> Thanks! <You bet!  Please let us know if we can be of further assistance.  Wishing you and Blackie well,  -Sabrina>

Bloated comet Hi Bob I have a comet that is approx. six years old about seven inches long in my garden pond. It is quite bloated. Could this fish be egg bound, as I've had happen with aquarium fish or could it be dropsy. The fish is quite active, eating ok and otherwise appears to be healthy. Is there anything I should do? < If the fish is eating then it is not dropsy but it still could an internal bacterial infection. I would isolate the fish and treat with Metronidazole as per the recommendations on the package.-Chuck> Bernie

Fancy Goldfish Ails and Aggression 8/2/04 Brian, Hello, I am seeking help with my 2 new bubble-eyed goldfish.  Actually I have 1 fantail, 2 medium sized black moors, 1 small black moor and 1 red cap Oranda, that I purchased all on the same day (Sunday) and have them in a 25 gallon tank.   This is my first time ever having fish and figured they were all part of the same family and being community fish I shouldn't have any major problems.  But much to my carelessness of no research, this is where my problem comes in, one of the fishes a bubble-eyed goldfish got its bubble sac stuck in the filter, it got out right away and I have now covered the filter with nylon.  Since that happened my kids and I tried to keep a close eye on it and noticed that the bubble slowly became deflated.  Then to add more grief I noticed that my other 2 medium sized black moors were picking on it, by sucking on it thinking it's food I'm assuming or just being bullies and just this evening I was watching them just before going to bed and noticed that one of the black moors went right after the bubble-eyed (previously injured in the filter) sucked on his bubble sac and caused it's eye to turn completely red and is bleeding??? which it was previously black in color and it's sac is busted.  The other bubble-eyed fish is also showing red veins in its bubble sacs from the moor's sucking on them and one has slowly deflated.  After the bleeding incident I immediately took both bubble-eyed fish out and have now separated them in a bowl, they seem to be doing fine.  I feel so horrible, I hope this will not kill them or blind my poor bubba.  I am planning on switching them to my son's 10 gallon tank keeping them separated.  I am so new to all this and had no idea how much care fish in general actually needed until my daughter started reading into it on the internet and found this website where we can hopefully get some quick help.  What should I do? <Keep the bubble eye isolated and keep the tank clean.  Watch for bacterial infections with red streaks or for fungus infections that show a white fussy  cottony growth. Treat with Furanace for both. If you cannot find it then use Maracyn.  After the sac heals it may reinflate but I don't think it will as nice as the original.-Chuck> Thanks so much, Shirley Goldfish Question 8/2/04 I have 1 fantail and 1 black moor in a 10 gallon. The black moor had 2 anchor worms and I removed them and then treated the water with tank buddies for parasites and now with Melafix for his wound. I already took the fantail out because I know parasites are contagious. However, it has been about 4 days now. There is no filter in because it says to remove the filter. I tested my water  and I have high nitrates, nitrites, hardness of water and the test was just bad.  I am going to do more than a 50% water change because of the medication and all  this other stuff then put back the fantail into the tank. Any suggestions? <<Hello. There is no need to remove the entire filter, just remove the carbon from the filter, and let the filter run as usual. Carbon removes chemicals, like medication, and you don't want to remove the product you just added, so... Removing carbon varies from filter to filter. If you have a BioWheel filter, (e.g. a Penguin) with a cartridge, you can use scissors to cut the blue padding on the cartridge, and shake the carbon out of the cartridge.  If you have an Aquaclear, just remove the carbon bag. Same with a Fluval, or other canister filter,  just remove the bags of carbon. If your carbon is still relatively new, you can just let it dry on a paper towel on your kitchen countertop, then re-install it back into the filter after the treatment is done.  It is great to hear that you are testing your water, keep up the good work :) -Gwen>>  

Ailing Goldfish  8/2/04 <Hi, Mike D here> Thanks very much for your reply. We took "Sunny" the sick goldfish out of the tank and after a day or so he started to come around. His tail is actually growing back now too. <as would be expected>  He's doing something different now though. He's now swimming in a vertical position  with his head pointing towards the bottom of the bowl <not good, as this sounds like air in the intestines...was he gulping at the top before he started this?> and he has black marks, they look almost like ink, on his lower body and tail. What can we do for him? <I'd keep the water clean for now and keep feeding him. Don't be surprised to see  a "fishy fart, bubble and all, and he might be fine. Trust me, it happens> Thanks, Michelle

EXTREMELY sick black moor I searched through your FAQs about goldfish & couldn't find anything related to our problem.  I found bits and pieces, but nothing quite like this. I bought my son a black moor several months ago.  He lives w/ a sucker fish in a 5 gallon tank.  The tank has always appeared to be clean.  By that, I mean the water is clear.  In the beginning he had Ick & I treated him for that.  Later he had something else (I forget the exact problem) & I treated him for fungus.  Otherwise, he has gotten along quite fine.  He eats flakes & is quite the pig (I just read about the peas?).  Ok, now the problem: last week he developed a lump under his eye.  It was black just like him & looked as though it would soft.  It was no larger than his eye.  We had to live for two days & upon our return I found him in the absolute worst condition I have ever seen! One of his eyes is popped.  The other is bloody & cloudy. One side of his body is completely white.  The scales look as though they're still there.  It's like he turned white?  There are white areas on the other side of his body.  His tail fins literally look like they're disappearing.  The other fins are close to his body.   When I found him, he was sitting on the bottom of the tank.  Now he has been at the top.  I'm sure he is going to die.  As I look at him now he his close to the surface & looks as though he's struggling.  Sometimes he lays there at the top still, sometimes he's shaking.  I'm not sure what to do.   I guess basically I want to know what happened to him.  Do I try to fix him or let him go.  If I have to let him go, do I just let him die on his own?  I've never seen a fish look like this.  I am so glad my son is w/ his grandparents so he doesn't have to see him.  I seriously think he would have nightmares. Btw, the sucker fish looks absolutely fine.   Thank you for any help. Donielle <<Hello. Your fish has fin rot and an eye infection. You need to test your water for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrates. As you read our FAQ's, you know that water quality is important, and is 90% of the problem. In order to save him, you will need to go to your LFS, get your water tested, and buy an internal antibiotic to feed him, assuming he is still eating. Even if he is not, you can add an antibiotic to the water, too, for the fin rot (and remove your carbon). Ask your LFS what they have in stock to sell you for this problem: fin rot, and a bacterial eye infection. I hope it is not too late, but I think your moor is beyond hope by this point. And, for future reference, PLEASE USE PROPER GRAMMAR when you email us. Even though this is a professional website, we are all volunteers here, and most of us answer these emails late at night after a long work day. So, please try to make our jobs a bit easier. Thanks. -Gwen>>
Re: Sick Black Moor
Gwen; Thank you for your feedback.  The fish did indeed die.  If I decide to keep fish again I will be sure to keep the water #1 priority.  I believe he also had internal parasites, though.  I remember long orange 'poop' in the beginning along with white.  Lastly, I cannot believe your final comments.  The website appears to be friendly & a good place to go for feedback.  Here you are 'yelling' at me to "USE PROPER GRAMMAR."  What in the world?!  I cannot figure out what you thought the big deal was.  I tried to be as thorough as possible.  I found a spelling error, I said "btw" instead of "by the way," and I may not have capitalized.  I find this to be absolutely ridiculous that I write for help for my 5 year old son's fish & I get accused of not using proper grammar!  For your future reference, you might want to be more considerate to those who ask for help!  I know I was trying to be considerate by being as detailed about the situation as I knew how.  I am not an expert. P.S.  I do still consider it a wonderful thing that you take time out of your day to volunteer for this site, but for crying out loud.  Show some respect <<Donielle; I am sorry to hear about your fish. As to "respect"... I spent a good deal of time re-typing your email so that all the "i"s were capitalized before I sent it back to you. All our emails go directly onto the website "as is", so if I don't correct it for you, my only other option is to send it back to you, unanswered, but with the request that YOU retype your query and send it back to us again. I decided to simply do it for you, and ask that next time, you don't send me all "i"s. You would not believe the amount of time correcting all these emails consumes, for all of us here, and it adds up. It's really quite frustrating. It may not be a "big deal" to you, but for us, it certainly is, after we have spent untold hours of time correcting grammar that could have gone towards answering more emails from people who need help, like you. My apologies for coming off as yelling, I was not, but I WAS trying to convey my point. Respect? We deserve it, too. Please don't force us to return emails, it wastes valuable time that your fish may not have. You also must remember that this email is not private. Other people are reading this. My intention is to make sure folks understand WHY we are returning their emails...it is not personal: it is necessary. -Gwen>> Bulge in Body Hi, I have a Shubunkin which is about 3" in body length with good colouring and no fin damage. It shares a tank with two other fish, one a "normal" goldfish (21/2" body length) & the other a fantail (31/2" body length). All have been very well until we noticed a bulge in the shubunkin's body just behind the left hand gill. There are no surface marks or lesions. The fish does not appear distressed or unwell and it feeds & reacts to me at the tank glass. The tank has a charcoal filter and a Fluval filter as well. (Tank is 24" X 12" X 12"). Please advise on treatment, if any and any other advice you think relevant would be helpful. Regards, Phil Dorking <<Dear Phil; The fish you have now are overstocked, and require weekly, if not bi-weekly, water changes, a specific diet, and quite possibly, a bigger tank. I am sure you already know this, but it never hurts to read a bit more. Here is a link to some websites you may find interesting: http://www.fishlinkcentral.com/links/Freshwater/Goldfish/ The bulge could simply be a benign tumor, a cyst, or an indicator of a problematic internal disorder. Stress levels need to be lower in this tank, so please, read up! Good water quality is half the battle: I will need more info in order to diagnose him properly. Do you test your tank? Ammonia and nitrite should be zero, and your nitrates kept as low as possible with water changes. Can you tell me your test results? Please test your water regularly. In the meantime, you can add aquarium salt (found at your LFS) to help his condition, and try feeding him some Pepso Food, also found at your LFS. Good luck. -Gwen>>

Infection 7/29/04 I have read your questions but none seem quite the same as this. I have recently received a fish tank that is 135L (Australian)  It has plenty of live underwater plants and they are fed twice daily with goldfish food. In it there are 6 fantails (2 red caps, 2 pearl scales 2 black ones)  Also we had 12 minnows.  Over the past 2 weeks 7 have died.  They have been found surrounded in white fuzzy stuff.  One of the still alive fish has some of this white stuff on it and I am worried that it might kill all of the fish in the tank. Please tell me what it is and how I can fix and prevent it. <White clouds can handle cooler water like goldfish. I would catch the remaining white clouds and place them in a hospital tank for treatment. I don't think you have a fungus because a fungus is usually found on dead fish or on damaged areas. I think you have a bacteria infection. I would treat with Furanace in the hospital tank. If you don't have one then I would treat with Maracyn in the main tank. Do a 30% water change and service the filter before treating. I think the nitrates in the tank got high and weakened the minnows.-Chuck> Thanks Kelsey

Heaven Bound Celestial Eye Hi!! Two weeks ago I got a new goldfish, those black ones that have big eyes. Since the beginning he is not eating well and today he is floating on one side and having trouble breathing. < If the water is cloudy then the ammonia from the waste is burning his gills and the filter needs to be cleaned and some of the water needs to be changed. Increase the aeration and do a 30% water change.> I placed him in a separate container with some Epsom salt but it seem that he is not improving. PLEASE help me!!! < You fish may have developed an internal infection that will require some Metronidazole to cure. Your LFS should have some in stock.-Chuck>
Heaven Bound Celestial Eye (continued)
<Hi, MikeD filing in here> Thanks very much for your prompt reply Chuck...but the problems with my celestial have increased overnight. You can refer to my previous email, but here's an update of the last 24 hours: 1. his water temperature drops quite low during the cold nights - I'd say less than 18C (64F), so I have kept him in a slightly warmer room, and put towels around his bowl at night to keep heat in. I don't cover the top though - should I?<Although rapid drops and increases in temperature are taxing on many fish, less so with goldfish, actually a cooler water fish that is often stressed by higher temperatures> 2. His tail rot appears to have stabilized, BUT it is not any better, and the frayed edges have whitish spots on them.<This sounds like a secondary bacterial infection that's apparently resist to the Furnace> 3. I've noticed clustering of small white spots on his tail fins too (the spots appeared about 2 days ago, and have since dramatically multiplied in size and number). I'm guessing this is Ich?<I'd have to say this is a realistic assessment> I have bought some medication containing 37mg/ml formaldehyde + 0.32mg/ml malachite green, but am unsure whether to add it yet as it seems like quite an aggressive treatment, and I don't want to further compromise his immunity.<Ick won't compromise his immunity, but will rather just kill him. Ick's a protozoan parasite that often most severely infects a fish's gills and eyes, and unless treated promptly the die is likely cast> Last night, on the advice of a couple of aquarium stores, I put 2 tsp of rock salt into his bowl (which contains about 5L of water). He has perked up slightly, but still seems quite listless. My major quandary is that I am out of the country for the week from Thursday, and will not be able to constantly monitor him - as a treatment with malachite green/formaldehyde seems to require. Some websites and a vet I spoke to have suggested the increase in salt content to about 2g/L... is this a good idea, or will it mean that the Ich comes back?<The increased salt would be effective only against a fungus attack and will likely stress the goldfish as much as it does the Ick parasites, possibly more> Aalso, In cases like this, would you recommend treating with antibiotics first and then the Ich treatment, or the other way around?<Ick first, antibiotics second. Have you considered that a larger container with a more stable environment would likely eliminate most or all of your difficulties? A 10 liter container would cost less than what you've already spent in medications> Am suffering a bit of information overload here and am a little confused! Thanks heaps for the useful info on your website; you guys do a great job! I feel quite awful as I was given my fish as a gift, and don't want him to die through my inexperience.
<Unfortunately, that often happens. Keep in mind that it's much easier to prevent illness than to cure it> Che

