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FAQs About Goldfish Disease/Health 50

Related Articles: Goldfish Systems, Goldfish 101: Goldfish May Be Popular, And They May Be Cheap, But That Doesn't Make Them Easy Aquarium Fish by Neale Monks, Goldfish Disease, Goldfish, Goldfish Varieties, Koi/Pond Fish Disease, Livestock Treatment System, Bloaty, Floaty Goldfish, Gas Bubble Disease/Emphysematosis, Pond Parasite Control with DTHP, Hole 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 4, Environmental 5, Environmental , (Absolutely the Biggest Category)
Floaty Bloaty Goldfish
Nutritional (Second Largest)
Eye Troubles
Lumps/Bumps/Growths (including idiopathic tumors)
Viral and Bacterial, Fungal Infectious
Parasitic: (Ich, Protozoans, Flukes, Worms, Crustacean/ Anchorworms/Lernaeids, ) Fish Lice (Argulus),
Goldfish Swim Bladder Problems
Anomalous (Misc., Injuries, etc.)

New Print and eBook on Amazon

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

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

fancy goldfish floating funny 11/10/10
I have had this goldfish for almost 6 years. she is floating vertically now and appears swollen on one side.
I have tried bacterial medication, Epsom salt, and quick cure, at first I thought it was a swim bladder problem so I tried fasting and then feeding peas. Nothing has seems to make a difference. I think the picture says it best.
Is there anything else I can try to do?
<Mmm, perhaps not. Please provide info. re the system itself, history of maintenance, care, foods/feeding>
Otherwise I read that clove oil is the best way to euthanize fish, but I'm not sure how to carry that out should it come down to that.
<More posted re here: http://wetwebmedia.com/euthanasia.htm
Thank you.
<Bob Fenner>

Re: fancy goldfish floating funny 11/11/10
Thank you for the reply.
The fish is in a 40 gallon tank with one other goldfish. I have two over the top filters with one canister filter. I change out appropriate media and change some water once a month,
<I change about 25-30% on my fancy goldfish weekly>
a water conditioner is used. They get pellet food every other day. This fish has always been a bit unhealthy, a number of problems whereas the other has only had one swim bladder issue in the whole 6 years of keeping them. The water quality is fine. The pH is a little higher than normal, 8.4 rather than 8.1 or so,
<Mmm, this is actually way too high... the pH scale like that for earthquakes (Richter) is a base ten expression. I'd prepare, use water in the 7s>
and the nitrates are a little lower than average, 5 rather than 10. I had just been treating this fish for fin rot and was so happy to have it finally look like it cleared up, and about a week later she started floating funny like this.
<Well, other than the pH, water change regimen, your care is fine... BobF>

New markings to goldfish eye 10/6/10
<Hello John,>
I am emailing because I'm worried about my goldfish, and I hope you might be able to advise me personally as I've had a good look but haven't found anything similar on your website. The problem is that my goldfish has just developed some black markings like small dots on one iris. One of the marks actually looks like a small dent, the sort of thing you might get if you poked your finger with a sharp pencil - sorry for not sending pictures to clarify this, but I don't have access to a digital camera at the moment so I'm hoping this description will give you an idea. He can still see out of the eye and isn't showing signs of stress or illness.
<Hmm'¦ strange. Small black spots can be a result of ammonia burns, and certain worm-like parasites will form black spots on occasion. The ammonia burns clear up given good conditions, and the "black spot disease" is harmless in aquaria because the worms can't complete their life cycle. But to be sure either way, a photo really is important. One last thing. It is not uncommon for Goldfish to change colour, often developing darker or lighter patches than expected. While such things can happen to the scales and fins, they don't happen to the eye so far as I know.>
Nitrates and ammonia are always zero and nitrates have never been above 10, usually far less. PH is 7.0. I do regular water changes and feed mostly peas, though I'm going to buy some pondweed and spirulina as soon as possible to add to his diet.
<Sounds good.>
Have you any idea what this might be? If you have any advice or ideas about it, I'd be really grateful. Thank you very much for maintaining and adding to WWM. I've found it very useful in the past and I'm sure I will continue to in the future.
Kind regards,
<Hope this helps. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: New markings to goldfish eye 10/6/10
Hi Neale,
<Hello John,>
Thanks for your reply. It is strange; I've never seen it before and I've been keeping goldfish for years. There always seems to be something new to worry about, sadly.
<Oh, well, sometimes it can seem that way.>
I will see if I can get a camera sorted out and get a picture back to you at some point, assuming the marks persist. Ammonia burns did cross my mind as a cause, but I haven't had a positive reading for ammonia since cycling the tank years ago, and I don't think it could be parasites because I quarantine everything for six weeks before it goes into the tank.
<Indeed, that all sounds good.>
One thing I should have mentioned - the same fish has a small pale blister on his head, on the same side as the eye (though relatively far from it, closer to the gill). It's been there for months and hasn't changed, and my fish doesn't seem to be troubled by it at all. WWM research told me that this is most likely a viral lump and should subside by itself over the next year or so, so I know it's probably irrelevant to the eye issue but thought it worth mentioning in case it changes your opinion at all.
<It sounds as if there isn't anything serious going on here. Watch and wait, is really about all I can recommend. A photo would help us though.>
Many thanks for your help Neale, and I hope you enjoy your day.
<Will certainly try.>
Kind regards,
<Good luck, Neale.>
Re: New markings to goldfish eye
Hi Neale,
Fantastic, many thanks again for your help. If I get a chance to send you that picture, I will do (if only for WWM records, so it may benefit someone else in future).
All the best,
<Yes, do send a photo when you get the chance. But in the meantime, so long as the fish doesn't get worse, and hopefully gets better, I wouldn't worry too much. Cheers, Neale.>

Scales on goldfish - anything in particular to help them grow back? 09/29/10
Hi Crew,
I recently adopted a black moor goldfish who skinned himself on a tank decoration (lava rock cave). It seems he got stuck somehow, and scraped off lots of scales while he was trying to wiggle free.
Other than this awful accident, which has left him missing about half the scales on his right side, he is eating well and acting normally. He's in a 55 gallon with excellent water quality, two 270 gph powerheads on each side along with an Eheim Ecco canister and hang on power filter. He's loving his new space and seems very comfortable. Already, his tender region has turned from reddish pink to white in less than a week.
Is there anything I can do to help along the growth of new scales? For example, vitamin supplementation of any kind? Since I make my own homemade goldfish gel food (which I feed along with commercial dried and frozen food) I wonder if there are any vitamins or minerals in particular that I could add to the mixture. I realize he may be "scarred for life" so to speak, but it does look as through scales are trying to grow back, especially along the margins.
Any help would be appreciated...thanks so much!
<Hello Nicole, and good to hear from you again. Scales are somewhat similar to hair or fingernails, in the sense that they grow best when the animal receives a good diet but otherwise can't be grown any more quickly than that. Yes, they should grow back, but no, there's no particular food that will help. Algae and crustaceans tend to be the prime sources of the chemicals used to create pigments, so ensuring adequate supplies of these might be beneficial, but apart from that, I'm sure you're doing the best you can.
Cheers, Neale.>

My 2 common goldfish 9/21/10
are 12 years old and never had any health
problems, however a few days ago one developed a black patch on its nose.
Otherwise healthy - eating and swimming normally. What could it be?
<Likely nothing to be concerned re... such melanistic patches come/go at times. Please read here:
the FAQs with the word "color" in them. Bob Fenner>

