Calico fantail goldfish -- jaw problem.
Learning to help yourself, your livestock -- 01/03/10
I have two small goldfish, who I have only owned for one week.
<... in an uncycled system>
They live in a ten-gallon tank (small I know, but should do until they
with two plastic ornamental rocks with some fake flowers growing out of
They have a filter.
I feed them a flake each in the morning and the evening of Aqueon
<Improper. Read here:
The water is dechlorinated, supplemented, and microbed, according to
the fish man at my local Petco.
The problem is: today, when I fed them, a piece of food hit the filter
return and shot down towards the pebbles. My calico fantail goldfish,
Bean, made a grab for it, and appeared to overextend his jaw. I know
that Bean has a tail problem, because one side of his tail goes upwards
instead of remaining normal. I don't know if this is related, but
Bean can't seem to close his mouth properly, and I am concerned
that this will affect his ability to eat.
Any advice is extremely appreciated. Thank you!
<May have "swallowed" a piece/bit of gravel... Put the
"Goldfish jaw problem" in the search tool here:
and read the cached views. Bob Fenner>
what's wrong with my fish. GF,
My goldfish (Nemo) is the size of 1 1/2 of my hands and is 5 1/2 years
It is in a 55gal. tank with one algae eater (Charlie) 2 hands in size.
About 3 weeks ago I noticed Nemo's dorsal fin was laying down. The
next week he started sitting on the bottom of the tank. He still eats
and every now and
then we catch him swimming around. I promise it seems that he is
playing tricks on me. I came into the room the other day and he was
swimming all around the tank but as soon as he saw me he stopped and
slowly sat back
down on the bottom of the tank. He has done this several times now that
silly fish. In all seriousness what could be wrong with him? I just
checked the pH and it is 6.0. Temp. stays between 75 and 80.
<What are your Ammonia, Nitrite and Nitrate levels? These numbers
could reveal a lot here. The low pH could also be indicative of a lot
of dissolved waste in the water, so those numbers are going to be
helpful. What are you feeding the fish? It is best to feed a mix of
foods and limit the use of the typical goldfish "flake," as
these can lead to constipation. Does your fish appear to be bloated at
all? I think that if you'll answer these questions, we'll be a
lot closer to figuring out what is wrong with your fish.
New goldfish tank, lots of problems
We got a brand new 20 gallon tank for Christmas.
<Great! Obviously 20 gallons is too small for Goldfish, and since
cycling takes at least 3 weeks, you won't be adding any fish until
the middle of January... right?>
We set up the tank, added the water conditioner treatment, and waited
24 hrs before we took a water sample to PetSmart.
<You see, the 24 hours means nothing. Without a source of ammonia,
all you have is a wet fish tank. Cycling a tank requires a source of
ammonia for filter bacteria to use as they multiply up in numbers. Some
folks use plain household ammonia, others add a pinch of fish food. Add
the right amount of either each day, and off you go.>
Since the water tested fine, (except for the fact that the water is
hard, we live in Florida), we purchased several fish: 2 Calico Ryukins,
1 is about 3 inches, the other about 1 inch, a Black Moor about 3
inches long, a 2 inch bubble eye, a 2 inch calico telescope, and a
<Not a chance in a tank this size. Let's start with the obvious.
A "small" Plec is simply a baby Plec, and since they reach
full size (45 cm/18 inches) within a year or two, they need a big tank.
We're talking 55 gallons upwards. Anyone who sold you one for a 20
gallon tank took you for a ride. As for Goldfish, 20 gallons is really
too small for even one specimen. Bear in mind a healthy fancy Goldfish
will reach a body length of 20 cm/8 inches plus the tail within a
couple of years. These fish could create a lot of waste, part ammonia,
part faeces, and in small tanks things become filthy real fast. I'd
go with 30 gallons for the first two, and another 10 gallons for each
additional fish. That assumes a generous filtration system, something
with a turnover rate 6 times the volume of the tank per hour. So for a
55 gallon tank, that'd be 6 x 55 = 330 gallons per hour. Ignore the
aquarium size estimate on the box the filter shipped in.
Think about it: manufacturers put the best spin on these values just as
they do gasoline mileage on cars or numbers of servings on cereal
In this case, they're assuming small, clean fish like Neons or
Guppies. Not Goldfish. The difference between a Neon and a Goldfish is
like comparing how much waste a hamster makes compared to a horse.
Well, I exaggerate slightly, but not much.>
This was 2 days ago. During the first day, the Telescope started
getting a white slime-looking buildup that began to trail off of him.
He was dead by the next morning.
<Not even remotely surprised. Did you check the ammonia levels? Or
The next day, we noticed the Bubble-eye and Black Moor all getting the
same white stuff, the Calico Ryukins began to get it as well but not as
<Fungus and Finrot, likely caused by chronically poor water
We had the water tested again at PetSmart who again said it was fine,
that the fish was probably just stressed and that's why he
Not believing that answer, we did some research and decided to call
another fish store who recommended we put some Tetra Lifeguard in the
<Largely useless product sold to inexperienced aquarists. Like many
things in life, what's needed is time, not a product. Cycling a
tank will happen perfectly well, for free, given time. At least 3
weeks, and certainly within 6 weeks, you can cycle a new aquarium. Add
a pinch of flake each day, and let nature takes it course. That's
all there is to it. But beginners often try to rush things -- usually
having not read a book beforehand -- and so end up spending money on
dubious remedies with little practical benefit.>
We started that yesterday. The directions called for removing the
carbon filter, so we removed the cartridge but left the fitter on and
<Carbon is of zero use with Goldfish; remove from the filter, and
replace with some more useful biological media, e.g., ceramic noodles
or a sponge.
Note that filters with "slot in" modules often don't
allow this degree of flexibility, which is why they're rubbish and
not normally purchased by experienced hobbyists.>
This morning all of the fish we alive but the Bubble-eye had it's
bubble stuck in the filter!
<Dying... healthy fish aren't sucked into filters.>
We managed to get him out but tore the bubble in freeing him.
<Secondary infection risk is severe. These Bubble-Eye fish are an
abomination so far as I'm concerned simply because they are so
mutated and delicate, but if you insist on keeping these poor animals,
never mix with anything other than other Bubble-Eye fish. This will be
clearly stated in any Goldfish book, and isn't just me being
awkward. Goldfish are fairly boisterous, and the more delicate
varieties can, will be damaged by the other varieties, and will also
lose out at feeding time.>
I am afraid to find another container to put him in until it heals
because the Tetra Lifeguard treatment needs to be done for 4 more days.
We also noticed that the large Calico becomes almost vertical with his
head up and has a long trail of feces that doesn't seem to fall
<Dismal. Do research WWM re: diet, water quality for
We really felt that this tank would be our starter tank in years of
fish keeping but in only three days we seem to be failing
Re: New goldfish tank, lots of problems
OK so the "experts" at PetSmart steered us wrong.
We did intend to upgrade the tank in about 6 mos.
The Bubble-Eye is now dead. We desperately want to try to save the
How can we remedy the fungus/Finrot if we can't expect the
Lifeguard to do it?
<Find a good combination medication, e.g., Seachem Paraguard or eSHa
2000 and use as instructed. Avoid tea-tree oil remedies except for
preventing, rather than curing, these diseases.>
Is it too late to add ammonia?
Additionally, should we add Epsom salts to help with the Ryukins swim
<If it makes you feel better. "Swim Bladder Disease" is
usually nothing of the sort, but a symptom following on from a range of
problems, such as constipation on the one hand through to systemic
bacterial infection on the other. Without other data, it's
impossible for me to say what the situation is here, and hence
can't recommend what remedy to employ.>
We clearly will back away from the goldfish flakes.
Please help!!! My Fancy Goldfish looks bruised!!
I am at a loss for what to do.. I have two small (one is about 1
1/2 inches, the other is about 2 1/2 inches) Fancy Goldfish in a
20 gallon tank. I have been treating for Ick for the past two
weeks and am pretty sure that I've eliminated that but am
still going to continue for a few more days- I started out with
heat and salt for the first week then lowered the temp when I had
a second wave of Ick and switched to Ick Attack.
A few nights ago, one of my fish had a huge piece of gravel stuck
in his throat- I have no idea how he even got it in his
<Unfortunately, goldfish all too often can/do pick up such
Fortunately, I happened to be awake and saw him lying limp at the
bottom of the tank with the rock in his mouth: I think he was
almost dead. I grabbed a pair of tweezers and lifted him very
carefully, close to the surface and after a couple of tries was
able to get the rock out. It was the size and shape and colour of
a pea so I think he might have mistaken it for a treat.
I continued to hold him near the top of the tank for a while
until he recovered and swam away. The next day I ran to the pet
store and replaced all of my gravel with much larger river stone
At that time, I noticed that he had what looked to be bruising
under one gill, along his belly and just under his mouth. Today
it is much darker and I am terrified that he is really ill. I
can't find anything that sounds similar.. could it be
bruising from the stone?
I was very, very careful when I removed it and he did not
struggle at all.
I really doubt that it is ammonia burn- I test my water daily
with a Master test kit. In the very first week I had trouble with
ammonia levels, but began doing 25 to 30% water/vacuum change
daily to keep levels down and also because of the Ick. I treat
the new water with Prime and a product called Stability when I do
Because I do not know what this "bruising" is caused
by, I have started both fish on a 5-day antibiotic (using Jungle
anti-bacterial food pellets which I crush and soak before feeding
to the fish). I am on day two of this routine.
<Mmm, this bruising will likely heal on its own. The
antibacterial may cause a loss of biofiltration>
More information that might help: the injured fish is eating
well. He was very, very listless and was being harassed by his
tank-mate so I put up a tank separator and ever since he has been
fairly active and loves to play in his bubble wall. I have not
noticed and flashing, and his eyes are clear. He has no red spots
or streaks, no signs of Ick. His skin is clear- no parasites or
grayness. His feces was stringy and thin but since the
antibiotics has been normal. Occasionally, though, I catch him
resting on the bottom of the tank, very still and when I approach
he does not move at all.
What could this bruise-like darkening be?
<Likely a physical trauma... a "bump in the night".
Again, usually self-repairing>
I encountered one other forum with this condition and no one knew
what it could be and the girl's fish died. I have all kinds
of stuff here on the ready: Maracyn, Jungle Paracide clear, TC
Tetracycline, Melafix and Jungle antibiotic and Jungle
anti-parasite food. I read that you should always treat with
anti-biotics before anti-parasite medication to prevent an
opportunistic infection from taking hold so this is why I have
stated on a course of anti-biotic food.
Normally both fish have a varied diet of lettuce, crushed peas,
the occasional mushed carrot, blood worms and brine shrimp. I
sometimes give them a sprinkle of Goldfish flakes (not very
If they are due for a tank change I feed them, wait 10 minutes
then do a vacuum/water change to prevent food from building up
and rotting. They are not at all afraid of the vacuum.
<I don't feed my fancy goldfish till after cleaning their
tank (once a week partial water change et al.)
Right now, all I have used to treat the tank is Prime and
Stability and a bit of Ick Attack. All parameters are normal: 0
ammonia, 0 nitrates, 0 nitrites, pH is 7.2. The temperature is 72
(as Fancies like the temp a touch warmer).
<Yes; this is so>
Is there anything I can do for my poor little buddy??
<Patience; time going by>
I am sick at the thought of losing him. I'm planning to halt
Ick treatment on the 28th (the fish have not had any sign of Ick
for about 4 days now but I want to be dead sure that it is gone
so I don't have to put the poor fish through this again..).
I've ruled out septicemia (so far) because there are no
streaks or red spots at all.. however, the food they are getting
now treats for that condition anyways.
Thanks for your help and advice in advance.. Seasons
Gina de Almeida
<Thank you Gina. I'd back off the chemical treatments for
now. Bob Fenner>
Re: Please help!!! My Fancy Goldfish looks bruised!!
Thank you for taking time out of your holiday to answer my
concerns. I will halt the antibiotics, but am still not entirely
convinced that it is bruising due to the fish bumping against
things: it is too extensive and almost looks like blood pooling.
I am including a picture (the bruising is actually darker than it
appears in the photo- under the right gill it is almost
<Mmm, no pic attached>
Bob, what happens if a fish actually manages to swallow a piece
Could it result in internal bleeding?
<Not usually, no. A few general statement re fish
hematology... they have a very high hematocrit (packed cell
volume)... and need all their RBCs... as water at saturation has
only 7-10 ppm of Oxygen in most circumstances...
IF your fish had bruised its circulatory system in its buccal
cavity, it would likely be dead>
I know I will have to wait this out, but I sure feel
<Mmm, don't feel so. You've done about all that can
be... and this fish will likely be fine in time.>
He is a really nice Fancy (and as you can see he has unusual
markings- a little black nose and a black mustache on his upper
Thanks, Bob and Happy Holidays.
Gina de Almeida
<To you and yours as well Gina. BobF>
Fw: re: Please help!!! My Fancy Goldfish looks
bruised!! With photograph.. 12/26/09
Terribly sorry- this time the attachment came through!
<Oh! This looks like "stress melanization" here.
Again, not to worry. The dark coloring may be present long-term,
but it is not deleterious. B>
Re: Please help!!! My Fancy Goldfish
looks bruised!! With photograph.. 12/26/09
<Ms. de Almeida>
I am sorry to be a pest, but my goldfish does not seem to be
doing very well today. I am not sure if there is anything I can
do, but if there is then I will make every effort to help
I have tested my water and all parameters are perfectly normal-
the ammonia is 0, the nitrites are 0, nitrates are 0 and the pH
is steady at 7.2. The water is very soft- I don't know if
this is a huge concern.
<It can be with this and other Cypriniiform fishes, yes. You
can read re>
I still have Ick Attack in the water but can halt treatment now
as I have not seen any traces of Ick for many days. I do not have
any aquarium salt in the water at all.