Anchor Worm? My son had two gorgeous goldfish and recently purchased another (huge) goldfish for his tank.  All seemed well for months but then all three developed red spots.  The larger fish spends most of the time now on the bottom near the filter tube; however, the other two seem to "feel" fine. They seem to act normally.  Anyway, today when I went to look at them, the two smaller ones have white spikes growing out of them now with black tips. What is this and where did he go wrong?  Can it be cured?  We may not have much time. Thanks, Ruth H. Lancaster <<Hello. It is very important to do regular, partial water changes on goldfish tanks, generally once a week, if not more. What size is the tank, and how often are water changes being done? Please ensure good water quality, it really makes ALL the difference. That said, it sounds like an anchor worm problem. The red spots can be treated with water changes and Furan or Melafix (found at your LFS) but the anchor worm needs an anti-parasitic, Dimilin works well. Please treat the red spots first, since adding a medication to treat the anchor worm can irritate those spots and make them worse, so let the fish heal first, THEN add the Dimilin afterwards. It shouldn't take longer than a week with the Melafix, and then another four days with the Dimilin. Good luck. -Gwen>>

Goldfish and Salt Hi Jess here, My goldfish is laying at the bottom of its bowl and its not  moving I'm using sea salt that I got at A.C Moore, does that effect my  goldfish? <<Yes, salt affects goldfish: it can help them swim, it can help treat Ich and fungus. Don't add too much though, too much can cause problems. I recommend simply doing your water changes more often, perhaps everyday until the fish improves. -Gwen>>

Ailing Goldfish Hi,<Hi, MikeD here> We have two goldfish in a 40 gallon tank. They've been very happy, getting along for about 6 months now
<It's refreshing to see a tank not loaded to it's maximum capacity>.
Yesterday we noticed the one's tail is all chewed up and pieces of it are in the filter. We assumed he got caught in the filter cause we've never seen them fight at all
<Logical. Goldfish aren't noted for fighting>.
We cleaned out the whole tank and put them back in. This morning the fish with the chewed tail is on his side at the top of the tank. He's still swimming but only in one spot and he's on his side. He looks so sad. Is there anything we can do to help him?<About the only thing I can truly think of would to remove him to a separate hospital tank and treat with an antibiotic, such as Maracyn. Normally I wouldn't suggest treating without knowing exactly what's being treated for, but with the damage you imply and obvious stress it sounds like this guy is a prime candidate to be taken out by a secondary bacterial infection> Michelle<Good luck to you>

Black Speckled Goldfish Hello. Hopefully you can help me out. I have two Sarasa comet goldfish who are normally very healthy and active. Recently, I noticed my bigger goldfish hovering horizontally at the bottom corner of my 10 gal. tank. I also noticed that he appears to have black "freckles" on parts of his body, (which were otherwise pure white), as well as a black line along the outer edge of his tail. I did an ammonia test (as I thought they may be ammonia burns) but the levels were ok. My other fish is still healthy and showing no signs of being sick. I am confused because occasionally he will "get up" and venture normally about the tank, playing with his "brother" and swimming in and out of the fake plants. Sometimes he'll even swim to the top where his feeding ring is, to look for food. These episodes last for maybe 5 minutes then he will return back to the same corner and just hover there. His fins (aside from the black parts) are still healthy and fanned out save for the dorsal fin which has drooped down but only a little. When he stays at the bottom of the tank his breathing is rapid but not gasping. So far I have administered two tablespoons of aquarium salt, added a double dose of Cycle, and just today added a teaspoon of aquarium tea tree antibiotic solution. So far nothing's changed. What's wrong with my little guy? What do you recommend I do? Any advice or information you have would be greatly appreciated. Thank you. Sincerely, Andrea  I also wanted to mention that I have a Whisper Filtration system as well as an air bubbler for extra oxygen. <<Hello. I recommend you test for nitrite and nitrate, not just ammonia. The level of ammonia in any established tank should be zero...since it is being turned into nitrites, then into nitrates. Test for these, they are most likely the culprits. I also recommend many frequent, partial water changes, until you get ALL the above things down to the proper levels. Two Sarasas in a 10g will require water changes twice a week, more if the levels remain high. You may want to think about getting a larger tank soon. -Gwen>>

GOLDFISH PROBLEMS 7/21/04 Hi, <Hi Sonia, MacL here> We've recently become first time fish owners with two small Fantails. We've had them for a few days and they seem to be swimming around a fair bit and generally seem quite happy. We have them in a 10 litre bowl with an under gravel filter and we've been feeding them a small amount of flakes 2 times per day. <Way too much food, please only feed them once a day or possibly once ever other day.> We just have a few concerns with them though that we're hoping you can help with. One fish is particularly bloated near it's rear end and constantly has poo hanging out behind it - this fish also eats about 70% of the food compared to the other. <Way to much to eat.> As this one seems to be constantly pooing, there is a fair amount of waste amongst the gravel. <And I'm sure a large amount of ammonia in the tank which can make them sick.>  And lastly, they both constantly hover around the top of the bowl swallowing the air bubbles. <Definitely ammonia in the tank. Please do a water change and cut way back on the food, Don't worry all of us have over fed at one time or another!> Hoping you can help with these questions! Thanks - much appreciated. Sonia

Septicemia in Goldfish III - the Update! Hi WWM Crew! <Hi back! MikeD here> Just thought I'd let you know that all my fish are on the mend thanks to your excellent website and advice.<It's always better to hear of the advice that worked!**grin**>  The red cap is still in the QT with tetracycline, but has gone from lying motionless on the bottom to constantly swimming around and begging for food!<Now THAT sounds like a normal Oranda! Well done, Madam> Melissa

Ailing <Poisoned> Goldfish hi <Hi, MikeD here> all of a sudden my goldfish stopped eating.<That's not good> it was always so active but ever since I noticed pieces of its skin shedding away from the back near its tail it doesn't move or anything not even eat<That's really not good!>. its been 3 days and I was advised to give it Melafix but yet no luck it stays to the top of the water well in an awkward position its head up and the rest of the body at a slant about a 60 degree angle. please help and thanks in advance! <A couple of questions...is this fish in a bowl, an aquarium or a pond? If #1 or #2, my first suggestion is a partial water change, not forgetting to dechlorinate the new water before adding and go from there. That's often all that's needed.> well its in a bowl I use the water from the tap so there should be some level chlorine in there.<It's a miracle this fish is alive! All city water contains enough chlorine to prove immediately fatal. In some cases, simply allowing the water to stand for 24 hours will allow the chlorine to evaporate, but in others a commercial dechlorinator is needed, usually requiring 1 drop to 1 teaspoon per gallon, depending on the brand used.> how can I dechlorinate the water and a partial water change meaning how much?<I'd suggest ALL of it, immediately if using a dechlorinator, in 24 hours if you just let it stand.>

Goldfish Eyes hi <Hi, Mike D here> I have bought a few more goldfish and one of them is a fantail that has a mixture of colours - gold, silver, black, blue and it looks great, almost tropical.  However, while one eye appear normal and has a black pupil and a  white outer rim, the other is completely black.  Could this just be a  marking<yep, sure could>, like some goldfish have their white bit coloured orange, this one may  just have it coloured black.  Or do you think there may be a problem with  it. it doesn't protrude or anything and I can also see the puil within it if I look closely enough.<You just answered your own question. If you can see a pupil then the eye is likely just pigmented black and you have an unusual appearing specimen.>  Could it be blind in that eye<That too, is always a possibility. All goldfish are the same fish species (a carp!) with all of the different appearances achieved through in-breeding, line-breeding and any other technique you can think of, so technically all of the unusual forms could all be looked at as birth defects and you would be correct there as well.> or am I over-reacting  and this appearance is normal<Yep, you're over-reacting a tad too! **grin**>.  Thanks a lot and I'll look forward to your  reply as I need reassuring.<Consider yourself reassured and you're welcome.**grin**>  Yours sincerely  Liam

Ammonia in Goldfish tank  7/16/04 Hi, I read your site quite often and have learned much of what I know about aquariums from it, thank you. <Thanks, Pufferpunk here> I am currently having a problem I can seem to find the answer to anywhere. The ammonia level in my tank is high (1.2 mg/I) and I cannot seem to bring it down. The PH is a little low but not too low. I have a 51 gallon tank with 5 goldfish in it (3 comets, 1 black more, 1 fantail). I do weekly 25% water changes. I have 2 aqua clear filters - 1 300 gallons/hr and 1 500 gallons/hr operating at all times. The tank is about 1 year old and had me thinking that having fish was the easiest hobby in the world for the first 10 months. About 2 months ago I noticed my place's stopped eating and water tests reveal ammonia in the water. One place died and I took the others back to the fish store so they wouldn't die as well. I cut down on the food I was giving the fish, although I am quite sure I wasn't over feeding. I feed them twice a day and they take less than 1 minute to eat it. The aquarium is a planted aquarium and the plants are growing much faster than the goldfish can eat them (even with the ammonia problem). Are they getting too much food from the plants? Any suggestion as to what I can do to lower the ammonia levels would be appreciated. I don't like the idea chemicals as the goldfish seem to be tolerating the current environment. I would hate to make the problem worse in the long run. <Goldfish are high ammonia/waste producers.  The pH is low (acid), from goldfish pee.  You didn't mention how large your fish are, but at around 5-6", they'll need about 20g/fish.  Many serious long-term goldfish keepers do weekly 90% water changes, to keep their goldfish healthy & long-lived (over 20 years).  Since you've only been doing 25%, I'd work my way up to larger changes by doing 30% 3x in the 1st week & then your fish won't be shocked by the large change in water quality.  Make sure to clean the gravel & clean one filter/week, leaving the other filter for the next week.  Make sure to gently agitate the plants with your siphon to release any debris/uneaten food.  Clean under all decor too.  Most folks consider goldfish as good "beginner" fish, but actually they're pretty high maintenance.  BTW, what's a "place"?  ~PP>-  

Fantail Help Hi Mike! <<Gwen will do nicely :)>> I need some desperate advice.  I've had my 4 fantail gold fish for 2 1/2 months now.  They are fine except for one.  He has been floating a lot at the top of the water and ending up upside down.  Lately it has been more frequent.  I know that it is caused by his swim bladder.  I have quarantined him, I give them peas every night and vegetable flakes, check there water quality regularly and water change when time is due.  Everything is good except him.  I have tried everything.  The pet store said that there was no cure for this.  Is it true?  If not, what else can I do?  It is heartbreaking to see him like that.  When he does get a little better, he gets so excited that he can swim with the other fishies.  Please help. Thanks, W. Leger <<Is this fish still eating? You can feed him a medicated flake food, which you may or may not find at your LFS...they seem to think he is beyond help at this point, so maybe they do not know about or do not stock medicated flake food, or any medication for Internal bacterial infections. Ask them, anyways. If they have it, use it, follow directions on the package. Do so for a good three weeks. As long as the fish doesn't exhibit signs of dropsy, there is a chance to help him. Dropsy is when the scales stick out, and the fish resembles a pine cone. Usually fatal, but can be cured if caught at the beginning and treated for a few weeks. Best luck, Gwen>> 

Fantail Help III Thanks for the tip.  What do you think about Maracyn-two? <<Go for it. Should help, it's a good product. Just follow the instructions to the letter, as with all medications, they are only as good as their user :) Make sure you buy the freshwater version. -Gwen>>
Fantail Help IV
Thanks Gwen, I have started treatment today.  The fish that is the floater (I call him stripes) has a lump on his right side on his buttocks.  It is round and seams like it is were his waste goes because when he eats you can see thru the skin the color of the food or peas.  I bought him that way. Would you know what that could be.  At the pet store they said it could be an accident that happened when he was a baby (when being shipped). I have to tell you it sure is great to have someone to talk to who knows what they are talking about.  Thanks a lot.  I'm trying to learn more about them as much as I can to keep them well.  Thanks again for the great help. I am little bit less apprehensive. PS:  I gave your e-mail address to my brothers fiancé, she has two tanks (20 and 25).  She is having problems lately with her fish to.  I'm not sure if she will e-mail you but I thought I'd let you know that I gave it to her.  I told her that you were a lot more help than the pet store.  Thanks a million. W. Leger <<Wanda, it's a pleasure:) and you are most welcome. Your bumpy fish could have been that way from birth, yes. It's hard to say without seeing the fishes growth over time. At any rate, I'm sure he will be just fine. IF he is eating well, you can also supplement the Maracyn II with Pepso Food (from Jungle), this should help his little insides, too. I hope your fishy recuperates soon. Let me know how it's going. Tell your brothers fiancé to mention my name in her email, otherwise her email will be put into someone else's inbox here at WWM. -Gwen>>
Fantail Help V
Hey Gwen, I have another kinda silly question.  What about bran cereal (the kind that are like string).  Would that be bad for the gold fish.  I would pre-soak them to make them soft.  They say Goldfish eat anything.  So would this be a bad idea?  He still is not better, the medicine did not work. <<Wanda, sorry to hear. This could take some time, patience is required. Don't forget, he was pretty much near death, it will be something indeed if he recuperates at all, never mind quickly. Please keep up with water changes, and hopefully he will pull through. It could take a couple more weeks, and as long as he is alive, there is a chance. Good luck. -Gwen>>
Fantail Help VI
Hey Gwen, But what do you think of bran cereal.  Is it a bad idea? <<Ah, sorry I forgot to answer that part! I'm not sure about bran cereal...I don't see a problem as long as the flakes do not turn to mush and deteriorate the water quality. Why would you use them? They can not be considered a food staple, but perhaps as temporary attempt at treating minor constipation. I've no idea if they would even work for that. One thing I do know is that it can take WEEKS for a medication to completely cure a fish, and in NO way can bran flakes replace an antibiotic as an effective treatment for an internal bacterial infection. -Gwen>>
Fantail Help Thanks VII
Cool, thanks again and I will tell her to put her name and  I will certainly let you know how my fishy is doing.  Wish me luck and take care. PS:  I put you in my address book, just incase, LOL. W. Leger <<Wanda, it's always a pleasure to help. Tank care! :P Gwen>>
Fantail Help VIII
Thanks Gwen, I just needed to know if it could be a good thing.  well my little guy is always upside down now, I guess I'll just have to wait it out.  Thanks again for all your help and tips.  I'll keep in touch.  Take care. W.Leger <<Anytime :) -Gwen>>

