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FAQs About Goldfish Disease/Health 1

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.)

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Bubble eyed goldfish deflate I am new to this whole fish tank stuff. I got a set for x-mas and I got a bubble eyed gold fish. I know nothing about them but noticed one of its eye is deflated! is that normal? <It's not normal per se.  It either happens if the fish has bumped into something and punctured it, or it had poor genetic and the one bubble is smaller than the other one.> or is something wrong with it. <If it looks as though the bubble is torn then you will have to be careful to not let it get infections or have other fish pick at the tear.  I'm not a big fan of the bubble eyes for just that reason.  They need special caution and handling as to not damage their "bubbles". If the bubble is just smaller with no visible damage then it's most likely genetic.  Either it will grow to match the other one in time or it will always have a smaller water sac under one eye.>    I have 5 different fish in the tank with it, do you think he got attacked? <when you say "Different Fish" do you mean different variety of goldfish or different species of fish? Goldfish really shouldn't be mixed with to many different species of fish.  They are quite messy/dirty and need colder water to thrive. It's best when asking for help to give all the info you have, for instance the different fish in the tank so I can gain a better understanding of what the situation is.  If it is other goldfish then they don't normally attack other goldfish, they may pick at other goldfish during breeding season or when the tank provided is to small, and they are competing for food.  I suggest you learn all that you can on these fish, they aren't as simple as many people make them out to be.  WetWebMedia has a good bit of info on the care of goldfish.  Try to read up there and you will hopefully find all the answers without needing to wait for emails. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/goldfish.htm  > please e-mail me back. I am so scared to have him die. Jordan <Hope that helps, and hope the fish does okay. -Magnus>
Re: bubble eyed goldfish deflate
when I got the fish his eye was not deflated and the next day it was. something happened when I was not around him. also I have 2 other species <<varieties>> of gold fish and the rest are just different kinds of fish. <You really need to be more specific when you say "different kinds of fish".  They could be aggressive fish.  And bubbles can't be with anything that is even remotely aggressive!  Their bubble is a very thin layer of skin and even slight pestering can damage them.  Do you have an idea what the other tank mates are? Deflating in one day is probably a sign that someone is bothering the goldfish. Or another thing it could be cause by the fish being severely stressed, was your tank cycled when you placed the goldfish in there?  If any of the levels are really high then it might be effecting the fish.  Also goldfish are pretty messy and require a fairly large tank.  Hope your tank isn't too small to handle all the fish.> I just went to check on him and his other eye is deflating too!! is this really bad? <I suggest you set up a Quarantine tank to move this fish out of the tank and separate it from the other fish.  I'm starting to think that something in the tank is bothering this bubble eye.  Both bubbles shouldn't start deflating all of a sudden.  I would suggest setting up a tank to handle him immediately.  Once he is separated you can add a few medicines to the tank that should help prevent him from getting any infections in his bubbles.  Also, you might want to look at goldfish sites to see if they have any instances of this happening.  I suggest: http://www.goldfishconnection.com/ as a good place to start. -Magnus> Jordan
Re: bubble eyed goldfish deflate
I have him in with a black moor, a marble goldfish, a fish that sucks the glass, a fast little yellow one with black on his fins, and a fast little blue one with black on his fins. <not sure what type of this they would be.  They sound either like livebearers like platies or a bit like African Cichlids... if it is cichlids then they are the ones bothering your bubble eye.  My rule of thumb is that you should only other fish you should have with goldfish are Plecos and/or Cori Catfish. Other fish are either to aggressive or need heated water... which goldfish need to be kept in colder water (more oxygenated), a tank with no heater.   I have a 10 gallon tank. I have nothing to put bubbles in for a "hospital" tank.  I have a little bucket. will this work? My mom and me were going to put him in it, but she said that is awful to put him in it, because it is so little.  <Your mom is right. A bucket will only separate them, which doesn't take in to account that there will be toxin build up from the fishes waste.  And such a small area for him will not be good for him.  It's unfair to put the poor thing in a bucket. You really should probably think about setting up another tank to separate these fish, if not then perhaps the local pet shop will give you store credit for some of the other fish.  I suggest that the next time you and your mom are at the fish store look at some of the goldfish books.  You will really learn a great deal and know how to keep you new pets happy and healthy.> What kind of medicines can I put in the tank for him? thank you. Look at medicines from the Mardel company.  Like Maracide, Maracyn and two-two.  Also you should look at the goldfish medicine called "MelaFix" it works pretty good... is a bit smelly but works great on my goldfish.  Make sure to read the packages and treat the tank exactly as it says on the package. -Magnus>

Sick Goldfish with Odd Behavior I hope I am addressing my question to the correct place. <We hope so, too. ;)  Marina today.> I think my goldfish has some sort of disease, but the symptoms don't exactly match anything that I've found in my many hours of searching the web.  Ok,  the fish is young--about 1 year old.  It was a fairly pale orange and seemingly healthy and active.   Then I noticed that only his head was turning a milky white color.  The white color is becoming whiter by the day.  It spends most of it's time down on the bottom corner of the tank pushing itself between the side and the air tube like it's trying to swim right through the glass.   <This is very odd...> It has done this so much, it is wearing the scales off of that side that it is rubbing.  Its respiration is also faster than the other two goldfish that are in the tank with it.  The other two fish are perfectly healthy, active, and hungry.  The sick fish is not eating and it kinda looks like it cannot open its mouth.  About 1 week ago,  I tried separating the sick fish and treating it with salt.  This did not help---I put it back in the main tank. The sick fish is beginning to look emaciated in the head area.   The rest of it's body and fins look fine. <Decidedly strange.> Do you have any ideas?    Thank you very much for any help you may be able to give me.     Jody Louis <This is SO odd that I'm putting my money on a parasitic infection.  I would suggest putting it in a separate system and treating with Hexamit, see if that garners any results.  This sounds like NOTHING I have ever encountered, though, so I am sort of shooting in the dark.  I think we can easily rule out the more common diseases; Ich, Furunculosis/ulcers, or the usual internal parasites that tend to lodge in the gut.  This is why I'm suggesting the Hexamit first.  If anyone else on the crew has any ideas and reads this, PLEASE chime in!  Sorry to hear of this, Jody, and let's hope this treatment works.  Marina>

Floating Goldfish My son's goldfish seems sick.  We have been out of town for 1 month, during this time we used an automatic feeder and had someone check on the fish twice a week.  When we returned 3 days ago, I noticed that the goldfish was staying near the top of the tank.  Yesterday I noticed a few scales were missing on his upper back, today he has developed a line of dots  from his gills to his tail on both sides.  We have a 20 gallon tank, Whisper Power Filter for 20-60 gallon tank, besides the goldfish we have a sucker fish.  The goldfish is about 3 inches long, we have had him about a year.  He always seems hungry and I normally feed him once a day.  I checked the water yesterday, ph was 7, ammonia was 0.  I did a partial water change and added some aquarium salt. When I put the Spirulina disc in last night for the sucker fish, the goldfish went to the bottom after it, this is normal behavior for him.  I feed the goldfish Wardley Total Goldfish Gourmet Flake Blend.  After I put the Spirulina disc in I fed the goldfish, he ate some food, but shortly after went back to the top of the tank.  He is so close to the top, his top fin and back actually stay out of the water.  I am not sure what is wrong, searched your site and still not sure what to do.  I don't know what type of goldfish he is, he is white with an orange stripe on his back and he is the type that looks like he has a bubble on the top of his head.  I don't know whether to quarantine him, or what type of medicine to use.  I don't want to risk having the sucker fish get sick.  Additional information, when I took the automatic feeder off the tank, 2 days ago,  I noticed that the food was clogged up at the opening and appeared to be moldy,  I threw all that out and removed the feeder.  Also when I got back my air pump was not working, I fixed that yesterday.  The filter has been working great, before we went on vacation, I did a partial water change and replaced the charcoal in the filter.  Any information or thoughts will help.  Thank you very much.  Dorie <Hi Dorie, this sounds like it could be a combination of things.  In my experience goldfish usually float because of swim bladder disorders or diet related problems.  A steady diet of dry flake food, coupled with possible degrading water quality can cause a good amount of stress.  When he swims down to the bottom and then stops swimming, is this when he floats up to the top?  Does it look like he is having problems maintaining equilibrium?  I would start by adding Epsom Salt to the water about 1tablespoon per 10 gallons and weekly water changes.  You should also look into varying his diet, the addition of frozen goldfish food, and peas on occasion would be good.  Thaw out some frozen peas and pinch them out of the outer shell.  If your goldfish is like mine he will love them.  There is more information on goldfish ailments at the link below.  Best Regards, Gage http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshdisfaqs.htm  >

Red Streaks My Oranda is laying on the bottom for the last week with some red streaks on his tail.  He is getting scraped from the rocks.  Is this fin rot, he is in a 100 gallon tank with one other goldfish, for about 2 years.  Should I treat the whole tank? <Hello Joanne!  Ryan helping out today.  Yes, this does sound like fin rot.  I would quarantine the specimen if possible, then treat accordingly.  Do you vary his diet?  How is your filtration?  Do you test your water?  This is generally associated with poor water quality.  Step up your water changes! Best of luck!> Thanks, Joanne  

Protruding Scales HI, I have goldfish (comets), one of my fishes scales are protruding out somewhat.  Could you tell me what is happening with this fish.  Can you advise me as what to do with the fish.  Should I destroy, or is there a cure for what is happening to this fish, thanks.  Jeff   <Hi Jeff,  I would not destroy the fish.  The first thing that comes to mind is dropsy, but I would not be comfortable trying to diagnose something without actually seeing it.  Any pictures?  It could just be that the fish is blocked up and bloated.  Check out the links below for more information. -Gage http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshdisfaqs.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwfshparasites.htm >

Lethargic New Addition I bought a black Moor about a month ago he's been doing very well up until about 3 days ago, he's been staying at the bottom, he moves around from time to time. He is in a 55 gallon, and I have a whisper filter  equipped for a 55 and 2 airstones. I also had the water tested yesterday and it checked out fine. He is in with other community fish that get along. What can I do to remedy this problem? Thank you, Debbie <Debbie, I'm afraid this is a little vague to give you any good advice.  Is he eating?  This could be the single most important factor.  What are you other tank inhabitants?  This behavior sounds indicative of a fish who's trying not to be noticed.  If there are larger, more aggressive tankmates, this is certainly adding to the stress.  Watch him closely for any signs of disease, and search the FAQs for similar stories!  Good luck-Ryan>

Bubble Eye Goldfish - Bacterial Infection 7/11/03 I need some help immediately. My goldfish, a bubble eye, appears to have an infection with its bubble. One of the bubble seems to be congested with orange stuff. Please help me identify this disease and guide me on what to do. My other bubble eye have already died due to the same illness. Thank you. <if it is a pathological concern, it will almost certainly be bacterial in nature. Use a Furazolidone and Nitrofurazone (mixed) based medication like Jungle brand "Fungus Eliminator" (ignore the name). It would also be best to treat it as with all fishes, in a proper and separate bare-bottomed hospital tank. Best regards, Anthony>

Help!! Hi Marina, >>Hello again, Bianca. >(About my Black Moor goldfish who mysteriously lost both eyes within a week of each other.) >>Oh yes, won't forget that one anytime soon! >>>Second, do you have dragonflies in the area?  My first thought is something like a nymph (you do NOT want to be nailed by one of those things), not likely, but a possibility. >Yes, I have dragonflies. What's a nymph? And what would a nymph do? >>Dragonfly nymphs are a stage post larval form.  They are wicked predators, and can inflict a good wound on a person, so imagine what it might do to a fish.  However, I might have thought it would eat the WHOLE fish, not just *selectively* injure it.   >>>Third, did the fish do as mine did and SPAWN like crazy when it warmed up?  If so, this could have been what happened (poor thing!). >SPAWN like crazy? How can you tell when they are doing that? And what would that have to do with his eyes? >>Well, if you have suitable floating plants and/or plant root systems in the pond, the goldfish will spend several days spawning.  I hadn't paid attention to mine, so didn't realize I had fry and juveniles until much later.  The males do become exceedingly amorous, and have been known to damage each other, especially the females (usually only if there is a great disparity with too many males to females).   >Thank you so much for responding.   Bianca Christensen >>You're very welcome, do let me know how the fish does, and what you decide to do in the long run.  Marina

Gold Fish Tail Problem - 7/14/03 Hi there, I have 2 new goldfish (about 2 weeks in my tank ...5 gallon), and they were both getting along just great. Today I noticed that it looks as though both of their tails are being chewed off! One is a white (goldfish) with a red head...and the other is just plain orange. The orange one doesn't look like he's doing too well. When I got the fish, I made sure that the tank was clean and the water was conditioned. I don't know what to do!!! Please help! Nikki <its tough to diagnose sight-unseen, but such new fishes in a small aquarium are prone to stress-induced ailments. They may have a bacterial infection. Do consult the disease charts with the medications at your local pet shop to see if anything looks familiar. If it seems bacterial... seek a med with Furazolidone and Nitrofurazone mixed in it... usually effective. Focus on very good water quality (frequent water changes) in the meantime. A little bit of aquarium salt will be quite helpful too (1 TBLS per 5 gallons) Best regards, Anthony>

Goldfish problems - 4 fish and a shoehorn 7/10/03 - (AKA- my goldfish has a shoeprint on its face) Hi there <Howdy> I have 4 goldfish, approx. 6-7 inches in length each, living in a 10 gallon tank with an underwater filter. <good heavens... that is overstocked!!! Really sad to hear. The tank can barely hold one at this size responsibly> I have tested all my water levels (nitrate ammonia etc) and the water quality seems to be within limits. <ahhh... no comment> I do not know the sex of any of my goldfish but they are all 7 years old and  were bought when they were approx. 1 inch <interesting> 1 of my fish is bloated but is not showing symptoms of dropsy and has now developed a mouth condition. <water quality (bacterial count, other un-testables) is a challenge here I'm sure> It looks like the skin is shredding from its lips and they are swollen. It also has what looks like a bubble of air or fluid at the tip of 1 of its fins. I would be grateful if u could advise me as to exactly what might be wrong with it and how to treat it. Thank you Dawn <these fish really need a larger aquarium to be held properly if not ethically. The sickness is no surprise considering the living conditions. Yikes... Imagine living in an elevator for 7 years with 3 people... who ate beans all day long... and sang campfire songs... off key. Quality of life issues here have manifested into a real issue of pathology. My advice is to remove the other 3 fishes (sell, trade or upgrade to a larger aquarium) and treat the afflicted one in the 10 gallon tank as if it was a QT vessel. Use a Furazolidone and Nitrofurazone mixed drug. Best regards, Anthony>

Help with my Black Moor gold fish - Internal Parasites 7/10/03 My sister just got 2 black moor goldfish, one recently died. But the other has been pooping out this whitish, stringy stuff. <Often a sign of internal parasites. Do seek and feed medicated fish food to correct> And tonight we noticed a  orange worm looking thing coming out of (I'm assuming its butt) it is not living or anything, but it was like 2 inches long with that white stringy stuff on the end, then he shook real good and it fell off and floated on the top.  Then a few minutes later he did it again. And meanwhile he ate the first stuff that was at the top. Can you tell me what this is, and if the fish is ok? Thanks Very Much......          Michelle & Spike (fish)   <If the fish is eating dry foods (flakes or pellets) then it may very well be suffering from internal parasites... else the feces would be solid and darker in color. Kindly, Anthony>

Color changing Goldfish Hi, <Hello>     I've looked everywhere about a problem I'm having with my Black Moor goldfish and his tank mate, a Red Cap Oranda with no luck. I've never had any diseases or issues with them and the tank has been a healthy one. They eat Nutrafin Max Goldfish Flake Food. The problem is the Black Moor is turning gold and loosing his black color. It's very unique and strange as I have never seen this before. (Had goldfish most of my life.) My Red Cap Oranda has lost his red cap. It's gone completely white with maybe a tiny, tiny smattering of orange. I've bought a new tank light, 50/50 combo of 6500K trichromatic daylight phosphor and actinic 420 phosphor. I've seen no change. Can you help me...is there something else I should be doing? Also, how big of a tank should I go if I get a total of 10 goldfish (Ryukins, Moors, & Lionheads)? Thanks....Kimberley <Hi Kimberley, this can be an annoying problem, my Ranchu just changed from a great bronze/gold color to black, he did not even ask for my thoughts on the matter.  I would try offering a wider variety of food, maybe add some color enhancing food to their diet.  I recall hearing about someone adding paprika to their homemade fish food to increase color, I have never tried it myself.  In the long run you want 10 gallons of water per fish.  Best Regards, Gage>

