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FAQs About Goldfish Behavior 1

Related Articles: GoldfishGoldfish Varieties Goldfish Systems, Goldfish DiseaseGoldfish Mal-Nutrition,

Related FAQs:  Goldfish Behavior 2, Goldfish Behavior 3, Goldfish 1, Goldfish Compatibility, Goldfish Selection, Goldfish Systems, Goldfish Feeding, Goldfish DiseaseGoldfish Breeding/Reproduction

Lonely Comet  - 04/19/2006 Good Evening to All from Denise and Josh in Seattle, WA. We recently purchased 2 small comets (11/2 in. each, tip of head to tip of tail) at our local Petco and they stated that our 2 1/2 gal tank would be a safe size for our new pets.  After reading your site I see that is not correct and we need to correct this. <This is your most immediate issue.  Goldfish produce massive amounts of waste, and that waste builds up fast in a tiny tank!  This is the direct cause of your problems.>   My question is after acclimating them to their new home, Marbles died.  I had the store do a water check and all checked out. <Not possible.  Unless you let your tank cycle for 30-40 days before adding fish, your fish are producing far more waste than your biofilter can handle.  I believe that your petstore personnel are being lazy with their water testing.  In the future, ask for exact values.  Better yet, get your own test kit and understand your pet's environment.>   It was explained that perhaps Marbles was confused by the type of food (flake) but Jimmy has <No, it literally takes weeks for a fish to starve to death.> no problem eating (once a day as advised).  We did not want Jimmy to be lonely so we purchased Maynard.  They did well and stayed very close together for 3 days until I noticed Maynard pushing and nudging Jimmy from behind, trying to nibble (no missing scales) and chasing him.   <Even usually mild mannered Goldfish will become aggressive if there is not enough space for them.  2.5 gallons is woefully overstocked for Goldies, they should have about 10 gallons per fish!  Keep them separated until you can get them an appropriately sized home.> I put Maynard in a separate tank and now Jimmy seems frantic!  He is eating well but seems to either hide in the plants, behind the filter, or darting around in a frenzy.  Could he miss his more aggressive counterpart? <Goldfish do well interacting with other Goldfish, but they are not a schooling fish.  That is, they do well in groups or as solitary individuals.  Your Goldfish isn't "lonely", I suspect he is suffering due to environmental issues.>   Should I try to put Maynard back in?  Jimmy is only slightly smaller but I don't want him to get hurt.  Again, Jimmy's water checks out well in the normal range. <There is no "acceptable" range for Ammonia and Nitrite.  These chemicals are deadly in any concentration, if they are not 0 PPM, your tank is still cycling and your pets are in trouble.  Please read the following two links, one on Cycling and aquarium, and the other on Goldfish systems: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwestcycling.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm   Any help will be very much appreciated! Thank You! Denise and Josh <Good luck! Jason N.> Aggressive Goldfish 11/25/2005 Hi ya <Hi Ya> Hope you can provide me with some help. I've recently upgraded my aquarium, moved my boys over to it (being 2 shabumkins and 2 goldfish). <I am going to guess you are talking about shubunkins, but I kind of like your version better.> I purchased 5 fantails and placed them in my old tank to check for any problems. <Awesome.> unfortunately within 3 days white spot developed and I treated the tank with the recommended treatment from my local aquarium store, and did regular water changes. Once the problem was cured and after approximately 4 weeks I decided to move the fantails into my main aquarium.  The problem which I have is that I have two fantails which constantly keep chasing and pecking the bigger fish [being my goldfish and shabumkins] the other 3 have settled in lovely without any problems.  I decided to move the two fantails back into the old tank because they were causing too much stress. The articles which I have read, tells me that it is usually the other way round e.g. goldfish pick on fantails.  The thing which concerns me more is that the goldfish and shabumkins are nearly twice as big as the fantails but allow themselves to be bullied. <See if you can get them to read the articles that say they should be the more aggressive ones, maybe that will change their attitude.> I have grown very fond of the two fantails and really don't want to part with them, but I am unsure what I should do to keep harmony in the tank. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Alison <Well, you did not mention the size of the new tank, it may be overcrowded with the 2 bumpkins, 2 regular goldfish, and 5 fantails, if my calculations are correct to house 9 goldfish you should have a tank around 90 gallons.  You could add more plants and decorations and add the two aggressive fantails back; the additional decorations may keep them distracted.  Or you could let the fish sort it out, I don't think the regular shaped goldfish are in too much danger from the fantails, they are much faster swimmers than the wide bodied goldfish (same goes for the bumpkins).  The other option is to keep the 2 naughty fantails in their own tank; this is probably the safest option.  Best Regards, Gage>

Goldfish behavior question 10/8/05 Sabrina, <Robin!> Well, I guess it was completely a dietary issue! :) Within a couple hours of feeding them the peas, the Ryukin was all better. <Ahh, good. Definitely modify their diet from here on, then.> I am feeding them their floating pellets in the morning and peas every night. Do you think that will be fine? <In all honesty, I would urge you to feed them once daily or every 2-3 days, and completely discontinue the pellets for a little while.... maybe resume the pellets in a week or so. I also urge you to add aquatic plants (anacharis/Egeria/elodea is easiest for this use) for them to munch "whenever".> Also, I am changing their water biweekly, considering how small their tank is. <Is indeed a very small system.... I would change water more often if possible, and get them into a larger tank soon.> I turned off their heater for now.. But I live in a very cold area and it's bound to get extremely cold very soon, so I'll turn it back on then to keep it from going into the 50s or so. Thank you very much for your help! It's extremely appreciated! Oh, ha, I have another little question. I give them blanched spinach in a veggie clip every few days, but the Ryukin tends to take off a big piece, then get it stuck in his mouth. Is there anything I can do to keep him from taking so much and possibly choking? <Does it actually get stuck, or is he just hanging onto it, "sucking" or "chewing" it? He should be fine with large pieces - but you can always tear it into smaller pieces and let them pick it off the substrate.... you will need to be cautious about removing any uneaten bits, though.> Thanks! Robin <Glad to hear everything's working out okay! Keep givin' those goldies their greens! Wishing you well, -Sabrina>

My goldfish spend all day lying at the bottom of their tank.  9/30/05 Is there a reason for this? <Probably, but without more information, there is no way to diagnose the problem.  Try reading: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm and http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshdisease.htm.  Catherine> Shubunkin the Culprit! Eaten or Sick? 8/15/05 Hey there!! I'm Meagan and I have recently been appointed the position of "Fish Caretaker" of my mothers goldfish. She loves the Goldfish as they are for her two grandchildren, my son and my sisters son. Here is the problem. In one 30 gallon tank we have a Shubunkin, a Moor, (until recently) 2 fantails, and one algae eater. The newest addition was the Shubunkin. Until this new addition the goldfish and the algae eater were quite compatible, playful and very healthy. <Mmmm... fantails can't "compete" with the more streamlined Shubunkin>> After the "Newb" was added I noticed Goldfish 2's (one of the fantails as named by one of the children) tail fin had simply split. It was flowing through the water like hair, like the skin between the slender threads had just disappeared. I was extremely worried, but decided to wait it out. The next day it's tail looked as if it had been nibbled at or eaten, all in all, it was definitely not as flowing or long! I waited another day and when I woke, it's tail was gone!! All that was left was a poor stump where it's beautiful flowing tail had been! I took the poor fish out immediately and placed it in my "Hospital tank" (a 5 gallon bowl). It seems to be doing better. I change the water twice a day (but leave at least 1/4 of the original water in the bottom) and I put Cycle in with it. I want to know if it was the Shubunkin that "ate" it or a sickness or was it that we haven't enough room for all these fish? <Mmm, because of the rapidity, that only one fish is/was malaffected, I am mostly convinced this was aggression, not a biological disease> We supplement their diet with living plants and clean their tank about every 3 weeks. They were thriving until this Shubunkin came to live with us, but it is so cute I don't want to get rid of it, and I don't want Goldfish 2 to die!! Please help me, and in doing so you will help two very adorable children!! Sincerely, Meagan <I would remove the newest fish (the shubunkin)... and keep only "roundish" goldfish types here with the others. Bob Fenner> Ah!! Details!! Meagan here again!! Sorry, I'm really upset, and when I am upset I forget details!! Goldfish 2 also seemed to have some chunks of scales on it's side ripped off. I mean it really looks ripped off, like it narrowly escaped being eaten! I do have a filter in the larger tank (of course). Before I took him out of the tank he was hovering near the top, very easy to catch and seemed to almost flip upside down at times, before righting himself again. I thought this may be the lack of a back tail fin, but after reading your FAQ's on proper tank care I'm not so sure anymore. I'm sorry, I'll go out right away and buy a water testing kit and more little plants for my precious' to nibble on! Meagan <Mmm, no Chinese Algae Eater/s here? I would definitely isolate, remove the Shubunkin. BobF>

Goldfish aggression follow-up  8/16/05 Alright, I'll remove the Shubunkin. The rest of the fish aren't doing so hot either! The Moor has a small pimple like white head at the base of his tail that has a red gash halfway around it, and (the first fantail) Goldfish 1 has a red gash on it's side. the Shubunkin seems fine, other than a wormy thing at the base of it's dorsal fin. I think it's parasites, but I'm not sure. Would it be okay to treat for parasites anyways? <I wouldn't... toxic, hard on the fish> Would it harm the other fish, and if I isolate it (the shubunkin) can I still treat the other fish for parasites anyways to be sure?? I will send pics next time to better inform you. Thanks, Meagan <I would hold off on adding further stress for the moment. Bob Fenner>