ANOTHER GOLDFISH PROBLEM Hi I sent an email a month ago regarding a fantail goldfish who appeared to have an internal blockage or parasite.  I did everything for the little guy including feeding peas, aquarium salt, changing food, treating with medication, water changes, hospital tank...etc.  But, in the end he didn't make it.  I only had three fantails in a 55 gal. tank with an Emperor filtration system and a large air stone.  The nitrates and ammonia were 0. Anyway,  all has been fine and my remaining 2 fish have been happy and appeared to be healthy.  I continue to do frequent water changes and everything else.  Now, I have noticed that one of the fantails is exhibiting the same behaviors as the last one that died.  He is laboring in his breathing, lethargic and sitting on the bottom.  His poop is clear, with very little color and is in a long string.  His head currently seems to have the beginning of Ich with two very small white spots on it.  And, along one side of his body, he has red small pin-head sized dots in a perfect line going from his gill down his body and ending at the tail.  And, his head seems to be constricting.  This happened to the first one where his head became  emaciated looking?   I need help and fast.  I have successfully raised goldfish for many years with no problems.  I moved into a new home and started up a new tank.  It cycled and everything and now, it has been problem after problem and I am frustrated.  Should he die like the first one....will the others go too?  Even after being so healthy?  Healthy one day, and then the next....this is what I get.  What can it be and what can I do to make it go away forever?  I do water changes frequently and everything.  Sinking flakes, live plants, etc., etc., etc. <<Hello. Check your LFS...I would recommend treating him with a medicated food like Pepso, and if possible, remove him to a hospital tank where you can also treat him with Maracyn II, a broad spectrum antibiotic that is absorbed thru the skin. These meds should help, and the sooner you can begin either or both treatments, the better.-Gwen>>  <THEY to as fish the and are they aquarium. your of than wallet contents with concerned more much seems shop this care, Use juveniles. these but pairs, in live do can because both sell trying size surviving. actually them considering not now referring grow! will have you forget, Don't now. capacity over or at you're opinion, my last most lucky,>
Goldfish Problem
Thank you for your information, but he died before I received it.  Now, I wonder how I can ensure that none of the other fish get ill?  This is the 2nd one that has died.  The first one died a month ago and then this one just one day started looking ill and never recovered.  Do you know what this might be and if/how I can prevent the other 2 remaining fish from getting it? Thank you. <<Hi. The best way is by prevention...keep the water clean!! That means testing regularly for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels, and keeping them all low with regular partial water changes. I usually recommend weekly water changes with goldfish, they produce a great deal of waste, which builds up quickly. The smaller the tank, the harder it is to keep the levels low. Also, you can do a web search for water chemistry, to help understand the nitrifying process, and also goldfish health, both which should help you immensely. -Gwen>>

Goldfish I Hi, three days ago, I changed the water in my tank. I have a ten gallon with two fancy goldfish. They are both about five years old. I noticed the one fish" Treasure" had a bubble on his side, it was clear. I spent time on the net and thought it might be gas bubble disease, so I bought Melafix antibacterial meds and added more air to the tank. Today he is upside down at the bottom of the tank, breathing heavily. What more can I do? The other fish "Squirm" has not shown any signs of illness. Help soon,!-Karla S. <<Karla, Good job with the aeration and Melafix. How often do you normally do water changes? Did you use dechlorinator? Perhaps the pH from the tap water is radically different from the tank water? Test both to be sure they are the same. Also, test for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrates. Something is not right, and the only way to figure it out is to test the water for all the above. Let me know how it goes. -Gwen>>
Goldfish II
Hi Gwen, I have been writing to you about "Treasure", my fancy goldfish. I have treated him with Furan the last four days, feeding him peas and Tubifex worms. He is still unable to swim properly. I returned him to the main tank, all levels are now safe, except nitrates. I continue to do 25% water changes, but he sits on the bottom of the tank. I have to hold him when I feed him. He has lost parts of his tail and continues to breathe heavily. I still have hope, but need advice. Thanks, Karla Hi Gwen, here's the latest on Treasure. Thanks for all of your help. I am holding and feeding him a pea a day, as much as he'll swallow and not spit out. I am also feeding him brine shrimp daily. The ph is now safe, but I still have stress level nitrate. I am continuing water changes, as suggested. I put Treasure back in the main tank, but he is in a breeder net, my other goldfish tends to be aggressive. I started using Furan-2 yesterday instead of Melafix. He tried to flip over last night and today, but without success, he is still upside down. Your thoughts? -Karla <<Karla, I'm sorry to hear he is not recuperating quickly. There may still be a chance, I recommend you do not overmedicate him, though. Perhaps after this Furan treatment you should simply keep his water changes going, and let him be...it may take some time for a full recuperation. Patience, and clean water. Hopefully this will be enough. I hope he struggles on! Congrats on getting this far, Karla, you have done your best, and that is all we can ever do. Keep me informed. -Gwen>>
Goldfish III
Thanks Gwen, I'll keep you posted. I held Treasure and fed him a pea. I'm out to get the kits now. Thanks again.-Karla and Treas <<You are welcome :) -Gwen>>
Goldfish IV
Well, I tested the water and all levels were toxic. So, I changed the water, but the nitrate is still high. Treasure is still floating and breathing, except he is upside down, the bubbles are much smaller. I have hope. What's next? -Karla <<Next is, keep testing, keep changing water, re-add Melafix, keep praying. Is there any way you can take some of the filter media from the ten gallon tank's filter to add to the filter on the hospital tank? Adding some media with nitrifying bacteria would help, but you still need to be careful, Melafix can harm that bacteria if the colony is not large and well-established. Your best bet is to keep changing the water till the fish improves, then put him back into the main tank, and keep that water clean, too.. -Gwen>>
Goldfish V
Hi Gwen, thank you so much for all of your help. I stopped medicating and fed Treasure sinking food and Tubifex worms. Unfortunately, we lost him on Wednesday. He was a great fish and survived five years plus. We buried him next to our rose bush :-(. I learned a lot about goldfish diseases and proper care. Thanks again, Karla <<Karla, so sorry to hear about Treasure. But at least you are better prepared now for keeping future goldfish. I wish you all the best with your next "treasure". I hope you will call him Treasure, Too :) Chin up! You did a great job, but sometimes we lose fish no matter how much we do. It happens to all of us. -Gwen>>

Goldie, Goldfish Tank:    Small 1 gallon bowl with blue stones on  bottom  and one fake plant in the middle at the bottom. There are no  other fish. Hi, We were away for 4 days and when we returned our  goldfish had a large red blotch on her head with some white cloudy  stuff over it. It also looks like it's protruding. She is darting about  and spitting out her food. There were some teenagers in our home while we  were away and a cleaning woman. I'm having trouble diagnosing  because it looks like either ammonia or trauma. We cleaned the  water twice and it is ammonia free. (We couldn't check  the ammonia  before we cleaned the bowl because we didn't have the means). I saw  something in the tank that looked one long thread of a spider  web. I  hope you can help. Thank you, Lorin and my children, Jennifer and  David < Could be trauma and the fish smacked his head on a rock or the  side of the tank. The white stuff is fungus feeding on the dead tissue. Treat  the fish with Furanace and that will get rid of the fungus and treat any  bacteria that has infected the fish. Next time you change the water use a  conditioner with some wound control.-Chuck> Thank you for your advice and quick response. Just one more question. She  is in a plastic bowl and I noticed that the antibiotics are set up for dosing 10 gal tanks. (I think one said 1 teaspoon). Do I put one drop in the water while  the fish is in the bowl? < Place the fish in a clean 5 gallon bucket and cut the dosage in half.-Chuck>

Goldfish ills Hi, I have a goldfish, which I have had for nearly 4 years, he has been through quite a bit in this time, has been sick a few times and always recovered. About 2 years ago, the other fish who was in the bowl with him passed away, and his stomach got very bloated and black in colour, this disappeared, but he has always remained quite bloated. For the first 3 years, I used tap water and drops, he recently had red scaling over his body, and we were advised this was stress and to put him in filtered water, he seems to have been okay with this for the past few months.  The other day, I cleaned the bowl and noticed white specks everywhere, which again I was told was stress related,  I cleaned the bowl again and he seemed okay.  I went away for 3 days, when I returned, I noticed that he doesn't seem well, and under his tail is very red and swollen and there are a few white specks (that seem a little hard to touch) on the bottom of the bowl.  Are you able to tell me what the red swollen problem is around his bottom, do fish get constipated? < Yes but I don't think this is the problem. I think you have a bacterial infection. Clean the bowl and then treat with Furanace. Follow the directions on the package. If the white spots are on the fish then you need to treat for Ich. Make sure that the water doesn't get too warm during the summer months.-Chuck> Leisa

Injured Bubble Eye Hi, sorry, I am really frantic now. My bubble eye is now in a critical condition. I came back home to find the bubble eye's "bubble" stuck to one of the pipes of the filter. Now although we freed it, but the bubble eye appears to be highly injured, with the bubble deflated, and there seems to be red and white pus-like items within the injured bubble. As there are other goldfishes within the tank, 2 orange/white Pearlscale and 2 red Lionheads, so I decided to put it in another separate tank. That's all I can do for the moment, however, is there anything else I can do??? I am really worried, please try to guide me. Do you need a picture of it? I can take it and send you as soon as possible. Please reply me AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. THANKS. Best Regards, Caroline <<Caroline, Since the fish is already in another tank, all you need to do is add a bit of Melafix to the water, and pray :) You can also buy a medicated food at your LFS, which should help as well. Injuries like this are not life-threatening, but the fish may not regain the use of the eye, and the bubble may not grow back the way it used to be. It depends on the extent of the damage. In the meantime, keep the water quality high with regular water changes, your nitrates should be low in order to control secondary infections. Also, test the water in the  main tank. This fish would have had to have been already weakened in order to get "stuck" to an intake, normal fish do not get stuck to intakes...so you really should test all tanks for ammonia, (should be zero), nitrites (should be zero) and nitrates (should be around 20-40ppm). -Gwen>>

Goldfish Query Hello, I am not sure if my Oranda has got dropsy or egg compaction. I'm not sure of its sex. It's got a swollen abdomen (it has always been slightly rounder than my other fish but not so much as it is now) and its scales are protruding a little also its eyes are a little bulged, this concerns me because I know its a symptom of dropsy. It's behaviour seems normal, maybe a little quiet and lethargic and its vent seems a tad more noticeable than usual. I'd be very grateful for your reply. Thank you, Justine <<Justine; Raised scales always signify dropsy. If it has just started, you might save the fish. If the fish is still eating, you can go to your LFS and buy some medicated food for internal bacterial infections. It might take a few weeks to recover. If he recuperates, make sure you feed your goldfish a high fibre diet: a good quality Spirulina flake, frozen daphnia, and skinned peas. Also, keep the water clean with regular partial water changes. Nitrates should be as low as possible, 20ppm is a good level to aim for. -Gwen>>

Sick Goldfish I have a question about my goldfishes, I recently bought them from Petco and transferred them into my tank. Things were going fine, until today when I discovered that there were little white particles attached to the fins of the fishes, it looked like water bubbles at first, but then when I took a closer look I realized it wasn't, what is it? And is it normal? Also, the three that I bought like to lay on top of the rocks middle of the night, sometimes in the afternoon as well, are they sleeping or is there something wrong? Please reply as soon as you can, thanks. <<Hello. Sounds like they have Ich, a parasite. You will need to go back to Petco and buy some Ich medication. Read the label, and follow the instructions carefully. Also, you might want to take along a sample of your tank water, so they can test your water for you. -Gwen>>

Septicemia in Goldfish Hi, <Hi, MikeD here> I have a 40 gallon tank with four goldfish in it (6 inch comet, 5 inch red cap, 1.5 inch black/gold fantail, 1.5 inch orange comet).  I had another pearl scale, but it just died with red streaks in all its fins and obvious internal bleeding, appearing as bruises, and also in the eyes.  Now, the two big fish have started showing streaks in their fins and redness in the joints.  I guess it might be septicemia<that sounds like an accurate assessment>, but I can't get Maracyn 2 in Australia (I've ordered it but since the pearl scale took just two days to die, I don't think I should wait).<Wise as it's obviously advanced> I added Triple Sulfa about 6 hours ago.  It didn't dissolve quickly - the fish are so well trained they started eating some!<no problem, in fact that's actually good>  So I'm not sure if they ate too much or anything - the two big ones are gulping air a lot now.  Did I poison them?<not with the medication> Should I add Tetracycline as well?<too much is a BAD thing, use one at a time>  HELP!!<If you were to check your water, I suspect it has elevated levels of ammonia in it. Goldfish are notoriously dirty and this is very common. You don't say anything about any type of filtration, but my FIRST action would be to do a 25% water change, followed by another 25% and THEN start medicating> Melissa