Goldfish Sick Hi <Hi! Ryan with you this morning!> I have three goldfish, all are well except one.  These are his symptoms: 1. Floating at surface of tank 2.loss of scales only on one side 3.isolates himself from the other fish 4.a small black almost splinter like mark on his tail. It seems to be protruding I have treated the water with multi cure and done a partial change once a week.  he is eating ok and I have now varied their diet. Can you please help   Should I remove him from the other fish?? Thanks Mardi <Mardi- Remove him, but be very careful not to introduce new stress (i.e. change in water chemistry, temp).  This doesn't sound good, but there's always hope with fish.  Try not to medicate your 2 healthy fish!  Do you test your water?  If so, some test results may be helpful in isolating the cause of this. Ryan>

- Re: Fin rot or Septicemia? - Hi Jason, <Hello to you!> Well you shamed me into spending my hard earned pennies!  I have just spent the princely sum of 52 pounds on a Fluval underwater filter, treatments from the aquarium doctor, Tapsafe and ammonia remover.
<Ahh good, well certainly not an attempt to 'shame' anyone but rather just point to consider.>
Is it safe to put all these treatments in at the same time? <I would avoid it... work on one thing at a time - get that filter running... if you got some furan compound or similar for the fin rot, I would start with that... using the directions.> I also purchased some oxygenated plants recommended at the aquarium centre - you'll make a goldfish lover out of me yet!
<Ahh good.> I remeasured the container and it holds 15 gallon, please don't tell me this is too small! <Well... just consider you were living in a closet, with only so many directions you could turn... space is key.>
Who knew when we won these tiny little creatures at the fair 6 years ago they would grow into monster fish (their body length is about 7 inches)! Thank you so much for the advice and fingers crossed it does the trick, we are all quite attached to Gordon and Henry! <Sounds good.>
Regards Donna <Cheers, J -- >

Lethargic Ryukin Hi there , I've been through the other messages but cant really seem to find any thing relating to this ( apologies if I did miss anything relevant ) any how I have 3 small goldfish in about a 10 gallon tank ( currently looking to upgrade to something bigger ) I have tested pH , nitrite , nitrate and total ammonia levels and that seems to be fine 2 of the fish are fine and appear to be as active as ever , but the Ryukin seems to be lifeless basically just letting the flow of the water take her wherever until she gets to a plant where she lays restlessly entwined within its leaves , there is very little movement from her at all , and looks like she's basically given up , there are no external signs of illness just what appears to be a fish with no control or energy left whatsoever , I hope I've given you enough information to help me out , as I'm getting quite worried now and feel utterly helpless , any help would be greatly appreciated all the best,  Adam <Hey Adam, what where the results of those tests? the numbers will be helpful.  How large are these goldfish, 10gal can be a little tight if they are getting larger.  What is the water temperature like? I know it is hot at my house, has the temperature increased recently? What type of filtration do you have on the tank? Food is a major issue for these goldfish, if they have been living on dry food he could be a little blocked up.  Is the fish eating at all?  Most problems can be attributed to water quality and diet, if there are no outward signs of disease, then these are the first things I would look at.  I would start with some water changes and the addition of some salt to the water if you are not already adding it.  There is some more info here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshdisfaqs.htm Best Regards, Gage >

Mouth Rot Ok I took a water sample to the pet store to have them test it. <ok>They said that the ph is a bit lower than what gold fish like and everything else is ok.<pH could be the problem here> Could this be what is causing the problem?<could be> The fish is still in isolation and I have given him a dose more than is recommended.<don't overdose on medication, most medication is toxic to a certain extent. would you overdose on prescription drugs?> The pet store said to keep him isolated for another week and then put him back into the main tank,<I would wait until he is fully healed and very healthy> and then see what happens. Any more advice?<Keep good water quality and you should be ok, IanB> Thanks, Ana.

Ammonia and Nitrate readings=Sick/Dying Fish Hello, I was wondering if you could help me. I had two Ryukins and one became aggressive so I removed it from the tank. The remaining fish seemed to be much happier but very recently his behaviour changed. He is sitting on the bottom of the tank and the base of his tail has started to go red. I have tested the water and the ammonia and nitrate levels are high - is there immediate action I can take as I won't have the shop products suggested to correct these things until tomorrow.<yes do a 30-40% water change every day/ or other day to bring these readings down. The red tail suggests a bacterial infection, this was mainly caused by deteriorating water quality> Is the water likely to be the cause of these problems?<yes indeed> He is eating fine but I'm concerned.<I would be too> Any suggestions would be appreciated.<water changes, water changes, water changes....without these the fish will perish...> Thanks.<good luck and keep reading, IanB>

Mouth rot- again     I would first like to thank you for answering this question.  I have actually emailed you all before and need some more advice.  I have  a large male gold fish that has reoccurring  mouth rot.  This is the third time I am treating it.  Last time I separated him into a tank and treated him with medication.  When I completed the recommended dosage he was fine.  His mouth was not getting any worse and he seemed to be back to normal.  Then I put him back into his regular tank and about 3-4 days later the mouth rot started up again.  So now he is back in the other tank by himself and is being treated again.  My question is, how long does he need to be isolated to ensure that the mouth rot doesn't reoccur and is there anything I should be doing to the other tank?  The other goldfish in the regular tank doesn't seem to have any problems at all. Thanks so much for all your help.  Your website is a god-send. Ana <You need to isolate him and treat him again, possibly for a bit longer than recommended. But in addition to that you need to find out what is causing this. There's got to be something in your main tank that is causing this to recur. When it happened before you said your water conditions were good. Have they remained perfect since then? No rise in ammonia or nitrite, even for just a day? Water quality has to be the first suspect here. Ronni>

Tilting Goldfish Hi, <Hello> I have a 55 gallon tank with two power filers and an undergravel filter.  I have four fancy goldfish - fairly big - had them all for a year (one Black Moor, one Blue Oranda, one Fantail, and one Red Oranda).   <OK> Two or three weeks ago, we lost power for two days in very cold weather.  Before I could get an airstone going, all the fish looked dead and the tank got pretty cold.  I started an airstone, and they all "came back to life" except for a big Lionhead which died. it was very disturbing. So, anyhow, my Red Oranda now seems to have swim bladder disease as he seems very healthily no other problems yet he hangs out in upper corner of tank unless eating as it seem to keep him from completing flipping over.   <If it is actually swim bladder disease it might help to treat him with Epsom salts in a separate tank.> I'm trying fasting and feeding peas which I was feeding anyhow.   I feel bad as he/she seems to be getting worse in terms of keeping upright.  However, since I see no other symptoms, I don't know if worth trying an antibiotic... <Take a look at http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwfshparasites.htm to see if any of those fit his problems. If not, try the Epsom salts to see if they help.> As long as keeps moving, swims fairly normal, when resting, kinda tilts until vertical.   I'd hate to do more harm then good <It's hard to say exactly what is causing this.> My other question is whether I could put 3 blueberry tetras into the goldfish tank.  I guess I can't. <Not really. The tetras need warmer water than your goldfish.> I just removed these tetras from a small 10 gallon tropical tank that I have that houses my two dwarf African frogs and a Betta.  I felt that the tetras were being too nasty to my favorite frogs.  Now, I wish I didn't have them.  I have them in a little 2 gallon tank - and they don't seem happy.   <See if your LFS will let you trade them back in. Many places will. Ronni>

Listless Goldfish I have a goldfish that was very healthy before but all of a sudden that has changed.  The goldfish hardly swims around except when we go to feed it.  Then after she (I think) is done eating, she sits at the bottom of the tank.  Do you have any idea what could be wrong? <The first thing to check is your water quality. Make sure the ammonia and nitrites are both at 0ppm. Also take a look at http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwfshparasites.htm for a list of illnesses and their treatments. Ronni>

Goldfish turning black Our fantail goldfish is slowly turning black. It started with one of the gills and is now spreading to the fins and tail. Otherwise, he is acting normal and eating well. Should we be concerned? Troy and Ana DeFilippis Wayne, IL <Since he is acting normal it's probably nothing to worry about. Watch him for any signs of disease but my guess is it's just a normal color change which isn't all that uncommon in goldfish. Ronni>

My fantail fish's tail I recently discovered that one of my fantail's tail looks like it is shedding. I am not sure if all my fish have this or not, as I have many of them and they are in an outside pond. Is there anything that could be wrong with him or is this normal? Thanks <It sounds as if it may be fin rot. There are medications on the market to treat this, take a look at http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwfshparasites.htm for information on the disease and its treatments. Ronni>

Black Moor and Severe Pop-Eye I read all of your FAQ on pop-eye, but still have some answered questions. As a result of us going on vacation, my mother-in-law innocently overfed my 9 year old Black Moor, Midnight, resulting in the death of the algae eater.  Also, during our vacation the filter went out.  To say the least the water became very toxic.  As a result of all these changes, Midnight got pop-eye.  I have been performing frequent water changes for approximately a week and a half now.  Today, it appears 75% of Midnight's eye literally separated from his body, resulting in my 20 gallon aquarium immediately turning brown and murky.  I performed a 50% water change and started an antibiotic capsule, Oxytetracycline, along with adding two teaspoons of Epsom Salt.   <Ooh, the poor thing!> His spirits seem to be doing fine, to say the least.  He still has an appetite (if you can believe that).   <That's very good. It shows that he's not really in pain.> But there is a lot of white tissue and blood surrounding the eye.  My questions would be, 1) am I using the right antibiotic, <Probably not. Try switching to Maracyn.> 2) will his eye miraculously reattach itself, <I'm not really sure since I've never seen this before but I would have to say no.> 3) if not, should I remove all obstacles from the aquarium so he can't further injure himself (or will this throw my water levels off again), <I would, just to be on the safe side.> 4) what is the average length of time for the whole eye to fall off, <As above, I really have no idea> 5) will his body heal after the loss of the eye? <Yes, it should heal just fine. My LFS currently has a blind goldfish. I'm not sure what happened to him but he doesn't have any eyes. His body has healed over the sockets and he gets around just fine.> Thank you for your immediate response. <You're welcome! Ronni>
Re: Black Moor and Severe Pop-Eye
Ronni, thank you so much for your response.   <You're very welcome> It has been three days since his eye partially detached itself.  The tissue still attached doesn't look any closer to tearing away, yet the eyeball is deteriorating and floating vertical to his body.  It is so disturbing to me.   <I can imagine. If the fish was acting like he's suffering I'd suggest euthanizing him but since he's still eating and acting pretty much normal I'd keep working at it.> I feel so helpless, not to mention, responsible in knowing this happened because of the water going toxic while on vacation.   <Don't feel too badly, things like this happen sometimes. At least you're doing the best you can to remedy the situation> Anyway, the PH was at 6.6 this morning, with the water being of a brown color (possibly from his injury bleeding or because the previous antibiotic was of a brown color).   <Probably from the previous medication.> Should I do a partial water change today? <Yes, change 25%> If so, how much Epsom salt would you suggest I add?  Also, I will begin using Maracyn today.   <I wouldn't add any Epsom salts right now, just stick with the Maracyn and see if it helps. You might also consider adding a medication for wounds but be sure to find one that is compatible with the Maracyn, look for one made by Mardel.> Again, thank you for your support during this most troubling time.  It's comforting in knowing I'm not in this all alone. <Not at all, I do hope things improve for you. Ronni>
Re: Black Moor and Severe Pop-Eye
Hi Ronni, <Good morning!> Great news!  My Black Moor's pop-eye is almost completely healed, with the exception of a tiny part.  But other than that, it looks great!  I now own a Black Moor with one eye and it doesn't look that bad at all (considering what it did look like)!  After the eye completely detached itself from the body, the piece flapping re-attached itself over the hole (within a 24 hour period).  Anyway, the whole process took about 3 weeks.  So, it is possible for fish to survive through the worse case scenario of pop-eye.   <That is wonderful news! I suspected that this would be the outcome and while it's unfortunate that your fish had to go thru the trauma of it and has to readjust to being blind on one side I think he'll do fine now and you did a wonderful job for him.> I haven't put any of the plants or large rock back in the tank, out of consideration to his sight.  I thought I would wait another week or two so he can get used to maneuvering with one eye.  Any thoughts on this?  <I think this is a very good plan. No doubt it's going to take some getting used to for him and the less obstacles he has to worry about the better.> I thought it important to share the complete story and happy ending, since you had little experience with this type of incident.  You can then pass on this information to others who may be seeking advice for the same thing.  Again, thank you for all your help. <Thank you very much for sharing. This was definitely a first for me and I'm glad the outcome was such good news. Ronni>

Oranda with redness under chin? I have had an established 40 gal for about 2 years, I have 3 Orandas about 6". My tank had an eclipse hood on it with an AquaClear 402 powerhead. I just got rid of the BioWheel and filter from the eclipse hood and replaced it with an Eheim professional 2 canister filter. It hooked up great and I love it but I am still getting some problems with my water. <Like what?> I always have tons of gnats breeding on the light hood it is pretty disgusting. My Orandas have within the last 6-8 mo.s always had these white pimples on there caps. I don't use anything to treat so I don't make the problem worse. They appear to go away and come back. <These really should be treated. Proper treatment will eliminate them permanently.> I also always have a fungus problem, I notice on the front fins white chunks so I treat with Aquarisol immediately it goes away, then it will come right back. Not sure what to do... <Try treating with a different medication. Use one designed for this problem and if possible, also for the 'pimples'. Be sure to treat for the full recommended time, even if all of the symptoms disappear.> Now today I am noticing redness under one of my Orandas chin, not the gills but more under the chin if they had one. So I guess the question is are the pimples ok, or is the going to be a problem in the future, <The redness may be part and parcel with the other problems you've mentioned. I suspect that if you treat the other problems this too will go away.> Why do I constantly have a gnat problem like an old wet swampy plant. <Honestly, I'm not sure. I've heard of a few tanks getting this but have never figured out exactly why.> why is there redness under my Orandas chin, I have seen this with high nitrate and ammonia levels where the gills turn red but this is not the gills and it does not look like an ulcer. <Earlier you mentioned problems with your water, do you have high ammonia and nitrites? Problems from this can manifest in numerous different ways, not just in redness of the gills. If your readings are high, these could be a major part of your problems.> Also what type of maintenance should I do on this canister filter? <Follow the instructions that came with it.> Do I still do water changes once a month? <Definitely. Ronni>
Re: Oranda with redness under chin?
So it sounds like I may have a fungus problem.... except I have had fungus before and it was really obvious, this must be a very light case, my ph and nitrates and ammonia are all perfect. <Sometimes it happens this way. Not all outbreaks will be the same. What you want to avoid is having a full blown outbreak of it.> I guess the gnats are fungus gnats so what should I use to treat, there is so much out on the market and I usually have no luck, these are my prize Orandas I am scared to treat and get secondary infections. Please let me know what to do... <Well, it's up to you. If it were me I'd risk the secondary infection and try to clear up the fungus problem. A secondary infection is almost always treatable if it does happen. My favorite fungus treatment is Fungus Eliminator, I've had good results with it and have personally never had a problem with secondary infections when using it. Ronni>

Antibiotics and biofilters >I've been reading your site for some time now....and this is the first time I haven't been able to find my answer already posted, so I decided to ask.    >>Great, that's what we're here for. >I removed a goldfish ("Goldie") from my main 50 gallon tank because of Popeye (protruding, cloudy eye).  We left the fish in the tank for awhile to see if it would clear up on its own, but it didn't.   >>They tend not to. >We then moved Goldie into the QT tank (a very established Eclipse 6)and started treatment with salt.  Tested the waters...conditions fine.  About a week later, nothing had changed, so I went to the LFS and came home with penicillin tablets, which claimed the most treatable eye ailments on its label.  Goldie has had 3 treatments now (every other day), and the eye is no better.  But now the ammonia and nitrites in the tank are rising....very unusual for this tank.   >>The problem with antibiotics is that they are indiscriminate in what they kill.   >Main Question:  Do antibiotics kill the bacteria in the biofilter (causing bad water conditions)?  If so, which is better for Goldie....antibiotics with bad water conditions or better water with no antibiotics?   >>Part of the problem here is that, even though the tank (quarantine, yes?) is "established, it isn't so with the addition of the new fish, so it's had a double-whammy, so to speak.  You've added the fish, which would cause a spike anyway (especially with goldies), and then you've killed off at least some of your nitrifying bacteria with the antibiotic. >Also, Goldie is a "hand me down" fish...I'm owner #3 that I know of, and Goldie is at least 6 years old (no one can remember back further than that....she may be older).  She is a basic veil-tail goldfish (about 4 in.) with some missing scales and little gold color left.  Is it possible she is just an old, declining fish?  Any advice would be appreciated. >>6 years is still relatively young for a goldfish.  I'm amazed she has survived all these people!  Y'all must love her, that's for sure.  So, what you need to do is simply start some water changes (first).  If the ammonia and nitrites are very high, then 50% is in order, then small, frequent water changes (5%-10%/day is good when medicating).  Then, stop the penicillin, and start her on Melafix (you could also use another good antibiotic--Spectrogram).  During treatment, because this *is* an antibiotic (meaning it kills bacteria), you'll have to continue the water changes to avoid the spikes in these readings.  After a couple of weeks I would expect to see good improvement.  If you can, during this time of stress, give Goldie some live mosquito larvae or daphnia, as well as frozen green peas squeezed out of their skins.  Spirulina algae (usually best for her in flake form) is another excellent, nutritious food.  Good luck!  Marina Melissa