Goldfish Color Change - 08/11/2005 Hi, I hope you can help me with this. I have a veiltail goldfish (4 yrs old) and one month ago I treated her for dropsy - she was using antibiotics (tetracycline type)  (and aggressive water treatment)  for seven days & two weeks ago I begun to give her vitamins because she began to lose color turning white, the fish store (Tong's) where I buy my product suggested vitamins to restore the color back in her scales. <Possibly this color change is natural.  Goldfish do change color, over time, with age, possibly influenced by pH and other water chemistry factors....> (one a week every water change, 1 tablespoon) 25% twice a month full change twice a month)  Ten days ago I noticed brown "age" spots, <This is also possibly natural, or could be an indication of ammonia burns or other reactions to something toxic in the water.  Do please be testing for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate - keep ammonia and nitrite at ZERO and nitrate less than 20ppm with water changes.> they first were on her right side fins there is now dot like on various parts of her body and on her lip - her behavior is cheerful, vigorous swimming, but I am concerned with her "spots"  the spot color is the same color as the streaks in her long beautiful tail which she developed two years ago.   <Another indicator that this may just be a natural process.> I hope you can answer this for me.  Thank you for your time and opportunity to write to you,  Lorraine Rubio               <Wishing you and your goldfish well,  -Sabrina> Please help with my goldfish! Feeding, pea stuck 8/11/05 Mr. Fenner, <Chrisinha> How are you? I'm sorry if I'm making a mistake here by contacting through e-mail, but I'm really desperate. I've posted this same message at WWM message board, but so far I haven't gotten any replies :( I fed my goldies this morning, and Jude, my little telescope, got a piece of pea. I went out and came back a little while ago and saw that she has a piece of pea sitting on the bottom of her throat!! it's been 6 hours I fed them!!. I'm not sure if it's the same piece, but I would think so because I checked if there was any piece left on the bottom of the tank before i headed out and I didn't see anything.  :o  :o She doesn't seem distressed or having labored breathing, but I'm really concerned!! I tried to pull it out with tweezers twice but was unsuccessful. I'm afraid of hurting/distressing her and making things even worse!! <Me too> I'm helpless here!! please, what should I do?? Do you think the pea will eventually "disintegrate" in her mouth? Chris <I do think this too shall pass. Please don't be distraught. Bob Fenner>

Re: Please help with my goldfish! 8/11/05 Thanks for replying. Sorry to bother you again. It's been 24 hours and the pea is still in her throat. She cant swim to the top. She tries, but sinks. When she does, it looks like she's going for air. She stays on the bottom, a little tilted to the side, so i put her in plastic basket (like those we use for pond plants) in the main tank. I don't know if I've stressed her too much yesterday. Should I leave her alone for a while or immediately take her the vet? <I would leave this fish be... much too risky to handle it more. Bob Fenner> thanks Chris Fish Feces 8/5/05 Hello <Hey, Mike G with you today.> I' ve wanted to know this answer for so long, My son wanted to have a gold fish but he also want to know that does fishes " poop" and "pee". <Fish do, indeed pass feces like any other animal, but they do not "pee" in the way we see urination. Osmosis brings wastes from the fishes' body, and does that job for them.> I will be glad if you answer me Thanks. <You're very welcome. Mike G.>

Fantail goldfish!!! Behavior, health 8/2/05 Hello. I received two Fantail goldfish as a present 4 months ago. I am not sure if either are male or female... but the larger fantail looks a lot more plump and has become sluggish in the past 2 days. It has been laying on its back occasionally and stays at the bottom of the tank. I'm not sure if it's pregnant or dying. but it has been acting very weird. <Mmm, perhaps temperature/season... maybe something out of whack with water quality, nutrition...> I have a picture... so please check it out! I don't think it is normal for my fish to look this large in the stomach area, but maybe you can solve my problem!! thanks <Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner> Enormous goldfish question... 8/1/05 Hello, I hope you can help me with our goldfish. We purchased three comets 4 months ago, who live in a 20 gallon aquarium with a waterfall filter (can't remember what that type is actually called), and eat flake food and the odd pea. Last week one died of some sort of skin-fungus (his fin rotted away, quite quickly, so I doubt that has anything to do with this, but thought I'd give all the details). This week I noticed that one of the two remaining is nearly twice the size of the other. Neither appears to have been eating more or less than the other, neither appears sick or inactive. I wonder what the problem could be? They measure about 1 and 1.5 inches. Any ideas? Thank you. Emily <No problem with the differential growth... just happens that some individuals have more/less propensity for such. You can read on WWM re goldfish keeping in general... disease, nutrition, systems... Bob Fenner>

Black Moor with only one gill working (7/24/05) HI- I have spent so much time reading and trying to find someone with the same problem as I...I already know my first problem--I have way too many fish in a 7 gallon tank-3 goldfish and one Pleco. YES, I know...very bad. <Which is why your first step here should be to return the healthy fish so you can treat the sick one.> I have done everything I can to keep the ammonia levels down, and the nitrate/nitrite...I used Bio-Spira twice, and was told not to do any water changes...they told me they wanted my tank to cycle...<Usually a good idea, but if ammonia and nitrite levels are high, large water changes are called for. There will be plenty left over to promote cycling.> but I finally did a 30 percent water change because after 2 weeks--my nitrates went down, but my ammonia levels were really high...all of my fish are still alive- thank god- eating properly, swimming normal- except, I went out of town and had someone else feed them, and the filter had become severely clogged, and wasn't even working! <They must have overfed.> When I got home tonight I noticed all of the fish were at the top dying for air...I was so upset--I knew what it was and fixed the filter...all of the fish seem OK--EXCEPT the moor...he is eating great, but on his left gill- it is REALLY RED and looks like it is inflamed. He keeps going to the top and gulping for air...I want to help him heal! What can I do? I have more Bio-Spira...should I put it in? <It does provide good bacteria, but your problems is more serious.> I changed the water 30 percent tonight after I fixed the filter... Please help me... <The underlying problem is too much fish pee/poop in the tank, a long with rotting uneaten food. I suspect the Moors' gill is burned and possibly infected. You should get it into a hospital (quarantine) tank ASAP. You could set one up with a several-gallon Rubbermaid container and a sponge filter, but a small tank would allow you to see it better. Ten-gallon tanks can often be had for $10-15. Charge the filter with the Bio-Spira and keep the water ammonia-free. Also, keep the water well-oxygenated. If the gill does not begin to heal soon or gets worse, consider adding a broad-spectrum antibiotic. Bear in mind that this will kill the Bio-Spira, so close monitoring of the ammonia and frequent water changes may be needed. Hoe this helps, Steve Allen.>

Goldfish question 7/9/05 I've been searching around the site trying to diagnose what's wrong with my Ryukin, Nemo.. He seems to swim funny. He'll float to the top of the tank (sometimes sideways) stay there for a few moments then swim really fast to about half way to the bottom...then float to the top again. I'm starting to wonder if there's something wrong with his swimbladder. <Good guess> I'm going to try feeding him peas tomorrow, as suggested on the site. I was just wondering if the floating/swimming behavior was normal? He was doing it for a while before he started floating sideways. <Is very likely a genetic, feeding, developmental problem... Please read on WWM re "swimbladder disease in goldfish". Bob Fenner>

Re: Goldfish behaviour 7/20/05 Hi <Hello there> I bought the water testing kit today and got satisfactory results, the pH was certainly 7 and all the others almost nil.  I wondered about the temperature having put an outside thermometer into the pond at the shallow level.  My grey water has now gone green (do you think I bought duff barley straw? <Possibly> although we have had temperatures in the mid 20s for days on end) but the remaining fish (Harry the heron has been having a wonderful time) seem very happy despite being fed less and have stopped spending dawn and the hours immediately following on the surface - I did take out some weed (probably 10%) and have been pretty pro active re dying lily leaves and such like.  Still spraying the water each day as the oxygenator has failed to arrive! Cheers Angie Watts <Hopefully it will arrive soon, do measurable good in improving your water quality. Bob Fenner>

Lonely goldfish 7/4/05 Hello Crew <Alice> I have one silver goldfish in about 15 gallons, all on his own.  His friend, a shubunkin, died last month, having been a very odd shape but otherwise his usual cheery self for more that a year.  They were very good friends, and never much more that three inches apart. I know that this isn't a very big tank for two goldfish, although the water quality has always been good, and I am wondering what to do now.  Flash doesn't appear to be miserable, although his behaviour is naturally different now that he is alone.  Is it cruel to keep just one goldfish? <Mmm, no, not IMO... this species (actually a cross) is almost "autistic" in not realizing its surroundings... will imprint on your presence for company> I've had them both for more than eleven years; how would he feel about going in the garden pond, which has quite a number of fish, after all this time in a tank? <Mmm, could... done during the summer, when it's warm... a good idea to change some of the aquarium water with the pond over a few weeks time to acclimate> He has never been cold!  Or would it be possible to add one or more smaller fish? Please advise! Eliza <If the new fish was in good health, you might add one more. 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>

Re: Pond Goldfish behaviour 7/5/05 Thanks very much for your reply.  I found the credit note from the water company when we had to have the concrete pond relined with a butyl liner as it had cracked (September 2003) and I found I reclaimed for 35metres3 not put back into the sewage system. <A good note... in the States we also can at times realize such a saving from notifying our water/sewage service provider> Add to that the contents of 2 x 45 gallon containers, one large fish tank and a paddling pool (for the marginals) I think that works out a pond approx 7,800 gallons, am I about right?   <Mmm, 35 cubic meters of water is about 9,409 gallons...> About a hundred goldfish (although most of them have bred black).  I have ordered a solar powered oxygenator to help things & use barley straw in old tights (last added about three weeks ago) but I guess 2 and half inches of rain the other day really upset my systems. Although I have to confess I was in there the week before taking out some weed!  At the moment I am just spraying the water a little each day to add oxygen. <All good techniques> The fish seem to be okay but after looking through your web site I am resolved to feed them less often than the several times a day they have got into the habit of begging for. It's a great site - I have learnt so much from looking at it. Cheers Angie Watts <Thank you for your kind words, caring and sharing your experiences. Bob Fenner>

Concerned about Orandas, cleanliness is not sterility 07/01/05 Good Day, <And to you> I am new to caring for Oranda's.  I have (2) since February 14th, Romeo and Juliet.  I have a 29 gallon tank for them and overall they seem to be well. About 2 weeks ago Juliet (the smaller of the two) began to lie on her side after I had cleaned the tank. <Define "clean"... not completely emptying the tank I hope>   After I cleaned the tank I gave them both some cooked mashed peas.  About two hours later I saw her struggling to swim and laying on her side.  I turned off the lights and let her rest.  Though the night she seemed stressed, but by the next afternoon she was totally back to normal.  When I cleaned my tank before, I just left my fish in the tank and cleaned and vacuumed the gravel with them in there. <Good... no more than 25% of the water at a go>   So after her little episode I take them out with a net and put them in a large plastic bowl while I clean the tank. <I'd leave the fish in place> All of my water readings are fine.  0 ammonia, my nitrites are perfect.  Today when I cleaned their tank I was putting them back into the clean tank and I noticed that in the plastic bowl that I had held them in, there was what looked like to me, little bits of what I thought was blood.  When I felt it with my fingers it just felt like a jelly   It was red.  Do you think they might have a parasite? <No... but bizarre>   Should I treat them with a medication? <Mmm, no> My husband thinks I am crazy, but I really do worry.   They both are very social and exhibit no signs of sickness other than Juliet s little episode 2 weeks back.  I have not given them any more peas since that time.  Also sometimes Juliet swims very fast, just a couple of passes around the tank and then she's back to normal.  The water temperature is 72 degrees and they are the only fish in the tank.  Any input would be very much appreciated. Thank you, Kim Spurling <Please read through our goldfish area on WWM... there is nothing that "jumps out" that is wrong here... but I would modify your cleaning practices. Bob Fenner>

