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FAQs About Goldfish Compatibility

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

Related FAQs:  Goldfish Behavior, Goldfish in General, Goldfish Selection, Goldfish Systems, Goldfish Feeding, Goldfish DiseaseGoldfish Breeding/Reproduction

Need to be housed only with other: Cool to coldwater animals that like hard, alkaline water... are messy... tolerant... aren't mean... NOT Chinese algae eaters!

With: Crayfish? With tropical fishes, invertebrates, plants, amphibians...? Chinese Algae Eaters?
With Plecos
With Crabs, Crayfish...?
With Loaches?
Usually not.
Ah, no....
Really only Weatherfish, Misgurnus anguillicaudatus
With other goldfish, koi... types? Sizes? With other goldfish of a similar shape, size and types? Maybe not! Some are slow, others not. Don't mix "Fancy" varieties w/ Comets, Shubunkins Sure, usually; if there's room.

New Print and eBook on Amazon

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

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Goldfish and dojo loaches; fdg. and sys.     6/3/17
Hello again,
<Hi there>
You guys were so helpful with my dwarf frogs, I thought I'd reach out and get the best advice on my goldfish and dojo loach tank. I currently have two small baby fantail goldfish and three small dojo loaches (two gold and one natural) in a 20 gallon long, but of course I'm looking for a big upgrade currently which should be done within a week or two as I'm aware that these guys get big.
<Ah, good>
I have two questions, first, how can I ensure my loaches are getting fed properly and enough?
<Just a cursory look/see at their "index of fitness"; roundish-contoured profile>

The goldfish seem to gobble everything up in seconds, and I don't see much left in the gravel bed.
Also, what substrate will be best for both of these fish to live happily?
<Something larger, flatter in the way of natural gravel... 3/8-1/4" D>

I have a deep sand substrate in my 55 gallon and would like to do something similar for the loaches, but worry about the goldfish ingesting sand and becoming impacted.
<You are wise here>
Speaking of deep sand substrates, (This is a very new arrangement for me) I've got lots of real plants, 5 young angelfish, four Cory cats, two Bristlenose Plecos, one dwarf Gourami, and one golden wonder killifish, with a few Nerite snails and ghost shrimp. I've read that the sand should be stirred to prevent pockets of harmful bacteria, but how can I do that without disturbing the roots?
<Best to gingerly vacuum about the areas outside of the plants weekly; perhaps doing one side of the tank at a time. Going forward, even better to "blind pot" the planted areas>
I'm using CaribSea sunset gold, which is pretty fine, would it compact too much for plant roots?
<Not too compact>
Sorry for the long list of questions, I'm quite new to this hobby. Thank you in advance for your consideration.
<A pleasure to share with you, conspire in your success. Bob Fenner>
Re: Goldfish and dojo loaches      6/3/17

Thank you for setting my mind at ease.
When I did the change in my 55 gallon (just yesterday, tank was established for 3-4 months with coarse black gravel) my striped angelfish (young superveil) seems to have dimmed his stripes considerably, as has my glitter angelfish. I'm thinking this is stress related. I tried to preserve my biological media by floating with my live plants in a bucket of aquarium water, and all fish were moved to a holding tank, nonetheless, I know the change was very stressful on everyone. I kept lights off the rest of the day (also night since it was late when I finished) and tested everything before re-adding my fish.
<Good moves>
I used Prime since I could only re-use about 20 gallons of old water. My lights have been off most of today as well, but they seem stressed still.
Is there anything else I can do to help them recover from such trauma?
<Mmm; just time going by really>
I also planned on small water changes daily as I got a very slight reading of ammonia, really just a barely yellow tint to the test tube, only noticeable against a pure white windowsill in the sun. Nitrites were 0. I've got a young rescued angel who had his fins chewed off at the pet store, I didn't think he'd survive at all but his fins have really grown in nicely and I'm super attached to him now, really can't stand to lose him. Thanks again!
Sorry to be a bother.
<Never a bother. Cheers, BobF>
Re: Goldfish and dojo loaches      6/3/17

Should I stir my deep (3 inch) sand? /if so, how often?
<I would use a gravel vacuum.... see the Net re or I can send a link>
And is it safe to not stir near plant roots?
<Already answered; yes. B>
Re: Goldfish and dojo loaches      6/3/17

Thank you, I missed that part of your answer somehow.
<Ahh; no worries. BobF>

Spiny eel questions..can't find answers; incomp. w/ GF... gen. Mastacembelids        2/11/16
Hi I recently set up a 55 gal. Tank...although its said to be bad to keep goldfish and tropical fish in the same tank due to temperature issues my goldfish are almost a year old and have been acclimated mainly to warmer water (since day 1)..we'll see what happens.
<Water temperature is only one factor in mixing GF w/ tropicals... Goldfish need hard, alkaline water conditions and they are unfortunately very often carriers of pathogenic diseases, are aggressive feeders, get quite large and quite "messy" fish>
To the real questions though, about a week ago I purchased 5 new fish. 1 Betta, 2 angels (one black one white), a juvenile aqua blue colored fish with red tipped fins (forgot to write down its name) and a one stripped spiny eel.
<Going to be difficult to feed the Mastacembelid here>

I was hoping to double check with professionals whether or not these new fish will grow big enough to stay out of the eel's belly.
<This species not likely to get very large; actually not to live long enough to be trouble in this setting>
It is tiny (prob between 4-6") so is it true I should be feeding it shrimp pellets for now?
<Won't likely eat these at all... Needs live or other fresh dead, frozen defrosted meaty foods. WILL you read here?:
If so...About how long should he be when I change the food source?
<READ; won't work>
Also I'm told he's nocturnal,
<To an extent; yes>
even though he comes out sometimes during the day and is picking through rocks, how can I be sure he eats?
I turn the lights off at night for now (don't have a moon lamp yet) so he gets his turn to roam around...some nights he's come out..others I don't believe so. Is there anyway to acclimate them more for the day time?
<Yes; by the feeding mostly; providing a "safe" haven (plastic pipe, driftwood... cave)>
And last question is completely unrelated...how do I introduce live rock to the tank when I'm ready to get rid of all (or some of) the plastic stuff. Thanks so much!
-Via ny
<I'd suggest you strongly consider either trading in the Eel and/or Goldfish. These animals will not live together long or well together in the one system. Bob Fenner>
Re: Spiny eel questions..can't find answers      2/12/16

Thank you Bob...so I will be taking the goldfish out and putting them back in their original 20 gal. Tank in about 12.5 seconds. Thankfully someone can finally provide all the correct details ....that being said the lifespan of the other 4 fish will be extended...so the overall safety due to size is still in question
<Ahh; thank you for your quick action! BobF>

goldfish tail spiting; Plec incomp.      12/13/15
Dear Sir or Madam,
One of my goldfish is being treated for Septicemia with anti internal bacteria (Interpet)
<Probably not the medication I'd have used. This is plain vanilla Finrot, and the red blotches are precisely what you'd expect. Where the bacteria infect the skin blood vessels they cause blockages, and those are the red blotches. I'd be using a Finrot medication; eSHa 2000 is my preferred choice. I personally don't find the Interpet equivalents as good as the eSHa ones, and they're a lot more expensive per litre/gallon of water.>
Had water checked, this was found to be ok,
<Define "OK". Finrot is almost always down to two things: physical damage or water quality. In the same way as there might be the odd honest politician out there, there might also be a case of Finrot that isn't down to these two. But I wouldn't bet much money on it.>
the fish tail is splitting, (see picture) There are 2 more gold fish in the tank and a Pleco they are all doing well.
<The Plec is the problem here.
These ARE NOT compatible with Goldfish. Not saying they're aggressive, they're not. But they are big, apt to bully Goldfish (especially at night when you aren't looking), and sometimes "feed" on the mucous produced by Goldfish if they're hungry. Since Plecs are always hungry, this is quite a common situation. If your Plec doesn't
have 24/7 access to suitable fresh greens or vegetables (courgette, sweet potato, etc.) it'll be looking for something to nibble on, especially at night when they're active. On top of this, an adult (45 cm/18 inch) Plec requires, what, 340 litres/75 Imperial gallons to do well. Unless you have a tank that size, your Plec is probably pulling water quality down, which makes Finrot more likely/worse.>
What treatment can you recommend.
Yours in anticipation.
R W Oswald
<Remove the Plec; treat as per Finrot. Job done. Nice to have an easy problem to fix just for once! Cheers, Neale.>

Got the sucked on by a Pleco bluessss!

Fighting goldfish       11/24/15
My goldfish are a few years old, 2 fan tails in a 130l tank. They have been living happily together for years, but lately they have been bullying each other, chasing each other around the tank.
<Does happen.... esp. during warming/breeding periods of the year. However; though it may seem counter-intuitive; having a third fish may be the best route to go here. Small odd numbers help diffuse, break-up such bullying>
One minute one is doing the chasing, and then the other takes over and does it for a while. Recently they are pretty much constantly attacking each other.
I got up in the middle of the night to see if they were still at it instead of sleeping, and they were still chasing each other. I expected them to be exhausted but they weren't. One does not appear weaker, they are both vigorously going for each other. The only respite is at feeding time as they are focused on the food, and for an hour afterwards, they are looking for extra food in the substrate.
<Ah yes; other things that might help include increasing the diversity of the setting... more decor; floating plants like Anacharis (Elodea, Egeria)... to provide visual break up of their world, hiding spaces, something to munch on instead of each other>
It's bizarre because nothing has changed. I feed them Tubifex, blood worms and fish flakes. I use the blood worms twice per week, and alternate other days with the other foods. I feed them twice per day.
<Mmm; I'd sub a good pelleted food (Hikari, Spectrum) as a staple for the Tubifex and Sewer Fly larvae... the latter have too much protein and are at times implicated in fish health issues>
I have tried moving their habitat around three times now to reduce the fighting
<Ah, good>
to no avail, as I read this might help, although their home previously had lots of places to hide and nooks and crannies to swim in and out of.
The water quality and temp are fine.
I've now ordered a tank divider as I don't know what else to do. I don't want them to be injured.
Any advice would be great.
Worried fish keeper
<Do consider my suggestions above: Adding a third goldfish (near the same size is best), the Egeria; changing the food.
Bob Fenner>
Re: Fighting goldfish       11/24/15

Oh thank you so much. It's great being able to have some advice as I was getting a little desperate. I will do as you have suggested and I'll keep in touch. Thanks Bob.
<Welcome Mar! BobF>
Fwd: Fighting goldfish      11/29/15

Hi there
As per your recommendations, I've got the plants on order and the food.
I've introduced my 3rd fish (same size), but my black moor instead started attacking the NEW goldfish instead of his old tank buddy. He was so busy chasing with his nose to the rear end of the fish; that he didn't notice the food I'd put in the tank to distract him, whereas the other fish did and we're eating away.
I've moved the habitat around again as well, and I saw that the carbon filter needed changing so I did that too.
It's cold in the UK now. This is in response to your previous comment regarding the behaviour might be due to the 'warm/breeding periods' of the year.
Is this a breeding period for the fish at this time?
<It is not.... only during warming and warm months>
Do you think things will settle down?
<I do hope so. IF it were me, mine, I'd put the Moor in a floating plastic colander for a few days... for a "time out". This often results in calmed behavior>
<And you, BobF>
Re: Fighting goldfish      11/29/15

Many thanks bob.
I'll keep you posted. Hopefully they'll just chill out!! ��
<I do hope so Mar.>
<Cheers, B>

2 Goldfish, New One Is Getting Pushed Into Corners/Tight Spaces By Older One     4/21/15
Hi there,
I have recently purchased a new feeder goldfish to keep my other goldfish company. I just dropped the new one in with the older and they are both equivalent in size.
<Yikes; you should know that feeder/comets almost always bring biological disease with them>

The older one seems to like to push my new feeder goldfish into corners and nudge at him/her. I am not sure if this is aggression or if they are trying to get to know one another or if I accidentally got a female/male combo?
<Mmm; maybe... and you might want to know this variety (sport mutation) of goldfish grows to more than a foot in length...>

I really enjoy my goldfish and I would like to fix this problem asap so they don't hurt one another. Help!
Kourtney Sharkey
<I'd separate for now... either a divider (if the system is large enough) or moving them to different systems.
Bob Fenner>

Helpful Information on keeping goldfish and platies together    12/1/14
Hi. I was reading through some information on platies and goldfish. I thought i should tell you keeping them together is a bad idea. I tried that once. Everything was fine for a while. But then the platies started to eat my goldfish fins!
<Does depend on the Goldfish. Not a good idea keeping Platies with fancy Goldfish, for sure. But with regular forms, Comets and the like, if given space, they should work out okay. Fancy Goldfish shouldn't be mixed even with standard Goldfish, and I'd strongly recommend only mixing broadly similar strains of fancy Goldfish at that, otherwise stronger ones (like Moors) tend to bully weaker ones (like Celestials).>
I actually saw one of them attacking one of my poor goldfish. I had to put the platies in a separate tank. Not only that, but platies require higher protein than fancy gold fish, and they have to be taken indoors from ponds in winter when temperatures reach below 70°F.
<Indeed. My experience with mixing them is indoors in the UK, and specifically Variatus Platies, not ordinary Platies. Both Platies and Goldfish are herbivores in the wild; Platies feed primarily on algae, and don't need (and shouldn't be fed) large amounts of high protein foods, though occasional treats of bloodworms and the like are fine.>
Due to fin eating alone, you should not keep platies with goldfish. Just thought I should share this information. Thank you.
<Thank you for sharing. Cheers, Neale.>

Goldfish Belly Turning Yellow     8/15/14
I was hoping you could help me. I have 2 Comet Goldfish that are all white except gold spots near their head ( about 5" long) and 1 Pleco (about 3") in a 75 gallon tank.
<Do keep an eye on the Pleco... they do go after goldfish at times...
sucking on their body slime and more>

I have had my gold fish about 8 months now and recently got Pleco around 3 weeks ago. I do regular water changes/gravel vacuum every 5-6 days, have a great filer system, etc. and my fish eat a veggie and flake verity diet (feeding them once every 2-3 days).
<Do read on WWM re GF feeding... I'd switch to pelleted; feed twice daily>

Recently in the past 2 weeks i noticed that both of my goldfish's undersides have been turning more and more yellow, they have had slight scale loss,
<... this is trouble>

and they have been swimming on an angle and sometimes dart around. I had my water check and everything was fine. Is it because i introduced the new fish? I also changed their flake food and the yellow color on their underside is the exact same color; could it be something in that? How can i help them? Or am i just looking into this too much? ( sorry for so many questions) I really hope you can help! -Samantha
<Well... goldfish do change color at times... But don't lose scales. I suspect the Suckermouth cat... Would remove it. Bob Fenner>

Lionhead goldfish bullying?      3/29/14
Hi there, my name is Jake Saulis,
<Hello Jake,>
I am from the Maritimes in New Brunswick and I have a new 5 gallon tank of 1 week old and I have 2 gold fish in it (both of a small size)
<Not small; young.
There's a difference. Get yourself a side plate out of the cupboard, the sort you eat toast from. Hold it up. That's about the size of an adult fancy Goldfish. Grab a second. That's your two goldfish within a couple years if you look after them properly. As should be immediately obvious, 5 gallons isn't anywhere near big enough for them. 
Yes, lots of people put goldfish in such tanks when they buy them, but the vast majority of such goldfish end up stunted, sick, or most often dead.>
one is a lion-head named Mufasa and the other (Nova) I got today and for the life of me I cannot remember the type but he has HUGE eyes and is orange and white its also from the goldfish family...either way my question is can goldfish become jealous that they have a new friend in the tank?
<If two males, yes, in a very small tank aggression is possible.>
because Mufasa(the Lion-head) will take runs at Nova and nip his fins...that being said Nova gives it back in small portions... Nova seem timid in the tank but Mufasa (the lion head) swims freely and without worry, is the lion-head bullying my other new goldfish?
<Can I have you read this:
You need a 20 gallon tank, minimum, for successful, trouble-free Goldfish keeping. Plus there's lots of other information in that article you'll find relevant.>
Thanks and cant wait to hear from you!
<Most welcome, Neale.> 
re: Lionhead goldfish bullying?
Hi again, great to hear back from you and yes I did read on and saw that 20gallons was about the size needed luckily I have one were just getting it set up over time while the goldfish are still young for when they are larger! One last question before I let you go how can I tell if Mufasa and nova are male or female?
<Juvenile Goldfish are nearly impossible to sex. Once they become sexually mature though, at around 10 cm/4 inches upwards, then males develop distinctive "spawning tubercles" on their heads during the breeding season (typically, mid spring, but may be different indoors). All this said, females do tend to be plumper and bigger, while males are often noticeably more active and pushy, chasing tankmates about. Problem here is that fancy Goldfish often have extreme body shapes anyway, and personality varies as much among Goldfish as any other aquarium fish. Cheers, Neale.>

Goldfish and loaches, comp.    11/29/12
Hi. I am setting up a 125 gallon freshwater tank which will house 2 common goldfish and two fancy tail goldfish which I already have.
<Ah, do be careful mixing Standards with Fancies; they don't always get along, especially when sexually mature and breeding season comes round and the males get pushy.>
I am looking for other stock and want to include a school of 6-8 of either zebra or Yo Yo loaches.
<Why not go with Weather Loaches (Misgurnus anguillicaudatus)? Infinitely better suited to life with Goldfish, and much more sociable and peaceful.
As for true Botia species like Botia striata and Botia almorhae, they *can* work with any large barb, including Goldfish, assuming water chemistry and quality are appropriate. However, you do have some challenges. Firstly, the Fancy Goldfish will always be at risk of (at best) being chases a bit by the loaches at feeding time and (at worst) being actively nipped. True Botia species are fairly peaceful to be sure, especially compared to "false" Botia species like Skunk Loaches (properly referred to as Yasuhikotakia morleti rather than Botia morleti). But all Botia-type loaches are boisterous fish with a need to be kept in large groups (5+ specimens) and prone to squabbling even then. By contrast, Weather Loaches are peaceable fish that keep their heads down most of the time, avoiding trouble as best they can. Another nice thing about Weather Loaches is that you only need a group of three for success, though the more the merrier, and once settled, they become extremely tame -- hand-feedable even! As such, they're good personality fish for use alongside Goldfish which are another big personality fish that enjoys (gentle) human company. The only real limitation here is that Weather Loaches should never be kept in a tank with jagged or even coarse gravel. Either plain silica sand (sometimes called pool filter sand) on its own or mixed with smooth, fine pea gravel will produce an ideal substrate for both Goldfish and Weather Loaches.>
The tank will be heavily planted and will include cherry shrimp with plenty of hiding spots.
<Cherry Shrimps are live food for Loaches.>
Can the loaches co exist with the goldfish or will they get eaten?
<Weather Loaches work very well with Goldfish of similar size.>
Also, I would like to include a school (12-15) of dwarf loaches. Again, possible? Or does that spell disaster.
<Not a good idea at all. Goldfish are inept predators, but Dwarf Loaches are small, and their defensive spines could easily choke an unlucky Goldfish. In any case, Dwarf Spines need excellent water quality, and that's virtually impossible to assure with Goldfish. Weather Loaches by contrast, if not quite bullet-proof, are at least hardy, adaptable fish that will sail though occasional missed water changes. Cheers, Neale.>

Smaller Goldfish Bullying Larger Goldfish      9/23/12
Dear WWM,
Two somewhat related questions:
We tried introducing a smaller black moor into the tank with a larger fantail goldfish (previously were kept in separate tanks since we got the black moor).  We were concerned that the larger fish would bully the smaller fish, but the opposite is true!  The smaller black moor just chases around the larger fantail and tries to bite his fins!
<Does happen; adding additional fish, if there's space, can help. Goldfish are schooling fish, and like any schooling fish, they're only psychologically "normal" in groups of at least 6 specimens. Sure, smaller groups can work -- but not always.>
We finally removed him to a separate tank.  Is there anything we can do to remedy this, other than putting a net in the tank to divide it?  Is it possible that our larger fantail is sick, and the smaller black moor senses this?
<Unlikely, but within a school of fish, all members jockey for dominance.
Despite what we sometimes think, schools of fish aren't peaceful! Anyway, if one is too weak to maintain its position, it'll slip down the pecking order, and the stronger fish or fishes will do their best to keep it that way. As evolutionary biology makes clear, the greatest threat to the survival of any individual animal is competition from its own kind, so even where animals must cooperate to survive (as schooling fish must) within that group there is no altruism at all. Stronger fish bully weaker ones, and when push comes to shove, the stronger fish want the weaker ones to be the ones that starve or get eaten by predators.>
After your suggesting it, we previously had successfully treated our fantail goldfish for fin rot using Paraguard.  Now (probably six months or a year later), we think he has swim bladder.
<What do you mean "he has a swim bladder"? He's meant to have a swim bladder; that's how they evolved. Do you mean he isn't swimming properly?
Will remind you that "swim bladder disease" is nothing of the kind, and simply a reflex reaction many aquarists make when they see a fish swimming improperly. Antibiotic medications can help if there's a systemic infection (which can affect the swim bladder, alongside other organs) but more often constipation is the issue.>
Since we feed him peas every other day (flakes the other day), we think it's being caused by a bacteria infection.  Do you agree that it could be a bacteria infection, can we use Paraguard to treat it (we still have some left), and will it work again or has the fish built up an immunity to it?
<Neither fish nor humans build resistance to antibiotics. What I think you're asking is whether the bacteria have become antibiotic resistant.
That is a risk anywhere antibiotics are used freely and without understanding that the full dosage and number of doses should always be used. But in this instance, it's pretty unlikely. Much more probable is that the antibiotic you used isn't the right one for the bacteria causing the problem. Remember, each antibiotic works well against some bacteria, poorly against others, and not at all against the rest. That's why we have dozens of different antibiotics to choose from. On the whole, using two (one against gram-positive, one against gram-negative bacteria) works well, e.g., Maracyn 1 and 2.>
<Cheers, Neale.>

freshwater aquarium. GF tankmates, comp.    3/17/12
I recently obtained a 75g to re-home my goldfish into. I have 4 telescope eye goldfish and they are in a tank way too small. So I have a few questions. I'm looking into getting some bottom feeders (I know, no Plecos), but don't know what would go with a my lovely Goldies. I've had a few people tell me that any loaches will be fine but I know some are tropical. Someone else also suggested catfish (i love spotted ones). What would you suggest? Also what kind of substrate can I use that would be ok for plants and the fish? I was thinking some pool filter sand and some miracle grow potting soil? Thanks so much!
<The Weather Loach, sometimes called the Dojo Loach, is by far the best companion for Goldfish. Forget about mixing plants with Goldfish -- they'll eat them. Pool filter sand is great, but Goldfish dig, so anything planted in it will be uprooted if it isn't eaten outright. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: freshwater aquarium   3/17/12

Thanks so much! Do you think I could mix both golden Dojos and "original" Dojos?
<Yes. So far as they're concerned, they're all the same fish. They can be quite busy and do get rather large, so be careful if mixing with delicate fancy Goldfish. Black Moors, Fantails and the like are fine, but Celestials, Pompons and such can be harmed.>
Or should I just stick with one coloration? Thanks again!
<Cheers, Neale.>

Goldfish fry & dominance or bullying issue... repro. f'    3/15/12
Hi I hope you can assist me I did search and read a lot of the postings but did not see this particular issue addressed. A brief explanation of my aquarium set up and situation. We had 2 common goldfish & 2 comets in a pond and when winter came rescued them brought them inside put them in a 10 gallon tank -
<Much too small>
 I know too small - we then added 2 fan tail goldfish about 6 months later - they all survived reasonably well in this situation with a basic waterfall filter.
<Mmm, no... metabolite build up, exposure... is damaging>
 We had intentions of re-introducing them to the pond this past summer but became worried about birds eating them and other factors. We then purchased a 90 gallon tank moved the 2 commons & 2 comets over to my boyfriend's condo and left the 2 younger smaller fantails in the 10 gallon tank. My home has a water softener
<Get, use the water from "outside"... Goldfish like hard, alkaline water conditions>

that also de-chlorinates and I used Nutrafin Aqua+. He used Stability in the tank for about 8 days prior to moving the fish & misunderstood this to be a de-chlorinator - we were informed by the aquarium store that this was all we would need to treat the water -
<? Maybe... what re cycling the biofilter? Water quality test results?>

they were fine when moved as I assume the chlorine had evaporated during the 8 days. About 4-5 weeks after moving the 4 fish he did a water change treating the water with Stability the 4 fish all perished within 2 hours. It was pretty upsetting. The day before they died he noticed one of the comets chasing the other aggressively (we now understand this to mating behaviour).
<No... too small>

3-4 days after the adults died he was cleaning the tank and discovered that there were fry in the tank.
<? Not goldfish>
 There were probably 50 or so but through ignorance and misinformation we did not properly get the pump intakes covered in enough time or realize we needed to remove the fry from the large tank. By the time we did remove them we had 4 fry - we moved  them to my 10 gallon tank and filled it only half full and are using a sponge filter. We then move the two fantails to the 90 gallon tank and they are happy.
Anyhow it is quite miraculous that the goldfish fry survived and we feel very guilty and sad about the adults dying - although they would have likely eaten all the eggs and the fry. We are trying to do everything to properly care for and keep the babies alive. One did perish after about 2 weeks - 3 are alive and now about 6 weeks old. I am operating a clean tank with no media on the bottom and no plants, sponge filter & am changing 25% water and siphoning out any uneaten food daily. I treat the water with Prime & Stability. I was feeding them 3-6 times daily mashed up in tank water Spirulina which I aspirate into the tank with a syringe, I alternated in the past month with crushed up flakes also aspirated into the tank. They seem to eat and like both equally. I have a test kit and all of my chemical levels are exactly in line.
The problem. About a week ago I noticed that one of the fry seemed to have tripled in size almost overnight. 2 had been about the same size initially with the third a lot smaller - now I seemed to have one that was twice as long and 3x as wide as the other two. The two smaller ones started acting strangely zipping along the surface like they were on scooters or something - dashing and darting along crazily sometimes even colliding. This went on for a few days and I noticed that they were staying mostly near the surface or an inch or so below the surface. This behaviour got worse and they seemed to be staying only on the top of the water at the edges of the tank. I spoke with the aquarium store and they told me it was likely a dominance issue
<? Doubtful>
within the tank and that I needed to separate the larger fry from the other two with a screen. I went out and bought the screen separating them and paying closer attention to the smaller fry behavior & thought they were also having swim bladder problems as they were now not venturing off the surface and sticking to sides of tank and lying on their sides at times. This had occurred before with one of our fantails so I knew that feeding them peas could work. Hard to do when the peas sink and the fry are staying at surface. I read online that using a toothpick might work - well for about 3 times over the next day I chased them around their space with a pea on a toothpick I did see them eat it on occasion - the rest of the time they seemed to think I was chasing them with a big green bat and kept trying to escape it. The aquarium store said that if it was a dominance issue the fry may be too frightened to go down to the bottom of the tank to eat and it might take a couple of days before they will realize it is safe to do so.
In the meantime I thought if it was a swim bladder issue they might die first.
Since I both separated them and started feeding them peas at the same time I do not really know what the issue was. After one day they were able to swim down further and I definitely saw they had a buoyancy issue as they would swim part way down and then bob back up like a balloon and could not stay down. By the end of about 24 hours they were able to go to the bottom of the tank and they ate voraciously for about 3-4 hours bobbing up and down on their noses like they were pogo sticks. They have plumped out again and regained their normal vigor and are eating and swimming fine. So now I don't know what to do about removing the divider and putting all 3 back together again
<Should be fine>
 I can't find anything about this anywhere. The larger one is still at least double the size of each of the smaller ones. I know that goldfish are supposed to be social and I do think that Big is feeling ostracized and lonely. He faces the wall most of the time like a bad kid sent to sit in the corner of the classroom.
So here comes the rest of my ignorance. Would the smaller fry have been scared by the larger one that they did not eat and became weak and would this somehow have created the swim bladder problem - due to not eating or staying on the surface?
<Not likely an issue period>
 I know it says to reintroduce them to each other when the smaller ones catch up - however it seems to me that they are so much smaller that they are not going to be the same size. If I put them back together how will they fare? I guess also did they just have a swim bladder problem? Or a combination of dominance and swim bladder.. Thanks for your assistance! Rhonda
<... Again, not likely goldfish young... but some other "contaminant"...
Goldfish won't live, be large enough in a ten gallon to reproduce...
Dominance amongst young fishes when very small? Not likely. Bob Fenner>
Re: Goldfish fry & dominance or bullying issue   3/15/12