A few issues... GF... hlth., reading 9/10/10
So to start off, I purchased two black moors and brought them home to put into my tank with the my two fancy tails and one plain goldfish, two days later one of the black moors died, suspecting the black moor had an
illness I dosed my tank for three days as recommended with MELAFIX (which I now see isn't good) on the third day I came home to find my plain goldfish dead and my other fish hovering on the bottom of the tank, I immediately put them into fresh water fearing that this medicine was toxic, the next morning I noticed the fancy tails were attacking the black moors' tail area, I separated the black moor from them. After that I did a complete
water change to the tank and put all of the fish back in. The fancies were still attacking the black moor so I made a tank separator out of plexi glass.... So I suppose I have a couple questions. 1: Could that medicine have been toxic or do you think the black moors brought in a disease? 2: Would you happen to know why the fancies are suddenly attacking the black
<Hello. I can't possibly answer this question without knowing more about your aquarium. Just to recap, 4-5 fancy Goldfish will need an aquarium at least 55 gallons in size, and preferably 75 gallons. A good rule of thumb
is 30 gallons for the first two, and then another 10 gallons for each extra specimen. Filtration needs to be robust, with a turnover of at least 4 times the volume of the tank per hour and I'd recommend 6 times if you want anything like crystal clear water. Regardless, you must have zero levels of ammonia and nitrite. Water chemistry isn't critical, but Goldfish tend to do best in hard, alkaline water; aim for 10-25 degrees dH, pH 7-8. Melafix
is a mild medication that helps to prevent secondary external infections when fish have been damaged. It shouldn't affect water quality is used correctly. It will not cure internal or "mystery" infections. Do read more about Goldfish here:
One last thing. Tank dividers should only be used if they are porous, i.e., have lots of holes in them that allow water to circulate. Simply sticking a sheet of glass or Perspex into a tank to divide it into compartments will create dead areas with poor water quality and can also put stress on the corners of the tank, increasing the risk of leaks. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: a few issues... divider, GF... 9/15/10

Sorry about that I've just been really stressed about the whole issue, I have a 55 gal tank and the divider has 30 holes in it.
<That should be fine if the holes are big, i.e., an inch across. But still, unless the one fish is actually being bullied by the other, I wouldn't use it. A divider won't stop disease spreading -- should that be an issue --
and Goldfish are gregarious animals anyway, so when isolated they become stressed.>
The filtration is rated up to 70 gallons, and I'm not sure on the levels of the tank but I have had my fantails and plain goldfish for over a year and they've never shown any signs of stress etc..
<Well, that's what happens. When they're small, the maintenance you provide may well be fine. As they grow they demand more filtration and more oxygen, and their waste degrades water quality more and more rapidly. Eventually you hit a point where the loading on the tank exceeds the filtration capacity or whatever, and the genetically weakest fish gets sick. This is very, VERY common, and the fact you've had the Goldfish for a year doesn't prove you're keeping the right. Of course you may well be doing everything
fine, I just don't know from what you've told me. Go back and read that Goldfish 101 article and the Goldfish diet article. Let me draw your attention to the turnover rate of the filter (should be at least 4 times
the volume of the tank per hour, i.e., 220 gallons/hour for a 55 gallon tank) and the water chemistry should be hard and basic. Don't use softened water. Diet should be mostly fresh greens rather than pellets. Water
changes should be 25% every week or two. 99% of Goldfish deaths are caused by the fishkeeper rather than bad luck or bad genes, and you should try very hard to run through the list of what they need, ticking off each in turn before you start adding medications. Cheers, Neale.>

Goldfish with lumps on the back. 8/29/10
Hi WetWeb Crew,
I have been searching your excellent site for hours and hours over the last few days. I've picked up lots of brilliant advice about goldfish, but sadly I haven't seen any question or answer to cover the problem with one of my goldfish, so I have decided to ask directly. Thanks in advance for your time and hopefully an answer.
We have an outside pond of 200 US gallons (750 l) with an average temperature at the moment of 80º F (27º C) and the pH is 7.9.
Ammonia and nitrite levels unknown. We now empty about 5 - 7 gallons every other day and refill with untreated well water, so no chlorine or other chemicals and we drink it all the time with no problem. The pond has no filter and is green even though we have treated it with humic acid (Tetra AlgoSchutz) and a specific algaecide (Tetra Algofin). They are unicellular algae, we do not have blanket weed. In a small container these products worked fine, but don't seem to in
the pond. We have Elodea and water lilies that are growing fine.
The pond was set up on 1 June this year, though we've had 1 fish (5 inches long orange common with normal tail) for many years in about 10 gallons, then after quarantine another common and 2 Shubunkin Goldfish (various dappled colors all about 1.5 inches long excl. tail then) were added with the old one to the pond.
At the beginning of August a further 5 even smaller Shubunkin of varying colors were added after 4 weeks quarantine. By this time the initial 4 had produced fry but we only noticed later and they are growing fast. Total fry number about 15 - 20 of varying sizes and a further 2 very tiny ones seen for certain just today.
We feed Tetra Cold Water Fish Food in flakes. After reading through your information, I have cut down the amount of food compared to before and break it all into virtual dust for all of them. Previously I only did this for the babes. I do look at the fish fairly carefully as they come to the surface and have never noticed any bloating, spots or marks of any kind, or unusual behavior in any of them, only the problem below in one.
Now the problem.
One of the largest dappled colored fish of body length 2.5 inches (that's excl. tail), has slowly developed lumps each side of the centre line on it's back immediately behind it's head that extend to the dorsal fin.
<I see these in your images>
This has occurred gradually over about the last 4 weeks. At first I thought it was an illusion due to the markings as
it was growing fast, but then realized they were actually lumps after all. They are of slightly uneven size each side. Looking through a magnifying glass, all the scales look fine and the fish seems to be acting quite normally and eating OK (and is amazingly beautiful except for the lumps).
It is probably the father or mother of many of the larger fry, by their coloring. It is now all alone in a different container of 10 US gallons.
Please can you let me know if these lumps are normal - though I think not, or what they may be and may be caused by and what should we do.
<Mmm, my two best guesses are "grubs" (larval, embedded flukes), or some sort of tumourous growths>
This fish has now been named 'Quasi' after Quasimodo of Notre Dame fame. It's second name is 'Houdini' as I could have caught any of the others at least twice trying to get this one!
2 fotos of Quasi enclosed.
Thanks again and I await to hear.
Best regards
& Quasi.
<You may have to remove snails... as intermediate hosts... Please read here re what we have concerning treating Flukes:
Bob Fenner>

Re: Goldfish with lumps on the back. 8/30/10
Good evening Bob,
<Senorita Hogge>
Well a bit of a frustrating day, and it was a very hot one even the pond went up to 7º to 87ªF, however finally some success.
The vet was out on an emergency and then something else so not around to help until this afternoon.
Anyway, he has suggested "Flagyl", to treat the fish and he says it should work on the parasites, eggs and all.
<Mmm, no... is an Anti-protozoal... Metronidazole. See WWM re... Not efficacious for worm parasites>
Getting enough tablets - as they are for humans so lots of rules and regulations, to treat the fish in the pond will be impossible (200 gals). So, we are transferring the fish to large containers to treat them.
As we don't know how many little ones there are, no doubt we'll lose quite a few especially the tiniest, but best to do that, than lose all. We need to do water changes and more tablets etc..
At least this means, hopefully, that the fish should be OK. after the treatment.
All look happy including Quasi who has got his treatment, as have a good selection of the babes.
The huge down side is that we can't get anything to kill the snails in the pond, as the vet says he doesn't think the Flagyl will do it.
<It will not... but a simple source of elemental copper will... Pennies of olde, copper pipe, fittings, brass scrubby pads>
We went around all the pet shops and one even told us not to worry, if the fish die, just buy some new ones.
I cannot repeat what I replied!
Although I haven't seen any snails or any evidence of them for about 2 months, I can't see that they would have died, if everything else has thrived. Also having read what WetWeb has to say on snails, it sounds as though they will have had a population explosion.
So I'm optimistic about the fish, but getting the pond clear of snails looks more difficult. Emptying and flushing it several times is all very well, but they'll be lurking and hiding in the weed and lilies, won't they!? (Rhetorical)
<Yes and yes>
2 lilies have quite large root ball/ root mass that spreads over the floor quite a way having spilled from their pot long ago, as we've had them several years before we set up the pond at the beginning of June this year.
I can't think how we could lure the snails as you suggest, but it's worth a try once the pond is empty. But, the pond has verticals sides.
What will happen to the plants though without water support is a bit worrying, especially in this heat, though I suppose quarantine in containers could be worth a try - do you think? Quite a logistical problem!
<Yes, worthwhile>
Do you have any further useful tips you could share with us?
Would DTHP - if we can get it, work and be fine without the fish?
<For? Please see my article on WWM re this pesticide>
Goodness! And I thought goldfish were cheap and easy to run!
I checked with the supplier of the fish we bought and they said they do treatment them with Flagyl and they are in quarantine before put out for sale. Everything in the place looked spotless, unlike the pet shops we went into today. I shall say no more on that. So I'm convinced the snails are the cause.
<The carrier/vector>
We enquired about Levamisole and it's no longer available in Spain.
<There are other vermifuges-cides... Prazi... should be available>
Many thanks again for your help and support. We're going to put a link on our 2 websites to yours, as you deserve it.
We don't have many links, only those that we feel are excellent, so please feel honored. I like an illustration to make the links look really worth visiting, so as I'm an artist, I've chosen this painting of mine - image attached, for the link illustration.
"Brief Encounter - Scorpion Fish." Transparent watercolor on hand made cotton paper. 21 x 28 inches.
I hope you approve.
I'm beat, so
Best regards and buenas noches
<Sleep well my friend/amiga. Nos vemos. RobertoF>