Fat Goldfish Woes 30 Jun 2005 My goldfish is "fat". <Not good> She has become listless except when she is having violent spasms.  She spends most of her time at the bottom of the tank.  I did check the water and it is fine.  I saw a long, think wormlike parasite floating in the water for the first time.  How do I know what parasite to treat her for?  She is alone in a 5 gallon tank.  Help!   Thank you! Pat <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshdisease.htm and the linked files above, particularly the Disease FAQs, the Feeding FAQs, the System FAQs. Bob Fenner>

Jumping goldfish Hi, I have just cleaned and re-started an old pond in my new garden and   stocked it with 10 goldfish. The pond has a small top level which feeds a   waterfall down into a larger lower level where the fish are kept. The largest  fish spends a lot of time under the waterfall and jumps almost out of the water  up into the falling water. It almost looks like he's trying to get up the   waterfall! Is this normal, should I be worried, or could it just be a reaction  to his new home? Thanks, Allison. <Is normal... and as long as doesn't lead to physical damage, no worries. Bob Fenner>

Odd goldfish behavior Hello, <Hi there> I have a 10 gallon tank for 2 goldfish with small (about .5"x.5" in size) Japanese river stones at the bottom of the tank.  I've had the black moor for more than a year now.  He's approximately 4" long (from tip to tail) - has doubled in size since I've had him.  I think he's a male, as he has little white specks/bumps on the front of his fins and head that he has been developing for the past couple months.  Not ick, as I was concerned and looked into it - seems male goldfish have tubercles and thick front pectoral fins?  Which is what he has developed. <Sounds like it... about the right time of year...> I originally had the stones spread out on the bottom of the tank.  For the past couple of days, he's been nudging the stones into a circle in the corner of the tank.  I only have a few stones left outside of his little "circle."  He's also moved the plants that are in the tank. Looks like some sort of nest.... Is this normal behavior? <Mmm, yes... Goldfish do nudge parts of their environment about... likely hunting for food... not substrate spawners as you're likely aware> I attached a picture, as it will probably describe the situation better. Please help in any way you can!  I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you! <I would be looking into a larger system... a ten gallon is too small even for this one fish... the bigger the better. Bob Fenner>

Crazy Goldfish 6.11.05 I have four goldfish in my 20 litre aquarium. <This tank is too small for this many fish, a good rule is 10 gallons, ~37litres, per goldfish> Since 2 days ago one of my comets started to dash back and fourth in up and down around the tank. I called the pet shop today and they said to feed it the inside of frozen peas, but I did and its not eating. <Peas are good for Goldfish with digestion issues.> It seems to be stressing out my other goldfish and it also is banging into the side walls of the tank and the filter. PLEASE I need your advice! What should I do?? Is quite urgent!! thank you <The first thing I would do is add some hiding places, it sounds like your fish are stressing out.  Ensure good water quality, have your local pets store test your water.  Get a larger tank as soon as possible, goldfish foul their water very quickly.  Best Regards, Gage>

Aquascaping Goldfish Hello, I have a 10 gallon tank for 2 goldfish with small (about .5"x.5" in size) Japanese river stones at the bottom of the tank.  I've had the black moor for more than a year now.  He's approximately 4" long (from tip to tail) - has doubled in size since I've had him.  I think he's a male, as he has little white specks/bumps on the front of his fins and head that he has been developing for the past couple months.  Not ich, as I was concerned and looked into it - seems male goldfish have tubercles and thick front pectoral fins?  Which is what he has developed. I originally had the stones spread out on the bottom of the tank.  For the past couple of days, he's been nudging the stones into a circle in the corner of the tank.  I only have a few stones left outside of his little "circle."  He's also moved the plants that are in the tank. Looks like some sort of nest.... Is this normal behavior? I attached a picture, as it will probably describe the situation better. Please help in any way you can!  I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you! <Your fish look good and healthy in the attached pic, I cannot see the spots.  Apparently your Goldfish think they are better decorators than you.  Although I usually see this behavior in cichlids goldfish can  have attitudes too; it is perfectly normal for fish to move rocks, driftwood, plants, etc.  Really nothing to worry about, maybe try larger rocks.  They are probably getting a little large for a 10gallon tank anyway, I'd go pick up a 20gallon tank and silicone the small rocks to the bottom before adding any water.  100% pure silicone, be sure to let it fully cure before adding water, that way you can choose the design and your goldfish will have no say in the matter.  Best Regards, Gage>

Goldfish Getting Moved Around Howdo Mr. Fenner < Chuck with you this time.> Thanks for the reply and advice. The gold fish has always been in a 74 f (23/4 c) tank for over a year (since he was a pup so to speak) with the others and is happy as you like. I have tried gradual transition into another more tempered tank (for goldfish) and he will not take it. < What is your definition of "More Tempered".> He gets very upset, clamped fins and none movement as soon as  he is out of 'his' tank (even if the other is identical, actual water, substrate  and temp form his home tank). Bless the guy, also the other fish seem real happy, but it is their temp I guess. weird? They actually like him in there, they  also go odd when he isn't in the tank (quiet and a little mopey). Never had  trouble with the tank though. Maybe I am reading to much into my fish. I do  love the guys, hence asking yourselves about the care  of my friends. I told my wife that you said I should get a new tank and she was like 'oh god! not another one; (in'a sweet way) cuz she already thinks I worry and spend to much time around mine and other fish tehe! So i have an excuse now to  get another tank on good authority thank :-D#. Would it hurt the molly mum and/or babies plus the gupp, not to put salt in   the tank? < Livebearers do appreciate some salt to their water. They will not die from lack of salt but may come down with a disease due to stress.> I am still learning about our little finned friends and am very proud that  I have been able to have happy fish that breed and have fry (I  know they would breed in a jam jar but give me my moment please, haha!) in my tank.  Proud dad! Any advice though is more then gratefully received in my learning  years. I have may books on fish keeping but I do feel that having  a source of (live) advice such as yourself/ves at the wet web is second to  none and I thank you for it Amy advice on the above and my current tank keeping would be much   appreciated Thanks Mr. Fenner (the tank man) Take care. Oz < Anytime fish get moved they become stressed and show some of the symptoms you describe. Some of these take care of themselves as the fish accumulates over time. Sometimes they need help in the way of medication. When fish are added or removed from a tank there is a change in the pecking order within the tank. Once again the fish are able to sort it out over time.-Chuck>

Goldfish Moving Slow I took my water to get tested at a local pet shop and it read: nitrate: 20 nitrite: 0 hardness: 75 alkalinity: 80 ph: 7.2 - 7.4 So pretty much everything seems fine. So I got another goldfish Oranda. They swim together and eat. However, they both seem to stay at the bottom of the tank and I am worried. I thought it was my water quality but it seems to be okay. It can't be a internal infection because my new Oranda who I bought today also is just chilling at the bottom of the tank like bubba. Don't get me wrong they eat and swim but also most of the time stay at the bottom. Can you explain this behavior? Thanks in advance. Concerned person. < Usually fish are swimming around looking for something to eat. If everything else is fine then they are probably full and don't feel like swimming around. I would recommend that you only feed you fish once a day and only enough food so that all of it is gone in a couple of minutes once each day, and see if that makes a difference.-Chuck>

It's Turning Black! Goldfish Color Change Hello, <<Hello.>> I was trying to do some research on why my goldfish is now turning black. Before it was totally gold. But now the fins have turned black (they are still are somewhat orange) and I noticed that it is getting black scales on it. Is my fish getting sick? Thanks, Kelly <<No, Kelly, this is actually a normal phenomenon, and rather common. I couldn't tell you if it's a "puberty" thing, or if your fish is showing a geriatric change, but I can tell you that, as long as finnage and scales are otherwise normal in appearance, your fish is definitely not sick. You may want to Google the world wide web on the title. Marina>> 

Summer Here, Winter There - Comets Slowing Down for Winter Hi, <<Greetings.>> I am asking my question from Australia. <<I'm answering your question from California. A.K.A. "Can'taffordya".>> About 2 months ago we added to our family two large comets (about 10cm - 4" in body length not including tail). They live in a half wine barrel that has been treated (approx 100 litres) & have a pump & filter. <<Treated? Treated well, I hope. Not that wine barrels have feelings or anything.>> They have been fine until recently when they have been less happy to eat. Usually they come to the top when they know someone is close by & happily gobble food. They are still eating a little, but not with as much enthusiasm. They otherwise seem fine. The wine barrel is in a protected corner of our covered patio. We are coming into winter here & I wondered if fish eat less when the temperature drops. <<Oh, yes! This is quite normal for goldfishes and koi (carp), and you should actually stop offering much food at this point (depending on temperature drop).>> The barrel is in sun for part of the day so there is some ally that I notice they eat. I have changed the water regularly adding rain water that I collect, cleaned filter etc. Thank you for taking the time to read my question. Janine <<Do search our site on pondfishes, goldfishes, as well as the world wide web. This is normal. What can be harmful to them is if there are great changes in temperature during the day and night (greater than 5 degrees Fahrenheit). Since they're protected on your patio, I wouldn't worry about it. Otherwise, if you think there's too much of a change, surrounding the barrel with sandbags (really, anything that will help insulate) should help. Marina>> 

Pucker Up Hello. I have a calico fantail. He was nibbling in an algae disk and now his mouth is in a permanent pucker. How did this happen and what can I do about it? The mouth opening is very small and the breathing seems a little labored.  Thank you, Shannon <He probably got a piece stuck in his mouth. After it soaks and softens he can easily clear it. Watch for any signs of infection, but I think he will be fine. Give him an extra water change to keep his water fresh while he heals. Don>

Goldfish Behavior, a Dearth of Useful Information... My goldfish seems to be acting strange. It keeps hovering at the top of the tank just below the waters surface. I have noticed that it tends to hover by the air filter. Is this normal? <Not normal... what is your water quality like? What do you test for? What do you feed this fish? About your system, what sort of filtration, aeration do you employ... Maintenance? Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwlivestkindex.htm.  Scroll down to Goldfish... read re their systems, behavior, disease... Bob Fenner> 

Goldfish Acts Strange After Water Change Bubba my black Oranda needs your help. After I changed the water and added all the additives to the water. Bubba stays in the corner has not swam out in about 1 day. What has happened to him? Do you know what happened? <A good water conditioner would handle any chlorine and chloramines. "All the additives" has me concerned. Without knowing what you did or what you were trying to do it makes it hard to comment.-Chuck> 

