FAQs on Goldfish Growths 6
(ex: issues of lumps, bumps, tumors and growths)
Systems, Goldfish Disease, Goldfish, Goldfish
Varieties, Koi/Pond Fish
Treatment System, Bloaty, Floaty
Goldfish, Gas Bubble
Disease/Emphysematosis, Pond Parasite Control with
DTHP, Hole in
the Side Disease/Furunculosis,
Related FAQs: Lumps/Bumps/Growths 1,
Growths 2, Growths 3, Growths 4,
Growths 5, Growths 6, Growths 7, & Goldfish Disease 2,
Goldfish Disease 3,
Disease 4, Goldfish Disease 5,
Goldfish Disease 7,
Goldfish Disease 8,
Disease 10, Goldfish
Disease 11, Goldfish Disease 12,
Disease 14, Goldfish Disease
15, Goldfish Disease
16, Goldfish Disease 17,
Disease 19, Goldfish Disease 20,
21, Goldfish Disease
22, Goldfish Health 23,
Goldfish Disease 24,
25, Goldfish Disease
26, Goldfish Disease
27, Goldfish Disease
28, Goldfish Disease
29, Goldfish Disease 30,
Disease 31, Goldfish
Disease 33, Goldfish
Disease 34, Goldfish
Disease 35, Goldfish Health 36, Goldfish Health 37, Goldfish Health
38, Goldfish Disease 39
& Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate, Nitrogen
Disease, Goldfish in General,
Goldfish Behavior, Goldfish
Systems, Goldfish Feeding,
New Print and
eBook on Amazon
What it takes to keep goldfish healthy long-term
by Robert (Bob) Fenner
Periodical white zit on goldfish
Hi again, Sorry for emailing again, but I thought you might find some photos
These are from this morning. The zits are not yet white, there is no colour
difference with the rest of the scales, what you can see here is an effect
of the light
<Can sort of see "something" white, everted>
Hi there! I am very new to this, so first I'd like to thank you for your
great website, I've been learning a lot by reading through! I'm writing
about my comet goldfish who had some problems for about three months now.
Here is my set up: I have a 45 Gallons tank, it is planted, has rocks and
pebbles of various size, and two pieces of driftwood. The cycle has been
established (and the fish then introduced) for 6 months now, and the water
parameters have been stable to ammonia 0, nitrites 0, nitrates between
10-20, ph 7.2, temperature around 20C (I don't have a heater, so it's room
temperature). There are 4 filters in the tank (2 small ones from my previous
tank, both around 120L/hour - I put them there to help the tank cycle and
left them there - and 2 bigger ones, a Fluval C4 and a powerhead which is
connected to an airpump and which circulates a "river manifold" in half of
the tank, so it also acts as a filter). I perform regular water changes, 30%
every week, and I test the water every week.
I have had the goldfish for a year now (in another tank for the first 6
months), so he is still pretty young and only 3 inches. Along with him in
the tank I have 3 white cloud minnows, 2 Hillstream loaches (Gastromyzon
scitulus) (which is why I have a river-like tank), and a tiny snail of
unknown coldwater specie (I used to have a bigger one, but the goldfish ate
him last week). I feed them blanched greens alternating between kale,
broccoli, lettuce, green peas, cavolo nero (I try to feed greens regularly,
almost every day or every other day), and alternate goldfish pellets,
Spirulina pellets, goldfish flakes, and give bloodworm and daphnia as an
occasional treat. The goldfish poop has been looking not so good for about a
month, the consistency is right but about half the time it's greyish/whitish
(the rest of the time it's the colour of what he eats).
So here is the main problem: For the past 3 months my comet has been
developing a bump on his left side (the scales don't raise, it starts
without sharp shape, about the size of a grain of rice but smooth under the
skin and no colour difference with the rest of the skin); after few days the
bump becomes more defined and localized, the edges sharper and rounder, but
still no scales raised or colour gradient/difference with usual scales; then
after few more days it progressively protrudes out to a white eruption
(really like a zit), then bursts, letting the white come out, and then heals
very quickly, as if nothing happened. From the time it appears to the time
it explodes it takes exactly 7 days. This has happened 3 times so far (so
about once a month), always on his left side, about in the same place, but
not exactly. The zit doesn't move once it starts forming, and gets to a
maximal size that is smaller than his eye. One started forming again 3 days
ago, but I've just noticed there are actually two bumps about 1cm apart now.