Thanks Bob for your help. Do you know what the odd zipping around on the surface behaviour was?
<Mmm, could be due to stray electrical potential, water quality, just normal behavior...>
 Just to clarify too that the fry are definitely goldfish as no other types of fish in the tank,
<Strange though... I'll try to be clear/er here: Potentially reproductive size goldfish really can't live any time in such a small (10 gal.) volume.
Perhaps they (whatever they are) "came in" w/ the goldfish>

nor was anything added or moved from anywhere that could have introduced eggs. It is really confusing when the aquarium stores and much online information seems so contradictory all of the time.
<... the Net is a mix of useful to not input. WWM is more consistent, accurate>

I am going to take the divider down so that the 3 fry are together and will try to address the water softener issue. I believe that all of my indoor taps are softened and I live in Northern Canada so my outdoor taps which are not softened water cannot be turned on in the winter without a plumbing rupture in the line. Any other suggestions on this?
<Haul someone else's water for use here. Read: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/GldfshH2OF.htm
and the linked files above; or just search on WWM re soft/ened water use>
 Do I re-treat the water somehow? I am not sure if these fry are comets or commons
- as we had 2 adults of each in the 90 gallon tank. I know that they cannot stay in the 10 gallon tank as they mature - how long can they stay in 10 gallon tank - the largest including tail is about half an inch long the other 2 are smaller.
<Keep reading>
We are trying to figure out what to do with dividing the fish up - in the 90 gallon tank we have two fish right now - Tuna we think is a fantail - and Waggles a calico fantail or veiltail - I find the online photos hard to determine. If these 3 fry are commons or particularly comets they are best not to go in with the fancy goldfish? My boyfriend wanted to buy two Bristol Shubunkins as he liked the way they look and put them in with the fancy goldfish. I read on your site that Shubunkins body type is considered to be like a comet and that they are boisterous and not good with the fancy goldfish - but I also saw other information that said they are fine together. Could there be a difference between the more common London variety vs. the Bristol in terms of its compatibility?
<Not likely; though fancier varieties of goldfish may not be able to compete>
Maybe a better alternative is to put in the 90 gallon tank 2 Bristol Shubunkins, and these 3 goldfish fry - which are either commons or comets -
when these fry are large enough of course. Then I could move the two fancy fish to a 2O gallon tank and keep the 10 gallon tank as an emergency tank.
Thanks for your help. Rhonda
<Welcome. BobF>

My Chinese Algae Eater, mis-stocked w/ goldfish in too small a world   12/1/11
Just 2 days ago I bought a CAE along with a weather loach as a addition to my tank. My tank has approximately 30l and already holds three single-tailed goldfish.
 The pet shop I bought the CAE and the weather loach told me that the CAE won't be aggressive to my goldfish and will be comfortable in cold water. I guess they were wrong. It was my fault I didn't research the CAE first before buying it and now I have things complicated. The CAE is just about 3 cm long and already turned out to be aggressive. After I researched the CAE and read the WWM forum about him I decided to take action immediately.
 I couldn't stand the thought that the CAE might be that aggressive.  I noticed that one of my goldfish has a pink, almost red gill on one of the sides and was swimming a bit uneven. It looked like something sucked to it and it wasn't there before. From what I then researched, I assumed it was the CAE so I moved him into my emergency aquarium and decided to bring him back to the shop tomorrow. I'm writing to you for advice not only on the CAE and the goldfish, I'm writing because I'm a beginner fish keeper and need a lot of advice. Firstly, did I do the right thing about moving him into a different aquarium and what should I do if the pet shop won't have him back?
<Mmm, t'were it me, destroy this fish. Humanely. See WWM re euthanasia>
 How could I ensure he has a safe trip back to the pet shop?
<Place in a chemically inert container w/ a half a pint/litre of water or so...>
Secondly, if the goldfish was hurt by him what should I do?
<Nothing really; other than provide good water quality and nutrition>
 And thirdly, is the weather loach suitable for my tank?
<Yes; though this volume system is too small for all... or will shortly be so>
In the past I already had about 3 fish tanks but sadly, all are gone. So I'm writing to you for advice about my current tank because I don't want my fish to end up like my last few. Firstly, the first 2 fish in my tank were from my mothers work after an accident. The tank smashed and my mother brought them home, it was about 3 months ago. The 2 fish are both single-tailed goldfish and from what I researched, are about 1 year old. 2 months ago I bought another single-tailed goldfish to keep them company and they're all getting together fine. 2 days ago I bought the weather loach and the troublesome CAE. My tank doesn't have a heater but I'm currently searching for the cheapest option but I do have a filter. I have 2 plastic plants, one small decoration and one driftwood with fake flowers. Is my tank big enough to hold my 3 goldfish
<Sadly, no. Please read here re:
and the linked files above>
 and the weather loach (which I named Steve)? (I'm bringing the CAE back to the pet shop so I'm not counting him)
I'm a bit concerned about the weather loach... Again, it's my fault I didn't research it before buying it and listened to the shopkeeper. I noticed that one of the goldfish picked at him once but it didn't do it after that. Still, I'm worried about the weather loach and I'm not sure if I should turn him back along with the CAE or not. Should I give him a bit more time? From what I read about the weather loach, they can grow quiet big but they aren't aggressive, I just wanted to make sure because this is one of the only sites I trust really. Is it normal for the weather loach to suddenly stop in mid-water for a few seconds?
I noticed him do that quiet a lot and I'm a bit worried... Do the weather loach need a specific temperature?
<... please learn to/use the search tool on WWM... your answers are all archived there>
 I don't have a heater yet but I can make some heat from a red lamp from my lizard (who's gone now, she caught a deadly disease and sadly didn't make it). The red light gives out quiet a lot of heat but I'm not sure if it would be suitable for an aquarium, any advice?
<If the temp. doesn't vacillate a great deal where the tank is, it should be fine w/o a heater>
I need some help with finding out the gender of my goldfish.
<Not important.>
I searched and searched for any useful advice but I only found really advanced ones. Could you please give me some useful and easy to read advice for a beginner?
<Yes, become familiar w/ WWM. See here:
scroll down to the tray on Goldfish>
 It would mean a lot. My gold fish are about 8-10 cm in length, could you tell me the age of them?
<Not really; they're likely stunted. NEED to be moved to larger quarters STAT!>
 There's this particular goldfish I'm worried about. A few days ago, a red line formed at the top of her head were her brain is, what can it be?
<Environmental stress...>
 She swims normally, has a normal appetite and isn't bothered by that thing at all but I'm still worried about her. I don't have a picture of her because she wouldn't stand still. But if you need a picture I can always try harder to take one. The third goldfish seems normal.   
I'm attaching a picture of my tank and the injured by the CAE goldfish. If you can't see the photos please say so. If you have any more additional advice, please, I need as much as I can get.
Thank you for reading this,
A concerned person.
<Convert your concern to action. READ re your aquatic charges, meet their needs, and you'll have long-term pets w/ little maintenance. Bob Fenner>
Re: My Chinese Algae Eater

Thank you for replying. I will take action as soon as I can.
<Tres bien! BobF>

Black moor Goldfish Peeling    11/27/11
Hi, my Black moor goldfish has began losing all of its scales on both sides of its body, and I am finding its skin peeling at the bottom of the tank.
Due to all of the peeling its sides are now showing a red color. It shares the tank with another black moor and an algae eating catfish
<... This is highly the cause... Is this Gyrinocheilus aymonieri? Look it up on the Net and WWM>
in a 5 gallon tank which I know is too small for the three fish.
<... then... why... are you killing these fishes?>
I've changed the water recently and have began doing a 30% water change weekly. The day after I changed the water, the black moor's eye began to bleed internally and now the outside of the eye is peeling as well. It has also developed a cut on the top of the eye. It is acting completely normal and eating regularly. I have had it for about a year now and it has grown to about 5 inches. Its poop sometimes comes of clear with brownish orange bubbles along with clear bubbles.
<... Look up the CAE name, remove it and move these goldfish to sufficient space/quarters. Bob Fenner>
Re: Black moor Goldfish Peeling   11/28/11

The catfish is an Hypostomus Plecostomus
<Still very problematical; and still likely the culprit here>

 I wasn't aware how large it would grow due to it still being small.  I have moved the Hypostomus Plecostomus and the other one inch Black moor Goldfish to a 5 gallon while separating the 5 inch Black moor into another 5 gallon alone.  All of the water has been changed.
<... I would not change all of the water ever>
Is there anything I can do to make the skin better along with its eye.
<Time going by, good maintenance and nutrition. BobF>
Re: Black moor Goldfish Peeling, Pleco incomp.  11/29/11

I removed the catfish, it was been two days and the black moor's scales are now growing back.  Thank you very much.
<Ahh! Thank you for this follow-up Melanie. BobF>

My Julii Cory catfish and new fancy goldfish.    10/1/11
Hello: I have had the Julii-Cory Catfish (7 of them in a 50 gallon tank)
for two years. Lately, they have been nipping on all the fins of my four young Fancy Goldfish. that I have only had for three weeks. Why are they doing this,
<Probably hungry, but if they've learned they can do this, and the Fancies swim so slowly and weakly that they can't escape, this is Nature doing what it does best -- turning weak animals into food for strong animals!>
as I had large Fancy Goldfish half a year ago, and the Catfish left them alone? Any ideas why they are attacking my Goldfish and what I can do about it??
<Not a great combination of livestock, but you might review diet in terms of the Corydoras, and whether or not the Fancy Goldfish are strong enough to survive alongside other types of fish -- things like Pompoms and Celestials are so hopelessly deformed they're best kept in groups of their own variety, i.e., Celestials alongside other Celestials, and so on.
Cheers, Neale.>
Re: My Julii Cory catfish and new fancy goldfish.    10/2/11

I have Black Moors (two), one Oranda, and one Calico Fantail. These are young goldfish - about one inch in length, excluding tails.
<Do read, re-read my previous message and act accordingly. While these varieties aren't especially delicate, they are deformed, and that means they're weak swimmers. Secondary infections of the fin membranes can make them sore and bloody, and the resulting wound, as well as the excess mucous, can be attractive to opportunistic catfish, potentially including Corydoras. Look at whether the Goldfish have damaged fins, and if they do, make the appropriate changes to their world as well as medicating.
Re: My Julii Cory catfish and new fancy goldfish.    10/2/11

Thanks for the info.
<Glad to help. Cheers, Neale.>

Goldfish and Fancy Guppies? Sys., other incompatibilities, lack of understandings  8/30/11
Dear WWM crew,
I currently have 2 fancy goldfish (a Black Moor and a calico Ryukin- I think, the pet shop was just calling it a calico fancy) along with 3 Variatus Platies (1male and 2 females) and 3 White Cloud Mountain minnows. These fish just recently moved from a 65L tank to my new 125L Fluval Roma which I am very excited about.
<And still only marginally big enough for these fish. Variatus Platies are subtropical fish and big enough to do okay with Goldfish, but the Minnows could well end up food. Plenty of stories of Goldfish eating White Clouds!>
The Black Moor and Ryukin are only 1 year old and at present about 3 inches each. I am told they will grow to about 6 inches each.
<Who told you that? The Moor will get to 20 cm/8 inches, easily. The Ryukin the same. They're big, messy fish.>
When moving them to the bigger tank I spotted two platy fry! Which was bizarre because I didn't notice either female looking pregnant! I am not providing any special food for them and am just letting them fend for themselves as they might in the wild. I am not crazy about the idea of them having a population explosion so will most likely carry on this route. (I am adding a small pinch of heavily crushed flake but the minnows and platy adults are mostly taking care of that)!
I recently visited my LFS and saw some beautiful Fancy Guppies and the information display stated that they can be kept in temperatures down to 18C.
<It is indeed true that wild Guppies can tolerate short-term exposure to temperatures down to about 18 C/64 F. But fancy Guppies are a whole different kettle of fish, and comparing the two is like comparing wolves with Chihuahuas! Fancy Guppies need a steady temperature in the range 25-28 C/77-82 F.>
Does this mean they could live in my unheated aquarium?
My aquarium temperature seems to be a steady 21C.
Do you think they could live happily in my tank?
I would be looking to get males only and a maximum of 3. I have also read that they would help to keep the platy population in check (I wish I had known to get only males of these)!
<Platies are best kept as virgin females if you don't want [a] babies and [b] aggression.>
<Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Goldfish and Fancy Guppies? 8/30/11

Thanks for your quick response and information Neale. I suspected the information wasn't correct about the guppies, but they're so pretty I was hoping.....
<Ah, yes'¦ Like Johnson said about second marriages being the triumph of optimism over experience.>
I think my White Clouds are safe.... my Goldies are such slow swimmers they haven't got a chance of catching them! And the moor has very big eyes (bigger than most I've seen) and struggles to grab falling pellets so I doubt he'd have a chance of hunting down a minnow!
A question about the Platies.... what do you think will happen to the fry? I don't want them to suffer..... do you know if they can make it if I don't put special food in?
<Yes, often do.>
Will they find small particles in the water?
<And algae.>
I suspect the larger of the two females is fattening up.... I may have more fry in a few weeks...... if this becomes a regular issue would it be cruel to feed the fry to my boyfriend's F8 puffers?
<No, not cruel; often keep my own livebearers with predators for precisely this reason.>
I am torn between adoring the platy babies and worrying about my goldfish getting over crowded!!
<Understandable and wise.>
<Letting nature take it's course can be a good way forward, but at the same time, keeping a few fry aside in a breeding trap for 3-4 weeks can ensure you have some second generation Platies to replace the adults as and when they get old and die, which in the case of farmed Platies can be in as little as 2-3 years. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Goldfish and Fancy Guppies?  9/1/11

Thank you very much for taking the time to respond (again)! That has put my mind at rest.
<Always glad to help. Cheers, Neale.>

Looking for kumbaya? GF/Env.; too low pH... GF Comp.    8/23/11
I have two fish tanks, one 26 gals. and one 36 gals., which have contained goldfish for years. They've slowly died out, and as of this very day (sob!) only 3 are left. What I'd like to do is put the remaining 3 goldfish together in the 36-gal. tank and convert the 26-gal. tank for other freshwater fish. One lonely goldfish still lives in that 26-gal. tank, and it is, of course, fully cycled. It has a 50 gal. AquaClear filter, an air stone, gravel, and a few plastic plants pretty much covered with algae. Strip-type tests (which have been pretty consistent for years) indicate that the hardness (GH) is roughly 150; alkalinity (KH) about 20-40; and pH about 6.2-6.5.
<Now, that pH is far, FAR too low, and is likely one reason your Goldfish haven't thrived. While Goldfish are adaptable animals, they do prefer hard, alkaline water conditions. Raise the carbonate hardness using sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) to around 100-150 mg/l, and you should get a nice healthy pH around 7.5. Alternatively, use the Rift Valley salt mix described in this article, at about 50% the quoted dosage:
Again, that should be a cheap and effective way to make hard water.>
I know next to nothing about fish other than goldfish, and I'm hoping for a 'package' suggestion! (Like, please just tell me what to do!!) Here's what I'm looking for, in rough order of importance: 1) Compatibility (little or no aggression) among inhabitants, and otherwise happy fish;
<For Goldfish, by far the best companions are other Goldfish! But Weather Loaches can also work extremely well. Obviously neither of these needs heating, so they're ideal for unheated tanks. Goldfish are bit big and messy to work well with tropical fish; or rather, if you do keep them in a subtropical aquarium, you have to be MUCH more diligent about filtration and water changes than you'd be with, say, Guppies. I wouldn't mix Fancy Goldfish with really anything other than Weather Loaches because they're too prone to being fin-nipped, but Standard Goldfish (single-tail varieties like Comets and plain vanilla Goldfish) can be treated just like large barbs, and kept alongside species compatible in terms of size and water temperature. For example, at 20-24 C/68-75 F, you can keep Standard Goldfish with things like Peppered Catfish, Corydoras, paleatus, a peaceful, SCHOOLING catfish from subtropical South America.>
2) relatively easy care;
<Both Peppered Catfish and Weather Loaches are hardy and easy to keep.>
3) good looks; and, of course, 4) fish that are fun to watch.
<Both my suggestions are very fun, and because they live on the bottom, they add activity to a different part of the aquarium.>
In sum, I have two questions: What combination of fish would work well? And, is there anything I should be concerned about in the transition of the tank from goldfish?
<All depends on whether you're keeping the Goldfish or not. For more general stocking ideas for a tank simply for tropicals, some further thoughts are here:
For a casual community tank with minimal effort and much fun, tolerant of soft, slightly acidic water, obvious choices for a tank at 24 C/75 F would be Corydoras paleatus, Corydoras aeneus, Ancistrus sp., Rineloricaria sp., Pristella maxillaris, Thayeria boehlkei, Danio rerio and Danio albolineatus. All of these are peaceful and about as bullet-proof as you could want. Neon Tetras could do well, and would add some bright red accents to the tank, but quality varies wildly and I wouldn't buy them until the tank was settled and the other fish thriving. If nothing else, buy the best quality Neons you can, and ideally, quarantine them first. For personality fish, the gouramis Colisa fasciata or Colisa labiosa can all work well at this temperature, but males may sometimes be a bit pushy. Farmed Angelfish are definitely an option, but do be aware they view small fish, like Neons, as food. Shrimps will also thrive at this low-end tropical temperature, and the Red Cherry Shrimps are particularly fun. Do note that copper kills shrimps quickly, so don't add them until you've quarantined or treated all the other fish for Whitespot, or else, if you need to medicate, use salt/heat instead.>
Many, many of your postings have helped me with my goldfish over the years, and I can't thank you enough for your help, both then and now.
<Hope these help. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Looking for kumbaya?   8/23/11
Thank you, Neale; very helpful! I'm sorry I wasn't clearer that I have no intention of mixing the goldfish with the new fish; they'll be in separate tanks. I'll work on the pH, as you suggest. Should I be aiming for a pH of 7.5 for both the goldfish tank and the tropical tank?
<That's an excellent idea. Don't worry too much about the precise pH though; aim instead for moderately hard water, a general hardness of around 10 degrees dH, as this is about the minimum for happy Goldfish. If you're keeping just the South American and Southeast Asian tropical fish mentioned in my last message, then softer, more acidic water is fine, 5-15 degrees dH general hardness is about right for the undemanding species listed. In other words, you could do very well maintaining both tanks at 10 degrees
dH, ~ pH 7.5, using the same water chemistry in both tanks.>
Unheated, the tanks are now at about 70-71 degrees, and they'll be a few degrees cooler in the winter. I have no problem adding a heater; should I?
<For Goldfish, leaving this tank unheated will be fine. Likewise with Weather Loaches. But tropical fish, even the low-end species, do need a minimum of 22 C/72 F, so a heater will be needed.>
Thanks again!
<Most welcome. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Looking for kumbaya?
Perfect! Thanks so much. I have all the information I need now. :-)
<Glad to help. Neale.>

My 4in Black Moor is being chased around frantically by my two baby goldfish   5/13/11
I have had my original 4 Black Moors for about a year and a half. Right before I switched them from a 29 gallon tank into a 55 gallon, I rescued a tiny little black Moor from certain death ( a friend was about to put in a bunch of highly aggressive fish and I demanded he hand over the poor goldfish to me) and since he was so tiny compared to the others, I went and got him a tiny little Red Oranda to keep him from feeling like the odd one out. Mind you, even in the smaller tank they all got along fabulously. I've had them in the larger tank for a month now with no change in behavior. I have two filters running and only change them out one at a time so as not to disrupt the bacteria / bio stuff ( I'm at a loss for the technical term). They have plenty of aeration, several plants, a couple live ones one tall fake one, and gravel that I vacuum out at least once every week and a half when do a 25% water change. I add salt
<Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/SaltUseFWArtNeale.htm
and keep an eye on all the levels,
<Numbers please>
and the temp never gets above like 74 degrees, so I know they're not whacked out from heat. I am compulsive with my fish. Love them. So I cannot figure out why all of a sudden the two baby fish ( 1 black moor 1 red Oranda , both bordering on 2 inches) are relentlessly chasing my biggest one around so bad. It looks like they're grazing their mouths over his body and softly sucking and then they'll bury themselves in between his back trailing tail fins ( funny cause they almost look hidden cause they are so small) making him swim off like crazy,...and they don't seem to be slowing down. He on the other hand looks a bit tired. And now they have taken to occasionally messing with the second largest one too. They leave the others alone. And it's just kind of creepy that they are doing the bullying/antagonizing instead of the other way around, and as a team nonetheless . I've found answers to every other similar instance, but none for why two babies would gang up on the much larger ones. Oh and they don't seem to be damaging the others, other than wearing them down. I don't know the genders of any of them either. So if you can give me any insight as to what this is all about, I would appreciate it. And so would my boyfriend because then maybe he'd get some attention instead of the fish. Thank you so much.
<I don't know why this occurs... the smaller fishs are not likely sexually mature... But there are such occurrences. I would float/separate the two smaller goldfish in a large plastic colander for a few days. Bob Fenner>

Aggressive Fish (the perils of mixing standard and fancy goldfish!)  4/11/11
I had to separate a comet from my fantail because after a year together the comet started biting my fantail. It is now in a 30 gallon tank. Worried about it being alone and added a comet the same size a few days ago. The new comet has been biting the comet I had since I put it in the tank.
Neither are large, both the same size. My original comet is now at the top of the aquarium seemingly gulping air. Water conditions are fine. I turned the light off an hour ago, hoping to settle it down. What should I do?
Please help. Thanks.
<Hello Alice. A good place to start reading is here:
While your aquarium is big enough for two fancy Goldfish, Comets as a variety tend to be better suited to outdoor situations than aquaria because of their size and swimming space requirements. But I don't think that's the immediate problem here. Essentially any single-tail ("standard") Goldfish like a Comet will have more speed and strength than a deformed (i.e., fancy) Goldfish like your Fantail. Because Goldfish are hierarchical, they aren't so much peaceful as hard-wired to create pecking orders within the group. The group isn't arranged just the one time, and members repeatedly reassert their dominance over others. If there are lots of fish in the group, then the dominant one can't interact with just one weaker fish all the time, but has to divide his time among all members of the group, reasserting his alpha status. If the fish in the group are all of the same basic size and type, then even the weaker ones will be fast enough or strong enough to avoid serious harm. But if you have just two fish, the dominant fish spends all his time asserting his status (i.e., badgering) the weaker one, and on top of that, if the weaker fish is deformed, then that weaker fish can't even swim away or fight back. The standard advice with Goldfish is NOT to mix standard and fancy Goldfish together -- especially if only two or three Goldfish are being kept. (Sometimes mixing standard Goldfish with the more robust fancies like Moors and Fantails works okay in big tanks where half a dozen specimens are kept together, so the aggressive tendencies of the alpha fish are diluted among all the weaker fish.) Bullied fish will show signs of stress, including listlessness, disinterest in food, and eventually, physical symptoms such as slow growth and damaged fins. Obviously there's no easy fix here: evolution has programmed Goldfish and other schooling species to work this
way, and only by allowing this instincts to work in a constructive way will things calm down. Hope this clarifies the situation for you. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Aggressive Fish (the perils of mixing standard and fancy goldfish!) 4/11/2011

Thank you so much for your response.
<You're welcome.>
The problem is 2 small comets, same size.
It's the new fish badgering the one I have had for a year.
<Likely a male, and if the other is female, could easily be pre-spawning behaviour, which involves a lot of chasing. Males develop distinct spawning tubercles on their heads in spring. These look a bit like white spots.
Often mistaken for Whitespot disease!>
Trying to decide if I should return the new comet to the store and have no idea what to replace it with.
<If this we me, I'd not keep Comets indoors, period. Fantails and Moors mix together well, and would be my recommendation here. At a pinch, the more rounded Shubunkins will do, too.>
Thought 2 comets together would be fine.
<Unfortunately all Goldfish think they're Carp, and have no idea how we've bred them into weird shapes. Much like how littler Terriers chase Great Danes, seemingly oblivious to the differences in size.>
Next problem, the fantail I mentioned was fine after I moved the comet to the other tank and I added another fantail and Ryukin with it. For several days they were fine together, and now it appears my original fantail is dying for no apparent reason. It is just floating in the water.
<Not good. Do need actual data on your aquarium: size of the tank, number/size of fish, filtration (ideally filter model), water chemistry (pH, and ideally hardness), and water quality (at minimum, nitrite level).
Statements about the tank being "fine" or the fish being "fine" don't give me any data to work with. Almost all fish health problems are environmental at some level, so this is the best place to start pinning down potential problems.>
Do you have any suggestions how to save this fish. I am sick with both problems. Thank you for any help you can offer.
<Hope this helps, Neale.>

Help?, Crabs and Goldfish 3/2/11
So I'm looking at setting up a fish tank, and I was wondering if it was ok to keep freshwater fiddler crabs and goldfish together. Also any advice on this would be wonderful.
Thanks, Steven Bauer
<They are not compatible, see here for more
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/goldfish101art.htm .>
Re: Help?, Crabs and Goldfish 3/3/11

Thank you so much. I would have hated to set my tank up and have one or the other die.

Ready to Stock my 55 gal, GF sel., comp., sys.   2/10/11
Good afternoon crew,
My 55 gal freshwater tank is done cycling and I am ready to stock. I have central heat and air in my house and do not have a heater in the tank.
<I would definitely get/use one. Even a fifty five gallon volume will drift too much thermally, diurnally>
My thermometer reads a steady 68 F. I was wondering if 2 - 3 common goldfish (comet or Shubunkin) would go well enough with a large school of white cloud minnows (about 20 or so) and maybe some peppered cats. Your thoughts are much appreciated.
<Mmm, I'd leave out the peppered cats if they're small enough to get in the goldfish's mouths, and NOT use the stated varieties of goldfish as they get too big for this volume... AND still use a heater, set low. Bob Fenner>
Re: Ready to Stock my 55 gal, FW, GF, comp.   2/10/11

Thanks for getting back to me on this. So basically you are saying that either of these goldfish will be too large even if in the tank alone (no minnows or cats)?
<Eventually, yes...>
Are there any types of common goldfish that would work with this setup in your opinion.
<Not in the long/er term, no...>
I really do not want to go the fancy goldfish way, I much more like the faster moving variety.
<Oh! Then resolve yourself to trade in these longer varieties/sports on a yearly basis. BobF>
Re: Ready to Stock my 55 gal   2/10/11
Thank you again, last question, I promise!! If you feel that the fancy variety will be better suited I will take that advise and run with it. I think that a setup of goldfish and the school of minnows would look very nice. Would you discourage the addition of 2-4 fancy goldfish with the school of minnows?
<Tanichthys should go w/ nicely. B>
Thanks again,
Goldfish and others, GF comp.    2/11/11

Good morning, I hope you are well. I have a 55 gal freshwater tank setup that has cycled for about 2 months. All levels are great now (ammonia, nitrate, nitrite all at 0) so I felt it was time to stock up a bit. I stopped at the LFS on my way home yesterday and purchased 2 Black Moor's and 1 Fantail goldfish, nothing more nothing less.
<A good selection that should get along fine. Moors and Fantails are at the boisterous, hardy end of the Fancy range. They tend to bully the other Fancy Goldfish varieties, but get along surprisingly well with Standard Goldfish such as Shubunkins.>
I decided to ask what they felt would be a good fit with these goldfish.
<Generally best kept alone because Goldfish are heavy polluters.>
I like to do this just to see if they are going to try to sell me anything I want. I mentioned that I was considering a large school of White Clouds as well.
<Goldfish food, unfortunately!>
A few of the workers gathered to talk about this and decided that I should not have anything other than more goldfish in this tank because they will suck in anything that can fit in their mouths.
I was unaware that goldfish were as predatory as lionfish.
<That's overstating the case. But an aquarium is a closed box with limited space, so small prey species can't avoid potential predators as easily as they might in the wild. So while Goldfish hardly ever eat fish when kept in ponds, they often eat very small fish in aquaria.>
I was a bit surprised because I have never seen or heard of an LFS being this conservative before.
<I'd keep my faith with chap! He sounds an honest guy.>
My question to you is, should I heed their advice?
I was thinking that if the White Clouds were a bad choice that maybe a school of Rosy Barbs
<Do tend to be fin-nippers.>
or Giant Danios
<Can work extremely well, as can large Zebra Danios, given sufficient space and water warm enough for good health, plus of course good water quality.
Zebra Danios shouldn't be kept cooler than 18 C/64 F, and Giant Danios need a good 22 C/72 F to be happy. Zebra Danios can be nippy though, especially if kept in insufficient numbers. A better choice would be the Variatus Platy, a chunky, nicely-coloured Platy (Xiphophorus variatus) that does best at 18-22 C/65-72 F. Ordinary Platies will do well with Goldfish at 22 C/72 F, as would Swordtails for that matter, but Swords do tend to be that bit more feisty and potentially nippy.>
would well due to their bigger size. I would really like to keep more than just the goldfish in there, but if you suggest that I stick with what I have then I will know that is best for the fish.
<Probably the single best companion species is the Weather Loach (Misgurnus anguillicaudatus). If your aquarium is kept at least 22 C/72 F, then another excellent choice is the Bristlenose Catfish (Ancistrus sp.) which stays quite small, 15 cm/6 inches, and unlike the Common Plec or Common Sucking Loach, NEVER does the "latch on the Goldfish and suck the mucous off" thing. It's also a first-rate algae-eater.>
Thanks for your help,
<Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Goldfish and others  2/12/11

Thank you for your quick response and help. I will NOT be putting White Clouds in this tank. I am actually quite fond of the weather loach and see this being a real possibility.
<It is indeed an outstanding species and LOTS of fun. Does jump out of tanks without tight-fitting hoods though, so be careful.>
Due to these fish reaching a possible 10 inches, how many do you suggest I place in this setup and would there be room for anything else as well or should I probably just stop there?
<In aquaria they rarely get so big, 6-8 inches being typical. They are sociable though, so why not get a group of three? The regular kind and the golden kind mix perfectly well, adding to the fun! In groups they're less shy, more outgoing, and naturally exhibit fun social behaviours like clumping together when resting or wrestling over morsels of food.>
Thanks again
<Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Goldfish and others  2/12/11
Thank you again, and last question, really. I have a rock substrate, it is on the larger smoother side though, not crushed coral or anything like that. Will this be acceptable?
<Not ideal. If nothing else, the loaches will be more likely to have worn-down barbels and scratches on their bellies, and this makes Finrot and other infections like that more likely.>
<Fine pea gravel, or else smooth silver sand (such as pool filter sand) is by far the best choice with loaches of ALL types. Cheers, Neale.