Very nice

Re: Goldfish with lumps on the back. 9/1/10
Hola y buenas noches Roberto, amigo mio,
<Como que va Sra. S?>
My heart sank when I read your comments late this afternoon. ( "Flagyl doesn't work on parasitic worms".)
I think depression has set in with the worry.
<Not to worry>
Yes I did read your article on DTHP.
I was thinking of this only as a last resort as I don't really want to kill everything. In fact I don't like the idea at all as we don't use any nasty chemicals in the garden at all - except again the ants and that only goes down their nest holes in the ground.
<Well, you can try to just sort through all systematically, remove the snails, their eggs>
I have found that Drontal Plus contains the Prazi chemical you suggest. I have searched through WWM and have found the dosage required.
Does the water need changing between the weekly doses? It doesn't say.
<A judgment call... IF the water measures or seems, by judging the behavior of your other livestock, to be too "dirty", then I would change a good bit (like half) in-between re-dosing>
Would this help in the pond water too?
Many thanks for your replies in advance.
Tomorrow I'll see if I can actually get some Drontal Plus as there may only be straight Drontal here that doesn't do all that's required.
I'll try to track down some affordable large containers for the plants too and then we can start clearing plants from the pond to attempt de - snailing.
<Muy bien>
Thanks for the tip about copper, putting it in the plant buckets sounds best. Any idea how long it would take to work?
<Days to a couple of weeks>
Hopefully, we can be generous with the copper as we have some old pipes still laying around somewhere - I think/hope.
But can it be used with the fish in the pond as well as a preventative later in case we miss any?
<Yes; w/in reason. Free cupric ion is to degrees toxic to all life, including fishes. If/where in doubt, do avail yourself of testing/test kits>
We'll continue with the Flagyl treatment as we've started - we might as well I think.
Quasi is still cheery (but the lumps are growing) as are all the other fish, despite the starvation rations.
Thanks again and
Best regards
Sheila and all the goldfish.
<Y tu, B>

Re: Goldfish with lumps on the back. 8/29/10
Hi Bob,
<Salud Sheila>
Many thanks for your very speedy reply.
<De nada>
If it's flukes, then first thing in the morning, it's just past midnight here now, I'll be trying to track down this medication - I
live in Spain. Our vet is very good and he will be my first place to enquire. I doubt anything like this will be on his shelf so it'd need to be ordered and so could take a while - maybe too long.
However, could you tell me if "De-Los" is the Levamisole hydrochloride?
<I don't see this listed on the Net or in my in-print reference works, but I would not be surprised if this were so>
Should this treat Quasi, or will Quasi need medication in food as well as in the water?
<Best administered in both>
If so can I mix Paracide-D or -X with Tetra flakes somehow?
<You can mix these>
Did I ought to try and remove as many fry from the pond or just treat the whole pond if I can get the chemical?
<I would treat all>
I will look carefully in the morning, but I've not seen any worms hanging from the anus.
<You may not>
And I thought snails in ponds were good. We did have 5 or 6 that I know of, I transferred them to the pond personally but I haven't seen any for at least 2 months now.
<Mollusks are intermediates/vectors for quite a few parasites... including human>
Thanks again.
Best regards
<Welcome BobF>
Re: Goldfish with lumps on the back. 8/30/10
Hola, buenos dias Bob,
<Good morrow Sheila!>
Many thanks (or should I say "Muchas gracias"?) and I'll leave for our vet once I've typed this.
Depending what response we get, I thought during the night, I could get the products mail order, however just looking at your site again, it appears that you don't ship outside the USA.
<Summat re the law>
That's a pity.
(But as you use FedEx we'd probably never get it by past experience - it got returned to sender twice, despite a perfect address. Unbelievable!)
Quasi was cheery this morning as normal, but I'm sure when I sprinkled the breakfast on the surface of his isolation tank, I heard some mutterings to the effect "Is that all?"
None of them seem to like the new "starvation rations" regime.
OK I must dash, thanks again and I'll let you know how I get on.
Best regards
<And you. BobF>

Re: Goldfish with lumps on the back. 9/1/10
Hola Roberto,
<Hail/Salud Sheila>
Many thanks for those replies of last night - for me here over the pond.
<As many welcomes>
I managed to pack a lot into my lunch hour - like buying stuff for fishy chores, but not lunch, still never mind.
Quasi and the babes have now had their first dose of antihelminth preparation.
The big boys and girls didn't like the idea of leaving their nice (snails not withstanding) pond. Despite my best efforts I haven't been able to catch one! They'll all get Houdini as a second name now.
It's amazing how they can jump out of the water too!
<Ah yes... take care to cover the container>
But we have a plan - I just hope it works as it'll save a lot of bother searching for them during serious emptying!
Sadly we've got to be away all day tomorrow but the serious business will start early Friday as I have sorted a day off.
<Time enough>
I'll now leave you in peace for a few days, but will bore you with how we got on, in due course - unless you advise otherwise.
<Will be out giving presentations at MACNA over the wknd>
So many thanks again.
Best regards
Hasta luego
<Hasta la pasta. B>
from Quasi - still looking cheery despite those now huge lumps, all other goldfishes - large and small and me.
Re: Goldfish with lumps on the back. 9/7/10

Hola buenos noches Roberto,
<Buenos tardes here mi amiga>
I hope you had an enjoyable weekend.
<Ah yes... out in FLA at a petfish conference>
Well, all remaining fish were dosed against Camallanus and all are fine and eating when given the chance.
Major thing to report is no evidence of any worms at all even under microscope examination.
Quasi's lumps are still enlarging and he/she has to use more push to get to the surface to feed, which he/she is doing fine.
All plants have had same "worm" treatment twice - 2 types of stuff, and plenty (I think) copper on the side. But as worms were not detected then any snails will not be killed by detaching worms.
Ummmm. Only one small snail seen and a few empty shells and we did look very carefully but I feel sure they are (were please) lurking somewhere.
Anyway, the treatment regime will continue so another dose to everything next weekend.
The pond has been totally sterilized in a kind of environmentally friendly way, so not so bad. Looks sad and lifeless empty though.
Emptying we found a few little lucky fellows we didn't know we had; they have bodies about 1 cm long and came across the one we thought we had but was hiding for nearly too long. None lost as far as we know.
OK that's all, just to update you as I promised.
Best regards
<Y tu. BobF>

Vertical goldfish 8/25/10
<Hi there>
My name is Valentine and I have had 4 goldfish for about a year now, but one is having problems. It is a female (I also have 3 other males) comet, around 3 inches,
<This (American) variety/sport of Goldfish grows much larger... needs considerable room Val>
and it is usually very active and, to be frank, horizontal. Since noon, I have been noticing that she is basically vertical, with her tail in the air.
She moves up and down instead of sideways. I don't know if she is bloated because she was always rather plump (I guess that is the female thing) and she had just laid eggs early morning,
<Mmm... I don't think so. Three inch comets are too small, young for this>
although her tummy is very prominent and tight, compared to the other fish. She doesn't seem to be sick, but this is
something very recent.
I feed them pellets
<Might I ask the brand, maker? Or at least some of the nutritional analysis, make-up of these?>
and change 20% of the water every Sunday.
The filter intakes 250gph, so I am not worried about water quality.
<How large is this aquarium?>
There are no live plants in my tank. I hope this is enough information.
<Mmm, no. I need answers to at least what I've asked here, and for you to read:
I did look this up on your website, but most of the FAQs had goldfish floating upside down and bloated to the point
of a golf-ball in their tummies. This is not the case with my fish, hence I turn to you.
Thank you,
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Re: slip n slide -- 8/24/10
Dear Neale:
<Hello Lynne,>
Good Evening from across the pond. My tank is great shape now with zero ammo, zero nitrite, ph @ 7 or so and nitrate level is good (can't remember the figure).
I introduced two very small comets to the tank on 8/17. All is well except that little Sarasa developed a white mark on it's tail and it appears to have grown a bit. I used to see these little nicks on Butch's tail over the year and just assumed they were bruises or small breaks or bumps.
<Can easily be. Fancy Goldfish do tend to develop these things, in part because their bodies weren't "meant" to pump blood around such long fins. There's also more fin membrane to get damaged.>
I've research all the info about itch or Ick and fin rot but I don't think that's my issue. How can one tell the difference between small nicks and real fungal or parasitic issues?
<As a rule, harmless nicks will have clean edges and will, over time, heal.
Almost always, in a good environment damaged fins can be left alone. I keep some pretty feisty fish such as Ameca splendens that are constantly fighting, and they're always damaging one another or their tankmates.
Nothing needs to be done because the wounds are clean and the water conditions good. Infected fins will tend to become raggedy, and there's often some off-white to pink cloudiness around the wound. It's worth remembering that wild fish rarely have perfect fins, and like the soles of our feet, they evolved to sustain a certain amount of damage. If you're
worried, a very mild antibacterial might be used, something like Stress Coat or Melafix, but otherwise I'd not worry overly much provide the wounds or white flecks didn't expand or otherwise show signs of infection.>
Thanks again for all your help, schooling and advice. I have learned so much. Lynne in Seattle.
<Glad to help. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Slip and Slide