Goldfish Disease I have four beautiful Goldfish in a 10 gallon tank.  I have a Bubble Eyed Goldfish, a Black Moor, a Calico and Fantail.  I discovered that my Black Moor has some kind of hazy fungus and that my Bubble Eye who already suffers from getting rocks stuck in the bubble under his chin but now is also suffering from tail rot.  I've treated the tank with tablets and my Black Moor seems to be doing a little better but he is still swimming near the top of the tank, not as much but pretty often. So I'm sure he is getting better.  But I was wondering how long it takes for fins to grow back.  The tail rot didn't get very far because I searched the web for days looking for Goldfish diseases because the day after I got my fish my Black Moor's eyes got foggy like he had cataracts.  That too has gone away.  But I have not been able to find a time line for regrowth.  Can you help me or do I just have to wait? Thank you. <This is really a lot of fish for this size tank. Regrowth of the rotted fins varies greatly. It can depend on how bad it was to begin with and even the fish itself. Most fish will recover completely but once in a while their fins will never grow back to what they were. The best thing to do is keep the water quality perfect and that will help. Ronni>

Water quality Hi.  Lately I have been having problems with my fish.  I have two goldfish and an algae eater.  A few weeks ago the male goldfish got sick (mouth rot), and thanks to all your help is now ok.  But I noticed this weekend after I did a partial water change that they didn't look to good.  I did an ammonia test (although the water looked ok) and the test showed about 1.0 ammonia.  So I changed some more water and it still showed up.  The next day I went and go some tablets that are supposed to clear up ammonia and used them.  Well they looked ok for a while.  Now not so much.  They are lying on the bottom of the tank and are inactive.  I changed some more water and added some more tablets and nothing.  What should I do?  Should I do a full tank change and hope for the best or should I wait it out and see? Or am I changing the water too often and not giving it enough time? Also I looked under the maintenance topics on your website to see how often you suggest to do full tank changes and didn't see anything.  Do you all not recommend them? Ana <You need to do daily water changes of about 15-20% until the ammonia is back down at 0ppm. I would discontinue use of the tablets since they don't seem to be helping. These types of remedies can often be more trouble than help. I very rarely recommend doing a total water change as it can restart your tanks cycle and cause even more problems with ammonia and nitrites. Small bi-weekly water changes are much better for your system. Ronni>

Brown Build up on interior of tank Hi, <Greetings>   We had a real tragedy today. We have a 5-gallon aquarium that held 5 goldfish. One of these fish was close to a yr old and was my son's favorite. He seemed to be doing well, until about 2 days ago. He started hanging out at the bottom of tank, with 2 new fish that we introduced into the tank just days before, something he has never done. He was always swimming and seemed to be healthy. About 4 days ago, we introduced a black moor and another goldfish to the tank. Within 2 days the black moor was hanging out on the bottom of the tank. The other one soon followed suit. To make a long story short, all 5 of the fish died today. <I'm very sorry. Were the new fish quarantined before being added to the tank? It's possible that they introduced a disease if they weren't. Also, 5 goldfish are really too many for a 5 gallon tank. Goldfish can grow quite rapidly and many species can reach sizes in excess of 20' long. I'm sure this isn't what killed them, just something to keep in mind for in the future.>   We have an acrylic tank with an electric filter.  We clean the tank a least twice a month with just hot water, change the filter, and clean the gravel and the decorations also in hot water. I have recently noticed that there is a brown buildup on the tank. It is easily wiped off with a paper towel. What is causing this to happen and what can we do to prevent it from happening again? <The brown buildup is an algae and is quite common. Adding an algae eater to the tank may help but many of them only eat green algae so it may not either. When you clean the tank in the future, rather than tear it all down and clean everything, you would be better off to just do a water change and vacuum the gravel. By tearing it down and cleaning everything you are destroying the biological filtration and causing your tank to go thru the cycling process again. Instead, change about 20% of your water every couple of weeks. The will preserve all of the beneficial bacteria and your fish will be much happier and healthier.> Thanks for your help. Karen Walsh <You're welcome! Ronni>

'Shivering' Goldfish Hi guys (and ladies), <Hello there!> I have three goldfish - one since September in a 10 gallon tank (it had a buddy which died of fin-rot when I was too much of a rookie to spot the signs).  I then waited a month and then bought two others - initially one of them had some problems with parasites making him rub against things until he scratched some scales off - Ouch!  I treated the tank with salt as suggested on your great site and he has improved massively. <Very good> I then had a problem with the original resident who developed a fungal infection on his tail and dorsal fin - I used fungus guard just over a week ago and the problem has almost cleared up.  Water quality wise, I had some problems around the time that I got the new ones - we had a problem with ammonia and then a nitrite problem for a while but both readings are now zero.  I don't have a nitrate test - should I get one?  I have always used a buffer to keep the pH between 7.3 and 7.8 as the tap water here in Dubai is very alkaline (it is desalinated sea water).   <Nitrates are not a huge concern in freshwater tanks unless you have plants or certain fish that are sensitive to them so you really don't need a test.> Now, today I have a problem with the original Goldfish.  For the last day or two he has been a bit 'jumpy' - darting around very fast when I approach the tank or put the light on - which is unlike him.  Tonight, about three hours ago, when I went to feed them he darted around and suddenly started floating passively - I thought he had died suddenly - he even rolled over and was being swept around by the current from the bubbles in the tank.  Then he suddenly 'woke up' after about 30 seconds - he can swim properly but is still very jumpy and is not participating with the others - he has been spending most of the time under the filter (where they sleep at night).   <You should probably isolate him. I'm unsure of the exact problem but it could very well be a parasitic problem. Check here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwfshparasites.htm and see if any of the description fit. If not, still try medicating with a general parasite medication to see if it helps.> I tested the water again and everything seems fine - am I missing something here?  The other fish seem very concerned and interested in what is wrong with their friend - I would really appreciate if you could suggest what it may be and what I should do to try to make him better. <Other fish will usually become very interested in an ill fish. Just watch them because goldfish will often pick on one who is ill.> Thanks for your help and all your great advice! Regards, Miriam <You're welcome! Ronni>

Help with Goldfish Hi, <Hello> I have 2 Red Orandas and 2 Fantails, I recently bought 3 of them from the local pet shop. The large Red Oranda had a few white spots on her head, and despite my concerns, I was assured by the pet shop that this was perfectly normal and was how they are marked. <The best thing to do is 'When in doubt, don't!' Don't buy a fish that you believe is ill and never introduce a possibly ill fish into your tank.> Still doubtful I treated them for fin-rot and white-spot when I got them home to be safe, however the spots on her head seem to have grown, and don't look like white-spot, but again don't look healthy either, she is also staying at the top of the tank for most of the time, whereas the others are all as bubbly as ever! <It sounds like it might be a fungus. Please see http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwfshparasites.htm and the related FAQ's for info and treatment.> I am very concerned about her, and unsure what to do next, I have already been back to the pet shop to complain, as two other fish I bought from there ( a black moor and a gold Oranda died the following day after purchase whilst they were in quarantine in our other tank. They have once again assured me this is normal and the others dying must have been my fault (however I know they do not quarantine their fish when they come in) <I think I would be looking for a different place to buy fish. This one sounds like they either don't know what they're talking about or simply don't care.> I am at a loss, she seems to be hanging on, but I don't think she will make it to the end of the week, she is lethargic, and not eating much, not to mention the spots clustered around her head. The water is fine and the other fish are happy with no other signs of disease. <Definitely see the above page and follow the recommendations there.> Heellllllllllllllllllllpppppp - Many Thanks, Louise <You're welcome! Ronni>

Sick Lionhead fish - HELP I have a Lionhead goldfish that is sick - she is six years old.  She has had continual bladder infections for a few months that, up until now, I have been able to treat successfully with Maracyn-Two tablets.  This fish has been on its side for 4 days now and not eating.  The pet store told me to try adding 1 teaspoon of iodized salt to her 10 gallon tank and wait 24 hours.  I have done that and she has shown NO improvement.  She is still on her side, not eating, has strings floating off of her fins, & is now looking bloated.  I called back there today and they told me to do a 1/4 to a 1/2 water tank change and try adding a Neomycin tablet to her 10 gallon tank.  Which I have just done.  Will this help her?  Is there anything else I can do?  I feel so terrible - she looks awful.  Help!! <It sounds as if she may be getting Dropsy. Please see http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwfshparasites.htm for recommended treatments. Ronni>

Really worried Hi Ronnie I was at my local pet store again to get some more water conditioner and had another look at some of the Orandas I noticed one had 'the sand grain effect' but only on front fins at the top, I read somewhere this is also sexual maturity or is it 'lice' <I'm not sure exactly what you mean by sand grain effect so it could be the beginnings of Ich or any number of other things.> I had another good look at my Oranda there do seem to be a few small rectangular shaped patches on the back fin and top fin,  the first thing I looked for were torn fins and scraggly ones which  he doesn't have,  I think is resembles little mould patches.  I have bought something for that.  The only problem is I sold my other tank and am in the process of getting a small 'hospital tank'  I know it is better to treat the fish separately but logic to me says "prevention is better than cure" why not treat the whole tank where the potentially sick fish has been in contact with the others. Obviously there are different stages when its really bad best to move them out. <The problem with this is even though one fish has a disease, some of the others may never get it and so when you medicate them for it anyway they can build up an immunity to the medication thus reducing the effectiveness of future treatments. It's the same thing as treating an entire family of people for something just because one person has it. The patches you're talking about sound like a fungus of some sort. Read http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwfshparasites.htm for more info> Still confused about the nitrite nitrate ammonia.  I have bought and constantly test for ammonia I wasn't able to do a water change for three weeks and the 'colour' of the test did go quiet pink I popped emergency 'anti-ammonia' fizz pills in until I could get to it.   Do you think I should also get test kits for nitrite isn't it all the same thing just different stages of the cycle?  my draw is becoming very stocked!  Which is great. Also the ph is fine I check that every third day or so.  Just to be sure. <The ammonia shouldn't have gotten that high in three weeks unless the tank is very overstocked (I don't think yours is) or you're overfeeding. The natural cycle is ammonia turns to nitrites turns to nitrates. Ammonia and nitrites are the killers. It's important to keep an eye on both of these, if the ammonia is high, there are usually also high nitrites or they will soon follow and in my experience, the nitrites will often get even higher than the ammonia.> Also are Orandas quiet shy fish?  I noticed he isn't really interested in me and was picking tiny pieces of food off the bottom that the other two "PIGS!" were maaalllling. <This isn't uncommon behavior. Over time he'll adjust and will show more interest. Just make sure that he gets enough to eat in the meantime.> I suppose this is the problem with pet stores and aquariums there a quite a few fish in one tank and choosing what you deem the healthiest can be tricky.  Also I imagine diseases spread like wildfire in those conditions. <Definitely a problem and a good reason why all new purchases should be fully quarantined before adding them to the main system.> Oh, yes ideal water temp again?  my tanks around 21-23 degrees.  I'm sure in Winter I will have to get a heater as our apartment in summer is a godsend! But winter its frrrreeezing. <Your temperature right now is about perfect.> Thanks again for all the advice and cool website.  Lots more info I can get clued up on.   I must say this is second attempt at having a 'aquarium' and its quiet rewarding when yours is functionally quiet well.  I think most people assume 'buy the tank; fill with water; plop in a Goldie and eevvuullla!"  And it is quiet easy but the trick I think is to just be aware. Okay cheers <You're very welcome, we're glad to be able to help! Ronni>
Re: really worried
Hi there <Hello!> Some problems again, Firstly we decided to get a bigger tank, the last one was 60cm in length and this one is a meter.  I think it's a 75 liter one.  Anyway I have one undergravel filter on the right and the original 'sponge' filtration system.  I have 2 plastic plants on each corner at the back with a 'decorative bridge and barrel' at the back I did this so that they had maximum swimming space.  I also have a 15cm airstone at the back. <Very good> 1.  I have the black moor and fantail (around) 7cm in length; a very small 'normal goldfish' a Pleco 'algae eater' very small and I bought a black and red Oranda he is very big about 12cm in length.  Firstly do I have too many in the tank?  And will the others grow a bit more? <Without knowing the exact size of your tank it's hard to say but you should be OK for now. Yes, they will all grow.> 2.  I have noticed that they seem to be 'hanging' at the surface and gasping as if there was food.  What could this be?  Do you think I may have too much oxygen and bubbles, the current may be to strong?  They also sometime all together bundle in a corner (as they do when I'm about to feed) and 'jiggle like crazy!  It looked like the one was having a fit! <It's not too much air or current but there is definitely something in the water causing this. Check your ammonia and nitrites, they are usually the first suspect. Make sure the fish aren't showing signs of Ich (white specks that look like grains of salt covering them, especially on the fins). If it is Ich, you will need to medicate.> 3.  When I chose the Oranda I made sure to choose one that was vibrant and swimming around.  Which he is.  I also looked for all the signs of diseases didn't find any but yesterday noticed his back left little fin under the tail is missing.  This definitely did not happen in my tank I have only had him for 2 days.  He definitely does not seem to be in any distress and swims around quit 'fast' he does go down to the bottom every so often for a quick rest.  I looked for blood or an open wound but it just looks like a pinky flesh color. It obviously isn't too bad otherwise I would have noticed it before.  I have looked for other signs of fin diseases and everything looks okay.  Is this serious, being such a small fin what is it for his balance is also fine. <He should be fine. It could have been nipped off by another fish and it should grow back. Watch it and him for signs of infection but don't worry about it too much.> All the fish tend to be quiet happy the fantail has 'dumped' the black moor and is following the Oranda everywhere.  I'm also watching the fantail coz he bullied my other very very small black moor which I had to 'dispose' of. Can a smaller fish bully a bigger fish, like in this case the Oranda is literally including tail twice the size of the fantail and black moor? <Yep, a smaller fish can definitely bully a bigger one, especially if the smaller one can swim faster. Just keep a close eye on them and be prepared to move the smaller one if necessary.> Hope I have made some sense here, sorry about the lengthy email. <No worries> Thanks, awaiting anxiously Paula <You're welcome! Ronni>
Re: Att: Ronnie, still worried
Hi Ronnie <Hello> Still worried, I've set up a hospital tank with dechlorinated water and added 'cycle' to the water,  my Oranda (that is the one with the funny bubble like warty things on its head?)  the fish is generally gloomy and not very responsive I have only had him for about a week and made sure he didn't go through to much shock to his new tank.  Anyway in general he swims around a bit then lies at the bottom for at least 30 seconds at a time not moving at all.  My large moor I also put in quarantine tank coz It looked like he is starting with a fungus he has 2 small about 1.millimeter in diameter round spots, he only has two and it hasn't gotten worse.  I noticed it immediately has he is pitch black so they almost stand out silvery in color.  He is generally very very lively and as I said his behavior didn't change just something I noticed on his skin.  he is however every so often resting at the bottom, mostly never at the bottom, sort of just above and hovering. With his fins 'fanning' slightly.  In the last 2 days he was only like the other Oranda once, not moving - a soon as I get up the moor is up and away swimming to the corner where I am.   <Do continue to keep the moor isolated and medicate him for fungus, it should clear up soon. Keep an eye on the Oranda to see if anything else develops but his behavior doesn't sound too alarming yet, it may just be something he likes to do.> From all the FAQ I'm reading water quality seems to come into the pic a lot.  I'm always doing PH testing and Ammonia testing and have just bought a Nitrite testing kit. Although the "cycle" additive that I just bought says on the back you can never overdose and all the bacteria are beneficial to bring down the nitrite levels etc..  What I'm asking is should I when in a moment of 'doubt' add some more of this stuff?  if am doing a weekly 1/4 tank water change surely this will also be enough?  I bought one of those suction pumps that you put in the gravel to get most of the 'stuff' out how often should I do that?  "I swear so many people are telling me different things and I'm also being told the less you fidget the better! <The less you mess with them beyond normal water changes, the better. I would eliminate the Cycle product completely and try not to add any additives to the tank except the medication for the moor. Has your tank fully cycled yet (ammonia/nitrites 0ppm)? If so, cut back on the water changes. Try to only do about 10% weekly.> So basically I am confident that the black moor will come right but I'm starting to wonder if I purchased a 'dud' with  this the Oranda and is a 'lost cause'  he is quiet big around 13cm including tail.  I'm put them in the quarantine tank and added this 'general blue aid'  stuff for all funguses parasites etc..  The tank is lumo blue and I can hardly see the poor things, how long do you think it will take to clear up?   <You really need to watch adding too many things to the tank as it can have the opposite results of what you want. Carbon in the filter the color should clear up rapidly but that will pull all medication out too. I would get a different fungus medication, Fungus Eliminator is a good one. Do a 25% water change and put some carbon in the tank for 24 hours to clean out the medication that's in there and then remove the carbon and treat according to the directions on the new medication.> the Oranda also had to 'moldy like streaks' on exact opposite sides of his tail the one patch was slightly bigger than the other.  I'm sure if they are fungus. I just put him in anyway  it's definitely not 'part of his coloring. <The above medication should also help with this if it is indeed a fungus.> I also increased gradually the water temp to 26 degrees Celsius.  Normally my other tank is about 22 - 24C  I heard this helps for fungus as well? <Some people swear by the elevated temperature, I've never had much success with it myself and generally don't raise it anymore. The medication alone should do the job. Ronni>