<I would cease with the medication, not add salt/s>
The fish is almost always at the top of the tank gulping air. He
also spends time in his bubble wall- at first I thought he was
playing but I am beginning to suspect that he is trying to get
air. The tank has a filter, a bubble stone and a bubble wall. Is
it possible that, despite my best attempts, the water is not
carrying enough dissolved oxygen?
<Mmm, not the dissolved oxygen, but likely this fish's
capacity to respire (electron transport)... I hinted at this some
email ago. Less handling, changes, exposure to medicines the
The smaller fish also visits the top of the tank, but not as
The inside of his gills seem quite red, and the area surrounding
his gills seems to have darkened (the latter observation is as of
last night). The inside of his gills were always quite red so I
am not sure if this indicates trouble of if it is natural: given
his apparent oxygen distress, I am wondering if he is not able to
conduct proper oxygen exchange. It is so strange that the colour
change and oxygen distress have all occurred so soon after the
incident with the gravel.
I was thinking of purchasing a breeding house so that he can rest
closer to the top of the tank- do you have any suggestions
(patience, of course).
Would doing a water exchange and adding aquarium salt be of any
<I would do none of this/these at this juncture. Best by far
to just wait, be patient. BobF>
Thank you for your advice:
Gina de Almeida
Re: Please help!!! My Fancy Goldfish looks bruised!!
With photograph.. 12/27/09
I shall then be patient.. I just wanted to let you know that I
read your excellent article on proper cycling of aquariums: I
purchased a lovely, 36 gallon, bow-front aquarium today and plan
to set it up and let it cycle as
you have suggested. This time I will wait until it has cycled to
introduce the fish.
<Ah good... do use some of the "old water", filter
material, perhaps substrate et al. from your established system
to speed establishment along here>
I am sure they will be much happier in the larger space and my
hope is that it will cut down on meal time bullying.
<Indeed it will>
Gina de Almeida
<Gina. Bob Fenner>
cloudy water; listless goldfish and limp
I am concerned about my son's goldfish. We recently added new fish,
a black moor (still alive) & a goldfish (deceased), <yes they
were acclimated to the tank prior to insertion> to the current
occupants - our 2" favorite
goldfish and our Pleco. There are multiple fake plants and a vase also
in the tank. The fish had been fine but recently last solid week I
would say, we have noticed that the tank is cloudy. It looked like on
our favorite that he had some small white dots. Our tank is not
currently heated and located in the kitchen with plenty of sunlight but
it is near a door. We started treatment for Ick - but that isn't
seeming to solve the problems.
The dots aren't spreading to the other fish & our favorite is
hiding in the back bottom corner of the tank. He shows no interest in
either pellets or flake food. And hubby thinks that his fins look
"depressed" or limp. (It's not erectile dysfunction!)
Do we add a heater? We have done a filter change and a 50% water change
but the tank remains cloudy with no signs of improvement. We have not
tested for pH, etc as we are on a limited budget. Your advice would be
<Hi Becca. The levels of Ammonia, Nitrite, and Nitrate are
absolutely necessary here. If you can't afford to actually buy the
tests, most local fish stores will test your water for free or a very
low fee. The symptoms your favorite fish is experiencing are indicative
of poor water quality, and we need to figure out what's going on,
but can't do that without real data. When you changed the filter,
what did you do? Did you remove the media/filter bag completely and
replace it? You may have removed the bulk of your biological bacteria
if you threw out the media inside of the filter.
What temperature is the tank? Check it a few times tomorrow -- in the
morning, once in the afternoon, and in the evening -- since it's
not heated (and shouldn't be, for goldfish, but may need to be
heated for the Pleco) the water temperature may be fluctuating, which
could also stress the fish.
It's the "lots of light," which would heat the tank up,
and the "near a door," which means it's in a drafty area,
that worries me here. If there is wild fluctuation throughout the day,
yes, a heater may be a good idea.
The other fish may have ich, but this is due to something -- either not
properly quarantining the new additions, or the problems they may be
experiencing with temperature. Is he "flashing" -- rubbing on
rocks and decor? Breathing heavily?
What size tank is this, and what type of filtration are you running?
How large are these fish? Is it right that there are now two goldfish
and one Pleco? Plecos produce a huge bioload -- they poop a lot. In
addition, the "common" ones grow very large -- over a foot
long! They don't do so well in unheated tanks, either, as they are
tropical fish. So, some more details on the system and how it is
stocked would be useful, but I urge you to do some reading on WWM about
Plecos and their needs. Try entering "Pleco goldfish" in the
Google search bar on WWM for information on their
Why did the goldfish you recently added die? Did you suspect illness or
anything? What symptoms did he have prior to his death, if any?
Lastly, please take the time to peruse WWM. There is so much
information archived on goldfish that it's a shame not to take a
look at it. Here is the link:
Please write back if you have any further questions or would like to
provide some data so that I can help you a little better.
Black moor, eye injury
My black moor must have injured one of his eyes.
<Does this look like a physical injury? Is there anything sharp in
his tank that he could have bumped into?>
One eye has deflated.
Do they heal and grow back?
<A photo of the eye would help. Is the actual eye itself injured, or
just what's behind it (skin/scales/etc.)? It also depends on
what's wrong.... if it's physical trauma or other. (See below
If so, how long?
<Well, this really depends on so much, Gerald. Please let me know if
you actually see anything around the eye that resembles a physical
Again, look out for any type of sharp decor which could have caused
this problem. Does he have any rambunctious tank mates who could have
injured him? Black Moors, and fancy goldfish in general, were bred to
look a certain way, but the result is that they swim rather slowly and
They're not exactly built for speed. So, mis-stocking a tank can
spell trouble for fancy goldfish. If none of the above, then this is
likely related to how you're keeping the fish. What are Ammonia,
Nitrite, and Nitrate levels in his tank? What size tank is he in, with
what type of filtration? Do you test KH and pH? What are those levels?
another reason to know what kind of water quality your fish is dealing
with. Sure, it could be the cause of the problem in the first
However, even if it's not the direct cause, your goldfish will need
pristine water quality in order to heal. Injured fish in dirty tanks
commonly become afflicted with bacterial/fungal infections. So,
there's a lot more information needed in order to figure out what
caused it, and how well he's going to heal. A photo would help
determine how permanent this is; my biggest worry is making sure he
heals properly, even if he may be a little lopsided from now
thanks for all the great help!
<You're welcome. If you'd like to explore what I'm
saying about the needs of goldfish further, here is the link to the
many, many pages on WWM about goldfish.
Information found here may help point to what's going on with your
Just check out those links above the title.>
<Oh, and one more question. Have you attempted to treat this at all
as of yet? If so, with what? --Melinda>
Mystery goldfish illness--30 second
The gold fish are the fat fluffy kind--only 1 seems to be
"infected"--they may be called "Orandas"
<Hi Jaline. I believe they are Pearlscales.>
I changed the water 30%, 10 days ago. (10 gallon tank with a carbon
<The tank is much too small. Read here about the needs of the
seemingly humble goldfish:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/goldfish101art.htm and any of
those linked files above the title of the article... I think many of
them will be of use to you.>
I normally do not change the water
--for the past 12 months I have only changed the water 30% 3 times.
<What is your reasoning for this maintenance schedule (or lack
thereof)? These are heavy waste-producing fish in a tank that's
much too small for them. Please read information, linked below, about
the nitrogen cycle. Let's talk about water changes. Why do them?
Well, your fish poop. The poop that they produce creates ammonia, which
is then converted to nitrite, and then to nitrate. Ammonia and nitrite
are toxic in any concentration above 0 ppm; nitrate is less toxic, and
generally thought to be best if kept below 20 ppm. Water changes remove
this nitrate, as well as all other sorts of waste products that we
don't have a handy test for. You're adding new water to dilute
the waste. The aquarium is a closed system, and the waste isn't
going anywhere. It's there. So you have to dilute that waste and
keep it down to a healthy level in order to have healthy fish.> This
time, I stirred the rocks good b/c there was visible debris down there
and I knew it was overdue. <Do you not own a gravel vacuum? These
are about ten bucks in the local fish store... it allows you to remove
such debris without actually releasing that debris into the water
column by sucking the debris up from the gravel. There are really fancy
ones out there that cost more, but the basic one works for what you
need to do.>
About 1 week after the cleaning, I noticed clear blisters on 1
fish--they almost look like clear circular eggs and they are growing in
number. The one above both of his eyes is the largest--started off as 3
small ones which migrated to 1 big one. <I'd like to know your
ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate readings. Please test and provide actual
numbers. Also, please provide KH and pH readings, as the problem here
is likely water quality, but could be (a small "could be")
water chemistry. Are you familiar with the nitrogen cycle? I fear that
this "interruption" after the system being untouched for so
long has interrupted the cycle. Please read here:
He is swimming & eating and acting normal.
I bought your 'Prime' solution Tuesday after a water
test--didn't notice any change.
<It could not have been my Prime, as both of my bottles are still
here at the house! Aside from that, why were you adding the
Then in a panic--after I began to see white substance on the fish
(still acting normal) I feared he had a parasite and a fungus and I
bought Lifeguard tablets from Wal-Mart; an "all in one
<Did you attempt to properly diagnose this? A parasite is unlikely,
seeing as how you've seemingly had these fish for a while. Fungus,
possibly. But why would a fish who was fine a few days ago suddenly
show signs of problems with fungus? The answer has nothing to do with a
fungus fairy, and everything to do with your water quality. When fish
are kept in less-than-ideal conditions, they become more and more
susceptible to the yuckies that exist in their aquarium, and eventually
2 (Wal-Mart) treatments <I'd avoid randomly medicating. It can
make things worse, rather than better, as well as being a waste of
money.> and the OTHER (non-sick) fish started laying down on the
bottom of the tank/eyes glossed and I presumed there was too much stuff
in the water.
<A good guess, but could also just be bad water quality and the
stronger fish held out a little longer than the other guy.>
So, this morning, I filled pitchers with tap water and let them sit out
for 2hrs in an effort to reach room temperature; and I changed the
water 30% again today and chlorine remover.
For about 30 minutes, they both stayed toward the bottom but now they
are swimming & acting normally--both are eating just fine. <They
are probably relishing the decreased concentration of toxic ammonia
and/or nitrate that came as a benefit of the water change.>
For the life of me, I cannot determine what these "pox" or
"blisters" are on my fish and I'd like to know how to
treat him. <As I've been saying, it's likely environmental.
This means that dumping in various products isn't going to do
anything -- fixing water quality will. You've got to fix the
conditions they live in. That starts with testing the water (this will
provide an "aha!" moment, most likely), but also with getting
them in a sufficient volume and providing sufficient filtration. I
think you'll find those articles/FAQs on Goldfish care
enlightening. Please ask if there's anything you need clarification
on after you've read.>
Because the blisters are clear, they are almost impossible to get on
still picture b/c the fish keeps moving and with the flash--you
can't see the blisters in still pictures.
So I've attached a QuickTime video and I hope you can view it to
determine a solution. <I did view it. It is a huge file, though, and
we really don't care for huge files... the email box gets full and
then other folks with queries find their e-mails bounced back to them.
On this page, which includes the link you used to e-mail, we specify
please take care to follow these guidelines in the future so that we
can help as many as possible. With that being said, I think more
research, knowledge on your part about your fish will lead you to some
answers. You may find that these blisters shrink once the fish find
themselves in better conditions. Remove anything from the tank
that's sharp; if they pop, it will create an open-wound type sore,
and this will expose the fish to bacterial infection, which they're
more susceptible to right now.
Obviously, if they do pop, we'll have to deal with that, but
hopefully we'll find that fixing water quality will make this
problem disappear altogether.>
Feel free to email me back or call xxx-xxx-xxxx. Thanks for your
<You're welcome. Please read, read, read and let me know if
there's anything you need help with.>
Calico Fancy Tailed Gold Fish, Lernaea,
more hlth. issues 11/24/09
Please could you help?
I purchased a Calico, Red Cap Oranda Gold Fish 18 days ago. He is about
14 centimeters in length.
He was put into a quarantine, when purchased. Its a 40 liter tank and
all basics in water quality have been checked and are good.
<Good? Not in a 40 litre tank they're not. Seriously, this tank
IS TOO SMALL for a Goldfish this size. Indeed, it's too small for a
Goldfish of any size. I cannot stress this point too strongly. Minimum
aquarium size for Goldfish is around 110 litres.>
On close inspection when I got his home I discovered he had 3 anchor
I am treating with Parazin. First treatment of 14 days released 2 of
the worms. (I did a 50% water changed after completion of the first 14
day treatment), waited 48 hours, and now have added a second table of
Parazin, for a second 14 day treatment to try and rid him of the one
stubborn anchor worm. I have also added 1 teaspoon of salt, per 2
liters of water.
My concern is he also has two dark black foreign clumps of matter,
(Never seen this before) about 2 mm in size, embedded into his Wen,
both, just above his right eye.
<Black specks on Goldfish are typically ammonia burns. They can be
caused by other types of physical damage, but ammonia burns are the
Because the aquarium is so small, I have little doubt that water
quality is either the direct cause or aggravating whatever background
problem there might be.>
These were present when I bought him, don't seem to worry him and
have not changed is size, colour or shape, over the 18 day period.
There are no other visible signs of these black crustaceans anywhere on
his body. It is more visible with the first 2 days of treatment of
using the Parazin, as the flesh directly above these spots, seem to
open up a little, giving a visual of the dark black spots embedded into
the skin. They are berried about 2mm into the skin. By day 3 of the
Parazin treatment, the (Hole) tiny opening seems to close, and the
black spots are once again covered by the flesh of his Wen and look
like dark black shadows, under his orange Wen, almost undetectable.
He is eating well, has a varied diet of green peas, bloodworm, daphnia,
flake and pellets, and on the whole, looks pretty healthy, swimming
actively with his dorsal fin extended.