Neale, one can always count on lightning fast responses from you.
<Doesn't say much about my social life, does it?>
You're the best.
<I try.>
The white mark has grown over the last 3 days it a little bulky meaning 3d.
<Ah, now, this could easily be congestion within the blood vessels, a common precursor to Finrot. Do observe closely, and I'd treat as per Finrot anyway.>
It's become a little too big for his tiny little forked tail but there is no discoloration. I will monitor as you suggested because I would rather let it heal on it's own.
<As it should do, but sometimes it's better to nip these things in the bud.>
Recently I changed the filter and low and behold there was charcoal incorporated inside. I never saw it because I let the fish man assemble it.
Which means that all that treatment/medicine I was giving to Butch never had a chance to work.
<An accident that's befallen me once before, and one of the reasons I've repeatedly written here at WWM why freshwater aquarists should default to *not* using carbon unless they have a good reason to do otherwise.>
I was about to say thank god I don't live in a big tank with no control over my living conditions then I realized that in some ways we all do.
<Oh yes indeed. I'm reminded of that Gary Larson cartoon where there's a bear construction worker standing next to a pipe he's built channeling sewage into some guy's living room. It's called "Animal Waste Management" I think.>
By the way how many tanks do you have?
<Maybe I need to add them my Facebook page so people can see! One biggish one around 50 gallons, and three smaller ones around 15-20 gallons each.
The big one is next to the very table where I'm writing this reply, and the two Ctenolucius are shuffling up to the front glass asking for more food (which they're not going to get).>
Thanks again, Lynne.
<Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Slip and Slide
Should I isolate the Sarasa or treat the whole tank?
<I'd do the whole tank.>
Keep in mind I have 30 gallons with two super tiny fish. Are the doses designed for baby fish?
<Yep, especially if you're using Melafix at this point. Antibiotics should be safe, too. Methylene blue is another safe medication with baby fish. Formalin and malachite green should be used a bit more cautiously.>
Gary Larson is the best and I swear I have seen that exact strip your speaking of.
Facebook you say? I'm going to look for you (watch out) and yes add the tanks to your page.
<At the moment it's mostly photos of my garden and various Daleks!>
I'm really attracted to the small planted tanks with tiny fish but not the CO2 setup.
<Likewise, I tend to go with low-tech planted tanks.>
They seem to be much more about the plants than the livestock
<Yes, indeed. And also, the Amano tanks especially tend to be designed for a photograph rather than the long-term. That's fine if your interest is building up the tank, taking a photo after a few months, and then undoing and replanting the whole thing. A fun hobby in itself, I dare say, but doesn't appeal to me.>
so maybe for me another small tank with a beta...not sure yet but I got the bug.
<Bettas are pretty dull really. Give me Betta imbellis or one of the mouthbrooding Bettas instead!>
<Cheers, Neale.>

Update - Dropsy?- to Bob F - Re: Stroke makes sense - Re: Why is my Goldfish bent at a right angle? 7/30/10
Dear Bob,
From the last update 2 months ago to now, we had to rename our fish "Lazarus". I began to feed him smaller amounts every third day instead of every day. I do 25% water changes twice weekly. Water conditions before water change today: Nitrite 0, Ammonia 0, Nitrates 5 ppm - all 0 after water change. Also added Anacharis plants, which he enjoys grazing on.
Water temp is 76. That's as cool as I can keep the house in Florida in the summer without exploding our energy budget.
<Sounds, reads mighty fine>
He continued bent for a while, moving less and less, and every morning, we would wake up thinking he's be gone, but he'd just go on like that. One morning, he was fine, back to normal, if a bit slower, as if he'd never been sick.
<Ah yes>
He was fine for about a week, then went back to being "bent again. Then a few weeks later, he was fine again, active, eating well, completely upright and continued so for the past 5-6 weeks, until the last few days.
Last week, he started staying in one lower corner and not swimming or moving very much again. Then he was resting bent again, but still swimming upright. Two days ago, he was completely bent again and has not straightened up since.
Last night, I noticed his scales started to "pinecone" on one side, which he has never exhibited, even when he was FAT (He slimmed down since I started feeding less and every other day). I did an immediate water change. No improvement. Today, he is pineconed on both sides, all the way down to his tail.
<Bad... as you state/speculate, a dropsical condition... typically indicative of internal/cellular disorder; perhaps bacterial>
However, he is not at all bloated as some of the fish I have seen online with Dropsy. Now, I am thinking that some kind of bacterial infection has been underlying all along and he just can't fight it anymore. He shows little interest in eating already.
After all his resurrections, we are really rooting for him. Our whole family - all the kids, even my husband, who usually could care less about my fish, are all hoping for the best, and trying not to expect the worst, but we do not want him to suffer. Everything I have read online, including at WWM, says there isn't much hope. Some have suggested that I raise the tank temp to as much as 84, but wouldn't that just stress him more, even if raised slowly?
<I would not raise the temp.>
I have added a small amount of Epsom salts (and will increase to 1Tablespoon/5 gallons to see if that would provide any help, but it feels in vain. Is there anything you can suggest to help him? Trips to vet for antibiotic injections will not be options for us.
<Thank you for this update Sandy. Nothing other than the good care you're rendering, hope and time going by will prove out this fish's destiny. Bob Fenner>
Thank you - Re: Update - Dropsy?- to Bob F - Re: Stroke makes sense - Re: Why is my Goldfish bent at a right angle? 7/30/2010

Thank you, Bob. So you feel pretty confident that he's not suffering?
<Mmm, sorry, but no; am not sure... I am reticent/hesitant to euthanize my pets, organisms in my care. If you are in doubt, I would hold off here as well. B>
Agreed - Re: Thank you - Re: Update - Dropsy?- to Bob F - Re: Stroke makes sense - Re: Why is my Goldfish bent at a right angle? 7/30/2010
As we have had so many last minute reprieves with this one, I agree with you here.
Thanks again so very much.
<Certainly welcome Sandy. BobF>
RIP - Re: Agreed - Re: Thank you - Re: Update - Dropsy?- to Bob F
- - 8/1/10
Dear Bob,
Lazarus succumbed last night to whatever ailed him. He seemed to go without much fuss. I'm glad he didn't linger much longer like that.
Thank you for all your help - as always.
With kind regards,
<Sorry for your loss. BobF>

