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FAQs About Goldfish Disease/Health 33

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

Related FAQs:  Goldfish Disease 1, Goldfish Disease 2, Goldfish Disease 3, Goldfish Disease 4, Goldfish Disease 5, Goldfish Disease 6, Goldfish Disease 7, Goldfish Disease 8, Goldfish Disease 9, Goldfish Disease 10, Goldfish Disease 11, Goldfish Disease 12, Goldfish Disease 13, Goldfish Disease 14, Goldfish Disease 15, Goldfish Disease 16, Goldfish Disease 17, Goldfish Disease 18, Goldfish Disease 19, Goldfish Disease 20, Goldfish Disease 21, Goldfish Health 22, Goldfish Health 23, Goldfish Disease 24, Goldfish Health 25, Goldfish Disease 26, Goldfish Disease 27, Goldfish Disease 28, Goldfish Disease 29, Goldfish Disease 30, Goldfish Disease 31, Goldfish Disease 32, Goldfish Disease 33, Goldfish Disease 34, Goldfish Disease 35, Goldfish Health 36, Goldfish Health 37, Goldfish Health 38

FAQs on Goldfish Medicines: Antifungals, Antibacterials, Anti-protozoals ( Copper, eSHa, Metronidazole, Formalin, Copper, Malachite Green), Dewormers, Organophosphates, Salts, Mela- et al. non-fixes, Misc. Med.s,

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

New Print and eBook on Amazon

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

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Discoloured Shubunkin  7/28/07 <Hello, Toothless here.> I am currently extremely concerned about my Shubunkin. Approximately two weeks ago he developed a red lump on his side that then developed a fluffy white head. Within an hour of the fluffy white head's emergence it was gone. <It's sounds a lot like either a Sporozoan infection or a bacterial infection that was expelled by forming a cyst and excreted. Sporozoan infections are untreatable but not considered fatal in all cases. The best way to treat such an affliction is by keeping the water as clean as you possibly can. This means very regular ammonia and nitrIte testing and water changes to reduce ANY positive results. NitrAtes must be kept at a minimum, 40-50ppm or lower is optimal.> The next morning I went down to the local aquatic specialist and asked what should be done, the man there said that it was probably a parasite and now that the head was gone I should leave it a week to heal unless he started to deteriorate in which case they would examine the fish for me. However we got onto the subject of the tank that I was keeping my fish in. I had bought a 25litre tank at another local pet store and had been assured that it would safely hold 4 goldfish, and was more than spacious enough for my goldfish and Shubunkin. I was informed that this tank was far too small for my fish and ended up buying a 65litre tank. <A true fish specialist would NEVER advocate keeping that many fish in such a small aquarium. Even the suggestion of a 25 liter tank is MUCH too small.> I fully intended to cycle the tank before I used it but was told that as long as I added all the water from the previous tank that there should not be a problem, in-fact the extra water would help the parasite problem which it did and now the red lump has disappeared. But that I should wait a few days before adding plants. When I went to add the plants I was told to remove the bubbler from the filter, however the fish started surfacing a lot more than usual (especially the Shubunkin) so I decided that I would rather lose the plants than the fish and decided to put it back in which seems to have alleviated the problem. However the Shubunkin has now developed a red discoloration on his main body and along the base of his dorsal fin, which I am assuming is down to ammonia poisoning because the tank was not cycled properly. < Confusing advice such as what you have been told is actually a VERY common occurrence when dealing with fish store employees. They are the number one perpetrators of bad advice in the aquarium trade.> Normally I would perform a large emergency water change. However we have had extensive flooding in our county which has meant that all the water in the treatment plants has been contaminated and the water has been cut off for potentially 7-14 days so it is hard enough to get hold of 2 litres of water let alone 20 and I don't think that the emergency services or armed forces that are currently assisting us would provided me with that kind of amount on the basis that I think my fish might be sick. So I was wondering if there was any substance that could be added to the water already in the tank that might help temporarily neutralise the ammonia and the damage that it is doing to my fish until I get the opportunity to perform said water change? <Here's what I suggest. Firstly, your going to need to get a tank that will provide, at the VERY least, 15 gallons of water PER fish. For Commons, Comets and Shubunkins, 25 gallons per fish is a good stocking density to shoot for. More is better. These fish can grow to a foot or more in length so, aquarium volume is very important. Your filtration is going to need to be moving at least 380 liters per hour, PER 38 liters. A 38 liter tank would need a filter that pushes 380 liters per hour. You can use those figures to calculate up to your suggested fishes needs. Now, to take care of your aquariums ammonia and nitrIte levels while the bio-filter is establishing itself, you can purchase a product such as Prime or Amquel+ and use it according to the directions and your test results for ammonia and nitrItes. You can safely overdose by a factor of 5 and not cause any problems with the fish. This will take care of any rising levels of these toxins. Once the biofilter is established and the ammonia and nitrItes are at 0ppm, you can stop using Prime or Amquel+ to control the levels. It should be noted that the test results will not show a reduction of ammonia or nitrItes because they will still be there. However, they will be neutralized and considered safe. When using a detoxifier/dechlorinator such as Prime or Amquel+, water changes must still be performed to keep the nitrItes below 2ppm and ammonia below 1ppm. Water changes will still need to be performed to reduce the rising levels as suggested above. So, we need to establish another way to go about doing so. R/O water or distilled water can be used for this as long as you add some sort of buffering product that will add the required chemicals to the water before adding to the aquarium. There are many products available and I do not know what is available in the UK but it should be clearly stated that it will raise your buffering capacity and pH to a level that is conducive to goldfish. Anywhere between 7 and 8 is a good level for goldfish. Use this stuff at EVERY water change ONLY when you are using R/O or distilled water. Once you are allowed to use your tapwater, discontinue the use of the buffering product while still utilizing Prime or Amquel+ to take care of chlorine. I know it may seem like a lot to soak in at first. But, it can and does get easier as you become more informed. Research online about your fishes needs and you will eventually get them to the point where they can thrive. If you have any further questions, please, email back and we will take care of your queries ASAP! In the meantime, try reading the many links located on this page: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm. Good luck with your new goldies!> Any help would be appreciated Tamara x x

