FAQs on Goldfish Social/Behavioral
Related Articles: Goldfish
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System, Bloaty, Floaty Goldfish,
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Related FAQs: Goldfish Disease 2, Goldfish Disease 3, Goldfish Disease 4, Goldfish Disease 5, Goldfish Disease 6,
Disease 7, Goldfish Disease 8,
Goldfish Disease 9, Goldfish Disease
10, Goldfish Disease
11, Goldfish Disease 12, Goldfish Disease 13, Goldfish Disease 14, Goldfish Disease 15,
Disease 16, Goldfish Disease 17, Goldfish Disease 18, Goldfish Disease 19, Goldfish Disease 20, Goldfish Disease 21, Goldfish Disease 22, Goldfish Health 23, Goldfish Disease 24,
Goldfish Health 25, Goldfish Disease 26, Goldfish Disease 27, Goldfish Disease 28, Goldfish Disease 29, Goldfish Disease 30, Goldfish Disease 31, Goldfish Disease 33, Goldfish Disease 34, Goldfish Disease 35,
Health 36, Goldfish Health 37,
Goldfish Health 38,
39 & Ammonia,
Nitrite, Nitrate, Nitrogen Cycling, Koi/Pondfish
Disease, Goldfish in General, Goldfish
Behavior, Goldfish Compatibility, Goldfish
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Some of these points, stated in context
and elaborated on below, are highlighted in blue to make them
easier to find.
New Print and
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What it takes to keep goldfish healthy long-term
by Robert (Bob) Fenner
Gold Comet w/ fungal infection? Hypochondria sans knowledge;
the usual 5/10/16
<Jas, 14 megs of the same pix? >
I don't have much experience with fish disease as I don't really get
sick fish but just once every 15-24 months (except for the occasional
Endler's female guppy getting skinny). Does my Gold Comet in
these photos look like it has a fungal infection?
<More like "Spring" Viremia to me>
What medicine and frequency of dosing would you recommend? Currently
I am stocked w/ Melafix, Pimafix,
<Worthless. PLEASE search on WWM and READ re these scams>
API Tetracycline, Furan-2, Kanaplex, Tetra ParasiteGuard, Mardel Clout,
and Seachem ParaGuard.
<None of these will treat viral troubles>
Here are some treatments I gave to my Gold Comet last month that may
have or may not have contributed to this fungal infection by causing
4/7/16 from 5:33-6:20pm put Comet in a bucket that had 12 tsp of table
salt for 47 minutes
4/9/16 from 5:18-6:20pm put Comet in that same bucket again for 62
minutes Then I moved the Comet to a 5 gallon x-large bucket to be
treated w/ Tetra ParasiteGuard in case it had internal parasites, anchor
worms, or fish live
4/12/16, 12:04am poured dissolved 3/5 tablet of Parasite Guard inside to
treat possible fish lice
4/17/16, 9:46am did 25% water change
4/17/16, 12:24pm dissolved 2/5 tablet of Parasite Guard before pouring
it into the bucket
4/19/16, 4:31pm did 30% water change and then threw in 3/5 tablet of
Parasite Guard (since upon reading the directions again realized I
didn't have to dissolve the tablet prior to putting it in the bucket
unless I had "soft water and/or acid water with low alkalinity")
4/23/16, 4:02pm did 25% water change and then threw in 1/2 tablet of
5/5/16, 7:54pm did 25% water change <-- I actually should have done this
48 hours or 7 days after my last dosing of Parasite Guard on 4/23/16
depending on if I was treating for anchor worms and lice (water change
after 1 week)
or not (water change after 48 hours)
These issues are almost always a result of environmental issues. DO
review Goldfish Systems on WWM, Water Quality, Filtration.... Bob
Re: Gold Comet w/ fungal infection?
I also have Seachem Focus and Seachem Garlic Guard
<Good products but of no use here. B>
Re: Gold Comet w/ fungal infection?
I read only about 25% of the linked article on Goldfish Infections that you
provided as it is a very long read.
So I did a word search on "Viremia" and found just one post mentioning it.
Your response in that post was that it was not treatable directly. What do
you mean by not treatable directly?
What should I do then?
<... read further? Improve the fish's health indirectly... through improved
environment and nutrition principally>
There is a possibility that my Comet along w/ my other fish in my 55 gallon
tank (it was previously in this tank) may have had contact w/ Tetrahymena
(Guppy Disease) since the bucket I used to clean my 55 gallon's largest HOB
filter (the AquaClear 70) was previously used to clean the HOB filter
(Fluval C2) of my 5.5 gallon tank that may have had Tetrahymena back in
January as I lost all 30 guppies in there. I did disinfect the bucket on
several occasions with Potassium Permanganate before using it to clean my
AquaClear 70 filter. However, I read that Potassium Permanganate
is unable to kill some Protozoans like Tetrahymena- what do you think?
<Bleach... see WWM re>
How does Viremia compare to Tetrahymena- do they have similar symptoms and
thus sometimes get mistaken for each other?
<? Not to me. You can take a look at my bio.... I've taught classes on fish
pathology... written extensively on topics therein... I almost always use
comet goldfish for presentations... they never disappoint; harboring a dozen
or more pathogens...>
Can Viremia wipe out a tank full of Endler's Guppies, esp. affecting the
<.... not likely; no>
Though it is possible that my Guppies had Fish Tuberculosis instead of
Tetrahymena or Columnaris according either you or Neale when we discussed
this back in January. I did have a few fish that did have Fish TB symptoms
like a hunched back and skinniness.
<There are a few other causes of such symptoms>
Jason<Keep reading. BobF>
Re: Gold Comet w/ fungal infection?
To improve the environment, I'll be sure not to put any unnecessary
medications that could further immuno-suppress the Comet.
It's going to be tough improving nutrition as he has only eaten maybe once
about 3-4 weeks ago (some dry blood worms) and before that he didn't eat for
about 4 weeks.
