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FAQs on Goldfish Medications: Miscellaneous Medications of Various Kinds

FAQs on Goldfish Medicines: Antibiotics (e.g. Maracyn, Tetracycline), Organophosphates (e.g. Fluke Tabs, Dylox), Anthelminthics (de-wormers), Salts, eSHa, Copper Compounds, Formalin, Malachite Green, Mela & Pima(not)Fix, Metronidazole (Flagyl), Sulfa Drugs,

Related Articles: Goldfish Systems, Goldfish Disease, GoldfishGoldfish Varieties Koi/Pond Fish Disease, Livestock Treatment System Bloaty, Floaty Goldfish, Gas Bubble Disease/Emphysematosis, Pond Parasite Control with DTHPHole in the Side Disease/Furunculosis,

Related Goldfish Disease FAQs:  Environmental 1, Environmental 2, Environmental 3Environmental 4, & Goldfish Disease 2, Goldfish Disease 3, Goldfish Disease 4, Goldfish Disease 6, Goldfish Disease 7, Goldfish Disease 8, Goldfish Disease 9, Goldfish Disease 10, Goldfish Disease 11, Goldfish Disease 12, Goldfish Disease 13, Goldfish Disease 14, Goldfish Disease 15, Goldfish Disease 16, Goldfish Disease 17, Goldfish Disease 18, Goldfish Disease 19, Goldfish Disease 20, Goldfish Disease 21, Goldfish Disease 22, Goldfish Health 23, Goldfish Disease 24, Goldfish Health 25, Goldfish Disease 26, Goldfish Disease 27, Goldfish Disease 28, Goldfish Disease 29, Goldfish Disease 30, Goldfish Disease 31, Goldfish Disease 32, Goldfish Disease 33, Goldfish Disease 34, Goldfish Disease 35, Goldfish Health 36, Goldfish Health 37, Goldfish Health 38, Goldfish Disease 39, Goldfish Disease 40, Goldfish Disease 41, Goldfish Disease 42, Goldfish Disease 43, Goldfish Disease 44, Goldfish Disease 45, Goldfish Disease 46, Goldfish Disease 47, Goldfish Disease 48, Goldfish Disease 49, Goldfish Disease 50, Goldfish Disease 51, & Koi/Pondfish Disease

Methylene Blue, Potassium Permanganate, MANY proprietary (undisclosed ingredient commercial preparations), mixes

Goldfish Disease by "Types", Causes:
Environmental 1, Environmental 2, Environmental 3, Environmental 4Environmental 5,  Environmental ,  (Absolutely the Biggest Category)
Floaty Bloaty Goldfish
Nutritional (Second Largest)
Eye Troubles
Lumps/Bumps/Growths (including idiopathic tumors)
Viral and Bacterial, Fungal Infectious
Parasitic: (Ich, Protozoans, Flukes, Worms, Crustacean/ Anchorworms/Lernaeids, ) Fish Lice (Argulus),
Goldfish Swim Bladder Problems
Anomalous (Misc., Injuries, etc.)

New Print and eBook on Amazon

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

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Help with Goldfish medication (Neale; your input please)     1/14/17
A week ago one of my beloved Oranda Goldfishes suddenly ballooned up like a pinecone and passed away a few days later. The day before the "ballooning" I saw a small amount of swelling directly under her chin, between her front
fins. Then the next day she was really swollen. I treated her with Waterlife Myxazin (the only medication I had on hand at the time) + API Melafix, + API salt 0.3% in a hospital tank, but it was too late to save her.
<I see>
She had been having trouble on and off over the last 7 months with floaty issues and constipation, so she was on a special soft foods diet.
<I take it you've seen/read Sabrina's piece, the many "Related FAQs" on WWM re>
For the last 3 months she was slightly weaker in her swimming actions, and sometimes her top fin was droopy. Her appetite was always good though, and she happily interacted and foraged with the other fishes regularly.
I have a 255L main aquarium with 3 remaining 9cm Oranda Goldfish. The Aquarium is cycled and has a big external canister filter with both biological and mechanical media. I do weekly 35% water changes, and their parameters are:
PH 7.4, GH 180, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 20, Ammonia 0.
<All good thus far>
The Oranda that died had been in the tank for 1 year, and the other fishes 6 months, 5 months and 2 months.
Since the sudden case of dropsy, I did a 35% water change that afternoon, a 25% the next day, then 25% again the day after, and now 30% changes every second day to reduce the risk of a bacterial spike.
<Good move>
Plus I checked and cleaned the filter. (Usually do the filter every 2-3 weeks).
I use a vacuum siphon to do the water changes to clean the gravel substrate. I also regularly use Dr Tim's biological products (First Defense during water changes, and Waste Away once a fortnight). I treat any new water with Seachem Prime, and also add 2 teaspoons of API Aquarium salt per 9 Litre bucket, and adjust the PH in the bucket, and add Seachem Replenish to correct the water GH. I live in Adelaide (in South Australia) and Adelaide water is highly chlorinated and is quite soft with a low GH and has a low PH of 6.8.
<All reads as good practices>
Because I live in South Australia the temperature over summer is quite hot.
My Aquarium is in my dining room, in the part of the house where the temperature is the most stable. However, the water slowly heated up during the recent heat wave to 29 degrees Celsius, which may be the stress trigger
for the fish I lost to Dropsy.
<Might well be a factor... I'd leave the lights off, the top raised on especially warm days... should reduce the temp. a degree or two C.>