Green Fungus on goldfish -- 07/26/07 <Hi! Toothless here.> Some of our outdoor goldfish have developed a green coating on their tails. <It sounds like Saprolegnia (fungus). The green tint you see is actually algae that has taken up residence within the masses of fungal rods.> It seems to grow up the body, I think it's taken just over a week but despite being moved into a separate pond and adding extra salt, the first fish has died. <Salt is a useful chemical but it does have it's limitations, including here.> When we moved it, some of the green was left clinging to the net and the exposed skin underneath was very pale and sore. The fish get very lethargic, and start floating, some of them have got it on their eyes. <Yipes! You really should get started with my suggested treatments as soon as possible.> The fungus itself is green and fluffy looking, quite thick; what can we do as it is spreading. <Okay, for starters, your going to need to acquire some potassium permanganate. It is readily available online through PondRX.com but can only be shipped by ground. You can actually buy it at Home improvement centers and the like. It's usually in the plumbing department. If I am not mistaken, it should be legal to purchase in the UK. For your application, a simple potassium permanganate paste will do nicely. Just take a bowl that you don't care for and add a tablespoon of PP. Begin adding tiny amounts of water while stirring the crystals. Do this until it reaches a slushy/pasty consistency. Be sure that you don't kick up any dust as breathing the dust in could harm you. Now that you have done all this your going to need another person to help handle the fish while the paste is applied and wiped from the infected areas. Use latex or rubber gloves and wear eye protection to keep chances of coming into contact with your eyes. Your skin will stain if it touches the PP but it wont harm you. If you don't have any extra tanks you'll need to use a clean plastic bin to hold the fish before and just after the swabbings. This plastic bin should be full of freshly drawn pond water with a triple or quadruple dose of dechlorinator such as Prime or Amquel+. The heavy dose of dechlorinator will instantly neutralize any excess PP that gets into the bin. The bin should also be large enough to comfortably hold every fish you are treating at that particular time. You'll need a clean towel or t-shirt to be used as the surface you will perform the swabbings from. Wet the entire cloth before attempting the procedure. Simply reach in and shoo the fish into the cloth, pull the fish out of the water while trying to wrap the fish like a taco. Try to be sure to keep all the fins folded back so as to avoid damaging the rays. Once out of the water, let the other person hold the fish steadily and firmly. Perform the swabbing just above the ground and over another rag or cloth (wet). DO NOT apply to the eyes and the head. If these areas are infected, lightly swab them without PP paste and apply triple antibiotic ointment (daily, if need be). DO NOT let the paste get into the gills (and again, the eyes). Everywhere else is open season. Just use a bit of clean, wet towel, rag or T-shirt to apply the PP to the infected areas. Allow the paste to sit for a couple seconds or more and then wipe it away with gentle yet deliberate pressure. Once each fish is treated, set them back into the temporary treatment bin to expel any excess PP paste and then transfer to your treatment pond. Here, they should be closely monitored by daily testing of the ammonia and nitrItes. They should ALWAYS be at 0ppm. NitrAtes should remain below 40ppm. You might find that a couple repeated swabbing every couple of days is needed. Only do 2-3 within a weeks time, no more. Meanwhile, we need to find out WHY this happened in the first place. Please answer all of the questions from this list: What is the gallonage of the pond? What kind of filter/s are employed? What is the flow rate and how much bio-media does it utilize? What are the test results for ammonia, nitrItes, nitrAtes, temperature and pH? How often and how do you clean the pond? How often and how do you clean the filter/s? Have you seen any weird swimming like jumping, scratching on the bottom, sides or plants? Now that I got that out of the way, I just want to reassure you that Potassium permanganate is actually pretty safe to use. The only real concerns are breathing in the dust particles and getting the paste in your eyes. The only thing it does to your skin is stain it temporarily. For more info on using PP check out these pages: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/FA027 http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/FA032 If PP proves too hard to find, you can swab these areas with iodine for up to 3 days a week. After that, switch to peroxide if the fungus persists. I highly suggest the PP be sought out first. Iodine and peroxide works well but not nearly as well as PP. If I have left anything unanswered, reply with your queries and we will do whatever we can to clarify it.> Many thanks, Anna & Alun <Good luck Anna & Alun. Be sure to let us know how things are going!>
Re: Green Fungus on goldfish -- 07/26/07
I'm sorry but I needed to correct a mistake. When I said to swab the eyes with PP paste, I meant that you should NOT swab the eyes or near the gills with PP. Instead, use only a wet rag to wipe the fungus away before smearing antibiotic ointment. Thanks and Good Luck! Paul
Re: Green Fungus on goldfish  8/6/07
<Hi Anna & Alun! Twothless here> Oh my god, thank you so much for such a detailed answer! <No worries! I went into detail so that it was WELL understood that there are indeed dangers in using chemicals. Especially when your dealing with a struggling fish. Just in case anyone else where to reference this in the future, they would understand the dangers.> Unfortunately, three fish that did have this have now died, before I got your reply. But I will certainly give this our best shot, immediately; and let you know. <Oh, I'm so sorry to hear that. Saprolegnia can kill pretty quickly once it gets the upper hand. A small patch or two of sap can easily be treated by a quick swab of Iodine and some close consideration of the water quality until fully healed. Otherwise, advanced Saprolegnia infections need an aggressive treatment such as hospital vats, Potassium Permanganate swabbing, and even extra additions such as Methylene Blue to the hospital vat. However, none of these treatments stand a chance of doing any good if the recovered fish is placed back into the same environment that caused the problems in the first place. Perhaps the ponds water column is too stagnant and there needs to be some additional agitation? Maybe more aeration? Could the filter/s or plumbing be gunked-up or clogged? Too much detritus on the bottom? Feeding too much? Perhaps a bird is going for the fish and causing injuries where the Saprolegnia becomes a secondary invader? Maybe large temperature swings are apparent? Basically, a full diagnostic rundown of the dynamics and parameters is needed to assess whether this is going to be a reoccurring scenario. If you can pull together a good description with test results for ammonia, nitrItes and nitrAtes, as well as testing pH and temperature mid-day and mid-nite, you could very easily ensure that you won't have to deal with this in the future. Good Luck Anna & Alun!> Thank you, once again. Anna & Alun

Goldfish Trouble  -- 07/26/07 Hi, <<Hi, Jessica. Tom here.>> I've had the same 3 goldfish and Pleco in a 55 gallon tank for a couple years with no problems, but recently one of them has been losing scales and has a big slit in his tail. Nobody else is having trouble, and I haven't seen them fighting. Websites mention parasites as the cause, but I don't see how that's possible when I haven't added anything new to the tank. Any ideas? <<Water conditions, Jessica. Get busy on water changes. Start at 50% (a lot for a 55-gallon tank, I know) and stay on top of them. Almost invariably, this type of condition is 'environmental'. Depending on what type of Goldfish you have, they can easily 'outgrow' even a 55-gallon tank. (We get complacent when everything's fine. The once-a-week water changes become twice-a-month changes, which become once a month, etc.) Time to get back on a regular schedule. Some fish are a little more susceptible, for sure, but, right now, there's nothing better that you can do than keep the water changes/water parameters up. Don't count on your Pleco to do 'housekeeping', by the way. They aren't THAT good at it particularly as they age/grow larger. They're not active swimmers and will be happy to wait for some morsel to drop on top of them. ;) Best regards. Tom>>

Bacterial Infection? Goldfish likely affected by buildup of ammonia or other toxins...black patches are visible   -- 07/25/07 Hi, <Aloha from the Big Island, Dawn!> I introduced a fancy goldfish and black moor into my aquarium recently. <Hopefully using quarantine to prevent the introduction of disease into the main tank? What size system are we talking about? What type of filtration, etc? Forgive me if you already know all this, but in case not, take a look here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm and generally here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshdisease.htm > The fancy goldfish's tail colour has now turned to black. My original goldfish's tail is tinged with black and he now has some black patches on his scales (they do not look like spots). <Sounds to me like symptoms of ammonia poisoning; this is sometimes referred to as "black smudge". This problem is most often caused by poor filtration, overstock, not enough water changes, and in general, poor water quality. Again, I ask how large the tank is? What is the filtration like? How often do you do water changes and in what amount? Goldfish are notoriously messy fish and require a lot of filtration, gravel vacuuming, etc. You should have your own test kit (I like the two kits made by Aquarium Pharmaceuticals and Tetra, respectively) and take a look at the ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels in the tank; the first two should be at ZERO, while the latter can be as high as 20 ppm (of course, lower is better).> Obviously with the black moor being the colour he is I can't tell if anything has changed with him. <If the problem's environmental, he's likely being affected as well...> Please help!!!! Dawn Stebbings <Dawn, I do believe with improved husbandry and some reading into proper goldfish care on your part this problem will resolve itself. There are lots of great goldfish websites, such as http://www.petlibrary.com/goldfish/fishcare.htm and http://www.kokosgoldfish.com/ for starters... Best regards, Jorie>