Do you have any idea what this would be? and what and how I could treat
<Do read here:
Almost all problems with Goldfish come down to people keeping them
Your assistance is appreciated ....
<Happy to help. Good luck, Neale.>
Goldfish with bump on caudal peduncle (RMF? Second
opinion) <<See in sertis below>>
I am a beginner aquarist and I just bought a have a 55 gallon
tank for my goldfish a week and two days ago. When I first got it
I installed a water filter with 55 gallon capacity and a long air
stone. I added 55ml of API Stress Coat water conditioner and
about 50lbs of gravel, which cover about three inches of the
bottom of the tank. I also put in three plants: a Crinum thaianum
"Onion Plant" (which they had in their previous tank),
an Amazon sword, and the third one I believe was a Lanceolota
<Three good, Goldfish-proof plants. I would add some edible
plants as well though, like Indian Fern or Canadian Pondweed, so
the Goldfish have something to eat. Letting the graze from the
salad bar instead of eating pellets for a couple days out of the
week is a very good approach.>
I also added two mineral stones in it. I put my five goldfish in
it, who about two inches in length each (two red cap Orandas, one
blue Oranda, one calico Ryukin, and two comet goldfish). I kept
my eye on them, and they seemed fine. A week later (this past
Thursday) I performed a weekly water change (about 75 - 70% of
the water) and again added the appropriate amount of Stress coat
water conditioner (about 40 ml). I also added a secondary
filtration system -a sponge bio filter with a 65 gallon
and took measurements for ammonia, ph, and nitrite levels. The ph
level was low (6.6) so the next day I bought API's ph down
and added 5ml (the recommended dose) which brought the water up
<I would actually NOT use pH potions here. Goldfish need hard,
alkaline water. The use of Rift Valley salt mix is very useful.
By a commercial brand, or else use the (very cheap) DIY mix given
in this article:
At half the dose required for cichlids, you should find this
buffers the pH around 7.5 quite nicely. This means you can add
the mix to each new bucket of water (for pennies a month) and
that's about all you'll need to do!>
<<And this jump/rapid change in pH is way TOO much in such
a short while>>
I also replaced the Lanceolota with an Anacharis plant, since the
Lanceolota had been grazed down. In terms of food, I have divided
their meals so that its closer to how they would naturally eat. I
feed them a varied diet. Generally in the morning they get Aqueon
goldfish flakes, and in the afternoon they either get live
blackworms (bought in the petstore), organic green peas, or
<Cool.><<RMF would NOT feed goldfish black worms or
Tubificids of any sort. I should, want to and will state that I
feed my fancy goldfish almost exclusively Spectrum
This morning I noticed that my orange comet had a bump on his
caudal peduncle (I have attached a picture). He seems fine
otherwise. He was eating fine this morning. And except for not
liking my taking him out of his tank to take a picture, did not
seem stressed otherwise. The bump is orange as well, except that
instead of being a shiny orange, like the rest of his scales, it
is a matte color. I looked up information from your site, and it
suggested that it could be Lymphocystis or a tumor, but the
appearance of the bump doesn't exactly fit, and I wanted to
make sure. I haven't separated him from the rest of the fish,
because otherwise he appears in good health.
<This looks like a tumour to me. The question is did it come
out of nowhere? Tumours are generally slow growing, and mostly
benign, so often don't cause any real problems. So far as I
know, Goldfish don't get Lymphocystis, which affects
primarily Perciform fish (cichlids, surgeonfish, etc.) But they
do get Fish Pox (Cyprinid Herpesvirus I), a similar but distinct
disease. Fish Pox isn't lethal, and given good water
conditions goes away by itself. Fish Pox tends to look like blobs
of wax, as if wax from a candle has been dribbled on the
fish.><<I concur... due to colour, shape/size...
What should be my next course of action?
<None; whether viral or genetic, this will either get better
by itself or not, as the case may be. Medications are more likely
to cause harm than cure anything.><<Agreed>>
P.S. I hope I have given you the right information. As a beginner
aquarist I'm still learning the terms and proper care of my
goldfish. And sorry for the quality of the picture, it's hard
to keep a fish from moving.
<Good enough for government work!>
<Have asked Bob F. to chime in, and he'll likely add his
comments to the message posted on the Daily FAQ page, here:
<<Neale, FYI, I respond directly back to queriors as well
as the original respondent. BobF, who would remove the two Comets
here... as they're really not compatible with fancy goldfish,
and this system is too small to support all>>
So be sure and check this page tomorrow to see what's been
added, if anything. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Goldfish with bump on caudal peduncle
Thanks. I will check the response online tomorrow.
About the bump appearing overnight, to the best of my knowledge
he didn't have it yesterday.
<Oh... in that case, it's more likely a bruise than a
tumour. Bruises should go away by themselves if the fish is
otherwise healthy. Tumours (including Fish Pox) take weeks to
Also I forgot to say that I keep the temperature between 69 and
70 degrees Fahrenheit in the tank.
<Should be fine.>
Re: Goldfish with bump on caudal peduncle (RMF? Second
Quick question, could the bump be a chemical burn from the ph
<Only if you added the pH potion directly to the water in the
aquarium -- which you should NEVER do. Yes, pH potions contain
chemicals that can be irritants, perhaps dangerously so. You add
them to each bucket of water, at the dose particular to THAT
BUCKET not the whole tank, and stir well. Then pour into the
I just thought about it, since you said that I shouldn't use
ph chemicals on my aquarium.
<Generally, casual aquarists end up doing more harm than good
when using pH buffers, so I recommend against them. Used
properly, they're safe, but for whatever reason people are
apt to misunderstand how they should be used.
The Rift Valley salt mix method is far safer, since you're
simply adding a teaspoon or tablespoon of three different
chemicals to each bucket of water. For Goldfish, it's
something like half-teaspoons of baking soda and marine salt mix,
and a half-tablespoon of Epsom salt per 5 gallon/20 litre bucket.
Pretty well foolproof! Slight errors either way aren't going
to cause any problems.>
Re: Goldfish with bump on caudal peduncle
I did add the solution directly to the water.
<Yikes! Do understand that these are simply acids or bases.
They are certainly irritants and potentially dangerous.>
I will make sure I don't do that again.
I will get the Rift Valley salt mix and add it as indicated to
the bucket of water, not the aquarium.
<Precisely. Add the amount required per bucket to each bucket.
Don't add the amount needed for the whole tank into one
bucket. If you change 5 gallons, then only add enough buffer for
5 gallons of water. Ignore the size of the tank.>
In terms of my fish, should I just let his tail heal alone, or is
there something I should be doing?
<Best left alone for now. The damage is done.>
More re: Goldfish with bump on caudal peduncle (RMF?
Second opinion) -- 11/22/09
and took measurements for ammonia, ph, and nitrite levels. The ph
level was low (6.6) so the next day I bought API's ph down
and added 5ml (the recommended dose) which brought the water up
<I would actually NOT use pH potions here. Goldfish need hard,
alkaline water. The use of Rift Valley salt mix is very useful.
By a commercial brand, or else use the (very cheap) DIY mix given
in this article:
At half the dose required for cichlids, you should find this
buffers the pH around 7.5 quite nicely. This means you can add
the mix to each new bucket of water (for pennies a month) and
that's about all you'll need to do!>
<<And this jump/rapid change in pH is way TOO much in such
a short while>>
<<<Hi Lourdes, Bob. The point to adding Rift Valley salt
mix to buckets of water is precisely this. If you do a 20% water
change, and replace soft water with the "hardened"
water, water chemistry will change only slightly.
<<Mmm, yes; my comment was/is in pertinence to Lourdes
previous action, not your recommended. RMF>>
Across the weeks you'll slowly change the water chemistry. So
just in case it isn't crystal clear, add hardened water on a
per-bucket basis, as part of your normal water change schedule.
While there's some argument over how quickly fish adapt to pH
changes -- in the wild they can be exposed to very dramatic pH
changes thanks to things like photosynthesis -- in terms of
aquarium care it is UNQUESTIONABLY better to minimise pH changes
as far as possible. Cheers, Neale.>>>
Re: More re: Goldfish with bump on caudal peduncle.
Comet/Fancy GF incomp. -- 11/23/09
On that same note, I'd like to ask why would comets not get
along with the Orandas or Ryukin? Thus far I haven't seen any
problems. They all seem to get along (although just in case
I've decided to start cycling new water on a 20 gal tank I
have at home)
<Hello Lourdes, the issue is [a] bulling when sexually mature
and [b] access to food. Since Fancy Goldfish can't swim as
well as Standards (like Comets), they can be harassed and/or
half-starved when kept with more active varieties. This is by no
means always the case, and Common Fantails and Black Moors both
have solid reputations as handling life with Standard Goldfish
very well. But the more delicate (i.e., deformed) the Fancy
Goldfish, the riskier the combination. Cheers, Neale.>
Goldfish Help! (no real data)
Hi WWM Crew,
I stumbled upon your site while looking for answers to my
goldfish's mysterious problems.
<Before we go any further, can I please make it very clear that
almost all problems with Goldfish are not mysterious in the least. Most
specimens get sick and die precisely because people don't keep them
Goldfish need a big, filtered aquarium. At minimum, a tank 20 gallons
in size. The filter needs to be robust, i.e., with a turnover of at
least 4, and preferably 6, times the volume of the tank per hour (i.e.,
for a 20 gallon tank, an 80-120 gallon/hour filter is needed).>
We got, what I assume to be, a Fancy Calico Fantail goldfish about 2
weeks ago. He appeared healthy at the pet store and we knew the store
we got him from was reliable one.
<Again, this is often the case. The problems being when people take
them home. I cannot stress this strongly enough.>
However, just 3 days after we got him another fancy goldfish we had
gotten with him began to relentlessly ram him! He was a slow moving
fish and didn't fight back, so in fear of his safety we took him
out of the tank.
<Hmm... these are schooling fish, and under normal circumstances get
along well in groups.>
We put him in a much smaller 2 gallon hospital tank with the same water
as the other tank.
<Unacceptable. This is far too small, smaller than a bucket, and
WILL kill this fish.>
We kept the water at a constant 78 degrees and put in a stress coat,
incase he was having trouble adjusting. He ate well, but did appear to
have some swim bladder issues (he was listing to one side and seemed
<I've said this about seventeen times this week, but "swim
bladder issues" are usually nothing of the sort.>
We didn't feed him for 36 hours and it seemed to do the trick, he
was acting more sociable and regained his balance. We fed him just as
we fed our other fish for approximately 4 days. But he began acting odd
He seemed hungry all the time, but we thought nothing of it because
that's how we thought goldfish were and that it was a good thing.
Soon he started losing his balance again and slowed down a lot. 2 days
ago when I got home he was flipped upside down at the bottom of his
tank, not moving. I thought he was dead but when I looked closer I saw
his gills moving and his eyes following me.
After noticing me he quickly turned himself right side up and began
searching for food at the top of his tank. He must be extremely weak
because he can't even swim against the flow of water from the
filter which is just enough to oxygenate the water. He soon turned over
on his back and sank to the bottom of the tank again. It may just be me
but I think his coloring is fading on his sides too. We have searched
his entire body and couldn't find anything like fish lice or ich
that would cause his to act this way. Today he seems even weaker! He
can still turn himself around but he gets tired more easily.. He also
appears to have a small amount of pineconing... I fear it could be
<Dropsy is usually a bacterial infection caused by chronically poor
environmental conditions. You haven't supplied me any useful data
here, so I can't say whether that's the case. It's
crucially important you understand (and provide) the basics: 0 ammonia,
0 nitrite, temperature around 15-20 degrees C, at least 20 gallons of
space, and a good filter.
While Goldfish can muddle through the cycling process, it's better
not to do it this way, but to cycle the aquarium before you add them.
Note that simply filling the tank for water and running it for a couple
of days ISN'T cycling anything; you need a source of ammonia (e.g.,
flake food) and time enough for the bacteria to grow (at least three
weeks). Water chemistry isn't critical, but water chemistry should
be at least moderately hard (above 10 degrees dH) and the water basic
(above pH 7).>
I don't want to give up on my fish, so is there anything you know
of that could help him? Or what is wrong with him?
<Can't possibly answer this without more data. Cheers,
Swim bladder problems... GF, env.
troubles, induced 11/20/09
Twelve months ago I set up a 10 gallon tank with a good filter, plants
and do regular water changes.
<Too small for Goldfish.>
I have one medium sized beautiful orange Oranda (Albert), and one very
small Pearlscale golf ball goldfish.
<Cannot possibly stay healthy in a tank this size.>
For most of the year they existed very happily but for the last few
weeks the poor Pearlscale (Brian) has been exhibiting signs of swim
<Yet another "swim bladder disease" statement. Seriously,
I've answered a whole bunch of e-mails this week where people
mention this non-existent complaint. Let's be clear here:
"swim bladder disease" is a vague name given by fishkeepers
to what is basically a variety of chronic problems affecting the
internal organs. Because your tank is not big enough for Goldfish,
I'd bet the money in my pockets that the problem is down to
chronically poor water quality.>
I have done extensive research and tried everything suggested;
<Yet you still have a 10 gallon tank... above ALL ELSE, a bigger
tank is what you need here.>
feeding changes, water changes, removed a plant I was worried had
contaminated the tank, peas, everything!
Brian is still feeding (although I am trying to feed both fish as
little as possible) but he is obviously in distress and often wedges
himself into plants or under the filter to prevent himself from
floating upside down at
the top of the water. He has been stable, but it's terrible seeing
him being so uncomfortable and I would do anything if it would fix his
<Do read here:
Albert remains a very happy, extremely active fish, although he was
listless for a few days but after some frantic water changes he has
returned to normal.
<Needs a bigger, healthier tank, likely with upgraded filtration and
appropriate water chemistry.>
I have been extremely impressed by the sound advice you have offered
others; I am very fond of my beautiful fish and just want to make sure
I am maintaining the best possible environment for them, both to help
Brian now, and to prevent disease in the future.