The aquarium temperature has now lowered back to 26.5 degrees Celsius (which is still quite warm). I have tilted
the spray bar slightly higher to increase surface agitation and added another bubbler to try and increase oxygen levels whilst the water is so warm.
<Ahh; very good>
I am worried that a hidden internal parasite may be present, or possibly some sort of bacteria. It makes sense if it is a parasite, which could have been lurking waiting for the weather to warm up.
The 3 surviving fishes are all looking reasonably healthy, no raised
and have plump bodies with no injury or sores, and their fins are not clamped. No visible lice or external worms or spots either.
<Then... I would NOT treat the water, fish>

One fish has a small split at the end of his tail fin, and it has been there for the last 5 days.
<Not likely pathogenic per se>
2 days ago I saw one of the other fish have a brief involuntary twitch in his front fin, but this only happened once.
The third fish in the last 5 days has changed his sleeping routine. He now hangs at the top of the tank in the back corner at night. In the warmer water, the oxygen levels are lower, so if he is weakened by something, it may be why he is now sleeping at easiest place to sleep. I have also noticed he is chomping at the surface eating bubbles quite often now too.
When he knows I am watching, he swims to halfway down the height of the aquarium, then presses his face up against the glass and chomps at me pretending he is hungry. But, when he can't see me, and he is not at the surface, he forages in the gravel and does something that might be of importance. After he finishes a particular section of gravel "mouthing" he rotates to his side, swims along the bottom on his side then turns back upright. I don't know if this is "scratching", because I don't think that he actually touches the gravel surface. It could be because he is extremely top heavy with his large Oranda wen and chubby cheeks, and the water current could just be moving him sideways. I don't know for certain though.
As soon as I get close enough to check, he sees me, and swims to me.
<All normal behavior>
He is a black Oranda and I also noticed that some days he looks more matt black with a slight frosted white appearance, and some days he is more shiny. There is no visible shedding of slime coat, he just sometimes looks matt black, and sometimes more shiny.
<Again; normal>
The other 2 fishes are still sleeping normally, halfway down tank height, occasionally paddling.
During the day all 3 swim normally though.
However, worryingly they have all been producing strange faeces. Sometimes it is long white faecal casts, and sometimes it is pale crumbly disintegrating bits. And sometimes it is just crumbly in the colour of the food. Quite thick and not firm or well formed. Definitely still not normal, almost like their food hasn't been processed at all. In the mornings I often notice clear long thin strands draping off of an ornament. I trust this is some sort of faeces too.
<I would not panic; but would add more greenery to their diet... Pellets, Anacharis/Egeria/Elodea... blanched zucchini, peas>
They have had occasional white casts for months now, and I didn't think too much of it, and just added more greens to their diet.
They have a quality varied diet of Hikari mini sinking pellets (pre-soaked to soften), blood worms,
<I'd delete these>
spinach, Spirulina, softened de-shelled peas, occasional fruit, and Vitalis sinking pellet. I give them 2 small meals a day.
<Very good>
But, now I have lost a fish to dropsy, their faeces is constantly irregular, either trailing long and loose, small and crumbly, or in long white or clear casts. I am worried something is not right internally - possibly parasite or bacteria.
<I discount this, and caution that treatments themselves are stressful; toxic>