<Not good. A plug here for New Life's "Spectrum" pelleted... what I used
exclusively for years w/ my Goldfish>
I might have to try something like frozen brine shrimp, frozen blood worms,
or live food.
<Try the sinking pellets first. High palatability, complete nutrition. Bob
Re: Gold Comet w/ fungal infection?
For sinking pellets, I have Hikari veggie and carnivore mini pellets.
Recently I also got the Hikari carnivore medium pellets.
The only NLS brand stuff I have are jumbo FLOAT pellets which a lot of my fish
don't care for (it also has a strange odor). So though I've read a lot of
comments online boasting how good NLS brand is, these jumbo FLOAT pellets are
the opposite of being "great".
<Thank you for this input>
For the NLS pellets you're recommending, what size and type (like there's
something called Thera+) should I get to feed my sick Comet? I usually order
things on Amazon.com.
<You could use their Thera; but I would just use the un-laced variety of a small
size... Goldfish have no real teeth.
Re: Gold Comet w/ fungal infection?
On May 11th or the afternoon of May 10th, most of my Gold Comet's
symptoms went away.
When can I put him back in my 55 gallon tank which has 2 Kissing
Gourami's, a Convict/Red-Point Honduran Cichlid Hybrid, Butterfly Koi,
Tilapia (from a nearby stream), Clarias Fuscus (Hong Kong catfish), and
<Never. Not compatible with these others; and this tank is already
overcrowded physiologically and more>
Should I worry about transmission of Spring "Viremia" to any of these
<Your GFs problems were environmental; caused by your poor choices....
stop writing and start reading. Re the needs of this mish mash you've
tossed together. B>
I'm under the impression that he'll be more likely to eat if have him in
the 55 gallon tank as compared to the 5 gallon white bucket I have him
in right now.
Re: Gold Comet w/ fungal infection? 5/13/16
Oh yeah, I also have a Yoyo Loach in that 55 gallon tank.
Re: Gold Comet w/ fungal infection? 5/14/16
According to this presentation
"Dead or dying fish that are suspected to be infected with VHSV or SVC should be
immediately submitted for evaluation to regional agencies."
My fish is neither dead nor dying. Is Spring Viremia such a rare disease in fish
purchased at pet stores that it must be submitted to a wildlife agency when the
fish is dying or has died?
<Mmm; could be other viral issue; but... the root cause here as already
mentioned twice: Environmental>
Is it more likely that the Comet I purchased became a carrier while it was at a
pet store (in this case Petco, which doesn't have the best reputation for having
healthy fish) or that it was infected by water, water plants, and/or fish from a
local Hawaiian stream?
Re: Gold Comet w/ fungal infection? Poisoned by treatments
According to this
2.5 mg/L of Potassium Permanganate will completely kill bacteria.
But you need 50 mg/L to completely inactivate viruses, a dose 20 times
that needed to kill bacteria.
This is my calculation:
*50 mg/L to PP to inactivate viruses = 10 tsp/L = 10 tsp/0.246 gallon =
40 tsp/1 gallon *
*While in contrast you just need 2 tsp/1 gallon to kill bacteria -
however, I usually just use 1/2 a teaspoon of Potassium Permanganate per
2 gallons of water to disinfect my buckets*
*So do you think I really need 40 tsp/1 gallon to inactivate viruses?* I
read online that Spring Viremia can also affect Guppies, so perhaps what
wiped out (within just about 1 week) almost 30 guppies in my 2.7 and 5.5
gallon tanks was Spring Viremia and not Tetrahymena.
So that would mean that the Cobra Guppy that I got at Petco was a
carrier of Spring Viremia rather than Tetrahymena. But there's also the
possibility that adding 32 tsp of Aquarium Salt to my 2.7 gallon and 25
tsp of Aquarium Salt to my 5.5 gallon could have killed the guppies
and/or made them sick.
<No sense using these or any other treatments. Please read on
WWM re Goldfish Environmental Disease/s. RMF>
Re: Gold Comet w/ fungal infection? 5/15/16
I don't really see much or any symptoms of Spring Viremia anymore.
<.... are you reading? NOT Viremia, env.!>
Is it okay to now move him from the 5 gallon bucket to my 55 gallon
According to the link you provided me earlier (http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/GFinfectionsFAQs.htm)
the Comet/other goldfishes do a lot better in larger aquariums/fish
Should I be worried about him transmitting Spring Viremia to my
Butterfly Koi in the 55 gallon aquarium?
Re: Gold Comet w/ fungal infection? Poisoned, mis-placed....
You forgot to type your message.
<Nope; READ here:
Re: Gold Comet w/ fungal infection? .... abuse
When I put my Gold Comet back in my 55 gallon tank about a week ago, it was
attacked over and over by my Kissing Gourami until much of its back's scales
came off leaving white meat exposed along w/ some redness. So I removed the Gold
Comet and put it back in the 5 gallon bucket. Now its back is getting redder.
Should I put in any kind of medicine or antibiotic to assist it or should I just
let the Comet's own immune system heal these injuries?
<You've repeatedly written in w/o taking our advice. YOU are responsible for the
troubles your fishes are suffering. Re-read our prev. corr. and/or go elsewhere.
goldfish tail spiting; Plec incomp.
Dear Sir or Madam,
One of my goldfish is being treated for Septicemia with anti internal bacteria
<Probably not the medication I'd have used. This is plain vanilla Finrot, and
the red blotches are precisely what you'd expect. Where the bacteria infect the
skin blood vessels they cause blockages, and those are the red blotches. I'd be
using a Finrot medication; eSHa 2000 is my preferred choice. I personally don't
find the Interpet equivalents as good as the eSHa ones, and they're a lot more
expensive per litre/gallon of water.>
Had water checked, this was found to be ok,
<Define "OK". Finrot is almost always down to two things: physical damage or
water quality. In the same way as there might be the odd honest politician out
there, there might also be a case of Finrot that isn't down to these two. But I
wouldn't bet much money on it.>
the fish tail is splitting, (see picture) There are 2 more gold fish in
the tank and a Pleco they are all doing well.