Telescope Fantail - Chemical Allergy? Maybe...    7/25/07 Hi there. I have a very gregarious telescope about 1 ½" long. He resides with three other fantails in a 44 gallon pentagon. <Sounds good> I recently changed the gravel in the tank. Despite rinsing the gravel thoroughly, a few days later the water remained very cloudy. I added an API treatment to clear the water. <Mmm, these can be problematical... chemically and physically> Despite a 20-25% water change -- about a week after adding the API treatment -- the telescope began lying on his belly on the tank floor. From time to time, he forages and still journeys to the surface to eat. Last night we moved the telescope to my 5 gallon fish bucket and rigged a filter on top of it. I siphoned about 2 gallons from the fantails' tank and added two gallons of aged water. I added 5ml of API water conditioner and about 1 ½ teaspoons of salt. This morning he is moving about the surface of the bucket and I hand fed him a Spirulina flake. How shall I proceed with his treatment? Should I keep him in "clean" quarantine until most of the water in the 44 gallon pentagon has been changed out? The water in the 44 remains "fizzy." I panicked this weekend when doing the water change thinking somehow my siphon had been in contact with soap until my husband reminded me about using the treatment to rid of the cloudy water. <I would continue with frequent, partial changes in the main tank (10-20 percent per day), return the goldfish to this system (won't do well in a/the bucket), add some activated carbon to your filter/s... and monitor water quality closely...> Would love to hear your advice - we love our little telescope! Thank you and best regards to my fellow hobbyists. Lisa Mae DeMasi <Glad to assist you. Bob Fenner>

Unsolved Mystery: Who killed my goldfish? Time for reflection, a reflective device  -- 07/24/07 Hi, <Sherlock/Bob here> Last Monday I discovered my goldfish, a white colored comet about 6 inches in length, who had some redness on his body. <Usually environmental...> Upon closer inspection and further research I believe it was "Hemorrhagic Septicemia." <Uhh, this is a symptom... like a "cough"... of a few causes...> I've seen pictures of this disease, and my fish looked exactly the same - bloody streaks in the fins and redness showing on either side of the body. I went to my local pet store and found a medication called, "Furan-2," which is a type of antibacterial treatment. Believing this would cure my fish, I purchased the medication and completed a four day long treatment. He was kept in a 5 gallon plastic bucket <Too small...> along with aeration and crushed coral. He comes from a crushed coral home, so I knew this would be fine. <Mmm, no> After completing treatment he showed no major signs of being 100% normal again. I had to perform a 75% water change as the medication clouded the water and the fish poop was really building up. Then I decided plan "B" was the next step: treat with salt. So I used 1 Tablespoon of non-iodized rock salt (The exact same kind for making ice-cream) and I added one 500mg tablet of vitamin C to help with his immune system. I then let the fish swim around in this salted world for approximately 12 hours. Then I performed a 75% water change. I figured I had to keep up with constant water changes, and keep the bucket clean. I still noticed redness all over the fish and he wasn't quite "cured." <You never addressed the actual "cause/s"> I decided to re-treat once again with salt. So, keeping in mind this is after a water change, I added another 1 Tablespoon of rock salt. Waited another 12 hours or so, then added 1 teaspoon more of salt. He was still alive at this point. I made a 75% water change after a few hours of the fish being in this salt-ier environment. I also added two 500mg tablets of vitamin C to help strengthen his immune system. <...> He was then put on the "recovering" stage where he was supposed to simply relax for one day in this 5 gallon bucket >...< before returning back to his main home, but he died several hours before his planned homecoming. Through this whole endeavor he was still swimming around acting like Superman - as if he wasn't hurting from anything. Two major questions linger in my mind: 1. Did I mistreat the fish and is this what lead to his death? <Yes, poisoning, stress> 2. Did the bacterial infection kill him and was my treatment useless? <Bacteria, or lack thereof likely had some influence here, but this fish died from "poor care/environment" almost assuredly> History & Environmental Details: The fish is about 6 inches in length; several years old. He was living in a 50 gallon aquarium with 5 other goldfish about his size, 3 small white cloud minnows, and two freshwater clams. The aquarium is equipped with crushed coral on the bottom, a Malaysian log, an undergravel filter, side filter and no heater. The filter is equipped with a large sponge and a bag of carbon. This is an established fish tank for about a year and no water quality related problems have risen. The water is in "crystal clear" condition. All other fish are active and healthy looking. For freshwater aquariums I never test for Ammonia, Nitrite, or Nitrates unless several fish suddenly die. <My friend... the fox has already left the hen-house...> However, I've occasionally tested pH levels. I tested the pH level of both the main home of the goldfish and the "hospital tank," just to see where this measurement stood at the end of this treatment period, and the levels were exactly the same as the test results showed the same colors, so I have strong evidence this was not a pH related issue like acidosis/alkalosis. Final Words: When I saw the redness on the goldfish I knew he was doomed unless I acted immediately. I hope this zealously didn't do him in. Thank You, Jed <To some extent... yes. I would start testing for nitrogenous accumulation. Bob Fenner>

Injured spine?  7/22/07 Hello! I just got back from a vacation today and noticed that one of my goldfish got stuck in a hole of one of the fake rock decorations. I don't know how long he was that way. I got him out quite easily, but now he is listless and the spine is bent in one direction and he's floating toward the top of the water. Is there anything I can do? I'm not sure how long since he's eaten, trying to get him to eat but not much luck. Please help! Laura <Hello Laura, Unfortunately spinal injuries don't tend to get fixed in fish any better than in humans. All you can really do is provide optimal conditions for your fish and hope for the best. Look out for signs of secondary infection, such as Finrot, and treat accordingly. It may heal itself if the damage is minimal, but otherwise you need to make a judgment call on whether the fish is suffering or not. If it is, then painlessly destroying the fish is the only thing to do. See the FAQ here on Euthanasia if you're unaware of the methods available. Cheers, Neale.>  

Re: Follow Up on Goldfish   7/20/07 Hi Tom- <<Didn't I just talk to you, Leslie? :) >> I sent you back an email describing the size of the 2 larger fish, and my cleaning process. If you can, email me back your thoughts on the size of my tank vs. size of fish, plus tips on cleaning process. <<The 'tips' are in your inbox as I write this, Leslie. As for the size of the tank I would recommend, let me first say that I would go no smaller than 40 gallons, with plenty of filtration, for three Goldfish. That would put you at the minimum, adequate, size in my opinion. Larger would be even better but not really necessary unless you foresee 'new acquisitions' in the future. I'll let it go at the minimal size and you can take it from there.>> Lastly, I added the salt to the small tank, and the small fish perked up. He's now upright and floating, but still breathing heavy. <<The salt isn't a 'silver bullet' but it will help. Time will tell from this point on.>> How long do I keep the fish in the salt water? <<The levels that I suggested can be maintained indefinitely, Leslie. Not necessary for a healthy fish but...>> I'm about due to clean the big tank. Do I clean the big tank and put the small fish back, or keep it in the small tank? <<Leave him in the small tank for the time being and keep an eye on him. If you're serious about upgrading the main tank, I'd leave him in the small tank until it's time to transfer all three fish. Not to 'beat a dead horse' but you already know the 10-gallon is overloaded. Putting the little guy back in will only exacerbate the problem.>> If I keep it in the small tank, when do clean out the salt water? <<Clean the small tank as I suggested that you clean the larger one. Add a little salt with each change to replenish what's been removed until you see a significant improvement in the fish's behavior/breathing. From there, I would add less salt with each successive change until you're adding no salt at all. The salt, in the quantities I've suggested, will never harm the fish. Our ultimate goal, of course, is to see the time when no salt is needed. In actuality, salt 'messes' with the normal functioning of a FW fish's system. FW fish absorb water, by way of osmosis, into their body systems. In other words, FW fish don't 'drink like a fish'. Quite the opposite is true. When we raise the specific gravity, via the salt, of the surrounding water, the process reverses itself to an extent, i.e. fluids are 'drawn' (excreted) from the fish's body. Something they're not adapted for. In your case, as I explained, this can be therapeutic to the gill membranes/filaments when there's a 'trauma' involved such as the inflammation caused by fluid buildup. In the long run, however, it's completely unnecessary.>> Again, thank you for your info. Leslie <<Again, you're most welcome. My best. Tom>>