He doesn't seem to mind at all (except at the moment when it burst, when he
flashes for few minutes, but that's it), he is very energetic and eats well,
he is super curious (he goes crazy at me every time I get close to the tank,
which makes it hard to take a photo). The rest of the fish are really doing
great, for now.
I've tried to read online, but I just managed to confuse myself. From what I
understand it could go from bacterial infection, to viral infection or some
protozoan parasite. From what I got, using aquarium salt would probably be a
good start, but I wanted to check what your opinion is before doing
anything. If it's parasites I should probably treat the whole tank rather
than set up a hospital tank (right now the only extra thing I have left is a
12-litter tank...)? If I do use salt, what should I expect to see as
improvements? Should the zit not burst? Should I wait for the present zits
to burst and then add the salt and hope it doesn't come back? Thanks a lot
for your help, and please let me know if you need any extra information.
<Well; this could be a few things; but my best guess is that the spot/area
is a wound site... the goldfish got snagged on something... perhaps the
driftwood; and this sore developed. There is some small chance that a
pathogen might be involved (mostly secondarily); but in all cases; knowing
what you've stated here, I would NOT treat the system/water. Better to wait,
see if this "tumor" abates of and by itself. Bob Fenner>
Re: periodical white zit on goldfish
Hi Bob, Thanks a lot for your answer. Actually, that's also what I
thought the first time it happened, that he had just injured himself
somewhere and that the "zit" was just going to burst by itself. I was
really reassured when that happened after 7 days and there was no scar,
no redness, no inflammation left. I checked for causes in the tank and
I'm pretty sure everything is really smooth. I removed a plastic
decoration I think he was hurting himself on the first day it happened,
3 months ago. I used sand paper on the driftwood to make it baby smooth,
and the pebbles are really smooth. there are no caves he is small enough
to get in, even if he tried.
I removed all the plastic plants I had in the previous tank (he used to
tear his tail on them) and only have real plants now.
But then it came back and a new bump grew about three weeks later, and
it burst again and disappeared, again. Now the ones he has are the 4th,
and the thing I find suspicious is how the timing is so regular. From
the time the bump appears till the time it's gone, it aways takes 7
<Could be "other things"... what re your water quality tests? Do you
have appreciable metabolite measured in Nitrate? Is your water
sufficiently hard, alkaline?>
Tonight one of the two zit just burst. I isolated him when that happened
(it took about 15 min altogether), so the white stuff doesn't go in the
tank water. That also allowed me to take clearer pictures videos (sorry
I'm not very good at that).
Once the cyst exploded, as before it left no trace on the fish.
The skin ruptures under the scales and the while stuff gets expelled,
but no scar or round hole is left behind. The scales go back on the skin
and there is not even any redness. It remains a bit inflated for about
12 hours and then there is no trace of anything left. Maybe under the
light, the reflection on the scales is a bit uneven, so it's possible to
see that something happened by trying really hard.
The white stuff comes out as a pocket about the size of a scale, and
once it is expelled it breaks down into tiny white dots as it comes out.
I don't have a microscope, but they are less than 1mm in diameter, about
as big as the diameter of a human hair, so that would make them about
60-100 micrometers. They don't stick together, but some (very few) do
congregate with what looks like 2-3mm-long, barely visible filaments
(maybe from the "pocket" that held them together under the skin?).
Anyway, if you think I should just wait and see, and that it's nothing
to be worried about, I'll just hope this time it doesn't come back.
Thanks for any help you can provide, I tend to worry too much about them
<Well; there are simple sampling techniques, looking under a 'scope...
RE: periodical white zit on goldfish
Hi Bob, Here are my water parameters as measured yesterday: ammonia 0,
Nitrite 0, Nitrate 5 ppm (but over the past month it's been around 15
most of the time). About hardness, GH is 15˚d and KH is about 15˚d.