Goldfish Rupture We have a 3 year old comet goldfish that has been healthy until a couple of weeks ago.  After a tank water change, he became very inactive and stayed on the bottom of the tank.  At that time, I noticed that his abdomen had become a little swollen.  I read that they can sometimes have constipation or indigestion which makes them inactive, so we did not give him any food (fish flakes) for a few days.   <<After a few days of not-feeding, you need to give the fish some help in the form of a high-fibre diet. Goldfish are herbivores and need a good Spirulina flake on a daily basis, some frozen peas that you cook for 5 minutes and remove the skins on a bi-weekly basis, and the occasional frozen daphnia, to help keep the intestines clear.>> However, that didn't improve the situation, a few days later, we noticed that something white was protruding out from his bottom right side, which was more swollen than before, with the scales being raised a little.  The next morning, we saw a brown trail about an inch long coming out from that spot.  It didn't look like a parasite, as it was about a millimeter in width, and an inch long, but we tried the salt bath to try and get it off, in case it was a worm.  It did come off, but it looked more like fish poop than anything else. <<Yep. Indicating intestinal constipation problems.>> Anyway, since then, the fish is back in his tank, and the side has reduced in swelling somewhat, but it's still raised a little and you can see it's a little brown underneath.  He's more active, swimming around the tank, but he doesn't use his tail fins, and it looks like he's being pulled up by his tail, and he seems to be struggling against floating to the top. We haven't really tried to feed him too much since the rupture, although he seems a little hungry, picking things off the gravel and, and acting a little more normally.  I haven't seen him poop either. <<Not much will come out if you are not feeding him. Start feeding the fish! Make sure it is in the form of peas ONLY for the first few days. Goldfish are sensitive to changes in their diets, so be careful in the future when changing foods, and don't feed the wrong foods..>> What could be the matter with him, as I can't find anything online that remotely sounds like what he's gone through?   <<Intestinal blockage, leading to swim bladder disorder, which you will find information on in any decent goldfish website. Here are a couple of links for you to read: http://www.petlibrary.com/goldfish/symptoms.htm, http://www.goldfishconnection.com/articles/details.php?articleId=83&parentId=8, http://www.netpets.com/fish/reference/freshref/swimbldr.html >> Thank you for your advice!  This fish is special because he was a prize to my son for getting potty-trained!  We hate the thought of putting him out of his misery, but also don't want him to suffer! Esther <<Please do regular partial water changes to prevent this problem from worsening. Buy yourself some test kits for ammonia (should be zero), nitrites (should be zero) and nitrates (keep nitrates at a low level, between 20ppm and 60ppm). And do some more reading! -Gwen>>
Goldfish Rupture II
Thank you for your response!  I will try the peas diet right away.  The goldfish did have some more stuff coming out from the side a few days ago (second time), and we fed him a couple of times with the same fish flakes (couldn't bear the thought of starving him), and now he's a little inactive again.  Do fish ever have intestinal ruptures like that and still survive?  Is it worth trying to prolong his life? Thanks again, Esther <<Esther; He should be fine, as long as you can get him onto a high fibre diet, and keep his water quality as good as possible. Buy him some peas, get those test kits, and do some water changes, and he should start to perk up within a few days :) -Gwen>>

Goldfish low activity Hello- <Hi there.> I'm new to keeping an aquarium. Everything is going pretty good so far. I have two goldfish, an Oranda, and a fancy tail bubble eye. Yesterday the bubble eye has started resting on the bottom of the tank, this is the first time he's done this since I got him. The water has been checked, <by checked I'm assuming you mean the standard Ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH, etc... testing.> I don't dump any unnecessary chemicals in the tank. <Very good practice to keep.> I've added some aquarium salt, but that is it.  Is it normal behavior, or something else? <I'm not sure how large this tank is. My thoughts are that this is due to an increase in the temperature do to summer.  So, you need to check your water temperature.  Goldfish require cooler water, and many owners have difficulties with goldfish as the weather gets warmer.  So, monitor your tank, if it is getting to warm then try to keep the lights off of it, or if it is in the direct sunlight to move it out of it.  Also, I would consider (if you don't have one already) to place in an airstone/air pump to help oxygenate the water.  As the water warms it has less diffused air for the fish to breath.  This should help the fish.  Also, four goldfish can produce quite a bit of waste and unless kept in a tank that can comfortably fit them you run the risk of having sick fish.  Monitor your fish and keep an eye to make sure the fish doesn't have any other health issues starting (spots on the skin, fin rot, etc.) things that could happen to a fish when it's immune system is not at it's peak.  If you start to notice extern problems you can treat with medicines such as Mardel's Maracide.  But, try not to treat your fish unless you see that they are sick.  Medicine in the water will only help decrease the oxygen levels, and if the fish really isn't sick it won't help.> Thanks, Kevin <Good luck with the fish. -Magnus>

Pearlscale with Swimbladder Problems Hello Gwen thanks for the reply but we unfortunately lost the fish two days after I sent the email, we had transferred him to a separate tank and were trying him on frozen daphnia but to no avail. I think that the water quality is ok we've bought and used the test sticks and all the other fish including our other Pearlscale look healthy enough. The sick fish had been inactive since we bought him two weeks previously but had always been lively around food. He was even feeding vigorously on the day he died. So who knows? I don't know whether to buy another Pearlscale or something more hardy ?Is swimbladder common in Pearlscale's or were we just unlucky? many thanks, Jenny <<Dear Jenny; sorry to hear :( But to answer your question, most fancy goldfish can fall victim to swimbladder problems, it depends on genetics and environment. Since we cannot change the fishes genetics, all we can do is provide them with the best environment possible, including clean water (low nitrates) and a healthy vegetarian diet. You can find a great deal of info on fancy goldfish using your search engine, to help you keep your fat, sassy goldfish alive and kicking for many many years :) -Gwen>> Swim bladder Problems Hello can anyone offer advice, we have two Pearlscale which we've had for 2 weeks, today the fatter and less active of the two started swimming on one side and may have a possible swimbladder problem to add to this he appears to have a small gash on his side and is being chased and nipped at by our two small fancy fantails who nip his bottom and fins. Would it be best to treat him in the tank which he shares with our other Pearlscale ,two small fancy fantails, and two small telescopic fish? Or to separate & treat him? What is the best treatment for swimbladder problems. Many thanks, Jenny

My Sister's Fishes are Acting Weird...  >My sister's goldfish are acting very strangely. We have 2 goldfish. One is orange and one is gray/black colored. The orange one has been lying on it's side on the floor for about a month. The orange one also is kind of crooked. It's body posture is like a V. It started getting fat and it's eyes are strangely starting to....grow (like.. budge out). and it doesn't eat. But today, we saw that the black one was "picking (or eating?)" the orange one. The black one is like sucking on the orange one's eyes, fin, body, and etc. my sister has been feeding them in the morning and at night. We've had four fish in the beginning. Two of them died. So. we've had these fish for over 2 years.. What's wrong with them? ><<Sounds like you need to take a sample of your tank water to your Local Fish Store and have them test it for you. Chances are good the water quality has deteriorated over time, the nitrates are probably wayy high. You should be doing weekly partial water changes! I think your orange goldfish may be beyond help, pop-eye is a sign of internal bacterial infection. Treatment is necessary to save him, but unless you can get your water quality back in shape, there isn't much hope. The other goldfish may survive, but again, you will need to get busy with those water changes in order to prevent him from developing the same problem. Make sure the water is the same temperature, and use a good dechlorinator (water conditioner), which you can buy at your local pet store. -Gwen>> > Thank You! <<You are most welcome. -Gwen>>

Goldfish on Bottom of Tank Hi, A few days ago I sent a question regarding my large egg shaped goldfish who has been sinking (uniformly) to the bottom of the tank.  You had suggested it was swim bladder and suggested not feeding them for a few days.  This does not seem to be working.  I have checked the water and the ammonia and nitrates are 0.  I have also added aquarium salt.   He was eating peas for several days before.  He is one of three goldfish (he is the biggest) in a 55 gal. tank.  I have live plants and an apple snail.  The filtration system is an Emperor and there is a large airstone on the other side.  The other two fish appear to be doing well.   What I have noticed is that he has long strings of clear poop trailing behind him.  It is thin and it looks like an encasing with nothing in it.  He is now beginning to swim less and less.  When he swims, he swims normal.  When he sinks, he sinks belly first - no abnormal swimming.  No outward signs of distress.  Could this be something else?  An intestinal parasite?  What can I do?  He was fine for several months.  It has now been about 3 weeks of this behavior. Thanks so much for your help. < Your fish has an internal blockage in its gut and requires medication. Metronidazole will treat the anaerobic bacteria building up in the gut of your fish. The trick is to catch it early for a complete recovery. Follow the directions on the package and watch for ammonia spikes because the medication may affect the good bacteria that break down the fish waste.-Chuck>

Goldfish with dissimilar size eyes hi! my name is Karen I have a question concerning a bubble eye goldfish, he is in a tank with 3 other goldfish. we have had him for about 5 months and today his one eye as in the pupil is a lot smaller than the other?  Is this a genetic thing? can that happen over night? the eye sacs are still the same size? < I suspect that your goldfish is blind in that eye. Sometimes in is genetic. Other times it may have been damaged during handling. Run a net by your fish on that side and see if he responds. There is no way to reverse the damage.-Chuck>

Another sick goldfish! Hey WWM,        My goldfish has bubbles and white spots on their fins. What is wrong with them? < Probably Ich, a protozoa infection. This is easily cured with rid-Ich or some other Formalin-malachite green formulation. It takes about 3 days to cure, longer in cooler water. Check for ammonia spikes during and after treatment. Follow the directions on the bottle carefully.-Chuck>

Swimbladder Problems Hello can anyone offer advice, we have two Pearlscale which we've had for 2 weeks, today the fatter and less active of the two started swimming on one side and may have a possible swimbladder problem to add to this he appears to have a small gash on his side and is being chased and nipped at by our two small fancy fantails who nip his bottom and fins. Would it be best to treat him in the tank which he shares with our other Pearlscale ,two small fancy fantails, and two small telescopic fish? Or to separate & treat him? What is the best treatment for swimbladder problems. Many thanks, Jenny <<Dear Jenny; You may remove him to another bowl or small tank for treatment. Make sure to test your water frequently, both in a hospital tank and in the main tank. Water quality can deteriorate quickly when keeping goldfish, it's important to have your own test kits and use them to keep your water quality top notch: Ammonia, nitrite and nitrate test kits are all available at your LFS. Sometimes swimbladder can be cured by simply improving water quality, and by changing the fishes diet to spirulina flake, shelled green peas (buy frozen ones, but cook them for a few minutes to soften them) frozen daphnia, and pre-soaked Hikari pellets. More advanced cases may require medicated food. Here is a link to a website that can give you some good info on goldfish diseases: http://www.goldfishinfo.com/diagram.htm and another: http://www.bristol-aquarists.org.uk/goldfish/info/diseases.htm also, if you need more info, do an Internet search for swimbladder disease. -Gwen>>

Sick Goldfish Hello........ Please can you help me..... I have 2 big Veiltails, Both female. One of them is fine, the other one, 1st, she started to clamp her dorsal fin, and now she hangs to the water's surface. She still eats well. When I feed them, she will swim to the bottom to get the food. I have been doing water changes, and I do use a tap conditioner. What else can I do ?     Thanks very much < The clamped fins could mean a couple of things. Either a protozoa or bacterial infection. I would try some rid-Ich first for treating Protozoans. It takes at least three days to see if it is working. If you don't see any improvement then I would use Furanace to treat the bacterial infection. Follow the directions carefully and watch for ammonia spikes because these medications will affect the bacteria bed.-Chuck.> Rachel.       