Strange Cyst on Oranda - 7/20/07 Hi there- <Ah, yes?> I have a question that I was hoping you guys could answer. I have a 35 gallon tank that has been running for 2 years. I have 1 fantail, 1 Oranda (both have bodies the size of a golf ball), 1 dojo loach, and 1 apple snail. I also had a black moor that died 3 months ago from dropsy. <From what cause do you imagine?> I do a 30% water change once a week or every other week, <Best to be consistent... weekly> usually when the nitrates hit about 20 ppm (it seems I can go every other week since Inky passed on). My ammonia = 0, nitrites = 0, and ph = 7.0. Inky had swim bladder problems (I am sure from improper diet) so I changed the tanks diet to mostly vegetables, brine shrimp etc, but I was too late for Inky. Since that time I have been keeping a close eye on the other two fish. But, about 2 weeks ago I noticed strange bumps on my Orandas, bottom. At first I thought they were scales sticking out, but I soon realized they were full of fluid. They look like small fish sized water balloons hanging from him. One got so big that I guess it burst or fell off, but there are a lot of smaller ones. I have been to 4 pet stores (one specializing in fish) and no one has heard of such a thing. <I have, but don't know the etiology> He is eating fine, no clamped fins, red marks, white marks. I think he is swimming kind of funny and his body is sort of lumpy and bumpy to begin with so it's hard to tell if he is having some early signs of dropsy? <... is a condition... see WWM re> I could just be obsessive and paranoid. I hate to medicate if there is nothing wrong, although if there is, I hope I can catch it earlier this time. I hope you can give me some advice. Thanks so much for your time, you guys are great. Karen <I would likely do nothing treatment wise here... other than to adopt the weekly water change, filtration cleaning, and gravel vacuuming routine, and improved nutrition... as adding "chemicals" will too likely kill your Loach and Snail. Bob Fenner>

Fish problems!!!  FW, goldfish  - 7/20/07 Hi there, <Ave.> I have searched the web, and your web site for hours and hours and I just can't come up with a diagnosis for my little (big) fishy. I think he is a Veiltail, but I'm not quite sure. I've had him for at least seven years now and I have just discovered a lumpy sort of growth on his head, sort of cauliflower looking. It's the same colour as the rest of him, although there are a few white spots here and there. <The lump is one of two options: Fish Pox and Lymphocystis. Although both are caused by viruses, the reason the viruses become problematic seems to be environmental issues. In other words, water quality and water chemistry. Neither is treatable, though both may go away by their own accord, especially if the fish is in good condition and the aquarium/pond conditions are optimal. The white spots could be Ick/whitespot, velvet, or simply breeding tubercles, a normal thing males develop in season.> At first the information I found suggested Ich, but I didn't think that produced the head growth, and the white spots seem to be only on his head. I'm far from inclined to treat something it's not. Then I found out about breeding bumps, but since I have had him for seven years I find it strange that only now is he feeling up to breeding! Then I thought he might be a lion head, because that's kind of what the cauliflower growth looks like, though that it's just appeared seems odd. But after thorough searching your site, I found reference to Lymphocystis. I found some more info and pictures about this viral disease, but the pictures didn't look like anything like what my fish has. <Lympho is very variable, but typically some shade between creamy coffee colour and off-white. It looks textured like a cauliflower. Fish Pox may be grey or white, but has a texture like candle wax, being slimy and smooth looking.> I'm just curious to know whether I should be worried about this sudden change in appearance or not. He also is a bit sluggish, tending to sit on the bottom of the tank and his back fin is droopy, he doesn't seem too happy, which he usually is. This could be environmental, though reading your maintenance page, everything seems to be fine. There is another fish in the tank with him and he seems great, although he has rather opaque eyes. I think he may be blind, but he's such a happy fish. <The eyes are unusually sensitive to water quality issues, in just the same way our eyes water or go red in dusty or smoky environments. So, I'd go back and check the water quality and chemistry. You need to be running a tank upwards of 110 litres/30 US gallons for goldfish, and the filter needs to be providing at least 4x, and ideally 6x, the volume of the tank in turnover per hour (i.e., in a 110 litre tank you want a filter with around 400-600 litres per hour turnover). The hardness and pH are often overlooked with goldfish. They like hard, alkaline water around pH 7.5-8 and upwards of 10 dH. Also overlooked is the fact goldfish are subtropical fish, and don't appreciate very cold water. The "standard" goldfish do OK overwintering outdoors in places like England and the warmer parts of the US, but "fancy" goldfish definitely benefit from a heater in their tank. This boosts their immune system helping to keep infections at bay. They don't need a lot of heat, but something around 16-18C is just about perfect for them.> He keeps swimming up to the bigger one and nudging him. (Though as I think he's blind, he could be just running into him!) <Fish can "distance touch" with their lateral line, so I'm sure even the blind fish can navigate just fine. Goldfish are schooling animals and indeed seem genuinely affectionate towards one another. They certainly seem to develop a bond with their owner, becoming tame just like "higher" animals.> It's a large octagonal tank, I'm not sure how big it is, at least 65-70 litres, but there used to be three fish in there until the other one died recently of what I think was a problem with his swim bladder. They survived in there for seven years with the three of them, now there are two with more room. Up until recently I've had no problems with them whatsoever. If you could point me in the right direction it would be really appreciated. <A 70 litre tank is really far too small for goldfish. You're also creating problems for yourself by using an oddball shape. Octagonal tanks have a poor surface area to volume ratio which means less oxygen is getting into the water than would be the case with a long and low design. Adding some extra aeration to get the water from the bottom of the tank moving to the surface will help, but in the medium term I really think you might want to shop for a standard issue rectangular tank around 150 litres in size. That'll give you a much easier time with your fish, as well as provide them with more swimming room and a healthier environment.> Thanks heaps! Mel. <Cheers, Neale>