Hello Crew (RMF, second opinion?), GF, Cory incomp.  -- 02/02/11
I am writing via my iPhone from cold MI, USA. I LOVE your website, I have spent a great deal of time just reading and absorbing such great info. Collectively, your knowledge and experience is so impressive.
<Thanks for the kind words.>
Today my question pertains more towards behavior rather than chemistry, thus I feel compelled to write. I have a large (appx. 4-5" not counting tail)
<Actually, not that big. A BIG goldfish would be 30 cm/12 inches, though fantail-type Fancy Goldfish typically max out around the 20 cm/8 inch mark.>
Black Telescope Goldfish in a 30 gal tank with a natural rock substrate and decor, along with some floating live plants. I introduced some Albino Cory Cats to do some cleaning'¦
<Can work.>
And today I returned home to find 0.25" of Cory Cat hanging out of my Big Guy's mouth. Should I remove it, or will the Big Guy be able to digest it?
<For now, see what happens. Trying to pull out the dead fish -- I assume it's dead -- may do more harm than good. Fish have quite delicate jaw bones, and pulling catfish backwards causes their spines to lock, so all that'd happen is you'd be forcing erect spines into the jaw. If, by tomorrow, it's still stuck in the Goldfish's mouth, you may need to do something more hands-on. Or better yet, call a vet used to handling Koi (many are) for their advice and assistance. There's going to be a trick to lowering the fin spins on the Corydoras using a mounted needle or similar, then pulling the corpse out. Or perhaps the whole catfish will be crushed, and then removed. But either way, the pectoral and dorsal fin spines will need to be dealt with.>
The Cory Cat was about 1.5" not counting the tail.
<Not tiny, then.>
I really am at a loss. I guess I should have expected this, knowing that the Big Guy is essentially a Carp and will eat anything, I just assumed that he was peaceful.
<Usually they are. You've been extremely unlucky. Goldfish are mostly herbivorous and their fish-eating skills are minimal. For a start, they don't even have teeth in their mouths! My hunch is that the Goldfish was dead or at least moribund, and the Goldfish simply took advantage of the situation. Normally, Corydoras cohabit quite nicely with Goldfish, given the right water temperature and water quality.>
Well, thank you so much Crew! Any other ideas and/or suggestions I deeply appreciate! Thank you Mr. Fenner et al for the wonderful website!
<Hope this helps, Neale.>
<<RMF would catch the goldfish, gently try to extricate (paying attention to the prominent anterior dorsal and leading pectoral fin spines) the catfish. No need for anesthetic, nor tools... just a wet hand to hold the goldfish, the other to "wiggle" the Corydoras and pull it free. IF not easily removed, I would use a small, sharp-tipped scissor to cut the respective stuck fin spines free>>

Ahh, now that I see the pic, you will need to use a tweezer. RMF

Re: Hello Crew (RMF, second opinion?)
Greetings, Neale and Crew,
Many sincere thanks for your speedy reply this afternoon!
<Glad to help.>
Well, I observed my Telescope for about an hour, walked out of the room for just a quick minute, and returned to see the Albino Cory Cat had disappeared from Telescope's mouth. (I erroneously assumed that it had somehow gotten swallowed). Many hours later, I find the Cory Cat hiding out under a rock.
All of his fins appear severely damaged, and of course he does not seem to be having an easy job of navigating around the tank. So I guess I am "cautiously optimistic" with regard to it's future'¦
<Fins will grow back. I'd treat with something mild to prevent Finrot, perhaps Melafix for want of anything else. Otherwise, a standard anti-Finrot medication would be worth using.>
Needless to say, I was *SO* grateful to get your response earlier! The situation was so bizarre and unexpected that had I not seen it with my own eyes & snapped a pic, I probably wouldn't believe it had happened.
<Agreed, very unusual.>
Here you go! Granted, the Big Guy (Telescope) was turned away a bit, and I hope you can see why I was so alarmed.
<Would assume Telescope won't do this ever again!>
Have a splendid evening and many thanks once again!
<Good luck to you all, Neale.>

Re: More re: Hello Crew... Cory eating GF   2/4/11
In the past, I have successfully used the wet washcloth holding method to hold the Telescope, so I was planning to employ that same technique along with tweezers to remove the Cory Cat. The Cory Cat was really in there! Now I know what to do should such a situation ever present itself again. After reading Neale's response, I am glad that I waited to act, and more so now that by some unknown miracle the Cory Cat came out by itself'¦alive!
<Certainly an excellent result.>
I'm thinking of Jonah and the Whale, although I think we were more like three hours as opposed to three days. Forevermore, the Cory shall be known as Jonah. The Force is strong with him. ;) There does not appear to be any damage to Telescope's jaws, and I hopeful that the Big Guy will return to a peaceful lifestyle.
I am snowed under at the moment, so at my earliest opportunity I plan to look for Neale's suggested Melafix- which I have never used before.
<We don't widely recommend Melafix because it's a most unreliable cure. But as a preventative it has some merit, being relatively mild, inexpensive, and provided the fish is basically healthy and strong, does seem to work.>
I am glad you were able to see from the iPhone's pic, it certainly wasn't the best photo ever! If you don't mind, I will pick your brain, what do you think about the gold on the underside of my Telescope? That is fairly recent, within the past 4 months or so. Could it be a seasonal change or just normal maturation?
<Just normal colour changes, common on non-pedigree Goldfish.>
Your Crew and website are really awesome, I can't stress enough how many questions I've had answered from your site. And deep, sincere thanks for the personal emails!
<Standard practise!>
I think I saw on your site somewhere that you were associated with Marine Aquarists in Lansing, MI?
<Hmm'¦ we're not associated with anyone specifically, but companies advertise on the banners, and Bob F. does his bit to promote aquarium clubs, reputable retailers and wholesalers, and other folks who do good works in the hobby.>
I live in a rural area near Lansing, and no Koi vets appeared locally when I Googled. Anyway, something for me to think about. Thank you for honoring grammar,
<Both Bob and I feel strongly about "good English" being essential to clear, polite conversation, though I certainly don't hold myself up as a paragon of either clarity or politeness!>
and again, many thanks for getting me thru the drama, you all are fabulous! Have a splendid day!
<And you too, Holly. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: More re: Hello Crew
Hi Neale,
I'm starting to feel like we are old friends!
<Oh my!>
You are smart, and you've really gotten me, the basic beginner hobbyist, really thinking. (I am an English Major, hence my fondness for standard grammar).
<I see'¦>
Your comment re: pedigreed goldfish-- Very interesting. I wasn't even aware of such a thing.
<Oh yes, is very true. Most Goldfish tend to change colour with age, sometimes uniformly becoming paler, other times becoming darker in patches; it varies considerably.>
That in turn has gotten me thinking. Do you have any good pictures of nasal bouquets?
<Not to hand. But look at the varieties called Pom-Poms. In normal Goldfish, the nostrils are more or less inside the skull except that each has a small flap, called a lobe, that sticks out. On Pom-Poms these are wildly developed into cauliflower-like growths. Those are the bouquets.>
My Telescope (which has flat eyes), does have what I would consider to be prominent tear drop shaped nares, along with bumpy skin texture on the head. Possibly it was a throwback from an attempt to breed another variety, like a Pom Pom.
<Could well be. To some degree, many Goldfish will show features you're characterise belonging to different breeds than their own. For example a standard Goldfish might have a slightly chunkier body, like that of a Fantail. Or a Fantail might have slightly bulgy-out eyes like a Moor. And so, and so forth. What has happened over the centuries is that these traits were selectively bred to become more and more exaggerated along particular breeding lines, and ultimately, new varieties were created.>
Well, I imagine it really doesn't much matter, but as a thinking person, I just found it really interesting to think about.
<Is indeed, particularly given Goldfish had originally been domesticated as food, at which point they were merely greenish fish much like their wild ancestors, but better adapted to life in ponds. Some of them sported golden patches or perhaps a more brassy overall green colour, and these were saved from the kitchen and bred one to another, and over time the Goldfish that we know and love was created. All this happened some centuries ago in China and Japan, though subsequent varieties have been created in England (like the Shubunkin) and in the United States (the Comet) as well.>
Learning and thinking are just amazing things, so I hope you and the Crew are aware of how sharing your knowledge and opinions not only informs and educates, but also inspires.
<Those are very kind words; thank you.>
Keep up the Great work, I am off to the LFS. You are awesome.
<Have fun! Neale.>
Re: More re: Hello Crew   2/4/11
Hi Neale,
I hope you are well today! :)
<Yes, thank you, Holly. Glad it's Friday though...>
Just wanted to ask, do you think 3 days of Melafix would be sufficient, or should I plan on a longer course of treatment?
<Should be ample.>
Would a 25% change at the 3 Day Mark be advisable?
<Would do no harm at all.>
I am noticing a strong odor, which isn't offensive, just different. Is that a sign of overdose or normal? I did indeed measure, just checking!
<Likely normal. You can add carbon to the filter for a few days if you're worried, and it should remove it all.>
Thank you so very much, please have a splendid day!!
<And enjoy your weekend, Holly. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: More re: Hello Crew (RMF, second opinion?)
Thank you, Neale. Enjoy your weekend also!
<I plan on sleeping through most of it. Been a tough week! Cheers, Neale.>
Re: More re: Hello Crew...Chatting  -- 02/04/11

I hope your week was not tough because of me and all my questions! :)
<Ah no, just the kids at school. Some good, some bad, but all of them exhausting.>
Thank you again! All of my fish appear happier today.
Sleep is always a wonderful thing, my friend! Enjoy,
<I plan to.>
<Best to you, too, Holly. Cheers, Neale.> 

Goldfish and Glofish, comp.  6/7/10
<Hello Aisha,>
I have had my comet goldfish for a year, about now, in a 29gal tank, and they are doing fine. The water is quite clear and they are a few inches at the most, so I am not yet worried about space.
<They will grow, and fast. This aquarium is really too small for Comets. So before adding more stuff to the aquarium, you need plan what you'll do a year from now when these Comets need a 55 gallon tank.>
I was reading over other people's questions and your replies on your webpage, and I have two questions for you.
<Fire away.>
1) What types of fish are compatible with goldfish?
<Anything that [a] doesn't need especially warm water; [b] doesn't nip fins; [c] also thrives in moderately hard, basic water; and [d] isn't too sensitive about water quality. Essentially a Goldfish is just a really big Barb, but no-one would keep a 20 cm/8 inch Barb in a 30 gallon aquarium! Why do some inexperienced aquarists do that? Because they often get away with it, Goldfish being more tolerant of stagnant water than most other types of fish. But while the Goldfish may tolerate oxygen-poor water conditions fairly well, most tropical fish do not. So what seems healthy for Goldfish can be lethal to other types of fish. That's why Goldfish have historically been kept alone and usually end up being kept alone.>
I did some research and got the likes of Chinese High Fins and Corydoras, both of which I find not so great.
<Peppered and Bronze Corydoras can make superb companions, assuming good water quality. Because Corydoras can breathe air, they are less likely to be harmed by occasional water quality problems that most other fish.>
My goldfish are beautiful and lively and I want tankmates that are equally colorful.
<Not going to happen. Accept Goldfish for what they, fish for their own aquarium.>
I understand Plecos are a good idea,
<Can be, again because the commoner species at least are able to breathe air, so like Corydoras, will put up with occasional problems.>
but I decided against those a long time ago (call it a childhood fear. I was always afraid of the black things, with their mouths against the glass - and while the fear has gone, a distaste has lingered).
<Hmm... you're missing out.>
2) I read some of your advice saying that essentially, barbs and Danios could live with goldfish if space and heating were not a problem.
<Yes, but see the limitations as stated above. Tiger Barbs for example would be far too nippy.>
This is welcome news, because I always adored the Glofish (genetically altered zebra Danios - thought you probably know this)
<Yes, and I don't approve of them at all. But the Zebra Danio species is, broadly, compatible with Goldfish, given the right water quality, water chemistry and temperature. Large Goldfish may eat small Danios of course, though Goldfish are fairly inept predators. More seriously, sometimes Danios become fin-nippers, though usually only if they are not kept in sufficient numbers. You need at least 6, and ideally 8-10.>
and tiger barbs. I do have a heater on hand. So, would it be okay to keep a school (5-6 fish only) of tiger barbs
<Not a chance.>
and a school of Glofish
<Possibly, but there won't be enough space in this aquarium for the 6-8 Danios you'll need, plus the two or more Comets once they're more than, say, 10 cm/4 inches long.>
with my goldfish? And if yes, then what is a good temperature setting (in Fahrenheit) for my heater so both the goldfish and the tropical fish are
<22-24 C/72-75 F.>
Thank you in advance!
<Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Goldfish and Glofish 6/7/10
Hello Neale,
How do tiger barbs fare in a 10gal tank, by themselves?
<Badly. They get to about 5 cm/2 inches in length, need to be kept in groups of at least six specimens, and if kept poorly are both nippy and aggressive. They are also very sensitive to poor water quality.>
I have one around, so if they can do fine in that, I'd like to keep them there. What say you?
<No. Tiger Barbs need at least 75 l/20 gallons, and realistically 115 l/30 gallons for them to look good and be worth keeping.>
<Cheers, Neale.>

Introducing large fancy goldfish to small  4/2/10
I have a fancy Black Moore goldfish which is about 2 years old and has grown to about 3 inch's (not including tail.) At the moment she is living in a 25 litre tank.
<Much too small...>
We have brought a new 100 litre tank and have set this up.
<Still hardly generous. That's about 21 US gallons, rather less than the 30 gallons needed to keep two or three Goldfish. Do always remember how big Goldfish get -- they're pond fish after all -- and even your Black Moor will reach 20 cm/8 inches excluding its tail. If this were any other kind of fish, like a cichlid, you'd be aiming for 210 litres/55 US gallons, but Goldfish can muddle through with a bit less. It isn't ideal, and the tank will be filthy to look at, but they will at least stay alive provided you do the necessary housework. So 100 litres/21 US gallons is well under even that, so in all honesty you're likely to be disappointed with the results.>
Unfortunately while we were setting up the new tank our fish's companion became ill and died.
<I see.>
We have now brought a new fancy goldfish and have put her in the large tank. I really want to put our fish in the new larger tank as she needs the space but our new fish is only about an inch long from nose to tail and fear she will eat the new fish.
<With luck the two fish will school together just fine. In twos Goldfish can sometimes be bullies, but that's not about size so much as the lack of numbers, and two males will inevitably end up chasing one another. Kept in groups of three or more and they generally settle down well because no one fish can be chased all the time by the dominant male.>
Would a cross swap be the best option and if so how do I go about this?
<All you can do is stick both fish in the big tank and hope for the best. There are no silver bullet solutions here because Goldfish need [a] a bigger tank than this and [b] need to be kept in bigger numbers than just two. Do read here:
Cheers, Neale.>

Goldfish compatible fish -- 2/23/10
I'm setting up a 29g goldfish tank to rehome my daughter's Oranda and three white cloud mountain minnows which are in an embarrassingly small tank. I know what fish are NOT compatible (tropicals), but for the life of me, I
can't find any good info on what other fish are compatible with the Oranda (other than the minnows, which are about an inch in length).
<Actually, Goldfish will do fine in tropical tanks up to about 25 C/77 F. This makes them suitable tankmates for anything that won't nip them or harass them, and also like the same hard, basic, not too warm water conditions. Most Corydoras and Plecs will do fine, as will things like Platies, Weather loaches, and even some of the Danios. The only reason people don't normally keep Goldfish in tropical/subtropical tanks is that Goldfish are big and messy, so unless the tank has a really good filter and lots of swimming space, Goldfish can pollute the tank so heavily the tropical fish will die. But if you work around that, they're really much like any other large barb (which is, essentially, what they are).>
Any suggestions?
<Cheers, Neale.>
re: Goldfish compatible fish -- 2/23/10
Thank for the quick reply Neale.
<My pleasure.>
I thought goldfish "preferred" temps in the high 60s (maybe even low 70s)?
<Yes, but they're adaptable. They are well established in the tropics, seemingly not having problems at all adapting to warmer conditions than you'd expect.>
While tropicals need mid to high 70s?
<Depends on the fish. Neons, Platies and Corydoras all prefer relatively cool conditions, around 22-24 C (72-75 F). By contrast Cardinals, Discus and Ram Cichlids need warm water to do well, around 28-30 C (82-86 F). So
it all depends.>
I'm guessing my options expand if I add a heater.
<Cheers, Neale.>

Why is it so horrible to put a school of zebra Danios and a common goldfish together? 2/1/2010
Dear Crew,
Why is it so horrible to put a school of zebra Danios and a common goldfish together? Is it the waste? I have a filter and always change the water?
Thank you very much
<It can be done. But it depends on the aquarium. Goldfish are messy, and unless the tank is very large, and very well filtered, they tend to produce poor water quality. But if, say, you had a 55 gallon tank equipped with a
filter rated at 4-6 times the volume of the tank in turnover per hour, you certainly could mix a couple of Goldfish with a school of Zebra Danios. You would of course need a heater to keep the tank somewhere around 20-22
degrees C (68-72 F). Although Danios are tolerant of fairly cool conditions, they won't thrive in cold tanks, especially during the winter.
Cheers, Neale.>
Just one more question. What if I put one common goldfish with seven zebra Danios in a fifty gallon aquarium with an Aqueon system five filter?
<What about it? Read my last reply. States clearly what criteria you need.
Find out that gallons/hour rating for your filter, check you have a heater of appropriate wattage, and see for yourself. Cheers, Neale.>

Goldfish suffering! Ictalurid incomp.  -- 01/30/10
The Situation- Goldfish suffering from severe ammonia burns over body.
<Well, that's easy enough to diagnose. Black, discoloured patches on the body. But I'm not seeing that in your image. Looks more like a Goldfish that's been attacked. I wonder what he's living with...>
My family has had a 29 gallon fish tank for about 2 years with one large common goldfish that we've had for about 5 years in various sizes of tanks and a yellow bullhead caught as a fingerling in a nearby lake about a year ago. The bullhead, has, as it should, grown to about 11 inches in length and the goldfish is about six inches in total length.
<Right. So you have a Goldfish in with a voracious carnivore twice its size. Hmm... I wonder...>
We kept this tank without paying much attention to any of the rules of fish keeping, and for a while, this worked out fine, but then one day I went to feed the fish, and the goldfish looked horrible.
<I'll say!>
Over night he seemed to have lost about a quarter of his scales and his fins were all shredded and his clear skin hanging off in shreds all over him. I was panicked and at first thought that somehow the bull head had attacked him, but following some much belated internet and book research I believe that poor water quality is most likely to blame as the bio load increased as the size of the fish increased.
<No! Your Ameiurus natalis is precisely to blame here, especially if suddenly overnight the Goldfish looked bedraggled. Be clear on this, Ameiurus natalis is a NOCTURNAL carnivore.>
Considering the size and types of fish being kept in the tank, the ammonia levels were probably at a constant high for quite some time, and the goldfishes immune system finally couldn't keep up anymore.
<Conceivably, but Finrot doesn't do this to a fish overnight. You need something bigger to mangle a Goldfish like this that mere bacteria. Like a BIG PREDATOR!>
Anyways, the bullhead moved out into a temporary 20 gallon Sterilite container until its warm enough outside to release him back in the lake.
<DO NOT release into the wild, please. Not only is it against the law, but it is also how diseases and parasites carried by pet fish end up in the wild. Your local Fish & Wildlife bureau would have kittens if they thought you were about to do this. Putting him in a pond in a garden is fine, but do not place him anywhere he's likely to get into native waters. The US has some outstanding wildlife; why should a moment of thoughtlessness put that at risk? Either keep the catfish, rehome it, or humanely destroy it. Returning to the wild IS NOT an option.>
I did 2 70 percent water changes for the goldfish, about 5 hours apart, bought some water test strips and made sure that he had good water quality. We use an aqua-tech power filter made for 20-40 gallon aquariums and I have never changed out the bio filter and only rinsed it in aquarium water a few times as per the instructions on the package.
About an hour after all this, I tested the water with my new test strips (from "jungle"-, I think) and came up with:
Ammonia- 0
PH- 8.0-8.4
Total alkalinity- 120ppm-180 ppm
Chlorine- 0
Hardness- 0-25 very soft
<Actually, Goldfish prefer hard water, but your carbonate hardness is reasonably high, so this probably isn't a killer issue.>
Nitrite- 0
Nitrate 0-20
As far as I can tell from the packaging on the strips, this is ideal for freshwater.
<Depends on the freshwater fish being kept, but broadly, yes.>
Now, I am wondering what else I should do for the poor fellow. He has brightened up considerably with the better water, but his shredded fins and lumpy bare skin and blisters look horribly painful and I am afraid he will get an infection and die. I don't just want to load up the tank with antibiotics because I don't want to mess up the bio filter (thank God I followed the instructions on the filter package and never removed it or tried to wash it, so I'm pretty sure the tank is properly cycled after two years!) and subsequently subject my poor fish to bad water quality again. I have read several different approaches to caring for recovering fish, and am just confused about the best way to proceed. A few websites I perused seemed to be in favor of diverting the filter and treating the tank with an antibiotic for a few days, one seemed to favor salting the tank, and a book I looked into suggested doing nothing but maintaining good water quality. I am all in favor of the last, as I don't want to overdose my fish or kill of the good bacteria and am leery of using salt as I have read that can also stress out the biofilter. The fish is active and his fins are erect when he swims, so I don't think he is sick with an infection, per se, just injured. As I have only recently decided to become fish-savvy, I would greatly appreciate input from someone with more experience! I think I know what I'm doing now, but sometimes it makes a body feel better to have someone who really does know give a little input! I'm really attached to this fish!
Thank you!
PS- I am going to attempt to attach a photo of my poor goldfish and also of the bull-head, as I think he is a very interesting fish.
<Poor Goldfish is the operative phrase here! You're keeping a leopard and a lamb in the same cage, and wondering why the lamb looks nervous. Cheers, Neale.>

Muggee, Mugger

Re: Goldfish suffering!   1/31/2010
Thank you very much!
<Happy to help.>
I won't be keeping bullheads with any other fish anymore, believe me!
<Okay. I used to keep a pet Channel Catfish, Ictalurus punctatus, in a tank with a gar and a variety of large Central American cichlids. Worked rather well. These are nice catfish. But you do need to choose tankmates wisely,
and the aquarium should be of suitable size.>
As for the bullhead, we know someone with a garden pond and some much bigger fish who can take him in the spring. His species is actually native to our area, and we caught him from a lake here, but we'll be making sure
he goes into a garden pond just in case he's carrying some strange aquarium bacteria.
<Sounds like a nice home. Glad you're not going to put America's fish fauna at risk!>
Thank you again, and hopefully our little "lamb" will make a full recovery and his nightmares will diminish!
<So do I. Good luck! Neale.>

Celestial goldfish lost an eye.... incomp., env.    1/18/10
Hello...I have never done this before but I hope you can help me....
I have a celestial goldfish in a 125g with 7 other fancies (pom poms, telescopes, Orandas, moors, calicos).
<DO NOT mix Celestials with other, more robust Fancy Goldfish. This never works in the long term. It is clearly stated in most books on Goldfish.
Black Moors for example are quite robust and boisterous animals, and will eventually damage Celestials. Celestials have also been bred to be essentially blind; since Goldfish feed from the bottom, having eyes that point upwards means they can't see where their food is. In other words, they can't find food well. Keeping them with other Goldfish is an invitation to starvation. Honestly, I would recommend against people buying Celestials (and Bubble-eye) Goldfish -- both of these varieties are so insanely bred that they no longer "work" as Goldfish. Is it cruel to keep them? A good point for an after-dinner discussion, but I think it's certain that such Goldfish are less able to have the same quality of life as other Goldfish.>
Over the last couple of days I noticed the celestial lightening up on his color. I wasn't very alarmed but figured I would keep an eye on him just in case. He is very small and young (probably 4 inches). Well tonight at feeding time I noticed it looks like he ripped one of eyes.
<He didn't rip it off; it was pulled off.>
It is half torn off. There is an open, bloody wound. I am assuming this came from a losing battle with some decor in the tank as I have never seen any aggression in the tank.
<Not seeing aggression doesn't mean it doesn't happen. Goldfish are intensely hierarchical, and the stronger fish will bully the weaker, especially at feeding time.>
I immediately removed him to a 2.5g hospital tank and am treating with stress coat and Melafix.
<2.5 gallon tanks are death traps. Get the fish out of there, NOW. For a small Goldfish, a 15 gallon tank would be the minimum short-term hospital tank. For obvious reasons, if the water quality is poor in the hospital tank, the fish won't get better. Melafix is largely useless, though it has mild antiseptic properties. Won't cure much of anything though, so if you see Fungus or Finrot, buy a proper medication.>
My question is, is there any way this little fish is going to make it?
<Difficult to say. In good water quality (0 ammonia, 0 nitrite) fish can lose one eye but still recover just fine. But if they're kept in poor water quality, then a wound of this type is an open door for secondary infections. The eye will die, and then fall away, typically within a week or so.>
I hate to see him suffer.
<Me too, which is why I wish people hadn't bred Celestials and Bubble-eyes in the first place. Incapable fish at the best of times, and frequently the first to get sick when kept by home hobbyists.>
He did not eat tonight but I am attributing that to his horrific injury.
Any advice would be much appreciated. Thank you in advance for your help.
<Given the right conditions, he should recover. But he needs a tank of his own. What varieties of Goldfish mix together well is quite well known, and written about in many books. Do review these before spending your money.
Else, if a fish looks handicapped because of some insane breeding programme, assume the worst, and keep only with its own kind. Cheers,
Re: Celestial goldfish lost an eye....
I thank you so much for responding so quickly and for the in depth informative response.
<Always glad to help.>
Please excuse my ignorance but what medication would you suggest I use in the event the injury should develop fungus or infection. I appreciate your comments on the Melafix I am currently using. I was not aware that it had
so little if any medicinal value. I would greatly appreciate your expert opinion on the medication so I can buy it in advance to have on hand just in case.
<At best, Melafix is an antiseptic of sorts, but it's a pretty unreliable cure. So by all means use it for now and see what happens, but if you notice white cotton threads (Fungus) or ulcer-like bloody sores (Finrot) then go for something that treats those diseases. One approach is to use something that cures both, such as Seachem Paraguard. That saves you having to identify the problem.>
Oh and just thought I would mention that you were absolutely correct about the aggressiveness of the moors.
<Oh? Well, yes, this variety of Fancy Goldfish is best kept alone, or with standard Fantails, or with single-tail Goldfish (Comets, Shubunkins, etc.).
It's a great Fancy Goldfish for tanks with regular Goldfish, but not so good for mixed selections of Fancies.>
Upon further inspection of the tank today I noticed the moor bullying and picking on my pompom. The 2 moors are now in a 55g tank. Thank you for sharpening my observations
<Glad to help. Cheers, Neale.>

My question is concerning the compatibility of freshwater shrimp and goldfish 12/15/09
Hi WWM guys and gals,
<Hi Lourdes! Melinda here with you today.>
I have written to WWM before concerning a common goldfish with a lump in his tail. He still has it, but doesn't seem bothered in the least by it. I separated my fancy goldfish from the common goldfish and now have them in two separate planted tanks. They seem very happy.
<That's a good thing!>
My question is concerning the compatibility of freshwater shrimp and goldfish. I know that some (all?) shrimp are algae eaters. I was wondering if I could add some freshwater shrimp to my goldfish tanks safely, or if it is not a good idea at all.
<Well, I guess it depends on a couple of things. First, what temperature are your tanks at? Goldfish, as you probably know, would rather not have a heater in their tanks. However, most of the freshwater shrimp available (Ghost Shrimp, Red Cherry Shrimp, Bamboo Shrimp, etc.) are really warm-water shrimp. Amano Shrimps can handle somewhat lower temperatures.
So, depending on what your temp is, the shrimp may or may not make it.
Keep in mind that without a heater, the tank temperature is going to fluctuate, which is something the goldfish can handle, but the shrimp, who are more delicate, may not be able to. Also, what size are these goldfish?
I worry that at some point, the shrimp may be seen as food. Sure, we don't think of goldfish as voracious predators, but if there's something that looks like food, and they're large enough to eat it, I worry they would either eat the shrimp or injure it, especially if they happened to catch the shrimp after a molt. If you were going to try this, I'd make sure there were plenty of places too small for goldfish to enter, but large enough for shrimp to hide>
If it is possible, I wonder which kind are best suited for a goldfish tank.
<I'm really not sure if I'd try this combination. Some shrimps do eat algae, but chances that they'd survive without supplemental feedings are pretty low. It would have to a pretty tough shrimp to fight off goldfish for his algae wafers or whatever is on the menu! So, there may be some issues there with feeding/nutrition. Have you thought of snails as another option? Overall, though, I have to say that my choice for algae removal here would be a good old Mag-Float. You don't have to worry about feeding them, and they don't poop! Also, it might be helpful to figure out why that algae's there in the first place... if you could pin it down, and fix what's causing it, there would be no need for algae removal.
Here are is a link that might be of use to you -- further reading on freshwater shrimps, and some on snails, as well...
And, at the heart of the matter, one on algae control in freshwater systems:
And an article to help you figure out what kind of algae this is, which will assist in figuring out what's causing it!