Weird behaviour in goldfish Hi <Hello there> I'm 14 years old and I own 4 goldfish. I have 2 common goldfish, a shubunkin and a comet. I've had them for 2 years in April and recently did a whole tank cleanout. <Mmm, not a good idea to change all out at once> When I re-entered the fish into the tank they were fine. On Tuesday I separated my shubunkin and my comet as I the shubunkin had a damaged tail and the comet had a lump on the side of its' head. I then changed some of the water and put my two fish back in the tank. The bigger of the two common goldfish started to bite or peck and barge the comet. I've done my research and it could be that it's just mating season but I'm really worried. I don't think the comets very well anyway as she still has the lump and swims a bit funny. I've isolated her again but don't know what to do now. My dad thinks she might be dying. Can you help? Thanks, Bethan  <Might be that all that is going on here is "environmental stress" from the change-out... I would add salt per what is posted on WWM and just observe your goldfishes. Please read there (WWM) re goldfish systems, cleaning aquariums as well. Bob Fenner> 

Goldfish on Bottom I have one of those goldfish that have the long fins in back, I have had them for awhile, but for the last couple of days one of them just sits on the bottom of the tank a lot away from the other fish, it eats and swims around. Can you tell me what could be wrong with it. How can you tell if the fish is pregnant? Thank you <Try a few 50% daily water changes. Goldfish produce a lot of ammonia. Also, If he's in with tropicals then it may be too warm for him. Not good to mix goldies and tropicals. Goldfish do better in cooler water than most of the other fish we keep. Don> 

Fantail yawning, happens My fantail goldfish FATSO does weird things with its mouth.   He yawns very wide and his eyes blink when he does this.  He, on occasion, will yawn in a way that looks like he is stuttering.  He had a fish louse (one disc shaped green one) and we removed it and his fin is now looking very healthy again.  Haven't noticed any others.  He eats very well and looks ok other than the weird yawning.  Is there something wrong? Thanks! Melissa <Not likely... goldfish do "yawn"... some folks think they may clean their gill rakers (branchiostegals) this way. Bob Fenner> Goldfish problems Hi, My goldfish has been acting kind of funny here lately.  My goldfish, Ariel, constantly swims upside-down and/or backwards.  When she is not doing this, she stays in a corner of her tank, bouncing up and down on her nose.  Should I be concerned?  She has been eating normally, and I think that her water and its temperature are good. Thank You, Haley <Very likely what you so well describe is "Swimbladder Disease" in goldfish... not really a disease per se, but a developmental disorder in roundish varieties that occurs principally from (misfeeding of dried foods, fatty accumulation... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshdisease.htm and the Related FAQs on Goldfish Disease, Goldfish nutrition linked above. Bob Fenner> Need to help themselves re goldfish, WWM Hi There Please can you help me. my husband bought 4 goldfish for our daughter they are in a tank 2ft by 1 ft with a pump and heater we have had them for about 2 and a 1/2 weeks now but in the past 2 to 3 days all they seem to do is lie about on the bottom of the tank they do come up for food but go straight back to the bottom of the tank again can you please advise us what to do as we are both complete beginners at looking after fish regards Fiona <Fiona, please go to our site (URL above) and read re Goldfish Set-ups, Maintenance... your system is not cycled... Bob Fenner>

Odd goldfish behavior We had this goldfish for 9 months and he has been active all this time. The last few weeks he has been staying at the bottom of the tank and sometimes he goes crazy, goes fast and runs into things. He still eats fine, he comes to the top to eat but then he goes back to the bottom. We changed his water but he still has the same problem. Can you help us with this issue? thanks <Could be light/reflection in the tank... are you checking water quality? Is the system stable, filtered, aerated? Some goldfish do much better (if you have room) with others of their own kind... Bob Fenner>

New Goldfish Woes Hi I'm sorry that this might be a really stupid question. I've tried looking up answers online but I still don't know why my goldfish is doing this. I've had this goldfish for one week. I've changed it's water today. It seemed fine for about 10 minutes but now for about 6 hours or so, it has just been sitting on the bottom of the tank. It doesn't move and it doesn't respond to food or tapping. Is it dying? Is it just resting? Please let me know what I can do. Thanks. -Jenny <Sounds like he was stressed by the water change. Always match temp and dechlorinate when charging water. If you did not dechlorinate I would do so at once. Could also be from a change in pH if this was a total water change. Rarely should you change more than 50% at a time. If the tank is newly set up than you need to get it cycled. Read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwestcycling.htm. For now the best thing you can do is keep things stable until he adjusts. Do small water changes, about 10 to 20%. But do them more often. Daily is fine. Don>  

Unhappy Black Moor? Hey gang. I've read your site extensively, and learned a great deal. Thanks for providing such a valuable and educational resource. <<Most welcome, and hey yourself.>> Before I get to my problem, here's the setup I'm running. 33 gallon freshwater tank, UG filter, plus an AquaClear 150 for filtration. In addition, we're running an 18" bubble bar for aeration. The tank is quite new; it's been running for approx. two weeks, and has had livestock in it for one week. Livestock consists of two small fantails (1" and 1 1/2") and a small black moor (1 1/2"). Current water conditions are: ammonia 0.5 ppm, nitrites 0.2 ppm, nitrates 10 ppm. pH is 7.5, temp hovers around 22-23c. As the tank is quite new, it has not yet cycled, but the highest ammonia reading we've had is 0.8. <<Nitrite is also toxic, my friend.>> So onto my question...our moor spends most of his time hovering at the surface, sticking his nose out of the water, and appearing to gasp for air. I have ruled out swim bladder issues as a contributing factor; when he has occasion to swim to lower depths, he has no difficulty. <<Ok.>> He is not just "floating" at the surface, but swims around actively. This seems like it would be a lack of oxygen in the water, but neither of his tankmates are displaying the same behaviour. <<I would tend to agree, except for that risen nitrite reading.>> Is it possible that the oxygen levels are fine for the two fantails, but not adequate for the moor? <<Yes, it sure is.>> Could this just be a habit the moor has picked up, unrelated to water quality or illness? <<Could be, yes.>> The moor is otherwise healthy, eating well, and showing no visual signs of illness or stress. What could the matter be? <<If possible, try and find some BioSpira for freshwater, this would finish off the cycle by inoculating with those desired cultures. I'm sure that the bubble bar creates a good deal of surface turbulence, and this is necessary for O2/CO2 exchanges. You might want to see what happens with a small (NO vacuuming yet!) water change, read the nitrite level. Other than that, I believe that fishes can develop "habits", and this may very well be one of them. Do continue to watch this fish closely, though, as this could be a precursor or sign of another, larger issue. Marina>>

Unhappy Blind Black Moor? II Thanks for your response. <<More than welcome.>> We won't rule out water quality issues until the tank has cycled, but here's a little more info, now that we've watched this fish very closely for a little longer. <<Alright, let's have it.>> He mainly hangs out in one of the front top corners of the tank, though he makes occasional forays into other areas. Always returns before long though. We've also noticed that this fish has a very hard time seeing food on the surface unless it is right in front of him (1/2 inch or less away). We've taken to dropping the flakes (when we feed sinking pellets, he misses them completely) right on top of him, so he'll be able to grab a few before his tankmates move in. I know telescopes don't have the best eyesight to begin with, but is it possible that this fish is blind, or nearly blind? <<Indeed, this is possible, certainly NOT unheard of!>> He continues to eat enthusiastically, when he can find the food, and still appears otherwise completely healthy, no signs of illness or stress. Is his behaviour consistent with that of a visually impaired fish? <<Based upon your description, I would have to surmise that it is consistent with such an animal. In these cases folks often find it easier to place the animal in a tank with lowered water level, by themselves. I don't know if this little fellow would enjoy this, but you might want to take a leaf or two of slightly blanched/parboiled/microwaved spinach and get a suction-cup clip (they sell them for marine fishes), put that in the tank near the surface, but NOT where he likes to hang out. If he really is visually impaired or blind, we don't want the other fishes jostling him too much. Don't leave the food in there for more than a few hours.>> Thanks again for your time. <<Again, more than welcome, and good luck to your little handicapped fish. Marina>> 

Lionhead aggression? Hi There <Hello> I today bought two new fish after losing 2 to strange circumstances. In order to provide companions for my lionhead goldfish.  Within 30 minutes of the new fish entering the tank. the lionhead started diving at one of the new fish and butting it from the side. the new fish seemed distressed so I have removed the lionhead from the tank and placed it in a separate tank. <Good move> Is this normal for lion heads? Did I do the right thing?  <Can happen... especially in too-cramped circumstances... You did exactly the right thing in moving the fish. Bob Fenner>

Disappearing goldfish Hi, I looked and couldn't find the answer to my question and have asked many people. My 9 year old daughter won five goldfish this past summer on July 4. We have them in a 'traditional' fishbowl which is rather small. But they have been happy campers since July 4 (usually these fish die in several days).  Every two days we clean their bowl and they seem quite happy. Grandma was helping us out one morning and decided to clean the bowl and discovered there were only four fish. We have checked every possible place for fish number five. Can goldfish eat other goldfish? If they can, why did they wait so long to do this? We are perplexed, can you help us?  Thanks in advance. <They can/will consume others if they are very hungry, one perishes or is quick sick... but much more likely the missing one "jumped out" and either was consumed by a household pet or is dried up on the floor somewhere near. Please do read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwlivestkindex.htm.  Scroll down to the Goldfish articles and FAQs area... and read re this fish's care. They need more than a bowl to live long, quality lives. Bob Fenner>

Black moor Dear Crew of WetWebMedia. <Andy> I have a question about my black moor goldfish named Umbrella (nice name isn't it?). Anyway, Umbrella has been acting weirdly lately. It (I prefer he/she) has been blowing bubbles at the top of the tank (this is not because of low dissolved oxygen). It has also started excreting stringy poop. You know, first comes the healthy dark stuff and second comes a stringy thing that makes it trail along. Please can you help me. <With?> I also realized that the goldfish usually swims tilted to one side or the other. This is only when I put the side light on. When I put the florescent light on (which is at the top), he/she swims perfectly again. Can you tell me what problem this is... please? Thank you for spending time to answer my questions From Andy (a first time fish keeper) <Andy, please read our archived materials on goldfish... see here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwlivestkindex.htm.  Scroll down to... Goldfish... read the Articles and Related FAQs files... your fish may be in unsuitable surroundings, perhaps poorly nutrified... You need to know more, tell more... Bob Fenner> 