Sick goldfish  -- 07/19/07 Hi- <<Hello, Robert. (I hope that's safe to assume.) Tom with you this afternoon.>> I was wondering if you could help! <<Possibly.>> I have a 10 gallon tank with two over the top filters. We've had 2 large goldfish for about 2 years. <<You've done well, then. These two, alone, should be in a tank 4-5 times the size that they're currently in. Depending on how you define 'large', it could be that 40-50 gallons isn't even adequate. With all due credit to Mr. Dave Barry for the expression, I swear that I'm not making this up.>> About 3 months ago, my daughter won a smaller goldfish, and added it to the tank. It's been thriving until yesterday. I noticed it skulking around behind one of the filters. It was eating fine. Today, it was lying at the bottom of the tank, breathing hard. <<Not uncommon in cases like these. Rarely are Goldfish that are 'won' in the best of health, outward appearances notwithstanding.>> The other 2 were fine, and not picking on it. I put the sick fish in a separate tank with no gravel and another filter. <<A good move. I still wouldn't be optimistic but the move was the correct decision on your part.>> It continues to lie on it's side, breathing hard. The edges of it's gills appear slightly red, and rather pink inside the gill. The scales are fine, and nothing seems attached. Nor is it bloated or bulgy. Any ideas? <<Not much more than a 'pretty good notion', I'm afraid. The description of the condition of the fish is good but you haven't included any of the 'hard' information such as ammonia/nitrite levels, pH levels, water change intervals, etc. All I can offer is a 'best guess' which is long-term, low-level ammonia poisoning. Almost assuredly, this began before your daughter received the fish and has slowly progressed from there. Fish excrete blood-ammonia through specialized filaments in the gills called lamellae. These are also the mechanisms for the uptake of oxygen. Double duty, if you will. In nature, the excreted ammonia is diluted to insignificant levels. Not so in aquariums, however, unless the tank is large enough and, filtration is adequate enough, to deal with it. (Reference back to my previous point regarding tank size.) With exposure to ammonia, the filaments swell and become inflamed, restricting both the uptake of oxygen and the excretion of ammonia. The affected fish might be found gasping at the surface or, as in your case, simply lie on the bottom of the tank, breathing hard such as you described. Ultimately, the unexpelled ammonia affects the internal organs of the fish which results in death. Now that I've bored you with the specifics, let's try to work on the problem. Visit your LFS and purchase some 'aquarium salt' (Kosher salt from the supermarket will do, as well). Remove some water from the tank and mix in the salt, with your water conditioner, and add this back to the tank. The higher salinity levels, via osmosis, will help to remove the swelling of the gill tissue which is caused by fluid (water) build-up (the body's natural defense against toxicity). Try to achieve a ratio of about one tablespoon of salt per five gallons of water. This is not a 'medication' but rather a means of assisting the fish to breathe/regulate its system. We'll keep our fingers crossed from there.>> Thank you!!!!!! <<You're welcome. Best of luck and, please, think about upgrading the main tank. Best. Tom>>
Re: Sick goldfish
 -- 07/20/07 Hi Tom and "tank you" (some bad fish humor)! <<Hi, Leslie, and all humor is graciously accepted. (Leslie. Robert. You can see how it's easy to confuse the two names! :) )>> Your email was very informative- I'm off to the store to get Kosher salt, and we'll try the mix. <<Sounds fine.>> The little fish remains the same- neither better nor worse. Just so you know, the "big" fish is about 4" long from the tip of the tail to the nose; the other is 3-1/4" long. <<Sound like 'fancy' varieties which does make a difference regarding tank size.>> The sick fish is about 2-3/4". Do the 2 big sizes deems a bigger tank? <<Absolutely, Leslie. Unless it just came out of the egg, there isn't a Goldfish variety in the hobby that should be kept in a 10-gallon tank. They're 'messy' fish and water parameters can change so quickly that it simply isn't worth the risk over the long haul. Not a question of 'if' but, rather, 'when'.>> I clean it entirely about once every 6 weeks i.e.: put fish in small tank and drain and replace water entirely in big tank. Do I need to do that, or is there another way to clean a 10 gallon tank? <<There's a much easier, less stressful (on the fish) but much more frequent method to incorporate here, Leslie. You may want to sit down but you should be replacing at least 20%-30% of the water every week in a tank this size, particularly with these fish. Purchase a siphon-style vacuum from the LFS and a pail to be used exclusively for the purpose. Once the siphoning starts, the pick-up nozzle will draw both water and 'gunk' from the bottom of the tank. (If your filter media needs a good rinse, this is the water to rinse it in, not under tap water which will destroy your beneficial bacteria.) Refill the bucket with the same amount of water, add your chlorine/Chloramine conditioner and let this sit for a short while. (Not necessary to wait too long since the conditioner removes chlorine and Chloramine virtually instantly.) Slowly add the new water back and you're done. No removing the fish and much less hassle than your current method. It's also better, overall, for the health of the fish since it doesn't subject them to such a dramatic change in water conditions in one big shot.>> It's rather time consuming the way I do it. <<I'll bet it is! And, for what it's worth, moving fish is one of the most stressful things we can do to them. Capturing them, by whatever method we use, is approximating being attacked by a predator in their little fishy minds.>> I really, really appreciate your feed back! Leslie <<I'm very happy to help, Leslie. Feel free to write back if you have other questions. Tom>>

Re: Goldfish Trouble   7/28/07 <<Hello again, Jessica.>> Thanks for the quick suggestion, but actually, I do change about 10 gallons with a gravel vacuum thing every week when I'm not at school. <<A good percentage and equally good interval.>> The goldfish are comets and only 2-ish inches each so far, and the Pleco is maybe an inch bigger.... <<Much depends on the early fry stages of any fish but a Comet Goldfish that has only reached 'two-ish' inches in length after two years is somewhat surprising to me. These fish, typically, mature at about three years of age and can reach 12 inches in length. Not 'hard and fast', of course, but I would have expected lengths of, perhaps, five inches -- or more - by now. Likewise with your Pleco. (I've a Sailfin Pleco that's grown a couple of inches since earlier this year.) A lot of variables involved, Jessica, but, at least, the size of your tank isn't at fault. Too many times, with Goldfish, the size of the tank is, exactly, the problem.>> I feed everyone what they eat within a couple minutes (and vary the food source sometimes--cucumber, oranges, flakes, dried bloodworms, stuff like that) and aside from the missing scales on the one, they all look and act healthy. <<A really nice diet, Jessica. You've done some homework, which I commend you for.>> A friend suggested that maybe the Pleco is sucking off the comet's slime, but I dunno about that, since they've all been fine together for years and the goldfish normally stay on the opposite side of the tank. He's usually busy mauling my plants and algae wafers, anyway. <<Agreed. Your friend is correct, to a very limited point, that Plecos may behave this way. Where the suggestion falls 'thin' is that Comets are slender-bodied fish (not really inviting 'targets') and likely to be too quick for this to occur. Additionally, we usually expect this (abnormal?) behavior of older Plecos, not ones that are still immature.>> Could the comet just be getting old or have some genetic thing? <<Old? No. Potentially, these Goldfish live for 10, 15 and even 20 years. In some rarer cases, longer than this. As to genetics, that's anyone's guess. It's certainly beyond my limited abilities to offer anything of value on that score.>> He was a feeder that my frog rejected, after all, so maybe he was inbred, or something. <<The ultimate 'kick in the pants.' A 'feeder' that even a frog didn't want to eat! (I don't care for frogs, by the way.) Actually (levity aside), feeder fish are cared for about as much as mosquitoe larvae. They're deemed to be doomed from the onset and there are plenty more to be had. I reference you back to my earlier comment about how critical the care for the fry is. No doubt that in the early development stages it was, possibly, granted enough to sustain life. Not much more. Wish I could offer more but, without 'soapboxing', until we rid the hobby of 'feeders' and 'carnival Goldfish', et. al., we'll keep getting letters from good folks like you who want to save them. I'm not optimistic, however. Stay on top of the water changes as I suggested the last time. From there, it's 'finger crossing' time. I wish you and your pet the best. Tom>>