My Goldfish Sparticus needs help... env.... no reading... 716/10
My goldfish Sparticus is about 2.5yrs old. In a 10 gallon tank with his little girlfriend Cleo. Short for Cleopatra :)
<10 gallons is far too small for Goldfish, and your health problems here are directly caused by this. Upgrade to not less than 30 gallons. Anything else I say is pointless if you don't do that.>
After doing a filter change he emerged with red dots under his belly and redness at the base of pectoral fin.
<Likely Finrot or some similar, opportunistic bacterial infection>
I¹ve noticed him darting around the past month or so. Fins are clamped and likes to rest at bottom of tank.
<Poisoned by the ammonia and nitrite in the water.>
I was doing partial water changes 4 within 48 hours to bring the ammonia down. The ammonia getting better. After a water change he released a movement that looked like an empty clear white sac with a bit of fecal matter, bubbles, and some stuff that looked like the red sore under belly. He is not eating now so I ran to fish store. They gave me Parasite guard which seemed to have made him a tiny bit better.
<Medications immaterial here; like giving aspirin to someone with major head injuries. The tank is too small.>
I did a small water change and added all chemicals and salt before adding tablet in water. How often do I do the parasite guard tablet. Do I do water changes in between. I have taken carbon out as suggested. Do I keep water warm? Do I give him anything else with this. He doesn¹t have appetite.
<Of course not, he's dying.>
I did notice a tiny white threadlike string under his mouth.
<Fungus, Columnaris or Finrot. Perhaps all three.>
Almost missed it that it was so small. The other fish is picking at his underbelly sores and making sure he is still moving.
So sad...
<Indeed. You're killing this fish.>
Any suggestions
<Do please read:
Goldfish ARE NOT suitable for 10 gallon tanks. No book would ever suggest such a thing, and retailers will take complete advantage of your lack of reading.
Upgrade the aquarium, return the fish, or euthanise all them all. Keeping them in 10 gallons is not an option, at least, not a humane one. Assuming animal cruelty doesn't appeal to you, you'll move them to a 30 gallon tank, and then treat as per Finrot. Be sure not to use carbon in the filter because that will remove the medication. Hope this helps. Cheers, Neale.
Re: My Goldfish Sparticus needs help 716/10
Do you >think it is< too late if I put him in there now.
<If he's moved to a bigger tank, and medicated against Finrot, he should recover.>
I'm going to get 30 gal now.
Will it shock him to put new water and filter in.
<Set up your new aquarium. Fill with dechlorinated water. If the water is cold, let it come to room temperature. Now partially one-quarter fill a bucket with water from the 10 gallon aquarium. Put the Goldfish in there.
Put a cup of water from the 30 gallon aquarium into the bucket. Keep adding one cup of water from the 30 gallon aquarium every 5-10 minutes. When the bucket is full, your fish should be adapted to new water conditions. Net them out, and move them to their new home.>
Can I use the previous filter.
<Yes. Take care not to let the filter medium dry out. You may need to add another filter to the aquarium if the filter you have is not enough.>
Should I be putting something in for fin rot.
<Yes. Look for something that treats Finrot. Ideally, find something that treats Fungus and "Mouth Fungus" (actually a bacteria, Columnaris). Seachem NeoPlex for example. If you do this, you will hopefully treat all the possible infections at once. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: My Goldfish Sparticus needs help, "Squawk!" 7/18/2010
Okay getting it done !
<Cool. Glad to help. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: My Goldfish Sparticus needs help
What about when I put this medication in should I remove carbon if its a new tank ?
<There's no real need to use carbon in a freshwater aquarium. Never use carbon when using medications.>
Do you think it will be too much for him.
I gave him 1 dose of parasite guard other day. Can I use this ?
<No. You need medication for Finrot. Not "Melafix" or salt. A real, trustworthy medication. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: My Goldfish Sparticus needs help
Should I wait on meds or do this right away ?
<Sooner the better. Follow the instructions I gave earlier. Set up big aquarium. Gradually acclimatise the Goldfish to the new water conditions. Put the Goldfish in the big aquarium. Add medications for Finrot as described by the manufacturer.
Cheers, Neale.>
Re: My Goldfish Sparticus needs help
She doesn't have Seachem Neoplex. Brought someone from store to help. He noticed he was scratching on rock
<There are other medications you could use. But must treat Finrot, and ideally Fungus as well. But not Melafix or salt. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: My Goldfish Sparticus needs help... Neale... refer...
What about Furan 2
60 mg of Nitrofurazone and Furazolidone
<Yes, this should work well.>
Or fungus Guard ????
<Not on its own. Your fish probably has Finrot -- the red patches. Fungus looks like cotton wool. Very distinctive.>
Or Pimafix ?
<Pimafix = useless.>
They don't have that one
<Cheers, Neale.>
Re: My Goldfish Sparticus needs help.....
I'm also noticing the butt hole looks much much larger than usual. He hasn't eaten in More than 24 hours.
<Indeed. He won't eat while he's sick. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: My Goldfish Sparticus needs help
he doesn't have wooly patches at all. Its red marks under belly.
<Fin rot.>
Some round others like patches. Flat. top Fin are a bit frayed just on edges. The guy from store said it looked like fin rot but he was also brushing up a bit against Coral. Man also noticed lots of slime on objects in tank.
<Slime = bacteria. This suggests over-feeding, over-stocking and under-filtering.>
He swimming around More now and looks happy!
<Glad he's feeling better. Don't use real coral in Goldfish aquaria. It scratches them. Plastic coral is fine.
Cheers, Neale.>
Re: My Goldfish Sparticus needs help
Neale you have been a great help!
<You are welcome.>
Will this furan 2 harm the other fish in tank ?
<No, not if used correctly.>
Ãs there anything else that works better. Should I call around and see if I can find your first med choice. There are so many possibilities of ailments how do you know what will Work and to be sure that what it is from explanation.
<Cheers, Neale.>
Re: My Goldfish Sparticus needs help
I also noticed a scale coming off.
<Losing one scale is not a big deal. Happens from time to time. Only panic is there is infection. Concentrate on water quality, and the fish should stay healthy. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: My Goldfish Sparticus needs help
Furan 2 going in
<Very good. Off to bed now -- it's 22:20 here in England -- so you're on your own now. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: My Goldfish Sparticus needs help
Good night Neale !
Lets see how Sparticus is in the morning. When should I see improvement?
<If given good conditions and the right medication, he should be completely better within two weeks.>
How long can he go without eating? He is a bit plump.
<He can do without food for several weeks. Here in England, during the winter, when Goldfish are colder than 10 degrees C, they eat almost nothing for 3-4 months.>
Do you think he will grow bigger now because its a bigger tank? And if he does ,will I need to buy an even bigger tank. ????
<Yes, he will grow, but 30 gallons/115 litres is enough for 2-3 adult Goldfish.>
Do you think he has a parasite too ?
Will the meds take care of it or is that a different med ? I'm fascinated by all your knowledge. Its very hard to find fish help here in the US.
<Glad to help. There is much to read here. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: My Goldfish Sparticus needs help
Oh I bought the coral because ph was low. Lady at store thought it would
higher ph without having to add chemicals.
<I see. Not a very good approach. Read here:
You can use the Rift Valley Salt Mix to create hard, basic water. Perfect
for Goldfish! Use half the dose described on that page, i.e., per 10 US
* 1 teaspoon baking soda (sodium bicarbonate)
* 1 tablespoon Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate)
* 1 teaspoon marine salt mix (sodium chloride + trace elements)
Add this to each new bucket of water. So if your bucket is 5 gallons, add
0.5 teaspoon baking soda, 0.5 tablespoon Epsom salt, and 0.5 teaspoon
marine salt mix. Don't add anything directly to the aquarium! Doing that
will mess up the water chemistry too fast. Just add to each new bucket of
water, every time you do a water change. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: My Goldfish Sparticus needs help
Neale. Do you have Skye?
<No. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: My Goldfish Sparticus needs help
Hi Neale I know your sleeping but I'm curious to learn More. Maybe the All Knowing can answer when he wakes up. :) Sparticus tale suspended like he's in diving position for a while now waving side to side In one place. Do you know what this means?
<No, not really. Could be stress.>
Hope he doesn't turn into the dreaded pinecone !
<Indeed. Dropsy, when the fish looks like a pinecone, is very difficult to treat. There is a picture here:
Cheers, Neale.>
Re: My Goldfish Sparticus needs help
He also looks bloated
<Indeed. Do read here:
Dropsy and bloating are different. With Dropsy, the scales rise up, like a
pinecone. The fish will be lethargic, and will have no interest in food.
With bloating, the fish swells up, may swim oddly, but is otherwise normal.
Cheers, Neale.>
Re: My Goldfish Sparticus needs help
Oh no. Why are his scales looking raised ?
<Could be Dropsy. See previous messages. Cheers, Neale.>
FW: My Goldfish Sparticus needs help
Morning Neale, Sorry to be obsessed over this fish and emailing you so much, but your the only source of help I have right now :0
<Happy to help.>
Sparticus made it through the night.
At times darting to the top for a gulp of air and coming back down. He is still kind of facing head down with tail in the air. Swaying in one place. He is not clamping fins down and back any longer. He is a bit swollen. With scales a tiny bit swollen.
<Do see previous e-mails.>
Other fish pokes him around and he does swim when she does this, occasionally. red spots under belly gone. Do I keep giving him the furan 2 ? He is do for some more packet at 4pm. NY time. He wasn¹t swollen before I gave this to him.
<Complete the medication as stated on the packaging. Don't be creative! Follow the instructions!>
He seems to be paddling a bit in place now. Few inch off the floor. Oh wow !!! He ate he ate!! One pellet. What should I be feeding him?? What¹s the best food on the market? Should he be eating peas while he is sick?
<Best foods for Goldfish are "greens" -- peas, spinach, blanched lettuce, and bunches of Canadian Pondweed. Supplement this with any good quality flake food. Hikari and Tetra brands are very good, but there are lots of others. The main thing is not to overfeed. Offer small amounts of food, once or twice per day. If the tank is new, feed once every two days for the first three weeks. Do read:
Cheers, Neale.>
Re: My Goldfish Sparticus needs help
Yes he kind of looks like the top photo on this link. But not the bottom
with the stomach really swollen. Do I put salt in the water, will that
help. I set up new tank yesterday. And started antibiotics.
How long does he have to live? What do I do?
<Dropsy is difficult to treat. Antibiotics (e.g., erythromycin or
Minocycline) can help if the disease is caught early and water conditions
are good. Supplement the use of antibiotics with the addition of Epsom salt
at a dose of 1 teaspoon per 5 to 10 gallons and raise the water temperature
to 82-86 degrees F. Note that table salt won't help; has to be Epsom salt.
Cheers, Neale.> Re: My Goldfish Sparticus needs help
It says to add Epsom salt for constipation. Should I do this while
antibiotics are in tank.
Can I use aquarium salt ,instead?
<No. Completely different chemicals. Cheers, Neale.>Re: My Goldfish Sparticus needs help
It says to add Epsom salt for constipation. Should I do this while
antibiotics are in tank.
Can I use aquarium salt ,instead?
<No. Completely different chemicals. Cheers, Neale.>Re: My Goldfish Sparticus needs help
I'm also using the bullseye 7.0
Is this okay instead of this mixture .
<"Bullseye 7" may be easy, but it's also useless. Goldfish need a pH of
7.5, and they also need hard water. If you have soft water, that would
explain the low pH. Fish health depends more on hardness than pH.>
Seems complicated
<It isn't. Trust me. It's much, MUCH cheaper to use and works MUCH MUCH
better. Cheers, Neale.> Re: My Goldfish Sparticus needs help
Hi Neale. I'm using the Furan2. He wasn't bloated like this before I put it into tank. Are you sure its not making him worse ?
<If he's getting worse it's because he is very sick. The Furan will hopefully help. But it may be too late.>
Okay so you are saying give Furan 2 and put Epsom salt in there too.
<Epsom Salt, yes. Not cooking salt or aquarium salt.>
When I'm done.
<No, use the Epsom salt WITH the medication.>
Should I do it before or wait a bit after. ?
<No, don't wait.>
At same time ?
When would I start Treatment for dropsy ?not even sure if that what he has. Will those antibiotics below Treat Finrot too.
<Possibly. Difficult to know.>
Maybe I should have went with that from start.???? So many decisions.
<Which is why prevention is better than cure. It's like lung cancer. Once someone has lung cancer, the options are many, and they're all complicated, and there's no guarantees any of them will work. But not smoking before hand -- that is simple. This is why we say read about your fish FIRST, so you have everything it needs. When kept properly, fish are VERY HEALTHY and live longer, and get fewer diseases, than many other animals.>
Wish you had Skye so I can show you what he looks like. Maybe I take photos and send.
<If you want to send to photos, please, 500 KB or smaller. Do not send bigger images than that! Cheers, Neale.>