Help figuring out why he died? Hi there! I bought two goldfish (Ryukins) just about a month and a half ago. They live in a 5 gallon tank with a Whisper filter. After a few weeks, I noticed white spots....which I self-diagnosed as Ich. I treated them with Quick Cure for two weeks. For those two weeks I did daily water changes (half a gallon per day) and added the medicine every day. The Ich went away and the fish appeared much happier. <OK> Then a few weeks later, I noticed the tail of one of the fish appeared ripped/ragged. I searched around and thought they might have fin/tail rot. I treated for that with Fungus Cure. I followed the package directions, doing a 25% water change with the first dose, then waiting three days.....then the second dose...and then three days later doing another water change and replacing the carbon in the filter. The fish appeared much healthier. <OK again> But then a few days later, I noticed the ragged edges of the tail started turning black. After a few days, the edges of ALL the fishes' fins were rimmed in black. I couldn't find any info on this, so I just left the fish alone and resumed my twice-weekly water changes. Well, that fish was dead this morning. By this afternoon, my other fish started developing back edges on its' tail!! It's also swimming erratically, almost spasmodically. What could be going on in my tank? <It's possibly a residual internal infection from the Ich and the treatment. Try treating him with a medication for internal diseases and see if it helps. Unfortunately, it may not work at this point but it's worth trying. Ronni>

Sick goldfish Hello, we have about a 35-40 gallon aquarium, we have 5 2-3 inch goldfish and 2 smaller fantails in there, the last couple of days the goldfish have been laying on the bottom almost all the time, they still eat and are active at times, is there something wrong with them or is this a normal pattern at times? Thanks, Linda and Gary Sevier <Hello, the first thing I would check is the water parameters, if you do not have test kits, take a water sample down to the local fish store and have them test for ammonia, nitrites, nitrates, and PH.  Let us know the results of the tests and then we will go from there.  If the tests indicate a problem a few water changes over a couple weeks should clear things up.  Best Regards, Gage>

Fantail goldfish Greetings! <Hello!> I have 2 fantail goldfish, Walter and Pearl. Eddie who was the oldest died last week. <Last week was a bad week for goldfish, I lost an Oranda, and my dad lost a couple of fantails.> He had been swimming upside down for months and I was told by people at my local PetSmart that was normal. <common, maybe, but not normal. could be diet related, or a problem with the swim bladder.> Anyway, after Eddie died I did a 50% water change and put in a new filter. <replacing the filter could have removed a lot of the beneficial bacteria and your tank may be going through a cycle, you will want to test your water for ammonia, nitrate, and nitrite to be sure.  The local fish store should be able to test your water for you.> Now Walter and Pearl are behaving very unusually. They are swimming very erratically, i.e. upside down, nose down, spinning, etc. They seem to be gasping for air and won't eat. I did read several of the FAQ's and tried feeding peas. No luck. I changed the water adding conditioner. The tank is 10 gallon and I don't know the pH. I didn't know I should be watching that in a freshwater tank. <ph is important, but so is ammonia, nitrate, and nitrite.> Anyway, I also read about adding Epsom salt.  I could only glean that the reasoning was to treat constipation. Again, I didn't know I needed to watch for that although as the mother of a two year old I have discussed BM's more in the last 2 years than in my entire life! :) <thanks for reminding me to call my Mom and thank her.> I feel like they are suffering and I hate seeing that. Thanks for your help. Trudy <The first thing I would do is get my water tested. The behavior could be related to water quality or diet.  Several small water changes over a few days/weeks should help with the water quality. If you are feeding only dry foods you might consider adding some frozen food to the diet as well as peas.  If the problem is diet/digestion related some Epsom salts will be helpful to get things moving in the right direction.  Check out the link below for some more information.  Best Regards, Gage http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshdisfaqs.htm  >

Please help!!? Goldfish health Hi. <Hello>   I don't know who to turn to-I'm just looking around on the web.  My big fantail goldfish seems to have blood seeping into his tail. What would cause this?   <It's most Septicemia.> Do you think he's going to die from this???   <It can be fatal if not treated but it is fairly easy to treat so he should be fine. Please see http://www/wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwfshparasites.htm for information and treatment recommendations.> He's in a tank with one other large fantail-they've been together forever. <He will need to be isolated into a quarantine tank during treatment.> I'm VERY careful when I have to remove them for cleaning, as I've been for years.  I've had them for about 2yrs.  What can I do???  Thanks so much. --Dawn <You're welcome! Ronni>
Re: Fantail Goldfish with Septicemia
Thank you SO much for your suggestions regarding my big fantail fish that had blood in it's tail. I do believe you were right about it being Septicemia!  You're the best!  I ran right out immediately and purchased some tablets to drop into the water, and they're working like a charm!  The blood is gone from his tail and he's acting like his old self again!  Thank you SO MUCH for e-mailing me right away with your extremely helpful suggestions and advice-you saved the big fellas life!!!  I wish everyone was as helpful and good hearted as you! --Dawn <Dawn, thank you so much for your kind words! I'm very glad I was able to help! Take care, Ronni>

Stressed Moor Hello.  I have a Chinese Algae Eater who over the weekend has started stripping scales from my large Moor.  The Moor is now VERY lethargic - just sitting at the bottom of the tank. I immediately separated him, and placed Stress Relief with aloe Vera into the water to try and replace his slime layer, but I am very worried.  Is there anything else I can do? <For now that's about all you can do unless you can find some medication to treat wounds. You can probably increase the salt level in the tank to help some but do this slowly.> Thank you, Michelle Robinson <You're welcome! Ronni>
Re: Stressed Moor
Ronni, I've never added salt to a tank before, can you advise?  Thank you for answering so quickly!  Michelle <Aquarium salt can be obtained at most LFS and also at places like Wal-Mart. Don't buy marine salt as it has other stuff that can change your water chemistry. The package should have direction on it but to start with add just ¼ of the recommended dose. The following day or the day after that add another ¼ dose. Repeat until you get it up to the recommended amount. You will also need to slowly reduce the salt level in the QT tank before adding this fish back to your main tank. You can use other kinds of salt but the specific aquarium salt will have directions on it and is easier to use because of that. Ronni>

Goldfish with Ich Hi, More problems as my tropical fish are also scratching them selves I have added salt. I have medicine Methylene blue, methane green, and RID ALL. Which should I use all claims that they can clear up the problems. <Probably the M. Blue in this case. It should also be safe to use on your tropicals, just be sure to follow the directions and if you have small scale or scaleless fish only use a half dose. Ronni>

Goldfish fin damage Hi! I bought a comet goldfish today that was absolutely gorgeous, BUT I bought him out of the piranha tank and he has extensive fin damage - his dorsal and caudal fins are just plain missing.  Despite this, he is swimming and eating and is very active. I was wondering if there's a possibility his fins will grow back and if there is anything I can do to help them repair themselves. Thanks for your time. Tonia <LOL! I do the same thing. I have a soft spot for the underdog and over the years I think I've brought home more rescues than normal fish! I even rescued a rat out of the snake cage one time. ;o) Anyway, providing the fin damage is the only injury, he can and should recover. You might want to treat him with a medication for injuries (Melafix I *think*) to speed up the process. Even with medication it will probably take a while and his fins may never be exactly what they were but he should be fine. Ronni>

Reversing Metabolite Poisoning Hi, <Hi there! Scott F. with you today> You said that my fish has been dying from metabolite poisoning and my one lion head is loosing his balance and I have put it into tub and I will not feed it for 2 days. Any advise on this bull head? <We're talking about goldfish here- right? I'm assuming that based on your description. I may be coming in at the middle of your dialogue regarding this problem, but if it were me, and metabolic poisoning has been identified as the cause of your problem- I'd remove the fish to a better environment for a while as I correct the display tank parameters> What may be wrong now? Over feeding, over stocking or nitrite that is less than 0.3 but it may be 0 or 0.1 or 0.2 I don't know because that is the last measurement of tetra test kit and its lower limit is <0.3. Give me any suggestion on this. My brother is feeding salt to my bull head. My tank is 37 gallon UK. <You certainly don't want detectable levels of nitrite in your tank!. I'd execute some water changes in the display, and utilize some form of chemical filtration media, such as PolyFilter or activated carbon, on a regular basis, in this aquarium. Aerate and filter based upon the tank's stoking level. Under crowd, underfeed, and execute weekly water changes. This should bring things around in a relatively short time. The "salt trick" with goldfish is an old standby, but I doubt its effectiveness in dealing with a metabolic poisoning event...Just good water and careful observation should speed the recovery. Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Choking Goldfish Hi <Hello> Friends of mine have a small 2.5" Goldfish that appears to be choking on something.  The fish has been convulsing since yesterday morning.  Now it's resting belly up on the gravel still convulsing and occasionally swimming erratically.  Is there anything that can be done to help this fish? <Hmm'¦ it's hard to say what could be causing this. If the fish were physically choking on something it would have either come loose or the fish would have died by now. Have they checked the water quality? Check out the goldfish FAQ's at http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwsubwebindex.htm and also do a search at www.wetwebmedia.com (using the Google search box at the bottom of the page) for choking or spasms to see if you can find something with similar symptoms.> Do you know the fish Heimlich? Justin <LOL! Sure, but it has to be done by a mouse cause they're the only ones small enough to make it work! Ronni>

Fat Gold Fish Hi, <Hello> In the last few days my goldfish has bloated almost double its size.  Someone said it could be constipated or pregnant.  What would you suggest I do? Thanks, Joan <Constipation is possible but it's more likely to be Dropsy. Are the scales on it's side sticking straight out? If so, it's definitely dropsy and needs to be medicated immediately. Check your LFS for medication, one of the Maracyns treats this. Ronni>
Re: fat gold fish
Ronni, thank you so much for responding to my question. I have put the antibiotic in.  The fish seems to be losing its scales almost like shedding.  Is this normal? <If it's just a couple I wouldn't worry much about it, if it's very many though then something is seriously wrong although it could be a side effect of the dropsy.> Also, the tank has turned really brown, could this be the medication and should I wait to change it until the five days of meds have passed? <The brown color is definitely not normal. I would do a very large water change and then retreat. Make sure to remove any carbon or PolyFilter before medicating again. These will remove all of the medication and defeat the purpose of adding the meds.> Thanks for your help.  Joan <Glad to be of service. Ronni>

Red headed orange Oranda Hello! I looked through all the sick goldfish stories, and thought one of my sick fish's symptoms would be there but I didn't see it. I noticed this week that my 2 year old orange Oranda has a red head now. A deep red. It looks funny because he's a bubble head too. It also has a big bright orange spot by his right eye and a light orange mouth. I'm worried about the red head. Is this a normal aging thing, or is he really sick. He also lies in his corner, like his head is too heavy for his body; sometimes he does headstands as well. BUT if there is food coming he's energetic and efficient getting food. I feed them Wardley flakes. I have 3 other fish with him in a 20 gallon tank. He has some red streaks in his tail and I thought it may be Septicemia, I have treated them 3x with Maracyn over the last 6 months. Is it another round of septicemia or what? I don't want to keep dumping medicine in their tanks, if it isn't necessary. Please help, it's my biggest and favorite fish. Laura Neufield <It could be Septicemia again but instead of  just treating the symptoms you need to find out what is causing it to recur. If it keeps recurring, your fish may build up an immunity to the medication. You will need to medicate again this time but it's recommended that you do it in a quarantine tank. Then you need to check all of the following to eliminate possible causes. Have you tested your water (ammonia & nitrites should be 0ppm. Ph should ideally be 7.2-7.4) and made sure nothing is leaching chemicals into your tank? Are you doing regular water changes with properly conditioned water (20% every other week is a good schedule)? If you're medicating in the main tank are you making sure that all of the medication is removed from the tank at the end of the treatment by water changes and/or carbon or PolyFilter? What is the temperature of your tank (for goldfish this should be around 72)? Do search www.wetwebmedia.com for Septicemia (septicemia) and also check out the pages on goldfish and their diseases for more info. Ronni>

Re: further annoying goldfish questions Ronni--thanks so much for your email, I just have a few more questions. The reason I was using Interpet no. 9 was because they have red streaks in their fins and tails, which this product alleges to counter with anti-internal bacterial.  I was hoping to clear out the tank, give the fish some time to recover, and then start again.  They've had the red streaks for about two or three weeks. <Ah, this would be a good reason. Do continue to use it as it sounds like they may have septicemia and this should work to treat it.> In addition to that, however, they also have fin rot and white spot.  I live in the UK so the products available to me to counter the fin rot are MelaFix or Myxazin, and for the white spot Protozin.  Do you know anything about how these three symptoms can be treated at the same time with different products? <If you can find them or mail order them, Maracyn and Maracyn 2 can be used together and should treat all of these problems. I don't know if the other three you mentioned can be combined as I have no personal experience with them.> That will probably be my last question.  Thanks again. Catharine. <Ask as many as you need. Ronni>
Re: further annoying goldfish questions
Ronni--a final thank you.  I ended up returning the goldfish to the store since they were doing really badly, especially after a friend on aquamaniacs.net found out that fish medicines in the UK are not legally allowed to contain anti-biotics, such that every time I treated the fish they seemed to get more upset.  I am grateful for your help, however. Best wishes, Catharine <Probably the wisest choice in this situation. Good luck in the future! Ronni>

Re: goldfish breathing heavily Ronni and crew--thanks for your email and advice.  I've been reading up on fish stuff, particularly on cycling as I didn't realize it made a difference that I was restarting my tank by doing a full water change with a new filter.   <I think this is something we almost all have to learn by experience. I did it several times when I first started keeping tanks.> The nitrites are still at 0, but the ammonia is at .5ppm, which I think I've managed to neutralize by adding some Ammo-lock (which makes it harmless to the fish but still available to the filter bacteria). <Chemical additives like this can be useful but really shouldn't be trusted completely. The safest thing is still frequent water changes. In the next few days or so you should begin to see a rise in the nitrites and the ammonia will begin to go down.> My question now is about this weird darting/trembling/flicking behavior.  I thought that was related to water quality, so I did a 1/3 water change; but I don't know what about the water is bothering them, since supposedly I have cancelled out the effect of the ammonia. <It may still be the ammonia. Keep doing water changes and watch your fish.> The relevant additions to the water include a bit of aquarium salt (half a teaspoon per gallon), a pH adjuster powder which automatically sets the tank to 7.5, which I later read was a bit of a no-no for goldfish, <This could be part of the problem too. A ph of 7.5 is acceptable for goldfish (it's a little on the high side but should be OK) as long as it was adjusted to this slowly. If it was adjusted to this all at once, it was probably quite a shock to them. Salt should also be added slowly so they have time to adjust.> and Interpet's no 9 anti-bacteria.  This last addition is notable since I accidentally applied the second dose a day early--would that count as an overdose? <Yes, that would count as an overdose. Do another water change immediately and I would discontinue use of this product. Your fish really don't need it.> Sorry to be asking such complicated questions.  But I am grateful for your time. Thanks again, Catharine <No problem at all. Ronni>