Mission of mercy - please help us! Goldfish Auschwitz, parents as Nazis  -- 07/18/07 Good evening WWM Crew! <AM, early here in HI currently... about 40% awake...> Firstly my girlfriend and I would like to thank you, as always, very very much for all your help maintaining this terrific site which has been a godsend to us and our two goldfish. Mostly thanks to you, they are both happy and healthy. However, our intention today is not to ask help for ourselves, but for someone else - namely my girlfriend's ex-pet, Smudge. We just spent two days visiting my girlfriend's parents, who have care of her first goldfish, a three-inch (approximately and including the tail) Veiltail. She sadly had to leave him behind when going into university accommodation, but always hoped to get him back when she had her own place. Anyway, since finding your website, my girlfriend has repeatedly voiced great concern to her parents about many factors of Smudge's care, including the atrocious size of his tank. On arrival we were horrified to find a lethargic, bloated, pop-eye stricken (though only slightly, what a blessing *rolls eyes*), horribly stressed fish who dives away from people approaching the glass and whose tail is being eaten away by Finrot, with whitening around the dorsal and pectoral fins. <Yikes... time to rescue this animal> On asking her parents how they were caring for Smudge, we found that his gravel has not been cleaned in TWO AND A HALF YEARS, his water is changed WHEN HE STARTS SITTING ON THE FLOOR AND CLAMPING HIS FINS (never more than every fortnight and God knows how much less), he has nowhere to hide in his UNDER FIVE-GALLON TANK, and I don't know how many transgressions against the piscine universe. When my girlfriend pointed out the very obvious problems here, she found that the poor little thing had had Finrot for an unspecified length of time and apparently her family had noticed his Finrot but been too busy to spend two minutes online to diagnose it - they had apparently noticed that his tail was rotting away and is covered in white patches but hadn't actually bothered to even ask us on the phone if something MIGHT be wrong. It seems they just sat and watched it happen. Words really cannot express how outraged we both feel about how this poor fish has been treated. <... so... you'll do what? Thoughts w/o actions are worthless> After a lot of arguing in which my girlfriend was repeatedly accused of paranoia and obsession (for explaining again that Smudge needed a bigger tank or he would die horribly), her family agreed that he needed treatment for Finrot but outright refused to buy a new tank on the grounds of space/money/time, i.e. lack of all three. We feel this is a fair point but if they can't look after Smudge then they should give him to us, <Yes> as we are well capable and DO have space/money/time. Again, the family refused. <Mmm, am a bit lost here... Per your writing up above... this animal belongs to their daughter> Her mother asked one person she works with who said my girlfriend was being ridiculous and that four/five gallons is plenty for one fantail. Assertions from my girlfriend that fancy fish can and should live decades and grow up to 8" were greeted with contempt and outright denial, from people who don't own a single goldfish book and thought that you only need to cycle a tank for marine fish, not goldfish. So, WWM, getting to the point - we need your aid. We are furious and helpless, and apparently unable to convince my girlfriend's parents that their behaviour is outright animal abuse (admittedly through ignorance before, but in full knowledge if it continues) despite every site we could find on the internet backing us up. Please, please explain in your reply what is wrong with their actions so we can pass it along verbatim from experts. Thank you very much once again. Sarah and Oliver <Do please refer these parents to me. I would chat with them... and remove this fish from their care. Ask their cooperation as a gift. Bob Fenner>
Re: Mission of mercy - please help us! Goldfish Auschwitz, parents as Nazis -- 07/18/07
Hello Robert, <Neale> My advice here: steal the goldfish. Next time Sarah and Oliver visit, one creates a diversion and the other bags the fish and sticks it into a handbag or similar. Drive home. Give fish a nice tank to live in. Seems like those nasty people mistreating the fish won't notice for weeks, by which time they'll assume its dead or been eaten by cat or similar. This is one of those times where breaking the law is justified... Cheers, Robin Hood, Esq.. <Can't, won't disagree. Cheers, B>
Re: Mission of mercy - please help! -- 07/19/07
...Or, your title, "Goldfish Auschwitz, Parents as Nazis". We won't disagree with you there. <Ah, hem> Thank you to Bob (and Neale, just spotted yours) for the responses re. poor sick Smudge. Apologies for the various misunderstandings - as you remarked, Bob, Smudge does belong to my girlfriend and this should pose no problems other than how long she should lock her family up in a wardrobe without cleaning *their* environment, preferably whilst feeding them nothing but chips (didn't even mention his diet, did we?) <Even more insult to injury...> and refusing them medical attention when they got ill. However, there are certain familial problems which no doubt would bore you rigid but prevented us taking him apart from by outright force... just don't ask! Hence, we retreated for a couple of days to formulate a new plan but will very shortly be reinvading to capture the hostage to (ill) fortune. <Ah, good> We will be asking Sarah's parents to get in touch with you to retrospectively explain what they did wrong, but - again, given her parents' attitude - this may be the last we hear from them for a while. Their call, really...if they want to lose their daughter because they wanted to deliberately torture a fish to death, that's their lookout. Melodramatic but, in the circumstances, necessary. <Yikes> We'll let you know how it goes - frankly, the state Smudge is in, we're going to need your help. Take care and thanks again, Sarah and Oliver <A pleasure to serve. BobF>
Re: Mission of mercy - please help! - 7/21/07
Hallo Bob, Neale and the rest of WWM, <O and S> As you may be aware, we recently noticed the condition of the Veiltail in the care of my girlfriend's parents to have been terrible. I just wanted to thank you for your sound advice and inform you that, after an adventure on the train, the fish is now safely ensconced in our home, where after 24 hours of acclimatization, we shall treat his fungus and Finrot. He seems in better condition after the trip than we anticipated and luckily her parents were much more co-operative than last time, so we can happily say that everything has gone well so far. <Ah, good> His new tank is twice the size of his last home. It's not big enough for him to stay in permanently, but once his quarantine is over and he's good and healthy, we are looking forward to him joining our other two fancy fish in a much larger home. Thanks for all your advice and help, Oliver and Sarah. <Thank you for this update! BobF>

Goldfish/Moor died what to do with sick tanks? No useful data  -- 07/18/07 Hi Wet Web Media Associates: <Cheryl> I found your site while looking for information on what to do with my sick fish. The pet shop suggested I had a fungal infection and recommended Pimafix. <Worthless> Another shop recommended adding salt to the tank. Neither of these suggestions worked. I lost my fish anyway. I had them for four years and were very attached. They were always healthy until the last week. The first tank became infected, <Mmm, how?> the moor died, and now in the last 2-3 days the second tank went. <...? Tanks "don't go".> My problem started with the water. The tanks became infested with white water and fluffy-looking stuff. <...?> Water changes did not help to clear this out. Trying the above remedies did not help. I now have 9 tetras, a snail and a Pleco remaining in a separate tank (water only no filter or bubbler for one day now,) and I don't know what to do with them. I have had my snail for 3-4 years and would hate to lose it as well (I can feed it by hand.) The water/tank infection happened very, very rapidly; over a day or two. <What... do you mean by infection? You suspect something pathogenic? From where? What symptoms?> I am afraid of putting them back in the tanks from which they came and have them get sick, too. They came out of the sick tanks but do not seem to be exhibiting any illness. I do not know how to keep the tanks from fouling with that white mess. Should I throw the tanks away and start with new again. I have two 12-gallon Eclipse Systems with carbon filter and BioWheel. I have had them for a couple of years. The only changes made were a new bottle of Stress-Coat water treatment and addition of some new, washed gravel. Otherwise, I have been caring for the tanks the same way for years with no problems. I know you must be very busy, so I am really very grateful for any help or suggestions. Thank you very much. Cheryl Sharp <Best to "start from the beginning here". Have you read re set-up: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwsetupindex.htm Peruse the articles and FAQs presented... from the top down... Collect notes, questions re what you need clarification on... Did you introduce some sort of toxin/poison here? Did you lose biological filtration capacity somehow? These can be recovered, depending on what is wrong, how it went wrong... in a few ways. Bob Fenner>

Fantail Problems 7/16/07 We've had a golden fantail for about a week in a 10 gallon tank with an air filter and are planning to add a filter soon. <Too small for this fish, and a filter is needed ASAP.> I've changed a third of his water once in the past week. <Needs to be done daily without a filter.> The water is tap water treated with conditioners and the fish has been very happy and acting normal. <Not for long.> He has some black spots on his body (ammonia burns/scabs?) but they seemed to be clearing. Today I woke up to find him swimming lethargically on his side with eyes puffed up. And now he's just laying at the bottom of the tank. <Need to get his water quality under control. Daily water changes needed here. See here for more http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwestcycling.htm .> <Chris>