Black Moor Behaviour... Hello. I have recently bought one fish. It is a black moor. Is it natural for them to lie at the bottom of the tank? Is it something to do with high nitrate and ammonia levels or is this natural behaviour? Thank you for answering my question. From Andy Tran <Please see, read where you've just been indicated. Bob Fenner> 

Moping Goldfish Hi all, I have a question about some strange behavior in my fancy goldfish. I had a goldfish that began to chronically rest on the bottom of the tank. I thought it might be sick, took it out, placed it into a hospital tank, tested the water in the original tank (it was fine), treated it for internal parasites, and it died. Then another fish took it's place. Same place, same circumstances, same conditions, etc. After I removed that fish immediately, another fish took its place! Now, I figured that I had a major pandemic going on and I put the old fish back in. Well, that fish is back to doing what it was doing originally. Which can only be described as "moping" at the bottom of the tank. Meanwhile the surrogate "mope" is doing just fine, as if it never happened. Is this part of reproduction? Thx- Gray <No. Goldfish love involves a lot of chasing and fin nipping. Sounds like a water quality issue. When you email us please include the results of all the tests you ran. Target is 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, less than 20ppm nitrate. Do water changes to correct any spikes. Any ammonia or nitrite can harm the gills and cause the fish to seem to be moping. Goldfish can handle a wide range of pH, but you should test to ensure you're not way high or low. If your water tests OK then I would try a medicated flake for bacterial infections. Don>

Black No Moor Hi, Crew! I have Googled this one to death, and cannot find a photo or experience to match. Our black moor, Sammy, was purchased 2 1/2 years ago at the local PetSmart. He/she is not turning silver, red, or gold. He/she is turning panda? This is why I included a photo. I find this highly unlikely (given the place of purchase), and yet this is what seems to be happening. The photo makes the markings seem darker than they really are. Any thoughts? Sammy seems quite healthy otherwise. <Quite normal for Goldfish to change color as the mature. In time he may loose all his black coloring. Or he may stay as is. Time will tell. I would check water to ensure he wasn't being stressed, but it looks like normal coloring in the photo. Nice fish. Get him a nice big tank. 55 gallons or "moor". Don>

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>

Battling Goldfish Hi, I have two goldfish, one is a fantail the other is a black moor, they are both the same size. Just recently the fantail had a little split on his tail and it tore away and came off. There does not seem to be any sharp objects in the tank. I have checked the pH and ammonia levels and they are good. The fish seems OK now (except with a bit missing at the end of his tail). What would have caused the problem?  And will this happen again? I have been using a water conditioner with aloe vera in it to replace the fishes slime coating and help repair damaged fins and scales as suggested by the fish shop. Is this sufficient? Or is there something else I can do? When there isn't a lot of plants in the tank my black moor gets slightly aggressive with the fantail (don't ask me why) so I have been buying lots of plants for him to keep him occupied (ripping them to shreds - he likes this). Just recently I was unable to replenish the plants and it seems the black moor may have headbutted the fantail, because it looks like he has a white bruise on head and the fantail has a whitish looking bruise on his body/scales, the size of the black moor's head!!! This may sound funny but I do observe my fish a lot and I have a feeling this is the cause. If is not then, is there a condition or disease that would cause the appearance of large white bruise or marks on their bodies? I have since replenished the plant supply, they are seeming happier. Thanks Laura <For the tail I would just add a little salt to help prevent infection. One tbls for each 2 to 3 gallons. Keep the water pristine. Ammonia and nitrite at zero, nitrates below 20ppm. The white patches could be a couple of things, including a sign of a fight as you describe. Fits with the tail damage, so I think that's the cause. But it could also be from a swing in pH. The exact pH you keep goldfish is not important, within reason. It's a swing that can cause the patches you see. If this happened after a water change, check the pH of the tap vs. the tank. Do smaller water changes more often if they differ by more than a very few tenths. Also, some conditioners increase a fish's slime coat by including a skin irritant. There are also a few protozoan and bacterial infections that can show as a white patch. For right now keep the water pristine and watch for any increase in size or number. but I really think the fish were in a fight. Don>    

Goldfish help Hi, my name is William. I'm 13 year old and I've had goldfish for about 2 yrs. I have a problem that my white and red headed fish keeps on staying at the top. I was transporting my fish and I kept him in a container. Then when I got home he was on his side but still alive. so I put my fish in my 10 gallon tank and then he started swimming but then he stayed at the top and is stuck there. sometimes he has air bubbles on his body. <This is a good clue> I know its probably a swim bladder disease. But how do I treat it? He also doesn't eat. Please Help Me!  Thanks. <Not a swimbladder disease, but very likely simply just an "environmental" complaint William... it is hard on fish being transported... and often the water from being moved is very different and adds stress to already stressed fishes. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm and the linked files (above, in blue)... re what you might do at this point... likely adding a bit of salt will help your fish to recover. Bob Fenner>

Odd Goldfish Behavior I have had Vito for about 10 months. He has always been an active fish and still is. He lives in a small tank, about 2 gallons, but I have a filter and change the water regularly (although from reading your site I see I should do more frequent partial changes rather than full changes).  <Yes!> I just changed his water Sunday (3 days ago) and since then he has started wedging himself between his large ornamental rock house and the wall of the tank, head down in the corner (it's an octagonal tank). He seems very healthy, no spots, discoloration or flaking scales. <Just poisoned from the too-large change> I am not sure of the exact type of fish he is, as I am new to keeping fish and of all the articles, I cannot tell if he is a fantail or veiltail (or if those are basically the same!) <Depends on the number and "degree of the split"... Fantails are doubled and much wider... like a fan!> He is goldish brown in color and almost gold! He is a bit chubby looking, very round egg shaped body, maybe an inch or so long not counting his tail, which is very long, double and split, with two smaller fins underneath near his butt, a dorsal fin and two smaller fins near his gills. My fear is something is wrong with him since he just recently started acting like a sucker fish and staying head down in the corner. He eats well and if you look at him while he's in the corner, he will get slightly agitated and swim around for a bit then head back to the corner. Is this just a way of him resting his body? <No> I also believe he is a male because he has two little tufts on his nose that almost look like little floppy horns. Maybe he is having an identity crisis and thinks he's a sucker fish (he's the only fish in the tank). Any help would be greatly appreciated. Michele Ann Palulis <All should be well Michele... as time goes by, you develop a routine of regular PARTIAL water changes. Bob Fenner>

Follow-up to "odd goldfish...dropsy?" Lugh seemed to be showing signs of oxygen depravation in the bowl.  Unfortunately I had no other place to put him but back in the tank. I did that with a 25% water change. I'm going to the pet store tomorrow, but I'm not sure what to ask for.  I saw that even for dropsy is frequently prescribed 1/4 teaspoon to 10 gallons of Epsom salt, so I am going to dissolve some in water and administer that before I go to bed as it is now 2:30am...I just hope I have the same number of fish when I wake up that I did when I went to bed...  I tested and I'm showing .25 ppm nitrite, negative for ammonia.... that may be the problem right there, but shouldn't the other fish be showing symptoms too? < Weak fish are more susceptible that strong fish. I would recommend a 30% water change and that you service the filter. Try And vacuum the gravel too . This will remove any mulm that has accumulated and reduce the readings.> Pursuant to his condition, his eyes also bulge compared to the other fish, and the bloating seems to be a bit more on his right side than his left.  -A < Your fish has an internal bacterial infection. Once you get the tank cleaned up and the waste products down you can treat the tank with Metronidazole.-Chuck>

Goldfish Love (sung to the tune "Muskrat Love") >Hi, >>Hello. >Please can you tell me why my one goldfish is biting the others, must I take the fish out of the tank or leave it in and it will settle down.? Thanks, Karen >>Karen, as spring approaches and the waters warm and birds and bees come out, goldfish greatly desire to make babies. That's what is likely happening. Marina - who now hates herself for bringing up The Captain and Tenille (sp?)

Doo-bee-doo-bee-doo Love is in the Air (and in the Water)! >Hello, >>Greetings. >Please help me if you can. Yesterday evening, I bought a Black Moor fish for my son's fish tank. There are already two other fish in there. They have been in there alone for a little over a year. There is an Orange one and a White one. The Orange one chases the white one all the time and then seems to settle down. >>If that occurs year-round, with no changes in temperature, then it could be considered play, or establishment of hierarchy. A note: while this situation does not seem to call for it, we can *always* do a better job of trying to answer questions if we have some basic information. Tank size, filtration, husbandry practices, water parameters, along with sizes and types of fish, along with the information you gave already, help US help you a great deal. >Now that I put the Black Moor in with the two the black Moor is chasing them and looks like it's Biting the goldfish and then rubbing against them. >>Oh my, he must be feeling *quite* randy! 'Tis the season, you know, as the weather warms up and water conditions improve, along with the right lady or two, for making babies. >I got the Black Moor at Wal-Mart, I didn't realize he was so aggressive. >>Not aggressive, libidinous. >I bought a bigger Black Moor because I thought the Gold fish might bother a littler fish but the Black Moor proved me wrong. I called Wal-Mart and they weren't any help, and I looked all over your site and finally fell asleep at the computer. >>Don't worry, while QWERTY disease is not uncommon, with neck rubs and heating pads its effects *can* be reversed. Not any surprise that the folks at Wal-Mart were of no help, they just sell the stuff. >So I am writing in hopes that you might be able to give me some answers. >>And here I have. >I know the tank is not as big as I'd like after reading some of the other articles, but I don't have any more space to put a bigger tank. >>Ah, quite telling. Know that the fishes' lives will be shortened by being cramped, keeping to more stringent husbandry can help, larger water changes are the key here, then in the future a pond might be found for them. >Can you please help me? Should I take the Black Moor back to Wal-Mart? Please give me some information, thanks and GOD BLESS, Yolanda >>Really, it's nothing to worry about. The Moor simply wants to do what nature is telling him to do, make babies. If you provide a bit more cover it may be helpful, but if your tank is smaller than 20-30 gallons you might wish to seriously consider simply returning him, not for his strong libido, but because the limits of the tank's capacity to keep the fish in happy, healthy conditions would be sorely stretched. Otherwise, while they may shred some fins, they're simply doing what comes naturally and it's not to worry. Marina

Goldfish biting I've just bought 2 nymph goldfish for the first time. I keep them in quite a small tank (2400cm squared with no filter or pump)). Both my goldfish are the same size. One of my fish occasionally looks like it's biting the other fish on the side, and the fish would quickly dash away franticly. Is my goldfish biting or is it just for play? <A bit of both, and something to keep your eye on... A challenge with such a small, unfiltered system, but goldfish can be aggressive toward their own kind... do feed them regularly... twice a day... and develop, adhere to a regimen of regular water changes, other maintenance.... and consider getting a "real aquarium set-up". Bob Fenner>