Outdoor Fantails Losing Colour Thanks Ronni, will get a water test done on the weekend. Seems bizarre that they've only just started losing the colour after 8 years of us being here - could it be there's too much inbreeding going on? <Inbreeding is very likely the cause. If you can do it without crowding them, you may want to get some new fantails to add new blood to the mix. Be sure to fully quarantine them if you do. Ronni>

Mad science re goldfish husbandry... now disease I have six goldfish for a science experiment and have had them for 3 months.  As part of the science ex. I was not able to clean my bowls <<What?! I really have to wonder about any "science" experiment that would submit a living creature to living in basically an unflushed toilet.>> but now one of my fish has totally loss his tail!!! <<It's no wonder. He's most likely suffering from fin rot due to poor water quality. The ammonia and nitrites are probably off the charts!>> The pH level in his bowl is a 7, is that too much?  Because all of my other 5 fish/bowls have a 7 for pH too.  It also has been a 7 for pH level for at least 2 months.  Is there any thing I can do for it? Will he definitely die? He is a small comet goldfish and he is in a gallon tank with only rocks in it.  He has been getting Wardley Goldfish Floating Pellets (small). I also think that maybe some of the other 5 goldfish may be starting to loss their tails too. Do I get them out of the water right away? PLEASE HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Thanks sooooo much! <<A Ph of 7 is OK for goldfish. Ideal is around 7.2 to 7.4 but they can be kept in a little higher or a little lower. What you need to do immediately is water changes! You need to change about 50% of your water every day for the next several days. You will also need to medicate this fish and any of the others who are showing symptoms of fin rot with a commercial medication designed for treating this. I believe Mardel makes one, possibly Maracyn 2 but make sure to read the box to make sure that's what it treats. And please, no more science experiments like this. Science is a wonderful thing but not when it's cruel. Ronni>>

Oranda mouth deteriorating, please help Hi, I have an orange Oranda, I noticed it had just a bit of white around it's mouth last month but it seemed to be fine. Now I have noticed that its mouth is not right. Its mouth has seemed to deteriorate, it just is a large hole where its mouth use to be. I can see it is having trouble eating now. My brown Oranda is fine. What can it be. Should I take my Orange Oranda out of the tank. It almost seems like it is too late to cure it now, cause I don't see how it can regrow its mouth back. I feel very bad this was my first fish. I only have two. I will have to put it down humanely with clove oil and vodka, as suggested on another website if you do not think I can cure it. Please advise and thank you for your time. Regards, Linda Pagano <<I wouldn't euthanize it just yet as long as it is still able to get some food. There are commercial medications that will treat mouth rot and often a Merthiolate or iodine swab works faster if you can net the fish to medicate him. Just keep the meds away from the eyes and gills. If you medicate him with a commercial medication that goes in the tank (I think it's Maracyn 2 that treats this but don't hold me to that, check the packages as they will all say what they treat) then you will definitely need to isolate him into a quarantine tank. I would recommend a quarantine tank regardless of what you use. Check out http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/goldfishfaqs.htm and related FAQ's for more info and do a search for mouth rot in the Google search box at www.wetwebmedia.com. Ronni>>

There is a very safe treatment for flukes <Ananda here today...> Flukes are easily and safely treated with the dog worming medication: Droncit.   <With a bit of research, I found that Droncit is also known as Praziquantel. It is prescribed as a tapeworm medication for both dogs and cats.> Treatment on day 1 and day three or four, successfully kills flukes in Goldfish.  See Dr. Erik Johnson's book, Fancy Goldfish for precise dosages. Best wishes, Goldfish geek <Thank you for the heads-up on this book. I took a look at the book previews and it appears to be a very good book to have, even if you don't keep goldfish. --Ananda>

Res turtle and Ick hi I have a RES turtle and I feed him goldfish feeders.  About 2 weeks ago I noticed that the fish had Ick. I called the vet and they told me to clean everything In the tank with a diluted bleach mix and not to give him anymore of those fish.  I do all of that and I bought new fish. I bought the fish from a different store in case that was the problem. The fish look fine when I put them in the tank. I noticed that the fish now have Ick. How do I get rid of Ick for good? <feeder fish live a stressful life, no way to really get rid of Ich without quarantining and treating for Ich before feeding them to the turtle.> Is Ick bad for my res turtle?  Could my turtle be infected with Ick and is giving it to the fish?  and if so how do I treat my turtle? <I have never heard of turtles getting Ich, but I'm sure it cannot be great for them.> and one more question.  can older bigger res turtles live with younger smaller res turtle in the same tank? will the bigger one try to eat to smaller? <should be ok, just make sure the smaller one is getting enough food.  If the larger one shows any aggression I would separate them.> thanks for the time cause it seems like none of the vets around here know that much. <Honestly, I would start feeding the turtles prepared turtle food, frozen food, veggies if they will take them, and worms (I get mine from a bait shop).  That way you will not have to worry about dirty fish.  Best Regards, Gage>

Anchor Worms (was: my poor fish) Hello, <<Greetings>> I have a 10 gallon aquarium with one gold fish. A couple months ago I captured a few tad poles and a few minnows from a river and added them to my tank. <<It's never a good idea to add wild caught livestock to a tank containing "domestic" livestock because of the risk of disease.>> All was well and dandy until I discovered that the fish have what I think are to be anchor worms. The fish are acting fine, but they have little worm-looking things growing out from various sections of their bodies. The worm-like things have a v shaped tail and seem not to move from one fish to another, they are anchored (hence the name). I was hoping that you could suggest a treatment for my poor fish. <<Look thru the info at http://www.wetwebmedia.com/AqBizSubWebIndex/fishdisho.htm and/or do a search for anchor worms in the Google box located at the bottom of the main WWM page. The link above gives a description of the recommended treatment for anchor worms and doing the search should provide you with more useful info.>> Thank you! Jess <<You're welcome. Ronni>>

Goldfish Hi: <<Hello! Ronni here. >> I am trying to diagnose what is wrong with my goldfish I have 5 gold fish in a 30 gal. tank I cant tell what sex they are.   1 black moor... 1 common gold fish...1 that looks like a Lionhead goldfish. and 2 others I don't remember their names from the time I bought them. My black moor behavior has changed over the past two weeks.  It is resting at the bottom of the tank eating very little all day long. If it comes up to eat it goes right back down to the bottom to eat. I thought maybe I have over fed them so I have just been feeding them once a day that still has not changed its behavior. I thought maybe he had a internal disease so treated the whole tank with Mela fix the black moor had started swimming and acting normal so I stopped treating the tank after 5 days. Now it is resting at the bottom of the tank again.  The other fishes sometime join it in the corner for a little while then start swimming around again then they go back and join it in the corner again maybe they know it is sick.  I have tested the water and made partial water changes emptied half the tank I am at a lost what to do next. I don't see any visible signs of external disease other than a sore that has healed now..   <<Possibly an internal parasite left over from the sore/treatment. The symptoms sound like it may be Septicemia but without knowing what the water tests revealed, I can't guess as to what else this could be. Immediate isolation into a quarantine tank is highly recommended. I'm assuming that the water quality was poor since you did a water change. Also, what is the temperature of the tank?>> The fish that looks like a Lionhead his tail has red veins showing now that seem like there is more everyday is this a sign of some disease? <<This can definitely be a symptom of an internal problem. Most likely the same as above. This one should also be isolated and please keep a close eye on your other fish as Septicemia is contagious.>> The common goldfish has white patches on the right side of its body which looked like fading color but then It turned into a missing scale it is not red or bleeding . <<I've had my own goldfish do this without anything being wrong with them but since your others are showing symptoms this definitely bears watching.>> I check all the ornaments but nothing with sharp edges are in the tank. One major thing that happened to my tank last year is I had a major PH crash and have not been able to control it since that happened.   I have added ph correctors that did not seem to work. One day I noticed one of the ph correctors I bought was baking soda. I started adding baking soda to the water  that's been working so I use it when I notice the PH is low. <<Constant fluctuation of the Ph is not good for your fish and while I doubt this is what is causing the problems, it's most certainly not helping them.>> Should I put the black moor in a tank by itself until he start swimming around again? <<Most definitely, see above. If this is Septicemia it can be fatal if not caught and treated in time. Maracyn 2 may help.>> I hope you can help or give me some advise. <<Hope this has helped. I may be able to tell more if you can give me more info. Also, please check out the info at http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwfshparasites.htm and related FAQ's>> Michelle

Sick Fan Tail Gold Fish Dear Bob: <Gage here this morning.> My name is Lisa and I have a very sick fan tail gold fish .She is 3 years old and has been laying at the bottom of our tank all day, normally she swims all over the place and sleeps 3-4 times a day. Her fins seem to appear shredded and am not sure what is wrong with her, I also had a Cory which we had to remove from the tank today because it had died. If you could please send me an email at this address and let me know if there is anything you know of that could be wrong I would greatly appreciate it. Sincerely Violet <The first thing that I would do is take a water sample down to the local fish store and have it tested to see if anything is out of whack.  Get back to us with the test results (ph, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate), the size of your tank, and they type of filtration you are running and we should be able to get to the bottom of this.  It may be that all you need is more frequent water changes and the addition of a little salt, but it is hard to say just yet.  Feel free to browse the goldfish FAQs.  Best Regards, Gage http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshdisfaqs.htm >

Upside-Down Goldfish? My friend has a fantail goldfish, and all he does is float upside down. We were kinda worried know because he has a red like bump on his belly, and the place were the bump is stays out of the water. Does that mean that he is sick or that he just likes to swim upside down? Please let me know what you think. Thanks. Melissa. <Well, Melissa, it's certainly abnormal for a goldfish to float upside down! The malady causing this condition can be anything from swim bladder damage to an equilibrium problem. As for the red bump- hard to say...could be the result of a parasite, injury, or some kind of other disease. I never recommend giving up on a fish, but you may need to try some heroic actions here. I don't like indiscriminately medicating when a condition cannot be ascertained, but I think that you may want to try some type of broad-spectrum antibiotic. perhaps, if the condition was brought about by an internal infection, this may alleviate the condition. Please do a search on the "Freshwater" section of the wetwebmedia.com site under "diseases" to see if you can find information on an affliction which appears to be similar to what you're dealing with. Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Re: Worried about my Black Moor Thanks so much for your advice.  I guess I will have to get the Black Moor his own tank although I never intended to have TWO aquariums! <that is how it starts. Pretty soon, well I never intended to have a pond in the yard.> Since I wrote we have a new problem.  I mentioned that recently I found the Plecostomus attached to the back of the Black Moor, sucking.  Well, now that area on the Black Moor's body is bronze-colored (instead of black) and the back fins coming from that area are fraying and have a light coating of white on them. I am guessing he got injured and now has some kind of infection (bacterial? fungal?)??  Do you have a recommendation on what I can do to cure him? Thanks for your help! Wendy <Hi Wendy, chances are if you get him to his own tank these things will clear up on their own.  If after a few weeks of solitude the problem is still there I would try adding some Epsom salt to his water, about 1 tablespoon for 10 gallons.  Let us know how it turns out.  Best Regards, Gage>

Is my goldfish sick? I have been noticing some changes in my goldfish recently that make me think he might be sick. for example, I came home and he was laying on the bottom of the tank and only swam around when aroused, I hadn't fed him yet so I gave him some food and he didn't eat it, I also noticed that he was bumping into things in the tank and the glass. He has never done this before. could he be sick or blind? Oh, I also noticed that he's been floating around tail side up the only time he stays straight is when he is swimming using his fins. He's not very big and lives in a 2 gallon tank which I clean regularly. I hope u can help from the symptoms I gave u. I don't know much about goldfish illnesses and don't want my fish to die. thanks so much. Sincerely Christina <Mornin Christina, the listlessness, swimming problems, and loss of appetite sound like they could be related to water quality and diet.  2 gallons is rather small, 10gals per goldfish is a good goal to shoot for.  Frequent partial water changes, the addition of some salt, and a varied diet should bring him back around.  If at all possible upgrade the tank and filtration.  Also, once he is eating again the addition of some good green plants like Anacharis would be helpful.  Read over our goldfish disease FAQs for more information.  -Gage > http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshdisfaqs.htm

Orange and White Ryukin. I bought my Orange and White Ryukin from PETsMART on Saturday evening, and tonight around twelve when I walked into my room I discovered my fish, Tropicana, "belly up." I thought he was dead, but when I looked closer he was still moving and breathing, but on his side. I searched around the web looking for answers, and found your FAQ page, and from comparing the symptoms of my fish to the fish of previous enquirers' had, I'm thinking he has swim bladder. <Swim bladder disorders are unfortunately all too common in fancy goldfish...> My question is this: when feeding him peas, how many do I need to feed him, and is it okay if they're canned peas with salt in them, or do they need to be the frozen kind with nothing added? <The frozen peas are much better for your fish, and for you... thaw them before feeding them to your goldfish. The size of your fish will help determine how many peas to feed him; generally, only feed him as many as he will eat in a minute or two.> And how much Epsom salt do I need to put in his bowl when its about 2 gallons? <Anthony suggests 1 tablespoon for 10 gallons, so I would go with about 3/4 of a teaspoon for 2 gallons.> Any advice you can give me on how to help my fish would be great. I could use advice on everything from how to get a tank's pH level just right so my fish is most comfortable, <Maintaining a steady pH is more important than getting to a specific pH.> all the way to what size tank I need to have for my Ryukin. <You could start with a 10 gallon tank and a basic power filter.> I'm a beginner, and I just have this one fish, so I need help and lots of it! <Start reading here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwsubwebindex.htm> Thanks in advance! <You are quite welcome. --Ananda>

Goldfish Thank you for your reply. The only other symptom is that one of the goldfish (who is approximately 6 years old) seems to have a droopy tail. We will check out the sites you mentioned. Brenda <I'm glad that we could help!>

TetraMedica Gold Oomed Hello. We have TetraMedica Gold Oomed for our Goldfish. We gave them the requested amount (3mL) because their fins were red. We were wondering when we should give the next dose of it, because we lost the instructions. Thank you. <I am not sure, I am not familiar with the product.  I would go down to the LFS and try to memorize the back of one of the other bottles of the same product.  Or possibly a search on Google.com. Apparently this is a common problem -Gage http://www.aquariumsite.org/prodshow.cfm?ID=1373 BTW, are your fish showing any other symptoms besides red fins? Check out the link below for information on goldfish disease/health http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshdisfaqs.htm >

Sick Goldfish Dear WWM experts I have two very sick Chinese goldfish. I got them a week ago. They were ok at first, but now they just lie on the bottom of the tank all day and not eat. I thought they were just sleeping at first, but now their fins are covered with white spots (Ich?) <Possibly Ich> and their tails are pretty badly chewed up (like torn paper fans). I think they're barely surviving at this point. I put some garlic pills in the water for now, hopefully it'll keep the fish alive longer. The water looks a bit cloudy and somewhat stinkier than normal. What do you think I should do? <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshdisfaqs.htm> I tried to feed them, but the food just get clouds the water even more. Should I keep feeding them? <Not if they're not eating. Do you have test kits for chemical water quality? Have you tested for ammonia, nitrite? What did you do to establish biological filtration (cycling) before introducing these fish?> What are some possible treatments? I would appreciate any help you can give. Thanks so much. Jane <I would test the water, dilute them with water changes (with treated freshwater) if excessive in ammonia and/or nitrite (more than 0.5 ppm) and administer some salt (ice-cream, kosher, pickling variety) in a tsp. per gallon over three days time. Don't feed them unless they're up, interested in food. Bob Fenner>

Bubble-eyed gold fish I've had my bubble eyed gold fish for about a year now. Just recently I noticed one of it's bubbles had blood inside of it, and it deflated a lot. I thought it was the other goldfish in the tank pecking at it, so I removed those fish into another tank. Now that it's bubble healed, it has happened again, on it's own, the same bubble. But this time inside the bubble, is white, stone-like particles, and a lot more redness "blood." And the one pupil is dilated! What is it? And what should I do? Thank you, Kim. <Likely "broken blood vessels"... from age, previous damage. Not much to do re. You can try adding Epsom salt to the water, improve nutrition (as with HUFA and vitamin supplement addition to foods), enhance water quality. This condition does "cure" in time in many cases. Bob Fenner>