Water is pretty hard in my area I think. Thanks again for your
<This water (as stated) is mighty fine... B>
RE: periodical white zit on goldfish
So should I just wait and not do anything then? Is this something that
<I'd read re GF care, systems on WWM, elsewhere... do what you can to
improve the env., nutr. B>
Glugea in my goldfish?? 6/23/13
For a little over two weeks I have been searching for an answer to my
fantail red cap goldfish's problem. I have been communicating with several
moderators of goldfish forums and all seem to be stumped. One very
experienced goldfish moderator suggested I email you.
I fear it is Glugea now and I feel horrible for keeping her with her
goldfish tankmate all this time. Her tankmate (just one calico fancy
goldfish) shows no signs of illness.
These two goldfish are about 2-3" (body) and live in a 30g tank with a
Marineland penguin 200 filter and a Fluval 50 and a UV sterilizer for a 50g
tank. They also have a large bubble curtain and fake plants. The tank has
been set up for 8 months and I have had this goldfish for 2 years (she
previously was alone in a 15g tank). The tank was cycled fishless but went
through two mini cycles due to medications in the past two weeks. When the
water quality is not in a mini cycle I change 50% water twice a week.
pH is around 8.0
<I'd keep this no higher>
and ammonia and nitrites 0, nitrates are kept under 20-40ppm.
<And NO3 under 20 ppm>
I use Prime to condition my water.
<And change out 30-50% per week>
The fish eat a mix of pellets (pro-Gold), veggies (peas, kale, broccoli,
zucchini, etc), frozen bloodworms,
<Skip these sewer worm larvae; they are problematic. See WWM re>
and occasionally some fruit.
Her symptoms are as follows: bloated body (more on one side than the other),
PopEye, yellow face, and the most disturbing is bumps that have been
developing and bursting right under the scale, releasing solid white chunks
with no blood and not leaving any wound or red marks. She has become
increasing bloated and now seems to prefer the back of the tank. She is
still eating and swimming and until very recently seemed to act completely
normal (digging up my plants, social, etc.
How I have treated her: she has been on Medi-gold sine June 11th. On June
18th I dosed the tank with Prazi, fearing flukes. Five days ago I started
adding .1% aquarium salt to the tank. Yesterday, I dosed the tank with
<Of no use>
No serious improvements.
Attached are a few photos of her from yesterday when the lump was bursting
and the chunk which came from the lump. (I couldn't get her away from the
bubble curtain so it's not the best picture.)
I live over two hours from the closest marine vet - but a neighbor of ours
who is a vet (doesn't treat fish) saw her and suggested Melafix.
<... worthless; see WWM re this as well>
Thank you in advance for helping me!
<Mmm, well, let's see (or have me wake a bit further; sorry): The pertinent
points I'd like to share: This may be Glugea (though could be other issue/s,
possibly non-parasitic; e.g. genetic predisposition... trouble w/ the high
pH, NO3... treatable by improving the environment); and that Glugea is not
often treat-able... the Microsporidian killing the host, it being best to
isolate, euthanize (see Neale's piece on WWM re) the fish/es involved... At
this juncture, with the two fishes having lived together... I'd try
improving the environment, dropping the Chironomid larvae as food, and
eschew further medicine and phony tea additions. Bob Fenner>
Re: Glugea in my goldfish?? 6/24/13
Thank you so much for your reply.
I just want to make sure I understand your suggestions. Would you
recommend I do less water changes in the attempt to improve their
environment - I am doing 2x/week 50% wc -
<Oh! Sorry; no... This is fine... to be clear/er hopefully, I would do
at least one 30-50% change per week>
I should move this to 1x/week 30%? I am assuming I should try to lower the
pH with a pH lowering chemical?
<Better to have you read here for a more complete review:
And I should stop feeding the Medi-Gold?
<I would; yes>
Immediately? Or Tuesday when they have reached their 14 days?
<Finish the term if you'd like. Not probable that this course will be of
....throwing out the box of frozen bloodworms now....