Damaged fins on Goldfish   12/2/09
While cleaning the 20 gallon tank for my Ryukin I put him in the larger 30 gallon tank that contains a 1.5 inch comet, a 2.5 inch Wakin, 2.5 inch shubunkin and a 3.5 inch common.
<Mmm... two things... mixing "comet shaped" varieties (incl. the Shubunkin... and "common"?) with fancier (egg-shaped let's say) goldfish is not a good idea. The former are too much faster, eager eaters than the latter. Secondly, this is too much goldfish flesh for a thirty gallon volume period. I'd be moving the non-fancy goldfish elsewhere>
He seemed to be enjoying the company so I left him in there. Both tanks are in my classroom and while people were in the room none of the other fish bothered the Ryukin,
<Not... as far as you are aware, however...>
unfortunately I forgot to remove him and put him in his own tank before I left on Friday. When I returned on Monday he was floating at the top of the tank.
<Oh dear!>
All of his fins except the dorsal fin were severely damaged and many of the spines in the fins had been broken. I immediately removed him and put him in his own tank. I have added some aquarium salt to the water as I read
this helps promote healing.
<Can help>
It's been about a week and a half, his fins are starting to grow back, but he still tends to roll over on his back when he stops swimming. Ever since I brought him home, about 9 months ago, he has had a problem where he would
do flips when picking at the gravel.
<This is a too-common issue with many fancy goldfish... their breeding has led to it being tough for them to spatially orient... and feeding too much of the wrong foods exacerbates the condition. Read here:
I do feed him a little bit of goldfish pellets once a day,
<What brand? I'd give up on these for now>
5 days a week, however I also grow elodea in the tank for him to snack on.
1. He had very long fins, since the spines were damaged will they ever grow back to there original length?
<Is possible, yes>
2. After researching goldfish diet I will be switching them to mainly greens, but are the damaged fins causing him to roll over, and if they remain stubby will he suffer from spending so much time upside down?
3. Besides changing his diet is there anything else I can do for him to help his fins regrow and improve his condition?
<Good water quality... frequent (weekly) partial (25-30%) water changes...>
Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
Linda Leonard
<Welcome Linda; be of good life. Bob Fenner>

Adopted sucker fish and funny eyed goldfish, comp., sys.  f's  11/21/09
First I want to say that I AM SORRY- I did not research before I adopted and bought these fish.
<Oh dear...>
That being said I adopted a sucker fish from a friend of mine after his other fish passed from being shocked by temperature change- the sucker survived but ended up at my house. I bought a small now (I know much too small) tank for him it is 1 gallon (we will be getting a bigger tank very soon), filtered but not heated and neither was his original.
<Will need heating and filtering. If you want to keep Goldfish and a Plec, then the optimal water temperature is 24 degrees C, and you'll need a filter not less than 6 times the volume of the tank in turnover per hour.
DO NOT underestimate how filthy both these species can be, nor how large they get, or how quickly.>
I believe that he what yall consider an "original Plecos" but very small maybe two inches from his nose to the end of tail (I don't think he is stunted because his other tank was a 50 gallon and we have only had him 2 days) so I went to a petstore to get him a friend since he had been living with many others-
<Actually, Plecs are hostile to one another when sexually mature, and best kept singly under aquarium conditions, unless the tank is really big.
Adults can strip the skin off one another when they fight, and needless to say this kills the weaker fish. Since they grow very rapidly, expect to see this "tiddler" some 45 cm long within 12-18 months. Not kidding. These things grow faster than almost anything else with fins...>
I asked a million questions and was told that my 1 gallon tank would be fine with the sucker and any goldfish-
<Insane response from the sales clerk. Why we recommend you buy a book before you buy anything else.>
my daughter chose a Ryukin, who is also small- about 2 inches overall.
<They don't come in sizes; they come in ages. This fish will be about 10 cm long within the year, and 20 cm by the end of its second year.>
My questions are-
I know that water changes will be need daily but can they live in this tank for a couple of months until I get a larger set up?
Are they even ok together or do I need to separate them?
<Do-able in the right size tank, but you do need a lot of filtration where Plecs are concerned otherwise the tank becomes filthy. Since Ryukins can barely swim, you have to adjust water currents carefully, e.g., using a spray bar from the filter, so the poor thing isn't buffeted about.>
Temp- I know that they like different temps is there a happy medium?-
<Yes, around 24 C, maybe 25 C tops.>
I live in a warm area Georgia with a very warm house.
<Georgia USA or Georgia the former Soviet Republic? Either way, no, not warm enough. Unless your house is at an average of 24 C, and a minimum wintertime night temperature of 18 C, the Plec will eventually sicken and die. In the US, these fish have become established in Florida but no further north than Miami or thereabouts.>
My sucker doesn't seem to want to eat but everything else seems fine and he has had a pretty traumatic week at what point should I worry?
<These catfish like Algae Wafers and soft vegetables such as cooked peas, sliced raw courgette, and sliced sweet potato, among other things.>
And lastly my goldfish has a completely black eye but the other one is normal he also has the black spots (as far as his actual coloring not weird black spots) could this be just part of those spots or is something wrong?
<Likely doing something wrong. Black spots are often caused by ammonia burns, and this implies chronically dire water conditions. Do read here:
Again I am sorry I was trying to save and keep this little sucker fish happy- not stuff him in a too small tank and give him a friend who might kill him.
<Road to hell is paved with good intentions...>
Please help I want to keep them both happy and healthy.
<And I want to help you, too (despite my dry British sense of humour).>
<Happy to help. Cheers, Neale.>
re: Adopted sucker fish and funny eyed goldfish
Thank you so much for your help I am fixing things as we speak!
<You're welcome, and glad you're making progress.>
I actually like the so called dry British humour and hopefully I am not paving the road to hell for my fish!!
<Have to be careful... not everyone finds our humour funny or even polite!>
thank you again yall have a great website.
<Kind of you to say so.>
<Cheers, Neale.>

Are Common Fantail (American type) Goldfish and Red Neon Moon fish (a platy relative) Compatible?  8/13/2009
I have a 50 gal. acrylic tank (complete with 4 stage power filter, uv sterilizer, sintered air stone, large, smooth, mostly round gravel, and half planted with fake plants, and half open for fish to swim). I currently have 4 common fantail goldfish living in the tank. They are a fancy variety of goldfish. According to what information I have been able to get, this setup should be fine for them (as fancy goldfish only need a minimum of 10 gal. each).
<Hmm... not quite. You need about 30 gallons for the first two, and then another 10-15 gallons for each additional Goldfish. Remember, these fish get very big, easily 20 cm/8 inches in length, and they are incredibly messy as well.>
However, I do have a concern regarding two new fish I just recently purchased. I was on your very helpful and well informed site and read the Variatus Platy is compatible with goldfish.
<Xiphophorus variatus, yes, a subtropical species of livebearer that does well around 18-20 C, which is fine for Goldfish.>
I tried looking them up. I found they seem to be a sort of moon fish. Moon fish seem to be a cross between the Variatus (pardon if this name is incorrect) and platies. I am unsure if I got confused someplace or not. I am concerned perhaps I did get confused.
<Unless otherwise sold as a particular species, all the Platies (what you call Moon Fish) are HYBRIDS of various Xiphophorus species. These need to be kept in a tropical aquarium, around 24-25 degrees C.>
Anyway, long story short, I wound up getting two red neon moon fish. Now I did some research and have found red Neons do need tropical flakes rather than goldfish flakes.
<Actually, both Goldfish and Xiphophorus would do best on a plant-based diet, such as Spirulina flake, alongside cooked peas, cooked spinach, sliced cumbers, etc. Add some wet-frozen brine shrimp and bloodworms once or twice a week, and you'd be giving them an excellent diet.>
But if you monitor the red Neons while feeding (to make sure the red Neons get their tropical flakes) goldfish and platy species (which the red Neons are a member of) can be fed their proper foods at feeding time, and can even eat each others foods, without suffering any ill effects.
And the red Neons have small mouths. So they can only eat flakes and other small foods. That is fine enough because goldfish like flake foods. And I found in my research platies and goldfish both like freeze-dried bloodworms, freeze-dried brine shrimp, Spirulina (pardon if I spelled that wrong) flakes, blanched lettuce, and blanched spinach. So they can share each others food with these items.
<Don't use freeze-dried bloodworms and shrimps more than once a week; they cause constipation.>
I also found they can both tolerate a compatible temperature range of 75 to 78 degrees F (little warm for goldfish on the upper end, but I usually keep the temperature at about 77 F and try to keep a fan blowing on their tank to help cool it. The fan is the only other solution I have available other than the air-conditioned, which gets expensive to run at lower temperatures (unfortunately). But that is why I check to be certain they can survive fairly well at the temperatures I have to work with.
<It's a bit warm for Goldfish, but provided there is a strong filter to ensure lots of oxygen, you should be okay. Get a filter rated at 6 times the volume of the tank in turnover per hour; for a 50 gallon tank, that'd be 6 x 50 = 300 gallons/hour.>
And according to what I understand and have learned, these two species should be fine at the temperatures I previously mentioned. So food and water temperature should be okay. And both species like to be at all levels of the tank and prefer plants in the tank with open areas for swimming.
Goldfish will eat smaller fish I know. But I hear platies are quick.
<But the tank is small... if your Goldfish are big enough to swallow any fish kept with them, then those little fish will, eventually, get eaten.
Gazelles can outrun lions, but stick them in the same cage, and the lion would soon kill the gazelle.>
And my goldfish are the smallest variety and the red Neons get to be 2 to 3 in.
<No such thing as a "small" variety Goldfish; all of them get to 20-30 cm/8-12 inches in length. If your pet store said they were "dwarf" Goldfish or some rubbish like that, they were taking advantage of you.>
I figured the red Neons size and speed would help keep them from being eaten.
<Doubt it. To be fair, adult Platies are fine with adult Goldfish, all else being equal. But juvenile Platies may be eaten.>
And both species are said to be peaceful around other fish species. So they should get along alright.
<Assuming water quality and water chemistry is acceptable. Both species need 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, pH 7 to 8, and a "high" hardness of 10 degrees dH or upwards.>
If I am wrong, I do have a spare 12 gal. tank I can keep the two red Neons in. Yet I am also aware that platies are prolific breeders and they can change their sex.
<The sex change thing is a myth.>
And the red Neons are related to platies.
<Both are hybrids.>
If the 50 gal. setup I have in mind works, I can keep the babies in the 12 gal. tank. However, if the 50 gal. setup does not work I can keep the adults in the 12 gal. tank and "temporarily" keep some of the babies in another spare 3 gal. tank I have (at least until I can get them a better tank, or find new homes for them, or both). I was not notified platies could be prolific breeders on the site I bought the red Neons from BEFORE I bought the fish. Fortunately I had some spare tanks or the babies may have all perished from being eaten. At least I can try to spare some of them from being food with the aid of the two spare tanks I have.
Anyway, my question is this . . . Is there enough room in my 50 gal. tank to keep my 4 goldfish and the 2 red Neons I ordered?
<If water quality is good, i.e., 0 ammonia and 0 nitrite, then the Platies will hardly effect things at all. The Goldfish are potentially much bigger and certainly far messier.>
And are goldfish and red neon moons truly compatible (at least in regards to the system I have in mind)? I am worried I may have done something that might harm the smaller Neons, or greatly upset my little goldfish friends.
I love my little goldfish and wish no harm to the red Neons. Just let me know if the Neons will be okay with the goldfish, or if they need separate tanks. Also let me know if I need a larger tank for the red Neons should they need a separate tank. Thank you for your time, knowledge, and above all patience.
<Hope this helps. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Are Common Fantail (American type) Goldfish and Red Neon Moon fish (a platy relative) Compatible?-- 08/14/09

Your prompt reply did help. Thank you.
<You are most welcome.>
You have eased most of the anxiety I was experiencing over worrying about the welfare of my fish. I have kept tropical tetras and gouramis in the past and had a goldfish as a child as well. So I do have a little
experience with fish.
<Very good.>
However, I am still a mostly inexperienced novice when it comes to fish keeping. Your advice has helped greatly to ease most of my fears that my inexperience may have harmed the fish. I will be watching the goldfish and red neon moons closely in the 50 gal. tank (monitoring water quality, making sure no one is being too aggressive, that they get their proper foods, and that no one is trying to eat each other).
I will move the red Neons if it proves too stressful or dangerous in the 50 gal. tank for them. Oh, I also forgot to mention I also have one gold mystery snail in my 50 gal. tank. It eats the leftover food the goldfish
miss. I do not think the snail will harm the fish.
<On the contrary; watch that the Platies/Moon Fish don't "nip" the Apple snail. They often do. This stresses and damages the snails, eventually leading to stress, sickness, even death.>
I just wanted to let you know about it too. Also, in regards to the frozen brine shrimp you mentioned. There are no worries there. I have another 2 gal. tank going with a small number of live brine shrimp in it. I am
planning to try and raise my own shrimp. I hatched them from cysts I bought online. I watch their water quality and make water changes when their water is too dirty. And I make sure they have food that is appropriate for brine shrimp. If the red Neons need fresh brine shrimp, they will be getting the freshest possible source. Doesn't get much fresher than live.
And since I am raising them, they should be free from most diseases.
The red Neons and goldfish could not ask for a better source of brine shrimp in my household. So no worries about the shrimp. And I only feed my goldfish brine shrimp (or other suitable freeze-dried meaty items such as bloodworms) twice a week at each of the two feeding a day they receive. The goldfish are only fed what they eat in 2 or 3 minutes at each feeding. The snail gets what they miss, or the goldfish pick it out from the gravel themselves. And whatever the goldfish and snails miss I vacuum out with a gravel vacuum once a week. I do my best to keep the water quality at its best. And as far as hardness goes . . . Well, I live in the Arizona deserts in the U.S. The water is always hard here and full of minerals.
I add a little PH Down (water softener) to the water for my goldfish, to make it more tolerable.
<Probably redundant. Goldfish like very hard water, and the pH down product won't really be helping any.>
They seem much happier, more active, and do not go up to the surface of the water for air when I add the PH Down.
<Dubious. I'd have thought it's simply the act of changing the water -- maybe adding cooler water -- that makes them perky.>
The tropical fish I have kept in the past also seemed to do better with water softener in our hard desert water. Also I like to keep the ammonia, nitrate, and nitrite levels at absolute 0. And I try to keep the PH levels at levels at around 7. I dislike PH levels at 8.
<You might dislike pH 8, but it's perfect for Platies as well as Goldfish.
By contrast, pH 7 is the very bottom end of the tolerance range for Platies and to some degree Goldfish.>
That is too rough on fish in my mind (unless otherwise specified by the requirements of a fish species, such as cichlids and saltwater fish.
Cichlids and saltwater fish seem to need PH at 8 or higher to thrive.
<Honestly, you're wrong here. This is "in your mind" and not in actual reality. Platies like hard, basic water. The ideal would be pH 7.5, 15 degrees dH.>
Otherwise though, PH at 8 makes me worry and feel bad for the poor fish.
<It's fine. Don't believe me? Grab any aquarium book you like, and review the needs of Xiphophorus species. Or see, for example, at Fishbase, a scientific catalogue of fish biology:
So I do not keep it at that level if I can help it.). So no worries about water quality. Thank you again for your wonderful advice. I feel much better about the wellbeing of my fish. Thank you so much.
<Happy to help. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Are Common Fantail (American type) Goldfish and Red Neon Moon fish (a platy relative) Compatible?-- 08/14/09

Thank you for correcting me on my previous error on PH levels. I will be watching the levels to be sure they do not go above 8 then.
<That's fine.>
And I am not knowledgeable enough for specialized care fish such as cichlids and saltwater fish anyway. So no worries about my errors harming them. But thank you for correcting my misconceptions and confusion there as well.
<Happy to help. But please do read around the WWM site for more.>
If I ever change my mind about these species, the information will surely be most helpful. And I will be keeping an eye on my little snail around the neon redtail moons too. The red Neons are really a beautiful fish.
<Yes, Platies are lovely fish.>
Go to petsolutions.com online in the live fish section. They have a picture of one there, if you want to see a picture of one.
<I see them. Here in England, they're called Sunset Platies, I guess because the orange merging to red is reminiscent of a sunset.>
Thank you so much for your very helpful advice.
<My pleasure. Cheers, Neale.>

Goldfish - Puffer Compatibility  4/12/09
I currently have a 55gal tank, with 2 fish - a rather large and well-fed goldfish, as well as one medium sized Pleco.
<Sounds nice, assuming the tank is warm enough for the Plec (you can't keep a Plec in an unheated aquarium).>
Yesterday, my teenage daughter, on a lark, bought a puffer fish from Wal-Mart. The puffer is maybe an inch and a half long.
<Take it back. For a start, most of the Puffers sold are brackish water species, most commonly the Figure 8 puffer (Tetraodon biocellatus) and the two Green Spotted Puffers (Tetraodon fluviatilis and Tetraodon
nigroviridis). So these simply cannot be kept for more than a few months in freshwater tanks. There are true freshwater puffers in the trade, but these are either nippy, aggressive, or both.>
I really don't want to get a new aquarium for the puffer, but I also can't let her keep it in the small bowl she's currently using.
<Take it back.>
Can the goldfish and puffer coexist peacefully??
Or do I need to find another option?
Thanks for your help.
<Your daughter has to take back the fish. She needs to learn to research the needs of the fish before spending money. In other words, a lesson in responsibility! Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Goldfish - Puffer Compatibility - 4/13/09

First off, thanks for the quick response!
<Happy to help.>
You pretty much confirmed what I told her - but she's a teenager, and the last person on earth she'd listen to, is her dad!
We'll find a new, appropriate, home for the poor puffer today.
As for my goldfish and Pleco - the tank is plenty warm.
<Hmm... by which, you mean the tank is consistently at 22C/70F or more? I only mention this because a lot of people buy these Plecs assuming they'll be fine in a coldwater tank, and they won't be.>
They've both lived together for a little over 4 years now, and are thriving.
<No, doesn't sound like its thriving at all. At 4 years old it should be full size, which means 45 cm/18 inches. You mentioned yours was "medium sized" which simply shouldn't be the case after four years. So something is amiss. Lifespan when properly kept is something over 20 years, and these animals are legendarily tough, so signs of "sub optimal" maintenance won't always be obvious. If your fish is still happy sixteen years from now, please let me know, eh? But honestly, if your house is centrally heated to the minimum temperature mentioned above, you'll earn all kinds of good karma by adding a heater. Goldfish, by the way, don't mind warm water at all, and Fancy Goldfish will actually do much better than otherwise.>
Thanks again, and have a great day!
<You're most welcome. Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Goldfish - Puffer Compatibility - 4/13/09

Wow... and I thought he was so happy!? I do have a heater, but I don't keep it very warm - usually around 68. The aquarium is in a cooler part of our basement.? I'll turn the heater up and see how he likes it.
Thanks again.
<Very good. But don't go bananas! Stick the heater in at its lowest setting to begin with, and each day thereafter turn it up a notch. Goldfish aren't happy above 24 degrees C (75 degrees F) so don't turn the heater up too high. Cheers, Neale.>

Questions about goldfish (Shubunkins, growth; Brachydanio, compatibility)   4/11/09
First, I would like to say that I find your site an invaluable source of information. Thank you.
<Kind of you to say so.>
I have attempted to use the Google search engine on your site, but unfortunately, it always comes up with a blank page, despite allowing several minutes for possible load time.
<Oh dear.>
So, when that failed to yield results, I went ahead and manually searched for information. Sadly, there was so much that I kind of got lost in all of it.
On to my questions! I have a 30gal FW aquarium with a Tetra Whisper EX70, which I purchased to keep up with my dirty little Shubunkins, of which I have two.
<Right; before we go further, let's make it clear that Shubunkins are one of the varieties better suited to ponds than aquaria. Besides being messy (all Goldfish are!) they tend to get fairly large and, for whatever reason, tend to be on the boisterous, hyperactive side. Perhaps not quite so much as Comets, but they're still a breed best kept outdoors. While you can keep them indoors, this does usually require a spacious tank with a strong filter. The Tetra Whisper EX70, like most hang-on-the-back filters, is best suited to small, clean fish such as Neons and Danios; it will simply be overwhelmed by Goldfish, and likely won't provide the current that these fish rejoice in. If this was me, I'd be keeping them in a tank upwards of 40 gallons, and I'd be using a fairly powerful internal or external canister filter, such as the Eheim 2217. Shubunkins are my favourite Goldfish breed -- surely their colours match anything on the coral reef -- but they aren't the best indoor fish, and they are demanding.>
There are currently no other animals in the tank with them. I have had this aquarium for over 2 years and keep current on all maintenance (chemistry, water changes etc.). I got confused by some Q&As on your site as to filtration.
<Goldfish tend to be adaptable with regard to water chemistry, but they do prefer hard water; the harder the better, really.>
I ONLY have the EX70 filter, and gathered from your site that I should have a separate biological filter as well. I am slightly confused and just wanted confirmation.
<Hmm... no... One filter can contain different media, so you can have a filter doing (for example) both mechanical filtration and biological filtration. Let's leave chemical filtration (carbon, etc.) out of the equation for now, because you don't need chemical filtration for this type of fish. A filter equipped one-third for mechanical filtration using filter wool or similar, and two-thirds for biological filtration via ceramic
noodles or sponges would be ideal for Goldfish.>
As I said, I've had this set up for 2+ years with no problems, but I'd like to keep Moo-Cow and Farmer Fred alive and healthy as long as possible.
<Healthy Goldies easily live 20 years, and in the case of Shubunkins, they will be well over 20 cm (8 inches) by then.>
I have been doing some research in regards to tank mates for my fish and have decided I would like to get some Zebra Danios because it is my understanding that they are more subtropical and would be OK with the cooler water temperatures that my Shubunkins prefer. My next question is, confirmation that this is OK to do and, along with that, to find out what temperature I should keep my tank at to keep everyone happy?
<Up to a point this is true, but while Goldfish aren't predators, they will consume small fish if they can catch them. Zebras do best around 18-22 C, 64-72 F, and this will suit Goldfish perfectly. In centrally heated homes, you should find a heater isn't required, but if your house does get cold in winter, then adding a heater will be necessary if you want Danios. You also need to ensure water quality is at the standard Danios require; while Goldfish tolerate stagnant water and can breathe air if they must, Danios cannot. So you will need 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, and a good circulation of water throughout the tank. Aeration doesn't matter much, despite what people think, but the water should be circulating properly. Does flake food dropped onto the substrate sit around doing nothing, or is it quickly pushed about? If the flake moves quickly, then the water is probably circulating OK.>
And, with regards to the possible tank mates, I was thinking that, based on the fact that they are schooling fish, I would purchase 5 of the Danios. Is that an acceptable number?
<Would go 6+; Danios in smaller groups can be bullies and sometimes become nippy. Not worth the risk.>
I worried about having less than that for the Danios well being, but am also concerned about making sure my tank isn't over crowded.
<To some degree the Shubunkins may feel a bit overcrowded simply because of the lack of swimming space, but otherwise you're just about okay. I'd add another filter, ideally a decent internal or external canister, just to get the water moving.>
Which leads me to my last question: Why aren't my fish growing?
<To a degree, Goldfish are unusual among fish in that their growth rate is affected by aquarium size. Most fish *do not* grow to the size of the tank they're in, but Goldfish may grow more slowly if the tank is small and you're not doing enough water changes. Temperature is another factor.>
I've had the two goldfish long enough now that I assume they would have grown, at least a little, by now. They are still both about 1 1/2" each, poor little runts.
<Runts do exist among Goldies, but I'm not sure that's the case here.>
I check water quality frequently and have always been within good if not optimal parameters. They have been in the 30gal alone since I bought them, so they haven't been over crowded. I also feed them not only the flakes, but shelled peas as well everyday (for which I get mocked mercilessly by less informed friends), so I don't think its a bad/unbalanced diet. Are my fish just runts?
<Unlikely, but possible.>
Thank you so much for your time and your dedication to helping out.
<Hope this helps, Neale.>
Re: Questions about goldfish (Shubunkins, growth; Brachydanio, compatibility) - 4/13/09

Hello Neale,
Thank you so much for your advice.
<Happy to help.>
As for the filter, I know you recommended the Eheim 2217 filter, however I wanted to seek your advice on a slight variation of that. In looking at the Eheim models available, I was considering the Eheim Classic canister, of which the 2113 is the one rated for my tank size (30gal, and the filter is rated for up to 66gal).
<As have written elsewhere on WWM, manufacturer ratings are optimistic.
They're comparable to miles-per-gallon quotes from car manufacturers, or number of portions on boxes of cereals. Specifically, they're based on the filter being put alongside -- not underneath -- the aquarium, so the pump isn't working as hard as it will do placed under the tank. Moreover, as the filter becomes clogged, the flow rate drops. In any case, if the Fluval 2213 (as the current model is called) is rated at 116 gallons per hour; if that's at least four times the volume of the tank, it would be acceptable alongside an existing filter. As the sole filter, but gut feeling is you'll be unimpressed, and will soon regret not buying the next unit up in size.
If you get the 2213, at first it'll look like overkill, and you'll see water being pushed about all over the place. But trust me on this: flow rate drops rapidly.>
In addition to this I was also going to add the Eheim pre-filter for the additional mechanical filtration it provides.
<Sure, why not? But I'd always recommend buying a bigger filter rather than spending more money on bolt-on goodies. It's comparable to buying a computer: RAM, hard drives and so on are all good upgrades, but when you're on a budget, focus on processor speed. The "processor speed" here is turnover.>
Will this setup be OK for my tank as opposed to the 2217, because it is definitely more feasible for my wallet. Another option I was thinking of is the Eheim 2212 Aquaball internal filter,
<Hmm... Aquaball filters are great. I have one, and like it a lot. But they do get overwhelmed by messy fish. If there was an Olympic sport for defecating, Goldfish would be in that team. So that's the focus here. While
the Eheim 2212 has lots of sponge filters, it will need regular cleaning to work well. If you're happy with that, then by all means invest in this filter; for the price, it's about as good as internal filters get.>
with the addition of the Substrat Pro filter media, because, as far as my understanding goes, it would also help with the circulation, which I need for the Danios; whereas with the 2113 I might also have to purchase a separate powerhead or something similar to get the current going.
<No, the canister filter will provide ample circulation for the Danios all by itself. Danios aren't fish from torrents or anything like that, but they do like a bit of a current, and the 2213 or similar should provide that in ample amounts.>
The reason I have been hesitant to go with the Aquaball is because of the vast price difference, which based on the theory that "you get what you pay for" would mean that it's not as good of a filter as the 2113.
<Ah, yes and no. The thing with internal filters is that they're best suited to small fish. That's their market. For big fish -- which Goldfish are -- external canister filters will work better. They create more circulation in the tank, and they need maintenance less often. In terms of reliability though, most anything from Eheim will last 10+ years without a problem. They really are (by far) the best in the business, and over the long term, the best value. Having said that, I've used Fluval filters a lot as well, and I have no problems recommending them as well. They're usually some 25% cheaper than equivalent Eheim units.>
There are just way too many choices on filters and while I'd like to spend as little money as possible, I understand that means saving money by getting the right filter the first time instead of having to buy a bunch of different filters because they haven't been the right ones.
<A wise approach. At a pinch, if you already have a filter, then the 2113 should be fine. But if you can stretch to the next model up, I'd do so, and economise by not buying the bold-on skimmer thing.>
Thanks again for your help!
<Hope this helps, Neale.>