Fantail goldfish sick? I have a large fantail goldfish (about 3" body and about 3 years old) in an outdoors ponds (about 300 gallons) and he frequently floats upside down in the pond.  Sometimes he is lying upside down between stalks of the plants.  Sometimes I am sure he is dead but when I put food in he rights himself enough to eat.  Is he injured and should I try to do anything to correct this odd behavior?    <Sounds like a swim bladder disorder, very common with the wide bodied gold fish.  Cannot always be cured, but it is worth a shot, checkout the link below for more info.  Let us know if you have any further questions.  Best Regards, Gage http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshdisfaqs.htm

Vitamin Supplements & Medicines We have a 7-year-old, 3-inch (6-inch with tail fins) Ryukin suffering from septicemia. <"Bacteria in its blood"... what was/were the root cause/s?> After examining the patient, our vet advised a 2-week daily dose of Enrofloxacin added to the water in a hospital tank of 2.5 gallons.   The small tank and daily water changes seemed to stress the fish more than the medication helped, so we moved him back into his 15 gal tank and administered 'Jungle' Pond Fungus Eliminator.   <Likely the salt in this product helped> His personality has returned. He swims to the front of the tank when we enter the room and swims over toward the chair next to the aquarium when the cats come to visit him, but he spends the remainder of his day lying on one side or the other in a corner of the tank. Even when swimming, he remains on his side in the bottom of the tank.  We've been feeding him peas which he eats from our hands, showing a healthy appetite.   <Okay> The vet has advised not adding anything further to the water and letting nature take its course, but we'd like to try food supplements or medication if there is a chance they might aid our pet.  Can you offer suggestions on diet supplements or oral medication? <I would suggest the same as has your veterinarian, but the additions to the animals foods would be fine> Would we be well advised to obtain copies of Herwig's or Noga's publications on fish disease? <Mmm, not likely beneficial. There is a very worthwhile work on Goldfish husbandry however: Erik L. Johnson and Richard E. Hess' Fancy Goldfish; a Complete Guide to Care and Collecting (Weatherhill, NY, Tokyo), that all fancy goldfish keepers would benefit by reading, including the most extensive, up-to-date treatment of their diseases I'm aware of.> Could you recommend where we might purchase something like Waterlife's Vitazen? Is Kent's Zoe supplement comparable? <Yes> Thank you for any assistance you can offer.  We are most appreciative. Dianne <Thank you for your caring, and sharing. Bob Fenner> Re: Vitamin Supplements & Medicines Dear Mr. Fenner,   The vet speculated that water quality was the culprit. <Yes, this could do it>   We have since introduced an under-gravel filter and are making a 25% water change twice a week while investigating external filtration systems. (We currently employ a  Bio-filter system which hangs on the back of the tank.)   <Much better for goldfish> Thank you for recommending Johnson and  Hess' Fancy Goldfish; a Complete Guide to Care and Collecting. We've rather been at the mercy of well-intentioned, but under-informed employees at local pet stores and would very much like to find a goldfish fancier's club in the Texas area.  In the past, similar organizations have proved invaluable in caring for other pets (birds, cats, and dogs). <You're welcome. Glad to share> Thank you, too, for your prompt response.  You are most gracious to share your experience with others via the internet. <A pleasure and honor. Bob Fenner> Yours sincerely, Dianne Maurice

Urgent advice needed (goldfish bloat "disease") Dear Robert I have a black Ryukin, less than a year old. About 3 weeks ago, it started swimming sideways, I changed the water, tried feeding it peas. But the condition remained the same. I have used fin rot medicine for treating its fin which was looked like it was having fish rot. The fin improved, but he remained bloated. Lately I noticed there was a small white spot on its bloated belly (exposed to the air), and a red spot beneath scales. I was prescribed Azoo, an anti bacterial powder, by the fish hobbyist shops. My Ryukin's condition did not improve, but lately I noticed the red spots looked like internal bleeding under the scales. What should I do? I am really desperate, as I am new in this. Thanks. Adeline <Thank you for writing. It is likely that the prima facie cause of all the other symptoms you list is a "swim bladder disorder"... all-too common in "rounder" breeds of Goldfish. Your step to intervene with feeding peas is a good strategy, as over time, consumption of less "fat" prone/storage foods allows for a better balance/orientation. I would move this specimen to a shallow system (A handful of inches deep) w/o rocks, other sharp decor, no lighting, feed it very sparingly, and perhaps add a level teaspoon of Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) per ten net/actual gallons (no need to re-new unless you change out water). Over a period of a few weeks it should "right" itself. The other suggested medicines won't hurt, but the sores should clear on their own. Bob Fenner>

Re: Goldfish Disease Hey Bob, how are you at fish diseases? A friend has lost one black moor and may loose another large goldfish to some kind of bloating/constipation issue. Can you assist? <Yes> Mike

Re: Meteor Watching, Goldfish problems Mornin Bob. Went to the "big shower" last night. A little groggy this a.m. Great visuals. Took a camera and t-pod but not able to get far enough off the road to suit my taste. Plus there was a cloud that was moving in and out the entire time. Maybe something will come out. Did, 5, 10 and 15 minute time lapse. <Neat... was out at the sushi bar with friends last night... and they were going to make the big drive to the desert for meteor viewing as well... but too foggy, and late...> All in all it was a lot less "amazing" than the hype. We did see about 100 meteors in about two and a half hours though and that was amazing. Great tails. Anyway, on the fish matter. My friend Ted is getting a bit desperate to figure out what is happening with his fish. The Moor died after bloating and not dumping. <Very, too typical... am writing a review (while reading the book) on Goldfish husbandry... reminded of many losses attributable to too-fancy breeds, too much dried food...> He tried broad spectrum antibiotics but to no avail. Now he has another with the same symptoms. He set up a hospital tank as isolation and is ready to move the sick fish into it. The only change that he can think of is that he changed food types a few weeks before the first fish became ill..... Perhaps you should give him a call and speak to him directly. <Mmm, I don't generally call, talk re such matters (we have thousands of people on our sites daily... I would be buried)> I really think that he needs expert advice from a fish person.  <Agreed... have him email me, and I will answer directly and/or send on the way to other sources> Now if he wanted to know what to do with a Mhorr Gazelle with a luxated hock joint, well I'm his man...but here I fear my expertise falls woefully short here...he is at 619-222-3746. He should be home later today (Sunday) so if you have the time and don't mind giving him a jingle I am sure that he would greatly appreciate it. Thanks. Mike <Please have him write if possible. Bob Fenner>

Goldfish problem Dear Robert, <Anthony Calfo, in your service> I have an ordinary fan-tail goldfish, which I keep in an 18" tank. Over the past couple of months it has developed a large white growth on the side of it's body, the size of a walnut. A friend told me if I left it that it would go away of it's own accord. It hasn't! Any suggestions? <some truth to that if it were a viral Lymphocystis infection. But it could be many things. Tough to diagnose without seeing it. There are many great goldfish clubs in the UK as I understand it. Consider looking up a local club (in PFK magazine?) for some expert local help. Even a knowledgeable LFS. If not, try to send a picture and we can hopefully make a better ID for you. Best regards, Anthony Calfo> Thanks Chris B UK

Dear Rob, Is my pearly fantail goldfish sleepy? <Anthony Calfo in your service here at WWM> She (we guess it's a she, as she has red-lipstick lips!) is a new addition to our tank in the last 3 weeks, and since she arrived, she's taken to exhibiting a rather unnerving behaviour. She swims with the other four fish quite happily, and then drifts off to the bottom of the tank, finds a well or dip in the gravel, and then appears to go to sleep! If you call her, she happily jumps awake and comes to the front of the tank to have her belly 'tickled' through the glass, but will then return to the back or corner of the tank, tuck herself into a stone dip and lie completely motionless. She's feeding just as well as the others, her colour and scales have improved since we got her, she mixes well with the other fish and she seems to be quite a character, other than the 75% of the day that she lies on the bottom on her own! Is she sick, or just playing with the minds of her new owners? <ornamental goldfish are plagued with congenital defects from selective breeding for their unique shapes that may even put pressure on the swim bladder and cause such unusual swimming behaviors. It is not curable if so. If the fish however swam fine for quite some time and then evidenced the behavior... you might look towards impaction (especially if given an all dry food diet). You may try a one time dose of Epsom salt at 1 Tablespoon per 10 gallons of tank water and feed high moisture green foods including thawed frozen peas and spinach (small bits at first). Very nutritious foods for goldfish. Kind regards, Anthony>
Is my pearly fantail sleepy? 2 
Oh, dear, Anthony - it's all going pear-shaped here! <me too if I keep sucking down donuts like they were oxygen!> Our pearly fantail is now looking very, very sorry for herself. Her dorsal fin is currently laying flat <not a big deal> on her back and her pearly scales are getting pinker by the minute, <OK...a big deal> especially around her gill covers. <maintain maximum oxygenation please> We've isolated her in a salty 'holiday' fish bowl to treat her as you suggested, but she's not interested in the spinach, and floats motionlessly about, her mouth and gills hardly moving. Is it time to book her a room in the freezer compartment? Hoping not and desperate for advice! <have faith and please do not euthanize, if at all, unless you see evidence of a virulent or seemingly incurable condition (hemorrhaging and the like). Keep good water quality, daily water changes, add common aquarium salt (NaCl) too at 1 Tablespoon per 5 gallons. Lets hope for the best. Anthony> Inga
Is my pearly fantail sleepy? 3 
Anthony! Put down that donut! <"Yes, put down the donut and nobody will get hurt"...hehe> OK, OK, so this fish is now isolated, <ducky> her water is changed daily and we add (as recommended): salt, stress zyme, stress coat and swim bladder treatment (we're assured that this is a safe combo) <I'm interested to know what is in the latter...mostly salt I suspect...a dry crystalline tonic?> we're trying to feed her spinach, peas, or special 'non-impacting' food <yes... I've had to cut beans and cheese out of my goldfishes' diet...too binding> And yet she still lies listlessly on the bottom! <alas... often a very slow malady to heal...weeks or more is not uncommon> We thought that she was perking up for about half an hour, but it was not so. <That's because "Who's Line is it Anyway" came on the TV... the British one, not the American one which is nowhere near as funny.. although I do like Drew Cary well enough... he's just not as witty as Clive Anderson> Her new trick is to lie on her side! (I'm guessing that this is her swim bladder) Either that, or she's training for a career in the circus! <yes... there is a great demand for fish that look dead in carnival entertainment I hear> She absolutely refuses to eat Her 'pinkness' is not worsening, but neither is it improving. <in all seriousness...a very good sign. Some "pinkness" is symptomatic of pathogenic conditions is rapidly infectious> Her gill cover/mouth movement is now more normal than it was. <very very good> But suddenly today, great holes have appeared in her tail fins, giving them a rather grim 'lace work' effect. This has literally happened over the course of 12 hours. <Arghh... perhaps bacterial. Treating with Furazone/Nitrofurazone combo? Please do if not> And we were worried that we weren't ready to have kids! Having fish is FAR more stressful! At least kids whine when they're feeling sick! <funny... but I agree> Any more advice on our rapidly decaying pet would be appreciated. (If I haven't put you off your donut, that is!) <no, not at all... I won't let a little rotting fish flesh imagery ruin a perfectly good donut?!?>  Inga <kindly, Anthony>

Pop-eye Black moor Hi Bob, I have a very grotesque looking black moor fish who definitely has pop-eye because he eye is hanging out of the socket. I was wondering if because I have only had this fish for 6 days whether the pet shop has given me a dodgy fish? and is it too late to save him? <Mmm, well... to a good extent, this "line" (all goldfish are the same species, sort of like domestic dogs) is subject to such eye disorders... Could be resultant from a trauma (whacked with a net, bump in the night...)... But in all likelihood not a/the reason for tremendous alarm as the specimen can probably do just fine as is... finding food, et al. Do keep it well-fed, water-quality up, and it may well self-repair, go on to a full life. Bob Fenner> Many thanks, Alyssa

Fantail Goldfish Problem Dear Bob: <Steven Pro pulling my shift this evening.> Something is wrong with my one-and a half year old goldfish, Cleo. She is exhibiting behavior that doesn't seem normal to me. Most of the time she is either perpendicular or in a belly-up pose. She is eating O.K. and I have put her on antibiotics thinking she had something wrong with her swim fins. This behavior was also exhibited in a 5 gallon tank with filter and I thought a larger tank would be in order. I purchased a 12 gallon Eclipse but it doesn't seem to have made any difference. The filter and water are clean. Do you have any ideas what may be wrong? <Yes, sounds like a swim bladder disorder. Very common problem with many of the fancy goldfish. There are several Q&A's about this problem here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/PondSubWebIndex/goldfishfaqs.htm -Steven Pro>
Re: Fantail goldfish behavior
Dear Bob: Thanks for replying to my dilemma on my fantail goldfish, Cleo's swim bladder disorder. I have put her on Maracyn-Two, but, that doesn't seem to help. Also, she will not go for the peas, romaine lettuce and spinach. Any other suggestions? How fatal is this disorder? Should I prepare for the worst? Paula Simmons.  <Please do read over the FAQs where Steven referred you to (below) earlier. There is some hope of resolution with time, perhaps Epsom salt baths might alleviate the problem... but generally (more often than not by the vast majority of cases) the damage here is irreversible. With weight loss/change in body chemistry make-up, the fish may "right itself"... and live years more... Not good odds, but it can/does happen. Bob Fenner>
Re: Fantail goldfish behavior
Dear Bob:  <Anthony Calfo in your service> Thanks again for your time and efforts on Cleo's behalf AND mine too. I think with more diligence on my part, Cleo, may have a chance. Did give her the Epson salt treatment this morning after cleaning out 20 percent of her old water and then treating the new water which had been standing 48 hours.  <excellent> I have also been removing the stones on the bottom so she won't bottom feed so much per FAQ. Another tip on FAQ was soaking her food for 15 minutes before feeding it to her. <yes... very helpful with greedy feeders> She seems a little bit more lively this afternoon, and hopefully with changes in the water twice or three times a week may make a difference.  <agreed> I'll keep you posted. Thanks again for all your input. Paula Simmons <always welcome. Anthony>

Sick Black Moor Can you help a really sick Black Moor? I am new to the fish stuff. <I shall do my best> I really like this little fish and would love to save him. I have had him for two weeks, which is how long I have been at this. He appears to have Ich and I started treating him for it yesterday. Today, he stopped eating and transferred him to another bowl. Don't have two tanks so he is in a big measuring cup.  <hmmm... do change water carefully and every day... it sure is a tough life to have a fish living in such a small vessel> He looks like he has little bubbles, not salt, all over him. Is this Ich?  <sounds quite possible... especially in an unheated cup/aquarium subject to daily temp fluctuation> Also, the whites of his eyes have become very noticeable. Does he have pop-eye, too? <not likely... pop-eye is exopthalmia...protruding/swollen eyes> We have three other goldfish in the tank, but there does not appear to be anything wrong with them. They are quite happy. Last night I noticed the big Fantail either knocking or biting at the sick Moor. Is this normal when a fish is sick? <alas, yes... they may try to take advantage of the sick or dying. Do look into getting another larger vessel to keep the fish in and some Ich medicine> Thanks so much. Sue P.S. Do you have any idea how to tell the sex of a goldfish? <males will have pimply like tubercles on the forward surface of the ventral fins (coating the first few hard rays) when in spawning mood. Females are simply better rounded/stout. Best regards, Anthony>
Follow-up: Can you help a really sick Black Moor?
<Steven Pro in now.> Thank you so much for your reply. It wasn't long after I sent the note that he died. sniff, sniff. What a lovely little fish he was. He was only in the other container for a short while. <Sorry to hear that.> Would you mind if I asked a couple more questions? <Go ahead.> The other fish seem fine, but should I continue with changing the water and adding medication for Ich? <The changing water daily recommendation had to do with being in a bowl, not really about the possible Ich infestation. Monitor their health closely and be prepared to medicate if you see anything.> If so, for how long? <Follow the manufacturer's directions.> How long do you think I should wait to see if the other fish get sick before I get another moor? Two weeks? <More like one month.> I have this other fish that is perfectly healthy, but swims and sleeps upside down, we call him Bottom-up. It is kind of hard for him to get to the bottom, but he does so in circles. He has even grown in the past two weeks. It's amusing to watch, but what's up with that? <Common affliction for fancy goldfish. There are several Q&A's on this topic in the goldfish FAQ found here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/PondSubWebIndex/goldfishfaqs.htm> Again, thank you so much for your kind reply. I had no idea fish could be so interesting. Sue <More interesting with every time you observe them. -Steven Pro>