Re: My Goldfish Sparticus needs help 7/20/10
Sorry. I do understand. Just a desperate fish mother trying to create possibilities.
<Fair enough.>
I've been looking around for personalized Help. Like a fish doctor that makes house calls but cant find one. That was closest idea.
<Indeed, but I am not aware of such people.>
I will send photos and thank you for helping me. I was doing water changes and everything as mentioned.
Sometimes there's things that other people see I don't. This is why photos and actual supervision is good. Thank you for all your good advice.
<Happy to help.>
Have a wonderful day off.
<I did.>
Here are some photos of him after fist day of Furan 2 treatment and the brand new tank.
<Looks quite a bit better. Doesn't seem to be Dropsy.>
What do you think about food Antibiotics for him to Treat other symptoms ?
<No. Just medicate for Finrot, and make sure he has a nice big aquarium. Cheers, Neale.>

Sparticus doing a bit better :)
Mr. Neale,
<It's just Neale. Or Dr. Monks if you prefer! But I'm a Dr of fossils, so
not relevant really!>
I have been on the forum all night doing my homework like you suggested!
Reading and learning how to take better care of these delicate creatures!
Sparticus is doing a bit better, thanks to your recommendations!
<Glad to hear this.>
I sent some photos. He has been swimming around has an appetite. Still
looks a bit bloated though. With a few scales lightly raised but "not"
<I agree. Not Dropsy.>
You mention in your email that if he had Dropsy he would not be swimming
around and have an appetite. He is swimming and wants to eat again. Gave
him a pea last night. And this morning.
<Good news. But do not overfeed.>
It was day 2 of Furan 2 yesterday. I have 2 filters running on the 29
gallon tank. His old one, and a 50 gallon new filter. No carbon inside.
Today he is do for a 25% water change. I didn't do the Epsom salt because
I'm not so good with measurements and was a bit freaked out and scared to do
more harm than good.
<It is very safe and very helpful for constipation as well as Dropsy.
Basically, it's a muscle relaxant. This loosens the muscles in the
digestive tract. Makes it easier for Goldfish to deal with constipation.
You don't need much, but unless you go crazy, you won't poison them! 0.5 to
1 level tablespoon per 5 US gallons/20 litres is good for constipation. I
don't think your fish is constipated though, so need to worry. You will add
some Epsom salt with the "Rift Valley cichlid salt" mix, and that should be
fine by itself.>
I think I might have accidentally erased the info in a panic, too. Sorry.
Do I do the water change at 4pm, same time I added the medication
yesterday? Or does this matter?
<I would not do water changes while using medicine. Wait until you have
done the last dose. Then do a water change 24 hours afterwards.>
I am going to attempt this ph cocktail substitute for Bullseye you
<Good. Again, this is very safe and very cheap.>
Is there anything else I need to be doing to nurse him back?
<Not really. Maybe pray to the Fish Gods?>
I will attach a new photo of him from our photo shoot this morning.
<Looks much healthier.>
With much gratitude for your help and caring
:) Deborah
<Happy to help. Cheers, Neale.>
Called someone in to see Sparticus :)