Do goldfishes eat snails   1/11/09 Hi, I have a quick question we had a tiny snail hitch a ride on the live plant that we bought for the aquarium and yesterday it disappeared, he had taken refuge on the top of the canister filter half in water and half outside from the goldfishes who were continuously nudging him. We have one red cap Oranda named Luna (1 inch w/o tail) and one red Oranda named Goldie (1.5 inches w/o tail) in a 20 gallon tank with a decoration rock, and a live plant. Could they have eaten him, my son is really worried about his see-see the snail. We have searched the whole tank even opened the filter and looked inside. If the goldfishes have eaten him will they be alright and should we be worried about them getting sick. Thank you very much ..... your website is amazing and thank you for helping me out again and again and again. Best Regards, Midhat. <Goldfish don't normally eat snails, but they will eat anything they can swallow, so if the snail was unlucky, then yes, it might get eaten. This won't do the Goldfish any harm (they have powerful teeth in their throat for grinding up food). If you want a pet snail to add to a Goldfish tank, then the best bet is something like a Ramshorn snail (Planorbis spp.). These are often sold in garden centres, at least they are here in the UK, usually for people to put in their ponds. For various reasons I don't recommend Apple snails (Pomacea spp.) even though they are often sold as "scavengers" for aquaria of all types. The reality is they don't do all that well in fish tanks, and when they die, they cause major pollution. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Tank mates prob. (Oh no, not Pangasius hypophthalmus!)  12/25/08 Hello dear Neale, I hope you will be fine there. Neale I want your help that I have 2 iridescent sharks and 2 giant gouramis in 90 gallon right now. <Hello Ali. I'd be a lot more "fine" if my time wasn't being wasted. I don't mind offering advice, but when it's ignored, and you come back for more advice, that isn't really very good for my ego! Let me be 100% crystal clear on this. You have NO BUSINESS at all keeping Iridescent Shark catfish (Pangasius hypophthalmus). Firstly, they are SCHOOLING fish. Two specimens is not a school; you need groups of 5 or more. Next, they get to 130 cm (over 4 feet) long and can weigh over 40 kilos (100 lb). There is NO WAY you have the space to keep such large fish. Most specimens damage themselves in aquaria because they cannot handle things like glass walls. They become blind for example, because they bump their eyes into things. Giant Gouramis (Osphronemus spp.) are not much smaller, typically around 60 cm in length and a weight of 9 kg (about 20 lb). Individuals can be very territorial towards others of their species, and I suspect the two specimens you have will not get along once mature.> But Neale I am very interested to keep 2 black ghost knife and 2 parrot fish with them. <Get rid of the Pangasius hypophthalmus first. Then worry about maintaining good water quality for six months. Understand Apteronotus albifrons will die at the first sniff of ammonia and nitrite, and will not tolerate pH changes. So keep testing water quality and chemistry in your tank, and if it is ABSOLUTELY perfect every single week from here to June, then maybe think about a Knifefish. Otherwise, leave them alone!> Can they live happy and calm with each other in one 90gallon tank? <No.> Thank you, Ali <Ali, please understand the best I can do is to prevent you making mistakes. In this case, I've said repeatedly that Pangasius hypophthalmus is NOT a fish you (or ANYONE ELSE) should keep as a pet. It is a food fish, not an aquarium fish! Merry Christmas, Neale.>
Re: Tank mates prob (Oh no, not Pangasius hypophthalmus!)  12/25/08
Hello dear Neale, I am sorry I didn't mean to hurt you; I always listen to your advice and did whatever you said. <Ah, that's the best Christmas present!> I have returned the iridescent shark and giant Gourami back to the pet store. <Extremely WISE decision.> Now I am doing what you have said about maintaining the water condition. Please suggest me any fish that you think is best, ill introduce them when water condition become normal. My goldfish are fine now they are doing well. <I would start with a group of either Bronze or Peppered Corydoras (Corydoras aeneus or Corydoras paleatus). Get six or more specimens of each species. By all means keep both! These catfish work EXTREMELY well with Goldfish, and enjoy the same water temperature. Corydoras will do just fine at the 22-25 C that Goldfish enjoy. They stay relatively small, are completely peaceful, and being air-breathers, will not suffer in summer if the water gets too hot. Another great fish to keep with Goldfish is the Weather Loach (Misgurnus anguillicaudatus). It gets to about 20 cm, is great fun, and works well in groups of 3-4 specimens. Giant Danios (Devario aequipinnatus) are fun with Goldfish, but they are boisterous and may terrorise fancy Goldfish; they work best with standard (non-fantail) varieties such as Common Goldfish, Comets and Shubunkins. Perhaps surprisingly, the Variatus Platy (Xiphophorus variatus) can work well with Goldfish; it's a herbivore, so will do well on similar foods. Couple other choices include White Cloud Mountain minnows (Tanichthys albonubes) and the Green Barb (Barbus semifasciolatus).> Thank you, Merry Christmas, Ali <Likewise, and a happy new year to you, too! Cheers, Neale.>

Goldfish (maintenance; compatibility)  -09/02/08 Hello all, <Hello,> Firstly a quick thank you to you all for your patience and dedication to answering all the questions put to you - having fairly recently become best friends with a Black Moor I have spent several hours scouring your site for all the info I can. However, I wondered if you would mind giving me some advice? <Do our best...> I have a little moor in a 10 gallon tank, he's only an inch or so big at the moment but the rate at which he eats his veggies it can't be long before he grows. <Indeed. These fish grow rapidly, and Black Moors routinely reach about 20 cm/8" within 2-4 years. He'll need something that 30 gallons quite soon, and with a decent filter.> It's just little old him on his own - maybe he likes it (he seems happy enough) but I'd like to get some friends for him. <Friends are precisely what he wants. These are schooling fish, and much as Goldfish enjoy human company, your specimen will want at least one other pal of its own kind. Preferably another fancy Goldfish rather than something faster like a Comet or Standard. A Fantail Goldfish for example would get along great with a Black Moor.> Before doing so I know we need more space so I shall be upgrading to a 32 gallon tank in the next month or so and keeping the smaller tank as a spare for quarantine/hospital duties. My question is what else can I add to the new tank that's interesting but won't overload it? <Depends a lot of the temperature and water quality. By default, keep fancy Goldfish together in their own system to avoid problems with losing out at feeding time. Comets and Standards often eat all the food before the poor Fancies get a chance! If the tank is maintained at a fixed 18-22 degrees C, which is fine for Goldfish, you can add certain subtropical species, such as Corydoras paleatus. But the water quality needs to be good, and Goldfish being big and messy tend to put a heavier load on filters than the average community tropical fish. So by all means consider tankmates of other species, but review filtration carefully, and check that the nitrite concentration in the tank is zero. I'd recommend a decent external canister filter offering 6 times the volume of the tank in turnover per hour. So for a 30 gallon tank, buy a filter rated at 6 x 30 = 180 gallons per hour. A little more won't do any harm, but don't go under.> I had thought about a small school of White Cloud but don't want Fat Tony (as the moor has been named) to eat them! Is there anything else with a bit of character? <Minnows can work, provided the water doesn't get colder than 18 C, and generally Goldfish aren't predatory. But there's always a risk. Much better choices in unheated tanks are Rosy Red Minnows (Pimephales promelas) and Weather Loaches (Misgurnus spp.). If the tank is heated to 18-24 C, then your range of possible tankmates can include various subtropical fish like Peppered Catfish, as mentioned above. Very small catfish might be at risk of being eaten, but adults should be fine.> Finally, Fat Tony has a small hole on his dorsal fin - 1-2 mm long between the first and second ray (is the right term?). It has been there since I got him and doesn't seem to get any bigger. There are no signs of any infection (no redness, no white fluffy spots) and he swims around merrily and playfully so I think he's fine, but like an over-anxious parent I just wanted to check what you thought? <Likely mechanical damage, and should heal over time. Do keep an eye out for secondary infections, in which case treatment with something like Maracyn or eSHa 2000 will be required. Otherwise nothing to worry about.> Thank you so much!! J <Cheers, Neale.>

Tail biting, goldfish incomp. borne of crowding likely  6/5/08 Hi, Can you help? I have recently adopted 2 young comet goldfish but the smaller one of the two seems to constantly bite the other ones tail leaving it ragged and sore looking. Why is it doing this and how can I get it to stop??? Thanks Debbie <Hi Debbie. Assuming your aquarium is at least the minimum recommended size for Goldfish -- i.e., 125 litres/30 US gallons -- adding a third Goldfish should help this situation. Goldfish are schooling fish and need company, but sometimes when we keep too-few schooling fish their hierarchy goes wrong and the fish become aggressive. Cheers, Neale.>  

Got Prob. -Goldfish/Tetra compatibility 05/31/2008 Hello Dear Neale, <Please be a friend to Wet Web Media and don't send messages all in capital letters!> All my fish are doing well but Neale, I got a problem that I got two tetra fish in which one is doing very well, but the other one is in problem because it never comes up to eat and never moves freely in the aquarium until, unless the light is off. <Most tetras are schooling fish: they are only happy when kept in groups of 6 or more.> And all my other goldfish, they have recovered a lot from Finrot but their tail seems like a small Tetra has bitten its tail, but I studied the goldfish can live with Tetra.  <Some tetras WILL bite the fins of other fish. In particular Gymnocorymbus ternetzi (called the "black widow tetra" in England) and the various "serpae" tetras in the genus Hyphessobrycon, such as Hyphessobrycon eques. But many other tetras will bite fins given the chance. In the wild, these fish eat the scales and fins of other fish -- so there's no way to stop them biting big, slow-moving fish. It's in the genes! So no, you cannot keep Goldfish and tetras.> And why my one Tetra is scared always even doesn't eat anything. <Likely scared, shy.> Thank you Neale ALI ZAHEER <Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Got prob. - 05/31/08 Hello dear Neale, <Hello!> Firstly I want to apologize for my mistake that you mentioned, thank you. <Not a problem.> I am very happy that you answered my questions. Neale one of my tetra is Gymnocorymbus ternetzi. <Ah! A very VERY bad fin-nipper!> But other is different so should I remove both or just one? <I would remove them both. Regardless of their behaviour in this aquarium, all tetras are happier in GROUPS, so please do keep them that way.> and please can help me which small size fish would be better to keep with my goldfish. <Really best kept alone, or perhaps with Weather Loaches (Misgurnus anguillicaudatus). Some people keep them with Zebra Danios (Danio rerio) or White Cloud Mountain Minnows (Tanichthys albonubes). Both these species do well in subtropical tanks (18-22 Celsius) which is ideal for Goldfish. Peppered Catfish (Corydoras paleatus) would also do well in a subtropical aquarium. All three of these species are SCHOOLING fish; keep Danios and Minnows in groups of at least 6 specimens; and the Catfish in a group of at least 3 specimens.> Take care. Thank you Ali <Cheers, Neale.>

RE: GOT PROB... goldfish... reading   - 6/3/08 Hello dear Neale, <Hello again!> Thank you so much for guiding me, ill remove both tetra and I am going to keep goldfish alone I have one black moor, 1 red white goldfish and 2 orange goldfish. <Sounds good.> They all are very small almost of 2 to 3 inch. I hope they will do well alone? <Yes, should be fine.> Neale if your fish lay down at gravel what does that mean is it suffering from white spot situation? <Not really. Goldfish sometimes rest at the bottom of tanks anyway. Especially the Fancy Goldfish varieties. But most of the time they should be swimming about; not "gasping" at the top or "sitting" on the sand.> Because my black moor and red white goldfish some time sit down on the gravels for some time, mostly when filter running from long time and mostly when light is off at night. <Do make sure the filter is running ALL the time. It should not be switched off! When water stops flowing through it, the bacteria die.> So what do you think that are fine or not? And when they sit down and I go closer to them they start to swim very actively. <Sounds to be fine. Provided the water quality is good, and the fish exhibit no symptoms of illness (white spots, ragged fins, etc.) then I would not worry.> I hope they are fine. I change half water every week. Please guide me. <Do please read all the MANY articles on Goldfish here at Wet Web Media. Do go to the Freshwater section and scroll almost all the way down. You'll find DOZENS of articles and FAQs on Goldfish, covering just about everything there is to know about them! http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwlivestkindex.htm > Thank you and take care Ali <And you too, Neale.>

My Butterfly Tail, GF hlth., CAE incomp. 5/17/08 Hello! I have 4 goldfish, 1 (Bertha) who is quite large, the size of a baseball without the tail and then a calico looking goldfish Gecko), an orange fan tail (captain Golden Eye) and then MiBello my black googly eyed guy. My mother in law bought us an algae eater (the smaller cat fish looking ones) he has been in the tank for over 6 months now, but I recently noticed him attaching himself to my googly eyed guy. <Is a Chinese Algae Eater, Gyrinocheilus... needs to be removed immediately. Not compatible> And then today I noticed that MiBello is slow with a filmy look to him and gold spots showing through his normally BLACK scales...I instantly started to research and so far he doesn't have any of the symptoms of ICH or VELVET. I saw that you had a similar question on the website, I read that and went to the site suggested but still found no answers. Please help! I love my Googly MiBello and want to make him better. Thank you! Marilyn Rosa <Translate this "love" into action... Read re the use of CAEs on WWM... Remove it and all will likely be fine. Bob Fenner>

New company? or impossibility? Goldfish comp., using WWM  -- 04/21/08 I bought two small gold fantails today and put them in with a large gold fantail. <... in what size, sort of system?> When I put the small fantails in with the large fantail it started chasing and what looked like biting the small fantails. Is it just that the large fantail has been alone and it was new company? or is it not possible for small fantails to live in the same tank as large fantails? Alicia <Should be compatible (in time) if there is sufficient room. Read on WWM: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Tank Troubles, Mixed tropical and Goldfish sys.  4/9/08 I am an experienced saltwater fishkeeper and I have set up a freshwater tank at my place of employment. It is a 55 Gallon with an oversized BioWheel filter and carbon media, it is only about two months old. I sped the cycling process along with "used gravel and filter media" from my LFS. <Very good.> The water tests at 0ppm for ammonia, nitrite, chlorine, about 15ppm for nitrates. I have an African Clawed Frog that I hand feed ReptoMin pellets and a dojo loach that eats a sinking shrimp pellet everyday. <Fine, but do vary the diet and use (wet) frozen foods like bloodworms as well, or even live foods or chopped seafood. Plain dried food seems to cause problems with constipation, and in any case most animals get bored with it.> Finally I have 3 fantail goldfish approx 3" each, I feed fresh blanched spinach and zucchini as well as sinking goldfish pellets every other day. I feed sparingly, I am a big fan of fit fish. <Great!> Anyway the crux of my issue, I have had a few fish deaths which I find strange. I had one goldfish pass, he grew weak and unresponsive until his death. My boss added two guppies and three platies ( against my better advice) and one of the guppies and two of the platies have passed away. They acclimate fine they seem healthy and active, and eating. Then I will find them dead within the next couple of days. <When a random selection of fish die within a short period, it's almost always an environmental issue. So check temperature, pH, nitrite at once. Fish have varying demands in terms of temperature, and outside their preferred range quickly develop immune system, dietary problems. The pH will give you a quick handle on whether water chemistry is stable, and the nitrite will tell you about the filtration system.> No apparent disease is at work, there is no outward sign of it anyway, the goldfish and the guppy and platies all appear healthy. Is there some water parameter that I am not taking into account? <Not sure. Which parameters have you considered thus far?> I realize that guppies and platies are tropical fish but can't they also acclimate to subtropical temperatures? <Not as such, no. While it is true that one Platy species, the Variatus Platy fish Xiphophorus variatus is a subtropical fish, the fancy Platies sold are hybrids that require completely tropical conditions. Guppies are tropical fish, period.> The temperature of the tank is a steady 67 degrees F. <Too low.> Please let me know if there is something I am missing or if a certain number of fish deaths is normal...I haven't lost any of my SW fish in many months, and years. So I am a bit perplexed. Thanks so much in advance. <Cheers, Neale.>

Molly attacking Goldfish 4/7/08 Hi WWM! <Hello> I have a 10 gallon tank with one butterfly goldfish, one creamsicle Molly and 2 Mickey Mouse Mollies. <Too much and incompatible life in this tank.> I didn't know until now that mollies are not supposed to be in the same tank as goldfish because I've never owned fish before. <Read before you purchase livestock next time.> They seemed to be getting along for a couple of months, however, for the past month or so, the creamsicle Molly has been attacking the goldfish by constantly "biting" or "nipping" its back fins causing them to become frayed. <Common behavior for a molly.> The goldfish seems very upset and unhappy and tries to hide from the Molly but can't escape it. Can the goldfish die from this? <Can contribute to its demise.> What should I do? <Separate the fish, provide a more appropriate habitat for them.> Thanks, Antoinette <Welcome> <Chris>

Re: sickly goldfish 4/1/08 too late its dead <Well, please learn from this. You can't keep Goldfish in a small aquarium, and you can't mix them with Algae Eaters (Gyrinocheilus aymonieri) -- Algae Eaters attack the goldfish and rasp away at their skin. Do have a read of the basics of Goldfish keeping here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/goldfish101art.htm Cheers, Neale.>

Sick goldfish, CAEs  - 3/5/08 Hi, I have a question and wondering if you can help. I have a big goldfish that is 4+ years old. We got him at a carnival. He lives in a 20 gallon tank with two mollies and an algae eater. He has been sick for over a week. Usually I can get him better, but this time looks bad. He has been swimming upside down and sideways, and now his eye is bloody and clouded. He is also missing scales. I'm thinking maybe the other fish "picked on him" when he was sick? Now he is laying on his side at the bottom of his "sick tank". He is barely moving. Is there anything I can do? thanks Rachel <Hello Rachel. First, tell me what the "Algae Eater" is. The common or Chinese Algae Eater (Gyrinocheilus aymonieri) is a fish that becomes increasingly aggressive with age. Adults often attack their tankmates, and many specimens have been observed to scrape the scales and skin from slow moving fish. They are simply not acceptable tankmates for community fish. I'm concerned because the missing scales could easily be caused by this. In any case, whatever you do, you will need to do the following: - Check water quality (a 20 gallon tank is too small for Goldfish once they get above about 8 cm/3", so I'm guessing that's at least one factor). - Use a combination Finrot/Fungus medication such as Maracyn or eSHa 2000. When you use medications, be sure and remove carbon from the filter if you've been suckered into using this stuff. Do read the article linked below for more Goldfish basics; if you're not doing everything outlined therein, that's probably where you're going wrong. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/goldfish101art.htm Cheers, Neale.>

Goldfish eaten by other fish  2/22/08 Hi, our daughter came out of her room screaming and crying after finding her favourite goldfish "mini me" was on the bottom of the tank with only an eyeless head and skeleton attached. We had noticed that over the past week it had been spending most of the day in a ship wreck that the other larger fish cannot go into but it looked healthy. Occasionally it would come out and swim around feeding and the others didn't react at all so we thought it may have been sitting on eggs (is that what they do?) The other 5 goldfish are about twice it's size even though they were all purchased at the same time 8 months ago. We now have a very different opinion of the other fish as we didn't know they were cannibals. Are there any signs we could have looked for to prevent this from happening? Would Mini Me have died before it was eaten? We have another fish that is the same size but always sits in the corner away from the others, should we remove this one before it becomes the next meal? Thanks for your help Jessica <Hi Jessica. Goldfish don't eat small fish, of their own kind or others. What almost certainly happens was the one goldfish died, and the others ate the corpse (as would any snails in the tank). So, since you have a dead fish: review water quality! Do a nitrite test. Unexpected deaths for no reason don't happen... they're caused by something, and water quality problems are common. Five goldfish will need a big tank as they mature (certainly upwards of 180 l/50 gallons) and if the tank is too small, fish will die off one at a time until the "carrying capacity" of the aquarium is reached. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: goldfish eaten by other fish  2/23/08 Thanks Neale. I have no idea how big the tank is in capacity but sold to us by an expert who imports fish and runs a large centre and a friend so I think we can rely on him. <I can't stress the importance of finding out the size of the tank: not that I want to doubt the good intentions of your friend, but the retail side of the hobby often has a very different view of what the fish need compared to those of us picking up the pieces when things go wrong! Deducing the size of your tank is easy. Half empty the tank (which you should be doing every week anyway). Now, look how big your buckets are; it will be written on the thing somewhere (typically 3-4 gallons). Count the number of buckets that go into the tank to fill it up. Double that number, and there's the volume of your tank! Groups of Goldfish need something around 200 litres/50 US gallons.> Maybe we don't change the water enough as I read on your site that it need changing by 20% once a week, we don't do that, more like every 4-6 weeks. <Way too little. 50% weekly, especially if the tank is on the small side (i.e., less than the number quoted above).> Also how do you get rid of the waste matter if you only remove 20% water each time, or are we meant to remove the fish and do a whole clean out once in a while and replace the stones? <The filter should remove much of the solid waste, especially if it is adequate to the task. Goldfish are very messy animals -- they're herbivores, and produce a lot of faeces. Minimum, you need a filter offering 4 times the volume of the tank in turnover per hour, and realistically I'd go for 6 times. Buying a filter that isn't up to the job is a false economy, because you end up with a cloudy, smelly aquarium no-one wants to look at. Now, solid waste is ultimately removed by cleaning the filter media. Do that monthly by squeezing it out in a bucket of aquarium water (you need to take care not to kill the filter bacteria, which running the thing under a hot tap would do). You also remove solid waste during the water change. Using the hose pipe, scoot about over the gravel, stirring it up and siphoning up the waste. A quick stir with a stick of some sort usually helps. Do remember though: the solid waste isn't what kills fish; it's the invisible nitrite and ammonia that does that.> I also read they need vegetables, are you talking the weeds? we don't have any in the tank at the moment so should we get some more? We only have fake ones. <Do see here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshmalnut.htm > By the way your web site is a God send to our family as it is sooooo informative, thank you. And Sarah will be so happy her fish wasn't killed by the others! Thanks Jessica in Australia <Glad we can help. Cheers, Neale.>

My Oranda fish lost it's eyes  -02/20/08 Hi guys, I searched the site but couldn't find my answer. My Oranda fish is the only Oranda in a 55 gallon tank along with 3 goldfish and a Koi. Three weeks ago I noticed one of my Orandas eyes missing and now today another one. I have seen all the fish at one point or another pick at his fins but, HIS EYES? Why do they do this and can he survive like this? Will the others continue to pick at him? So concerned! Thanks Concerned new fish mommy! Have a wonderful day! Jessica <Hello Jessica. Eyes are -- after fins -- the bits on a fish easily damaged by fighting. So the best thing a "concerned fish mom" would do at the first signs of aggression between fish is to separate them so this couldn't happen. It is unusual for goldfish and/or Koi to be aggressive towards one another, but they can be boisterous, and it is ALWAYS recommended that fancy (double-tail) goldfish are kept in different tanks to single-tail goldfish and Koi. In other words: Orandas, moors, Ryukin, etc. should all be kept in different to tanks to plain goldfish, comets, and Shubunkin's. I'm guessing that you didn't do this. If you didn't, you know now! As for therapy: treat with an anti-Finrot/anti-fungus medication first, to prevent a secondary infection. Do also check the water quality, specifically nitrite, to see that there isn't a problem there. It is entirely possible that minor damage (that could have healed) quickly turned bad because of poor water quality. There should be zero ammonia and nitrite in the system. In addition, check water chemistry for the same reasons. Goldfish need hard (10+ degrees dH) and basic (pH 7.5) water conditions. Will the eyes grow back? Obviously not. Can he live without them? Yes, provided he is kept alone. He will navigate using his lateral line and forage for food by touch and olfaction, but the goldfish with eyes will be able to out-compete him at feeding time. The result will be a lot like dinner time at the home of Phineas. Cheers, Neale.>

Starting from scratch! As in w/ no knowledge... Betta, Goldfish incomp.   2/6/07 Question: Good day, My birthday treat is to start all  over again since my fish died after Christmas. <...> Please give me a list  of EVERYTHING I need to purchase for a 10 gallon tank and how many fish  should I have in it (I had 2 goldfish & 1 beta fish prior). I would like  to get 1 beta fish and 3 gold fish (very small ones). Plus, what should I do  for feeding of the fish when I take a week's vacation which happens twice a  year!! THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH FOR ALL OF  YOUR WONDERFUL ASSISTANCE!! Your blessings from heaven comes in  2007! Elfrieda <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwsubwebindex.htm and the linked files as you peruse the index... on FW set-up, Bettas, Goldfish... Bob Fenner>

Sick Molly... env., mis-mixed with goldfish  12/07/2007 First I would like to thank all of you. Any time I have a question some one always answers me. So thanks. Now onward. I have a 10 gallon tank. I have 3 mollies and 4 goldfish. Now I know they like different water situations and found this out after the fish were bought and put together (need to do my homework, I know). However, every fish was doing fine but now ALL my mollies have what appears to be fluffy white spots on them. Not sure if it's a bacteria or a growth...what can I do? Also is the water contaminated now to, so if something does end up happening to my molly's will it contaminate the next fish? Thanks so much. Laura <Hello Laura. The Mollies have Finrot and/or fungus and need to be treated with a combination Finrot/fungus medication. This is extremely common when Mollies are kept in freshwater. In addition, Mollies are acutely sensitive to Nitrate, and Goldfish are veritable Nitrate factories! So you WILL need to separate them. Please do read our article on Mollies and act accordingly: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/mollies.htm Hope this helps, Neale.>

Indoor Pondfish... comp., hlth.  11/5/07 I have 2 big Koi (about a foot in length), she's one of them, the other is a boy, 4 smaller Koi (2-3 inches) and a gold fish. I have seen one of the 3 inch ones nibble on her side a little bit, but I don't know if its eating her scales. I also saw the foot long boy suck on her fin a little bit, but it looked like he was doing no harm to her. I may possibly be able to provide a picture, I'm not sure, but if you're interested, let me know. I think she's also getting some red on her. <Koi -- like all over Cyprinidae -- only have teeth in their throats, not behind their lips. So they can't "bite", and as such are unlikely to cause any harm by "mouthing" one another. It's just possible they might suck at dead skin tissue out of curiosity, but I can't see how Koi (or Goldfish) could actually cause damage to healthy tissue in the first place. So, provided the fish are healthy, I wouldn't worry too much about this particular behaviour. On the other hand, if the fish are developing red patches, that can indicate some other problem. Koi are especially sensitive to poor water quality, and neither Koi nor Goldfish will do well if the water is soft and acidic. So, check water quality and chemistry. Reflect on other maintenance issues, such as diet and whether predators might be getting into the pond and causing physical damage. Cats and herons will both damage large fish even if they fail to kill the fish. Leeches, fish lice and various other parasites can sometimes get into ponds and cause physical damage. Hope this helps. Neale>

Re: Indoor Pondfish... comp., hlth.  11/5/07 Well, the thing is, my Koi are in a tank inside the house not outside, so they're not really exposed to any predators. Should I take her to a pet store and get her checked out or should I just treat the water like there's something in there? So you don't think there is anything wrong with my fish? except maybe the patches? <You're keeping Koi indoors? In a tank? How big is this tank? Koi are (obviously) big fish. Maximum size is around 90 cm/3', and even an average specimen will exceed 60 cm/2' in length. They are also fast-growing fish: a well cared for Koi will be reaching that sort of size within 5 years or so. (Koi were, after all, originally bred as food fish.) As a result, they generally do not do well indoors except in indoor pond-type arrangements in conservatories and the like. In an aquarium you'll have problems maintaining the good water quality Koi need. So, before discussing anything else, let's have some Cold, Hard Numbers! How big is the aquarium? What sort of filter are you using? How often do you do water changes, and how much do you change each time? What is the water chemistry (especially the pH and general hardness)? Have you done a nitrite test? When kept in anything other than optimal conditions Koi are subject to a wide range of diseases that can cause 'red patches' on the body, such as Finrot, fungus, Fish Pox, slime diseases, etc. A photograph will help. Treatment depends upon identifying the disease and also ensuring water quality is sufficiently good that the Koi can heal itself alongside whatever medication you use. Under good conditions Koi live for decades and show a very high degree of hardiness and resistance to disease. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: Indoor Pondfish... comp., hlth.  11/5/07 well my uncle just gave us the Koi and the tank is a 10 gal and we're working on a pond for outside. we have 2 filters. I don't remember the names of the filters, but one is for a 20gal and the other is for a 50 gal. Since I've had them for about a week or so, we've changed it once and we changed a little more than half of the water. maybe 3/5 of it. am not sure about the water quality and the pH level. my mom or aunt might know so I cant tell you. ill try and get you a picture of the fish as soon as possible. thanks! <Hmm... Koi can't be kept in a 10 gallon tank, and even a 50 gallon tank will be nothing more than a temporary holding tank. I think you said one of the Koi was about 30 cm long -- such a fish cannot be kept in a 10 gallon tank, end of story. So my guess would be that the water quality is very poor. Ammonia and nitrite cause all kinds of problems, and these will be at the root of your problems. Build the pond ASAP. Cheers, Neale.>