BLACK MOOR BITING AND RUBBING ON GOLDFISH Dear Marina or anyone who can answer my question, <Hi there> I have watched the Black Moor in question and I think you may be right, Now please tell me what I do if there is going to be baby fishes. What do I need to get them off to good start and will the fish try to eat them? Please tell me what to do next. <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshreprofaqs.htm Bob Fenner>

Yumping Yimmeney One more question bob is it normal for goldfish to jump out of the water? <Yes... other than very round types, goldfish can indeed "clear the water", jump out of systems. Bob Fenner>

Aggressive Goldfish Hey, <Hey?> My girlfriend has four fish, two Fantails and two Orandas. She only got her fish a few days ago, and one fish (which is very slightly larger than the others) has started to chase the other fish around the tank, and seems to be head-butting them from behind. Please could you offer advice as to whether this is a major problem, or has anything to do with mating or dominance.  Thanks <Read on: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshbehfaqs.htm  and the Related links above in blue. Bob Fenner> 

Two Goldfish Problems Hello, I have two Sarasas that are white and orange and I've had one for two weeks and the other I just bought. I noticed after changing my water today and putting them together, my fish that is two weeks old seems to have his dorsal fin contracted or flopped over. <Good observation... and perhaps indicative of a less than full healthy state... could be from the water change... or just psychological from the new fish addition> Every now and then when he's swimming he fully extends it but I was wondering if this was a beginning sign of a disease? <Perhaps, but not that likely> My second problem is that my new fish won't leave my other fish alone! He keeps going near him and when he does he goes up and under my older fish. He pays a lot of attention to his under belly and tail when he "attacks" him. Sometimes it's calmly, other times it seems like an aggressive move to get my older fish to move away. which he does. Are they playing? <Mostly... checking each other out... testing... How big a system is this? I hope at least twenty gallons> Is one fish more aggressive than the other? are they doing a mating dance? Please help, I really don't want my fish to die or anything!  Thank you! <All should be fine if there is sufficient volume, good water quality. Bob Fenner>

Weird & concerning behavior. Crowded Goldfish Hello. I recently (about one month ago) started a hexagonal 5 gallon filtered tank with 2 small fancy goldfish (one gold, one calico) and 2 little danios (the danios came first and were starters for the nitrogen cycle per instruction from my local fish shop, the goldfish came together about 2 weeks later). <A five gallon tank is too small for these goldfish> My concern is that the orange fish often aggressively chases the calico around. Orange sticks his head into calico's back fins (the fish's "bottom') and forcefully batters the calico away. The calico (Dancy) seems to score less food than the orange (Orangy - my three year old named the fish), and often hangs in the back of the tank near the top by the filter bubbler. I have sat and watched this behavior for periods of time to try to make sense of it (my cat loves to do the research with me and she has made no sense of it either. <Heee!> ...although she is very determined). Mostly, I feel sorry for Dancy. Is this a problem or just normal fishy behavior? <Normal, but a problem as well... mainly aggravated by being in too small a volume... there are parallels with crowding humans...> I have changed the water once (about a 50-70% change with dechlorinator, fish bio protect stuff, filter change and gravity activated gravel suction). <Good> Please advise. It is hard to explain to a toddler why one fish constantly bullies the other. Thanks for any info/advise you may be able to provide. Michelle <Michelle, sad to state that either you need to separate the goldfish, OR get a much larger system (like twenty gallons or more). This behavioral problem will otherwise result in the damage or death of the chased fish. Bob Fenner>

Goldfish lonely? 1/8/05 Hi Bob! <M. Maddox here today, not quite the genius he is, but I'll try my best :)> I have a question regarding a goldfish...I have a nice 10 gallon aquarium (with a filter), and I had 2 goldfish in it. One goldfish (Rusty) was considerably larger than the other (Nemo) and I was a little concerned that Rusty was getting all the food and poor little Nemo barely got any. Well, I had Rusty shipped off to a large indoor pond because he was just too large for a 10 gallon (about 4-4.5 inches) and he was bullying Nemo. <It's good that you have a larger home for when they outgrow their 10 gallon> I'm worried that Nemo was starving, as he became skinnier and skinnier and now his backbone is clearly visible. <Feed a variety of foods, not just the typical flakes\pellets.  Alternate with mashed peas, and other household vegetables chopped finely> He seems sick rather often, and his fins are a little ragged...I'm guessing from Rusty. <He should recover nicely with a bit of attention\variety of food> He is now the only fish in the aquarium, and it sounds silly, but will he get lonely in there all by himself? He's never been alone in his life. Yes, I rescued him from Wal-Mart (Ugh) and he's always had at least 1 tank mate. Rusty has been with him for over 9 months...and now that dramatic change from something to nothing. Well, you get it. But there is one small snail in the aquarium with him. I'm considering, after Nemo has put on some weight and is a little stronger, purchasing a smaller goldfish to put with Nemo, just to keep him company. What do you think? <In my (not-so-scientific) experience, goldfish do enjoy other goldfish.  Nemo would probably appreciate a friend> Thanks for any info you can give me!! <Glad to be of service> Sincerely, Kara <M. Maddox>

Goldfish Woes My panda Oranda will not eat and is staying at the bottom. Do you know what could be wrong? I have a thirty gallon tank and Chen Yumi is my last fish I bought. He did not seem to be fitting in with his other 5 tank mates. Since he was a little bigger then the others, I did not think the smallest would snub him like he did. He started hiding, in fact he was hiding in a castle I thought was too small for him. I came home and could not find him, I finally spotted him peering out the small window at the top. I have since moved him to his own small tank, because he started getting his scales torn up, from the castle I think. Now he just stays on the bottom looking sad. I have been doing water changes of the main aquarium. Except during the Holidays I missed doing it for three weeks. When I finally cleaned it everyone including him was happy again, until just recently. I have been putting MelaFix and salt in with him, but it does not seem to be doing any good. Thank you for any help you can give me. Daniel <Hi Daniel, Don here. Make sure you do lots of water changes in the small tank. 50% per day for a week can work wonders for goldfish. Discontinue the Melafix. A little salt will not hurt, but unless you see fin rot or Ich spots on him, it is really not needed. You should be doing a lot of water changes in the 30 gallon too. Six goldfish make a lot of waste. When your new goldfish regains his energy, re arrange the 30 before you put him in. If the tank seems new to everyone, aggression on the newcomer is reduced. You should also start testing for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. Things can go downhill fast with this many goldfish in one tank> Color Change Goldfish We bought three goldfish for our daughter. One was completely orange, but has begun to turn black behind its right eye and on the tips of its fins. Is this disease, or can it happen to certain breeds? Thanks, Kevin <Very normal for goldfish to change color as they age. Can also be a sign of poor water quality or illness. Do a few daily water changes and see if there are any changes. Don>

Stays at Bottom Moor Hello until the last week my black moors swam all around the tank but I have noticed they are laying on the bottom, They do come and eat but that's it. I have changed the water twice no help, the only thing I have done different was put some snails in the tank but I have since removed. Oh, and had to buy different flake food. Can you help me? Thanks <If you see no other signs of illness I would continue with water changes. 50% daily for a few days. Use a gavel vac to remove uneaten food and waste. Limit feeding to a tiny pinch once a day for a while. Email us back if they do not perk up. Don>

Goldfish color change Hello, this is Margarete. My 5-inch long goldfish is starting to turn yellow under her chin all the way to about 1/3 of her belly. Should I be worried? Thank You! < Maybe. If everything else is OK. it may be a color change that is normal in some goldfish. If the fish is not eating or acting funny then that is different and may need to be treated.-Chuck> Love or a Parasite? I was wondering if you could help me. My goldfish keep rubbing each other on a regular basis. I don't know if they have a disease or they just like each other. <Could be both in today's world> I have 5 goldfish all together and they are the common type of gold fish. thank you for your help Rachael <If they are only rubbing up against one another I wouldn't worry. If the start scratching on the bottom or on rocks they may have Ick. Watch for small white spots. If you see any let us know. Don't overreact and medicate the tank. They may just like one another. Don>

Red Oranda Acting Strange I have a red Oranda that's not that old. about five days ago I found something growing on her head that was white. the next day that I went to check on it, it had a little bit of red in it and it looked like blood. besides being so concerned about that she doesn't look too good. the way that she acts is different. she doesn't swim around like she used to and is now at the bottom of the tank for a couple days now. my dad put in ick and parasite medicine in her tank and it worked for a while but she went back to staying at the bottom. I went to the pet store to grab some more medicine or to ask then what she might have and they told me to put Hawaiian salt in her tank. I did and that still didn't work. but now for a couple of days she hasn't been even eating and her tail fins are turning red the veins. do you know what's wrong with her.   <Good observations. Have you checked the water quality of the system? I would have first done so, then executed a series of daily water changes... like 20%, while vacuuming the gravel. I doubt if what you describe so well is actually a biological disease, but environmental... from "old water", too much food... the salt is a good idea, but I would hold off on adding any "medicines". Try the successive water changes, and clean your filter/s. Bob Fenner>

Silence of the Fish Hello hope you can help. Got a bigger tank now with 6 goldfish. 2 are larger than the other four. The goldfish were bought in twos. One of the smaller fish keeps biting one of the larger goldfish, there are no marks on the larger fish, but the smaller one wont leave it alone. Thanks very much. <I would take little Hannibal and chain him to a refrigerator dolly. Put a Goalie mask on him for your own protection. But that's just me. You could try removing him for a few days and see if that helps. His aggression may be sexual in nature, but some fish are just mean. Also, not sure what size tank this is, but 6 is a lot of goldfish. Overcrowding will cause aggression. To live a long and healthy life they will need around 50 gallons, min. Don> 