<The Plec is the problem here. These ARE NOT compatible with Goldfish.
Not saying they're aggressive, they're not. But they are big, apt to bully
Goldfish (especially at night when you aren't looking), and sometimes "feed" on
the mucous produced by Goldfish if they're hungry. Since Plecs are always
hungry, this is quite a common situation. If your Plec doesn't
have 24/7 access to suitable fresh greens or vegetables (courgette, sweet
potato, etc.) it'll be looking for something to nibble on, especially at night
when they're active. On top of this, an adult (45 cm/18 inch) Plec requires,
what, 340 litres/75 Imperial gallons to do well. Unless you have a tank that
size, your Plec is probably pulling water quality down, which makes Finrot more
What treatment can you recommend.
Yours in anticipation.
R W Oswald
<Remove the Plec; treat as per Finrot. Job done. Nice to have an easy problem to
fix just for once! Cheers, Neale.>
Got the sucked on by a Pleco bluessss!
Lg Oranda help... Loricariid incomp.
You don't happen to recognize the white on my gf side do you? We can't tell if
it's a sickened or maybe our Pleco attacked him?
<The latter almost assuredly.... tell-tale missing scale pattern>
He was fine two days ago, last night I noticed him like this, and today, the
white is kinda fuzzy!! He's missing a lot of scales in his side as well. We're
not sure what to do with him! :(
<Remove the Pleco; see WWM re avoiding GF infections>
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Please send either prev. corr.
or complete sentences. 3/25/15
Subject: More help
I've been at school all day and I just got home and checked on the Oranda...
He's fuzzy... Is that a fungus? I don't know what to do to help him. We took the
Pleco to the LFS, so he is gone now. Thanks again for all your help!
Re: re: More help.... GF trauma
I've been at school all day and I just got home and checked on the Oranda.
He's fuzzy where his scales had been taken off. Is that a fungus?
<Appears to be hyphae, mycelia... yes>
(His fins are also shredding more this morning)
I don't know what to do to help him.
<A bit of aquarium salt (1 tsp. per five gallons) is all I would do... that and
check (daily) re water quality. You want NO ammonia, NO nitrite, and less than
10 ppm of nitrate>
We took the Plecostomus to the Local Fish Store, so he is gone now.
Thanks again for all your help!
<Be of good life, cheers. Bob Fenner>
Re: re: More help
Ok put 1/2 tank water 1/2 fresh and treated water in my 5 gal quarantine tank
with the 1 tsp per 5 gal of salt. What do I do daily to ensure no
nitrates/ nitrites/ ammonia?
<Biological filtration, water changes.... See WWM re. B>
He's looking worse :'(
Re: re: More help
Ok, is there a common name for the hyphae, mycelia?
<True fungal "threads" (structures), versus bacterial look-alikes>
One site brought up body fungus. also, do I need to worry about my other GF
getting the fungus?
<Not so much>
Sorry for all of the emails... I am freaking out here!
<When in doubt, read. B>
Re: Smaller Goldfish Bullying Larger Goldfish
Thanks for the response. We only have a 37 gallon tank, so we don't want
to put more than 3 goldfish in there. Do you think that three would be
better than two (as far as chances of their getting along)?
<Yes, but choose a tankmate of the right size and disposition. Plain
vanilla Goldfish are the most robust, but among the "fancies", Black
Moors and plain Fantails are generally good, too. Avoid the flimsy
varieties that have trouble swimming at the best of times, like
Lionheads, Ranchus, Celestials, etc.>
As you can see from our earlier email, we had an issue of one fish
bullying the other fish. I know what you mean about 6 fish, but we would
probably need a bigger tank for that.
<For six Goldfish, yes; but you might be able to add something smaller
to "distract" the aggressive fish, such as Rosy Red Minnows or (if the
aquarium is well-filtered and not too cold) subtropical species like
Black moor, hlth., social
Hi I am emailing you because
I'm seeming to have a problem with my black moor. It started about
two Weeks ago, I had gotten a 29 gallon tank for my fantailed goldfish
and my black moor
<Is this tank/system cycled? Measures of nitrogenous
and I noticed around feeding Time my goldfish was picking at the
moor whenever it was eating. A white scab looking thing devolved by its
top fin so I moved it into a tank by itself because I figured it was an
injury caused by the other fish. Well yesterday it developed a similar
spot on the other side of the same fin I'm not sure what this is
can you help?
<Only you can. These goldfish need to be physically separated. Bob
Black moor, Neale's better go
Hi I am emailing you because I'm seeming to have a problem with my
black moor. It started about two Weeks ago, I had gotten a 29 gallon
tank for my fantailed goldfish and my black moor and I noticed around
feeding Time my goldfish was picking at the moor whenever it was
<Hmm… aggression between specimens does sometimes happen with
Goldfish when kept in pairs. But if they'd been getting along fine
before, it's possible the Fantail is merely feeding on the decaying
flesh around the wound. Revolting, I know, but animals rarely pass up
free-and-easy protein meals. Heck, we're no better, eating all
kinds of stuff we *know* is bad for us! In any case, separating the two
fish will be essential if this wound is to heal. Even a divider can
work, a piece of plastic egg-crate for example cut to size, such that
it allows water to flow evenly around the tank, but the fish themselves
are kept apart. It'll only take a few weeks for the wound to heal,
and even less time if you use a good antibacterial or antibiotic that
prevents secondary infections.>
A white scab looking thing developed by its top fin so I moved it into
a tank by itself because I figured it was an injury caused by the other
<Hard to say from my perspective. The fish may have been wounded
somehow, and the other fish now nibbles at the wound, or the wound
might have been caused by the other fish through aggression. Given
goldfish lack teeth, chances are the former is the explanation, but
with other species, like cichlids, that are able to bite, the odds are
Well yesterday it developed a similar spot on the other side of the
same fin I'm not sure what this is can you help?