<Well, I've offered my advice "straight up" and hope
you don't mind.>
Many thanks for your help,
<Can't offer much help without actual data, i.e., filter type,
water quality, water chemistry.>
Goldfish Help 11/19/09
I have 3 goldfish which are about 1 month old. I was changing the water
today and i noticed one of them had their tail missing. Will the fish
still be able to survive without its tail or will it die. The other 2
fine and still have their tails. The fish seems fine and never seemed
sick or anything.
<Hello Michelle. It's likely your fish has Finrot, a disease
where the fin membranes are eaten away by bacteria. This is VERY COMMON
when people try to keep Goldfish in bowls or tanks without filters.
Goldfish need a tank 20 gallons or larger in size, and it must have a
filter. Change 25% of the
water every week or two, adding dechlorinated tap water each time. The
idea you can keep fish in a bowl or tank without a filter simply by
changing the water is hopelessly outdate (not to mention cruel) and I
would encourage you to read the article linked below:
Goldfish can live for 30 years, and get to about 20-30 cm long if kept
properly. Managing to keep them for one month therefore doesn't
prove anything about them being "fine". So be open minded,
and keep your fish
correctly. Treat Finrot with a medication like eSHa 2000, but be aware
this won't prevent problems if you're not keeping them properly
to begin with. Cheers, Neale.>
Our Blackmoore w/ very red throat and
getting worse w/ treatment
Black Moor hlth, water quality -- 11/19/2009
We have known he's been sick for about 36-48 hours.
<I can only presume that you are referring to the Black Moor you
mention in the subject of the email here...>
The first symptom we noticed was he very red under his throat at that
time he was still eating well and swimming around, I tried searching up
the redness but after couple hours I gave up and started treating him
w/ an all in one treatment from Petsmart I had in the house
<What all-in-one treatment? A large portion of these medications are
largely useless, and may cause more problems than they'll
As the yesterday evening/night progressed I noticed him resting more
and more on the bottom. The past few hours now he seems to be just
getting weaker, the water filter seems to pull him more and more to it
and he's fighting it less.
<Sounds like environmental issues/water quality problems to
The recent environmental conditions, well the tank lights went out 4
days ago, so I took the top off and allowed the room light to get in
better for few hours a day. Today when I got the replacement bulbs and
I got a really good look of how red the red is and it's really made
me worry much more.
<The lighting is more for your own enjoyment, this wouldn't have
been a factor here.>
I am not good at precise reading on the chemistry stuff, but I do get
the 5 in 1 test strips, they read in the safe zones NO2 between 0-.5
and NO3 at near 0 to 20 (closer to the 20 color).
<Test strips are notoriously inaccurate -- I highly recommend you
pick up a proper master test kit -- with practice, these kits are very
simple to use.
Any detectable ammonia, or nitrite are major problems, and nitrates in
the 20 PPM range is toxic as well.>
The temp is 73. In a 10 gallon tank w/ him are 3 neon and some rogue
cork screw snails that came in on the foliage when we first set the
<10 gallons is far too small for as messy of a fish as a Black Moor
goldfish. Beyond this, these carp variants will get to a decent size --
almost a foot in length. This overstocked situation is likely the cause
of the toxic water conditions.>
Moby had eaten all the live foliage couple months ago and I haven't
<Fresh greenery is a good thing for the digestive system of most
fish, especially goldfish.>
Upon originally setting the tank up we did have 3 snails (and golden
apple and 2 of the black version) about around 5-6 months ago they
died, it seemed as though their shells were dissolved away (read
various reasons why that could have happened, none of which seemed
would affect Moby and friends),
<Too low of a pH, not enough carbonate hardness/other trace elements
available in the water to support them, most likely.>
We originally had 4 of the Neons, but one came up missing along (think
before the snails died) time ago we suspect Moby ate him.
<Possible, more likely it passed and decayed in an area thats not
visible, or possibly jumped out.>
Since I started the treatment I have removed the charcoal filter from
the pump and changed out 2 gallons of the water before the 1st
treatment. (I'm not sure if I should be tampering w/ water while
<Au contraire, you should be tampering with your water instead of
The other fish do not appear to have the symptoms, but then they are so
small and dart around a lot I can't really get a good look at
<May not be as sensitive to the toxins, or perhaps their excited
nature is due to them...>
When I was in the store today I asked the person didn't really have
any helpful idea on the cause.
Do you have any idea on the causes, the redness is area about 1/3 of an
inch under his chin and the with of the whole underside, it a bright
blood looking red, but I don't think it is blood unless he is
bleeding under his
And of course, I want to know if the treatment I am do is what I should
be doing and maybe I am just not giving it enough time, he does seem to
be getting worse rather than better.
<I would do some hefty water changes along with replacing your
chemical filtration into the filter. 30-50% per day should make some
good strides towards where you need to be -- though, in the long term,
you will likely need to move this goldfish to larger quarters.>
Should I turn off the pump that's now sucking him over to it, he
can't be sucked up in it.
<I would not.>
Hope you get back to me soon I'm constantly going to check on him
now cause I am so worried he isn't going to make it.
One fantail acting strangely
Hi there. I have read many other reviews but nothing seems to match my
situation. I had a cycled 125 litre tank which i added 2 fantails too
<How did you cycle the aquarium? Remember, an aquarium filled with
water but no fish won't cycle unless there's a source of
ammonia. The easiest approach is to add a pinch of flake every couple
of days, just as if there were fish in there. Bacteria will break the
flakes into ammonia, and that ammonia gets the filtration cycle
readings in the tank -
Ammonia - 0
Nitrate - 5
Nitrite - 0
Ph is high but typical of the water locally - around 9.
<Yikes! Very high. Are you sure of this? Is there any way to mix
this water 50/50 with rainwater or RO water? Do check the hardness
and/or carbonate hardness. Some water supplies are "odd" out
of the tap, and 24 hours later settle down. Try the pH of a cup of
water now, and again from the same cup of water in 24 hours. Is it the
same? If it's dropped or the water chemistry has otherwise changed,
you may want to leave water standing overnight before doing water
changes. Use buckets without lids so any gases can get out.>
The tank has an external filter and i have also added a large bubble
block run off of a pump. The tank is planted with much real plant inc
One of my fantails is acting perfectly - constantly moving around etc
but the other goes through stages where it is active some of the time
and eats well etc but then maybe every 10 min.s or so goes to the top
right of my tank in amongst the floating oxygenating plant for about 5
min.s then comes out again.
<I'm guessing the "oxygenating plant" is Elodea
(Canadian Pondweed). This does need strong lighting to grow, but is a
great food for Goldfish if you don't mind chucking it out once its
too far gone.>
Just worried that something is up with this fantail?
<Could be something amiss, yes. Now, the thing with Fantails is that
they have deformed spines and swim bladders, so at the best of times
aren't real stable. But if constipated they completely lose control
(from the weight, I guess).
Feeding mostly plant foods including cooked peas rather than flake
foods helps dramatically. Epsom salt can be used as a laxative if
required. If the water is too warm or too cold, they'll also behave
oddly. Indoor temperatures should be fine, the optimal range for Fancy
Goldfish being about 15-25 C, ideally at the cooler end of the range in
winter, and the warmer in summer. They don't like really strong
water currents, so while you need good turnover (around 4-6 times the
volume of the tank per hour) you will need to break up that current
using something like a spray bar, or perhaps angling the water outlet
so it hits a rock or something, and so gets spread out a bit.>
Many thanks in anticipation.
<Do read here:
Kind regards Matt.
Black patches/poorly... Uhhh, on what?
My fish started to get small black patches on his body last week !
<What sort of fish is this? A Goldfish? A Guppy? A Whale Shark? We
do need to know this... As for the black patches, is this Finrot? Or
simply that the fish's colour is changing?>
Then it has quickly covered most of his body ! I checked water it was
high in ammonia !
<Review conditions in the aquarium. All fish are sensitive to
ammonia, and anything above zero is dangerous. Firstly, check the
aquarium is big enough for the fish being kept. Goldfish for example
need an aquarium at least 30 gallons in size if two are being kept (the
minimum number, since they're social fish). Guppies need 15 gallons
upwards. And so on, depending on the species. Also check the filter is
reasonable for the fish being kept. For small fish, like Guppies, a
filter rated at 4 times the volume of the tank
in turnover per hour is adequate. In other words, for a 20 gallon tank,
you'd use a filter rated at 4 x 20 = 80 gallons per hour. For
bigger fish, especially messy species like Goldfish, you'd up this
to 6 or 8 times the
volume of the tank. So a 30 gallon Goldfish aquarium would need at
minimum 6 x 30 = 180 gallons per hour. The gallons per hour (GPH) (or
litres per hour, LPH) number will be printed on the filter pump or its
packaging, if you don't know it.>
So did a few water changes the ammonia remained the same so did a full
water change ! Ammonia is now perfect /ph perfect nitrate etc all ok
<Well water should be "perfect" after a water change. The
tricky bit is keeping it that way. I mention this because 99% of the
time, fishkeepers are dealing with sick fish because they're not
providing the right water
quality or water chemistry. Goldfish for example need 0 ammonia, 0
nitrite, a pH between 7.5 and 8, and a hardness level above 10 degrees
dH. So check the numbers your test kits provide against what an
aquarium book tells you about the species being kept.>
I have put in gold disease safe two days ago !
<Do you mean "Interpet Goldfish Disease Safe"? Believe
this is an old-fashioned mix of formalin, copper, and malachite green.
Fairly good for some external diseases like Ick, Fungus and Finrot, but
will have little/no benefit otherwise. Potentially highly toxic, so
avoid using unless absolutely necessary.>
However the fish is sitting on the bottom of the tank , fin down !
<Just sounds like a fish in poor environmental conditions. Review
the size of the tank, filter, pH and hardness.>
If I approach the tank he perks up and swims normally , but he does not
seem like himself ! I don't know what else to do very worried !
<Assuming this is a Goldfish, which is the only species you'd
use Interpet Goldfish Disease Safe on, then my money is on the aquarium
being too small, the filtration inadequate, the water too soft, or the
diet too monotonous.
Do read here:
Any suggestions ! The other fish is happy as Larry and not effected by
ammonia ! Any suggestions ? Thanks
<Most Goldfish die because their owners kill them. It's a simple
Given the right conditions, these fish are astonishingly robust. So
please, please, please review environmental conditions. If you need to
discuss any of the above, feel free to write back. Cheers,
Re: Black patches/poorly, GF hlth.,
env., sys. 11/6/09
Thank you for your reply,
<Always glad to help.>
The fish are goldfish ! They are in a 60litr BiOrb,
<Useless waste of money; style over substance...>
there are only two !
<Not big enough for even one Goldfish... do remember, these are big,
messy fish. Sure, a baby might "fit" into a 60 litre (15
gallon) tank but that doesn't mean much. Goldfish grow fast, if
healthy, and two will need a tank twice this size. Just as importantly,
the BiOrb is a "bowl" with a narrow top; since oxygen gets in
through that narrow top, this severely limits the rate at which oxygen
is absorbed by the water. In short, a useless tank.
You'll notice no aquarium book recommends these units... just
retailers and manufacturers.>
The pump is suitable for the tank, just recently changed the pump to
the BiOrb one !
<More overpriced nonsense; inadequate to the needs of
Just checked water again the ph is slightly low how can I bring this up
<Do read here:
The Rift Valley salt mix, used at half the recommended dose mentioned
there, should be ideal for Goldfish.>
I have had both fish for five years, is this normal then for the fish
to turn from orange to black with age then ?
<For Goldfish, yes, sometimes they turn green or bronze in colour.
Just the scales. Otherwise they are healthy and normal-looking.>
Or could it be because of the ammonia and if this is the case, will the
black fade now there is no ammonia ?
<Ammonia can burn fish, and among other things, discolouration can
be a result.>
Maybe their diet is boring, I think I will look into other
<Do read here re: symptoms and solutions:
Re: Black patches/poorly
Thanks for the info ! I will get a bigger tank!
But what can I do in the meantime for the fish with the black patches
<Depends. Assuming that these are ammonia burns, the black is
actually a good sign because it means the fish is getting better. Still
doesn't mean the fish is happy, merely it survived a mild case of
Finrot! So simply
keeping up with water changes, providing a healthy diet, ensuring good
water quality and water chemistry will all help. There's nothing
you really need to do. The colour often stays black for a long time
though, perhaps permanently.>
Is there anything I can do ? And will the ammonia burns-if they are-
get better? Is this fish likely to survive?
He seems perky one moment then sits on the bottom next !
<You see, the black patches and the behavioural oddities are related
by being caused by poor environmental conditions. The fish is healing
after being exposed to a high level of ammonia, which for our purposes
is anything above zero. The ammonia kills the skin cells and weakens
the immune system, bacteria cause an infection, and this either gets
out of control (Finrot) or else gets better (ammonia burns). Either
way, it's a sign of problems. In the same way, ammonia stresses
fish and makes them feel sick. They go off their food, they often
become listless or conversely, spend all their time darting about
trying to escape. Again, implying a problem. The single best way to
avoid problems with ammonia and nitrite is to keep fish in a tank of
adequate size with an adequate filter.
In the case of two or three Goldfish, that'd be a 30 gallon (115
litre) aquarium with a filter rated at about 6 times the volume of the
tank in turnover per hour.>
Had them a long time ! Never had any problems would be upset to lose
<Hope it won't come to that. Good luck, Neale.>
Re: Black patches/poorly
Thanks for your help
<Happy to help. Cheers, Neale.>
goldfish redness 10/30/09
Hi. My gold fish(summer) has been healthy for almost 8 years. Suddenly
there is redness and the scales are popping out slightly on the
belly/lower belly area on her.