Aggression Towards New Goldfish I have a 26 gallon tank with a filter and a air bubbler. I have had one common goldfish in there for 2 years or so. At one point I had 3 fantails and 3 common goldfish but one, this one common one, survived. The rest died within days of being brought to the tank. This poor little guy has been alone since then (approx 1/2 year.) I attributed the death of the others to poor water quality and introducing too many fish at one time. Today I cleaned the tank (did a 50% water change because it had a lot of algae on the rocks) and I changed the rocks to smaller natural rocks. I also changed the filter. So the tank should be good. I bought a Chocolate Oranda today from a fish store that has a very good reputation. Before buying this little guy I went to the store several times and checked out all their tanks to make sure they take good care of them. I didn't see one dead fish in the entire place, or one sick looking one for that matter. Anyways, my question is simple. I heard that common goldfish and comet goldfish can be too aggressive for other types of goldfish, but I have also heard that as long as they are goldfish they will get along. However when I introduced the chocolate Oranda my common goldfish seems to be chasing him around the tank quite aggressively. Is my little chocolate one going to be OK in there with him? Thanks for your help ahead of time. Elizabeth <Hi Elizabeth, Don here. Sounds like your Comet is letting the new guy know who the boss is. Comets can swim faster than most of the fancy goldfish, so he has an advantage and is using it. If it gets too rough, or he never stops pestering the Oranda you may want to remove him for a few days. Then rearrange the tank and put him back in. Now he'll be the new fish and may be more inclined to share the tank. Another point. You did a lot of cleaning, including replacing stones, all at once. Not always a good idea. Beneficial bacteria grow on every surface of the tank and filter that are needed to keep the water pure. This is why you lost the others. Too many fish, not enough bio filtration. This time is not as bad since it's only one more fish, but you may have lost a lot of that bacteria in the clean up. You should do about a 25% water change daily for a week or two. If you have a test kit, watch for ammonia and nitrite spikes. If you are not testing, it would be a good time to start>  

Goldfish weird behaviour Hello, <Hi...Jorie here this Saturday morning> This is going to sound stupid... <...no stupid questions here...> I have 6 fish in a big tank , I know its big enough! <OK, not disputing that, but curious how many gallons the tank is? Everyone's view of "big enough" is quite subjective!> Right and my comet goldfish is acting weird like it will never open its mouth, it just sucks up the food. So when I feed them all it finds it difficult to get the food. <Hmmm, is he slower than the others? Having trouble swimming? Perhaps you could separate him in his own quarantine tank to better observe his behavior and ensure he is getting enough to eat.> It also had red spots on it, I changed the water, and put a bit of salt in the tank. They have gone now, but the red veins on it tail haven't gone, is this bad or is it just growing??!! <Definitely good that you did a water change.  Do you have a test kit on hand? If so, I suggest you take readings for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate, as it sounds to me as if this could be due to poor water conditions.  Do you have a regular water change schedule? On something like a 10 gal. tank full of goldfish (just guessing on the tank size), I'd suggest doing at least a 50% water change once per week, as goldies are notoriously messy fishies.  Red streaks in the tail and/or fins is definitely not a good thing - sounds like the fish has some sort of bacterial infection under its skin.  Best thing to do is 1) isolate the fish, 2) keep the water very, very clean, 3) continue using the aquarium salt and 4) if no improvement after a couple of days of pristine water conditions, treat (only in the QT tank!) with a broad spectrum antibiotic such as tetracycline.> I got this comet from a fair in April. <Great that you are providing a good home for him.  Do be sure to keep up with the water changes and other treatments recommended above and he should recover just fine.  Good luck.> Thank you Michelle England <You are welcome. Jorie>

Goldfish Aggression Hi, I found your web site and wondered if you can help. I know very little about fish keeping, however I have recently started with two goldfish in a 40 litre tank. <About 10 US gallons> After three months I was given three new fish (goldfish variants). One of them has bullied one of my old fish whose tail is suddenly very badly damaged. I've seen the new fish nipping him so I have isolated the fish I think is responsible. <good> My question is firstly how long (if at all) do I leave it before I return the bully fish to the others and will the tail of the damaged fish repair and grow back and how long will it take. I would appreciate your advice as I am very worried for the fish that has been bullied. Thank you, Bob Holmes, London. <Hi Bob, Don here. You can try to reintroduce the bully after a few days to a week, just watch for more aggression. The damaged tail will grow back, but it is very important to keep the water pristine while it heals. Two or three tbsp of salt may help him fight off any fungus infection of the damaged tail. Frankly, if the bully gives you any more trouble, I'd give him away. Goldfish are large waste producers and get fairly big. Five is way too many for this size tank. In time each will need 15 to 20 gallons. Overcrowding may have lead to the attack. Make sure you filter well and test the water> Color changing fish? Dear WWM crew. <Hi there...this is Jorie> I have two goldfish. One is about 2 inches and the other is about 5 inches. I've had the bigger one for 6 months. Her belly has recently started to turn white all the way to her side. Her gills has also started to turn white. Is that normal? <It is very normal, and extremely common, for goldfish to change colors during the first couple years of their lives.  In fact, it is entirely possible that the pretty orange fish you brought home from the pet store may not end up that color at all, but may one day surprise you and turn completely white! As long as you aren't observing any behavioral changes (i.e., not eating, problems swimming, lying on the bottom, etc.) in the fish, chances are it is just growing into it's "adult" colors. Good luck! Jorie>

Goldfish Aggression Hi, I recently got a Goldfish for my birthday (Silver). <Very nice> I bought Silver two friends (Jaws and Dory) but now I am noticing some weird behavior in the tank. <Also goldfish? What size tank is this? goldfish can get big and do produce a lot of waste. Be careful not to overstock> It's my first fish and I don't know if this is normal, but here goes. I first started noticing that the one fish (I'm not going to call them by their names just in case they are actually hurting Silver and I need to get rid of them) was bumping Silver. Silver is an extremely relaxed fish. So I started observing. The fish actually bumps Silver from the side. It also looks like it is trying to bite him/her on the side or bite something that is on him. Now I'm also noticing that they keep on "biting"/ going for the small fin at the back (the one at the bottom between the two larger fins) Is this normal? What are they doing? Are they actually hurting each other or is this some strange mating call? This is now also starting to effect Silver as he is now also chasing them around and starting to "bite" them. I don't see any bite mark on his or their fins. Please help. This is going to drive me crazy. <Goldfish breeding can be violent with a lot of chasing, but if they are only a couple of inches, they are too small. More likely they are too cramped. Unless the tank is 20 gallon or more, I would return the new fish. Don> Work Fish Not Working Out Hi, <Hi, Don here> My wife has 3 fish at her work and has just noticed that the fantail Oranda is lying on its side. It seems to be swimming around on occasions but does spend  some of its time at the bottom of the tank. What do you think that this might be  and what should she do? Is it likely to affect the 2 other fish in the tank? <Does anyone do maintenance on the tank? Change the water? If not, then start by doing so large water changes. About 50% then again a few hours later. Repeat daily for a week or so. Goldfish produce a lot of waste which can foul the water>

Goldfish Questions Love the site but couldn't find the answers to my questions. 1) I have 2 totally cute goldfish, Frick and Frack. One is  white and gold and the other black and gold. Frack (black) often will break the surface of the water with his mouth making a kissing sound. Often times he produces bubbles on the surface them sucks/eats them back in. Frick does this also but not as much as Frack. I tend to their water regularly and I do have a filter/aerator. They both seem healthy and full of zest. Any thoughts?? 2) I feed them 2 teeny tiny pinches of flaked food twice a day. Every time I do feed them they devour it like they haven't eaten in days! Should I feed them slightly bigger pinches? I don't want to over feed them but worry that I am underfeeding them. Thanks for your time and attention. I know Frick and Frack will be all the better for your input. < Every time you feed flake food their is some flake food dust that is deposited on the surface of the water. I think that one of you fish has figured out a way to get some of this flake dust by skimming the surface of the water. Don't fed them any additional food than what you are feeding now. You want them to be somewhat active and search for any uneaten food source.-Chuck> Thanks! Frick, Frack and Jane

More Goldfish questions Well, Jorie,  He is roughly 2-3yrs old.  Out of the 13 Gold's that I have, he is the only one that change colors that drastically.  Weird. But he is as healthy as a hornet and eats likes a pig.  I thank you very much for your info, I appreciate it. <Glad to hear that Mask is happy and healthy.  Maybe he just acquired some strange color genes from somewhere...definitely makes him unique, right?> I also have another fish that sits at the bottom of the tank all the time.... <Hmmm...does he eat? Does he "sit" on the bottom or rather "lay" on the bottom? Are there signs of belabored breathing at all?> My husband wanted to flush him... <Ahhhh, no...flushing is extremely cruel and, in my opinion, the equivalent of fish torture! Don't do this ever, in any circumstance.  There are more humane methods of euthanasia; my preferred method is to place the fish in a small container of his tank water, then gradually add pure clove oil...this will basically just put him to sleep.> ...and I said no... <Good for you!> ...because he is not dying or sick, he is just "kinda crippled" according to some info I looked upon the net. <Hmmm, could you be a little bit more specific with regards to your findings?> When he does swim with his whole body and not with just his fins if ya know what I mean. He kinda looks like he is wiggling. <Are his fins disfigured in any way? Maybe he's compensating for something (kind of like Nemo, in the movie?!) Swim bladder disorder comes to mind also, which can be caused by several different things, including bacteria, viral infection and poor diet.  Before we jump to that conclusion, though, can you tell me, does he poop regularly? If not, he could just be constipated, in which case you would want to feed him a frozen (but then thawed), shelled pea or two.> But he is also as healthy as a hornet except for the swimming thing. <That's definitely a good sign.  Maybe he's just lazy? I know with my mollies, some prefer to swim around wildly, while a couple just sort of laze around on the bottom...they are all healthy as well, though, so I just attribute it to different personalities, I guess...> I have absolutely no intention of getting rid of him.  He is perfectly fine right where he is. <Sounds like he has a great fish mommy.  Do keep an eye on him, though, and if he isn't pooping, stops eating, or something else drastically changes, well, then we should re-assess the situation.> Thanks again~ LeNae <You are welcome. Take care, Jorie>

Goldfish coloration Hi...I was just wondering why my fantail goldfish went from being all orange with a white face (his name is Mask) to being completely white.  I can't seem to find anything on this condition.  He is not sick or anything like that.  Just would like to know what causes this. <Hi LeNae, Jorie here.  From what I understand, it is not only normal, but very common for goldfish to change colors, especially during the first couple of years of their lives.  How long have you had Mask? Any idea how old he is?  My guess is that he was pretty young when he was mostly orange, and this is his more "mature" coloration.> Thank you LeNae <You're welcome.  Hope I helped! Jorie>