<Do separate these fish for a while as described above. Review
aquarium conditions (test for ammonia and nitrite for example) and make
sure there's no reason for this fish to be spontaneously developing
Finrot or Fungus. Check the fish can't get damaged by anything
inside the aquarium: sharp rocks, overly-strong power filter inlets.
Don't handle this fish at all, e.g., with a net, as these can cause
damage to the fish's delicate skin. Hope this helps. Cheers,
re: Black moor -
All of my levels are fine in the tank,
and the fish have been separated for two weeks now any
<Keep reading. B>
re: Black moor
Thank you for the info! Is there any possible way it could be fin rot?
what are the symptoms of this infection? Thank you any information
would be helpful
<? These questions answers are all addressed/archived on WWM. Why
are you writing instead of simply searching, reading? B>
re: Black moor -
All of my levels are fine in the tank,
<This doesn't mean much, you see. What are the
"levels"? Do you mean the water seems okay to you? Or that
you don't have test kits so can't check, and want to change the
subject? Or that you have tested the water and can pass along the
details? You must understand that by itself poor water quality can
cause the problem you're seeing, and many aquarists, even quite
experienced ones, don't fully grasp the importance of water quality
and water chemistry. Let's be clear that all aquarists should own
at least one test kit -- the nitrite (with an "i", not
nitrate with an "a") test kit.
Assuming you have at least some sort of filter, a nitrite level above 0
indicates problems with the water quality. Ammonia test kits are less
helpful because they easily report false positives from chloramine.
Anyway, the second test kit you should own is either a pH or general
hardness test kit. Both are equally good, though many aquarists find
the pH kit easier to use even if it isn't quite as informative. So,
with Goldfish, you're after 0 ammonia and nitrite levels, and the
water should be moderately hard and alkaline, i.e., above 10 degrees dH
on the general hardness test kit and with a pH between 7-8. If you
don't have these values, and your water isn't right, then this
is precisely why your Goldfish isn't healing. Black Moors in
particular develop white patches of mucous when their skin is
Actually, all fish will develop these, they're a bit like callouses
on our feet when our shoes don't fit. But because Black Moors are
black, the white mucous is easier to see. If the problem in the
aquarium remains, the mucous isn't enough to prevent an
opportunistic bacterial infection, and eventually, the Goldfish gets
sick. Finrot, Mouth Fungus (actually a bacterial infection) and plain
vanilla Fungus are all very common results.>
and the fish have been separated for two weeks now any advice?
<Get a test kit; use it. Write back when you have some data. Chances
are, the problem is environmental, and without fixing the problem or
problems, this fish won't heal. Cheers,
My two male Common and Oranda and female Oranda,
repro. beh., mis-mixed, stocked
Hi, I am sending this question to you all b/c
I have searched and searched
<... nah; not on WWM>
and have yet to find my answer, hoping you can help... I have two
males, one a common
and the other a Oranda and they keep chasing my female around
tiring her out to where she will stop swimming and let herself float to
<Reproductive behavior. Need to separate...>
They pin her to a corner making it seem like they are attacking and
nibbling at her.
She is wearing out and gasping for air, should I take her out for a
while to give her a break, or do I just leave them alone and it will
<The female may be killed>
I don't want nothing to happen to her or get hurt in the process of
them trying to breed. Also, I have a 30 gallon tank how many fish do
you suggest can be in the tank?
<.... read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/GldfshTksF.htm
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
I have some decorations and a fake plant and tree, plenty of room
not over crowded. Im wanting two black moor's. Thank you for your
Goldfish Bottom Sitting, singular in a 20
I have a fantail goldfish in a 20 gallon aquarium who is bottom
<Too small in the long term; not enough space for him, or a tankmate
-- these are sociable fish and get bored kept alone. A 30 gallon tank
should be on your wish-list for the next year or so.>
He has a specific corner that he stays in 70% of the time. He has been
in the tank for 3 months, his body is approximately two inches.
<So still very small. Will get much bigger.>
There is a 50 gallon HOB filter, and a bubble wall for added
<Try switching off the bubbles and see what happens. Fish don't
actually like bubbles. Plus, bubbles don't add oxygen. All they do
is increase circulation from top to bottom, but a good aquarium filter
should do that.
If switching off the bubbles causes the fish stress or it gasps for
air, then the filter isn't adequate. Review, and act
Before he entered the tank I performed a fishless cycle, with pure
ammonia, that took approximately 3 months.
I recently tested his water and found 0 for nitrates and 0 for
Also there are ample plants and hiding areas for him to enjoy. Just to
note, he holds his dorsal fin high, and I can't see any evidence of
infection. Also I feed him three times a day 4 pieces of small floating
pellets. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
<Could be many things. Boredom, constipation, bad genes (fancy
Goldfish are deformed, after all). Do read:
Re: Goldfish Bottom Sitting 12/12/11
So would you recommend that I get a tank mate for him for now, and look
into a 30 gallon next year?
<Well, yes, a small tankmate in a 20 gallon tank will be fine for 6,
12 months even. Fantails mix best with one another and Black Moors.
Standard Goldfish like Comets and Shubunkins are active and need more
space, while the "fancier" Fancies, like Lionheads and
Ryukins, are easily bullied and can be delicate.>
I was surprised at the length of time as well. It took around 2 months
for the ammonia to convert to nitrite, and another month to convert
5ppm of ammonia straight to nitrate.
Thank you for the additional readings, I have already checked out the
majority of your forums on goldfish. One more quick question, in my
readings I have found that some people recommend a gravel free bottom
for goldfish aquariums, what are your thoughts on this?