Goldfish with White Pimple and Hard Hair like White Spikes growing from Pimples... Lernaea7/14/07 Hi I have a goldfish that looks like it has "pimples" that eventually start growing a white "hair like" spike from the "pimple". There were several around the tail and on the body. Most of those are gone except for one over an eye and one on the side of the fish. The goldfish is not rubbing or scratching on the aquarium decorations. It is eating normally and swimming normally. I did have another goldfish with the same whitish protrusions that died. <... Lernaea...> I initially thought it was ICH and treated with Maracide <...> without resolution. I also raised the temperature of the tank. Then I decided to salt the aquarium after doing several water changes. I am in the process of that now. I have added a total of 3 tablespoons of salt to the tank over 24 hours. <... not efficacious either...> However, I did decide to see if I could pull the hair like protrusion out of the goldfish and I did. The part outside the body was fairly hard and thin with a wet squishy blob that was inside the "pimple" part on the body of the fish. <Yes...> I have read multiple sites and I am at a loss as to what this could be. Am I overlooking something obvious. My thought now is the it might be anchor worms. <Bingo!> I have been doing 15 - 25% water changes every other day. My nitrates and nitrites test 0. <So?> My tank is 10 gallons and has one goldfish and a Pleco. <Mis-placed here> I have an under gravel filter that I just placed in the tank with new rock about three weeks ago. So it is essentially a new setup and going through the cycling. I had no choice as the tank had been in my daughter's room and not cared for very well. Any help of advise is greatly appreciated. <Please peruse here: http://www.google.com/search?q=Lernaea&sourceid=ie7&rls=com.microsoft:en-US&ie=utf8&oe=utf8 You need to remove the adult "worms" (actually crustaceans) manually, and treat the system with an organophosphate... Bob Fenner>
Re: Goldfish with White Pimple and Hard Hair like White Spikes growing from Pi... -- 07/14/07
Wow thank you ever so kindly for your fast response. I have never encountered anchor worms before and I could not find a picture that looked the way my fish looked. I have ordered some Trifon <Mmm, likely Trichlorofon... Please read here re DTHP use, cautions: http://wetwebmedia.com/PondSubWebIndex/contrpdparasit.htm and the linked FAQs file above> and hope this will meet the needs of my fish and aquarium. Once again thank you ever so kindly. Myra <Welcome my friend. Life to you. BobF>

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

Goldfish jumped, sys., hlth.    7/8/07 I have a 7" "feeder" goldfish that we've owned for a number of years, she lives in a 40gal tank. Today she somehow jumped through a tiny space in the aquarium hood and landed behind the aquarium. I'm not sure how long she lay there, she was dry but moving her gill covers and eyes when I found her. I immediately put her back in the water and held her loosely with her nose in a stream of tiny bubbles in the tank. After awhile she seemed to revive and tried to swim away, but wasn't able to hold herself upright to swim. She slithered on her side along the bottom. <Greetings. What you describe is not uncommon. Goldfish will jump for a variety of reasons. Does she live alone? They are schooling fish, and become nervous when kept alone. In a 40 gallon tank, you have space for one or two more companions. Since she's a regular goldfish, it's best to choose non-fancy varieties so that they can all swim and forage for food equally well. So choosing from plain goldfish, or Shubunkins, or comets would be ideal.> I put her in a netted fry tank, hung that in the aquarium in the bubble stream, and covered the tank with a towel. I wanted to keep her quiet and away from her tankmates, two other smaller goldfish. <Ah, she has friends already. Fine. Not sure she really needs to be isolated though, as she may be more stressed by that than by any possible interference from her tankmates. But they might peck at her or annoy her, so I understand your motives here. A case of play it by ear, really.> It's been about 10 hours since I found her and she's still with us, but still has no ability to keep herself upright. She is not interested in eating and has positioned herself along an edge of the netted box and is keeping herself upright this way. <Give her some more time... she's certainly sustained some serious damage. It will likely take her a while to get her equilibrium back.> What else could I try for this old lady? She lost a couple of scales but otherwise appears unharmed. Has she damaged her swim bladder or ? <While the swim bladder isn't likely to be damaged as such, it may have deflated, and it'll take a while for her to re-inflate it. But 10 hours isn't a long time. Watch for the next couple of days. Look for signs of organ damage (e.g., swelling or dropsy). Quite possibly a good idea to treat for fungus/Finrot just to make sure no secondary infections set in. Otherwise carry on what you're doing.> Kathy <Good luck! Neale>
Re: goldfish jumped  7/10/07
Thank you Neale so much for your input and direction. The fish is still alive this a.m. and I will take her out of the net box to see how she does, in case that is stressing her out--she certainly doesn't look happy in there. It is such a comfort to know I am on the right track. Kathy <Cool. Keep us posted. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: goldfish jumped   7/25/07
Hello Neale, <Hello Kathy,> You said to keep you posted... :-) Amazingly this goldfish is still alive and seems fine--swimming, eating. I say amazingly because it wasn't until the day after I wrote you that the extent of her injuries were noticeable. She must have beat herself hard on her left side as she lay on the desk her aquarium sits on, trying to flip back in I guess. <Sounds plausible.> Her left front fin was bloody and damaged, and many of the rays fell off. Her entire left side from the gill back was bloody, and sloughed off over the next two days down to the fascia and in a couple of places, muscle. Her anal fin was shredded and her tail fell off ray by ray. She had assorted small abrasions on her head and lips. <Poor old girl.> I started Maracyn Two against tail and fin rot. I also put some in that water conditioner that promotes slime coat. It was several days before she was able to swim normally, and for the first several days she hung in the back of the aquarium, listlessly eating only if a piece of food floated her way. However each day she was somewhat improved, and now it seems her wounds are healing well and that she will survive, though look rather sad without her tail. Her usual voracious appetite kicked in again a little over a week after her injury. <Sounds promising. Every once in a while there are stories in the fishkeeping magazines about goldfish being dragged into the garden by a cat or something and then returned to an aquarium seemingly without hope, only for the tenacious fish to eventually return to full health. Goldfish are astonishingly robust animals, as are carp generally, and this is one reason why they were the first freshwater fishes kept as pets.> An odd thing happened that second day. I mentioned in my first email that after I found her behind the aquarium, I had put her in a net fry box to keep her quiet and away from her tank mates, two smaller goldfish. After you suggested that being in the box might be stressing her, I took her out. As soon as she was free one of the other goldfish sped to her and seemed to anxiously swim about her. Whenever the injured fish wobbled toward the bottom or started to list off-keel, the other fish would speed after her and nudge her to the top or back upright. She didn't nip at her or otherwise harass her, just used her body to muscle her along. The friend fish kept this up for two days, after which the injured fish was swimming much better and apparently the friend felt she could go off duty :-) I have never seen fish behave this way. <Very sweet. What you're seeing is *why* we tell people to keep goldfish (and other sociable fish) in groups -- they not only like company, they have a need for company as well. With goldfish, there really does seem to be a certain level of affection between specimens. Anyway, sounds as if her pals were pleased to see her back.> I am very appreciative of your help. I wouldn't have given a nickel for this goldfish's chances after I got a good look at her the next day after she jumped. <I'm so pleased she's doing well, and I'm glad you're finding the whole thing educational. Makes you wonder that if goldfish are such complex and robust animals, why have we mistreated them so? It's hard to accept "feeder goldfish" as nothing more than live food after you've kept goldfish as pets for a while and learned about them. They're genuinely nice animals.> Thanks again, Kathy <You're welcome and thanks for writing. Good luck, Neale>