It has been 8 days since I lost my fish to dropsy, and I have been closely monitoring all 3 remaining fishes. Frequent water changes, smaller amount of foods (some pellets soaked in freshly crushed garlic) and mostly greens, and a slightly higher salt level was my first plan, rather than throwing meds in straight away.
But, the black Oranda with sleeping issues might possibly be getting slightly distended in the chest, directly below his head, almost like his chest is getting bigger. He doesn't look swollen outwards, just slightly downwards, and it could just be his body shape changing, but it seems an unusual place to be growing a hump. Because it is a gradual change, it is hard to tell, but it could be the presence of an internal parasite growing inside him causing this, or maybe a fluid build-up from something bacterial.
I don't have good access to aquarium meds due to my location in Australia, so all that I had readily available in terms of parasite options was Waterlife Sterazin. I had to order it online, and it only arrived yesterday. I started the course of Sterazin yesterday and have added this to the aquarium as a precaution to try and eliminate the possibility of external parasites.
<You would see these>
But I am concerned they may have ingested some bacteria contained within the faeces from the Dropsy effected fish before I had a chance to isolate her (they seem to like eating each other's poop!), or they may have been exposed to bacteria in the water.
<All are continuously. Again; I would not panic>
I have now managed to buy API General Cure from eBay, which will hopefully arrive in the post in 2 or 3 days time. If the General Cure arrives quickly, can I continue to treat the water with Sterazin, and at the same time add the General Cure to the water too?
<I would not... I would NOT use any of this, but continue with efforts to keep water temperature low, constant, address water quality and nutrition as you've been doing>
From internet research, I believe the ingredients of both meds are:
Waterlife Sterazin: malachite green 0.08%w/w, formaldehyde 0.2%w/w, Piperazine citrate 0.34%w/w and Acriflavine hydrochloride 0.055%w/w. API general cure: >80 Sodium Chloride, 1-10 Metronidazole, 1-5 Praziquantel, 1-5 Silica Amorphous, fumed crystalline free Are these chemicals safe to use together?
<They are... but formaldehyde is a biocide (kills all life) and there's really no need to use two Anthelminthics. Last time, I would NOT use these here. Without sampling (slime, feces) examination under a microscope... You're simply poisoning your fish, the system
Or, should I just complete the course of Sterazin, wait 48 hours, do a large water change and use carbon to remove any remaining meds for a couple hours, then begin the course of General Cure. Or should I switch to General Cure as soon as possible?
<None of the above>
I want to eliminate both bacteria and parasite possibilities.
<... You're "shooting in the dark".... A poor idea, practice>
But, adding so many things to the water can affect the biological filter and stress the fishes, and I won't add anything that isn't necessary.
I appreciate your time and would love some assistance,
<Glad to render my long-experience with goldfishes>
Thank you,
Kindest regards,
<Welcome. DO write back if something isn't clear, you'd like clarification.
Bob Fenner>
Help with Goldfish medication /Neale      1/15/17

<<I would support Bob's comments that "mixing and matching" medications isn't the solution here. We just can't predict how they'll interact with each other. I'd be looking at optimising environmental conditions, for example ensuring the water is clean, hard, alkaline, and not too warm (22-25 C is about the uppermost that Goldfish enjoy). Using salt can work well against Whitespot and Velvet, and can be useful when fish are stressed, but shouldn't be used indefinitely. That said, Goldfish are tolerant of brackish conditions, so even fairly saline conditions -- say, 3 gram/litre -- will do them no harm. Such saline conditions will eliminate most types of external parasite, and tend to be much safer than copper and formalin. Plus, salt can be used alongside antibiotics without risk of negative interactions. Even by itself salt can help reduce the risk of wounds becoming infected, though this assumes the fish's own immune system is basically sound; salt isn't really an antibacterial at these sorts of concentrations. The use of Epsom salt is another completely safe technique, up to a tablespoon per 20 litres being suitable for raising general hardness (which Goldfish love) while also having a mild laxative effect that helps against constipation. When herbivorous fish are off-colour, a good approach is to eliminate all meat-based foods, and focus entirely on algae, pondweed, canned peas, etc. Often fish won't show much interest at first, but don't worry -- they'll eat it when they're hungry! The more fibre, the better. It'll clear out their guts, and it's often constipation that causes Goldfish to swim oddly. In any case, with a healthier diet herbivorous fish will get the vitamins and minerals they need, and issues like bloating and even Dropsy can be reduced/cured. Hope this helps, Neale>>
Re: Help with Goldfish medication     1/15/17

Hi Bob and Neale,
Thank you both for taking the time to read and respond to everything in my email.
I did not know that canned Blood worms are bad. I had frozen them and cut it into small portions and was giving them a small portion every second day, but will throw them away now.
<Yes; I would>

Yesterday afternoon I noticed that the black Oranda with sleeping problems was looking quite shiny, even more then before, except for his top fin.
There were 2 small cloudy patches on his top fin. This morning he has a 3mm hole in the middle of the top fin, where one of the cloudy patches was.
I will do another 35% water change. I trust the Sterazin I put in 48 hours ago has either stressed him, or disrupted the water equilibrium and caused a bacteria spike.
He also looks slightly more rounded today. No scales sticking out, just bigger around the rib cage just behind his head, but not at the back end.
I will not add any more Sterazin. I will swap to a completely greens based diet for the next 7 days, up the salt, and add Dr Tim's first defence, and continue with the water changes.
Should I also try Epsom salts which you mentioned to relieve bloating? It is a 255Litre aquarium, currently with 3 teaspoons of salt per 9 litres.
How much Epsom would be a good safe amount considering the current salt level?
<I would discontinue the aquarium salt use... You can search, see Neale and I's takes on its regular use. Not warranted. And yes to the possibility of using Epsom period>
Do you think the top fin hole is bacteria based from stress and will clear up on its own?
<Can't tell re origin, but yes to the latter>

Thank you again for your time,
Kindest regards
<And you, Bob Fenner>
Re: Help with Goldfish medication; hypo.      1/15/17