<There are pros and cons. Without gravel, the tank is easier to
clean, but the shiny-bright base of the tank is unpleasant for fish and
they really don't like it. A very thin layer of silica sand (e.g.,
pool filter sand) or fine gravel is probably easiest to clean. You
hardly need much: half an inch is ample. Stir when you do a water
change, or, even more easily, get a turkey baster, and use that to
clean and pipette the substrate when needed.>
Black Moor Skin Sloughing Off
I have a 55gal with 2 black moors & a
Ryukin that's well established (0 amm, 0 nitrites, 10
nitrates, ph 7.8) and its moderately planted. Its also heavily
filtered (two 400gph filters) and well oxygenated . I test my
water regularly before pwcs
<Partial water changes to other folks>
with the API fw master test kit. I do 50-70% pwcs
<Mmm, I don't trust the water utilities re the make up of
their product enough to not mention keeping this percentage
lower... maybe 30% maximum...
Unless you're treating, storing water ahead of use>
2x week with Nova Aqua <Novaqua for search tools, crawlers>
Plus water conditioner and feed a varied diet including Hikari,
coo ked veggies, fruits, and cooked shrimp & tuna. My boys
(all 3 are males) are large and active (all approximately 3yrs
old). The problem is with my one moor. I have noticed over the
last few days he has developed a cloudy, greyish-white areas (not
fuzzy) near the base of his tail that extend down the tail and
the top layers of skin are sloughing off and he has developed
cloudiness on one eye.
<Mmm, not good... you have NO other fish life here? NOT an
algae eater of some sort?>
His behavior and appetite are all normal (no flashing,
clamping, etc). The only information i can find in respect to
skin peeling off is in respect to a ph crash. This is not the
case and neither of my other 2 fish are affected. The only thing
i think it could possibly be is a bacterial infection of some
type but i don't know what type or how i should treat him or
where it could have come from.
<I wouldn't treat per se>
There is nothing new in my tank other than an Anubias that i
purchased last month. Would a salt or medicated dip help?
I do not want to treat the entire tank but i can quarantine
him for treatment if necessary. Is there any risk of infection to
my other 2 fish?
Any suggestions on what he has or how to treat it would be
<Would you please send along a well-resolved image of these
fish? Do you use carbon in your filter/s? What brand/source if
so. And the question re the algae eater... Is there a Pleco, CAE
present? Bob Fenner>
Re: Black Moor Skin Sloughing Off
Hi! I will try to get a pic of him. There's no carbon, just
There isn't an algae eater, just the 3 fancies.
I will work on getting a pic but i don't have a fancy
camera & my cell takes poor pics. Thanks, Jessica
<Ahh, thank you. BobF>
Re: Black Moor Skin Sloughing Off
These are the best pics i could get. The skin sloughing off is at
the base of his tail down the bottom ray. He is missing a scale
or two on his side but that's because he is on the
bottom of the fish hierarchy and the other moor bullies
<Ahh, I do think this is resultant from being bullied by the
other Moor... There are a few approaches to lowering aggression
here... Providing "dither" activities, like adding
Anacharis/Elodea or other floating plants that they can bother
with, chew up, adding more decor to break up the physical
environment (like large plastic plants, clay pots... a fave of
mine, large glass or plastic vases...), other smaller quick but
not-destructive fishes like Zebra Danios... Otherwise, the bully
or bullied fish should be placed elsewhere. BobF>
Re: Black Moor Skin Sloughing Off
Thank you for your response, Bob! I have no desire for other fish
and no plans on adding anybody else because i consider the is
tank fully stocked.
<I do agree... I have two large fancies in an
They have a decent amount of live plants for hiding, eating, and
playing in and i will add an even larger variety when i
upgrade my lighting in the near future.
They presently have Anubias, wisteria, swords, and few
other oddball plants. I do add Anacharis on occasion but it is
devoured quite quickly and creates a big mess.
<Yes... maybe another species of "bunch plant"...
Hornwort/Ceratophyllum and others aren't quite so
I can post a full tank shot if you would like. Well, the
moor in question is now spending most of his time hiding in the
corner (bottom-sitting) which is unusual behavior for him (or any
goldfish). Although he is occasionally bullied (as is the Ryukin)
by the moor willow, its not a constant occurrence and they
generally all co-exist peacefully. What concerns me the most is
that you can see the rays where the skin has sloughed off and it
appears to spreading down his tail. I do also have a female 55gal
tank that i could move him to but i have no desire for babies at
this juncture in time.
<Well... not likely to spawn this time of year... could lower
the tank temperature (I keep mine at ambient)...>
Thank you for your help! Jessica
<One other idea is to try floating the bully in a large
plastic colander for a few days... Will give the one bullied a
respite, and often "takes the spit and vinegar" out of
the bad boy. Cheers, BobF>
Re: Black Moor Skin Sloughing Off
Thank you, Bob! I will try isolating the bully to see if it
serves as an attitude adjustment and keep an eye on the injured
black moor. If his tail gets worse, i will let you know! Thank
you for your help!! Jessica
<And you for sharing Jess. B>
Common goldfish issue 10/1/11
I have 55 gallon fish tank with only four goldfish in there, but 1
already has its tail bitten off and scales missing on its whole tail
and right side.
This has never happened in the past year and a half. Now another of the
goldfish is missing its tail. What's happening?
<What other fishes, animals are present? Catfish? Algae eater/s?
What re water quality? Images please. Bob Fenner>
re: Common goldfish issue 10/2/11
Only other of the same goldfish. The water is clean.
<... well then... the damage must have come from the others...
Strange, but not impossible... Goldfish are a bit autistic in ways at
times... I would isolate the one damaged fish... in another established
system if at all
re: Common goldfish issue
Injured Goldfish, reading, data
3 days ago my goldfish was attacked by several other fish.