Red Red Everywhere I have three goldfish (2 celestial and one Oranda) in a temporary 10 gallon tank with a filter. Recently they have begun to show red streaks in their fins and around their gills, especially the Oranda. I thought it was fin rot but then the red around the gills of the Oranda threw me off. Could it still be? The Oranda looks terrible but is acting fine. The other two look a bit better, but have droopy fins and are less active than usual. Help? <<Hello. Please do some water changes! Also, you can add one teaspoon of salt per three gallons of water. Do you have any test kits for ammonia, nitrite or nitrates? Perhaps your LFS can test your water for you. Melafix can also help. It is an herbal product with great results. The red streaks are a sign of bad water quality. Depending on the severity of the problem, the water changes, Melafix, and salt should be enough. If you see the problem does not begin to improve within the next few days or so, you may need an antibiotic. See your LFS for what they have in stock to treat external bacterial infections. And please do more frequent partial water changes! -Gwen>>    

Poorly sick goldfish Hi we have 2 goldfish in a 40 gallon tank. One of the fish has become very bloated & his scales are sticking out, he also has a reddy bloom under his scales. He is still eating well & is very active. We have tried the Epsom/sea salt in the water but there seems to be little or no improvement What would be the best course of action?????? < Your fish has and internal bacterial blockage( Bloat-Dropsy) as well as an external bacterial attack too ( Reddish areas under the scales). Check the ammonia levels (should be zero) and the nitrite levels (should also be zero). The nitrates should be under 25 ppm. Clean the filter and do a 30% water change. These things are needed or no medication in the world will help. To treat the internal bacterial problem you need to treat with Metronidazole as per the directions on the package. For the external bacteria I would use Furanace. It will turn the water green. It is best to treat fish in a smaller isolation tank as well as much cheaper too. Check for ammonia spike because all medications affect the "good nitrifying " bacteria to some extant.-Chuck> Many Thanks

Sedentary Goldfish my goldfish stays on the bottom in the corner of my 55 gallon tank, why < If your goldfish has been exposed to poor water quality like dirty water and the ammonia or nitrite levels have gotten very high and stressed your fish , then he may have picked up a swim bladder infection. The air bladder in the fish helps keep it buoyant. Sometimes bacteria attack the opening to the bladder and the fish can no longer control the amount of air going in or out. The fish then becomes a belly slider and scoots along the bottom of the tank. Cleaner water may help but there really is no treatment that is very effective.-Chuck>

Fantail Sick Hi. NEED HELP.. I  have a fantail goldfish for about a year. It is constantly having scales fall off, so I got this distinct-m medicine. Everything was fine until this morning, I notice there was a white little bump on the side of the body it is as small as a scale. It looks like the scale is going to fall off but is still partially stuck on. It is eating fine, and swimming around. Is it Dropsy, but it is not bloated or anything. Thank you very much. <<Hi Melody; dropsy is a symptom that is easily recognized by viewing the fish from above...looking down on the fish you will see the scales are all sticking out uniformly, the body resembles a pinecone. Therefore, one lone scale sticking out due to a cyst should not be a problem. Scales falling off is usually related to aggression from other fish. I can't really tell you what the fish's problem is, so I will ask you to get your water tested at your LFS for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrates, and let me know the results. Also, if you could give some more info, it would help. How big is the tank, is the fish eating well, what other tankmates, how many times a month do you do water changes and how often you clean your filter media (never in tapwater! use old tank-water to clean filter media, as the chlorine in tapwater will kill off quantities of your nitrifying bacteria), and how long have you been using this medication? I am not familiar with Distinct-M, what does it treat, and what are the ingredients listed on the box?-Gwen>>

Goldfish on Tank Bottom <Hi Kim>   I am hoping you can help me.  <I'll give it a shot.> I have a 55 Gallon tank. It has an Emperor filtration system and I also have a large airstone on the opposite side of the tank. I have one (3 inch) orange fan tail gold fish, one small pearl scale (2 inches) and one 3-4 inch gold, egg shaped (I don't know the name) goldfish that has the beginning of a lion style head. And, one apple snail. All of the fish get along. I have live plants in the tank and have tested the water.  The water quality is good with no ammonia.   I have been feeding the fish floating pellets, but have now replaced them with peas for about 1 1/2 weeks.  <Why did you switch to the peas? Because of the sick fish?  Do you mind me asking how long since you checked the ammonia?  Do you have any bottom feeders to clean up what the fish don't eat besides the snail?> Here is my problem: For the past three weeks, my largest egg-shaped fish has been laying on the bottom.  He swims when he wants, but always retreats back to the bottom.  He seems to have something in his belly that weighs him down. <Sounds like a possible swim bladder problem.>   He can swim, but if he tries to float, he sinks.  He sinks slowly and evenly.  I have tested the water and it is fine.  I have replaced his food with peas. <Actually very smart.  Either him eating the peas or possibly having him go without food for two or three days.>  The other fish are swimming around fine and healthy.  There are no outward signs of distress or illness.  He seems to be breathing ok, but I have noticed that after he swims, his breathing is more rapid as soon as he retreats/falls to the bottom and then it slows to a regular pace.  He does eat, but he cannot eat well from the bottom, because it seems that his belly is too heavy to give him the buoyancy he needs.  I have also added salt and done a water change (not in that order).  He's a pretty wide and fat looking fish with a short tail. <Unfortunately the ornate goldfish, as I understand it have a predisposition to this problem.  No one really knows what causes it.  There are several different possibilities.  Viruses, bacteria (like in an infection, body shape, and or what's he's eating.> Before, he enjoyed eating everything and swimming. <Sounds like a lovely fish.  Might I ask? Do you soak your food before you feed it?  This can be helpful as it prevents the food from swelling up within him.  Very helpful for this type of fish.>  Could he be constipated?  <Its a possibility.> And, wouldn't the peas have helped that by now?  <Depends on how fast he is digesting and if he has any other problems going on.> Or, has he grown too big and his short tail can't support him?  He used to have long trails of poop following him.  I haven't seen that in awhile. <Sounds like he might have a problem.  In all honesty I believe it is with his swim bladder.  I would suggest not feeding the tank for a few days and seeing if it resolves itself on its own.  Very difficult I know for a lovely caretaker.  There is another method that can be done where you basically stick a pin in the swim bladder but since you are new at this I would not recommend that you do this.  If he doesn't get better in a few days you might consult a knowledgeable vet who knows how to do this.>   <I'm so sorry he's not well.  I wish I had more answers for you on this.  His particular body shape does make him more prone to this type of thing happening.  Keeping his tank as clean as you have been doing, helps more than anything. Please keep me updated and let me know how he is doing.  The only thing you might try is an antibiotic that's gentle on the chance that the swimbladder problem is an infection of some sort.  Should you try this,  you'll need to watch your tank closely to make sure it doesn't affect your good bacteria in your filter system.  Please keep me up-to-date Kim.  Mac> Thank you, Kim

Goldfish Parasite? <Hey Kendra, MacL here> I have a question about parasites on goldfish. I have a 29 gallon goldfish tank, and I just recently added a Pearlscale to it. A few days after the addition, I noticed that another one of the fish (A red Oranda) has what looks to be a parasite attached to its tail. The parasite is ~.5cm long, is white with black spots on it, and is surrounded by what looks like a ring of green. <I'm very much afraid you have been attacked by anchor worms. That sounds very similar to the worms I had to pull out of a friends pond and off the fish.  A picture would be extremely helpful.>  I have been treating the tank with Melafix for the last several days but have not seen any improvement. The afflicted fish seems otherwise fine, is still eating and has no noticeable problems. <That's very good. The problem is that the worms will multiply and attack the other fish.> I have read the information on parasites but nothing I read sounds remotely similar to what I'm seeing on the fish. What is this, and what can I do. <If it is anchor worms, they need to be manually pulled out with tweezers.  Then you'd continue treatment with the MelaFix or another antibiotic to prevent infection.  A picture really would help to make this more accurate.  Good luck.>

Dead Fish? My house pet goldfish, which I won from a carnival on Wednesday night has just sunk to the bottom of the tank & he is not moving around. I'm pretty sure he is dead but I just wanted to make sure. Thank You. <<Can you touch him? if so, he might move. If he doesn't, he is dead, if he moves, I recommend a full water change to see if he perks up. -Gwen>>

Bloody Sores Hi, I have 2 goldfish in a 30 gal. tank.  I know that is not big enough at all.  They are waiting for our pond to be built.  I'm looking to get a 125 gal. tank for them while they are waiting because this 30 gal. does not seem to be working for them.  One of my goldfish is 11 inches, the other is 9 inches.  My problem fish is the 11 inch (2 & 1/2 year old comet).  He has red sores that just showed up yesterday.  One is right behind his left fin (almost in his armpit/fin pit), the other is underneath between the two fins.   The spots are blood red and the one behind his left fin is red with a whitish gray in the center.  He sits on the bottom of the tank all day.   When I feed them twice a day he comes up and eats.  He also spits out of the top of the tank when I open the lid.  I started treating with Melafix yesterday after I did a 90% water change.  I do 90% water changes once a week.  I know I should probably do that more often.  I clean their filters every other day.  One is a 20 gallon whisper filter and the other is a 30 gallon penguin filter with BioWheel.  Any help you can give will be greatly appreciated.  I really love this fish.  I got him right after my dad passed away 2 years ago.  I want to do everything I can to get him healthy again.   Thanks for your help,  Jennifer <<Dear Jennifer; Your fish seem to have a bacterial infection. Are you vacuuming the gravel? You didn't mention it, so I had to ask. Doing so will help keep the toxins down. Also, you may want to do two water changes a week instead of one, the BEST way to know how often to do water changes is to buy yourself some test kits. Get the Master Test Kit from Aquarium Pharmaceuticals, the new version comes with ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate, and pH tests. Test them all on a regular basis. From the number of times you are cleaning your filters, you may be having some ammonia or nitrite problems. Go to your LFS and ask them for a decent antibiotic to fight septicemia. Remove the carbon from your filter when using this, or any meds. Please let me know how it goes. -Gwen>>

Goldfish illness Hello Again, Sorry to be asking this many questions in a row- <No problem.  We are here to help> I have read your site and searched for answers but this is one I cannot find here.. How can you tell if a telescope eye goldfish has Popeye affecting just one eye- or if it is just a deformity? No redness, no signs of stress or illness. <Usually there is a redness or other physical signs, but it still is very hard in telescopes and celestial goldfish.  Keep an eye on the fish and monitor it.> Would a fish with Popeye seem ill? <Sometimes yes, sometimes no.  Popeye typically is caused by water conditions not being as good as they can be.  sometimes it's caused by other bacterial infections.  But, just keep up with the water changes and monitor your fish.  I have seen goldfish with sever pop eye and they were swimming quite happy aside from the swollen eyes.  Other goldfish are sitting on the bottom. > The fish is acting just fine, and his eye was like this when I got him a week ago (he is still small), however it appears it has gotten a bit bigger (or I'm just noticing it more). <Sometimes your brain can tell you it's looking bigger.  My girlfriend was sure he one telescope had Popeye.. the fishes eye to me never got larger.  after a month of this she finally believed me.  But, not to say that the fish isn't sick.  You might want to consider adding a broad based medicine.  Mardel company offers some nice medicines.  Since Popeye is bacterial infection you can always treat with Maracyn.> Water is PH 7.6-7.8, ammonia .25-.5 (detoxed, values are from the tap), nitrites 0, nitrates 20ppm (tap). I had seen an entry about slightly uneven eyes in a moor, but this is very noticeable. Thanks again for all your info! <Just keep an eye on it.  Remember the fish you see in the stores are just the ones that look good enough to sell.  If you ever try to breed goldfish you will see how many of them are not up to breeding/selling standards.  I've seen telescopes born with only one larger eye.  And have seen some that have one eye facing up.. and another down.  So, perhaps your fish just has a slight genetic abnormality.  But, please keep a close watch on the fish.  Keep up with the water changes, and treat if the condition worsens.> -Jo <Good luck. -Magnus>

What am I doing wrong? Goldfish systems and losses Hello <Hello there.> I know that you can help me. <I will sure try!> I have been trying to start a freshwater tank for some time. I have been doing everything that the pet store has advised, but I can't get my goldfish to live longer than a week! <yikes.. that's not good.> I've let the water in the new tank run for at least a week before introducing the fish, <Try letting the tank run longer.  Set the tank up and let it run for at least two weeks.  During this time add a small amount of the flake food to the tank (with no fish in it), the flake food will break down and feed the bacteria needed to promote a healthy tank.> I've treated the water with a conditioner recommended to me, and the 10 gallon tank is properly aerated. <A 10 gallon tank is small for goldfish, you will only be able to keep one maybe two small ones in there.  They are very messy fish.  You will also need to have a filtration system on the tank not just something to aerate the water.  Small Hang on back filters like "Whisper" are very inexpensive and are needed on this tank.> The goldfish develop white spots and eventually their fins begin to rot. They get very weak and soon die. I've treated for Ich and fin rot, and I've brought a sick fish to the pet store for advice. Nothing is working and I am getting very frustrated. I have thrown out all of the rocks and plants and I would like to try again, but I am scared of losing another fish. please help! Tiffany <Well Tiffany, was this tank used for anything else in the past?  Perhaps it was exposed to chemicals or something, even cleaning solvents can remain in a tank that will kill fish.  You can always tear down the tank and rinse it out with very hot water and start fresh.  Set up the tank, gravel and decor inside it.  Fill with water, and turn the filters on.  Let it run for two weeks at least, during this time place in a few flakes.  Maybe once every three days.  break them up to fine powder, this increases the surface area and they break down faster.  I suggest you also invest in test kits for Ammonia, Nitrites, and Nitrates.  Test you water and when these are at zero parts per million then it will be safe to put in goldfish.  There are many good books on the topic of starting a freshwater tank, I suggest you going to your local library and getting some out.  Also look over the articles and forum on WetWebMedia.com, there you are sure to find some great info.   Best of luck to you and your future fish family! -Magnus>

Goldfish Woes Hi my favorite goldfish Gilbert has this strange thing wrong with his mouth. Its very swollen and it looks really red almost bloody. And when I look to the side you can see a big red vein in his mouth. He keeps hiding behind a statue in the tank. What's wrong with him. Please help me save him he is my favorite. <<Hello. This sounds like mouth rot, though goldfish don't normally get this. Are his fins normal? Any body sores? How big is his tank? Is he still eating? Are there other fish in there with him? How often do you do partial water changes? Do you test your water? If not, your local fish store should provide this service, take a jar of your tank water to them to be tested for ammonia (should be zero), nitrite (should be zero), and nitrates (should be low, around 20-40ppm).  Most fish illnesses are a direct result of these toxins being too high.. water changes performed more frequently are usually required. While you are at the fish store getting your water tested, ask them for a good medication for him. An antibiotic for mouth and fin rot should do the trick. Follow the instructions on the package. And always remove the carbon from your filter when treating with any medication. -Gwen>>
Goldfish Woes II
My goldfish is a LITTLE bit better. The guy at my fish store said that he has mouth rot. And to treat him and so I'm giving him two kinds of medicine. But he seems to be getting a little better. But he doesn't eat, he doesn't swim, he kinda just sits there. There are 2 other fish in a ten gallon. I haven't gotten my water tested but they told to bring the water in and they could do it. I looked at his mouth and its a round hole (where his mouth is) and he has a tiny hole the size of a push pin to breath through. I looked at the bottom and when he breaths it's a big hole. Thank you so much for replying tome. Julie <<Hello Julie, great to hear that you are treating them, and that you have access to a decent LFS. I hope your goldfish recuperates :) -Gwen>>