<Mmm, do please search (on WWM et al.) re Goldfish tumors, ulcerous
conditions... for background. BobF>
Growth Removal on a Fantail Fish - 12/23/2012
I have 2 fairly large Golden Fantail Fish that are 7+ years old.
<Goldfish, I'll assume.>
One of them has a huge growth on its right side in front of its tail.
It doesn't seem to be in pain, is always ready to eat, swims around with
the other fish and appears normal except for this hideous, lumpy growth.
The tumor (growth) has been growing for months but the fish seems
unbothered by it.
<Possibly not a tumor.... This could be Lymphocystis, "Carp Pox",
or other potentially harmless complaint.>
Your #16 pictures a fish depicts the closest likeness to the same type
of affliction. If I understood correctly your suggestion was to use a
single edge razor blade to remove the growth and then seal with super
glue. How can one remove the lump from a floundering, gasping fish
or did I misunderstand?
<The ONLY way to do this - ONLY, mind you - is to anesthetize the animal
first. Do NOT try to carve a chunk off a conscious, flopping fish,
or you'll more likely carve into something much more important than the
unsightly growth. Although you can use MS-222 (Tricaine) or (less
ideally) clove oil to anesthetize a fish, you must understand that
undertaking something like this is not without risk. To be quite
honest, if the fish is not bothered by this growth, you might be better
off leaving it alone.
If it is merely cosmetic, then perhaps the fish doesn't even mind?>
<If you do choose to move forward with this, do please be careful.
My best wishes to you however you opt to move. -Sabrina>
Growth Removal on a Fantail Fish - II - 12/23/2012
<Hi again, Jane!>
Thank you so much for such a rapid response. You and your website
<We thank you for these very kind words.>
I just can't euthanize him or attempt surgery if he's not particularly
<A wise choice.>
If it continues to grow at the rate it has been euthanasia may become a
<I would encourage considering removing it before choosing to euthanize;
at the worst, if you anesthetize the little guy and something goes
horribly wrong and you find that it can't be removed without harming him
badly, you can move forward with euthanizing him while he's already out
I really love the pair but don't want either of them to be suffering.
<A very compassionate way of thinking; I am glad you are of this
No other fish have made it for this length of time except the
plecostomus who is now at least 10 years old.
<Well done in caring for these animals!>
I plan to revisit your website when time permits. Thanks again.
<We'll be glad of your visits and hope that you'll enjoy it.>
Very sincerely and Merry Christmas Jane
<And a very happy holiday season to you and your beautiful pets!
Swollen Nostril on Goldfish 7/20/12
I have searched the web, including WWM, and have not found anything
quite pertinent to my goldfish's malady. The fish's name is Wanda
and she is a common type won by my daughter at a fair four years ago.
<A comet... gets quite large; can live a couple decades w/ good care>
She is about six inches long and until three days ago seemingly quite
healthy. She shares a 75 gallon tank with one other goldfish, a
rhino Pleco and few smaller fish. I have a 400 GPH HOT filter with
dual BioWheels plus two 350 GPH canister filters running all the time,
one with a micron filter, the other carbon. I do a one-third water
change every week or two.
<I'd do regularly every week... In fact, this IS what I do>
The tank is partially planted, consuming nitrates, and some Nerite snails
and freshwater clams keep the gravel pretty clean. I use water
from the softener at pH 8.3, KH 8+ and GH, of course, zero due to the
Water temp 78 F.
So back to Wanda ... three days ago I noticed that one of her (I
actually do not know her gender, but my kids gave her a girl's name, so
we refer to her as if she were a her) nostrils was slightly swollen with
some black discoloration inside. Within a day this condition
worsened so that it is now quite a pronounced swelling. The
nostril is gaping on both sides of what appears to be a septum.
She also has a scale or two loose on one side, uncertain of the
<Mmm, do you suspect the Rhino Plec may be riding Wanda? I'd keep my
eyes open (esp. at night) for such abuse>
Last night I carefully applied Mecuriclear to the nostril as a
prophylaxis for secondary bacterial infection. No way to tell if
that did any good.