Hi Bob and Neale,
I did the 70 Litre water change this morning as planned. I will ease off the salt level gradually. I will try feeding just greens for a week and see if the black Oranda's sleeping position changes and if this reduces his/her slightly enlarged chest.
Tomorrow I will add a low dose of Epsom salts to the aquarium. (it will be interesting to see if it makes them do any super-pooping!)
I am writing back to you again because I just noticed the blue Oranda (the largest of the 3) has one small white lump at the tip of his anal fin, and one small lump in the centre of the same fin. I have gone through pages and pages of info from your amazing website and have concluded that the small white lumps are bacterial.
<Not necessarily; no. "Just" bumps at times... similar to humans>
I think that my initial panic of parasites may be a bit silly. Surely if they had parasites I would have known it months ago, and they would be lethargic, lacking in appetite, clamping their fins, have some sort of ulcers or specs, and not be active and social.
<The parasites would have had to come from somewhere... biological>
The only parasite that I could find that might stay hidden could be internal worms or external Costia. But everything I read says Costia causes clamped fins and a slimy coating, and that intestinal worms causes wasting. My fishes are not slimy
and they are quite fat!
I have always had a concern about bacteria though. Goldfish are water piggies and even with strict cleaning regimes, sometimes things can go astray, especially in warmer water, and when they are feeling stressed.
I apologise for all my crazy panicking, I don't have too much experience with sick fishes, prevention is better than cure.
But, I lost a fish to Dropsy,
<Or rather, a "dropsical condition"; numerous etiologies possible>

so I am definitely doing something wrong. If the Dropsy was caused by a bacterial infection (rather than parasites)
from either impacted eggs, or an impacted intestine from constipation,
would this bacteria multiply in the water and cause the fin issues that I am seeing now on my remaining fishes?
<Sometimes simply "weak genes". More common as time goes by with these mass-produced, too-inbred strains>
Now I think about it more, when I removed the Dropsy fish and put her into a quarantine tank, within hours her fins looked like they had been shredded. I just assumed her fins went like this because her immune system had given up because of the intense infection. I know that low levels of bacteria are always present in the water, and the fishes immune system usually keeps them at bay. This fin shredding bacteria would have been present on her in the main tank before I had a chance to isolate her. I hadn't thought about the bacteria that was on her fins until now, I was only thinking about the fishes eating her bacteria ridden faeces.
Do you think that any (or all) of the following is enough bacterial evidence for me to worry or warrant any form of treatments for my remaining fishes?

i.e.. (1) the sudden case of dropsy (+ her shredded fins) and consequent loss of this one fish 9 days ago
(2) all fishes displaying the stringy faeces, and crumbly not formed faeces
(3) the smallest Oranda with one small split in his tail (that has not healed at all in 6 days - strange because any splits caused by damage from netting etc seem to have healed rapidly in past experiences)
(4) the black Oranda with night time surface sleeping, and some surface chomping. (and possibly slightly weaker swimming action - tipping sideways in the water current when mouthing gravel, and getting knocked out of the way by the other fishes when they are "schooling" or in a foraging frenzy)
(5) the black Oranda with a slightly enlarged chest, best described as a slight "hump" under his/her chin, where the front fins join the body.
(6) the black Oranda with slightly dull/greyish patches on his top fin which turned into a 3mm hole overnight
(7) the blue Oranda with a new small white lump on the tip of his anal fin, and a lump on the centre of the same fin
I do have Myxazin, Pimafix and Melafix in my cupboard if any of these are needed, as well as (and I hope I never need to use these antibiotics: Octozin/dimetridazole, Tetracycline Hydrochloride, and Triple Sulfa). I will also soon have the API General Cure (Metronidazole/Praziquantel combo). Plus the Sterazin mentioned earlier.
<Am done responding to this. NONE. B>

The loss of a fish made be go a bit crazy buying a whole lot of "just in case" medicines.
Please let me know your thoughts, and thank you for all your time,
Kindest regards,

Dropsy     11/2/15
<Hello there>
Can I treat dropsy with sodium sulfate in goldfish?
<? No.... this is the sodium salt of sulfuric acid...>
Dip or tank application and how much?
<Old remedies include trying Quinines, more recent ones suggest Epsom Salt (MgSO4) and some antibiotics at times work. Read here: http://www.wikihow.com/Cure-Goldfish-Dropsy
Bob Fenner>