I don't think it would be dropsy because her scales would be
popping out all over her body right? If you might know what it is that
my fish has please let me know =).-Jonas
<Something is amiss here environmentally... Check your water
esp. nitrogenous... Execute a series of 20-25% daily water changes.
Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/GFenvirondis.htm
and the linked files above... till you get the gist. Bob Fenner>
Also...? GF reading
Also my goldfish(summer) has been sitting on the bottom of the tank
since that appeared. My other goldfish(winter) past away at the end of
She had white worm like things all over her body and her fins were
torn. A couple hours before she past she would keep flipping over and
wouldn't go back upright. Well she past and me and my mom buried
her on the beach near some rocks. If you know what's wrong with
summer please reply =).-Jonas
<... read. B>
Goldfish Concerns, sys. really --
I love your site. Keep up the good work! I'm hoping, though, that
you could help answer a few questions I could not find answers to. Here
is a history of my pond, and please critique my setup as much as you
would like, as I am a beginner and still learning.
<I am a relatively old-timer and still learning>
I currently have 4 goldfish: a 2" Ryukin, a 1" fantail, a
2" comet, and a 1.5" shubunkin in a 22 gal pond (~450 sq in
<... these fish are too much for this volume, and surface area...
and the this container is too small to be stable in an outdoor
with a 96 gph pump with a bio-filter that I started in mid-July. The
fountain head pours out onto a small waterfall into the pond for
additional oxygen. I have some gravel on the bottom with 2 bunches of
Anacharis, a small waterlily in a basket, and two small false papyrus
growing in it.
The pH is about 7.8, KH about 120, GH 300, ammonia 0, nitrite 0,
nitrate always under 20, temp 66-68 Â°F. Until I brought the
pond into my house from outside, the nitrate had always been 0, which
I'm assuming is due to the fact that the plants aren't getting
the direct sunlight they used to be getting. Now I'm doing weekly
gravel vacuuming/water changes to control the nitrate level and help
eliminate dead plant debris.
<Good maintenance protocol>
A week or two after I brought the pond in, I noticed the comet and
fantail had ich and treated them with malachite green/formalin then
switched to aquarium salt, as I read it is less harsh.
<With the plants present?>
This is when I started gravel vacuuming in hopes that I could clean out
any external parasites that might be lurking at the bottom still. This
is where my first question comes in. I read that most fish diseases are
caused by bad water quality, and not just from the normal pH, KH, GH,
ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels that are testable, but from
fungus, "bad" bacteria, viruses, and parasites that feed off
of rotting organic material (plant and fish waste) in the pond. So is
it a better environment for my goldfish to be in an aquarium, without
plant waste and without tiny bugs that were brought in with the pond
<Mmm, it may well be... as the move to indoor conditions; the light
you mention... Is probably causing the plants to die-back, their
decomposition leading to poor/er water quality>
And what about the tiny clay particles that seem to float around in the
pond from my potted lily whenever I do a water change or gravel vacuum?
It can't be comfortable or healthy for the fish to breathe that in,
<Might be of consequence>
I ask these questions because I'm trying to give my fish the most
"natural" home that I can, with real plants, a waterfall,
algae to eat (along with a bi-daily feeding of peas and occasional
brine shrimp), but it also seems that this environment also breeds more
disease. I originally planned on putting the fish into a larger pond in
the spring, but now I'm not sure that is the best idea. I already
have an unused 30-40 gal aquarium that I could put them in, but my
husband tells me I am worrying about them too much and I should just
leave them be. I DID have one Ryukin die after bringing the pond in,
from I believe an internal bacteria or virus, which made me really sad.
I just want to make sure I'm doing everything I can to prevent that
from happening again. Thanks for any advice you may have.
<Well, Holly... if they were mine... I would set up the aquarium...
move a good deal of the water from the present pond, maybe the gravel
(rinsed to removed most the detritus, but not too cleaned to move the
bio-filtration), and use the winter time to learn more about ponds,
goldfish... Not easy to mix comets and fancies... and all will need
more room in time. Please bookmark our pond subweb, and start reading
Re: Goldfish Concerns
Thank you sooo much for your quick response. I will definitely be
moving them to the bigger aquarium as soon as I can. Just to mention,
I've read the same thing about mixing comets and fancy fish and
that you shouldn't do it. However, it is odd that MY fish are
acting quite that opposite than you would expect - the Ryukin is a
bully and all the other fish swim away during one of his tirades, and
the fantail is actually most aggressive during feeding time. And
actually during gravel vacuuming, the Ryukin and fantail are the only
two that constantly "kiss" my fingers as I dip them into the
water! I think the comet and shubunkin may be younger, as they are much
more timid with me.
<Yes... in time, with growth... they both get over a foot in length;
this will change>
I guess over time, though, when the shubunkin and comet grow bigger
than the fancies, I will probably have to split them up. I will be sure
to keep an eye on them! Again, thanks for all your help, and keep up
the great work!
<Will do. BobF>
Hey guys =)
I currently have a 2.5 gallon plastic tank with an inch of gravel on
the bottom, a Small World in tank aquarium filter (I replace the
cartridges every 2 weeks), and a light.
<Are you kidding me? 2.5 gallons? Who told you that was big enough
for Goldfish? It isn't even big enough for a Betta! Honestly, you
will NEVER be able to keep Goldfish healthy in this system. Minimum for
Goldfish is 20 gallons, and realistically you want 30+ gallons.
Too big? Then don't keep Goldfish. Simple as that. A 2.5 gallon
tank isn't much use (any use at all, in fact) for fish, but
I've seen nice systems with Java moss and Cherry shrimps this
I had a fantail as well as a black moor. Yesterday my fantail swam
inside my rock decoration and died for no apparent reason.
<Well, actually, the reason is very apparent. The tank is too small.
Water quality likely dire, and lack of oxygen may well be an issue too.
Get the fish out of there, NOW.>
I have gone through about 3 different types of fish food, including
goldfish flakes and baby goldfish pellets, but they seem to try and eat
it but spit them out every time.
<Fish tend not to eat much when they're stressed. Healthy
Goldfish are primarily herbivores and should be given mostly green
Currently they are eating Hikari Goldfish Gold baby pellets. They still
don't fully consume them rather take them in their mouths and spit
out a smaller pellet.
I was wondering how I can my black moor, Chumpers, to eat, and which
breeds of fish that would be compatible with him. He seems to be highly
stressed with Adi being gone.
Thanks for the help,
<While it's cute to give animals names, as I'm sure you
realise they couldn't care less. All animals want is proper care.
Review the needs of Goldfish and act accordingly. At the moment, you
ARE killing these fish, even if you think you're being nice to
help - problem with my cold water
fish... GF hlth. 10/7/09
i have approx 17 cold water fish
<Hope this is a VERY big aquarium! If these are all Goldfish, even a
pond would be overcrowded with this many fish. Realistically, adult
Goldfish need about 30 gallons for the first two, and another 10-15
additional fish. So we're talking 180 gallons for 17 Goldfish.
Anything smaller, and I doubt water quality would be much good.>
and have just noticed both of the bubble eyed fish have developed
straggly long bits sticking on their lower half towards the rear end of
<Are the "strings" faeces? Goldfish are prone to
constipation, typically because people feed them just dried food. They
need a lot of green foods to stay healthy, such as cooked peas and
edible aquarium plants (e.g.,
Elodea). See here:
So, if you suspect this, stop with the flake food, and on with the
at first i thought they had got a bit of string or something stuck to
them but i see both fish have it. its like a 3 inch straggly thin like
string sticking towards the rear of the fish facing downwards into the
water can you advise on this please am panicking like mad
<David, please do use capital letters next time you write! Cheers,
Goldfish with fused mouth
Hi, I have searched your site as well as everything else on the net to
find any info on what is causing my 7 inch comet to have a repeating
fusing of his mouth. My guy is about 4 to 6 years old, lives in a 33
gallon aquarium with one other goldfish.
<Mmm, too crowded...>
Not had any problems before. Water changes 25% weekly, water conditions
<..? Need values. I assure you... with even just the one Comet there
the water quality is "not fine". Metabolite accumulation is
another way of stating it's being mal-affected by living in its own
Skin seems to grow around his mouth. After not finding any help, and
treating with numerous medication for different ailments without
<Are of no use here>
I took a fine rubber tipped dental tool and pried the skin away. It
worked for a week or two, then it happened again. This has been going
on for the last eight months, I keep peeling the skin off whenever
needed. Now, the skin on the left side has become very hard and I
cannot pry it off. The fish, although quite used to the treatment by
now, gets completely stressed when I try to pull at the hard part. I am
now considering using a fine tipped razor to cut away the hard bit. I
have carefully inspected the fish for signs of infection, parasites,
fungus but there isn't anything other than the mouth issue. After
manually cleaning up his mouth, he would eat and behave normally until
it fused up again.
I really would like to figure what is going on here. The other fish is
fine, never any problems. Is it possible the chemicals used for
conditioning the water before water changes could be the culprit? I do
remember giving them a new batch of food plants a couple of weeks
before the condition presented itself.
Any ideas would be appreciated. Thanks,
<Could be genetic/ontogenetic (i.e. developmental), but I suspect
that the root cause here is environmental. Comets get too big for such
small volumes. Bob Fenner>
Please Help, Goldfish... no reading, as
Hi, I have a 28 gal tank, I have 9 goldfish, (all kinds) I had them for
about 6 months. I do a water change every 3-4 weeks.
<Way too many fish for this tank, your water quality is probably
suffering and the fish are stressed from the cramped quarters.>
I add all of the stuff that I was told, like the water cond.s, plus the
waste control and cycle and salt, then I noticed that they started to
loose their skin, they were scratching on the rocks, one fish actually
scratched his eye very bad.
<You should test for ammonia and nitrites, I am guessing they are
I went to PetCetera they sold me the ick stuff, and told me to change
the water, so I changed the water, in 4 hours it got all fogy and
<Did you change all of it? If so you probably interrupted your
So I added some of that water cleaner,
<No such thing, probably an ammonia binder, which is of limited use
in most cases.>
My fish started to swim at the bottom of the tank, then they switched
went for the top. Now one of my fish got so bloated and a big red anus,
I don't know what happened to him/her, but it seems like he cant
swim, he tries but them goes belly down. as well as other fish, they
don't look healthy.
<Water changes here, the environment is killing these
Also i noticed that some fish got these white pimples right at the edge
of their front fins, at first i thought it was ick, but I've never
seen ick go neat in a straight line. what is it.
<Could be ich, could be reactions to ammonia/nitrite.>
What do i do,,,
Please help me I really don't know what to do
<Short term, water changes and improved environmental conditions,
long term remove 6 of the fish, that sized tank can have a max of 3
I have been trying to find the info on the web, but nothing about
bloating and big red anus,.
<Most likely bacterial infection that resulted from poor water
I don't know what else to do, every time I go to the store they
always like to sell everything that is the most expensive and stuff
that I don't even end up needing.
<Start by reading
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshdisease.htm , and
Thanks a lot Lena
Re Please Help, Goldfish
Thanks for your reply,
well the boated fish died, plus another one, that was just a baby plus
she was ok yesterday, when I took it out it had red spots on its
stomach, I tested for emonia
and it was 7.0.
<If this is an ammonia reading it is exceedingly high, and will
quickly kill your fish. Ammonia HAS to be 0, lots of water changes are
needed here and quick.>
in which I read that its normal.
<Not normal, perhaps you are confusing pH and ammonia.>
Since I got the fish they have been pretty healthy, they grew amazingly
with in a few months. I just don't know what to treat them for,
this morning i noticed that they started to scratch again, but they are
loosing their scales. Can you recommend something?
<There is no disease here to treat, or at least not your primary
concern. I think all your problems are related to water
Maybe its more than one disease?
Also I just thought of it I changed their food from Sera goldy royal
(granulated growth food to Sera goldy color Granulated food. Could this
be the trigger? Of their illness?
<Improve the environment first and foremost, disease is not your
primary concern. Also in future queries please spell and grammar check
before sending, it makes communicating easier and is something we have
to correct ourselves before posting on the FAQs.>
Re: Please Help. Still not reading... GF
env. hlth. 10/4/09
<Seems to be out diving...>
Thank You for your replies, sorry for the mistakes, i will check them
Now i have another problem. My fish were ok for these 2 days, now i
wake up and noticed that 4 of my goldfish are chasing another, they are
chasing at her bum then they corner her and start to somewhat bite and
scratch on her, i tried to separate her in to a fish bowl, but they
just went after another fish. they are swimming very swirly and fast.
what do i do? i am going to test out my ammonia level like you said.
the another test was the Ph Level.
what could be the reason that they are chasing these two poor fish? (
but its mostly the one)
<Likely the environment... Read where you were initially referred...
see below. These fish are being poisoned. Bob Fenner>
Thanks again in advance
Goldfish (10 gallon tank; death, mayhem)
Hi, i HAD 2 fancy goldfish that recently got ich and died.
<Fish rarely die from Ick. It's easy to cure and takes a long
time to kill fish. If they really did die from Ick, you were doing *a
lot* of stuff wrong. So let's review what Goldfish need. They need
an aquarium at least
30 gallons in size, with a mature filter of reasonable size
(recommendation: at least 4, and preferably 6, times the volume of the
aquarium in turnover, so a 30 gallon tank would need a filter rated at
not less than 4 x 30 = 120 gallons per hour, and preferably 6 x 30 =
180 gallons per hour). Water chemistry should be hard and basic; aim
for pH 7.5-8, 10-20 degrees dH. Do not use water from a domestic water
softener, do not use distilled water. Salt is not required, but water
conditioner should always be used. Diet should be primarily green
foods, with pellets and flake used as a minority component. Most
Goldfish die prematurely because their keepers *kill them*. Read up on
their needs, and act accordingly.