Ah, Dr. Monks I am very honored to have received your advice. I was researching and thought that this might be you. Very impressive resume :)
And very handsome too!
<Aw, shucks.>
A friend suggested calling Aquariums, so I did. Found a wonderful person that came to my home and checked him out personally. Its kind of like prescribing meds to a patient you haven't seen.
I was frantic because he puffed up when I put the meds in so wasn't sure to keep up with it?? Anyways, he took a look at him and thought was just irritation and didn't see signs of bacterial infection and thought it might have been ammonia burns.
<Can be, but ammonia burns on Goldfish scales tend to be black. Red sores tend to be bacterial infections, or at least wounds.>
We started from scratch 100 percent water change
<Why? Ask him why salt is helpful. Salt DOES NOT raise pH or hardness.>
and stress coat only in tank. Took me off all the other bacteria and ph added into take. I have 2 filters on there now and he suggested Chemi pure carbon and feed every other day.
<Carbon is a waste of money in this context. Ask this chap what the carbon is for. All carbon does is remove organic chemicals such as tannins. That isn't the problem here. Biological filtration removes ammonia. Not carbon.>
He looks like he's coming back to normal. Swelling coming down a bit.
All I know is this is the first good night sleep I've had in 3 days. I don't want to loose another fish ever again. In the NY area people need to be educated that there is also a facility that offers in house quarantine and hospitalization of fish! Cityaquarium.com Aquarius Aquariums comes on site for sick fish. It was 50 us dollars because he was in the area. That's not too bad!
<Hmm'¦ I'm a bit skeptical of his advice so far.>
Sparticus is swimming happily and aquarium looks nice and clean. Will be taking a reading of ammonia today just in case.
I have joined the website and will enjoying seeing your answers to other people who have such problems.
<It isn't me there, but my friends.>
Ps I still think you would make a Mint if you offered the Skye service and open a whole new world of opportunities. This comes from a very good place in my heart and buss. Mind..lol
<Certainly worth thinking about.>
Good Day Dr. Monks and Thank you once again for your great advice. Sparticus looks very happy in his 29 gallon tank and he thanks you for that too :o
<Glad to have helped. Good luck. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: My Goldfish Sparticus needs help 7/18/10
Hmmm. Guess you cant borrow a comp. Mac laptop has built in camera. This would be a great plus. For you and a great help to others. Just suggesting.
All my Best.
Thank you kindly
<You misunderstand. We're volunteers. We don't have time to Skype with everyone who has a sick fish. We try to answer questions quickly, but can only do so when we have free time. I do in fact have a MacBook Pro, and also have a personal Skype account, but that's irrelevant here. Please send your messages to Wet Web Media, and we will try to answer you as quickly as possible. I'm finished with my questions for today, and won't be back until
Tuesday. So in the meantime I suggest you read the articles and do your best. If you want to chat with someone, try our Forum, here: http://bb.wetwebmedia.com/
Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Called someone in to see Spartikus :)... ongoing voyage of disc. re GF hlth., human nature 7/20/10
Hello again Dr Monks,
I will ask him why.
There is another facility called city aquariums that has the hospitalization that I just found out about this am. I didn't use them but will look into it. They use this fish doctor by the name of Dr Aukes that's suppose to be amazing. Cityaquariums.com
<I know nothing about this company. But then I'm thousands of miles away from them!>
The other guy that came by was from Aquarius. The one your skeptical about.
I will ask why him those questions. I think he said they like salt!
<Goldfish? No, they do not like salt. They tolerate small amounts. But it isn't important to them. Sodium chloride reduces the toxicity of nitrite and nitrate, which is why it is sometimes used. But sodium chloride has no effect on pH or hardness. So if you have soft water, adding salt doesn't really help.>
He takes care of the fish at the school aquarium next door every 3 weeks .
Perfect to check in on me once in a while. Seems like a perfect coincidence, maybe maybe not ???
<Let's hope so.>
I will still keep reaching out as I am one to get 3 or 4 different opinions from experts in this field. This is how I keep learning.
Trust me, I have become obsessed! I will go to any extent to keep this guy alive. Praying he gets better soon!
<Do read books, learn, become critical of other ideas. Good luck, Neale.>

Poor Oranda Mama possibly sick? -- 7/14/10
Dear WWM,
I've been a fan of WWM for a long time, and always found reading the FAQs enjoyable. But to get to the point of this email, I have been searching online for information regarding my Oranda's condition but found nothing, and so thought I could ask and see what you think.
To give you background information first on the living condition of my goldfish [so you know what you're dealing with :)], I have a three year old Oranda goldfish and a two year old calico fancy goldfish who, until a month ago, were living in a twenty gallon tank.
<Mmm, too small in a/the longer haul>
They are now happily residing in a forty gallon near the patio window, planted with elodea,
<Oh, better by far>
a lily pad that's shooting up new leaves every day, and some water sprites. The temperature never reaches about seventy degrees, and usually gets to be around sixty eight at night. [I spent a couple of different days monitoring the temperature at specific times.]
The goldfish tend to nip at the plants when they get too hungry, which is my cue to toss in a couple deshelled peas. They have an Aquaclear filter that turns the water over five times per hour, and has a sponge, bio rings, and carbon in the filter [which is a HOB]. The sponge is gently squeezed a couple times during the weekly water changes with the siphoned water from the tank, and the carbon replaced every two months. I leave the bio rings be.
I change out eight to ten gallons a week, and just add in a teaspoon of aquarium salt and Jungle Start dechlorinator to the new water. Their diet consists of a mixture of Hikari bloodworms and Oranda Gold, freeze dried Mysis shrimp, algae wafers, Nutrafin Max pellets, deshelled peas, and a variety of leafy, well washed vegetables from my mom's garden.
On July 6th, my goldfish spawned for the first time [to my complete astonishment]. The babies are thriving now in a planted ten gallon tank with a gentle underwater filter [covered in panty hose] after they hatched on July 9th [my birthday].
In the meantime, my Oranda and Calico are both active and behaving normally, with no changes in their breathing or eating habits.
However, my Oranda appears to have some close to the base of her tail that was there for at least a couple of month, before disappearing in early June, only to reappear when I checked her out today. There are also two very dull, almost gray spots on the opposite side of her side. I've included pictures of both symptoms.
<These are residual marks left over from a trauma... not to worry... they too will go in time>
The calico appears fine and does not have any symptom that I can see. The Oranda, [who we now just call Mama] also has visible veins on her tail [but these have been here for at least a year].
<Environmental... would go w/ less metabolite accumulation>
Both she and the calico [Papa] both yawn once in a while. Also, once in a while the Calico and Oranda will give a quick shake, almost like a shiver.
<Also unimportant, natural>
I'm not sure what else to add, but I truly hope there's a way you can help my baby - I would hate to have anything happen to her.
[Unfortunately, Mama wouldn't stop moving and thus the pictures are not the best - apologies in advance.]
<No worries. Bob Fenner>

Re: Poor Oranda Mama possibly sick? 7/22/10
Thank you for your quick response - just like you said, the Oranda healed up within a few days after I received your email.
Unfortunately, I have another question, concerning my Oranda. Since the spawn [July 6th], she's been tail standing to rest. But in the last few days, she's begun to tilt to rest almost completely on her back.
<Ahh, not uncommon unfortunately with too many fancy goldfishes>
No other symptoms - there doesn't appear to be any more spawning behavior, both otherwise have very healthy appetites, their food hasn't changed, and the other fish in the tank shows no sign of tail standing - he mostly sleeps at night, hovering on the ground.
It seems like she will swim for a while, then rest on her back. I'm not sure what to do.
I've included a picture for clarity of her symptom.
Thank you very much for your patience and time.
<Please read here concerning the most common cause/s of such disorientation in these fishes:
and as much of the Related FAQs files linked above as you deem prudent.
I use Spectrum pelleted foods with my Orandas, Ranchus... BobF>

Oranda goldfish, hlth. reading 6/27/10
I recently added a second fish to my tank, and after a tank cleaning today (fish were placed into a holding tank with 50% of the original tank water)
I noticed that this fish seemed much less active. On looking at him an hour later, I noticed a small patch of scales missing, and next to this a large white translucent patch, as well as a white translucent patch in the tail fin. He is still able to swim around, occasionally gulping air, and still has an appetite, I have a second fish in the tank which shows no change or white patches. Does this sound like an injury followed by bacterial infection?
<Without additional data, it's impossible to say for sure. Do understand most problems with Goldfish come down to ignorance; specifically, keeping them in the wrong environmental conditions and feeding them the wrong sorts
of food. I cannot stress too strongly how important these issues are. For two Goldfish you need at least 30 gallons plus a reasonably robust filtration system -- an internal canister filter is usually the easiest option, if not necessarily the best. Damage to the scales and fins can be caused by clumsy handling, e.g., when the fish was netted by the sales clerk, but subsequent secondary infections depend precisely on how well you're maintaining these fish. Their water needs to be hard and basic -- 10+ degrees dH, pH 7.5-8 -- and very clean -- 0 ammonia and 0 nitrite.
Overfeeding will simply make a bad situation worse. Note that gulping air is NOT normal, and Goldfish do this usually when the water quality is poor or the aquarium is so hot -- above 18 C/ 68 F -- or so poorly circulated by
the filter that it contains insufficient oxygen. Do read:
Cheers, Neale.>

Goldfish advice, pebble in nares... 6/22/10
I have a large (25cm) goldfish called Igor who has a pebble stuck in one of it's nares. I am able to pat him and can hold him in the water. Could you tell me if it will come out by itself or if I will need to extract it and how this can be achieved. It doesn't seem to be hurting him but I am worried it will cause an infection if left in there.
<I would definitely get this out! Use forceps to tease the stone out, trying not to damage the nostril. Once damaged, the nostril can become infected. If it helps, you can sedate the fish with 1-2 drops of clove oil in a litre of aquarium water. Don't rush -- Goldfish are fine out of water for quite a long time, a minute or more, if kept wet and handed with wet hands. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Goldfish advice