Torn fins, GF, med. use  - 2/9/11
I have a 1 1/2 year old Red Cap Oranda. He is quite big with a huge cap. The problem is when he was young, his fins became torn from an aquatic decoration that I had in the tank. The decoration was removed and I patiently awaited for his fins to regenerate. After a few months or so, his fins remained torn and I began to seek advise from goldfish experts and friends who share my passion. Everybody (pretty much) said the same. Ive treated the tank with anti fungal, anti parasitic medications (all at different times), and made more frequent tank changes. It has been a year and though much larger in size, his fins have not regenerated and still remain tattered.
<Mmm, much could/can be attributed to the exposure of these med.s>
I must add that I have two other goldfish in the tank with him and they are not experiencing any problems. I have had the water tested and all tests are good. My RCO is otherwise healthy and is the biggest fish in the tank. I just wish his fins would regenerate so that he can be a complete beautiful fish.
<Not likely to happen at this stage>
This is my last attempt to fix his fins before I resign myself with the fact that his fins are just going to always be this way. Please help me, if you can.
A perplexed fish mother
<Replacement fin tissues, soft and hard rays inclusive don't regenerate "as new", and aspects of water quality, nutrition, and yes, presence of "medicines" can and do malaffect their re-growth. Still, these fishes do grow to be beautiful nonetheless. Bob Fenner>

Goldfish with swelling after medication... Poisoning   4/8/09
Firstly I want to thank you for setting up this website. My problem is I have a common goldfish in a 20 gallon tank that recently developed swelling around his gills a couple hours after I medicated his tank.
<Mmm... with what?>
He never had the pine cone effect so I don't think its dropsy.
<Dropsy is a condition with several possible etiologies>
I had another common goldfish in with him but he developed swim bladder
and sadly died. I had first medicated with interpret
general tonic
<Am decidedly NOT a fan of such general "cures"... too often are the cause of loss of water quality through poisoning of beneficial microbes>
when the now dead goldfish first showed signs of being ill but with no identifiable symptoms. Two days later
we discovered it was swim bladder
<... no>
and I bought interpret swim bladder disease medicine. It said not to mix the medicine with another medicine
and to wait 7 days but we wanted to try and save the fish so I did a 70% water change over two days to try and remove the first medicine
and then only gave half the dose of the second medicine. The next day the fish died and since then I have been changing 30% of the water every day and the other fishes swelling has gone down dramatically but is still present around his gills and recently he has developed a bit of swelling on his body underneath his
dorsal fin on one side of his body. Could this swelling be long term damage to his internal organs?
<... What re water quality, foods/feeding?>
Is there any way to help him recover from it? The ph is 7.2 and the ammonia, nitrites and nitrates are all 0.
I would appreciate any advice as I would hate to lose this fish and I can't seem to find anything on the internet about it.
Yours sincerely,
<Unfortunately, there is much more one needs to know to render useful "advice" here. Please read:
and the linked files above... to gain an understanding of what sorts of information we're looking for, as well as the gist of the environmental nature of the issue here.
Further I would eschew use of any Interpet product period... I find it disingenuous that the company does NOT list the ingredients in their products. As they say in the U.S., "they should be sued". Bob Fenner>

help (Goldfish; diet, health)  10/23/08
Dear Neale, I hope you will be fine.
<Thanks for asking!>
Neale I tried hard to find live plants which you mentioned Anacharis
<Also called Elodea and Egeria; another genus, Lagarosiphon is very similar.>
but I could not find them. Neale Cabomba is available so I want your help that should I introduce Cabomba in my aquarium? Will my goldfish eat it or not?
<Yes and yes.>
Now I have 2 red caps, one black moor and 1 Ryukin in 22 gallon they all are of 2 to 3 inch. After every week I change more than half of the water. But Neale I am very much upset that
my 2 red caps goldfish have red streaks in their tail and I think this is fin rot; I am treating them from very long period. Some time I have noticed that their fin rot seems to be cured but some time their fins become full of red lines. Today I have notice the same that my one of red cap have very strong red line starting from the end of its tails. I dont know what is that but I am very much worried about that please help me.
<Does sound like Finrot. But some Goldfish have red streaks in their fins. So would need to be careful. Finrot is an inflammation; the fin tissue goes pink around the blood blockage, and eventually the fin membrane dissolves. Simple red colouration does not look like this.>
Thank you,
<If Finrot, not much to do beyond [a] treat with a Finrot medication; and [b] check water quality is good. Your fish are still small, but they will grow BIG, and water quality will become an issue, even if it is not one now. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: help (Goldfish; diet, health)  -10/25/08
Hello, <Hello!> Dear Neale, I hope you will be fine there. Neale I have introduce the Cabomba in my aquarium. Neale I want your help that should I feed them flakes food or blood warms. If yes then please guide me that what should be the routine to feed them with flakes food now? <If they have plants to eat, your Goldfish only need flake every 2 or 3 days.> Secondly what ideal temperature of live plant like Cabomba should be maintained? <Doesn't matter much; 15-30 degrees C is fine. The plants will be eaten by the Goldfish before anything else happens!> Neale I am trying to keep my aquarium water quality in a very good condition as my one red cap is showing the sign of fin rot. Neale I have studied in a book that Alternatively the use of Methylene Blue too can be used for fin rot. <Yes, Methylene Blue can be used. However, it is known to harm filter bacteria when over-dosed. So be careful! Read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/methblueart.htm> 1 Drop per 2 gallons of aquarium water is the choice. While treating with Methylene Blue, a 50% water change every other day for a week is recommended, the main reason being, as mentioned before, clean water is essential and helps with the healing. When using Methylene Blue be sure not spill any as it stains, so should do this process for a week. And what does that mean be sure not spill any as it stains? <Methylene Blue stains wood, fabric, etc. It is difficult (probably impossible) to remove. So be careful not to spill any!> Thank you Ali <You're welcome, Neale.>