They're nice pets, but sadly too many people buy them without
knowing the first thing about their needs. They're demanding
animals, and if you can't provide what they need, then try keeping
something else, like a pot plant or something. Seriously. I'm not
kidding. Goldfish are really quite hard work, and if you don't have
the funds, time, dorm room space, or whatever, don't keep
I treated with medication and water changes, but they still died. My
question is how do i kill the ich that is still in my 10 gall aquarium
with no fish??
<10 gallons is too small for Goldfish.
and how long can i wait until i put new fish in???
<You need to keep the filter mature by adding fish food every couple
of days. Leave the aquarium devoid of fish ("fallow") for
about 2, ideally 4, weeks to guarantee all the Ick is gone. Add new
livestock carefully, using a nitrite test kit to make sure the filter
was properly maintained. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Goldfish (10 gallon tank; death,
Thank you Neale for the answer.
<Happy to help.>
I am sorry to the other persons who answered but my fish did die from
ick, they had all the warning signs and the white spots.
<I'm not saying Ick doesn't eventually kill fish if left
untreated, but that there's several weeks before that happens where
fish as large as Goldfish are concerned. So from the time you spot the
first white spots to
the point where the fish dies, there's ample time to identify the
disease, and then to treat it successfully.>
Before these 2 fish i had another 2 fancy goldfish and they lived for 3
and four years in my 10 gallon tank, so i don't know what your
talking about "they didn't die from ich" and "I
<What I'm talking about is this: Ick doesn't appear in four
year old aquaria out of the blue. It usually turns up when new fish are
introduced. Once the tank is treated to kill the Ick, it will never
come back unless
introduced once more. But this is really irrelevant. The fact is you
cannot keep two Goldfish in a 10 gallon tank. If you think you can,
you're deluding yourself. All I can do is tell people the facts,
like a doctor
would in a clinic. If doctors tell you smoking is bad, and that you
should eat more vegetables, and do more exercise, it's ultimately
up to you whether you listen to their good advice or carry on doing the
The same thing here. Goldfish should live for at least 20 years in
captivity, so if yours died after 4 years, then they died very, very
prematurely. Your first fish died after four years, and then these fish
after three. What more do you want me to say? That there's an evil
fish-killing ghost living in your house? Seriously, if you want to kid
yourself nothing is wrong, then that's your choice, but it's
unfortunate that you're going to carry on killing fish in the
meanwhile. Most ignorance is willful, and this is a classic example.
So, once more, just to be clear: you cannot keep Goldfish in 10 gallon
aquaria. Period. End of discussion.
The reasons your fish died were most likely associated with this simple
fact, and if you don't want to accept that fact, then there's
nothing more I can do to help you. All I want to do is help the animals
in your care.>
Sorry but your wrong.
<It's actually "you are wrong" or "you're
wrong" but since I'm right and it's you that's wrong,
I think we'll let that pass for now. Good luck, *Neale.>
Re: Goldfish (10 gallon tank; death, mayhem)
Sorry but your wrong.
<Oh, and Gracen, you might check over the other messages today. One
of my correspondents begins "I am in awe! My little fish is now
So, I do know what I'm doing. Listen up and learn how to keep fish
properly, or else walk out the door and make your own mistakes. Your
Sick Ranchu - need advice (RMF, ideas?
does this sound like worms?) 9/21/09
Trying to get the bottom of what is causing one of our Ranchu's ill
We have 2 Ranchus - one is 3 yr old orange female (Sport), the sick one
is a 2 yr old black/gold male (Oliver). They live in a 17 gallon tank
with fresh plants, gravel with an Eheim canister filtration system
built for a 30 or 38 gallon tank. We perform weekly water changes and
check nitrates and Ph regularly. We use AmQuel along with aquarium
salts with every water change...and occasionally a neutral regulator if
the Ph is a little off.
<Actually, Goldfish prefer hard, basic water: pH 7.5, 10+ degrees dH
is ideal. So rather than using tonic or aquarium salts, a Rift Valley
Cichlid Salt mix, at about one-quarter to one-half dose would actually
be far more helpful.>
It may be important to note that after about 6 months of adding Oliver
to the tank, a few dark reddish spots appeared on one side. As they
seemed to be markings completely matching 2 of his scales, we
weren't worried. It's been a year later and the 2 reddish
scales have never changed in size or appearance. And we assumed this is
normal or unique to him.
<Indeed, very likely the case.>
A few weeks ago, Oliver suddenly developed rather large protrusions or
lumps on both sides of its body. Within a day, one side began to
decrease while the other got worse - looked like a few very large peas
Within another day the growth began to sprout what looked like a white
cottony head, which continued to grow. The whiteness disappeared the
next day which left behind what looked like a raw sore with a red ring.
As that side began to heal a little, the same started occurring on the
After showing pictures to our local fish store, they recommended a
treatment of Pimafix because they believed it was fungus related.
<Not a medication I place much faith in, to be honest.>
<<I'd use a stronger oath here... Is counter-productive.
We began a week-long treatment based on the product instructions which
helped a little, but not entirely. They recommended we try 1 more week
before moving to a stronger medicine. On day 9 of treatment he took a
turn for the worse and was floating on the top of the tank for 24
hours, would not eat and developed very labored breathing despite the
improved skin conditions. The next morning after 1 more treatment, he
hung on and has been getting better day by day, and appetite and normal
spunky behavior is back.
It's been almost a week since the last treatment. Water has been
changed and tested. All levels are great. We were happy that all sores
appear to be healing nicely, too. However as of this morning, there is
another small cottony-like patch on the right-side again! It's
small, but just larger than a pin-head - exactly how the first episode
began, and we are very worried this may not be a fungus, but perhaps a
more serious infection or ulcer?
<Certainly open wounds can become ulcerous given the warm, wet
conditions in an aquarium. But whether the ulcer itself is the problem
is more difficult to say. In this case, I think the ulcer is merely
secondary to whatever is causing the body to swell and the skin to
Any insights on how best to treat would be greatly appreciated! We love
our Oliver and want him to get better. I've attached 2 pictures -
one from 3 weeks ago, and one from today.
(PS - Sport has showed no signs of sickness at all throughout these
last few weeks).
<I'm a bit mystified on this, to be honest. The fact the body
becomes lumpy, and that some of these lumps go while others arrive is
really very odd indeed. I'm wondering if there are some worms or
other such parasites moving about inside the muscle tissue?
Alternatively, could be simply constipation (see the "Floaty,
Bloaty Goldfish article here at WWM) but I'd expect a more uniform
swelling if that were the case. Tumours are common enough among fish,
but they don't normally come and go. They're usually
slow-growing, long-term solid lumps under the skin. Then there the are
so-called Nodular Diseases, things like Ichthyosporidium and Myxobolus,
but these tend to form cysts on top of the skin, rather than underneath
They're contagious and difficult to treat, but oddly enough
don't usually cause outright death. Fish Pox is also seen on
various carps, including Goldfish, but it looks like waxy lumps on the
body, rather than swelling sores. Google these ideas and see if any
photos match what you're seeing.
Other than optimising water conditions, ideally by raising the hardness
and pH a bit to get it where Goldfish want it, I can't see anything
obviously wrong with your set-up. I've asked Bob for a second
opinion; perhaps he can recognise this problem better than I. Cheers,
<<Due to the usual too-small for goldfish conditions here,
I'm initially given to wonder re environmental influences... There
is some possibility of parasitic involvement via the plants... I
don't see the images, the querior mentions... But would like to
peruse these if they'll re-send. BobF>>
Re: More re: Sick Ranchu - need advice
(RMF, ideas? does this sound like worms?) -- 9/22/09
Thank you both for the feedback.
<Glad to help. I did overlook the size of your tank, which Bob
caught. 17 gallons is way too small for Goldfish. As he says, this is a
My 12 gallon Nano Cube recently finished cycling so that I could add
one Black Moor Goldfish.
<Do, please, understand that a 12-gallon tank is only viable for a
very young Goldfish. Even a single Black Moor needs at least 20 gallons
once it's more than, say, 3-4 inches, 8-10 cm long. Given they get
to 8 inches/20 cm in length, you can well understand that these are
messy fish that need swimming space. Two or three specimens will need
tanks upwards of 30 gallons.
So while I applaud you for cycling your new aquarium, I would warn you
that a Goldfish is a very bad choice for this system. Not only will get
sick eventually, it'll also make the tank messy and murky. While
you might not imagine this to be the case, tropical fish are often much
A school of White Cloud Mountain Minnows, perhaps with a few Cherry
Shrimps, would work nicely in an unheated tank this size, assuming it
was in a warm room.>
My parameters were and are pretty good (Nitrites 0, Nitrates 0, Ammonia
0, Ph 6.7, Chlorine 0). I've also been doing 25% water changes at
least once a week.
<Goldfish need a pH around 7.5; they tend to get sickly in acidic
However, within a few hours upon adding my new fish to the tank, I
noticed a large amount of white film all over the tail and on parts of
the head and body of the fish.
<Oh dear. This is likely mucous, and may be a problem because of the
low pH, which Goldfish really don't like. Do read here about soft
water and how to make water harder:
The eyes were cloudy as well. I immediately added some salt and Stress
Coat to the tank as I suspected it was stress/ shock or possibly a
fungal infection. The only thing I could imagine could cause this
problem may be that the temperature in the tank is a little high (for a
goldfish) at 78 degrees.
<Shouldn't make that big of a difference.>
It's been a few days and the little guy seems to be acting more and
more lethargic. Please help!
Cheers, Lauren C.
<If you can, return the fish, and make some other, more sensible,
choices for your aquarium. What you are doing *won't* work. Cheers,
My poorly goldfish! Env. --
I'm sorry to bother you but I'm having a problem with my large
gold fantail goldfish. He has developed a lump on what I think is his
anal fin. It's half-way down the fin and looks white and hard. I
have put anti-fungal and fin-rot treatment in the tank, and had
previously tried white spot medication. Nothing seems to have
<Mmm, not a good idea to blindly pour these chemicals in... They
have their downsides>
Apart from this white lump he seems happy enough and is swimming and
eating as normal. The lump appeared about 2-3 days ago and has not got
any bigger or smaller in that time. I am also having problems with the
water in my tank. As soon as I have cleaned it, within a week it is
full of what looks like the beginning of white algae,
what am I doing wrong? I don't want to clean the tank every week.
My tank olds 60 gallons and holds 1 large and 4 small fantail fish. I
have a pump, but no filtration system, is this why?
<Oh... yes. Read here:
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
Thank-you, kind regards
My goldfish mystery disease...
I got 3 plain goldfish from mejiers which I know you have to be careful
<Well, perhaps, but mostly fish die not because they got a disease
from the retailer, but because people keep them badly. I mention that
here because, judging from the rest of your e-mail, that's exactly
the problem here.>
My tank is 16" (across) dome front tank with a jet, heater (so
temp is about 75 degree F), and a bio wheel filter.
<Too small. I'm guessing this tank contains less than 10 gallons
of water; a standard rectangular 10 gallon aquarium would measure about
20 inches from side to side. Given that three Goldfish will need at
least 30 gallons when mature, and even as babies (up to, say, 3 inches
in length) wouldn't be healthy in less than 15 gallons, your tank
is too small. Add to this inadequate filtration and not taking the time
to mature the biological filter first, and you have a recipe for
disaster, or, more specifically, dead fish.>
I got the 3 fish Saturday and had no problems until Monday or Tuesday
when I had one fish refuse to eat then die a few hours later
<Unfortunately entirely usual when people haven't matured their
new aquarium first. Let's be crystal clear on this: there's a
period of about 4-6 weeks between setting up an aquarium and when
it's actually safe to add fish. For those intervening weeks, you
"cycle" the filter by adding a source of ammonia. The easiest
approach is simply to add pinches of flake food every other day, and as
the flake decays in the filter, ammonia is released. Using your nitrite
test kit (you do have one, don't you?) you'd see nitrite goes
up (dangerous) and then drops to zero (safe) after about 4-6 weeks. You
can then add whatever fish you want. Easy. This is described in most
modern aquarium books, so if you didn't do this, I have to wonder
whether you read anything about keeping fish before you spent your
I looked closely at his body and on the outside there was no odd
coloration or any visible signs of being sick. So I assumed it was
nothing just unlucky and something out of my hands on what was wrong
<No! The fish is sick precisely because of you, and it's firmly
in your hands! So don't shirk the responsibility here. We live in
an age where we blame our problems on everyone else: government,
foreigners, big corporations, our parents, whatever. And yet, deep
down, we know that most of the things that disappoint us in life are
our own fault. So concentrate on what you have -- or haven't done
-- and think about what you do to improve things. In this case, you
have a tank that's too small, and I'd bet dollars to doughnuts
the water quality is dire. In the short term, you should be doing
25-50% water changes every other day, to keep the ammonia and nitrite
levels down. You should be minimising the food that's going into
the aquarium. In fact I'd not add flake at all, and simply offer
green foods, such as Elodea or cooked peas. Finally, I'd be
realistic about the aquarium, and look for something containing either
20 gallons (knowing I'd have to replace it within a year) or 30
gallons upwards (which should be adequate indefinitely). Too big? Too
expensive? Then don't keep Goldfish.
Bear in mind Goldfish are big animals, some 20 cm/8 inches at minimum,
and up to 30 cm/12 inches for standard (non-fancy) types like Comets.
Given your tank is a piddling 16 inches across, you could barely
*wedge* an adult Goldfish in there, let alone three of them and expect
them to swim about healthily.>
But tonight I noticed on of my other goldfish has turned pink (within 4
hours has had this changed) along his spine and at the base of his tail
and most corners of his body.
<Finrot; treat with a reliable (not Melafix!) medication such as
Maracyn or Seachem Paraguard. Adding a small amount of non-iodised salt
(0.5 oz per US gallon) will reduces the toxicity of nitrite somewhat,
and this helps, but salt WILL NOT cure the Finrot problem so don't
for a second think that it will.>
He doesn't seem to be acting weird other than the fact he likes to
swim in one corner of the top part of the tank. I doubt he will make it
through the night, but if this is a disease hopefully I can save my
last goldfish who hasn't shown any of the signs the others did and
has seemed to have gotten bigger since I have had him.