Ryukin Goldfish Guidelines  11/4/07 Hello! Can I ask questions about this goldfish? <Yes.> What plants can be compatible with this fish? <Anything tolerant of cold to subtropical conditions, but with the caution that Goldfish will view most plants as potential food. So while Elodea and Egeria enjoy the same cool, hard, alkaline water conditions as Goldfish, Goldfish are apt to simply eat those plants. This isn't a bad thing though: Goldfish are herbivores in the wild and at least half their diet should be plant material of some sort. The fact people don't do this all the time explains the sick, constipated Goldfish you keep seeing and we keep being asked about. So you can simply add new bunches of Elodea or Egeria as you go along. If you want something permanent, there are so options. Under good lighting, subtropical Vallisneria and Sagittaria do well with Goldfish. Java moss and Java fern will be OK at 18 C or more; both of these are inedible. Anubias is another inedible plant, but it needs at least 20 C to do well. Most Goldfish keepers opt for silk or plastic plants.> What are the preparations and basic/advance care for this fish? <Learn to review this web site before asking "tell me everything" questions, my friend. Start here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/goldfish.htm > Tnx..! <Cheers, Neale>

Help me with my goldfish... Error in placing "feeders" in a tank...    10/24/07 Hi, my nephew won these fish at a carnival and I just so happened to have started a tank about a month prior with only a algae eater in it <I hope not a CAE... please see the Net, WWM re Gyrinocheilus aymonieri> and he asked if I could add these two fish to my tank. So I did, <A mistake... such "feeder, comets" are notoriously unhealthy... invariably infested with a few types of parasites, infectious agents... now your system is as well> and now the one fish has black spots on him and is losing all of his fins, they are deteriorating. And as of this morning, he is getting a white egg textured film on top of his head and off the back of his tail. I am new to the whole goldfish thing, so could you help me find a cure. thanks so much!! Amber <Much to relate to you re developing a course of treatment here... As stated, your whole tank, all the fishes there... are subject to a myriad of pathogens... Best for you to start reading... Here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshdisease.htm and the linked files above... till you understand what you've done, what you're up against... You will need to sequentially treat the system, all fishes for bacterial, protozoan, worm et al. diseases... Bob Fenner>

Algae fish sucking on goldfish 10/3/07 We have 2 goldfish and an algae fish. They have been in the same tank for about 6 months. Today the algae fish was attached to one of the goldfish and now the fish is floating on his side at the top of the tank. It seems like you can see through him and his fins look flat and torn. My question is do you think he was sick or did the algae fish kill him? Also, should we worry for the other goldfish? Thanks, Denice <Hello Denice. What you describe is actually very common. Under no circumstances should "algae fish" -- by which I assume you mean Gyrinocheilus aymonieri -- be kept with goldfish or any other large, slow moving species. Apart from eat the mucous from the skins of large fish, as they get bigger they become increasingly hostile, to the point where they can, do batter tankmates to death. Despite their widespread sale in aquarium shops, these ARE NOT GOOD AQUARIUM FISH. Most aquarium books say as much, so please let me remind you of the importance of researching a fish BEFORE buying it. The guys in the pet store often have no clue, and ultimately only care about making a sale. If you can, return the fish to the store. They are, of course, tropical fish, and unless your goldfish aquarium is heated to around 22-24 C, your specimen of Gyrinocheilus aymonieri will not last for very long. Cheers, Neale>

Goldfish Capability, actually comp. with Platies  9/5/07 Hi there, <Sweet Melissa> I've had two plain goldfish for the last three years. They've always been very healthy (no diseases ever). Recently though, we had an earthquake and a log (fake) moved and pinned one of the fish. Sadly, it died before we found it. So we now have one plain "feeder" goldfish in a 12 gallon Eclipse tank. The tank's temperature is usually between 75 to 78 degrees and the pH is usually 7.2. She's been doing fine on her own so far, but I'd like to add another fish or two. <Will need more room...> I don't really like fancy goldfish, and the "feeder" goldfish I find in stores always seem to be in grotesque conditions and unhealthy. <Yes... too often the case> I have considered getting one and just keeping it under a longer quarantine, but I also wonder what other options I have. I've found conflicting research about fish compatibility. What do you think about adding two female platies? <Mmm, a possibility... these livebearers do "like" similar water conditions... In fact, many folks use platies in warmish outdoor ponds to nip at string algae...> I know these are tropical fish, but they seem like they could be compatible with a goldfish. My current fish is about 2 in. and is pretty docile (she's been with some guppies before and did fine). Basically, I want to add some variety to my tank, but I don't want to jeopardize my current fish's health. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Melissa <I do think the platies might be just the ticket here... And a good introduction to more "tropical" systems... Bob Fenner>

Aggressive goldfish, sys., comp.  9/5/07 Hi, I have 2 goldfish called Slippery Benson and Hedges. Benson is your average goldfish - orange in colour with a short tail and fins, Hedges is a pinky silver colour with a red splotch on his head (and one red eye-he's so cool!). Their bodies are almost exactly the same size, although Hedges' slightly fancier tail and fins make him slightly larger. They have lived together in their 20 litre tank (which is about 4.5 UK gallons and 5.5 US) <Need much more room than this...> which has plenty on interesting stuff in it for about 3 weeks but recently Hedges has started chasing and nipping Benson. Sometimes they're totally fine, sometimes not. Why is this? <Natural behavior somewhat... but can be trouble here due to crowding, no where to get away> Slippery Benson was given to me as a present in a bowl but i felt sorry for him so spent a ridiculous amount of money on his cool new home and bought him Hedges for a bit of company. I can't afford anything bigger (and have no more room for a bigger tank) but couldn't bear to part with them now - what should I do? <Determine your priorities apart from your emotions... What is more important, the health of the livestock, or?> Could Hedges do Benson any real harm? <Yes. Bob Fenner> Faithfully, Antonia

Mystus leucophasis question  8/3/07 hi all. just to forewarn you this is my first fish tank since childhood, the other day I got the notion that I wanted a fish tank. I went to the store and purchased 3. two Ryukin and a Mystus leucophasis only about and inch long). the worker at the store had told me that they were fine to be together, so I took them home and gave them names. this morning I noticed that my Mystus leucophasis wasn't swimming upside down, so I thought it good to research this species...one to find out if it is in fact compatible with the Ryukin, and two just to know more about it. I did discover that they are aggressive and, for me, going to be a bit more maintenance than the goldfish. I think I'm asking for some basic info for a beginner on the catfish and if the 2 are in fact going to live together peacefully. and I am using spring water (at the stores suggestion) and my water is reading at 83-85 plus degrees most of the time. is it ok if at night I put the air conditioner on and the temp goes down to 78. if this is a problem how can I fix it. perhaps ice cubes? :o) I haven't done any ph readings but after reading some of your letters to others I am going to get some tools for that tonight. thanks for any help faith <Hello Faith. Okay, there are a bunch of issues here. To start with, impulse buying of fishes is never a good idea. Fish are animals, not shoes, and when you make a mistake it's the animal that suffers, not just your wallet. But to your credit, I'm pleased you've done some research now and are looking for help. Anyway, yes, Mystus leucophasis is completely and utterly incompatible with your fancy goldfish. Even assuming it doesn't eat them (by no means impossible, given Mystus leucophasis can get to 30 cm in length) it could still hassle them at feeding time or damage them when acting territorially. Mystus leucophasis is also a tropical fish, whereas goldfish are not. At 24, 25 degrees C you might be able to keep them together, but that's really a bit too warm for goldfish to be happy in the long term. Water chemistry, to be fair, isn't a big deal for either fish. Mystus leucophasis is very adaptable and inhabits a variety of waters. Anything between pH 6 and 8, and running from "soft" to "hard" on whatever hardness scale you're using will be acceptable. Goldfish prefer alkaline pH (around 7.5 is ideal) and "moderately hard" to "hard" on the hardness scale. I have no idea why you're using spring water. Sounds insanely expensive. Both these fish will adapt to most kinds of tap water. Avoid water from a domestic water softener though. Always add dechlorinator to the tap water before adding it to the aquarium. Do not add salt. Check the pH and hardness of the water from your tap before using it, so that you have some idea what your local water conditions are like. More than likely it will be fine, but if you happen to live in a soft water area, you may need to harden the water. See here for more: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwh2oquality.htm . As well as a pH test kit and a 'General Hardness' test kit (which measures in degrees dH usually though sometimes milligrams per litre calcium oxide or calcium carbonate) you should also own a nitrite test kit. Ideally, you'd have an ammonia test kit and a nitrate test kit too, but the nitrite test kit is a good starting point. This tells you something about the quality (as opposed to the chemistry) of the water. You want a nitrite value of zero. Anything else is bad, and the higher the number, the worse the conditions, and the more likely your fish will get sick. Beyond this, I think you want to spend a little time browsing the beginners' articles over here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwsetupindex.htm . Hope this helps, Neale>

Re: Mystus leucophasis question Attn: Neale  8/3/07 Neale, Thank you so much for you very helpful response. I have decide to return the Mystus leucophasis for now, until I am better equipped at handling one. Also I will be switching to tap like you suggested and buying all the testing equipment necessary and doing more beginners research. I do agree that impulse buying animals is cruel and unusual punishment to them and shouldn't be done. I've learned my lesson, hopefully not too much at their expense. Thanks again Faith <Happy to help. I think you did the wise thing. Big catfish are amazing animals and truly wonderful pets; I've had one for 15-plus years and we've both become rather fond of each other. But catfish should be researched first because you're buying an animal that will place certain demands on you. In the meantime, enjoy your goldfish, read around about other aspects of the hobby, and I dare say before long you'll have the experience and interest necessary for keeping catfish, angels, seahorses, or whatever! Cheers, Neale>

Goldfish... comp.  - 7/23/07 Hi- I have 2 fancy goldfish in one large aquarium. I also have a small Comet goldfish in a separate, smaller aquarium. I want to put the Comet in with the fancies but I know this could be a problem, as the Comet might get all the food since they're faster than fancy goldfish. To complicate things, my 2 fancy goldfish each have only one eye. I want to move a Betta fish into the aquarium currently holding the comet. what should I do? -Molly <Hello Molly. Comets do indeed swim faster than most fancy goldfish. It depends on the fancy goldfish about how bad this will be. If the fancy goldfish are black moors or plain veil-tail goldfish, then it could be fine, assuming the tank is nice and big and you take care to make sure everyone gets a meal. Adding lots of veggies (which you should be doing anyway) helps, because then goldfish can graze slowly through the day. If the fancy goldfish are the really deformed sort like celestials or bubble-eyes, then no, don't mix them. Goldfish and Bettas can't really be kept together. Goldfish like water that is not so warm as Bettas. Goldfish like around 18C, a subtropical temperature, while Bettas want 25-28C, which is very definitely on the warm side. Some folks mix goldfish and tropical fish fine, but I wouldn't recommend it. (Though goldfish can mix well with *subtropical* fish like weather loaches and sunfish, but that's another issue.) Whenever you force a fish to live at a temperature above or below its preferred range, you end up shortening its life and/or making it more sensitive to disease. One last thing. Why do two of your fish lack their full complement of eyes? That's pretty unusual, and would seem to indicate some sort of problem. Cheers, Neale>

Re: Goldfish 8/1/07 Thanks for your reply! I'm not moving the Comet in with a Betta- I meant I was moving the Comet out and a Betta in. I moved the Comet in with the fancies and all is well so far. I found the two fancies at local pet stores the way they are-each with only one eye. The sales girl said they would "just pitch them" so I figured it was my duty to step in and rescue them. Thanks again! -Molly <Sounds cool. Just keep an eye on them all, and make sure the fancy goldfish get some food. It's easy for them to lose out at feeding time even with both eyes working, but for fancy goldfish with just the one eye...! Good luck, Neale>

Deceased goldfish's brother-- 7/10/07 Hiya, One of our goldfish died over the weekend and his brother has been behaving rather strangely since, swimming around in a very hectic way. I've looked at the sites and know that goldfish aren't schooling fish so he shouldn't be lonely but they were living together for nearly two years. Do you think he will adapt to living on his own or should we get him a companion? Thanks for your help! Laura. <Hello Laura. I have no idea why web sites are saying goldfish aren't schooling fish. They are. Almost all Cyprinidae are, and goldfish prefer to be in as big a group as possible. So yes, your lonely survivor wants a pal. I'd personally consider 3 specimens a good baseline. Ideally, pick goldfish of similar build so they can compete with one another at feeding time. In other words, if you have a plain goldfish, then don't get fancy goldfish, or vice versa. Please check your aquarium conditions though and try to establish why one fish die. Goldfish can live for decades, and any fish that dies in 2 years died too soon. So review tank size, diet, water quality, water chemistry, etc. There are some useful FAQs and articles here all about goldfish that you'll certainly find interesting. Cheers, Neale>  

New goldfish aggression 6/5/07 We bought a 3-inch Oranda yesterday to keep our 8-inch long fantail <Wowzah!> company after the loss 2 months ago of another fantail who had been with the big guy for 7 years. The tank is 55 gallons and no other fish live in it. The water quality is good, Ph and ammonia and nitrite levels fine, <Mmm, how about nitrate accumulation?> and there is a good bit of fake plant cover. Soon after introductions were made, the little Oranda began chasing the big fantail and then head butting the larger fish's abdomen. This seemed to continue through the night, and this morning worsened when the Oranda began nibbling one of the fantail's pelvic fins---which resulted in some shredding. <Yikes... sounds like a frisky reproductive bit here...> We separated the fish with a tank divider, <Good> but this negates the whole purpose of bringing home a new companion. <Well... for now> We suspect that the fantail is a female now. Her anal vent is convex and suddenly very obviously oval-ish, and the leading edge of her anal fin seems quite thick. Maybe Lancelot wasn't the most appropriate name for her all these years after all. <Heee! Perhaps the new one can be named this and the old renamed Gwenivere?> We also know that it is now breeding season---early June. So we suspect that the aggression might be breeding behavior, although the little Oranda doesn't seem to have tubercles on his gills. We also live on a busy street, and big trucks roll by frequently during the day. We've read that thunder storms might stimulate aggression, and the fish might mistake the noise for thunder. We also suspect that the little Oranda was probably stressed by the move, perhaps feeding into the aggression. <Possibly...> The question we have is whether we can safely reintroduce the fish in a day or two. The fantail means a lot to us, and we don't want her hurt. Thanks very much. Gina and Mike <I'd wait a week or so here... till the larger fish has a bit of time to rest, heal... And be present for the period of time for a while after they've been re-introduced. Bob Fenner>

Re: New goldfish aggression  -- 06/07/07 Dear Bob, Thank you so much for your good advice regarding our Lancelot and new Oranda, Opie. We will attempt to reunite them this Sunday. We have attached a picture of their first meeting. <Yikes! I'll take the fish in the foregd.> Thanks again, Gina and Mike <Mmm, goldfish are so "autistic" that they don't necessarily recognize their own kind... often it seems taking them and most anything newly introduced as "food"... We'll see if these two can get along... likely so. Bob Fenner>

Re: New goldfish aggression -- 6/12/07 Dear Bob, Just a brief note to let you know that Lancelot and Opie are getting along famously. We kept them separated for a week as you suggested, and the tank has been aggression free since the big reunion. They spent the week often engaged talking through the screen. After the barrier came out, Lancelot (the larger fish) wouldn't allow Opie to get close enough to chew for a few hours and then displayed some forceful shoulder nudges to show everyone who was who. And that was the extent of it. They have even now begun to establish a joint sleeping routine. We're still working on coordinating the feeding equitably but have no doubt that we now have a harmonious family---finned and footed. Thank you so much for your advice and encouragement! And thanks also for the marvelous resource---we have often turned to Wet Web Media for information on our little guys, and we wish you and everyone there the very best. Gina and Mike <Ahh! Thank you for this update. BobF>

ACF, Pleco and small goldfish (feeders)   5/22/07 I have had 3 small goldfish in a nice 10 gallon tank for 2 years. I have a top fin 10 filter. <To start with, a 10 gallon tank is too small for adult goldfish, and at some point the pollution they produce will start degrading their health.> Algae started to grow in the tank, so we were told to buy a pleco. <Algae is not eliminated by adding any animals. The reverse in fact: more fish = more nitrate in the water = faster rate of algae growth. The "add a catfish" idea is a myth and cannot scientifically work unless the catfish ate the algae in the aquarium and then went out the tank and into the outhouse to excrete all the ammonia there instead.> We went to PetLand discounts, got the pleco (about 1 ½') and next to that tank were the cutest frogs. I never realized there were under water frogs, or knew anything about them, but my daughter wanted one, so we bought one. <No offense, but buying animals you know nothing about is hardly sensible and sets a poor example to children, i.e., that animals are toys not responsibilities.> Now we realize it is an African Clawed Frog. We bought these 5 days ago. We feed the fish blood worms, so we figured the frog would eat this too. Anyway, we woke up today, and all 3 of our fish are dead. <Oh dear. Dare one ask if you'd done any water tests recently? Usually when fish die "all of a sudden" the issue is water quality, not disease. Besides, your 10 gallon tank is WAAAYYYYY overstocked and the little filter overwhelmed. A Plec can reach 30-45 cm depending on the species, and needs a tank at least 30 gallons and preferably 55 gallons in size. Your goldfish potentially reach 30 cm and the record is 60 cm, so again, BIG fish.> The frog and the pleco seem to be doing fine. <Probably because the loading in the tank has "crashed" down to a safe level where the aquarium and filter can cope.> Do you think by introducing the frog and the pleco to the tank this killed our fish? <Most likely, yes.> I feel so bad. <Don't feel bad, but do try and learn. Fish and frogs are animals, just like cats and dogs, and you wouldn't impulse purchase a dog, would you? So, look over the site and read the articles on goldfish and Plecs: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm and http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/loricariids.htm .> I am going to go out and buy 2 more frogs, and just keep the frogs and pleco in the tank, and not add fish. Is this what I should do? <Sounds about right. There are two kinds of aquatic frog in the hobby, a dwarf species that gets around 5 cm long and the regular species that gets to around 15 cm long. Both are interesting, hardy animals, but do research their needs.> Thank you, Laura <No problems. Good luck! Neale>

Re: ACF, Pleco and small goldfish (feeders)   5/22/07 Thank you for your quick response. This morning when I  woke up, the pleco was also dead! <Oh dear. I'm afraid to say that this isn't uncommon. It sounds as if your aquarium was simply overloaded with livestock, and adding the catfish and frog crashed the system, rendering it inhospitable to life. Please stop are read some basic fishkeeping stuff on this web site or in a book. The importance of maintaining a healthy filter cannot be overstated. Many newcomers to the hobby do things like clean the filter media under the tap/faucet, wiping out the "good" bacteria that clean the water. Also, there are things like dechlorinating the water before using it that matter a great deal. So before you buy anything else, read a little more so you feel comfortable. The basics of fishkeeping are extremely easy to master, but if you ignore them... disaster!> So now I only have the little frog :(. I am  afraid the frog is going to die too. <I hope note. Please do a big water change now (50%) and another tomorrow (also 50%) to flush out all the "bad" water. Make sure you use dechlorinator. Add tiny amounts of food (don't feed at all for the next 48 hours). Leave things to stabilise after this, for a week or two, checking the water quality with your handy new nitrIte (not nitrAte) test kit. Better yet, buy some of those little dip-sticks that have pH, hardness, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate measurements built into them. Once you're happy the tank is stable, then you can start adding more critters.> I am so upset that we introduced these to  the tank. Should I still get a few more frogs, because I read that they are  social and like to be in groups. <Indeed so, but hold off buying more frogs until you are safe the tank is stable. You want perfect water quality for at least 2 weeks.> I will also buy a water test kit. <Very good! Frogs are fun in themselves, and mix well with "oddball" critters like apple snails and shrimps. You don't even need fish, and in a tank of 10 gallons, dwarf frogs, snails, and shrimps would be practical and easy to maintain.> Thanks again for your response. <No problems, and good luck. Neale>

Goldfish and crayfish  -- 05/16/07 I have two goldfish in with my crayfish. The goldfish are much larger then the crayfish. The question will he still try to eat them? <While crayfish are primarily plant eaters and scavengers in the wild, given the chance, they will eat any fish they can catch. In aquaria they can and do trap fishes in the corner of the tank. In a sufficiently large (deep) aquarium regular goldfish might be speedy enough to avoid problems, especially when fully grown, but fancy goldfish are much more vulnerable because they can't swim well. On balance, I'd suggest keeping them separately. Cheers, Neale>

Re: Three goldfish ~ all have diminishing tails & fins, and snail sel., algae eaters for goldfish sys., the cached view search tool on WWM    4/5/07 Mr. Fenner, <Krista> Today I learned something important about my situation and hope this will shed some light for you. Although my test kits were inline with the LFS water test, the LFS guy showed me that the pH was very acidic (6.4-6.6). (It's probably been this way for months. <Mmm, and goldfish like...?> I distinctly remember that square on the test strip always being the same color.   Perhaps I wasn't reading the results correctly or just didn't know what it should be.) According to the LFS, goldfish prefer a level closer to 7.6. Do you agree? <Yes> Could this have something to do with the diminishing tails & fins? <Of a certainty, yes> (Side note: All other levels were great: no ammonia, no nitrates or nitrites.) In addition to more frequent water changes, should I utilize an adjuster? <Yes, I would... Is your tap/source water deficient in alkalinity as well as low in pH?> I purchased API's pH UP, and I understand that I should use this sparingly to adjust the pH very gradually. <Mmm, yes... best to use "outside" the system... In new/change-out water... adjust it... and store, use, mix in when you do water changes... Please read on WWM re pH, alkalinity... all of this and more related/necessary information is archived there...> Another question: My fear of perpetuating the algae growth (more on this below) has kept me from having the hood light on more than 10-15 minutes every other day. Could this be affecting the pH?   <Yes...> (The LFS suggested this, but I wanted a more reliable source to confirm it, please.) Also, I've switched food to Ocean Nutrition Formula Two (per Sabrina's recommendation in her article). Amazing ~ the food I was previously feeding them was yellow and red. This is green, like plant matter. (Duh!) <Much better> As for the algae situation, I have three questions. First, the algae (if that's what it is) is a reddish-brown color. That doesn't seem to fit the description of BGA. Could the color of this growth be related to the color of the previous food source? <... please read: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwbgafaqs.htm and elsewhere on WWM re Cyanobacteria... the color is not indicative...> Second, I read your article and learned about inputs and their controls. If I understand correctly, there are minimal inputs in my system. I feed the fish sparingly (every other day), and severely limit any light sources. What could I be doing wrong? <... many possibilities... all posted...> Third, would you recommend an algae-eating organism to assist with this problem? <Perhaps a snail... not a fish... again... this is...> I'm a little wary of introducing other species into my aquarium, especially when those I have seem so content with one another. However, if a snail or something would eat up all of this algae . . . 1) Can I keep a snail in an aquarium without live plants? <Yes> 2) If I only purchase one snail, they won't reproduce, correct? <Mmm, depends on the species... Some are ... where might you read?> 3) Would a brackish snail simply die (if it was improperly labeled at the LFS) or could it cause other problems? <A truly brackish snail is not a good choice> 4) Does the potential of bringing in a dangerous bacteria (with the snail) outweigh the current inconvenience of the algae? <Not IMO/E, no... though, where/when in doubt, a good idea to keep isolated... in quarantine for a few weeks... in a simple glass jar... with water from the tank...> 5) Are shrimp another acceptable option? Sabrina seems to like them, but are they compatible with goldfish and coldwater? (I had   difficulty finding articles relating goldfish and shrimp that didn't refer to goldfish diets. grin) <Mmm, there are coldwater shrimp, but these are not readily available> 6) Loaches and goldfish are not compatible. <Some are... like the Dojo/Misgurnis...> 7) Plecos and goldies ~ a very messy combination. <Not advised> 8) Your recommendation, please, if indeed you think it would be helpful? <Pomacea/Ampullaria... as posted....> Thank you again for your time and attention. I've found the articles and FAQs to be very educating. <Good> I'm learning so much! (Side note: It would be helpful when doing searches if the links took one directly  to the reference rather than to a huge page through which one must search for the reference. Am I doing something wrong or is this just the way the site is set-up? My only criticism so far!) Krista Goodin <Thank you for this. Only the search tool/copy on our specific: http://wetwebmedia.com/WWMAdminSubWebIndex/question_page.htm page will present the cached versions... highlighting search terms... Or using Google outside WWM... a deficiency in G's adsense software. Bob Fenner>

Fish with no eyes - got a pic!   2/27/07 <Missing from a fancy goldfish... from? Incompatible tankmate/s? Physical trauma? Poor water quality, rough handling...? BobF>
Eyes missing this morning from my new fancy goldfish  2/28/07 I bought 2 new fish 2 days ago for my 90 gallon aquarium which had one koi 12" <Oh oh...> and 6 goldfish 2-4 inches. They were both fine yesterday. This morning the white with gold one was OK but the dark brown one with the big cauliflower head looked like the top of his head exploded and his eyes are gone! I was horrified. Do you have an idea what might have happened? (I have one other brown one in the tank.) I have him alone now in a small tank. Thank you! Nancy <Unfortunately this was likely a matter of the koi, or possibly the larger extant goldfish "sucking" on the head, eyes of this new fish (or possibly another unmentioned tankmate, like a Chinese Algae Eater)... The eye-less individual may well be able to be trained to take prepared foods and live a good long while, though blind. Bob Fenner>
Re: fish with no eyes - got a pic!  2/28/07
Yes, with a very big head until it got chewed up. <I see... I will match this with your query of today. BobF>
Re: Eyes missing this morning from my new fancy goldfish  2/28/07
Thank you for the reply. Can you tell me how to feed it? <Mmm, perhaps a "feeding ring" (can find, buy these at fish stores... maybe use one intended to hold a "worm feeding cup"... I would train this fish by "swishing" the water at the surface, lightly tapping the tank edge prior to offering food... may have to hold right in front for a few weeks... BobF>
Re: Eyes missing this morning from my new fancy goldfish  2/28/07
Oh, and is this aggressive behavior or are they just hungry? <Much more likely the last... an unfortunate accident, by fishes having no teeth, not carnivorous... BobF>

Fish help! Goldfish comp., beh.   1/30/07 Hi WetWebMedia crew member, <Jennifer> First of all, thank you for your information on pet fishes. I was learning <Was? No longer?> a lot, and it helped me to take care of my two Black Moors. But now I have some issues I'm not able to find much answers on. The two Black Moors' names are Chocolate and Pudding (together, they're chocolate pudding). <Clever> The first problem, Chocolate is a much thinner goldfish with very long full fins. It seems like no matter what he eats, all the nutrition goes straight to his fins. <Heee!> I've had the two Black Moors for about a year now, but Chocolate has not grown a bit unless you're measuring the fins (2.5 inches in length, but its 30% body, 70% fin, and 1.5cm in width). On the other hand Pudding has grown nearly 1.5 times as big (now he is about 3 inches in length, and 1 inch in width). <Perhaps in retrospect these Goldfish might have been named Laurel and Hardy...> Chocolate has such a small body, with long fins. I mean the volume of both of his eyes is as big as the body. I'm just wondering is that normal? Is there anything I can do to enhance Chocolate's growth? <Is likely normal... All goldfish "breeds" are resultant from a cross... are the same species... some with longer finnage, some of the fins split/doubled, some with bulbous eyes, some with more roundish bodies... differing color...> The second problem, during December, I went on a family trip. I left Chocolate and Pudding with my boyfriend. Now that I have gotten them back, Pudding seems really violent towards Chocolate. <Not good... happens at times when "not so fancy" varieties are mixed with fancier (rounder) ones> At first there was just one split fin, I just thought it was an accident. But just last night I discovered that Chocolate has many split fins (total of 5). Then just today I saw Pudding bumping into Chocolate. It wasn't like swim into each other bump. it was more of tackling. Chocolate panicked so badly, he spent the rest of the day wedged behind the filter (where pudding can't reach him). Chocolate only comes out to eat, then he hurries back behind the filter afterwards. I don't know how long that's been happening, but it's making me nervous. I was going to separate them, but I don't have a spare tank. Is there an explanation for this? Sincerely, Jennifer <Mmm, I do hope this is only a temporary, likely breeding behavior-related incident... Otherwise and just the same, I would separate these two for a week or two... a bit of rigid screen (perhaps a piece of louver (see Home Depot, Lowe's) broken into a partition in the tank> PS: Thank you for helping me! <Welcome my friend. Bob Fenner>