Hi Neale,
Thank you so much for your speedy response. I will attempt to remove the pebble. It is good to know that he will be ok out of water for a short time. I will let you know how it goes.
Many thanks,
<Good luck Jenni [and patient!], and we're happy to help. Cheers, Neale.>
Re Igor the goldfish, pebble in nare 7/9/10

Hi Neale,
A quick update on my goldfish Igor who had a pebble in his nare. I attempted to remove it, to no avail. However, nature has taken it's course and after 2 weeks it has dislodged itself.
Much to my relief!
Thank-you again for your fantastic website and excellent advice, I will be a regular reader of the forums from now on.
Best wishes,
<Glad to have helped, or at least been able to listen to your story. Good luck, Neale.>

Questions on the Health of My Fish, Romeo and Grace 6/17/10
<Hello Camron,>
I have some questions regarding the health of two of my goldfish.
<Yes. And I have some questions about the sizes of the attachments you sent! 16 MB! We do very specifically and clearly ask for attachments no bigger than 500 KB each. Your message clogged up out e-mail allowance, meaning that other people's messages couldn't get through. That's really not fair, is it?>
I have a goldfish with a problem on his tail.
He is a white fantail. Roughly 2 years old. He is a male. He lives in a 50 gal. freshwater tank with 3 other goldfish and several Platies. The white fantail is called Romeo. I noticed yesterday Romeo had streaking in his tail and rough looking patches of skin.
<It's Finrot.>
I started him on an anti bacterial fish food and changed the water in the tank. This morning I noticed his tail seems to have a tear where the streaking began.
I have added some Stress Coat Plus, which has aloe Vera in it.
I am continuing the regiment of antibacterial food I started yesterday.
<Not what you need here.>
I also added some vitamin c to help boost his immunity a little and some garlic guard, which I hear helps with fungus and helps protect from Ich.
<Also irrelevant.>
I am hopping this will help him out.
<I can indeed. Finrot is caused by poor water quality and/or physical damage. Looking at this fish, physical damage doesn't seem likely, so I'm going to plumb for poor water quality. Review the needs of Goldfish.
Among other things, note their need for filtration, the right water chemistry, and regular water changes. You need to use dechlorinator with each water change. Fix conditions, and treat with an effective anti-Finrot medication. Not Melafix or anything like that, but the Roto-Rooter stuff: Seachem Paraguard, eSHa 2000, etc. External antibiotics might be used too.
Note that the bacteria that cause Finrot are present in water all the time, and usually they're harmless. They cause problems when the fish is stressed. Your jobs are to [a] relieve the symptoms and [b] figure out why the fish was stressed.>
I have included some photos of my fish. I hope they help. I suspect bacterial infection.(Rome, Romeo, what is wrong with my poor Romeo?)
<Environmental conditions, almost certainly.>
Here you can see the streaking and the tear. Here is a picture of Romeo's very inflamed backside. Poor fish!
Also I have another goldfish (a calico Ryukin female) who has a chronic and reoccurring problem. Her name is Grace. Grace and Romeo like each other a lot. They always choose each other in the spring, when they want to spawn.
Poor Grace seems to keep having trouble with floating and balance. I have tried bacterial treatments in the form of antibacterial food. This seems to help her a little. But the condition keeps coming back.
<Likely diet.>
It dose not seem to be related to overfeeding or water quality.
<Perhaps not.>
I checked on those already. What do you suppose keeps causing poor Grace to lose her balance and float? Here is a picture to try and show you what I mean. (Sorry about the quality, I can only do so much with a cheap camera
and moving fish.) Poor bloaty, floaty, Grace!
What do you think the problems are with my two goldfish?
<Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Questions on the Health of My Fish, Romeo and Grace 6/18/10

OOPS!!! Sorry about the size of the pictures.
I thought I shrank them BEFORE I sent them.
<If these were the shrunk ones, the originals must have been gigantic!>
My bad. Let me know if you want them resent smaller and I will do so.
<Don't worry.>
And thank you so much for your help. Me and my fish appreciate it.
<Glad to help. Cheers, Neale.>

query regarding goldfish 5/28/2010
how r u
<I'm fine, thanks Shadab. But I'd be a lot finer if you'd use regular English rather than teenage text speak.>
well I m from India
I have a 2ft x 2ft x 2ft tank and have 6 goldfishes and 1 black moor in it
<216 litres / 57 US gallons.>
recently cleaned I my whole tank say 4 days back
my fish vendor had advised me to put one tablet zentel tablet as it contains albendazole which is useful against roundworms and flukes
<Do your fish have flukes and roundworms?>
so after cleaning my tank I gave them this tablet like say after 24 hrs I diluted the whole tablet is a glass of water and then put the water in the tank well lemme tell u one thing that my fishes were totally healthy and fine however the fish vendor said that if I do this treatment once every 6 months then my fish's life will increase
<Why? Don't treat your fish unless there's some reason to do so.>
now after 2 days my fishes have become to lazy and it seems like they don't have any strength they are just lying down and not coming up even when I added food they were not interested they are just lying down occasionally they move sometimes that's it so as a remedy I removed almost 3/4th of the water and refilled it again and then have added 2 becosules capsules to give them strength
well and 2 fishes are moving little bit now but rest are still lying down can u tell me why did this happened and lemme add u one thing that yest on their filter stopped working but its like just 12 hrs back and I don't think with the filter not working they will behave this way I have never seen them
<All this pointless medication could easily be stressing/killing the filter bacteria.>
my fishes have always been active pls tell me the reason as to why did this happened and also tell me the remedy that I can carry out to make my fishes fine thank you
Cheers, Neale.>
RE: query regarding goldfish
Thnx for ur reply
Well next time I will tc dat I don't put unnecessary medicines.But now since my fishes hv become damn lazy wat shud I do.
They just wanna sit down whole day.
How can they bought back to normal.
I m keeping water temp at 28C.
Thank you
<Please re-send you message with the spellings corrected. WWM relies on properly written messages that can be read by site visitors and indexed by Google. Your message is neither. Cheers, Neale.>
RE: query regarding goldfish
Thanks for your reply
<You're welcome.>
I am writing from my mobile, hence had to use the short forms......
<I see. Well, rules are rules.>
Well next time I will take care that I don't put unnecessary medicines. But now since my fishes have become lazy what should I do. They just want to sit down whole day.
<They aren't lazy. They're likely stressed, probably by their environment. Check the water is as it should be. You need 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, pH 7-8, hardness 10+ degrees dH.>
How can they be bought back to normal.
<See above. Anything that doesn't match their requirements will make them sick.>
I am keeping water temperature at 28ºC.
<A bit warm for Goldfish. At most, go for 24 C.>
Thank you
<Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Goldfish query 6/7/10
Dear Neale,
Thank you kindly for your advice; I've gone with your approach (as opposed to Bob's) as letting the tank recover without medication hasn't improved matters over the past week.
I'm sure it works fine for others, but it doesn't seem to be happening with me unfortunately. I've therefore started medicating with eSHa 2000 as of this afternoon.
Many thanks for your time and advice; hope you enjoy what's left of the weekend!
<Painting windows, I'm afraid, so hardly fun!>
<Cheers, Neale.>

Hello... GF reading 5/27/10
I bought my daughter an Oranda for her 5th birthday. I should have known better because the other Orandas in the tank looked to have some sort of parasite,
<"If one drinks, they allllllllll drink">
but this one seemed fine and my daughter is so cute she could talk me into buying a dying dog. Over the past few days it has developed medium sized white "pimples" on its Wen,
<Not a big deal generally>
I've never had a fish with an issue like this an I'm unaware of what exactly it is or how to treat it.
<"Just" growth likely>
It lives in a 30 gallon tank with 2 pre existing disease free ( or was...) fancy guppies. 30% water changes are done every 4-6 days (depending on the water quality) It's a bare tank with a bio wheel filter fit for a 60 gallon. I don't understand the only thing I can think of is to salt the aquarium.....
<Nah. Read here:
I'm sorry if I'm a bit scatter brained my daughter is very upset that "monkey" (the Oranda goldfish) is sick.
<She's a bit young to have read over our site, or understand period what is going on here... Live aquatics by and large make very poor gifts for young children. Adults who give such must assume all responsibility and maintenance. That's you Jesus. Read here:
and the linked files above. 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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