<! What other species?>
I was not there to witness the initial attack, but when I found him, he
was floating upside down, not trying to swim at all, and looked
comparable to ground up hamburger. He was missing several scales, had
shredded fins, and seemed to be almost a bit bloody. I immediately
isolated him and began treating him with tea tree oil (the active
ingredient in Melafix). Just today I added a little bit more aquarium
salt to the tank as well. He seems very alert and looks around a lot,
but is still floating upside down and is not willing move much. His
fins seem to have begun healing, but for the last couple of days he has
had a fairly thick coating of cloudy to white mucous on his injured
areas. If anything, I think it has been getting thicker, but is
receding and covering less area on him. Do you think that this coating
is bacterial, fungal, or his body's natural slime coat - possibly
thickened to help the healing process?
<Can't tell from the description... could be either,
My main concern is whether this coating is helping him heal, or if it
is preventing the medication from getting to where it needs to be. Any
suggestions for me?
<Need to know re the system and tankmates, water quality... Read
and the linked files above. When you gain a working knowledge of what
we're looking for info. wise, write back. Bob Fenner>
Re: continuing problem (RMF, any comments on Goldfish
behaviour) <<None>> 6/27/10
Hi there I am writing again after receiving great advice from you in
I have followed all your advice and my goldfish and comets and much
healthier - the tank size is good,
<Meaning...? How many gallons/litres?>
the filter too, I am feeding a Spirulina diet with extra vegetables now
and again and live plants as recommended. Cleaning more regularly too.
The water quality - ph, nitrite, nitrate, ammonia is all good but one
fish is still not right.
He tends to swim on his side and stay at the top more than the
though not all the time - maybe 10% of the time only. And he was
getting white spots they have all gone but his tail is still splitting
a little. I think maybe he is just a sickly fish cos he's the
smallest of the four and also he has the biggest tail. But then again
what do I know!
<There's an element of truth to what you're suggesting.
Goldfish are hierarchical, just like any other schooling fish. If the
group is insufficiently large, meaning less than six specimens, it is
possible for the dominant fish to become a bully. Beyond adding more
fish or removing the weaker fish, there's not much you can do. Of
course, if you remove a weak fish, there's a chance the next
weakest one could end up being bullied. On top of this there is a
definitely "pecking order" of sociability among Goldfish
varieties. In short, you have Standards (single-tail varieties
including Comets, Shubunkins, etc) at the top; Delicate Fancy Goldfish
(with two tails, humped backs and other deformities, e.g., Lionheads,
Ryukins, Orandas, Pearlscales, Pompons, etc) at the bottom; and in
between Robust Fancy Goldfish (with two tails but few other
deformities, specifically Black Moors and Common Fantails). It's
best not to mix varieties from different levels in the pecking order.
So by all means keep Shubunkins with Comets, but don't keep Comets
with Ryukins. The very deformed Delicate Fancy Goldfish are best kept
one variety per tank, though sometimes mixing varieties with similar
degrees of handicap can be okay. The middle order, Common Fantails and
Black Moors, are exceptional in mixing well with Standards given
sufficient space, while also mixing well with the less feeble Delicate
Fancy Goldfish, for example Orandas. With that said, there are plenty
of Black Moors and Fantails that become thugs when combined with more
delicate varieties, so you have to observe your fish and act
accordingly should problems arise. The aim, you see, is to have
Goldfish living together that reach the same size, grow at about the
same rate, feed about as fast, and can swim away from each other about
as quickly. The more you deviate from this, the more likely it is for
social problems to arise.>
Any advice greatly received.
Goldfish suffering! Ictalurid incomp.
The Situation- Goldfish suffering from severe ammonia burns over
<Well, that's easy enough to diagnose. Black, discoloured
patches on the body. But I'm not seeing that in your image.
Looks more like a Goldfish that's been attacked. I wonder
what he's living with...>
My family has had a 29 gallon fish tank for about 2 years with
one large common goldfish that weve had for about 5 years in
various sizes of tanks and a yellow bullhead caught as a
fingerling in a nearby lake about a year ago. The bullhead, has,
as it should, grown to about 11 inches in length and the goldfish
is about six inches in total length.
<Right. So you have a Goldfish in with a voracious carnivore
twice its size. Hmm... I wonder...>
We kept this tank without paying much attention to any of the
rules of fish keeping, and for a while, this worked out fine, but
then one day I went to feed the fish, and the goldfish looked
Over night he seemed to have lost about a quarter of his scales
and his fins were all shredded and his clear skin hanging off in
shreds all over him. I was panicked and at first thought that
somehow the bull head had attacked him, but following some much
belated internet and book research I believe that poor water
quality is most likely to blame as the bio load increased as the
size of the fish increased.
<No! Your Ameiurus natalis is precisely to blame here,
especially if suddenly overnight the Goldfish looked bedraggled.
Be clear on this, Ameiurus natalis is a NOCTURNAL
Considering the size and types of fish being kept in the tank,
the ammonia levels were probably at a constant high for quite
some time, and the goldfishes immune system finally couldnt keep
<Conceivably, but Finrot doesn't do this to a fish
overnight. You need something bigger to mangle a Goldfish like
this that mere bacteria. Like a BIG PREDATOR!>
Anyways, the bullhead moved out into a temporary 20 gallon
Sterilite container until its warm enough outside to release him
back in the lake.
<DO NOT release into the wild, please. Not only is it against
the law, but it is also how diseases and parasites carried by pet
fish end up in the wild. Your local Fish & Wildlife bureau
would have kittens if they thought you were about to do this.
Putting him in a pond in a garden is fine, but do not place him
anywhere he's likely to get into native waters. The US has
some outstanding wildlife; why should a moment of thoughtlessness
put that at risk? Either keep the catfish, rehome it, or humanely
destroy it. Returning to the wild IS NOT an option.>
I did 2 70 percent water changes for the goldfish, about 5 hours
apart, bought some water test strips and made sure that he had
good water quality. We use an aqua-tech power filter made for
20-40 gallon aquariums and I have never changed out the bio
filter and only rinsed it in aquarium water a few times as per
the instructions on the package.