Goldfish, hlth.  07/08/07 Hi Bob, I hope you can help me. I have a comet and a Shubunkin in a 26 gallon tank. About 4 months ago the comet developed lumps on her sides which seem to come to a head and then open up and what seems like pus oozes out. This settles down and then another opens up. About 6 days ago my Shubunkin developed the same thing. I am trying to establish what this is before treating. I am leaning towards ulcers. They both eat and swim fine and there are no clamped fins. Here are my water readings. PH 7.5 Ammonia 0ppm mg. Nitrite 0.0mg. Nitrate 4mg. My tank is cleaned every week with a quarter water change. I am presently treating with salt to try and keep the lesions clean. I have attached a photo of the Shubunkin as it's easier to see the problem on her. I hope you will be able to identify the problem as their lovely wee friendly fish. I would be grateful for any help. Best Wishes Norma from Scotland. <Hello Norma, you'll have to make do with Neale right now. Bob's off on some fishkeeping emergency I imagine... Anyway, I took a look at the photo and my first thought was Fish Pox. This is a not-uncommon viral disease seen on goldfish and Koi. It is usually very distinctive, with the white growths often having the look of molten wax, being glossy and smooth. This isn't always the case though. The good news is that Fish Pox is neither contagious nor life-threatening, and usually goes away by itself, particularly if the fish is kept somewhat warmer than normal and given optimal diet and water conditions. The bad news is its viral and so there's no treatment. It's really "wait and see" territory. The alternative that springs to mind is Ulcer Disease, another not-uncommon complaint with goldfish. In this case, the white growths are dead tissue and will be seen to be surrounded by red and inflamed tissue, basically similar to an ulcer on a human. Ulcer Disease is contagious, life-threatening, and treatable -- so the opposite of Fish Pox! Left untreated, the bacteria responsible can progress into the body cavity and cause septicaemia and organ damage, ultimately killing the fish. So prompt treatment is important. Ulcer Disease is bacterial so something with antibiotic or antibacterial properties will be required. In the UK, something like JBL Furanol is one of the few products available *without* a prescription from your local vet. Anyway, those are the two diseases I think are relevant here. It's difficult for me to be sure without a close up photo of the growths. But given that two fish have the problem, I'm leaning towards Ulcer Disease. Now, one last thing, Ulcer Disease generally doesn't "come out of thin air". It's a secondary infection that sets in after damage has been done. The classic case is rough handling and then placement of the fish in a dirty aquarium. So, you need to pin down the possible factors. Your tank looks lovely and clean, so I'm guessing the water quality is good. But you might want to double-check the filter is working properly. Remove stuff like carbon and Zeolite and replace with extra biological filter media. Stop adding salt -- it doesn't do anything helpful and certainly won't stop bacteria. Goldfish are hard water fish: you need a pH around 7.2 to 7.5 and a hardness that is around 15 dH ("medium hard") or more. Salt doesn't do anything for this, either. If you are blessed with soft water in your part of Scotland, I'd highly recommend getting some crushed coral or coral sand (or else take a hammer to some oyster shells) and put some of this calcium-rich stuff into one of the compartments in the filter. Some folks like to add some to the gravel in the tank, too. Either way, you're looking to increase the hardness and raise the pH a bit. Don't go wild, these aren't Tanganyikan cichlids, but you'll be doing your fish a favour if you bump up the hardness and pH a little. Cheers, Neale>
Re: goldfish 07/08/07
Hi Neale, thank you for your reply. It has been very helpful. I now think fish pox may be the most likely answer as on close inspection I have seen no red or inflamed tissue. I should probably have mentioned that the comet has actually improved in the last few weeks .The lumps have flattened quite a lot with no reoccurrence. They have a good varied diet of flakes and veg, brine shrimp and daphnia (not all at the one time) and are never handled. They have one Anacharis plant to munch on. Do you think larger water changes would be beneficial in the meantime. Regards Norma. <Greetings. Well, so long as you're sure it's Fish Pox you should be fine. I'd *highly* recommend treating for Ulcer Disease if you have any doubt at all though. It won't do any harm, and the medication isn't expensive (less than a fiver when I looked online) so well worth the precaution. Fish Pox doesn't usually spread from fish to fish, so getting two 'patients' at the same time is unusual. Anyway, it sounds as if you're looking after them very well. Do watch the hardness and pH though; when I lived in Aberdeen I had to deal with soft water conditions so I know in some parts of Scotland conditions aren't ideal for goldfish. Diet sounds good. Water changes are *always* a good thing, provided water chemistry of the water going in matches the water going out. For goldfish, 50% a week is about right. Good luck! Neale>
Re: goldfish 07/09/07
Hi, sorry to bother you again Neale, but I cannot find anyone who stocks JBL Furanol, can I ask where you found it in the U.K. Regards Norma. <Greetings. A good way to find stores selling aquarium stuff in the UK is to do is an Advanced Search on Google with the exact phrase "JBL Furanol" and the domain limited to ".co.uk". I got a bunch of pages that way, including some mail-order ones. Among the stores I got were places like "The Coral Garden" and "Reef Aquatics". Those aren't endorsements, merely what was in my search results. Hope this helps! Neale>