Dashing goldfish Hello, can you help?  <Try, but you have the biggest role in this> I have two goldfish bought from two different places three months ago. They live in a tank with no aeration or filter. <Get a filter, even a simple sponge filter and a small air pump is better than still water> I change the water regularly <Good> and feed them with flake food twice a day. <Reduce to once until we get a filter> They seem quite happy, but sometimes one of them has a mad fit, dashing around the tank 100 mile an hour, the other fish hides, obviously frightened to death. He also seems to suck the stones and dash to the top and spit the stone out. Afterwards it goes quite dormant, and go back to following each other around. The quiet one swims underneath and keeps nudging the other one, just wondered if they are mating or something, <No> anyway how can you tell what sex they are. <Mature males in breeding condition will have little bumps on their head> We novices to goldfish keeping are useless. <Nonsense! Just learning> I never thought these blessed things would rule my life, goodness knows how we would be with a dog or cat. I notice some of your replies to your mails suggest medication, if my goldfish needs any where do you get them from. <Most fish/pet stores carry meds.> Thanks for your time, and look forward to your reply. Lynn <Lynn, what size tank is this and how big are your goldies? Do you test the water? If not I strongly suggest you pick up a test kit that will test for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and pH. And a filter is very important for the long term health of your pets. Goldfish are very hardy, but just because they can live in "bad" water does not mean they will thrive. The mad dash you speak of could (is, IMO) be the fish's reaction to low water quality. Start doing large water changes, say 50% daily, and see if he improves. Read up on "Cycling" and all will become clear. Don>  

Strange behavior in Goldfish I have 3 goldfish , I have had them for 10 months , they were about 1 1/2" long when I bought them, everything was normal till this week, one of them is acting strange, hiding and laying on its back and when you probe him he rushes around hitting the sides and splashing the surface and then retreats to hide in a log or foliage. hope you can help me.  thank you  Bill Pich <Hi Bill, if there are no other signs of illness (white spots, fin-rot, body swelling) then I think that your goldfish might be suffering from a swim bladder problem.  There are a number of reasons why the fish might have swim bladder disease.   1.A virus or bacteria that attacks the air sac which causes inflammation and makes it difficult for gasses to diffuse across.    So, the fish is stuck at a specific buoyancy.  This is why water quality is so important. 2.Anatomy. The ornamental goldfish that are breed today are predisposed to problems with the swim bladders.  This is because threw years of breeding the normally stream-lined body is now much more compact, which literally scrunches the organs. This arrangement predisposes to food impactions, which in turn clog up the pneumocystic duct. And causes unbalanced body to bladder ratio. 3.Diet. Feeding dry foods which tend to take on water like a sponge and expanded food can run the chance of impaction. So, now we know what causes it.  How to fix the problem.  Check your water chemistry.  Make sure that ammonia, nitrite, and Nitrates are at zero (or close as possible (especially the nitrAtes).  Keep the water clean and do regular water changes.  Add a airstone to makes sure the water is oxygenated properly.  The next magic trick to try is feeding your goldfish peas!  Just feed your fish a couple of store bought peas. Just get some frozen peas, thaw them, and feed them to your fish.  Not only is it good and healthy, but veterinarians thick that the peas also help break up food impactions.  Which will help regain the buoyancy.  Hopefully that will offer some help, keep the water clean, and make sure the other fish don't start harassing the sick one.  They will pick at the fish and nip the fins.   Good luck and if you need more help might I suggest www.goldfishinfo.com.   Hope the goldie gets better. -Magnus>

Goldfish. Hi, <Hey Travel, MacL here with you tonight.> I have two questions... I saw on a website ( http://www.aquadirect.com/catalog/uv/customsealife.htm) a U2 Double Pass UV sterilizer.  I thought CSL (CustomSeaLife) went bankrupt earlier this year?  Are they back in business and operating under a new name? <I believe that while they have gone out of business they is still stock being sold under there name that was made previously. Least that my best guess.> I see the name "Clear Solutions" now is on the pictures?  This sterilizer looks very similar, however different. <Never heard of it but lots do come and go> Second question.  I have a 65 gallon tank with 7 goldfish.  They did fine the past 2 years... 2 weeks ago they suddenly started to go crazy (move like rockets in the tank, bump in the glass, in each other, etc.) when I turn on the lamp/light. <Anyway there is a short in your tank from the lamp> They do fine when the light is not on, they swim around happily, however once I turn on the light all hell breaks loose?  any idea why? What can I do to stop them? <Almost sounds like they are being blinded or shocked in some way.> It appears 1 or 2 of the fish start each time and the others just follow? Thanks for your assistance. Kind Regards, Travel New Redcap Oranda Hope you can help...have had a Redcap Oranda for 5 days in a 5 gal. tank (I know this is too small to last long). She has been an active, happy, curious fish until this morning-after being fed, and eating well, she has taken to hiding behind one of the plants near the bottom. I performed a 15-20% water change using dechlorinated water. The ammonia alert meter reads in the 'safe zone'. Is it possible she is just stressed due to the new tank cycling? < Could be, check the ammonia and nitrites (both should be zero). The nitrates should be under 25 ppm.> Also, the tank doesn't seem to have much waste-can this be a symptom of constipation? < Could be constipation or a sign that the filter is working properly.> We have been feeding her alternately with goldfish flakes and sinking granules. Any suggestions you have are appreciated. < A varied diet is a good idea. If your fish stops eating but still seems to get fatter then it could be a sign of bloat and needs to be treated with Metronidazole.-Chuck> Liz Comet swimming in water flow Hi All, Love the site I've been keeping Goldfish for a couple of years now and have never noticed this type of behaviour before. One of my comets seems to spend most of it's time now swimming against the flow of water/bubbles created by the water filter. There are no obvious signs of any disease, feeds well on flake and peas, water is tested regularly and partial changes completed on a weekly basis. I noticed this behaviour only started with a recent spate of hot weather, tank temp has risen to 76 degrees, normal temp is 72 degrees, tank heater is off. Is temp rise a likely cause or could this be the onset of some internal problem?? I've had this particular Comet for 3 years so and nursed her back from Dropsy early last year. I have 5 other Goldfish mixed varieties, in the tank, plus a pleco and all are healthy. < As the water temperature rises it loses its capacity to carry oxygen. The water coming from the filter may be higher in oxygen and the fish is simply responding to its oxygen demands. As the water temp. cools the fish should go back to its normal behavior.-Chuck> Any feedback would be welcome Ray

Black Moor and Veiltails Hi, My name is Eddy, a couple of weeks ago me and my girlfriend bought 2 regular Veiltails (Fluff) which is a small female, and (Jewelry) a larger male, golden orange with black spots) and 1 black moor (Onyx).  I have them in a 10 gallon tank, which I will be replacing with a 55 gallon soon. Within the past three days Jewelry, and Onyx have just been laying at the bottom of the tank motionless, just sucking in water rapidly. It seems like if they are having trouble breathing. Fluff and Jewelry have been eating normally but Onyx doesn't seem to be paying any mind to the food (TetraFin Goldfish Flakes). Just today Jewelry decided to become active, and has been swimming around a lot with Fluff, but Onyx just lays between the temp gauge, or any corner of the tank without really moving, and hasn't eating since yesterday. Jewelry all of a sudden has a red stain on his left side right behind his gill I have no idea what this could be please advise? Onyx has a type of mold or mildew growing on his eyes, fin, and rest of body that I haven't seen before, I'm wondering what causes this growth. When he does move around he looks like if he doesn't have the energy to do it, he will swim to the middle of the tank, then sink like a rock. He looks so depressed that its starting to affect me, I really want him to get better because he is the only one that lets me rub his tummy when he swims around. I hope you can give me an idea of what it is that I have to do to get him better right away. Fluff is the only one that doesn't seem to be having any problems what so ever thank god. Hopefully you will reply in time. Sincerely, Ed, Justina, Fluff, Jewelry, and poor Onyx <<Hello. A bit of reading will inform you that your tank is cycling, and you need to test your water for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrates. But please do an immediate water change of 50%, and then take a sample of your tank water to your LFS and have them test for the above things. You will probably need to do regular, partial water changes on a bi-weekly or weekly basis. While at your LFS, you can buy some Amrid (or whichever product they stock to reduce ammonia levels, there are a few) to go into your filter to reduce the ammonia levels, if the tests show the levels are too high. The employees at the LFS should know their jobs well enough to help you buy the right products to help you out. If the employee helping you had no idea what to do to help you, ask to speak to the manager or someone with experience so you can get the help you need. It is always a good idea to find out who the person is at your LFS with the most actual experience, and ask them for advice. -Gwen>>

Goldfish bullying rosy red minnow Sorry, re e-mail below, perhaps I should say that my 45 litre tank is about 8 gallons. Helen I have had a coldwater tank (45 litres) with three goldfish, two white mountain cloud minnows and a rosy red minnow for around a year now.  They all seemed to get on very happily together and to be thriving.  About four months ago, I introduced another small rosy red minnow which the goldfish chased for around a week, then started to ignore apart from the odd nudging him out of the way. Last week, however, I came in one morning to find the little rosy red minnow dead and half-eaten.  The larger rosy red then took to hiding inside a large cave ornament I have in the tank and has been there for the last week.  Today, worried that he wasn't getting anything to eat, I managed to get him out of the cave, at which point two of the goldfish made a lunge at him and forced him into the gravel.  I managed to move them away from him and discovered that the  rosy red is not in great condition -torn fins and tail.  I have moved him out into a bowl of his own where he seems quite happy and is eating as if he hasn't eaten for a week (which he probably hasn't!).  I've dosed his bowl with aquarium salt and Aquarian First Aid in the hope that he will build up his strength and heal up. However, any ideas about how I can re-introduce him into the tank?  Or is he now destined to a separate life in a separate new tank?  And any ideas why my goldfish have suddenly started attacking the rosy red minnows?  (They don't seem to be interested at all in the white cloud mountain minnows). Any advice you can offer would be much appreciated! < A couple of thoughts. I think that the goldfish is viewing the other fish as competition and they are competing over territory. Your tank is not too big to keep them from running into each other. I would recommend a large tank or keep them separate. If you try and put them back together the I  think any truce would only be temporary.-Chuck> Thanks in advance Helen

Goldfish Question Hello, Last week our goldfish started grouping in one corner of the tank.......they won't even swim to the other side of the tank to find food.....what's the matter? Thanks, Toni <<Dear Toni; I need to ask you some questions first. How big is your tank, and how long has it been running with fish in it? If it's a relatively new set-up, say a few weeks, it is most likely an ammonia or nitrite problem. To know for sure, you will need to take a sample of your tank's water to your local fish store, and have them test it for you. Ask them to specifically test it for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrates. The first two should be at zero, and the nitrates should be kept low with regular partial water changes. If the first two are at .50 or higher, you will need to do frequent water changes to keep the toxins low until the tank finishes cycling. It usually takes a month to six weeks to cycle a tank. If your tank water tests okay, they could be sick. Check them carefully for signs of ich (small white spots that resemble salt specks) or fungus (cotton tufts on the fins) or bacterial infections (red streaks in the

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