About an hour after all this, I tested the water with my new test
strips (from "jungle"-, I think) and came up with:
Total alkalinity- 120ppm-180 ppm
Hardness- 0-25 very soft
<Actually, Goldfish prefer hard water, but your carbonate
hardness is reasonably high, so this probably isn't a killer
As far as I can tell from the packaging on the strips, this is
ideal for freshwater.
<Depends on the freshwater fish being kept, but broadly,
Now, I am wondering what else I should do for the poor fellow. He
has brightened up considerably with the better water, but his
shredded fins and lumpy bare skin and blisters look horribly
painful and I am afraid he will get an infection and die. I dont
just want to load up the tank with antibiotics because I dont
want to mess up the bio filter (thank God I followed the
instructions on the filter package and never removed it or tried
to wash it, so Im pretty sure the tank is properly cycled after
two years!) and subsequently subject my poor fish to bad water
quality again. I have read several different approaches to caring
for recovering fish, and am just confused about the best way to
proceed. A few websites I perused seemed to be in favor of
diverting the filter and treating the tank with an antibiotic for
a few days, one seemed to favor salting the tank, and a book I
looked into suggested doing nothing but maintaining good water
quality. I am all in favor of the last, as I dont want to
overdose my fish or kill of the good bacteria and am leery of
using salt as I have read that can also stress out the biofilter.
The fish is active and his fins are erect when he swims, so I
don't think he is sick with an infection, per se, just
injured. As I have only recently decided to become fish-savvy, I
would greatly appreciate input from someone with more experience!
I think I know what Im doing now, but sometimes it makes a body
feel better to have someone who really does know give a little
input! I'm really attached to this fish!
PS- I am going to attempt to attach a photo of my poor goldfish
and also of the bull-head, as I think he is a very interesting
<Poor Goldfish is the operative phrase here! You're
keeping a leopard and a lamb in the same cage, and wondering why
the lamb looks nervous. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Goldfish suffering!
Thank you very much!
<Happy to help.>
I won't be keeping bullheads with any other fish anymore,
<Okay. I used to keep a pet Channel Catfish, Ictalurus
punctatus, in a tank with a gar and a variety of large Central
American cichlids. Worked rather well. These are nice catfish.
But you do need to choose tankmates wisely,
and the aquarium should be of suitable size.>
As for the bullhead, we know someone with a garden pond and some
much bigger fish who can take him in the spring. His species is
actually native to our area, and we caught him from a lake here,
but we'll be making sure
he goes into a garden pond just in case he's carrying some
strange aquarium bacteria.
<Sounds like a nice home. Glad you're not going to put
America's fish fauna at risk!>
Thank you again, and hopefully our little "lamb" will
make a full recovery and his nightmares will diminish!
<So do I. Good luck! Neale.>
Damaged fins on Goldfish 12/2/09
While cleaning the 20 gallon tank for my Ryukin I put him in the larger
30 gallon tank that contains a 1.5 inch comet, a 2.5 inch Wakin, 2.5
inch shubunkin and a 3.5 inch common.
<Mmm... two things... mixing "comet shaped" varieties
(incl. the Shubunkin... and "common"?) with fancier
(egg-shaped let's say) goldfish is not a good idea. The former are
too much faster, eager eaters than the latter. Secondly, this is too
much goldfish flesh for a thirty gallon volume period. I'd be
moving the non-fancy goldfish elsewhere>
He seemed to be enjoying the company so I left him in there. Both tanks
are in my classroom and while people were in the room none of the other
fish bothered the Ryukin,
<Not... as far as you are aware, however...>
unfortunately I forgot to remove him and put him in his own tank before
I left on Friday. When I returned on Monday he was floating at the top
of the tank.
All of his fins except the dorsal fin were severely damaged and many of
the spines in the fins had been broken. I immediately removed him and
put him in his own tank. I have added some aquarium salt to the water
as I read
this helps promote healing.
It's been about a week and a half, his fins are starting to grow
back, but he still tends to roll over on his back when he stops
swimming. Ever since I brought him home, about 9 months ago, he has had
a problem where he would
do flips when picking at the gravel.
<This is a too-common issue with many fancy goldfish... their
breeding has led to it being tough for them to spatially orient... and
feeding too much of the wrong foods exacerbates the condition. Read
I do feed him a little bit of goldfish pellets once a day,
<What brand? I'd give up on these for now>
5 days a week, however I also grow elodea in the tank for him to snack
1. He had very long fins, since the spines were damaged will they ever
grow back to there original length?
<Is possible, yes>
2. After researching goldfish diet I will be switching them to mainly
greens, but are the damaged fins causing him to roll over, and if they
remain stubby will he suffer from spending so much time upside
3. Besides changing his diet is there anything else I can do for him to
help his fins regrow and improve his condition?
<Good water quality... frequent (weekly) partial (25-30%) water
Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
<Welcome Linda; be of good life. Bob Fenner>
Goldfish behaviour 7/4/05 Hi <Hello there> I have a
very large garden pond - twenty foot by forty plus foot, four feet plus
deep at one side, lots of goldish which do breed and so
on. However they do this every year and I now feel I need to
know why. They are mostly just hanging suspended in the water, like
they were asleep, although they did consent to eat a little yesterday
and in the post dawn period they make little bubbles on the surface
which linger most of the day. <Ah, yes> Can anyone tell me what
they are doing and why? No filter or oxygenator alas but I
have lived here for more than ten years now and have managed so far
okay. Thanks very much Angie Watts <They are experiencing changes in
the pond due to the season... in essence being poisoned... changes in
pH, mixing of bottom water... You might consider adding aeration,
biological filtration... that will make this system overall more
homeostatic throughout the year. Bob Fenner>
A Big Load of Carp Hi, I have had my tank for
about 2 years and have had the same fish in there for 18 months. I have
a goldfish, fancy tail, 2 black moors, bubble eye and 2 tench.