Goldie's turning whitie >Hello I wondered if you could help me. >>You must be psychic, I wonder, too. >I have 2 goldfish and mash has recently turned white over past week or so.  They are a pair of really old men I've had them for 5 years now, I guess it's to do with their age. >>Five years is less than half their lifespan.  However, fancy goldies are known to change color.  It's rather unpredictable when or how it will happen. >But I would like to know if there is anything I can do to help them, or is it just a age thing. >>Not so much an age thing as a genetics and time thing.  Not to worry, as long as the fish is still fat, happy, and healthy.  Marina >they  seem happy enough  I just worry he's sick.  thank you Hannah

Funky Fins? - 06/07/2004 Overnight my Oranda lost most of her tail fins.  I thought it was fin rot although the other Oranda was doing fine and still is as well as Koi all in a 165 gallon tank.   <It is quite possible for only one fish to be affected by an illness; if you get the sick fish out, that will reduce the chance of spreading.  Also, in an established system, fin rot usually only comes about with a decline in water quality - have you tested for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate?  What were your readings?> I took out the Oranda and put her in a hospital tank and started observation and then the ends of the injured fins became black and the dorsal fin has the orange color of her back going up the fin. <Sounds perfectly normal.  The black edging of the fins is likely the wounds beginning to heal, though it could be a simple change in color, as well.  The orange color extending into the fin is quite possibly just a natural color change.  If it is reddish, or if you see red lines/veins, it may be damage from poor water quality - again, test ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate - fix with water changes if ammonia or nitrite are above zero, or if nitrate is above 20ppm.> I thought it might be caused by flukes so I treated with Quick Cure-the formalin/Malachite green combination for 3 days and there is no improvement, <Whew, yikes!  No indication of flukes, here, that I see.  If you haven't already, I would recommend that you discontinue this medication - I don't see anything in what you've written so far that would indicate parasites at all.  Medicating when unnecessary, or for something that the fish doesn't have, can cause the fish further problems.> the black color is still on all the edges of her tail fin.   <Again, this is likely just the site of the wound left by the damage to the fin.  It can also indicate ammonia burns - pay close attention to ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate, this is crucial.  The fish cannot heal well if there is *any* ammonia or nitrite in the water.  Again, do water changes to remove any ammonia or nitrite.> I checked the water and the ammonia level is OK because I do water changes.   <By 'ok' I do hope you mean zero.> What do you think the black coloration is?   <As above, likely the site of injury, or ammonia burns.> I did search with Google first and found other web sites that a few other people have noticed the same problem with their goldfish <I did a few Google searches, as well, and all the descriptions I found, in particular one that was very detailed that the person believed to be some mysterious "black smudge" disease, all were concurrent with ammonia burns, or natural color changes.  I have seen nothing to convince me otherwise.> but there was no answer on the sites except change water which the people said they did and no improvement just as I have done.   <More important than just a single simple water change is that you monitor ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate, and *maintain* optimum water quality.  This is crucial.  Keep ammonia and nitrite at zero, nitrate less than 20ppm, and do so with water changes, not through chemical means.> Please help with any suggestions.   Thank you <I do hope this has been of some help.  If you have any further questions, or have anything else to add, please feel free to write back.  Also, do keep in mind, a picture is worth a thousand words - if you have a digital pic of your goldfish's condition, do please send it along in email.  Wishing you and your Oranda well,  -Sabrina>

Goldfish losing fins hi, I recently bought two fantail fish and both were in the same tank, I have one fantail who has really long fins, but when I woke up this morning half of his tail is gone like it had been ripped off. the fish didn't have any problems before... they actually get along great.. will he be fine? any info would be great.. < You need to determine if the tail has been ripped off by the other fish, caught and torn off by catching it on a rock or branch, or actually being eaten away by bacteria. I would isolate the fish and see if it gets worse. If it does get worse then you need to treat with Furanace to kill the bacteria because you have tail rot. If it gets no worse then you know either a fish tore it or it got caught on something. Check the water quality. I am betting that you have tail rot and that your nitrates are high. A water change and cleaning the filter will help too. -Chuck> thanks Fawn

Blistered Goldie <Hi there, Magnus here to help> I looked over a lot of your stuff, but didn't find anything specific to my question, <that's why we are here to help with emails.> I have a 10 year old goldfish, do not know what breed, it was a feeder I bought when I first got my aquarium, with in the last 6 months a large white blister with some red tinge developed on its head above its eyes, <blister, does it seem to be a bulge deep beneath the skin, or does it seem to be right on the outer layer of skin? Reason I'm asking you this is that other goldfish owner have written in with similar descriptions and the conditions ranged from Ich to tumors.> it popped a few months ago and a second one grew and became very large. There are some white spots around its head, but they do not resemble sugar, the fish does dart and seem lethargic at times, any suggestions would be greatly appreciated, if a picture is desired I can email one, and if it may be better to go into a pet shop I can easily to that too, Thank You <a rupture to the blister doesn't sound like Ich, I'm afraid that it might have a skin tumor. But, it's hard to say without actually seeing the fish. It might have a secondary fungus infection around the area which could explain the spots after it "popped". I suggest you look at some of the pictures and links at http://www.goldfishinfo.com/  they have some good photos and suggestions. I would at least be treating with a broad based anti-biotic to make sure the fish doesn't get sick from secondary infections around the head area. Many of the medicines from Mardel Company have worked very nicely on my goldfish.> Tessa Miller <Good luck, and hopefully that link will offer some help to you. -Magnus>

The Lowdown on Dropsy - 05/31/2004 Hi, my name is Julie.   <Hi, Julie, Sabrina here, today.> I need some advice please... feel blessed having owned my four goldfish (1fantail, 1 blue Lionhead, 2 x black mores) for nearly five years with no disease problems.   <Wonderful.> I went to town with my daughter to buy some new weed, <Uhm, I assume you mean plants - for the goldfish - yes?  Kudos for giving the goldies their greens.> and she struck up a friendship with a very cheeky speckled Lionhead in the store which I consequently purchased ($20).  First problem was all my fish developed Ich within a week of purchase which I treated successfully.   <Whew.  Please consider employing a quarantine tank for new arrivals!> It's now a couple of weeks later and I have just spent three days nursing 'chops' (the new fish) until his death this morning. <Oh, so sorry to hear that.> Having read a zillion web pages on goldfish diseases it was very apparent to me yesterday that 'chops' had Dropsy.   <I always feel like a broken record for this, but - dropsy is not an illness.  It is a symptom of illness, just like sneezing is.  You sneeze, maybe you're allergic to something, maybe you have the flu, whatever - but the sneezing is just a symptom of it.  Dropsy is similar.  There are a number of bacterial illnesses that afflict the liver or kidneys that cause dropsical conditions, but even simple constipation can make a fish bloat up.  Allergies can cause similar results, too.  Though, all boiled down, if its scales were sticking out, pinecone-fashion, it is likely that he had a bacterial infection.> I had noticed his scales sticking out about two weeks ago - it looked like he had Goosebumps, but he seemed quite ok up until a few days ago when he became very subdued, scales sticking out.  I isolated him, added appropriate salt and he did eat some green peas but as per general advice death was swift.   <Good job on isolating him.  I'm sorry he didn't make it, but at least don't beat yourself up about it; fish seldom survive once you see their scales sticking out like that.  If caught early, sometimes treating with antibiotics in food can help, but not always even then.> My problem being -  now I'm very anxious about my fish.  My blue Lionhead has been darting around the tank which is unusual for him, banging into things and one of my black mores has his face in the stones, tail up doing very little.   <Have you tested ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate?  Ammonia and nitrite should be zero - anything above that should be considered toxic.  After medicating for Ich, I'm sure your tank is going through a cycle, and you'll need to do water changes - perhaps even up to 50% every day - to keep ammonia and nitrite at zero.  I would hazard a guess that this is why your fish are stressing.> Is there anything preventative that I can do before symptoms appear?   <Some hefty water changes will not hurt, that's for sure.  Be sure to vacuum the gravel well, get any decaying material out of there, and monitor your water conditions closely.  Good husbandry is the best preventative of disease.> Is Dropsy contagious???   <Well, the bacteria that cause dropsical conditions can be, yes; if you removed the fish from the tank before he died (you said you isolated him, I assume you mean in a separate tank?), that would have significantly decreased the possibility of the illness spreading.> Is there a gestation period for Dropsy???   <The infections that cause this symptom can be very, very long and slow in development.  It could take a very long time to surface.  If the remaining fish are kept healthy and in healthy conditions (test water, as mentioned above), they should not contract it.> Many thanks for your help, Julie <Any time, Julie.  My fingers are crossed for your fishums.  -Sabrina>

Goldfish head rot Hi, The head of the goldfish having a small cut of roughly 10cm <2.54 cm =1 inch, 4 inch cut?> and is start to rot. What can I do to prevent it to get worst and cure it? < Service the filter and do a 30% water change. The parasitic bacteria thrive in water high in nitrogenous wastes. It also stress the fish and makes them more susceptible to diseases. Isolate the fish in a separate quarantine tank and treat with Kanamycin or Furanace until cured as per the directions on the package.-Chuck> Thank a lot! Best Wishes Chwee Leong 
Goldfish head rot - II
Hi, The head of the goldfish having a small cut of roughly 10cm and is start to rot. What can I do to prevent it to get worst and cure it? < Cuts and scrapes on fish should be treated in a separate isolation tank. Kanamycin and Furanace work well on general bacteria problems. Treat the water with a conditioner with wound control in it.-Chuck> Thank a lot! Best Wishes Chwee Leong 

Fish laying on the bottom all day Hi Wet Web Media crew, I have been and read your useful site in hope of some answers to my fish's mysterious illness. I have a beautiful orange fantail and his name is Quasar. He has been with us for a year, and is living with a red cap in a 26 litre tank (6.85 gallons) We have been doing exactly the same thing all this time - changing water every two weeks, feeding them frozen (then defrosted) brine shrimp in the morning and 2 floating pellets each for dinner. They have also have a plant, which they did not eat in there.  Quasar is resting on the bottom of the tank all day, and only comes up for food. His lower tail looks a bit split and stringy, which we suspected is fin rot, though there is no sign of an infection. This behaviour and the tail thing happened on Friday. The aquarium shop said it may be because he is laying on the bottom, and bacteria is able to attack his tail more readily. We have treated him with MelaFix (on Sunday), a tea tree derived 'natural' medicine that helps to cure fin rot, whether it is or not - I'm not convinced. The carbon has been removed whilst treatment is taking place.  Our water was tested on the weekend, and everything is fine. A water change has been made and that has tested fine too. The red cap seems unaffected by this, though hovers around his friend to give him support.  My fish seem to recognise food time, when I turn off the pump so their food doesn't go everywhere, and the spread is minimal. Quasar then comes up for food,( which I have minimized for him), and swims around hunting for more, then settles back down to rest, when the pump is turned back on (a sign feeding is over). This may be unrelated, but we have noticed his vision seems to have deteriorated over the last month as he seems to miss sea monkeys as they fall almost in front of him, and he seems to be guided by smell to eat them. Short sighted like his owners. He is quite young still, body length 5cm, and he used to be so efficient and sharp. We wonder if he has injured himself, as there is a small brown mole like mark that is seen on the top of his head through his translucent skin. So here are as many facts as possible. Aquarium workers may know some, but I am confused, and their answers are inconclusive. Could he be constipated. We have replaced the plant he doesn't eat with one he does yesterday (Sunday).  As you can tell, we love him very very much. Please shed some light on his mystery illness, and give us some hope for his fighting chance. He is strong and healthy when he does swim and the most lovable fish. < You fish sounds like it may have come down with an internal swim bladder infection. The swim bladder helps the fish keep its buoyancy. When it becomes infected the fish sometimes lose this ability and rest on the bottom as they try and swim around they seem to bump into every thing. They often injure themselves as they move around and get bruised up an torn fins. I would put him in a breeder net for now to minimize the physical damage and treat with Metronidazole for the internal infection. This medication may affect the good bacteria so check for ammonia. Do not feed during the treatment.-Chuck> Please answer soon. Vonda, from Melbourne. 