Goldfish and Algae eaters - 1/20/07 Hello Bob, <Hey Susan, JustinN with you today.> Here are a few questions I hope you can answer re: 30 gal indoor aquarium w/1 fantail, 1 Oranda, 2 Corys (just lost one beautiful Oranda w/dropsy :( <I'm very sorry for your losses.> 1.  Are there any cold-water algae eaters that would not outgrow a 30 gallon tank?  If not, any suggestions aside from snails? <Sorry to be the bearer of bad news here, my friend, but really there are not. I hear suggestions for Olive Nerite snails (Neritina reclivata) fairly often, but the problem here is the temperate issue, as you have pointed out. Assuming your Corys are Corydoras catfish, they too will likely eventually succumb to the subtropic conditions. Have a read through here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm and http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshcompfaqs.htm and the files linked in blue above.> 2.  How long should I wait before I introduce another fish to the tank after losing one to dropsy a week ago? <In my opinion, you are already full my friend. Your goldfish will likely grow larger than their current girth as is. Most serious goldfish keepers provide a minimum of 20 gallons per specimen, sometimes up to 30 gallons. Reason being, goldfish are very messy eaters, and high waste producers, beyond their large adult size. It is much harder to keep the environment stable and clean when you have more than this.> 3.  Is it wise to put smaller fantails (3-4") in with larger fantails - my fantails are larger (5-6") and non-aggressive toward the Corys. <No, I do not think any further additions of fishes would be wise here. See above for my rationale.> 4.  Could my apple snail have introduced bacteria into the water which could have killed my Oranda?  The snail smelled and I found it necessary to euthanize it, thinking it could have been the culprit.  It had been dormant for a while but was still barely alive.  It was over a year old and had passed maturity for quite a while, gradually slowing down to what seemed to be a hibernating state. <The dying of your snail likely was releasing a good amount of ammonia into the water column, polluting your tank even further, but likely the large size of your fishes and quantity in a smaller volume played a role here as well.> 5.  What type of fish would you suggest I add to my tank - preferably hearty fish that will not out grow a 30 gal tank. <Only what you already have, sorry.> Thanks much! Susan Tervo <Have a read through the links provided above, and good luck! -JustinN>
Re: Goldfish and Algae Eaters -- a follow-up - 1/22/07
Hi Justin, <Susan> Thanks for the 411 on my tank and accompanying links.  I will keep your advice in mind.   <No problems, glad you found them informative.> This experience I've had with my fish tank has proven very educational.  I'm wondering if saltwater tanks are easier to maintain.   <Mmm, no... ease of care probably goes to a well planned tropical community tank, though maintenance exists with any kind of fish. Saltwater has a lot more parameters that must be monitored and kept tabs on. Not to imply its incredibly difficult, or that you need a masters in chemistry to maintain one, but if you are looking for simplicity in maintenance, marine aquaria is not it.> I thought fantailed goldfish would be easy, HA!   <Messy little buggers, aren't they? Did you know that not only are they the messy little piggies we all know and love, but they also exude ammonia from their gills during their oxygenation process? Fun fact of the day!> It sounds like you have lots of experience with fish.   <Probably about 2 years now, but most of that time has been face-deep in reading material!> Keep it up.   <Oh, yes. Too much fun not to.> Pray for me?  :D   <Hehe, I don't believe this is necessary, my friend. You have the mindset to read and investigate before you move to action, and you are not put off by honesty. These are traits of one who can and likely will be very successful in this hobby.> Thanks again! Susan <Any time, Susan, glad to be of service! -JustinN>
Re: Goldfish and Algae Eaters -- a follow-up -   1/24/07
Thanks again, Justin, for the 411.   <Anytime, my friend.> Yes, I was aware of the emission of ammonia from goldfish.  One more question - I have an Oranda which has always been a bit sickly (but I believe it will outlive every other member of my aquarium).  This particular fish has what appears to be a tumor on its front spine.  Occasionally, it will swim to the bottom of the tank, go belly up, and float to the top.  It eats and otherwise appears to be quite healthy.  I'm treating the fish for internal parasites. <Do you have a reason to believe that internal parasites is a proper diagnosis here? Mistreating can be worse than not treating at all...> If anything happens to this fish, and hopefully not, would you recommend introducing a smaller fantail to the tank or would it be better to get one of similar size to my other fish.  Thanks so much again! Susan <To be honest with you, Susan, I can't in good conscious recommend another fish for your aquarium, regardless of outcome. Goldfish are simply that large and messy; many people won't consider keeping a singular one in less than 30 gallons -- myself included. If you absolutely must add another fish after such a situation occurred, the closer the size, the more likely for it to work long-term. -JustinN>

Red tailed sharks and Goldfish tog. Dear Sir, <<Hello, Lara. Tom with you.>> I read your article about red-tailed sharks online. It was very interesting and informative! <<Wish I could take credit for that one, Lara. Glad you liked it, though.>> I used to have a red-tailed shark in a regular aquarium years ago. <<A very nice fish, to be sure. A little tricky to get appropriate tank mates, however.>> I was wondering if I could keep one in a tank with goldfish? <<The problem here, Lara, is that it might work and it might not. Seems a bit noncommittal, I'm sure, but I'm from the 'school' that doesn't believe in mixing other species with Goldfish. The 'safe' answer would be, 'No', but sometimes one can be too conservative. Red-Tails are territorial and can be a bit nasty with small fish. Goldfish don't pose this problem, size-wise. Red-Tails aren't 'fin-nippers', per se, though their behavior can leave you with this impression. You don't mention what type of Goldfish you have (and, I assume you already have these) so I would advise the following. If you have a 'fancy' variety of any sort, don't go with the Shark. These Goldfish would be slow swimmers and, perhaps, the subjects of aggression from the Shark. If you have Commons or Comets, it might be worth a try. These will grow large and Red-Tailed Sharks do better, behavior-wise, with larger fish. A lot of this will depend greatly on the size of your tank, the number of fish in it, the water temperatures (should be mid-70's F. if this is to be successful) and, ultimately, what you're prepared to do if things 'go South'.>> I heard that goldfish need to be in aquariums full of goldfish only. <<By and large, Goldfish have different requirements than other fish do. They're adaptable to much colder temperatures than tropical fish are, for one. They require much larger tanks than the majority of hobbyists think they do. For example, I wouldn't place a single Goldfish of any variety into a tank of less than 30 gallons. They're 'messy' and place a very sizeable bio-load on a tank which is a big reason for large quarters. Small tanks simply don't provide enough 'stability' where water conditions are concerned. Diet is another factor. Goldfish don't process proteins well. A huge reason for problems like Swim Bladder Disorder and constipation. Red-Tailed Sharks, though scavengers by nature, are omnivorous where Goldfish are largely herbivorous. Something to keep in mind if you go through with your plan.>> Thank you for answering! Lara <<I think I've given you enough to go on, Lara. If you have anything specific to ask, I'll be here. Best regards. Tom>>

My swordtails have been harassing my goldfish! Well, the two aren't compatible species, in many senses...    1/10/07 I have a 15 gallon tank with two 2 inch long female fantails, three swordtails, and an albino Pleco. <The Pleco will soon outgrow that tank, as it can reach over a foot in length! Perhaps more problematic is that swordtails are tropical fish and goldfish are cooler water fish...the two aren't compatible. You need to have two separate environments; one cool for the goldfish, and one warm for the tropicals.  Do read here for basic info. on the two very different types of fish you've got: http://badmanstropicalfish.com/profiles/profile27.html http://www.geocities.com/shtinkythefish/qgold.htm > I have a male swordtail which is about two inches long (underdeveloped tail included) and two females which barely make an inch and a half, and lately I've been noticing the swordtails will nip and sometimes chase my goldfish. <This is yet another problem of housing the two species together...> I read on the internet that swordtails and goldfish don't tend to generally mix well... <Mostly because each has very different environmental requirements!> ...but I was wondering if this will maybe lead to a fatality on the goldfishes part. <It could. And, depending upon what conditions this tank is kept at (pH, temp., etc.), the swords could also become fatalities. Bottom line: you need to research any fish purchase prior to buying it. Had you done so, you would have quickly seen these two types of fish do not belong together.  Here's a very nice by Bob Fenner on setting up a proper goldfish tank - http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm -  and I highly recommend a book entitled "A Simple Guide to the Freshwater Aquarium" by David E. Boruchowitz for basic info. on all sorts of tropical fish, including swordtails. Also, do read here for livebearer species info: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/poeciliids.htm > The nips have never (that I've seen) punctured through the scales and their tails are practically intact but I was wondering if this was maybe psychologically harmful to my goldfish, as silly as it sounds. <It doesn't sound silly at all...in fact, constant harassment can lead to a compromised immune system, along with physiological damage, etc. You need to separate the goldfish from the swordtails for a variety of reasons, as cited above. Best regards, Jorie>

Glolight tetras not compatible with goldfish; need to read before keeping any fish  1/9/07 I am sorry about the last E-mail. <Not sure what the problem/issue was, but let me try to help you with this one.> I have 2 Glowlight Tetras in a tank with 2 small goldfish, it has no heater. <That's not good. What's the temperature of that tank? The tetras you refer to are indeed tropical fish and require a steady tank temperature of 72-82 degrees F. Goldfish, in contrast, are a cooler water fish and thrive in conditions anywhere from 50 - 68 degrees F, again, provided that the temperature is kept stable.> I was wondering if Glowlight Tetras normally live in coldwater. <They do not.  Keeping them in non-appropriate conditions will only weaken their immune systems, rendering them more susceptible to disease, thus shortening the lifespan...need to research and provide a proper environment for these, and all fish you are keeping.  Do read here for some basic info. on the fish: http://badmanstropicalfish.com/profiles/profile62.html I moved them over because some of my tropical fish were eating them. <I'm afraid to ask, but what were you housing them with? And, in how large of a tank?  Please do your fish a favor and read up on the proper conditions and requirements of any and all livestock prior to purchasing... Here's a great place to start: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwsubwebindex.htm Regards, Jorie> Dylan
Re: Glowlight tetras not compatible with goldfish; need to read before keeping any fish- PART 2
   1/10/07 Hi Jorri, <Jorie...you're close!> I was keeping the glowlights with silver sharks, they got massive and 2 clown loaches and 1 yoyo loach. The glowlights have been in the coldwater tank for about a year now and there going fine. <OK, I'm glad to hear all is "fine"; I am now a bit confused about your original question, then, which asked "I was wondering if Glowlight Tetras normally live in coldwater...>. If everything's been going well for 1.5 yrs., why do you all of a sudden ask this question? In any case, as stated before, goldfish and Glowlight Tetras truly have very different requirements... Regards, Jorie>

I'm a little curious. Fading goldfish color, comp. with Mollies  12/25/06 I have a beautiful fish tank filled with aquatic plants and gravel plus along with it is my wonderful fan tail, common goldfish, black moor, Oranda, and finally Ryukins. They all get along fine!! But my question is that one of my Oranda is very healthy but its red cap is starting to fade and turn to a yellowish color and I don't know what to do to help it!!!! <Does happen to some goldfish... genetic, developmental... Good water quality, nutrition, are the roads to maintaining, retrieving color... if possible at all> and my second question is that I really love balloon mollies and I did a research on them and found out that they are really peaceful fish just like the goldfish so I was wondering if pot belly mollies  and other mollies can be in the same tank as the goldfish???? <Mmm, can... have similar likes in the way of water quality, agreeable temperaments... Though I still like the "looks" of all-goldfish set-ups. Bob Fenner>

Sad looking Oranda  10/24/06 Hi, I recently bought this Oranda, along with a Lionhead. They are in a tank with 2 more goldfish, very small (4) black phantoms, catfish and one clown loach. <An incompatible mix... the goldfish like cool, hard, alkaline water... are very "messy"...> When I got them, the Oranda had a beautiful wen. Then I noticed about 2 days later, the wen looked like it was chewed on , pieces gone, the edges seemed white and billowy. <Yes... the loach or catfish> Called our local Aquarium, and they told us to add Maroxy to the tank. <Typical Western ethic response... treating the symptom/s...> I noticed the Lionhead seemed to be having same sort of problem. Then I saw the clown loach following the Lionhead and it seemed to be nipping on it, so I took the loach out of the tank. Well, this photo is about 5 days later, half water change, water quality is good, only thing is we had to raise temp up when we were treating the tank. It now has no wen and whatever this is it seems to be spreading. All other fish seem fine and the Oranda and Lionhead are all swimming good, eating well. Can you please help me with this problem. Thanks for any info. <... Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshcompfaqs.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Bala Sharks and Goldfish 10/16/06 <<Hi, Missy. Tom>> I have a tricolor shark.  And I used to have a goldfish in with it. <<Not the best idea to mix tropical fish with Goldfish, Missy.>> Well today when I walked past the tank I heard a loud sound like one of the fish jumped.  When I looked over the goldfish was dead and part of his skin was off.   Do you think my tricolor shark did it? <<Tri-colored (Bala) sharks are almost legendary for their non-aggressive behavior toward other species although, if kept in an aquarium that's too small - anything under 75-gallons is probably too small - their behavior might become questionable. These fish are "high-strung", for lack of a better way to put it. They actually do better in groups which really starts to force the required size of an aquarium upward, probably larger than most hobbyists would have room for or care to maintain. So, to answer your question, I'd say that it's possible that your shark was responsible for your Goldfish's demise.>> I noticed a few times that the tricolor shark and goldfish were chasing each other.  I was just wondering because my son wants another goldfish and I don't know if I should. <<I wouldn't put another Goldfish in with the shark, Missy. Once again, if your aquarium isn't large, your shark may very likely injure itself by smashing into the sides and anything else in the tank. And for what it's worth, no Goldfish should be kept in a tank smaller than 20 gallons and, preferably, 30 gallons or bigger.>> Thank you Missy <<You're welcome and good luck. Tom>>

Goldfish and Suckerfish    8/7/06 Hi! <<Hey, there. Tom this afternoon.>> I currently have 3 small goldfish, and lately there has been some algae growth. Is this due to the cycle of the tank, because it has recently matured? <<One of the signs of a cycled tank is algae growth so I would say this is more than likely the case.>> I was wondering if there was any types of algae-cleaners that I could buy to put in my tank. I have read that the common Pleco will suck on the goldfish. Are there any other types of suckerfish that would get along with goldfish? <<Your information on the Common Plecostomus is correct. Unfortunately, there aren't any of the so-called Algae Eaters that will do well in a Goldfish tank. Very few fish will, which is why it's recommended that Goldfish stay segregated with their own kind. What you might look into, provided it's aesthetically pleasing to you, is the Olive Nerite snail (Neritina reclivata). I'm not a "snail guy" myself but these critters are used by many aquarists to control algae (something they do very, very well by all accounts).>> Thanks! <<You're welcome. Tom>> <http://yatfs.com/new_page_11.htm>

Black Moors Killing Other Fish... Can happen   8/3/06 <<Tom>> I have had black moors in the past, and have had no problems with them.  But a couple of weeks ago I got a new one and it has now killed 2 of my other fish by chewing on them until they can't survive anymore.  What do you suggest I do? <<You've got a rogue on your hands so you can keep it in a tank by itself or get rid of it. You're not going to "rehabilitate" a non-predator species that kills simply because it can and/or wants to. Sorry. Tom>>

Sick black moor... eaten by a CAE, poisoned with "medicines"...   8/2/06 We have a black moor and an orange and white fan-tail. They were both doing fine then one morning we looked and they had ick. <What might have "brought this on?"> I have treated them for the ick <With?> and the gold and white fan-tail seems to be doing ok. He was gasping at the top of the tank some and scratching against the thermometer, but that stopped, <Could be the protozoan, the medication, both, neither...> from what I can tell, after doing water treatments and adjusting the ph. <How?> Unfortunately, the black moor, after the ick treatment got this white film all over. <Poisoning... likely the treatment> This was yesterday, today his pretty little fan-tail is about gone, and he is no longer all black, most of him is silver. We have a algae eater <Not compatible. Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshcompfaqs.htm> and he was chasing the black moor yesterday trying to clean him. <No. Eating the goldfish... needs to be separated. Immediately> Today, not only is he without a tail and mostly silver he is staying on the bottom of the tank on his side, and really doesn't want to eat. <... would you? Poisoned, placed with a fish that is riding you, sucking off your body mucus, means for maintaining ionic/osmotic integrity...> He gets lodged under plants sometimes, and when we remove the plant he floats to the top only to turn around and sink again to where he is laying on his side. I have treated for ick as I said <Again, how? Realize that you are not relating facts, but opinions...> and followed with the fungus treatment <Of what make-up?> like I was told to do and he seemed to be getting better, until last night. Is it possible that the algae eater has done something to make him worse <Ah, yes> or is there something else going on that I don't know? Please help, my children are very upset that their fish is sick. JULIE COOPER GEORGIA <Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm and the linked files above. And do remove the CAE... Bob Fenner>

Platy Aggression Help: Not covered. Goldfish incomp.   7/29/06 Hello! I have a question that I couldn't find answered on this page: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/platybehfaqs.htm --and if it's else where, I feel out of luck, I haven't been able to find anything at all about this (Maybe I'm using the wrong search words? *laughs*) I would greatly appreciate some input. (In other words, I would really, really, really love help) Forgive me if I over explain below, I figured more info might help obtain a better answer... <Hotay> I have 2 female platies, and 2 males. They don't fight with each other- luckily; 1 male sticks with 1 female. This is my first time having platies, I realize now the ratio is messed up, (thanks for that go to the store that sold them to me) but that's not the problem. The 4 of them really are fine with each other, hardly any chasing, the males just always tag along with their chosen girl, and in a month I had already seen fry- The problem is that the females, and the females alone, have recently started aggressively harassing my very fat bellied, round, fancy goldfish. <... these fishes shouldn't be mixed together> I'm, sadly, unsure of the type but, they're very slow moving and I have 2 in the tank. I doubt it matters much, but one of them is fully white and the other one is orange and white- these goldfish are about 3 times the size of the platies (and growing) and don't bother any of the other fish (I've always had great luck keeping gold fish with other community tropicals. <Please read here re: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshcompfaqs.htm> They always just seem like the silly stupid dogs of the group, happily looking for food in the gravel) The only problem I've ever had with fish, besides the occasional human error accident, is that I've never had much luck keeping guppies alive for more than a few months, I think my water has always been too soft or something. I digress: Why on earth are my female platies being "evil"? <Hard to say, state... want the goldfish to move out of the way? It's too tasty to resist?> They're really plowing into my goldfish- even from the other side of the tank. They don't let up, even when my goldfish are on their fastest slow little run. This isn't just a, "Move out of my way! I want that algae tablet," kind of thing. (Because the girls do that too, but I don't blame 'em there.) I know most people don't keep goldfish with other fish- so this might be a hard one for me to find good advice on. The tank I have now is a 20 gallon long, it has a UVB florescent reptile light that the plants love, <Neat> moderately filled with leafy and fluffy live plants, it has these plastic mangrove roots that offer large hiding areas under them, pea sized gravel, some larger rocks, massive amounts of circulation/filtration (under gravel filter, a very small bubble screen, a Fluval 1, and a out of tank turtle filter that uses several levels of carbon and other filtration- the fish and plants seem to love it all) The ammonia is always at 0ppm, the Ph is normally around 6.4 (it fluxed some in the beginning, but always between 6.4 and 7.2), no nitrites or nitrates. I just added some coral and sea salt today that took the ph up to 7 (where I think I wanted it.) It's soft water and the temp in the house is 78 (hot here) with no heating in the tank (don't know the tank temp. is, hoping you have some magical mathematical way of figuring this out if it might matter.) But it feels sort of cool, nice, to the touch. It has the 2 goldfish, 3 ghost catfish (glass fish? also new to me), 1 Cory cat, 2 danio's, 5 neon's, 4 platies, and 1 guppy that's been 1/2 dead for a month- (the others got tail rot, or something, from the store I think -which is lovely- but this one survived it.) This is a newer tank, I've only had it set up for 2-3 months, but everything has been peachy -Until- I went out of town for a week, my boyfriend fed the fish a lot more than I do (but the ammonia stayed at 0 is seems) and I can't figure out anything else that would have changed. They get flake food, about 2 pinches a day, and algae tablets here and there (for the Cory, the others just get to it before him usually)- I make sure I see everyone eat but I don't believe they are over or under fed. The more gravid one is much more aggressive than the less gravid one, but they both still bite and chase often. This did not happen when one was very gravid before. Everything was fine, it had babies, then got pregnant again. (and yes, I'm 100% on which are girls and which are boys ;) The platies are now in a temp. cage. I don't want to put them back in with the others yet, I want to try to understand what's going on before I decide on doing anything else. I've always had tanks with goldfish, danios, neon tetras, angelfish (weirdly enough, they got along) Cory cats, and even sometimes guppies in them -all together, & in tanks some might consider crowded- (I had that whole list in just a 10 gallon when I was growing up- they all live forever too -the two angel fish even bred. It had those 2 angels, 5 Neons, 2 goldfish, 2 danios, 5 guppies, and 1 Cory- *laughs*) I don't consider this new tank crowded by my previous standards. They seem to have plenty of room and even their own areas if they've wanted to claim one. They're just the kind of fish I like and it's seem to have worked well enough for me before. But, like I said- this is my first time with platies, and my first community problem. -Just wanted to give an idea of my background with fish. Very few of mine, except guppies, and even ones bought sickly, ever die on me- even after years and years. (it's always their new caretakers when I have to move, *chuckles*) Thanks again, especially for your time. ~Monica <The goldfish really has to be moved into other quarters... Platies like about the same water chemistry, but can tolerate much warmer water longer... goldfish are "dirty" to a large degree... Not compatible with tropicals. Bob Fenner>

CAE help   7/27/06 Hello, <<Hi, Caitlan. Tom>> I recently purchased a Chinese algae eater as the pet shop people told me that they live well with goldfish. <<I'd take that with a very big grain of salt.>> I have 4 very hungry fantails. As opposed to the usual case, my fantails are ATTACKING the CAE? Is this normal? <<If you expected the situation to be reversed, give the CAE some time to mature and it may very well be the case. I don't have any specific knowledge of the CAE's behavior with Goldfish but I do know that they become territorial, aggressive and, potentially, killers as adults around other types of fish. One of their particularly distasteful habits as adults is to attach themselves to slower moving fish and feed on the skin of the hapless victim. These creatures shouldn't even be sold to hobbyists, in my opinion.>> I was hoping you could give me some advice as to what's an appropriate step to take in this case? <<In your case, Caitlan, I'd take the animal back to the pet shop and get your money back. This fish won't "change its spots" and will turn out as Mother Nature decreed. I certainly wouldn't put your Goldfish in jeopardy - odd as that sounds from what you've described - over this fish. Personally, I'd think hard about accepting the recommendations from the folks at this pet shop, as well. A shop that stocks a fish with the reputation that this one has may not be the best place to do business.>> Thanks for your help! <<Don't know that I'd call it "help" in this case, Caitlan, but I don't think you'd get a different opinion from any of my fellow Crew members on this one.>> With regards, Caitlan

Otocinclus and Comet DON'T MIX! EMERGENCY  07/21/06 Hi, love your website, thanks for it, but I have a huge  problem!! <<Hi, back. You're welcome. Let's see what we can do. (Tom here, by the way.)>> I woke up today to find my Comet munching on my Otocinclus! Actually, what I mean by that is that the Oto was lodged in his mouth with about 25% of it sticking out. He doesn't appear to be choking because he is still breathing. <<I assume you're referring to the Comet because the Oto doesn't sound to be in good shape.>> I got two new Oto's a couple days ago and since then they've both been lethargic with clamped fins, each was tiny, 1 inched guys and my Comet (Harry, don't ask) is about 4 inches long excluding his tail. He's always been greedy and   I think what happened is the Oto died and the Comet finally could catch him and did. <<Not unusual for Goldfish to do this. They tend to be "opportunistic" feeders and your Oto gave Harry the chance he was waiting for...unfortunately.>> No search engines helped me at all! <<In fairness, it's not the typical inquiry.>> At this point, Harry is moving slowly and keeps sucking or blowing his mouth, I can't tell which. This is a major problem and one way or another might solve itself before you answer back, but right now my main concern is lack of ability to eat or transfer air in the swim bladder, and of course lodging it in more and choking! <<As long as he's moving water over his gills, he's not "choking". He may not be very comfortable but he won't suffocate.>> Just in case he lives and for future references please help! I tried using metal tongs and I grabbed the protruding tail but I couldn't get it out, I'm sort of nervous of pulling too hard. How do I dislodge it, or can he digest the head soon enough and eventually pass it through?? (I seriously doubt it though.) <<I seriously doubt it, too. Goldfish are primarily "vegetarians". Their systems aren't developed for dining on other fish. Likely the dorsal rays are getting caught in Harry's mouth as you try to pull the demised Oto out. You might try twisting the Oto one way, or another, to get the rays to "release".>> And should I remove my other Otocinclus and my (very lively and quick) Algae eater? <<First, if by "Algae Eater", you're referring to a common Plecostomus, I wouldn't worry about this. Harry isn't likely to be interested in a "lively and quick" tankmate. My concern here, without getting on a soapbox, is that many Otos are "captured" in the wild by the use of cyanide. I have no direct knowledge of these fish being bred in farms, though it's entirely possible that they are. In any event, the fact that both of yours showed signs of lethargy and clamped fins indicates, to me, that it's possible that they were taken with cyanide, a chemical that will, unfortunately, stay in their systems. Otos, regretfully, show an inordinate amount of "infant mortality", meaning that they often die within hours, or days, of being introduced into the tank. Fish that feed on the dead fish are going to be ingesting cyanide if the deceased fish contain this in their bodies. My recommendation is to get the Oto out of Harry's mouth regardless of what it takes and remove the other Oto from the tank. Easier said than done, I know, but you must do this.>> Thank you for your time, and sorry my email is so long. This is my first major goldfish problem and I'm very anxious. <<Not to worry. You're more than welcome and I completely understand. Tom>>

FW community tank... goldfish comp.    7/20/06 hello could someone tell me if fantails or red caps eat other fish like tetras or guppies. <Yes... someone could> I seen to be missing several fish. I have a 29 gallon tank. Should I move my goldfish to the outside pond on my porch.????? Who is doing the cannibalism??? <Mmm, goldfish and tropicals are best kept separately... for a few good reasons (stated on WWM: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshcompfaqs.htm Don't generally pursue, eat small/er tankmates though, but may inadvertently "suck them in" while eating if they're very small... Bob Fenner> <Oh, and do you have a Chinese Algae Eater? This is my number one guess: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/algaeeatersart.htm Read here and the linked files at top. RMF>

Butterfly aka hillstream loaches  6/28/06 Dear Crew, I've just found your site and love it!  After doing lots of research online for my fish it's so nice to have so much information in one place. <Ah, yes> I do have some questions about the hillstream loaches since I can't seem to find much information anywhere on them.  I have a 30 gallon tank with 2 very small fancy goldfish (1 black moor, Narvey, about two inches with its tail, (are you supposed to measure with or without the tail?), <For science, w/o, for petfish, w/ most of the time> and 1 calico telescope, Penelope, fantail about 1.5").  Sex unknown on both.  They both seem to be healthy and happy.  I'm considering either getting a small school of white cloud (5 or 6) or one more goldfish (I'd love to find a fantail panda).  I have a bio-filter for a 20-40 gallon and a bubble curtain (mostly for aesthetic value). To get to the point what I want to know is are hillstream loaches compatible with goldfish, from what I've read they are temperature wise, but I've heard them compared to Plecos since they eat algae and kind of look like them, and since I've heard Plecos and other algae eaters are iffy I'm not sure if I want to add one to the tank.  Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Cynthia <I have seen these fishes housed together with good success. As you state, do enjoy similar water qualities, and Homalopterids are not "mean" like loricariids, Gyrinocheilus toward goldfishes. Bob Fenner>