<That's a very heavy bio load you have. What size tank is this?
What kind of filter do you use?> Last night they were all fine but
this morning I noticed that all the fish, apart from the two tench,
have had large areas of tail and fin destroyed and the bubble eye and
goldfish have areas of body damaged. <Ouch!> I assumed that it is
the tench that have done this as they are ok and have moved them into a
second tank. <Great, if for no other reason than to spread out these
large waste producers into a few tanks.> Is there any reason for
Tench to do this all of a sudden? They have been in the tank for 18
months and there has never been any attack on any fish in my tank
before. Shaun <If all this damage happened in one night, then I
assume you are correct in blaming the Tench. Why they picked last night
is anyone's guess. But these are all carp, so maybe the Tench were
trying to breed with the reluctant goldfish. If this damage has
happened over the course of a week or so, then it may be bad water
conditions, not aggression. Tench are known to have a very thick slime
coat that would have allowed them to handle the problem longer than the
goldfish. Also, have you done a large water change recently? May have
triggered the breeding urge or caused a pH swing. A sudden pH swing can
cause skin and fin damage. The tench would be somewhat protected by
that slime coat. Please check your water for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate
and pH. Make sure the injured Goldfish are kept in pristine water, with
salt added, to allow them to heal. Don>
Moor has less Dear WWM Crew, First, thanks so
much for all the great information on your site. It's a wonderful
resource. I have a problem with my black moor. I've posted on a
couple of fish boards, but no one has really had too many suggestions
so I turn to you. About 2 weeks ago, I looked at Carrot <A black
carrot?> (had him about 2 years) and realized that a portion of his
tail is gone--it looks like about 3/4 of an inch. One bit is still at
the original length. The edge is uneven and slightly white, but not
frayed. <OK> The other fins are fine. Other than the tail issue,
his only other symptom has been a droopy dorsal fin. <Could be
normal as he grows> He's eating energetically as always. I
treated with Melafix for a week and although it's not getting
worse, I'm not seeing improvement, either. Today I noticed he's
acting a little lethargic--just hovering in one spot. Still eating,
though. I know water quality is usually the culprit, but I don't
think that's the case here: 29 gallon planted tank, 1 black moor, 1
Oranda, 3 dwarf Otos <Very good.> Ammonia, nitrites 0
<Great> Nitrates ~20 <Great> pH 7.7 <Good, if steady.
Sudden swings can cause problems with skin and fins.> 20% water
change every week <Good if that's enough to keep nitrates below
20. Seems a little low, but the plants help> Penguin 330 bio-wheel
filter <Great. 10+ turnover for goldfish> Feed sinking pellets 2x
a day, occasional bloodworms, peas <Great> Temp: ~76 <Warm for
the goldies, a little cool for the catfish. But good for this mix>
Recent changes: Moved fish from an 18 gallon about 2 months ago; that
tank had been up for 2 years. I added the Otos about a month ago. --oh,
and a wisteria at the same time. <Was the tank cycled when you added
them? Possible an ammonia spike burned his tail a few weeks ago. Very
localized though.> Could the move or the addition of the Otos be
stressing Carrot out and causing a problem? <Unlikely a stress issue
would affect only one small part of this tail. Again, too
localized.> Could the Otos be nipping at him? <Possible, but
unlikely.> (I have never seen them around him and they are supposed
to be goldfish friendly.) I can put Carrot in QT for treatment, but I
don't know with what and I don't even know what the problem is.
Any suggestions would be most appreciated! <Hi, Don here. If that
white edge you speak of is not moving down the tail, I think this is an
injury rather than illness. It's possible that the Oto nipped him,
but more likely the other goldfish, IMO. He might have even ripped it
on a rock or the filter intake. The MelaFix was a good try, but I hear
very mixed reviews on it. Some swear by it, others at it. Since it does
not seem to have helped in your case I would suggest a large water
change and adding fresh carbon to your filter. His loss of energy after
you added it concerns me a little. Try salt in the QT. If not for the
Oto's I'd say leave him in the 29 for a salt treatment. Take it
up to one Tbls a gallon over the course of a day or two. This is just
to lessen the chance of a secondary infection until the injured tissue
heals. If the tail gets worse at least he'll be in the QT for more
aggressive meds.> Thank you so much, Rebecca
A Black area on my goldfish My goldfish has
got a black area. It has black areas on both its sides and
it's mouth. When I looked at it for closer inspection
one of the spots seemed to be covered with a white filmy
substance. The other side looked like the scales might just
be coming off but there were none to be found in the tank. I have a 5
gallon freshwater tank with 2 goldfish, an algae eater, and three ghost
shrimp. Both fish were won at the fair in October
2004. They have been in good health since. But
recently the fish with black spots has been jumping in the water and
there are bubbles lining the sides of the tank. I have a
whisper filter and use tap water to fill the tank. PLEASE HURRY WITH
THE ANSWER, THE FISH DOES NOT LOOK LIKE IT HAS THAT MUCH TIME LEFT.
<I would change a good half of the water in the tank, replace with
water about the same temperature, with conditioner to remove the
tapwater sanitizer. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshdisease.htm
and the Related FAQs (linked, in blue, at top). The change in color
alone is not problematical, but the behavior you list is indicative of
some sort of environmental trouble. Bob Fenner>
Odd goldfish behavior Hope you can answer my
question please....is it normal for goldfish to sleep on their backs?
<No... have seen some individuals with apparently damaged gas
bladders that "slept on their sides" though> Mine does it
all the time, often when I walk into the room he is on his back, scares
me to death and then I tap on his bowl and he starts swimming around
happy as can be...thoughts? I have had him for 4 years now and we
all love him.... <I hope you have him for many more years to come.
If this behavior doesn't seem to harm the fish, I would not be
concerned. Bob Fenner>
New Print and
eBook on Amazon
What it takes to keep goldfish healthy long-term
by Robert (Bob) Fenner