What treatment do I use? I got 2 fancy goldfish almost 2 weeks ago.  I am taking good care of them, already did a couple partial water changes, tested levels, etc - the problem isn't how they are being cared for now.  I got them from a not-so-good place and I know I shouldn't have, but I did, and now I realize they had some kind of disease when I got them that I didn't know about.  Ever since a few days after I got them, their scales looked funny - like patches of their scales were sort of sticking up and sometimes looked as though they were gone.  Yesterday, I woke up to see one of my fish just lying on the gravel at the bottom of the cage.  She did that pretty much all day, however, did come up to eat.  The other fish is still active, however, I notice that their scales are now looking pretty bad.  There are patches where there aren't really any scales.  I called my veterinarian and asked him to see if he could help.  He suggested putting Methylene blue into the tank and aquarium salt.  I did that late yesterday.  I followed the instructions and put 3 tbsp of salt and 1/2 tsp of Meth blue (I have a 5g tank).  I know this can kill the biological filter, but since it hasn't even been running for 2 weeks and the bacteria haven't formed yet, I thought it was ok and he had also told me to.  I also don't have another tank (yet) to do that with.  Was Methylene blue the right thing to do? < Not really.> I have been reading info and it seems like it only helps with a fungus type disease.  I have no idea what the disease is in this case, but I sort of feel like it's not fungus.  So should I put an antibiotic in the water or use antibiotic food?  I heard my fish can be saved at this point because she is still active enough to eat and swims around.  Oh yeah, and another thing - she sort of swims into things and just floats without swimming and then rapidly swims again for a few seconds.... and it's a cycle like that until she finally settles on the ground.  So what do I do next?? Please help!  I am already very attached to my fish and don't want to lose them.  Thank you very much.  -Jessica < Treat the tank with Nitrofuranace or Myacin. You have a bacterial infection. Watch for ammonia spikes. Since you have no bacteria, any left over food of fish waste will quickly convert to deadly ammonia. Do a 30% water change and make the filter is clean. Organics can affect the medications effectiveness.-Chuck>

Fluffy Oranda - 04/15/2004  Hi, so sorry to bother you  <Don't worry, you're no bother - this is why we're here.>  but it seems like everywhere I go I just can't get an answer for my problem. I have an Oranda that has White cottony tufts or growths on its head. I was told by some that it was possibly a fungus, so I treated the tank with Fungus Cure By: Aquarium Pharmaceuticals. I followed the directions to a T but it didn't work. The last time I've seen something like this a friend of mine had it with his Oranda. The growths got bigger then the puff on the head started to deteriorate off and the fish later died.. I don't want this to happen to me.  Please if you have and suggestions please help..  <Sounds likely bacterial, since it didn't respond to the fungus meds.... I would try Kanamycin ("Kanaplex", "Kanacyn"), as this does not seem to speed up fungal growths like some antibiotics can, just in case it is a fungus.>  My water parameters are all checked out fine and another water change I have scheduled for tomorrow since I just finished treatment that didn't work.. Any Idea what it can be and what do I do for a cure? TIA ~Don~  <As above, I would try Kanamycin. There are plenty of other antibiotic options, but I would feel best with this or one of the sulfa drugs in this case, I think. Wishing your goldie a swift recovery, -Sabrina>

Death of my Oranda Hi, I am Brijesh and have about 8 Oranda (9 before) in a 60l tank. <Too crowded...> One of the Orandas died. Before it died it showed all signs of flukes. It was flash- dancing, isolating itself, had fins close to its body and was not eating anything. Fins were disintegrated. The water was clean and I have a UG filter running 24/ 7. <Better to not use UG filters with goldfish... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm> I tried the blue medicine and gave it a potassium permanganate bath and had kept it in a separate bowl, but it died. Now I am afraid if others follow. I can see some of them coming near the UG filter's outlet and sucking the bubbles. Though there are no other signs of any sort. What can I do to prevent fluke and if there are flukes how can I treat them? <... much to say here... first, I doubt if you have monogenetic Trematodes... Second, you need to look into water quality issues... test kits, modifying their water to keep your goldfish healthy... you want slightly elevated pH, some alkaline reserve... Thirdly, get rid of the filter type you have and look into at least one good-sized hang on filter... for the reasons you will find from reading the above citation. Fourth and most importantly, you need to either trade out all but two of these fish or get a much larger system... they need about 40 litres of water per individual to do well. Bob Fenner>
Re: death of my Oranda
Hi mate thanks a lot for your suggestions. I am getting a 160 l sys. and getting a power filter. <Ahh, much better> Other Orandas are doing better after regular potassium baths. Thanks a lot <Welcome. Bob Fenner> 