Goldfish health and systems First, my compliments: this is one of the most comprehensive and educational web sites I have visited, across the board. Thank you, and well done! <Thank you> I have 3 fantastic Panda Telescope Butterfly goldfish, Magic, Mystery, and Marvel. (Incidentally, the "panda" thing was very short lived. They very quickly turned completely white - almost in unison - and have since looked like fishy angels :-) !) Anyway, they've each grown about an inch in the last 6 months. They have temporarily been living in a 10-gallon aquarium and are going to be moved, <Thank goodness... need more room> one by one, into their permanent 36 gallon home after it completely cycled in approximately 2-4 more days. I would appreciate advice and information in several areas: 1) Cycling the aquarium: Background - My water has an ammonia reading of 1.0 out of the tap, <I would NOT ingest this water myself... Please see WWM, your water district/supplier re this> so I habitually add AmmoLock with each water change. <Mmm, and store it ahead of use... perhaps for a week> I also use EasyBalance to help with the nitrates. I have not added either product to the 36 gallon aquarium yet; it seemed logical to me that these two products would delay the cycling process. <Yes> I started the tank on 6/27. I was able to add water, gravel, and filter media from my existing tank to speed up the cycling process. I started getting algae growth yesterday - a tiny bit of green, and a thin coating of brown on most surfaces. <A good sign...> I have been testing the water regularly. The ammonia spiked on day 5 at 2.0, and the nitrites spiked at day 7 at 2.0. Today (day 10) the readings were as follows: ammonia 0.25, nitrites 0, and nitrates 20. Questions - a) When should I add AmmoLock and EasyBalance to the system? <Mmm, no more... Instead I would, and would have siphoned out some of the "gunk" in the present ten gallon system and added it to the new tank...> Prior to introducing the first goldfish? Note: I have actually never seen an ammonia reading below 0.25 in my tanks, and wonder if this is due to the high amount of ammonia in the tap water? <Actually... likely an artifactual reading from the kit itself... With the nitrate present, the algae growing... I strongly suspect you have NO ammonia> Therefore, is it reasonable to expect the ammonia to read the ideal 0 prior to fish transfer? <Mmm, no... Do try this test kit with pure water...> b) I have not been using an air pump in the cycling tank until today. I learned from this site that increased oxygen might help with the brown algae. (When the goldfish are living in the tank I will of course have plenty of aeration from a 24" bubble bar, bubble disk, and 2 air stones. I plan on learning about adding live plants in a few weeks, but am going with artificial for the time being.) Is there anything else I should do about the brown algae? <Mmm, no. Leave it be... part of the cycle... you can "wipe off" in a month or so...> Adding snails and other cleaner critters seems to be a somewhat controversial topic. <Yes... but there are other means of control... competition... nutrient limitation... Posted on WWM> c) I was planning on introducing each goldfish a week apart in order to give the system time to gradually acclimate to each increase in bio-load. Does this sound appropriate? <Should be fine> 2) Temperature: Background - During the summer where I live the outside temperature averages 85-95 F. I live in a 104 year old house without the best insulation. My husband and I keep the temperature in the house between 74-78 degrees to save money. My 10-gallon tank stays at 78-80 F. Even in the AM, when all factors combine to lower the temp - cooler outside the house, AC turned down to 72, aquarium lights off - the temperature inside the tank has not been lower than about 75/76. The 10 gallon is not near a window, and all of the blinds in that room stay drawn throughout the day. Available space necessitated locating the 36 gallon near a window with northern exposure that gets no direct sunlight. The water temp in that tank has stayed at 78-80 whether the lights are on or off. Questions - Should I leave the aquarium lights off to minimize that source of heat output? <Mmm, perhaps... fancy goldfish "varieties" (they're all the same species, cross), do fine in warm water... all else being okay... But altering the light cycle during the warmest months is a good idea (I do this with my goldfish systems as well> I am concerned that this would have negative long-term effects on the health of the fish and prevent me from being able to use live plants in the aquarium. <Mmm, just have the lights on during other hours of the day> I've thought about lowering the water level (to minimize the risk of suicide jumpers) and leaving the hood off - just guessing that the increased air circulation might help keep temperature down? Magic is the only fish that seems bothered by the heat, which leads me to my third and final topic. <Good techniques... but I doubt if the water temp. will be an issue here... And much better to have the larger volume of water... much more stable...> 3) Floaty-Bloatiness: Background - Magic seems to predictably get the floaties (i.e. bob up to the top of the water when not actively swimming, sleep at the top with his dorsal fin out of the water, etc.) when the water temp gets up near 80. He also gets the floaties in about 2-3 days time if not fed peas exclusively. He definitely lets me know if the nitrates are getting high (at or over 20) by getting the floaties. <All negative factors...> Neither of the other 2 fish has ever shown a hint of any similar issues. I feed them all the same thing at the same time, obviously, since they are tank mates. They get 3 small meals a day, 2 or 3 being Pro-Gold pellets. <I would cut back on this food> The third is either freeze-dried brine shrimp, krill, or Tubifex worms. On Sundays and Wednesdays that get 2 meals of Spirulina flakes and 1 meal of peas. <Good, need more of this> They don't get fed on Mondays. The also get spinach whenever I do. (Incidentally, they have not shown interest in the Anacharis or any other veggies I have offered them.) <Happens> Questions - Should I keep the high-maintenance fish in the 10 gallon by himself, and only move the other two to the 36 gallon, so that Magic can be on a strictly pea diet with salt-treated water without having to do this to the other 2 fish? <Mmmmm, I'd move all. The social dynamic of these seemingly "simple" animals is not well-appreciated, but they definitely do NOT like it being upset> I could see him doing better in the larger tank since the water quality should be improved and more stable, but I could also see it being harder on him since he would have to swim a much greater distance to get from the surface to the bottom of the tank for food, etc. <Yes... better to reduce all feeding, and greatly discount the high/er dried pellet formulated food/s> Thank you so much for applying your expertise to my concerns! I look forward to reading the results. It's very important to me that my fishy friends live long, healthy, happy lives. Sincerely, Angela <Thank you! For sharing your passion, care here. Excelsior! Bob Fenner>  

Question about my sick fantail. -- 07/01/07 Good Morning, <And to you> I have a fantail goldfish she is in the hospital tank for the second time. I think she was infected by flukes? First time one side was swollen with a point. Placed her in the hospital tank and tried to give her Medi-Gold. The point ruptured, pus came out, she was much flatter. She would not eat it (Medi-gold) so I put Maracyn2 in. She seemed to clear up, started to eat . Shortly after I placed her back in the main tank. Less than five days later the same thing happened. Body swelled up and an even larger point developed. <Mmm... perhaps not flukes, nor anything that can/could be treated with Minocycline... this fish may have induced Ascites, but for the breed, appears to be suffering from a common complaint... > Back in the hospital tank again, this was this past Monday the 25th. Both sides are now swollen, the point had broke with even more pus coming out. I applied peroxide to the wound, it looks to have healed up. I have been doing 25% water changes every day. I neglected to check the ammonia readings. On Wednesday it is 0.25 - bad. So I did a 50% WC, that dropped it down. Next change it was at O. I have had aquarium salt and Epsom salt in (not at the same time). <Good> I now have her in Maracyn2. My LFS did not stock it so I had to travel out of town for it. She will not eat peas , I even hold her and hand feed her but to no avail she spits it out. She tries to right herself and always returns to being on her back. She has not eaten for going on six days. She had a slight brown stringy poop last night. Is this fish to far gone in your opinion. I am still hoping to reduce the swelling. I would appreciate your opinion. Regards, Sandra Shore <Time, shallow water. NO dried, prepared food/s... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshmalnut.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

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

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