Goldfish losing scales and frantic swimming My 8" Shubunkin and 3" goldfish were in my garden pond for about a month where they absolutely thrived and grew. Worried about the summer heat I bought a 30 gallon aquarium with 2 Top Fin filters and added a bubble stone strip. While the Shubunkin was in the pond I noticed it was swimming slightly on its side occasionally and the goldfish kept rubbing the sides of the Shubunkin and following it around constantly. At that time I thought it was a mating procedure, but now I'm not so sure. Since the transfer (2 weeks ago) the Shubunkin has gotten worse. It is loosing scales, swimming more on its side, and swims around the tank frantically as if it is trying to get out. My 3" goldfish continues to rub the sides of the Shubunkin and follow it around constantly. My first thought was the goldfish was rubbing the scales off the Shubunkin, but the scale loss is mostly on the top at the sides. Is there something I am doing wrong? Do you think my Shubunkin is ill? If so, what can I do to save her? I'm REALLY worried that I'm going to loose her. I did a 1/2 water change today and still can not seem to keep my water clear. I have cleaned, sterilized sand in the bottom instead of gravel because I was told that it was easier to keep a tank clean with sand. Should I switch to gravel or is the sand okay? Please, please, help! < Goldfish are messy feeders. The excess food and fish waste generates ammonia. Ammonia creates grey cloudy water that stinks. It is very toxic to fish. If it does not kill them outright then it stresses them to a point that they come down with all kinds of weird bacteria problems like what you are encountering now. By sterilizing the sand you have killed off all the good bacteria needed to convert the deadly ammonia to less toxic nitrite and then to even less toxic nitrate. First clean the filter. Do not feed the fish. Get an ammonia test kit and get the ammonia under control by water changes or by chemicals that will absorb it. Remove any carbon and treat the tank with Kanamycin. When the fish is cured you can start feeding again but check the water for ammonia and treat accordingly until the tank gets its nitrifying bacteria going.-Chuck> Donna 
Goldfish losing scales and frantic swimming - II
Thank you so much, Chuck! I do so much appreciate your help!  What kind of test kit should I buy? < If your local fish store does water testing then I would ask them for a recommendation because they are familiar with the test kits they use and can answer your questions as far as interpreting the results.> How often should I test the water and what are acceptable levels? < Zero ammonia and zero nitrites. The nitrates should be no higher than 25 ppm. If ammonia/nitrate/nitrite levels are too high will a water change be sufficient or should I add something to the tank to lower them? < Ammonia and nitrites should be controlled with good nitrifying bacteria. The bacteria live in the sand, on a BioWheel or on a wet dry filter tray. Check the levels first and try the water changes and see what happens. If the levels are still too high then we need to look at other things. I try not to add chemicals if possible. This creates a wide variation in water chemistry that fish don't like.> How often do I treat the tank with Kanamycin? <This is a powerful antibiotic and should not be overused. WE need to build up the fishes resistance to disease first with clean water. The bad bacteria use the nitrogen to help them feed on your fish. Follow the directions on the bottle. If the fish are still sick after two treatments then we are on the wrong track and need to make adjustments.  I do not feed the fish the whole time they are being treated? < The treatments should only last a few days. Fish can easily go for a week without eating.> Should I remove the fish that are not ill before treatment? < I would remove the sick fish to an isolation tank and then clean up the main tank.> If I introduce the Kanamycin to the tank will it kill off good bacteria as well as bad? < Some medications affect the good bacteria in different ways. I am afraid that this one will definitely kill off some if not all the good bacteria.> If so, should I add something to the tank to replace the natural flora back to the tank?. < Before treatment I would remove some of the sand and keep it wet. After the treatment is over you could put the old sand back in with the good bacteria in it to reintroduce it to the tank.> So many questions, I know.  But I have so much to learn. This is my first aquarium and I do, so much, want healthy happy fish. < I would recommend that you get a general aquarium book for some future reference. The ones from Barron's are usually pretty good and not expensive. Once you have gone through it then you will have a better understanding of how an aquarium really functions and you will have fewer problems. -Chuck>  < Goldfish are messy feeders. The excess food and fish waste generates ammonia. Ammonia creates grey cloudy water that stinks. It is very toxic to fish. If it does not kill them outright then it stresses them to a point that they come down with all kinds of weird bacteria problems like what you are encountering now. By sterilizing the sand you have killed off all the good bacteria needed to convert the deadly ammonia to less toxic nitrite and then to even less toxic nitrate. First clean the filter. Do not feed the fish. Get an ammonia test kit and get the ammonia under control by water changes or by chemicals that will absorb it. Remove any carbon and treat the tank with Kanamycin. When the fish is cured you can start feeding again but check the water for ammonia and treat accordingly until the tank gets its nitrifying bacteria going.-Chuck> 

Swollen Shubunkin Hi I have a goldfish and a Shubunkin in a 10 gallon tank with an under gravel filter. They are about 9 years old, and until now have never had any problems. They are fed on flake food, aquarium weeds and thawed bloodworms/brine shrimps/etc. During the last few weeks the Shubunkin has become bloated, slightly more on the right side than the left. At first I convinced myself it was the colour (it is partly black on one side) that made it look lopsided. I have occasionally thought that in the past, but suddenly, about 10 days ago, it got very much worse. It is still feeding normally, swimming normally despite its shape, and is its usual cheerful self. No scales are sticking up, there is no redness, its fins are fine and the goldfish is not hounding it. I wondered if it could be: a. egg bound (I don't know if it is a female) b. constipation, although I wouldn't be so cheerful if I were that constipated! c. parasites, but there's nothing visible externally, and I did a general parasite treatment when I first suspected a problem d. dropsy, although no scales are raised, e. a tumour (but would it be behaving normally with a tumour that big?) or f. something completely different. Can you suggest anything? I'd like to anything I reasonably can for it! Eliza. <<Dear Eliza; Please read any FAQ's you can find here that deal with goldfish. I will repeat what I tell everyone who has goldfish in too small a tank: test your water for ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates. Ammonia should be zero, nitrites should be zero, nitrates should be low, say between 20-40ppm. Higher means doing water changes until it reaches that reading. Vacuum and do twice-weekly partial water changes. Please let me know your water test results. Two goldfish in a 10g for nine years means these fish are stunted, unless you have been doing daily 50% water changes... Goldfish require at LEAST 10g per fish in order to grow to their full adult size: 12 inches long for Shubunkins, and baseball-sized for fancies. They may not survive much longer unless you move them into a larger tank and improve the water quality. -Gwen>> 
Swollen Shubunkin II 
Hi Gwen Sorry - I got the tank size wrong. It's 24x12x15, so it's still too small but not that bad! I think that makes it somewhere between 15 and 18 gallons, allowing for gravel and filter which take up about 2.5 inches.  There's not much in it apart from some plastic plants, fresh weeds which they eat, and 2 smallish, bottomless pots which they seem to like sleeping in.  Having read your other advice sections, I have given them each the middles of a couple of small peas (thawed and squashed) and some Epsom salts. There is some Aqualibrium in the tank, about 1g per litre. Bearing this in mind, how much Epsom salt can I use? I have erred on the side of caution, I hope, with 1.5 tablespoons so far. I found some pea-coloured poos; I think they came from the goldfish but there was a bit of something stringy from the Shubunkin as well, so something's moving!  I have tested occasionally for nitrites, and never had a problem. The testing kit is ancient now, so I don't trust it any more. I assumed that if nitrites were OK, and the fish were OK, and the tank was clean, things couldn't be too far out - they're hardly exotic, after all! I also use Safe Guard and Safe Water.  What suitable (i.e. hardy, attractive and not too big) cold water fish would you recommend for a tank of this size?  If I were to go up to a 30x12x16 tank (there's no space for anything bigger), I think the pump would cope, but what about the filter? Does it have to be the same size as the tank floor, or could I get away with using the same one - 6 inches short? Eliza <<Dear Eliza, the first thing I need to mention is that nitrites should always be zero, as I already mentioned. Because they are being converted to nitrates. You really need to test for NITRATES in your tank water in order to know the level of fish waste. You should prolly buy a new test kit, and start using it to ascertain how often to do water changes. Keep the nitrate level at 20-40ppm...higher means water changes! Your tank sounds like it could easily house some white clouds, platies, maybe some nice tetras if you add a heater. Move your goldfish into a 33g or 40g, they will be happy there for a while. Water testing will let you know when they are too big for a tank. Also, be careful with the undergravel filter. They do require being maintained properly. That means tearing the damn tank down and cleaning beneath the filter plates every 3-6 months. A pain to do, perhaps your budget will allow you to purchase an HOB filter such as an AquaClear, Penguin or Whisper. Easier to maintain by a long shot, with the added bonus that you can change out carbon and cartridges in seconds. You should look into that. IF you decide to remove your undergravel filter, or clean it, PLEASE re-email me regarding precautions to follow so your fish survive the ordeal. UG filters can harbor some nasty stuff. Removing the fish while you clean the tank may be in order. I can explain the why's and how's if you need me to.. -Gwen>> 

Sick Goldfish I have had Lloyd the comet goldfish for almost 8 months now. He has always been healthy, and I have never had any problems out of him. But just three days ago, I discovered that a lump has formed on his side. In fact, it projects about 1/2 cm from his body. It is right behind his left gill. The lump is the same color as his body, and he doesn't seem to experience any pain from it. He is in a ten gallon aquarium with three other comets, one angelfish, one Betta, and two snails. They all get along well and I have never ran into any problems until now. Just yesterday, the lump began to put a white, pasty discharge into the water>Will you please email me back information about what you may speculate is wrong with Lloyd. I am very worried about him, and I would deeply appreciate any information about his condition. He is my favorite fish, because he offers the most personality to the aquarium. I would hate to loose him Stefanie R. Baker Why aren't the other fish getting lumps, and should I treat them? What can cure this? <<Dear Stephanie, just like us, sometimes I can catch a cold, but you won't...it's about each fishes' resistance level to disease, and that is directly related to stress. The weakest fish get sick first. And, first thing is that a ten gallon tank is too small for all of these fish species. The goldfish should have a lot more space (if you test your water for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate, you will see how quickly the water becomes polluted) The angelfish should have a HEATER and a larger tank, their fins become stunted when kept in too-small tanks. The only fish you own that can live in that 10g for any amount of time is the Betta. This lump is probably just the beginning of any number of diseases that will affect your fish if you continue to keep them in this tiny tank. At any rate, weekly water changes are required, along with some dosing with Melafix to help control whichever bacteria being released into the tank from the goldfish's pasty discharge. Please test your water for the above things! Let me know what your test results are. -Gwen>>

Sick Goldfish I wrote to you a few months ago about a sick fantail(?) goldfish who had been upside down for months. Unfortunately, he died a few days later. His tankmate (Blacklip) seemed ok, so after his death, I disinfected the whole tank and filters and basically started over. The biofilter finally straightened out after about a month or so. During the cycling process, I changed the water for Blacklip twice a day to keep the water quality halfway decent. She never seemed stressed out during this time. Shortly after the water was ok, she developed these strange bumps on her pectoral and pelvic fins. They are sort of pinkish in color and look almost like warts. She also has some flat white spots on her dorsal and caudal fins. She has had them for months now (since February), but they don't seem to bother her. She is eating fine, but she does occasionally dart around the tank and swim sideways close to the bottom--scratching??  She lives in a 20 gallon long tank with a canister filter that pumps 180 gallons/hour and an airstone. I had not really had any water quality problems for years and siphon the gravel and change the water at least once per month, checking water quality (ammonia, nitrites, and pH) weekly between water changes just to make sure everything's ok. I also rinse the filters weekly. The water quality is fine right now--no ammonia, nitrites, pH 7.3 or so. Normally, she eats flake food, some floating and sinking pellets, peas and occasionally some spinach (spinach usually 3X/week). She has been eating several thawed peas (pulled out of their skins) each night in addition to flake and pellets for a couple years now. <<HELLO. WHAT DO YOUR NITRATES MEASURE? The spots on her fins sound like Lymphocystis, a viral disease caused by stress. Most likely due to bad water quality.>>  When the spots first appeared, I tried adding salt to the water (in February), about 1 tablespoon/ gallon. After about a month and no change, I slowly eliminated the salt by many water changes. Around the end of February, she started to develop a red spot on her back at the base of her dorsal fin and also more wart-like bumps on her dorsal fin. I treated with Kanacyn and that cleared up the red spot, but the wart-like bumps stayed the same. A few weeks later, the red spots returned, so I treated with Maracyn-two, Maroxy, and CopperSafe by Mardel. Again, the red spots disappeared, the wart-like bumps did seem to get a little smaller this time. I kept the CopperSafe in the water a few weeks longer, until the wart-like bumps came back just as before. Then I figured it wasn't doing much, so with water changes, it, too was removed. A few days later, again, the red spots returned. I have noticed that the spots and bumps seem to come and go. At first, I thought they disappeared with many water changes, but I'm not so sure. Even without water changes, they seem to come and go. The wart-like bumps never disappear entirely, but they do seem to get smaller when the red spots disappear. The red spots completely disappear for a few days and then they come back for several more days than they were gone. Over the last few weeks, she has developed more of the red spots--on the side of her face and some just under her operculum. These spots come and go as well. I wonder if this could mean some type of parasites??? If they go through a cyst stage the spots are evident and when they "hatch' the spots go away for a few days or so until the cycle starts over. She never seems stressed at all or breathes fast (her gills look fine as far as I can tell). I borrowed a digital camera and got some pictures of her wart-like bumps (on her anal fins) and some of the red spots--on her face and dorsal fin. The pictures aren't great, but I'm hoping they will help with a diagnosis. I really don't know what to try next--salt and copper seemed to have no effect. I have also looked at some of the "junk" siphoned out of her gravel and saw what could be some kind of fluke (looks like a worm with attachment hooks at one end and a big mouth at the other end. There are also tons of little round creatures darting all around--fluke larval stages???), but I'm no expert--just comparing to pictures in an aquarium book I have. Plus, I looked at the "junk" in my African frog tank and those same worm-like creatures are there, too. Maybe they are just insect larvae. According to some of my books, the bumps could also be Epistylis. I should also mention, occasionally, she seems to have trouble keeping her tail down--it will float up and she will flip over for a second and then dart around the tank--possible internal infection associated with parasites or just gulping too much air ?? She does also occasionally swim around the top of the tank and gulps air. When she does this, she looks like she is just playing, not gasping for air or stressed.  I haven't treated her with anything for about six weeks or so. I'm thinking of trying either Rid-Ich by Kordon or Parasite Clear by Jungle Labs or maybe Clout by Aquarium Products. There are so many medicines out there. I would appreciate any suggestions--I hate to just keep trying different medicines, not really knowing what the problem is. <<Your problem is bad water quality. Please test your NITRATES>> Lastly, how would she have gotten parasites or whatever ? I had her and the other goldfish in the same aquarium for three years with no problems until last September when her mate got sick. Has she always had them and all of a sudden they decided to attack? Thanks for reading this rather lengthy note and I appreciate any suggestions you might have. I really enjoy your website--it's very informative.  Georgi <<Georgi; PLEASE TEST FOR NITRATES. Ammonia and nitrite should be zero in any established tank, because they are turned into NITRATES. Please test your nitrate level. Please do MANY more frequent partial water changes, and vacuum the tank WEEKLY. Nitrates should be kept around 20ppm. Higher means doing many water changes to lower it. Your goldfish needs weekly water changes or she may not recover from the next round of whatever disease hits her. Please stop adding medications and do some water changes. I hope your fish recovers. -Gwen>> 