<Yes; not likely "catching" here in cause>
This afternoon I moved her into a ten gallon quarantine tank with 5 tsp
aquarium salt and one dose each of Fungus Guard and General Cure, hoping
to wipe out any bacterial, fungal or parasitic pathogens. She was
acting fine, swimming and eating normally ... at least until I
incarcerated her in that little 10 gallon tank ... she is not happy now!
Bouncing off the walls.
<I'd replace, return this fish to the 75... needs the space; diluted
wastes that only more volume can provide>
Any ideas? Suggestions? Wanna see a photo?
<T'were it me, mine, I'd keep all in the 75, increase water changes,
assure nitrates are being kept under 20 ppm as a measure... and be
patient. Bob Fenner>
Re: Swollen Nostril on Goldfish 7/21/12
Thanks, David, for the response!
<Still Bob here>
Attached are photos of the inflamed nostril taken Friday afternoon, 24
hours into quarantine. The swelling seems reduced about 25% and
the redness also.
<These excellent photos show this to be highly likely a physical
trauma... an injury>
Yesterday I moved into a 40 gallon breeder similarly medicated.
She immediately calmed down and is swimming like a goldfish again.
With a 40g to herself, I figure she's got a bigger share of litter in
her box than in the 75g with two other big fish.
I just measured nitrates in the 75g, with no water changes since moving
her out, at 40 ppm. Ammonia and nitrites both zero.
<The NO3 needs to be kept under 20 ppm... Please read here re:
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
Please help us figure out what is going on with Buddy.
I am a 10 year old girl with a fancy tailed goldfish
named Buddy! I have had him for almost half of my life, which means his
5 birthday is coming soon well I mean (day i got him I really don't know
when his birthday is) Anyway my problem is about a year ago he started
to get this thingy near his back side and it was hard to tell what it
was or even what it looked like.
<A growth of some sort>
Now its huge. I have checked out many goldfish books but nothing I have
found looks like Buddy's booboo. It kinda looks like people skin. It
doesn't really seem to bother him other then it is attached to 2 or 3 of
his tails and it also weights him down when he tries to go under things
at a funny angle. Its now showing a small spot of what I think is blood
at the closes to his body side of the booboo. My mom also pointed out
that he has some red lines on his tail. Im sending a picture so that
hopefully you can help buddy and me out. Thanks Maria and Buddy.
<Mmm, there are a few "causes" of such growths... and no real means of
effectively treating them. Best to make sure you're providing good care
(low metabolites, like less than 20 ppm of NO3), and food... Please read
and write us back if you have specific questions, concerns. Bob Fenner>
Fish disease question
Hi... I'm having terrible fishsues ( issues with my
fish)! You have been my last resort... I have gone to every site
available about goldfish diseases and nothing has been solving my
problem. If there is any advice at all you could give me, that
would be great. My Oranda has a bubble like sack on its dorsal
fin, that may or may not be filled with fluid and it moves as the fish
swims. It's been there for about a month and the fish hasn't had
any other symptoms. I picked it up when it first appeared to
examine it closer and the sack popped and came back the next morning.
The bubble is about the size of my thumb now and I have no idea what to
do. Thanks for listening.
<Mmm, well, such fluid filled "blisters" may be due to protozoan
involvement (Microsporideans, Microsporozoans); there is no treatment
(directly) for such... Optimizing environment (most folks use metabolite
accumulation, e.g. nitrate, as an indicator) and nutrition (am a huge
fan of NLS Spectrum)... frequent partial water changes... are useful.
Some more on WWM here:
fish with cancer 4/3/12
Our seven year old goldfish has skin cancer. It does not appear
to be impaired by the cancer; it can swim and eat normally and
does not rub against the side of our tank.
How can I tell if this fish is in pain or distress? I want to
care for it as long as doing so is humane. I am not sure what to
do now, nor am I sure what to do next.
<As long as the animal is active, feeding, I don't suspect
that there is pain>
Thanks for your consideration.
With best regards,
<And you, Bob Fenner>
New Print and
eBook on Amazon
What it takes to keep goldfish healthy long-term
by Robert (Bob) Fenner