Thank you! You guys are really super!!!! Do you sell something or just answer questions all day? Thanks again, Sue <absolutely nothing to sell... heehee... that's why you get good service. Bob has assembled a gaggle of dedicated industry professionals, aquarists and friends to support this enormous site full of free (all and only) content: pics, articles, FAQs, now movies/video coming online (yippee!). A little advertising money trickles in from merchants... but this enormous site (and expense to operate it) is the product of Bob's vision for supporting and promoting conscientious aquarium keeping by aquarists and dealers alike. Thanks kindly for the recognition though! Best regards, Anthony>

Goldfish Help II Well, I've given him 2 bouts of Epsom salt in the tank, and he still lists to the side. Any other suggestions? ~Heather <Actually, quite a few. The others that Anthony mentioned about diet and a few other suggestions can be found here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/PondSubWebIndex/goldfishfaqs.htm -Steven Pro>

Goldfish swimming upside down? Bob, <Anthony Calfo in your service> I have 4 Goldfish, where one of the goldfish is swimming upside down. <a common malady/behavior with goldfish... many reasons for it> Its not large, doesn't have an oversized tail, still feeds actually it is the first one to feed. <still... congenital defects run rampant with highly inbred fishes such as goldfish> My little friend has been like this for six days now. We had another one doing the same thing and it died after a day. I immediately cleaned out the water and de-chlorinated it, we have an under-gravel filter covered with pebbles & some seaweed for them to munch on. <if not a defect that manifests with age/development... often an internal blockage from these greedy feeders (consume a lot of dry food and become impacted). If that is the case, adding 1 tablespoon of Epsom salt per five gallons can relive the blockage> What is going on? Do you think there is something wrong with it, or with the way I maintain the water, could it be a disease...If so what can I do to eliminate it so that the other fish don't get contaminated. <unlikely disease or water quality... more likely a defect or blockage> Margo <with kind regards, Anthony Calfo>

"Saddle bags" on  goldfish Dear Robert: Diagnosis SVP? I have a farm pond ( actually a reservoir) some 300 feet by perhaps another 300 feet with mosquito fish (uncountable) and over 100 goldfish. All have been in the pond for over 7 years. Every once in awhile a gold fish shows up with what I call "saddle bags" on both sides of the body. The "saddle bags" are very symmetrical, oblong, do not look like tumors, and don't resemble photos of fish with dropsy. <Interesting> Over the years I may have had one or two fish each season with "saddle bags". Only one of them died, as far as I can tell; unless a bobcat has fished for the others. Is this something to worry about? And if so, what is it, what can be done in such a large water hole? <May be something of concern. Have you had any of the "saddle bag" fish opened, looked at internally?> I have planted some water-iris in pots and lotus here and there around reservoir perimeter; most of the fish like to cavort around a wooden staircase I use to get into the water myself to swim with them. <I would have the fish checked out> Any help gratefully awaited, from the Shingle Mill Pond residents <Bob Fenner>

Goldfish health Hello! I just found your (absolutely terrific) website online and I am going to write to you and ask for help. I have done a lot of research and I'm really confused because it seems my goldfish is exhibiting symptoms of one thing, according to one site, and a completely different malady according to another site. <Ok...> He's tired of my experimenting! A word about me first: I'm a first-year graduate student and flat-out broke. This goldfish is the only pet I am legally allowed to have and I'm very fond of him, but if the repairs are going to cost more than $10 it's going to be a real decision between saving him and eating for the week. So I am NOT able to tell you about my pH levels or ammonia or anything. <Ok, but this will severely limit the possibility of an accurate diagnosis and therefore accurate advice.> I bought this goldfish six months ago, and I change his water approximately every 7 days. He is in a 2.5-gallon tank with a fake plant and a 10-gallon-capable Whisper filter which I turn off at night so he can sleep without the updraft (I change the filter every month or so). When I do a water change I take out a little less than a gallon and put a gallon in; the difference is the water that's evaporated over the course of the week. So that's all I can tell you about water quality, unfortunately. <Ok...> Prior to all this chaos I fed the goldfish one pinch of flakes every night just before I went to bed. Sometimes after I turned out the light I'd hear him "gulping," but he always quit after a few minutes so I figured he was just being silly or blowing bubbles (hence my belief that he's a he). So about two weeks ago I noticed that he was kind of panicky and floating, he seemed to be struggling to stay at the bottom (normally he sleeps all day on the gravel). <Swim bladder disorders are all too common in fancy type goldfish.> I logged on and did all the research and went out and bought him some peas, which I thawed and peeled and fed him. <A good move> The next day he was all better so I fed him, using a new procedure and soaking the flakes first (and using a new canister of flakes). The next day he was floating, so I repeated the pea procedure. Then I abstained from feeding him for 3 days (I found several web sites that said you could not feed a goldfish for a month without harming him). <Correct, but losing ballast weight may make his problems more pronounced.> But he's a cutie and every evening he starts swimming pointedly around in the "food" spot so I finally gave in and fed him three days ago, and the next morning he was floating a little bit again! <Perhaps try sinking pellets> I thawed and peeled some more peas and fed them to him. For three days I fed him only peas (approximately 1 pea a day). On the second day, I observed that he was not floating as much and that his poop was pea-colored (normally it's grey-brown if I see it at all). So I thought good, it's cleaning out whatever's wrong in there. Then yesterday I came home and found him with a long poop still attached, perfectly clear with bubbles trapped in it. I don't know if the poop was strong enough but it seemed to be pulling him up, so he was kind of half-head standing for a while until it came out. I logged on again and several different sources said that clear/bubbly poop means he's malnourished. So I fed him flakes again, but I tried doing it well before I went to bed in case the gulping is him stupidly searching for more food in the dark. He didn't gulp last night and he wasn't floating this morning, but right now he's having another long, clear, bubble-filled poop. He seems fairly worked up about it (he's a pretty placid fish) and is swimming as if he wanted to detach the poop from himself ASAP. Once again the poop seems to be dragging him upwards a little. At no point has he exhibited swelling, discoloration, or other signs of distress. He did have a fairly stressful move from Michigan to Georgia earlier this month, but I kept him as climate-controlled as possible and changed his water and it was only 2 nights before he was back in his tank. So one site I found tonight suggested that clear, bubbly poop and head standing are actually symptoms of SPAWNING. And now I'm all confused. <Me too and mildly amused that I am discussing the finer points of fish feces with someone.> Is this a swim bladder disease or something else entirely, or is it just that my he is actually a she? <I would guess a swim bladder problem.> That would be kind of cool -- I could use some sisterly solidarity. Does spawning take two weeks? I'd love it if you could help, but even if you can't I appreciate your contribution to the general body of goldfish knowledge. <Do read at your leisure the information regarding this problem and general goldfish husbandry on www.WetWebMedia.com. I would be inclined to change to a goldfish formula sinking pellet along with occasion feedings of the peas. Do be aware that goldfish get rather large. You may want to consider finding him a new home. Bettas/Siamese fighting fish and various Killifish will be much happier and healthier in such a small tank.> Thank you! Alden <You are welcome. -Steven Pro> Bloating goldfish I recently (four months ago) moved to a new house that has a lovely pond in the backyard, complete with about 30 goldfish and 2 Koi. <Size of fishes, system? Shape, depth, types of filtration, circulation information?> We had a problem with the filter and pump and replaced them about a month ago. The fish have all been healthy until about three weeks ago when I noticed that one of the goldfish was quite bloated and subsequently it began swimming upside down. <A bad sign.> It died within about a week. Now two more fish are bloated in the same manner and one is also swimming upside down. Neither were in distress yesterday. I've checked the pH balance and for toxic waste - the nitrates - and both are acceptable. <Good checking.> I've done a search in the web for what could be the cause and it sounds like dropsy to me. <Mmm, well, dropsy is a "condition"... w/ a few possible contributing causes... genetic propensity ("fat" varieties of goldfish get it more easily), often nutritionally related (foods w/ too much protein, fat content), and water quality most commonly cited... Could be the change in gear, seasons triggered the start of something here... Perhaps biological, likely more environmentally related> Do you think it is from my description? Could it be that with the new pump, the water is flowing more quickly and this is causing the problem? Should I be adding some non-iodized salt to the pond? <The salt is a good idea... at least what I would do... Again, please send along the requested information (above)> I'd appreciate any advice you could provide. I'm new to this and just hate to see the fish suffering. Thanks, Esther Christopher <We're very glad to try help. If you have a means of adding aeration (a bubbler of sorts or a pump that adds circulation) I would do this as well for now. Sorry for the delay in response. Bob Fenner>
Re: Bloating goldfish
You asked for some additional info. The 2 Koi are each about a foot long. The goldfish vary in size between 4 and 10 inches. The pond is round with a 12 foot diameter and about 3 feet deep in the middle tapering up on all sides.  <Quite crowded... a factor> The pump is 3500 gal. rated resting on an inverted plant container about 1 foot off the bottom. The pump feeds into a 3,500 gal. rated Nursery Pro pressure filter (a series of round sponges in a closed container) which then feeds into a waterfall which is about 20 feet from the pond. <Pressurized filters can be trouble. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/PondSubWebIndex/pndfiltrovr.htm and the linked files beyond> The pond is replenished by a lined creek from the waterfall pond ( creek is about 20 feet). Any further advice you can offer is much appreciated.  Esther Christopher & Lance Nater <I would give away about half the goldfish... do you have oxygenating grasses (live plants)? What do you feed? Bob Fenner>
Re: Bloating goldfish
Yes, we have grass and water lilies in both the waterfall basin and the pond. These plants take up about 30% of the surface areas. <A "good" percentage> Re the pressurized filter, we have been turning the pump off for 8 to 10 hours each evening. We tested for pH and nitrates but not ammonia. <Ohh... dangerous to shut these units down... do check the initial discharge water... I strongly suggest leaving on 24 h/day> Should we run the pump continuously?  <Emphatically yes!> Do we shut it down during the winter (we live in the middle of Vancouver Island where coldest night temp. would be freezing or slightly below)?  <If freezing you should turn off the pump, remove it... if freezing to more than an inch or permanently, remove the livestock (including plants) to elsewhere during the cold season... Please, PLEASE read: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/PondSubWebIndex/pdwintmaint.htm> We're feeding a handful of pellet type food daily. Thanks again, Lance and Esther <Please read over the WWM site re temperature relations and feeding. Bob Fenner>

Black moor Hi all, I have a black moor in a 75G tank with rock bottom temp around 75F. No other readings. The moor's lips are turning light gray/white and also the edges of the gills seem to be laying forward and turning a similar color. <the flaring gills is a problem... have you seen gill scratching too? May indicate the beginning of a parasite infection> Occasionally, the fish will stay near the bottom and appear not to breath for extended times and then start breathing real hard and swim to the top. <consider the fishes size, age in aquarium... but still sounds pathogenic. Increase aeration in tank if possible and salt the water if not already so with one tablespoon per five gallons of water (replace with water changes). Be prepared to medicate this fish in a separate QT tank if stabilization or improvement is not achieved in 3-5 days> Other goldfish don't seem to me to be affected. Thanks,  Don <best regards, Anthony>

What's wrong here? (Goldfish health) I have two goldfish that I am concerned about. They are in a regular ten gallon tank with a few guppies, and a few zebra tetras. <I do want to make mention that I prefer to see goldfish only kept with other goldfish. Goldfish prefer cooler water than most tropical fish will tolerate. They also have different dietary issues.> The two goldfish are staying on the bottom of the tank with their fins close to their body, like motionless. They move slowly around in one certain area, like they are supposed to stay there. Occasionally they will move around normally, but mostly just hang down in the same area. They have been doing this for a few days now, so what is wrong here? <There are so many possibilities. Most likely a water quality issue is off. That could have triggered the onset of a disease. I would first change about 25% of the water daily for three days. If that does not bring about an improvement, look for a medication to treat the symptoms. -Steven Pro>

Growth on Lionhead We have a one eyed Lionhead that is about two years old.  It has always had a large, bulbous forehead (can fish have foreheads?) <Mmm, yes... these growth areas on goldfish are termed "wens"> but it seems to just keep getting bigger. <Yes>   Now other smaller ball shaped growths have started to develop on the giant growth.  To make matters worse it has recently started swimming upside down and spends a lot of time with its head in the corner pushed against the under gravel filter tube.  I've started to treat it for swim bladder problems but what about these growths? <The growths may be tumorous... otherwise undesirable... they can be excised (cut away) with sharp scissors, or even (with good dexterity) a single edge razor... with holding the fish gently underwater (with a wet hand or soap-less towel)... and perhaps daubing the area with Merthiolate or mercurochrome on the resultant wound. Bob Fenner> They are huge. Many thanks, Albert Weatherill

Black Moor/Popeye Hi All! My Black Moore has had a relapse of Popeye. I have been reading up on all the info on your site, but I can't seem to find anything regarding Popeye in Goldfish. <It is all the same.> Are the medications the same? <Yep> Should I continue salt dipping? <Not likely to help and the physical handling of the fish may make the situation worse.> I really don't like additives in my tank, but my poor fishy looks so sad! I had a sudden ammonia spike, which may have caused the relapse, <Possible> that's under control now, but it would appear that some of the Moore babies are also affected :( What should I do? <I would begin with the Epsom salt treatment outline in the FAQ's on Popeye and then progress to an antibiotic food if things do not get better or get worse after one week.> Thanks for any help :) Bernadette <Good luck! -Steven Pro>

Black Moor, Cloudy Eye Hi Bob, <Hi Angela, Gage here this evening.> I am sorry if this is not the way to ask a question, but I have a black moor who has a cloudy eye. <Well that was a statement, but I will let it slide. :-)> He is swimming and eating fine. I have a filter in the tank and change the water weekly and test the pH at each water change. I have tried bacterial and parasite medication, but it is still cloudy. Please help me, everyone I talk to says something different. Also my fantail likes to sit in the corner, it has been doing this for a about a day now, could it be sick, when it wants to it will go for a swim and eat, but I am worried. Thanks for you help, Angela <For as cute as they are, goldfish sure are messy. Most goldfish ailments are directly related to water quality, specifically PH and Ammonia. What size tank are these fellas in, and what type of filtration. If you do not have test kits, take a sample of water down to your local fish store and have them test it for you. Also, if you are not already adding salt, Aquarium salt at 1 Tablespoon per 5 gallons. Are both eyes cloudy? Get your water tested and get back to us with the results, until then keep up on water changes and feel free to check out our goldfish FAQS http://www.wetwebmedia.com/PondSubWebIndex/goldfishfaqs.htm Best Regards, Gage>

He likes Spike (sick goldfish) Crew, I have had a little goldfish, Spike, now for 17 years (I'm 21) and am very attached to him. He has lived with the same tank dimensions of around 18 by 10 by 10 all his life and is fed every 2nd day. We clean him out every 10-14 days and he did, until around 5 years ago have a pal called Hector who died due to his swim bladder malfunctioning. Spike's tank is freshwater, straight from the faucet and doesn't have any sort of circulation in it whatsoever, in fat you could call it stagnant - but he, he's 17 so I don't think that's an issue. Spike is starting to go white around the gills and seems to be getting a little chunky around the middle. He is not constipated and seems happy enough, swimming up and down but there is nothing like reading web sites to get you paranoid. Has he got bloating? Is it fatal? Do fish eat more than they should and is he just getting fat? He is around 2-3 inches long from nose to tail tip and the coolest little guy in the world, tell me I am being paranoid. Thanks guys, Graeme Burns. <Goldfish are uncanny creatures, some of them have an amazing will to survive.  Is Spike a fancy goldfish or is he your standard feeder type?  I would add some filtration to the tank to improve water quality, if your tap water has chlorine and Chloramine in it I would use some water conditioner as well.  Aquarium salt would also help.  Although this situation has worked for 17years, it may finally be catching up with him.  Check out the FAQs below for more information.  Best Regards, Gage http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/goldfishfaqs.htm  >

Goldfish Pox Hello Bob, <Bonjour Claude> A French aquarist (it is a lady, we must be gentleman and answer ASAP) sent me four pictures of a fish with (I think it must be a Furunculosis illness) scales pathology.   Is it possible (no doubt in mind) for you to set a diagnostic? and then to propose a treatment, of course. <Oui, yes, certainly. Please refer her here as well: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/PondSubWebIndex/holedispd.htm which is an article on this condition... and to the FAQs linked (above).> Many thanks from Belgium. Claude <Ale au revoir, Bob Fenner> Claude Declercq Visitez, bezoek, visit http://users.skynet.be/glot http://users.compaqnet.be/allaboutfishes
I begin to dwell I think; I've omitted to attach the pictures by my first mail, here they are with apologizes. <No worries. This appears to be a viral complaint, most often termed "fish-pox" or in the case of goldfish and Koi "carp-pox"... not able to be treated "directly" as with medications, but likely to be "cured" by improving water quality and nutrition. Do ask your lady querier about her system, food use. Bob Fenner> Claude Declercq