Goldfish laying eggs Greetings. Have spent hours trying to learn about goldfish laying eggs...couldn't find what I wanted...so am writing. Thank you in advance. We have 4 goldfish in a 25 gallon tank. Water is great, they are healthy. The bubble-cheeked fish has been hanging upside down in a plastic plant for days. I do not believe she has eaten...barely moves at all. Is she laying eggs? What the heck should we do? Will the bigger, more aggressive Molly bother her/them? Please respond if you can...I'll try the library in the meantime. Thanks again! < Unfortunately I don't think your goldfish is laying eggs. When fish are stressed from things like poor water quality, old food or too high a temp, then their resistance to disease starts to break down. Some of these break downs occur externally, but many of the break downs occur internally. I am afraid your goldfish has a case of bloat/dropsy. It has an internal pocket of gas that won't let it swim normally and so you find it swimming oddly and caught in the floating plants. I would recommend treating the fish with Metronidazole with a 30% water change every other day until the fish begins to eat again. If you medicate the main tank then you will need to watch for ammonia spikes because the good bacteria that break down the fish waste may be affected.-Chuck> Cindy

Another Sick Goldfish!   Dear Bob Fenner, Hello. I have a question concerning my goldfish. I have a Bubble-eye goldfish and recently (maybe about 1 or 2 days now) he has had very veiny bubbles. Also, his scales by his back fin and his back fin have blood on them.  I was wondering if you knew anyway I can help it. Thank you for your time. <Sounds like a bacteria infection. Isolate your fish in a separate tank and treat with Furanace as per the directions on the package. Watch the water changes in the future. Tanks that are high in nitrogenous wastes tend to lead to weak fish an bacteria infections. Don't treat in the main tank or the medicine can kill the "good" bacteria that help break down the waste products.-Chuck> 

Black Moor with Cloudy Eye I have a black moor goldfish and one of her eyes appears to be deflated, no abnormal behaviors have been observed. The entire eye is cloudy. Is there anything that we can do to help heal the eye. Thanks, Colleen <<Dear Colleen, yes, test your tank to make sure your water quality is excellent: no ammonia, no nitrite, low nitrates (20ppm) and add a teaspoon of salt per three gallons of water, gradually. Dissolve the salt before you add it to the tank. The cloudiness might go away on its own after a few days, if it was caused by rough handling or some other external injury. If it doesn't begin to show signs of clearing up after three or four days, you may need to treat her with a stronger medication. Check your LFS to see what they have in stock for bacterial eye infections. Don't forget to test your water! -Gwen>> 

Goldfish weird behavior I have a goldfish that's about a year old now and for the last month and a half has been floating at the bottom of the tank on its right side. It does occasionally swim around to one side or the other, and it will eat as long as I drop down some sinking food. But, whenever I try to push it back upright, it just sinks back down to laying on its side. I think its also affecting the other fish because they no longer swim around...they just kind of float there. I've separated the fish and put it in a 'hospital' tank and gave it meds for both a bacterial and fungal infection (not at the same time) and neither did anything to improve the condition. The best way to describe it is its as if the fish had a stroke. and its one side is just not working. its breathing normally but none of the fins on the right side seem to move (then again.. could be cause its laying on em). Any ideas? < Service the filter and change 30% of the water. That should get something moving . If not. Check the ammonia (0ppm), nitrite(0ppm) and nitrate(<25ppm) levels. If all of these check out then watch the amount of food you are giving your fish. Give them only enough that they will eat it all in a couple of minutes. Vacuum the excess out. If they are not eating then they have an internal problem and need to be treated. Use Metronidazole at 250 mg per 10 gallons of water with a 30% water change every other day until they are eating. If the tank is sick then the medications will not help or be effective on the fish.-Chuck> Thanks!! Christie 

Sick black moor Hi, I purchased a black moor (my first fish) just under two weeks ago. I noticed white spot about three days ago so I've put some Interpret Anti-White Spot plus in the tank (32 liter bowl) but it doesn't seem to have done any good so far. < Ich can only be killed when it is in the free swimming stage away from the host. It takes three or four days depending on the temp.> Also, this morning I have noticed his eyes seem to have some sort of fungus around them, white and fluffy. he looks really sorry for himself and spends a lot of time 'resting' near the bottom of the tank. He also does a lot of floating around at weird angles, what can I do ? Thanks for your help. < Follow the directions on the bottle and do a 30% water change every other day. Use a water conditioner with a slime additive too. Make sure there is no carbon in the filter because it will remove the medication. The slime you see may be a natural response from the fish to build up a slime coat. Watch for ammonia spikes because the medication may affect the good bacteria.-Chuck> Pauline 

2 very sick Orandas Hi, I'm hoping you could help me out with this problem I'm having with my Orandas I had 3 Orandas in my 20 gal tank I know stretching the rule my water param.s are ammonia 0,nitrite 0,ph 7.2 one of my blue Orandas passed away the other day it came on all of a sudden in the morning he was stuck in the plant and his fins and tail were frayed so I read the charts on my Mardel products and figured out it was dropsy? so I picked up some Maracyn two and treated him in the hospital tank he lasted only an hour, so I checked on the other blue Oranda and my black Oranda he was very swollen and pine Coney looking so I treated with the Maracyn and 1/8 teas. of Epsom's salt per 5 gal. also have been feeding them tetra "anti-bacteria" medicated food they eat it fine but, so Monday is there last treatment and there still the same way sluggish, some activity but I read on my Mardel instructions use with copper safe, should I have used that do I need to treat another 5 days with the Maracyn 2 & copper safe? I also was thinking of a salt dip but there stressed already and my water is very cloudy but I didn't want to do a partial water change because of the meds. please help. thanks ~Shauna~ < In treating this disease you need to realize that it is brought on by stress. Either the wrong food ,dirty water, temp too high, etc... I would recommend that you service the filter and do a 30% water change for starters. Treat with 250 mg of Metronidazole per 10 gallons of water. Remove any carbon in the filter. Add the salt just like you have been doing. Repeat the water changes and the medication every other day. Treat with an Ich cure too. It seems to make the cure faster. The antibacterial food is fine if they are eating. See if the antibacterial food has the Metronidazole in it. They make two different kinds but only one has the Met. in it. These medications may have an affect on the good bacteria in the tank so watch for ammonia spikes. This disease seems to affect algae eating cichlids too and is called bloat.-Chuck> 
Re: 2 very sick Orandas 2
thank you for the reply but my black Oranda is deteriorating now scales coming off ragged fins I keep adding the salt and took my carbon out of the filter and used TriSulfa for now because the guy at the fish store suspected they may be suffocating by to much aqua plus so I did a 3 rd of a water change and doing the meds but I think today is my fishies last day from how the patterns are going < I suspect that the medications have killed off all the good bacteria in your tank and the ammonia is building up and now burning your fishes gills and flesh. Get some Kent ammonia de-tox now. Stop medicating! Continue with the water changes at about 30% per day. Sounds like your tank may be crashing.( the pH has dropped dramatically.) Wait and see what happens.-Chuck> 

Goldfish changing color? I had 2 gold fish in a 30 gallon tank, they seemed to have been doing well, eating well, usually just flake and pellet food, then NEMO (daughters choice) started getting black spots all over usually small to medium spots, I thought maybe he was just changing color, but then it seems his gill area was turning a little red in color.. it just looked as if he was deteriorating. he has since passed on. does this sound like anything familiar to you? I have been trying to do my best with these fish but apparently I didn't < It sounds like ammonia burn. If the water builds up too much waste from overfeeding or a lack of water changes then the elevated waste levels become breeding grounds for disease. Check on the ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels. If there are any readings of ammonia or nitrite then it stress the fish and they get sick. The nitrates should be less than 25 ppm.  Keep us in mine next time and we will get you through it. -Chuck>

Sick fantail Dear WWM crew, My fantail is sick. He was lying on the bottom, not moving very much and not going after food as usual. I think it could be swim bladder disease, but I'm not sure. Constipation? Now he is just floating around. I think it may be too late. I gave him floating flakes and more recently some bloodworms, which also floated.  Hence the swim bladder disease conclusion. Any advice/medication or is it too late? I isolated him in a shallow tank. All water chemistry is good.  Thanks for your help < Wow, It seems like we have gotten a lot of questions on this problem lately. Two common problems occur when the water quality declines and fish get either overfed or fed the wrong foods. If your fish is floating it usually means that a bacterial infection that has infected the gut. As the bacteria increase they produce gas and this causes the fish to bloat and float to the surface. The other problem is when the disease attracts the swim bladder and the fish cannot get up off the bottom of the tank because it is no longer buoyant. It is probably too late but you can try Metronidazole according to the directions on the package. A 30% water change every other day and a teaspoon of rock salt per 5 gallons of water might help too.-Chuck> Scott 

Goldfish Illness - Need Help Hi, I have a goldfish, his name is 'The Rock' who for the last 4 or five days hasn't been swimming around at all. He just lays on he's left side most of the time motionless except for breathing. I removed him from the tank and kept him on his own for the past 3 days, I cleaned the water each day and I also added some Epsom salts to the water as I'd read on some of the other advice given on your FAQs page. The Epsom salts seemed to stimulate him a little, for the first while and he seemed to have much more movement with his front fins, however still his top fin and two underneath rear fins don't appear to be fanned out as much as healthy fish. When I say much more movement, it is in spurts, It's like he tries like crazy to swim, makes a very small distance and then is to tired to keep going and sinks to the bottom again on his side. My goldfish is spending all it's time at the bottom by the way. I didn't feed it for 2 days, then just gave a very small amount of peas and broccoli, he also doesn't seem that interested in eating.  To help I have attached some photographs I'm hoping you may be able to suggest what I can do to help him get better. < Sounds like his swim bladder has become infected and lost all of his buoyancy. Without it he becomes too tired to swim and stays on the bottom, too tired to move. Usually fish stressed by a history of poor water quality develop these weird internal conditions. I don't think you fish can be saved. Some things you can try, cool clean water can't hurt. The salt will help too. In an isolation tank you could try a shotgun technique with a broad spectrum antibiotic like Kanamycin. The medicine will probably cost more than the fish is worth though. Good luck.-Chuck> Fred Leduc 

Another Sick Goldie Hello - I was hoping you could help as one of my goldfish seems to have taken ill. I noticed him swimming a bit strangely a couple of weeks ago - he seemed to be making jerky movements instead of swimming smoothly - and thought it might be a swim bladder problem so changed his food to a solid, sinkable type instead of a floating one. Also I fed him some defrosted shelled peas. There are 2 goldfish in the tank and the other one seems fine. Both are less than a year old. Anyway he seems to have got worse as now he is spending most of the time laying down in an ornamental cave that's in the tank, and when he does come out (quite seldom) he is still doing the jerky swimming thing. He doesn't even come out when I put food in the tank, although I have seen him eating a little bit today. I've noticed his tail seems bent in a funny way where it connects to his body (sorry - don't know any technical terms) and was wondering whether that might be something to do with it? It could be a bit swollen compared to normal but I cant really tell. I cant see any abnormal colouring anywhere on him or any other signs of damage.  What do you think the problem could be and what should I do about it?  Any advice would be very gratefully received.  Katy Donnelly  < I think you are correct in your assessment of your fishes problem. Usually a history of poor water quality is at least partially responsible for these weird internal problems. These are very difficult to successfully treat. Try cool, clean water with some rock salt and a shotgun treatment of Kanamycin. I think you fish will not get any better but may stabilize after treatment.-Chuck>

Fantail's not so Fantastic I have been searching the web to find out what may be wrong with my fantail and have not identified it. The fish has a small white protrusion on its side. There is no redness on the fish and the one bump is just white. Seems to be eating and swimming fine. The other goldfish all appear to be ok. No new fish, plants, etc recently. No change in diet. I have put the fish in a hospital tank (4 gallons). Any suggestions or ideas? Thanks for any info you can give me. I've had this fish about 4 years. Peg <Could be a scratch that has become infected and already healed over. Watch for fungus and treat if needed. If there are no other problems then I would put it back in a couple of weeks.-Chuck>

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

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

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