Goldfish killing. Urgent help please please please Dear crew, 2 years ago I bought three Goldfish (common goldfish, Sarasa comet, and a Shubunkin) and a "Hexafun" fish tank. <Too small... no "fun" for your livestock> About seven days later the Shubunkin died. To replace this loss I bought another Shubunkin and another comet. A few weeks later these new fish both died. Then I tried another comet and a black moor. The black moor and the old comet goldfish died. A few months ago I bought 2 common goldfish as I discovered these to be the most hardy of the goldfish right? Wrong! These both died and so did my comet so I was left with just my original common goldfish. A few months ago I bought some more goldfish with the theory that if I bought 2 goldfish, 2 would die so I bought four goldfish (two calico fantails, a red cap Oranda, and a Shubunkin). It has been a while but I am back down to 2 again. the last fish to die was a redcap Oranda who died of fin rot despite treatments. (now down to the problem at last)! My common goldfish appears to have black marks upon the leading fin rays of the double ventral/pelvic fins. I have been treating her (wide bodied and concave anal opening) and the other fantail with fin rot and fungus control (active ingredient= Phenoxyethanol) but it has not got any better. Am I just overreacting to a common colour change or is it fin rot, because it only started when the red cap Oranda got fin rot. I carry out weekly water changes with fresh water so it cannot be water quality problems. <Bingo... the real problem here is environmental... not pathogens...> Please please help me with my dilemma, as I have become quite emotionally attached to this goldfish. Best regards Martin Slough <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwlivestkindex.htm Scroll down to the goldfish files... READ the set-up and disease articles and FAQs... Get a real tank... and you will stop killing these fish. Bob Fenner> 

Oranda Needs Stridex?  ZapZit! I have a medium sized orange Oranda in a twenty gallon tank with one other Oranda and five small ( 1 inch size) feeder fish. My Oranda seems to have "pimples" on its cap. The spots are white and tufty like cotton and bigger then Ick spots. They seem to pop within twenty four hours. By pop I mean the white stuff starts to protrude more and eventually fall out.  <That sounds as if your fish has a True Fungus fungus infection: Whitish tufts of cotton-like material on the fin, tail, and body at sites of injury. My guess is that the fish has a fungus infection>  Usually there's a new spot in the morning, but its gone by night. The Oranda does not seem affected by this at all, he's eating and cruising around happy. None of the other fish have anything. The tank readings are fine. I have been treating him with Pimafix for fungi and internal infections and its not working. I did a water change and nothing. What should I treat with. My water is salted as well.  <I have found that treating the fish with MarOxy had worked quite well. Use Maracyn-Two or Maracyn or Tetracycline or TriSulfa to prevent secondary infections on this fish. be sure to keep up with the water changes to ensure the tank always has fresh water for the goldfish. good luck. -Magnus>

More Fish Zits I went to a trusted local pet store and they told me that Orandas will commonly get the pimply fungus due to the folds in their cap.  <That is true, but if I remember right your goldfish is always chasing after another in the tank. Often that action rubs the protective slime coating from the fishes head and opens it to infection.>  They recommended a dip solution. Formalin 3 by Kordon. I dip him in it for a few minutes each day (its a gallon mixed with 2 teaspoons). I just started it. I wanted to get your second opinion about this.  <It is a treatment that many goldfish owners use, I have not, but it doesn't mean I wouldn't. My local stores have a very poor choice of medicines available. And Formalin was so frequently out of stock that I treated with other medicines.>  Water readings are all fine still and the fish ( Wally) hasn't had any change of behavior he still seems very happy and is eating well. Thanks, Olivia  <Just follow the package's instructions and all should go smoothly. I know many people who suggest the Formalin mix dip for their goldfish. Good luck.-Magnus>

Black Moor with Mouth Fungus Can you tell me how to treat mouth rot. <There are many medicines that can be used to treat mouth rot.  The company called Jungle makes a really nice medicine called "Fungus Eliminator"  I have used it in the past on Iridescent sharks.  It turns the water a funny color, but seemed to do the trick quite well.  make sure not to get any on your hands or skin... kind of nasty, and you also will have a funny color.  If you can't find that medicine, then you can also use a few of the Mardel medicines I had suggested before.   You can treat with MarOxy. Use Maracyn-Two or Maracyn or Tetracycline or TriSulfa to prevent secondary infections. > I do believe that is what my black moor has, or had . It is deformed now which is making it hard for him to eat flake food. I am worried for him. Can you help me again. Beverly <Try those medicines, and hopefully the fish will get better.  Good luck to you and your fish! -Magnus>

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

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

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