<Not disease as such, but bad maintenance on your part, exposing the
Goldfish to high levels of ammonia and nitrite. This suppresses their
immune system, and allows secondary infections to set in. This is the
Finrot you're seeing: inflammation, sores, dead skin, etc. Quickly
becomes fatal without medication and a dramatic improvement in
PLEASE HELP I don't know what to do to possibly save the one or the
<There is much you can do. Please start by reading:
These poor animals depend on you to keep them alive, and the first step
on your part is understanding what needs doing. Good luck. Cheers,
Re My goldfish mystery disease
The tank is huge compared to them they are only a little over an inch
long, it is a 16"x16"x9" plus the fact the front is a
bow front if that is the more proper term (therefore it has even more
room) the tank could easy support 3-5 more fish around the same
<Wrong. It really doesn't work this way. 16 x 16 x 9 inches is
2304 cubic inches, or about 10 US gallons. That is, and always has
been, too small for Goldfish. What do you want me to say? It's a
bad choice. It doesn't matter if the fish physically
"fit", it's about water quality and the rate at which
oxygen can diffuse into the water. Please trust me on this. I do this
for a living! Or, if you don't believe me, grab an ammonia or
nitrite test kit, and take a few readings across the day. If you get
consistently 0 ammonia and nitrite levels, then that's fine. But if
you don't, and you actually detect non-zero levels of either, then
that's your problem, right there. If the fish are lethargic or
worse, gasping and/or breathing heavily, then there's no enough
oxygen diffusing in.>
What I meant by out of my hands was maybe he had a birth defect because
in today's society the amount of poor breeding EXSPECIALLY in a
Meijer's or Wal-Mart store is common.
<Actually, it's not that common. The cheap Goldfish are bred in
ponds, and there's a certain amount of "survival of the
fittest" going on. So bad genes isn't anything to do with.
You're deluding yourself if you think it is. That's your
choice, but my job here is to tell you the truth.>
Plus it had no visible markings or symptoms it stopped eating and
within 2 hours died, I inspect my fish daily for any coloration or
<When did you last check the water chemistry or water
Yes, when the first one stopped eating it worried me, but it had ate
earlier that day and I figure it must have just not felt like eating.
Trust me though the tank is not small I have had fish for most of my
life and I doubt that the levels of any element are off the water is
constantly moving and being rotated the jet sucks water from the bottom
and blows it out at the top and blows it towards the bio wheel
<If you say so...>
And unfortunately the one fish die this morning, but there is one left,
hasn't had any problems yet, but i am sure will. By the way, you
should remember this tank is newly set up and as of today I have had
the fish a whopping week.
<Precisely! It takes 6 weeks to mature a tank. Stick fish into a new
tank, and yes, within a week, they'll get sick. Each and every
time. This has been discussed to death in practically every fishkeeping
book written for the last 50 years. Again, what do you want me to say?
So take it from me, this is "new tank syndrome".>
I know how many people are quick to blame others, but I also know that
have I fostered sick animals and I know what could be done so that
these mega stores have less disease in there tanks.
<I believe you really do love animals and know how to care for them.
And yet, and yet...>
Explain to me what you would've done when one of your small fish
died with no visible (even after it died I looked at it closely for
disease next time I guess I will run tests on it,
<Just run the tests, and then, when they come back one way or
another, then we can argue some more. But I'm commenting here on
probability and experience.>
it was NOT red or inflamed anywhere so I didn't think it was
symptoms other than less than 2 hours ago it stopped eating.
<New tank syndrome.>
I didn't have anything to use to really look up so the best I could
do was add a half cap of start right which is a "complete water
conditioner, removes chlorine and chloramine"
<Good, but doesn't do anything magical. Won't prevent the
ammonia from the fish killing the fish.>
and it also has Allantoin "a soothing and natural protectant that
promotes healing of wounds."
So I did try to prevent anything else from happening and mind you I
noticed the second fish was sick when I came back to my dorm at 1 in
the morning, I have no car here at my college, so I am unable to really
go anywhere and get medications.
<I don't have a car, and never even learned to drive. So I'm
not real sympathetic to that as an excuse as to why you can't get
test kits, medications, etc. I manage, via walking, buses, trains, or
I will ask my science teacher to use the equipment to test the NH3, O2
and N2 levels, but I assure you they are probably in the proper
<I'm sure they're not.>
Honestly you deeply offended me, I am not stupid, and it probably began
because I said dome not bow, and I am sorry if I mis-spoke if I
could've remembered I would've told you the tank's gallon
size which I checked now it is a 16 gallon bow.
<16 gallons is not enough for Goldfish. Have a read through our
Goldfish disease queries. Spot the "golden thread" that runs
through them -- most of the time we deal with sick goldfish,
they're in small tanks.>
If you thought I was talking about one of those wall dome bowls (bowls
not tanks) how the in the world would I be able to put a bio wheel
filter, a jet, and a heater and how would the tank you described make
any sense either.
<I didn't believe it was a bowl.>
I would bet dollars to doughnuts even if I had set my tank up the way
you suggested and you had the same fish as me that first one
would've died just as quickly and you probably would've been
just as clueless.
<The odds on sick fish would have been DRAMATICALLY lower had you
[a] had the right sized tank and [b] you'd cycled it first for six
weeks using a fishless cycling method.>
Do you realize how big 30 gallons is?
I have a 40 gallon tank at home, but they are not koi the likely hood
these gold fish will ever be over 5 inches is possible, but slim.
<Folks who think Goldfish stay at 5 inches have never kept them
right, and had stunted Goldfish or specimens that died after a few
years. Go look at some healthy specimens that lived their full
As I said be careful how quickly you judge if you want a GOOD argument
NEVER assume anything, every size you assumed was off obviously you
have never looked at the Wal-Mart or Meijer's 16 cent goldfish who
have more than 30 goldish in a less than 30 gallon tank (but I
wasn't making an argument I was asking for help).
<Fine, whatever. I don't need to prove anything here. I'm
telling you what Goldfish need. The fact you think you know better, and
yet your fish are dead/dying, really sums up the state of play.>
Next time you write a response e-mail try to not be so rude, tell me
its Finrot then explain, don't tell me indirectly how dumb I am
because I DID look up what certain fish need when I first wanted to get
my own fish tank a year ago, not just help my father with his
<I didn't assume you were dumb, and I certainly didn't mean
to be rude. I'm English, and we tend to be a bit drier and more
direct than some other English speakers. If that offended you, I
apologise. But I'm still right about what Goldfish need, I'm
still right about what's making your specimens ill, and I'm
still right about the need to mature tanks before adding livestock.
Your move. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: My goldfish mystery disease --
<No ammonia reading? I'm actually surprised the nitrate reading
is 0: that essentially means the biological filter hasn't processed
any nitrogenous waste at all. Now, if the ammonia reading was higher
than 0, that would imply the biological filter was non-existent, and
all that was happening is that ammonia accumulated in the water until
you diluted in by a water change. Since ammonia is toxic, it's a
prime reason why "new tank syndrome" happens at all --
without a mature biological filter, ammonia poisons the fish in various
ways. If there is a healthy biological filter, what you should see is
that ammonia is turned into nitrite, and nitrite into
nitrate, so that you normally detect 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, and some
non-zero level of nitrate (typically 10-50 mg/l in most well-stocked
community tanks). This is why I'm concerned: in a tank a week or
you usually detect a declining, but not yet zero level of ammonia, a
rising, but not yet peaked level of nitrite, and slightly rising level
of nitrate. In other words, the ammonia-consuming bacteria are well
established (hence the rising level of nitrite and falling level of
ammonia) but the nitrite consuming bacteria are not yet fully
established (hence the nitrite level hasn't peaked, and the nitrate
level is only slowly rising). It takes about 2-3 weeks after setting up
for the ammonia bacteria to become fully established, about 3-4 weeks
after setting up for the nitrite bacteria to become fully established,
and between 4-6 weeks for everything to settle down completely. What
I'm saying, in short, is that an ammonia reading would be very
informative. If the level was zero, then that would mean my hypothesis
here was wrong, but without an ammonia reading, I
can't tell if you have standard "new tank syndrome", or
Because your tank is only a week or so old, my instinct is that
"new tank syndrome" is to blame, but it might, conceivably,
be something else.>
Total hardness(GH):75 (soft)
<Too soft. Goldfish need hard water.>
Total alkalinity ppm (mg/l):80 (moderate)
<pH is a bit high, well, very high actually. Strange given the low
hardness. Perhaps the carbonate hardness (measured with a KH test kit)
I can test it again if you would like, I am still going to change at
least 25% of the tank water
and add Ammonia Chloramine Eliminator just in case
<Fine. Do remember that while ammonia remover in water conditioners
removes the ammonia that might be in tap water, it has no impact at all
on the constant production of ammonia by your fish. That's why you
need a biological filter.>
and I am adding a fungus eliminator. Which is the main reason I am
doing this e-mail:
Is this the right Finrot medicine?
Clears cotton fungus (columnaris) red sores(Furunculosis), gray skin
(Costiasis), fish bloat (dropsy), fin and mouth rot, white film on
eyes, red streaks on fins and swim bladder disease.
Active ingredients: Nitrofurazone, Furazolidone, potassium
<Yes, "Fin and Mouth Rot" is another way of saying Finrot.
Sounds a pretty good all-around medication to have at hand, but do note
that it *doesn't* treat proper Fungus, the white cotton thread
type. Columnaris is actually a bacterial infection, and while called
Mouth Fungus, is not a fungus at all.
It's kind of like how we call Blue Green Algae and algae, but
it's not a type of algae at all, but rather bacteria.>
I trust that it was Finrot but I want to make sure I am using the way
of treating things.
<Do read the instructions carefully. Pay particular note to things
like removal of carbon (if you use it).>
Another by the way thing walking to mejiers (which would be the only
store open at that time) would be like committing suicide, there is no
buses at 1 in the morning and it is dangerous to walk about 2 miles at
that time of night alone. (especially if you are a 130lbs. young
<Wasn't suggesting you take risks with your life, merely that
you shop sensibly for whatever pet animals you're keeping.>
<Maybe. When I lived in the US, Nebraska to be precise, I found the
lack of proper "downtown" shopping areas a frustration. But
you know, I managed.
Sooner or later Americans will have to reclaim their streets and
re-create proper towns within which people can walk around safely and
easily, including 130 lb women, not to mention kids and the elderly.
But that's a
battle for another day! Good luck with your fish. Cheers,
Re: immediate help required
thank you so much for getting back to me so quick
<Happy to help.>
I had been overlooking the main issue being the water thinking that it
could have been a disease etc so stupid of me I did water tests pH
<Jeez! Yep, this ammonia reading would be precisely why you have
sick/dead livestock. Do a big water change now (50%) and another 50%
tomorrow. Next, look at where the ammonia is coming from. Overstocking
is one common reason. Filter failure is another: check the filter is
big enough for the tank (and livestock); check also you have sufficient
biological media and you haven't replaced too much at once.
Finally, look to see you aren't (MASSIVELY!) overfeeding. To be
honest, if you have an ammonia reading of 2.0 mg/l, it's probable
the tank is overstocked, under-filtered, and overfed, all at the same
that would explain the sharp smell now I know what the issue is I can
deal with it immediately
thank you so much for your help I really appreciate it I apologise for
my bad spelling etc I did use spell checker as I am highly dyslexic I
rely on it a lot once again many thanks
Fluffy fish. GF hlth.. Env.
I have 3 goldfish, not too sure what kind, as have only had them for a
couple of weeks, though now, one of them seems to be fluffy, it looks
more like a blowfish than it does a goldfish,
<Likely Fungus and some sort of systemic bacterial infection. Not
promising, I'm afraid. Both these things are caused by bad
maintenance in almost all instances, so it really comes down to finding
out how YOU made the fish sick. Once we've established that, we can
talk about cures and prevention.>
also doesn't seem to be very happy, e.g., hiding in the plants and
treasure chest in its tank, the tank is a 9ltr,
<Dismal. Look, a single Goldfish needs something like 25 gallons/90
You cannot, repeat CANNOT keep Goldfish, or indeed any fish, in a 9
litre tank. Just won't work. Did you read anything before buying
these poor fish?
I hate being the person doing the scolding all the time, but if you had
read anything about goldfish, you wouldn't have bought a 9 litre
Here's how it goes. Person decides to buy a pet fish. Walks into
Sales clerk sees totally ignorant person browsing 9 litre tanks, and
thinks, "Sucker!". Sells that customer 9 litre tank, plastic
plants, bubble-operated ornaments, and all the other junk he can think
walks out, and a few weeks later all his/her fish are dead. Neale gets
an e-mail via WWM, that exasperated wannabe fishkeeper is frustrated,
and Neale has to explain that they did everything wrong. Neale, since
he likes animals and cares for them, gets worked up, and writes a
short-tempered e-mail back to that wannabe fishkeeper. Everyone loses,
especially the Goldfish, who's dead.>
just changed the water and put water conditioner in two days ago, fish
only came out with this yesterday, any ideas would be greatly
You need a MUCH bigger tank. No excuses; if you don't want a bigger
tank, or can't afford one at least 90 litres in size, then
don't keep Goldfish.
What you're doing is cruel and thoughtless. You also need a filter,
and water changes should be limited to 25% per week so that water
chemistry doesn't vary too wildly. Goldfish prefer hard water, so
you need to think about that too. Hard water isn't salty water, so
don't imagine for a nanosecond that adding "aquarium
salt" will make things better. What else?