Very Sick Goldfish Hi I have a goldfish, its been floating around in the tank for many days I think its going 2 die. What should I do? How do I  know that the fishes are sick? Please help. ahana <I would start with a partial water change, remove approx 25% of the old water, replace with clean/dechlorinated water that is the same temperature as the main tank.  Take a sample of your water to the local fish store, have them test if for PH, ammonia, and nitrate.  Are we dealing with a fancy goldfish (wide body) or a common gold fish?  What type of filtration do you have on this tank?  You can usually tell that your fish are sick by abnormal behavior, and/or noticeably signs of disease like spots, or open wounds.  Please get your water tested and get back to us.  Check out the links below for some good reading.  Best Regards, Gage http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwtips4beginners.htm http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/goldfishfaqs.htm>

Old Goldfish New Troubles Please can you help? We have a 10year old goldfish in a tank. I have just walked into the kitchen and noticed he is floating on the surface of the water and appeared to be "gasping". I immediately changed the water (it is less than a week since I did so). Is there anything else I can do before the little one comes home from school? <Yes... first, please tell us what size the fish and tank are...do you have a mechanical aerator/bubbler? Any filtration at all? How did you treat the water you used in the change? Any ideas on the cause of the behavior? What do you feed this fish? Are there other livestock, plants in the system? What sorts of foods do you offer? I would test your water for whatever parameters you have gear for... possibly add/change the carbon (if used) in your filter/s. Bob Fenner>

Fantails Hello <Hi Vanessa> I have four little fan tails in a ten gallon tank that were all swimming around just fine until about a week ago.  One of the fantails I purchased last year with another fish which I just lost.  So I went and purchased three new fish.  They have all been together for about a month.  Lately they all hang out on the bottom in a corner of the tank with their dorsal fins flat against their backs.  If I come by the tank they appear to "wake up" and swim around for a while, then go back to their "napping."  When I feed them in the mornings, they are bright eyed and busy tailed and swimming like mad for me to feed them.  Then I leave for work and I don't know what they do.  When I get home, they are all camped out in the corner. I don't turn a light on for them until evening when the sun goes down.  Is this bad/wrong?  They seem to prefer plain daylight, but now the sun is going down earlier and the house is much darker for a longer portion of the day. <It is doubtful they care much about it. Most fish actually prefer it a bit dim.> I feed them flake goldfish food broken into very small pieces (been feeding this to goldfish for years as I am just an amateur fish owner). The tank has a filter and I change some of the water regularly.  How often should I change the water? <In a ten gallon tank, fairly regularly, 25% every two to three weeks would be nice.>   Is there something wrong with my fish or is this just something they do when winter comes along?  Any advice you have would be appreciated. Vanessa <Clamped fins and listless behavior are bad signs. When this happens we look first at water quality, filtration, heat/cold. I would perform a good water change and vacuum the tank of debris and clean the filter (in old tank water, not tap water) and when you are done, get down to your local fish store and purchase an inexpensive test kit for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and test your tank to determine when your water needs changing.  When your fish are stressed they will clamp their fins, be inactive and look unhappy.  Craig>

Goldfish Hi, I am very new to goldfish. I bought two about two months ago and one is a gold fantail (with bubble eyes) and the other I'm not sure what it's called, it was gold with a white middle (no spots). The latter died last week and I'm not sure why. I think I might have stressed him out when I changed the water because he started getting black patches all over his body. I have been reading the FAQ's section on your site and all the people seem to have filtering tanks. Mine is quite small (not sure of the capacity) about 14x8x8. <Based on your dimensions, your tank is slightly under 4 gallons and about 15 gallons short of my recommendation to house two goldfish. A minimum for me would be 10 gallons per fish, excellent filtration, weekly water changes, and plans for larger quarters in the near future. Goldfish grow to about 10" and are very messy.> It is a simple glass tank with gravel. I was told by the pet shop to change two or three cups of water every few days, and change all the water every 14 days. <I am not comfortable with that water change schedule. I would prefer 50% weekly and be sure to treat the water with an appropriate dechlorinator and aquarium salt.> Since my fish died, the fantail has not been eating at all, and when I changed all the water today, I noticed that one of his eyes are cloudy. The two fish were quite happy food wise. I would feed them once a day about 5 tetra pellets (if I put anymore, they wouldn't eat them!). <Well, you have the feeding down.> I would first like to know why my fish might have died <I best guess is from the water change. Either from chlorine or perhaps an abrupt change in pH or temperature from the 100% change.> and what I can do about my live fish. <Use a good dechlorinator, try to match the temperature as best you can, and don't change more than 50% of the water at a time.> Also, do you know of any websites or articles about fish care (with a plain tank). <There are none that I know of because most people will keep goldfish in well filtered tanks. Your cheapest option is a simple sponge filter or perhaps a hang-on filter that also has some biological capacity (either a BioWheel or sponge).> Another thing, the tank is kept next to the window, which has a central heater under it. Is this ok? <Not really. Take a quick read through these articles: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwtips4beginners.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/taptrtmnt.htm Thanks, Zehra, London, UK <Best of luck to you in your future education in this hobby. -Steven Pro>

Oranda Emergency I've got real problems with my Oranda.  I'm afraid that he might be very sick. The first difficulty was with the water filter's pump:  it failed, and the water became very, very dirty. <time for a water change> During this time, I had bought another type of Goldfish food which was not the Yardley's Flakes that had been his diet exclusively before.  His feces were darker and slower to pass. I went to the pet store and bought a new filtration device <what kind?> and after consulting with a rather knowledgeable person there about the fish's diet and his resistance to a eating the new kind of fish flake, I decided to take some advice and buy pellet-food to help build his ability to scavenge. <Scavenging is not terribly important, better to get him eating first.> The fish took slowly to the pellets, but then after a couple of weeks began to decline eating them as I fed him.  He had several very long, dark feces which passed very slowly.  I don't know much from experience how much slower they were than before, but the change was very noticeable. After one more week passed, the fish began to swim off-kilter, that is *parallel to the ground*. This went on for over a week, and then I decided that it was real trouble. I called the pet store, and the same person listened to my description of the problem and diagnosed it as swim bladder's disorder.  She recommended *  to starve the fish for 2-4 days and then *  begin feeding him frozen food I began feeding him the frozen food a couple of days ago. <what kind of frozen food?> He has not begun to improve.  I cannot ascertain whether or not he is really eating the frozen food.  He is remaining in the same spot -sideways- on the floor of the tank.  His breathing is more rapid than I have ever seen it before.  The area around his eyes seem swollen, although I can see no discoloration anywhere.  He still doesn't seem to be defecating very much, although he has darker feces than I've seen since he got sick. Please help me.  I'm very worried.  Should I take this fish to get direct professional attention?  What else can I do for him? <Evenin' David, what size tank is this Oranda in?  What type of filtration is on the tank?  Are there any plants in the tank?  If you do not have test kits, take a sample of your water down to the fish store and have them test it for ammonia, nitrate, nitrite, and ph. I'm guessing that this was brought on by a water quality issue.  I'd start with a water change and let us know the specifics about your tank and water quality, then we can go from there.  Best Regards, Gage> David Freeman
Re: Oranda Emergency
I changed the water immediately upon installing >the new filtration device.  I conditioned it with the Cycle brand and a couple of others that, being complementary to it, were recommended by the woman at the pet store.  I also put in a multi-mineral (salt) combination that she advised me to use. <sounds good> <what kind?> [of filtration device] It's a Penguin Bio-Wheel Mini (100gph) .  It has *  a carbon filter that seems to be cleaning fairly well.  I just put in a new filter on the day I first wrote to you. *  a helpful-bacteria friendly wheel <I'd like to see bigger on a 20gal goldfish tank.> He wasn't really having a problem eating until after the idea of better scavenging made me want to buy the pellets on her advice.  Believe me, getting him to eat normally and swim like a man is what I'm concerned about. <the frozen food was a good choice.> I  have been feeding him a brand called "Fish Gum Drops Floating Fish Food Variety Pack" (San Francisco Bay Brand, Inc. 8329 Enterprise Drive, Newark, CA 94560) that has separate packets for : *  Bloodworms, *  Brine Shrimp and *  "Vegetable Diet (Squash, Spinach, Romaine, and vitamins)" The size of the tank is 20 Gallons.  There are no plants in the tank.  I don't think that the fish has ever lived with a plant (I inherited him from the previous renter of my apartment, who was a friend of mine). I will take a sample to the pet store tomorrow --sounds like good advice that I didn't get from the pet store woman when I told her all of what I'm telling you and asked if there was anything else that I could do for the fish. <Its best to get opinions from multiple sources.  If I recall, you have some good stores in your area.> I did replace the water almost completely two weeks ago when I observed how filthy the stones were.  I don't think that the fish's previous parent had assiduously cleaned the stones, so I removed the fish to temporary house with a gallon of the water for about 1 hour, where he swam sideways too. I cleaned the rocks, put in newly conditioned water and then replaced him along with the gallon of old water.  I don't know if that was the correct procedure.  Was it?  Since then, I have been replacing about 2 gallons (conditioned) per week.  The water is not murky and hasn't been for awhile.  I get worried when replacing the water.  I don't want to shock the fish. However, if you think that I should do so, then I shall.   I just replaced 2 gallons on Wednesday. <I would use a gravel vacuum to get into the gravel and replace 1/3 of the water weekly, if this is the only fish in the tank.> Are you thinking that this is bacterial in character and *not* regular swim bladder's disorder?  I guess that the water tests will yield the salient facts, huh? <I'm not convinced on what it is just yet.> More about his symptoms: *  The area around his eyes seems swollen, and therefore the eyes appear to be set back, even though they are open. *  Perhaps only because of his current posture, I have noticed an area below his chin that is whitish that I never saw before.  It seems to be a flexible organic structure and doesn't look odd all on its own.  It concerns me, though. Do you have any good web links for me, particularly if you think that this might be bacterial and not the normal Swim bladder's disorder? <We've got some good goldfish FAQs: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/goldfishfaqs.htm Thanks for your help, Gage.  The fish and I really need it.  If I can be of assistance, please do not hesitate to ask me for return favors in Database, programming, DNS or Network administration.  I'd like to be of some use to you. <Yes, please hire me. Ha.> --David

Re: unusual behavior of black Moor goldfish I've had my two black Moor goldfish for a year and a half. They are in a 15 gallon aquarium. I do not know what sex they are. I've never had a problem with them. Recently, however, I've noticed that one of them is not eating, is not swimming much, is just lying on the bottom of the tank. It will move if I force it to. My other fish seems fine and normal. I'm not sure what the problem could be. Any ideas? <Whenever any fish is acting unusual a full round of water quality tests are always in order; pH, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and temperature will all be helpful. Please reply with exact numbers for further information, not everything was fine. -Steven Pro>

Swim Bladder Problem Dear Dr. Fenner <Just Bob, please> Thanks so much to you and your crew for a wonderful site - it is most informative. <Glad to be of service> I have been researching information for my sick Shubunkin and came across your FAQs on Fresh Water Diseases section - in particular, your responses to Jeremy and his Ryukin with a Swim bladder problem.  I believe my Shubunkin has this problem, although your advice as to whether this is really the case would be appreciated as well. <Okay> I had been feeding flake food intermittently (I had switched to the frozen foods - Daphnia, Blood Worms, Veggie Diet, Brine Shrimp over the last six months, but had some flake food left over and decided to finish off the supply not realizing the damage that it can cause).  My Shubunkin started to hang vertically from the surface water in the tank occasionally about two weeks ago (still feeding and moving around), then started to get progressively worse - floating on his side, usually sitting up on the top of the weed for support.  He didn't appear to be excreting, so I started to give green peas to the whole fish community (which they all love!) but this did not seem to help my Shubunkin with his problem, although he was eating.   Over the next few days, I tried the advice you gave to Jeremy, and gave my Shubunkin the Epsom salt baths (3 days and then a rest).  For one day, he appeared to be a little better (in the morning - night was back to floating on side).  I had left him in the tank with the other fish, but as he was getting worse, I thought it might be best to remove him to a hospital tank which I did two days ago.  I followed your advice to Jeremy and placed him in enough water to cover him, and also keep the tank dark, with no gravel on the bottom, just a little bit of weed for cover, and an airstone for oxygenation; check the ammonia, nitrate, and pH levels (pH is about 7.4).  He now lies on his side on the bottom of the tank and doesn't really do anything at all.  I started to administer the Epsom salt baths again today (second session) and noticed that he is now excreting (not a lot, but with form and color.  The little I noticed before was clear and fine).  I did not feed him for a couple of days to hopefully give his bladder a chance to rest, and started again last night (Daphnia).  He is certainly hungry and happy to eat, and generally looks well with his fins up (although horizontal!). <All sounds good thus far> Have I managed to save my fish now that he is excreting a little or is he still going to die? <I have hope s/he will not> And if I have managed to save him, will he ever be able to swim horizontally again?  Is there anything else that I can do for him? <Just keep on with your good husbandry> I would really appreciate any further advice that you could give me.   With thanks, Besharl   PS:  I'm from Australia. <No worries mate. Bob Fenner>

Chocolate Oranda problem Hello, <Hi Todd> I've had a Chocolate Oranda goldfish for roughly 6 months now.  From the day I bought him (PetSmart), he's had a tendency to float to a vertical position- enough so that I actually named him "Vert". <I had one named Vertigo.> He was a baby when I bought him, very much black and has since lost most of the black for the regular gold color.  The reason I'm emailing is his long back tail fins are deteriorating to the point of almost to the stalk of his tail.  His left swimming fin also has a "slice" in it that renders it nearly useless. Tank specs: 20 gallons, two Whisper filters spec.ed at 10-20 gallons. Two large fantails, one black moor, one comet goldfish, and one blue-fin catfish (and then the Oranda).  The tank is pretty much at capacity. Regular water changes (once a week, down to about 4-5 gallons remaining with a good filter scrubbing about every month. The two fantails and black moor are over 2 years old, with the remaining 3 fish about the same age. (All bought as babies) <The tank may be getting a little crowded, you want to shoot for 10gal per goldfish.  I would change a little less water weekly, around 50%.  Do you ever see the catfish going after the Oranda, he could be the cause of the fin damage.  Goldfish are better kept with other goldfish, catfish are not to be trusted.> My dad and I have concluded it is some form of tail rot <possible> and my dad even treated the Oranda separately with some antibiotics about a month ago.  He eats fine- flakes and floating pellets (I have read a little about peas.. don't know what to do though).  If you think a picture of the fish would help diagnosis, I can send you one.  Finally, he's somewhat overweight <that's pretty normal with these wide bodied fellas> (my mother loves to feed them. "they look hungry", I tell her once a day but that never happens). <two to three times per day is ok as long as the meals are small.> Thanks in advance! -Todd Derrenbacker <A picture would be great.  I would move the Oranda to a separate tank and try a one time dose of Epsom salt at 1 Tablespoon per 10 gallons of tank water and feed high moisture green foods including thawed frozen peas and spinach.  Feel free to browse our Goldfish FAQs for more info. http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/goldfishfaqs.htm Send that picture along, and the results of some water tests would be good as well.  Best Regards, Gage >

Dropsical Goldfish Please let me know if you can help.  I have a comet goldfish that is about 11 years old.  He's a great bud.  He got sick with something that is making him swell up and I can't seem to help.  I did 2 wks of tetracycline in the H2O and medicated food.  He now is floating upside down, but can still manage to turn over when he swims, but not for long.  I don't want to lose him if there is any hope.  I'll enclose pics of him that was a month or so ago. He's 2x that size now.  PLEASE help me save him.  Email me ASAP with some suggestions.  I tried the frozen pea thing already. <There may be some chance of alleviating the symptoms (edema, "pine-cone scale disease", dropsy...) by administering Epsom Salt (MgS04) baths or at this point, if this is the only livestock in the tank, adding the Epsom directly to the water (about a teaspoon per two gallons). Do keep trying to feed the peas (no dried food) or even brine shrimp if the fish will take it (frozen/defrosted or live). Bob Fenner>

Oranda swimming vertically hi I've just bought 3 new goldfish...and got a new tank setup.1 of them is an Oranda.. after 1 day...it has started swimming weird. its tail would float upwards...sometimes leaving the fish floating in a vertical position. have checked ph levels.. pls advise... <Please read here re Goldfish swim bladder disorders: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/goldfishfaqs.htm You need to be careful about the kinds, amounts of foods offered with this sort of goldfish breed... as it is susceptible to this disorder. Bob Fenner>

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

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

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