Oh yes, diet. These are herbivores, so if you're feeding just flake
or pellets, you'd likely to end up with constipated Goldfish. See
they belong to my 5 year son,
<No, it doesn't belong to your son. It belongs to you. Let's
remind ourselves we're talking about animals here, not toy
soldiers. Animals come with responsibilities, and a 5-year-old
couldn't possibly handle them. So, let's get real here,
it's your aquarium, not your sons. What are you going to do about
it? Why not show to your son that animals have needs that have to met,
and while they're fun to have around, they're also hard work.
Don't want to teach that lesson? Then don't keep fish.>
Grrr, would hate for it to die.
<As would I. An anti-fungal medication (not salt, or tea-tree oil
such as Melafix) will fix the cotton wool growths that you see. As for
the bloating, if you're lucky, that's constipation, and proper
feeding will fix
it. If you're unlucky and it's dropsy (in which case the scales
will stick out from body, like a pine cone) than the fish is pretty
well doomed short of a trip to the vet for antibiotics.
Hope this helps, Neale.>
Cheers... GF? Sm. sys.
Thanks for email back,
I actually didn't buy the fish or the tank, they were a gift to my
son for his fifth birthday, I had absolutely nothing to do with the
purchase of anything to do with either the tank or fish either, thank
you for all the useful info, and I am sorry you got frustrated with it
<Well, I'm not frustrated with you; if I was, I wouldn't
have taken so long to write back. But I do get frustrated that people
(for whatever reason, good or bad) buy small fish tanks, stick goldfish
in them, and then see them die. It's senseless, it's easily
avoidable, and yet it still happens.
All I can hope is that now you do know what to do, you'll listen to
your better angels and make your Goldfish happier and
Sent from my iPod
<Sent from my MacBook Pro. Cheers, Neale.>
My bubble eye is sick
i have a bubble eyed goldfish named Chubbycheeks and i had recently
lost one of my other goldfish to some unidentified sickness, and now
Chubby has Ick. He also has some purple-ish stuff on his two back fins,
and i don't quite know what it is
<Sounds like you have a badly maintained aquarium. Let's recap
here. Two Goldfish will need, when small, at least 20 gallons, and once
mature, 30 gallons upwards. The tank needs a filter, but since
Bubble-eye Goldfish are rather delicate, you'd use a something
rather gentle, like a large sponge filter or an undergravel filter. The
turnover rate would be about 4 times the volume of the tank per hour,
so about 80 gallons per hour for a 20 gallon tank. The water quality
must be good: 0 ammonia and 0 nitrite. Water changes should be about
25% per week. Temperature isn't critical, but for Bubble-eye
Goldfish you want to avoid extremes, particularly chilling; around
15-18 degrees C is ideal. Water chemistry is important though, as
Goldfish like hard, basic water and will not do well in soft, acidic
The addition of salt by itself won't do this, contrary to what some
imagine. If you have soft water, you should be adding a Rift Valley
salt mix at about half the dose used for Rift Valley cichlids. We have
do you have any suggestions?
<Many. But I need to know about the tank you're keeping this
fish in. It sounds like you have not just Ick but also Finrot, and that
will need to be treated. The Ick comes in with new fish, but Finrot is
usually caused by poor water quality. Let me know something about water
quality (at minimum, nitrite levels) and we can take it from
please help i don't want him to die!!
<Do read here:
Goldfish couldn't care less about cute names, but they do care
about the size of their tank, filtration, water chemistry, diet, and
companionship of their own species. Animals are animals, even when we
call them Chubby.
Re: my bubble eye is sick
thank you for replying so quickly
<Happy to help.>
I have a ten gallon tank with a bubbler
<Tank too small. Bubbler (an airstone, I assume) not particularly
Needs a filter. Review the article about Goldfish needs I directed to
you last time. Your tank is too small, not filtered, and likely not
properly maintained. All these factors will be leading to conditions
toxic to your
fish. Almost always, fish get sick because of environmental issues, so
fix the environment before you do anything else.>
I have also checked the nitrite, nitrate, and the ammonia levels and
they are all zero
<Actually don't believe this. A 10 gallon tank with no filter
and one Goldfish will not have zero levels of ammonia, nitrite and
nitrate. Well, it might just after a water change, but that's about
it. Do also check
hardness (which should be around 10 degrees dH or more) and pH (which
should be 7.5 or more). All these things matter. At minimum, you should
have a nitrite and a pH test kit of your own.>
I'm also treating him for the Ick with Nox-Ick (the fish manger had
recommended it to me)
<The Ick medication will hopefully kill any Ick, if you have some
(but remember to read the instructions, particularly about removing
carbon from the filter). But Finrot requires a Finrot medication such
Tamara, there's really nothing I can tell you to fix the life of
this fish if you persist on keeping it in a 10 gallon tank without a
filter. That's the ball game here; everything else is delusion.
Re: my bubble eye is sick
Sorry I should have been a little more clear on what we have. I do have
a filter and when treating my fish for ICK I have removed the carbon
I have also removed the ornament that the bubbler was attached to and
my fish seems happier without it. PH is 7.5, KH is 120, GH is 180, NO3
is 0, NO2 is 0.
<All seems fine for Goldfish. However, in tanks with little/no
filtration, you can still have very high levels of ammonia even if
nitrite is low (or zero) because the ammonia isn't get converted
into nitrite quickly enough.
So you get a back log of ammonia.>
Will have to get an ammonia kit, so it is possible that the ammonia is
But we have added Cycle, when cycling the tank, when introducing the
fish to the tank and after water changes as well as aquamarine
<What's "aquamarine salt"? If this is some kind of
tonic salt, it's rubbish. Goldfish don't need tonic salt. If
your water is hard and basic out of the tap, there's no need to add
salt to the water. By all means use
a Rift Valley salt mix to harden aquarium water, as described here:
But simply adding salt to a freshwater aquarium for no particular
reason is what people used to do decades ago, and is now understood to
be either pointless or else potentially harmful. Shops will recommend
primarily because inexperienced fishkeepers buy it, and it's a high
Had been feeding the fish Nutrafin flakes and upon advise of the
petstore added a cucumber and peas.
<More green foods, less dried food is best.
Now realize the tank is small but told by the petstore that a 10 gal
tank would be okay for approx one year for two small goldfish. I also
have two snails in tank as well. Believe one is apple and one is
this also cause overcrowding?
We think the fish has Finrot but it was a dark (blackish/purple) colour
and were trying to get some confirmation on what it is.
<I agree, it's likely Finrot, or something similar.>
We have a Finrot medicine called Melafix.
<Not a medicine. Again, mostly sold to inexperienced aquarists.
It's tea tree oil. Finrot is a difficult, dangerous disease, and
Melafix a hopelessly unreliable medication. But it's cheap, so
people buy it, even
though their fish keep dying.
Look for something that actually works, such as Maracyn, Paraguard or
eSHa 2000. If Melafix has a use, it's as a preventative, once fish
have been injured, but before they show signs of infection. Otherwise
So we are going to do a 25% water change today, vacuum the sand and
start treating for Finrot (removing the carbon filter).
<Be sure and buy some proper medication.>
Thanks for all of your advise and info and the links to other info.
Your site is VERY informative. If you have any other ideas (I know, get
a bigger tank) they would be appreciated.
<The bigger the tank, the healthier fish are. Don't economise on
filtration. Money spent on these two aspects are saved many times over
in not needing medications or new fish to replace losses. Simple as
A Question About My Fantail Goldfish...
Some cap's and reading now! 8/30/2009
Well This Is Our Very First Fish Ever We Just Got It Thursday
We Just Noticed Today That Its Been Spending Most Of Its Time At The
Top Surface Of The Fish Bowl We Have And We Would Like To Know If You
Have Any Idea Why This Is And What We Should Do About It
<Ahh... Goldfish can not live in bowls... Please read here re their
and the linked files above for detail... Bob Fenner>
VERTICAL GOLDFISH We have a goldfish that
has been very healthy and happy. Lately she seems to hang around the
top, swimming vertically. If you go over to pay attention to her, she
will act herself and swim around, as she does when she gets fed, but a
lot of the other time she is just moving about the top in a vertical
position. It is a one gallon tank with undergravel filter and aeration.
We do about a quarter water change (with water treated to remove
chlorine and such) twice a week. Thanks < If the goldfish is eating
and there are no signs of disease then it may be that the water current
is too strong and you fish is just resting out of the way. If the fish
is not eating then it could be signs of a bacterial infection and may
need to be treated.-Chuck>
Goldfish died I had an orange goldfish
for about 3 years, he grew to be about a foot long! Within the last
month, he started looking "rounded". From the sides he looked
fine, but from the front he looked like a big turkey with his feathers
ruffled. <Yikes... good description... this condition is called
"dropsy"... In Japan "pinecone disease"... caused
by poor water quality mostly...> Then one day, he had a strip of
what looked like skin coming out of his eye. I also noticed 2 small
"tumor-like" bumps on him, one on his side, the other on his
head. He stopped eating, and then he died. I tried 2 days of Maracyn 2,
thinking it was dropsy, but then the guy at the fish store said to use
Epsom salt. Right after I used that, he died the next day. What do you
think went wrong here? He was the most beautiful healthy goldfish I
have ever seen. He really was the biggest one I've seen, too.
Please let me know what you think, could those little bumps have been
something like cancer? I wonder if I should have continued with the
antibiotic, but it wasn't really helping him much... Thanks,
-Melanie <This variety (Comet) of goldfish can live for a few
decades in optimal conditions... Likely your system was too small,
under-filtered, not maintained/water changed frequently... Please read
Septicemia?? Hi guys...I've been on
your site all night and have come to the conclusion that one of my
goldfish has septicemia. He didn't show any signs of bruising until
yesterday, but he occasionally acted very lethargic for the past couple
of months. Well, let me start at the beginning. I have three fancy
goldfish that were saved by my husband from flushing by my
husband's company. They had used them, and a bunch of small,
regular goldfish, as table decorations and once the event was over,
bye-bye fish. <Sigh... such disregard...> So my husband brought
them home... 8 small ones and 3 fancies. (My house is full of strays of
all species!) Unfortunately, all I had was a ten gallon tank , but I
reckoned that it was better than the sewer system, so in they went.
Over a few months, all of the little ones died and I was left with just
the three fancies. Anyway, one of these fancies, I called him
"STUPID", made a habit of getting stuck places...first in the
house-rock thing so I took that out, then behind the plants, so I took
those out. <Okay> The first couple of times he got stuck, he was
fine after a few minutes. Then he took longer to recover (lethargic,
lying on the bottom stuff). Then he started acting that way even
without getting stuck. I thought he was dead on several occasions. When
he started acting this way, "stupid" I called it, I'd
isolate him and he'd be fine the next day. I'd put him back in
the tank and he'd be fine for a while, and then do it again. After
the third time, and several calls to the pet store, I actually took him
into the pet store for them to see him. It was at this point that
Stupid had developed a sore behind his dorsal. They sold me two
antibiotics, Melafix... <Actually, this is a "tea"
cathartic...> ...and Erythromycin. I started the EM first (whole
tank treatment) and did the proper four doses and two 25% water changes
according to the label. That was a week ago. The sore was healing
nicely. Then, per pet store instructions, I began the Melafix. The sore
continued to heal, but after two days on the Melafix, Stupid began to
look like he had a small bruise near his dorsal...I actually thought it
was just the last remnants of the sore. Well, the bruise got worse,
about an inch long I guess, and the lethargy continued, so I isolated
him again and started searching your site trying to figure out
what's wrong with him. <I would NOT use the "Fix">
This is when I came to the septicemia conclusion, although it may not
be correct. <Mmm, is a good descriptive term... "bacteria in
the blood"... red sore, lines... But what is the root cause here?
I do think you're spot on with the common naming of this fish... It
is/was likely "brain damaged" through poor treatment, and/or
genetic disposition... being overcrowded/poisoned by such...> At any
rate, it doesn't really matter because he just died. The reason
I'm writing is to find out 1) Do you agree with my diagnosis? <I
do> 2) Should I continue to treat the tank even though the other two
fish appear healthy - just in case?? <I would not... these chemicals
are more likely to cause harm than do any good> 3) Will the other
fish be okay or will they get sick, too? In other words, is it
contagious? <Not likely catching... the root/s here are
environmental... and now that the tank is less crowded, they're
better for it> I look forward to your response. Thank you for the
great work!. Edie . <Thank you for writing, sharing your concern,
experience. Bob Fenner>
Sick goldfish My fish is about 3 years
old - have had him in a 10 gallon open fishbowl for all this time. Last
week I noticed his "nose" (don't know if that's the
right term) was all red - looks almost like a huge cold sore. He seems
to be gasping for air and when he opens his mouth it looks like
he's making a bubble or something. <Good descriptions> He
tries to eat but the food comes right out of his mouth. He seems to be
turning his back to me and the kids a lot - doesn't want to look at
us. I use a dechlorinator when I change his water for the past 3 years.
A pet store gave me Furan 2 capsules but I read it was cancerous in
tests done on rats and mice and was nervous putting it in the bowl as
it's open and in the kitchen. Hope you don't think I am being
over concerned about using this medication. Is there any other
medication I could use or any advice you could give me. Personally I am
surprised he survived 3 years in a small fishbowl. Thank you for taking
the time to read this. I feel like I'm just watching the poor fish
die. Can't figure out what's wrong with him. <A few
important things to impart... One, the origin of this fish's
problems is likely environmental... living in an unfiltered container
with highly vacillating water quality... Coupled with a physical
trauma... a bump... in the night? Secondly, the Furan drug is a very
good choice in this particular instance/conditions, but am very glad
for your hesitancy... without added aeration, circulation, its use
would have likely killed this fish. I would use the Furan, WITH the
addition of filter/aeration... likely EITHER a hang-on power filter or
a small air pump with a sponge filter... If you have time/interest, and
would like to understand more of the rationale of these suggestions (of
what I would do), please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm
re systems for goldfish and: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshdisease.htm
re their health.... Delve through the Related FAQs (linked above these
articles) for others experiences... You can save this fish... only you.