Goldfish and swordtail compatibility?  6/20/06 Hi again Jorie <Lise> Sorry for bothering you a lot. <It's OK - I'm here to help.> My girlfriend's grandmother has gold fish and I asked her she wanted sword tails after they got big she ask if swordtails go with gold fish but I didn't know so I told her I'd ask the girl that helps with my fish. <These two fish are not compatible - goldfish are cold water fish, whereas swordtails are tropical species. I would strongly suggest that you do some more reading at this point, as many of your questions are very basic and fundamental.  I don't recall if I suggested it to you already, but if not, I would highly recommend you either purchase or check out from your local library David E. Boruchowitz's Simple Guide to Freshwater Aquariums ( http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0793821010/sr=8-1/qid=1150753336/ref=pd_bbs_1/002-4720261-3501636?%5Fencoding=UTF8)  This book discusses the nitrogen cycle in a very easy way to understand, as well as different species of fish and which are compatible with which others.  The only qualm I have about suggesting this book is the author tends to advocate overstocking tanks, in my opinion.  Aside from that, the book is an invaluable resource. I don't at all mind answering questions, but you must also take the initiative to research the basics on your own.  Good luck, Jorie>

Black Moor Questions ... incomp.    6/14/06 Howdy.  I have looked through your site and haven't found exactly my question, so here goes.  I have a black moor (Lowly) who has been rubbing against my in-tank thermometer, and I've noticed he's also lost a few scales.  He doesn't rub against things all the time, but often enough that I've checked him over a few times in the last week to see if there are any visual changes.  There are no spots, no bugs, no lumps, nothing that would indicate the need for scratching. (in my opinion).  He's only lost 2 or 3 scales on each side, and they seem to be roughly the same location on each side. <Mmm, could be an "environmental" "itch"... or still some sort of pathogen...> There is no pink or red under the lost scales to indicate an infection or problem otherwise.   I do have Lowly in a 75 gallon community tank (I found out from reading your site that it might not be the best thing, but what to do now? <Move it, trade this fish in...>   no room for another tank)  with 5 Congo tetras, 8 long finned danios, 2 dwarf gouramis and 2 Plecos (one about 4 inches long, the other about 7 inches). <... This is the problem... doesn't live well with these fishes water conditions>   Oh yes, I also have "Copper", another black moor, in a breeding net in the tank.  He's less than 2 inches long, because the Congo's ate his tail -- ergo, the breeding net. <...>   I've been watching the other fish, and none of them seem to be having the problems that Lowly exhibits.  I have an AquaClear filter for 60 - 110 gallons, two 3 inch bubble disks and also a 15 inch bubble wand.  I've tested my water twice in the last 5 days to ensure it wasn't water issues, and everything seems normal. <That you can/do test for...> (i.e. no ammonia, and all but nitrates within parameters on the test strips with 5 tests.  The nitrates are between the highest "safe" and the lowest "unsafe" color, so I'm keeping an eye on them.)     I called around to our LFS and one suggested adding aquarium salt <The Congo's and Plecos have little tolerance for salts> a little at a time for a week, and so far I've added 2 tablespoons a day for the last 3 days.  (according to the directions on the box, that should be the amount for 30 gallons, so I don't think that should be hurting anything yet)  Lowly is *still* rubbing occasionally.  What else am I missing?   Do I need to give it more time?  Finish out the salt treatment to the full 75 gallon amount?   Get actual medicine? <Mmm, no... need to re-move this fish, treat elsewhere> I'm getting a little worried, because I don't want to wait too long and have this turn into a problem.   (I'm more worried over the scale loss than the rubbing) Thank you for any advice you can give. Alicia <Move this fish. Keep it with other coldwater, goldfish in cool, hard, alkaline water... Bob Fenner>

Re: Black Moor Question, part 2    6/14/06 Hello again.  I forgot to tell you that we've had Lowly for about 7 months, and his body is about the size of a golf ball, so he's a decent sized black moor.  (maybe 5-7 inches or so)  Sorry about that, and thank you for your time. Alicia <Not compatible with tropical fish, this setting... BobF>

Pleco and Goldfish, good idea?... generally not   6/13/06 I am owner of a 55 gallon tank, which uses two Emperor 400 Bio-Wheel Filtration systems.  These are a necessity, due to the 13 inch long-finned goldfish <A whopper!> I have, whose superior filthiness remains over my tank.  Recently, about a month ago, I purchased a Plecostomus to help deal with the filtration of algae.  This worked wonders for the tank environment, the walls clearly transparent, and the gravel much cleaner, however, the Plecostomus started to push around my goldfish. <Yes> Now, the Plecostomus is no more than 5 inches, and is no where near the size of my goldfish, and yet my goldfish does not show any aggression, and he does not even move away from his hostile attacker. The Plecostomus swims under the goldfish, and chases him around, I fear this simple aggression could lead to the serious injury of my prized goldfish. <You are correct>   I have read a variety of things to do, such as remove the Plecostomus right away, leave it be, monitor it, feed it algae disks, and the only one I have yet to try is to remove it.   <This is what I would do> I am scared, that the Plecostomus will be overly stressed, and die from our lack of proper temporary tanks in which to house our little beast.  Our last resort, it to have the Plecostomus spend the night in a 4 gallon bucket with no filtration.  I really do not want to subject my Plecostomus to conditions like these, but I Will if I have to.  I will most likely return him to the Petco where I bought him, but I don't want him to be killed either.  I would much appreciate some tips and/or guidance.  Thank you for your time and consideration in this matter. Thank you,      Chelsea R. <Unfortunately, most Plecostomus/Loricariid species sold in the trade are incompatible with Goldfish... too often "suck" on their bodies... dangerously removing body slime, sometimes more. Better to use large, non-asexual species of snails as cleaner-uppers with most goldfish systems. Bob Fenner>

Goldfish Rubbing Tummies ... comp., systems     6/12/06 Hi, sorry if you've already answered this question, but I did try to scan your site extensively... I have a 10 gallon tank and in it I have 1 sucker  fish, 4 guppies, 2 ghost shrimp and 2 comet goldfish <Incompatible... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshcompfaqs.htm> (one about an inch and  the other about two and a half inches.) A little crowded, I know. <And would continue to become more so... but these animals will be dead w/o your changing...> What tank size  do you recommend? <Posted... for the goldfish alone, forty gallons> My main issue is this: I recently purchased the larger goldfish (today, actually) and the smaller one keeps chasing it and rubbing  itself on it. Mostly on it's tummy, but other parts of the body too. It's not  biting, just rubbing. I thought it was strange and decided to look it up...I'd greatly appreciate your help. Thank you so much, Jessica. PS- I live in Arizona and even during the winter my tank won't seem to stay below 75. Right now, it is at 80. Any advice? Thanks again! <Goldfish can tolerate such high temperatures seasonally... Bob Fenner>

Re: Goldfish and Bettas - 6/11/6 Hi, <<Hi.>> I recently emailed you about goldfish and bettas. If the temperature was about 24 degrees Celsius, could they go in the same tank? <<No.  Mixing a tropical fish like a betta with cool-water species is very poor fish keeping, and detrimental to the health of your fishes.>> Is the temperature the only reason? <<They are entirely incompatible species.  They require entirely different conditions.>> Or will the betta nip at the goldfish's fins? <<Certainly a possibility, but only one of many factors.>> Is there a food available that they will both eat? <<I'm sure they 'will' both eat the same food, but the have very different nutritional needs.  Goldfish need lots of roughage and plant matter in their diet, while bettas need more meaty food.>> I have heard that bettas will eat flakes.  Also, I have a red cap Oranda (very small only about 1 1/2 inches) that just seems to have a red spot on his head, no wen! Will a wen grow? Is this because he is young? <<Possibly.>> Thanks for all the information you've given me you've been sooooo helpful! (By the way, not ALL people can afford tanks that you tell them to buy!) <<Then those people should not keep the animals they cannot properly care for! Lisa.>>
Re: Goldfish and Bettas
  6/10/06 Hi, <<Hello, Rachel. Tom here.>> As I read in a previous email, my fish will get sick and die (3 small goldfish in a 10 litre tank, I KNOW ITS TOO SMALL), and that's just why my small orange bubble eye fish did. <<Sorry to hear this, Rachel.>> I am now very upset, and my mum is finally letting me get a bigger tank. (I am unsure how many litres this new tank will be). <<Please plan on about 38 liters of water per Goldfish. Also, consider any additional Goldfish (note the emphasis on "Goldfish") that you may choose to add down the road when you make your purchase.>> I was also wondering if once we got the bigger tank could we put a betta in there? I really love Betta's and would love to put one in with my goldfish. <<Not what I would recommend, Rachel. A Betta would be just fine in the 10-liter tank, well-heated (26-29C) since they do best at warm temperatures. These temperatures are much warmer than your Goldfish need or will tolerate. Additionally, their dietary needs are quite different. I share your admiration for Bettas but mixing these fish simply isn't advisable.>> Thanks for all your help you've given, you've been so helpful! Great site! <<Thanks for the kind words, Rachel. My best to you. Tom>>

Orandas in Ponds  6/5/06 Hi, Great site!      I have two questions: 1.  Can Orandas be kept in ponds with koi, catfish, and single  finned goldfish? The Orandas are 5-8", the koi are 8-24", the  single tailed goldfish are 8", and the catfish are 10", 14", 18". Right now the  three Orandas are in a 55 gallon tank, and are beginning to outgrow it. <Mmm, not a good risk... the chubbier varieties of fancy goldfish take a beating when mixed with these likes. Can't compete/move for food...> 2. Also, can these be kept in the pond during the  winter? I live in New Jersey. Thanks, Anthony <Mmm, again, not worth trying IMO. Bob Fenner>

Goldfish with tropical fish  6/5/06 Hi! <<Hello, again. Tom here.>> I have 3 goldfish in one tank, (quite small only 10 litres) and 12 tropical fish in another (this one is a lot bigger-90 litres). I was wondering if I lowered the temperature in the 90 litre tank to about 22 degrees Celsius, could I put the goldfish in with them? <<A worthy idea? Yes. A viable one? No. I say this because it would give you some "breathing room" by putting the Goldfish into the larger tank, which would be a very good start. Unfortunately, it would be ill-advised to submit your tropical fish to 22C water temperatures, for one. Second, as you and I "discussed", given the messy nature of Goldfish, you'd very likely be subjecting the large tank to a bio-load that it may not, at present, handle well. That is, you could end up with an ammonia/nitrite "spike" that would be harmful to all. Third, Goldfish don't process (digest) proteins well so there may be issues with feeding the whole group together. (While Goldfish subsist almost exclusively on vegetation in "the wild", they'll stuff anything into their mouths that will fit...including small fish if the opportunity presents itself.)   The "upshot" here is that it simply is never a good idea to mix Goldfish with tropical fish. Someone, perhaps everyone, is likely to suffer.>> The goldfish types are a bubble eye, a fantail (I think) and a red cap Oranda. In the big tank there is 5 guppies, 4 gold Neons, 2 suckerfish (the common type) and one tetra. I really want my goldfish to go in a bigger tank but I am not ready to purchase another tank. I really hope that I can. <<I understand the situation, which must feel quite discouraging but I feel it would be irresponsible of me to give you the "go ahead" on this. It might work over a short term but it certainly won't work over the long term.>> Thanks! <<Sorry I couldn't be more "upbeat" regarding this. Tom>>

Mixing goldfish types, reading  - 05/29/06 Hello, Do you know which types of goldfish are compatible with common feeder goldfish.  I have one feeder goldfish and a gold apple snail.  I am sticking with these common goldfish because I have poor luck with the fancy goldfish -all seem to die. <Is best really not to mix Comets with other fancier varieties... though Shubunkins are near enough in size, temperament, feeding ability to go with them in a large enough setting> This one is doing very well-growing and swims a lot and it's been 2 weeks!  Hooray!  I was told they are the easiest to keep.  I have it in 8 gal. and may be getting a 30 gal. <This will ultimately be too small...> tank from a friend, so would like to add more fish.... how many can I add, what type? Thanks for your advice. Lori <Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

No one has a answer... I do: Read... on WWM re goldfish sys., CAEs   5/15/06 I have asked a lot of people about these fish and the  condition they have.    I had a Fantail, a common Goldfish.  For a  few days my Fantail wasn't very energetic, but when I purchased 8 new babies <?> including two algae eaters she perked up.   <... Chinese Algae Eaters? This species is incompatible... Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/algaeeatersart.htm and the related FAQs file linked at top> Anyways just few days one of the  babies started to get black spots on it fins and then it moved to its side and  with in a few days it died. Then my Fantail died, the one other baby fantail had  black fins when I purchased it the it went to almost a solid black before dying.  It has spread to another fish and I know that it does not have much longer to  live.  I have changed water and moved the bigger one out and into a big  fish bowl.   <... what re water chemistry?> No one seems to have an answer. <You don't provide sufficient information...> I have put a  fungus treatment in the water and everything else is fine.  They eat very  well right up till the end and they swim all the time.   If anyone has  any idea why this is happening then please let me  know <Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm and the linked files above. Your goldfish are likely suffering from an improper, vacillating environment. Bob Fenner>

Re... goldfish dis., CAE, incomp. - 05/16/2006 <I didn't catch your first E-Mail, but I'll take a crack at this one.> Everything with the water is just fine.  I just cleaned  everything and took out the younger goldfish.  The algae eaters are not  exactly trying to suck on the other fish at least yet.  But I believe that  you are right they are the CAE.  I will be removing them ASAP. <If they are CAE, they will try to munch on your Goldfish, just a matter of time.>     But I still don't understand why they got black blotches on them ( young  goldfish). <Water quality!  Likely you have high levels of Ammonia in your tank.  If you don't know about cycling, read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwestcycling.htm >   And now my big goldfish has fin rot but I found a good remedy to  cure that up with a peroxide dip. <I don't know if this will hurt your fish, but I don't think it will help.  I wouldn't do it.>   A fish farmer I know told me about this  dip and he says that it works.  Exactly what causes fin rot? <Almost always water quality.  The only real "cure" is to start doing big water changes (30 to 40 percent) every day, maybe even twice a day.  I believe that your tank is cycling.  Please read the article linked above.>    And  is it common for a black moor to have one small fin on the side? I was thinking  that she/he was in a crowded tank at one time and could not develop properly.  Thanks for your reply. <Probably a genetic abnormality, nothing to worry about.  As for your tank, you really need to read about Cycling, get your hands on a test kit and keep your Ammonia and Nitrite levels below 1.0 PPM!  In the future, please give a little "back-story" in your E-Mails -- you may not get the same crew member responding to each E-Mail. Jason N.>

NTS, FW compatibility - 5/3/2006 Bob, <<Lisa this time :).>> About three weeks ago, I bought a used 55 gallon fish tank to exchange out with my 15 gallon.  The guy I got it from said it was used as a fresh water tank and sat empty for 2 years. <<Ok.>> I washed it up and filled it with city tap water, treated the water with aqua safe and left it filter for 2 days before I put any fish in. <<How did you cycle the tank?>> I had my 15 gallon for 5 years with no trouble at all.  I am having a lot of trouble with the new tank.  In the last 3 weeks I have managed to loose 10 fish and 2 algae eaters.  The tank is set up for fresh water for my gold fish, but in the last round of fish that I bought, I have already managed to lose all of them in the matter of days. <<Goldfish are a cool-water fish, and do not fare well mixed with tropicals.>> They seem to huddle together in one corner of the bottom of the tank.  They rarely even come up to eat.  I have emptied the tank twice and treated it each time I fill it up.  I have also treated it with clear water for the smell (it smells fishy). <<Your tank is simply not cycled.  Please read about fishless cycling on WWM, and look into purchasing some Bio-Spira.>> In this last time that the fish died I noticed that they had some sort of film or slim on their body.  I also noticed that the ones still alive are showing signs of the same film.  Would you know what it is and what causes it? <<This is an environmental/water quality issue.>> Also, any recommendations on what to do not to lose any more fish? <<Get your tank cycled.>> Also, would it be safe to put the fish with the film in another tank that I have had set up for 2 years with no problems, or would that harm the fish in that tank as well? <<I wouldn't.  Get on the Bio-Spira ASAP, and research the compatibility of your fish before stocking.>> Thank you, Kelley <<Glad to help. Lisa.>>

Question about goldfish with catfish    4/8/06 Hiya! <Jason N. here.> I love your site - so much info! <Thank you!> I'm a new goldfish keeper - I've been keeping tropical fish (mostly tetras and danios, as well as barbs recently) for quite sometime but just got a pair of common goldfish. They're currently in a very small tank (the aunt who gave it to me used to keep goldfish in there, so I figured it was okay to get a couple for it) - once I learned it was WAY too small I set about getting a bigger tank. I have a ten gallon I will be setting up to cycle this weekend for them, and when they're too big for that I will probably give them to my parents, who have a large pond with a happy colony of goldfish. Anyway, on to my question!  I saw some pictus catfish at the pet store yesterday and am smitten. They're beautiful! My friend who works at the pet store said that catfish and goldfish go well together, but after reading a few horror stories with algae eaters and catfish attacking the goldfish I am now not so sure.  Can you tell me whether it would be okay to have a pair of young common goldfish (they're about 1.5" each) in with a pictus catfish(1.5-2" long)? I know both species can grow quite large - would they be all right in a 10 gallon tank for a year or two or will they outgrow that too quickly? My thought was to have them in the 10 gallon tank here at my office for a year or two, then move them to a bigger tank either here (if the office is ok with a bigger tank) or at home when they get bigger. I've been a pretty laid-back fishkeeper to date - no water testing, once-or-twice-a-month partial water changes, etc, but I would like to get serious about it. I have ordered a test kit and am doing a lot of reading. <That's good.  Reading and research really is a aquarist's best friend.> Many thanks for your very helpful and interesting site, and thanks in advance for any info you can give me. <I would recommend against keeping a Pictus w/Goldfish.  I have found that keeping lower stratum fish w/Goldfish is a recipe for disaster.  Goldfish take every opportunity to eat, and getting a finicky catfish to eat before the Goldfish come around will prove to be a nightmare for you.  Further, 2 Goldies and a Pictus will be a fantastic squeeze -- in fact, you may want to make the extra investment for a tank that is 20 gallons or more; your Goldies will outgrow that 10 gallon in less than a year, and you are left with MUCH less room for error with so little water.  You may find yourself spending more money as you buy equipment for a 10 gallon, and then equipment for a 20+ gallon in not too long a timeframe. Some folks have reported great success keeping Dojo loaches with Goldfish, although in my experience there are still feeding problems as I mentioned above.  The tank you are suggesting is much too small to keep Dojos, anyway. Best of luck!> Cheers, Ealasaid <Jason N.>

Great Growing Goldfish  - 04/05/2006 Hi Bob, I was reading the forum, awesome stuff. I purchased a fantail with black but as he/she got older all the black is gone, now 5 months. Later he/she is all Gold, but too big for the 1 gallon tank I purchased. So I bought a 2 gallon tank and a small 1" Calico, but I had the Calico in there for 1 day and thought my Gold fantail needed all the room so I put the Calico in the 1 gallon tank till he/she gets bigger. My question is, is it OK for them to be alone? Do they need company? My Gold fantail has been OK for the last 5 months. But I feel bad! Thanks. Rodney <Your Goldfish will be fine alone. No reason to feel bad about that. But be aware that you will need a much larger tank to properly care for your pets. Goldfish get big and are messy eaters. You will need at least 20 gallons per fish to keep them for life. There are fish you can keep in a two gallon tank, but Goldfish are not on the list. If the tank is heated a Betta would be great. If it is unheated, a few White Clouds would thrive. But not while the goldies are in there. Don>

Goldfish and "shark" uncertainty   3/15/06 Greetings   I am the proud owner of one 4in Lionhead FG, one 2in Fancy G, one celestial eye FG, one 1 1/2 in unknown GF (it has no dorsal fin, humped tail, small pom poms on its face, red and white.  can u tell me the common name?) <Not from the proffered info.> and one 1in black moor.  I also have added a 1 1/2 in rainbow shark, yes this is probably bad.      My question is this:  I have been having terrible issues with bacterial bloom since I have added the celestial eye and rainbow shark. <This minnow is too "mean" to keep with fancy goldfish. Remove it.> It is obvious that this tank has become quite overpopulated (29 gal) <Is too over-populated with just two of the goldfish> and must be the culprit.  All chemical levels are in check.  What can I do to rid the bacterial blooms? <Less fish, feeding, more filtration, circulation, more frequent partial water changes, live plants...> I have tried 2 different types of coagulating agents and this hasn't helped at all. <These "clarifying agents" are not a good idea> No progress here.  Do I need a stronger filter?  It is for a 20-40gal.  I am reluctant to separate these fish because they are currently rather small for now, with the exception of the lionhead, and I don't have the sufficient funds to get another tank right now.  What is my best option?    <To read... on WWM re goldfish systems: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm and the linked files above>   Also, I was fooled into getting my rainbow shark.  Why do all pet store employees give stupid advice? <Mmm, not all... a counter... Why is it that folks are so eager to blindly accept such input? There is no "certifying" agency for such workers...> My fault for relying on them anyway.  So this fish is supposedly very aggressive, yet I  have had him for 2 weeks and he/she swims with the other fish in a friendly manner and causes no problems thus far.  Should I separate him anyway under suspicion?    <Yes. Will eventually become abusive>   I realize now that I really need research more BEFORE I buy fish, if I had, I wouldn't be bothering you, I'm sorry.    <Ahhh!>   Thanks for listening   Christy Bowen <Thank you for writing, sharing. Bob Fenner>

Goldfish, Koi, Aggression And Their Environment - 03/13/2006 Dear Wet Web Media Crew, <Sabrina with you, today> Thank you for the excellent site! I have been browsing through your FAQs for a few weeks now, and they have been a useful resource of information. <Glad to be of service!> Hadn't been expecting to write in myself, but an unexpected problem has developed in my aquarium and I was hoping you might be able to offer some advice on it. <I'll sure try.> I have searched through the FAQs, but I haven't yet found anything specific to what I noticed with my fish - my apologies if this has already been covered.  I am currently keeping three goldfish (a Ryukin, a demekin, and a black moor, all roughly 2" long including tail) and one small koi (2.5" - 3" including tail) in a 20 gallon tank. <Holy carp!  This is far, far too small for these animals....  The koi will absolutely require a MUCH larger space, and soon.  He's a baby right now, and will grow impressively fast if fed well.  I have seen koi that were larger than 20 gallon tanks - seriously!  The largest I've seen were *easily* five feet long.  For real.  This fellah will reach a foot in a year or two; a 20g tank really isn't a good space for him.  Some potential space problems brewing....> The black moor, Othello, was added three weeks ago and all four fish have been living together peacefully until this morning. <Uh-oh....> They were fine around midnight last night, but when I checked around 11 a.m. this morning, Othello's tail had been almost completely shredded, and all of his fins except the pectorals were also badly nipped. (I have attached a photo, in case it is of any use.) I noticed the koi trying to suck at Othello's fins, and I was later informed by one of my family members that the Ryukin and the demekin had also been chasing and nipping at him as early as 7:00 a.m. <I'm not terribly surprised.  The koi may very well have "started" it, or it is also possible that the moor was ill to begin with.> I have since moved Othello into a "baby net" that I hung on the inside of the tank to keep him from getting abused by the other fish. <I would advise you to remove him to another system entirely.  For one, being in such a tiny space will stress him further in his damaged state.  For another, that baby net is seriously cutting into the available space in the tank....  I would place the moor in a separate system to allow him time and space to heal.> Besides the ripped fins, he seems to be fine - he has a good appetite and he holds his fins (or what's left of them) open and erect.   <A good sign to be sure.> My questions to you are: 1.) Do you know of anything that could account for this sudden aggression, and is there any way to rectify it? (I read that females can be chased and nipped by males, but I am fairly certain that Othello is male - he has small white tubercles along the first ray of his pectoral fins and on his gill covers - while the sex of the other three fish is unknown.) <Mm, at that small size, I find it unlikely that the fish are able to show their gender yet - let alone start flirting.> 2.) Is there anything I can do to help his fins and tails heal? <Pristine water quality, possibly Nitrofurazone or Kanamycin in a hospital tank *if* he shows signs of bacterial infection.> 3.) Can/should I keep him separated in the "baby net" until he's completely healed, or are there any downsides to keeping him in the net (e.g., should I place a divider into my tank instead and keep him separated that way?)? <No divider, no net....  really, this fish needs a quarantine tank to provide space and time away from his pals to heal.> 4.) Can/should I reintroduce him to the other fish again later, after he has recovered?   <Not in the 20g.  Really, ideally, these animals need a much bigger space.  For the three goldfish, I'd like to recommend a 30 gallon tank.  They can get by in the 20 for a while, though.  The koi, however, really deserves to be in a pond.  Koi are not small animals, and don't really do well in aquariums.> (This may not be relevant, but in case it is, here are the water conditions of the tank: pH = 7.8, [ammonia] = 0 mg/L, [nitrate] = 10 mg/L, [nitrite] = 0 mg/L. I change about 30% of the water weekly, and condition the water with NovAqua and Aquari-Sol.)   <All very relevant, thanks for adding.  I heartily recommend that you discontinue the regular use of Aquari-Sol; this is a copper based medication.  In too great an amount, or improperly use, can become toxic to the fish.  I know it includes instructions for regular use, but really should not be used except as an anti-parasitic medication.> Thank you very much for your time, and I look forward to hearing back from you. Sincerely,  -KT <All the best to you KT.  Wishing you well,  -Sabrina>

Fish Attack? Apparent Goldfish, Pleco disharmony  - 03/12/2006 Hi there.... as always, im <No such word> so thankful for your advice and knowledge! Here's the situation: I have a fairly big tank that houses one fancy goldfish and one bubble eye (the kind with the water sacs) and as a bottom feeder a fairly small Pleco. At some point during the day the bubble eye's fish became frayed and its left gill and surrounding area bloody! It also seems to have this weird pointy chin and its sacs are full, but seem less full, if that makes any sense. they look somewhat deflated. It seems like when he breathes that side isn't moving at all when he is at the bottom of the tank! As far as his behavior, he's dwelling on the bottom of the tank and in the ornamental caves......but as soon as I walk close he perks up and is swimming great! He is also eating fine. To top it all off, when I came home today, the Pleco was dead. Is it possible these two got in some sort of fight? <Yes... too likely so> The other goldfish is doing beautifully. The water levels all tested to be normal and im continuing the cycling as you have recommended to me in the past. I would imagine it painful for the bubble eye to swim around with that injury, but im hoping that he is healing and will recover from this.....is there ANY advice you can offer me as far as whether this is from a fish attack or something else? And what can I do to help him heal??? Thanks for all your advice :) Michelle <I would treat your system with Epsom Salt as detailed for Goldfish on WWM. Bob Fenner>

Plants With Goldfish   3/10/06 Hi, <Hello>    I am starting a new small tank ( 20 Gallons) and I would like to have it with live plants. I will be putting 2-3 goldfish in it ( depending on the species). <All are the same species... eat most of the types of plants that are sold in the aquarium interest...> I want to know what type of plants are compatible with goldfish. <Some of the "grasses", Anacharis/Elodea/Egeria, Myriophyllum, Ceratophyllum...> I would like to know if Java Moss and Java ferns have a chance or if the goldfish will just destroy them. <Too likely, yes... and these plants "like" soft, acidic, tropical water... exactly the opposite of goldfish...> I've heard that Onion plants are supposed to be good but I don't know if they will be ok in cooler water. <Ahhh!> And I don't want an aquarium with just driftwood and onion plants because it wont be very visually appealing. An other thing, is it ok to put shrimp in with gold fish or will they just eat them? <Depends on the species, but most of those offered in the trade are tropicals> I want to put something in with them for algae control and don't know what is compatible. <Large ampullarid snails are best> I asked before and I didn't get an answer to my question. And if that doesn't work would Mystery Snails be ok? <Yes> ( I don't really want to use them because I don't know if they will eat all my plants.) <Hopefully not all> Thank you for your time!,                                    C.S. <Bob Fenner>

Aggressive new goldfish... not-mixing fancy and non-fancy goldfish varieties  - 2/11/2006 I just purchased 2 new shubunkins yesterday (aprox 2 1/2 in. long) They have been added to a 55 gal. tank with 5 other mixed sized same goldfish.  One of the new fish is VERY aggressive. <Individual variation... does happen>   When all are eating he/she gets in behind and in the fantail prodding and possibly biting. He doesn't seem to be interested in the food.  There is a little show of wear on them.  He is not real picky who he picks on.  It just makes for a very uneasy tank.  It seems that in time they will turn to shreds.  Is this a case of returning or can I do something?  It is a very pretty fish... Thank you, Debbi <Best to remove the shubunkins here. They should not be mixed with fancier (roundish) varieties of goldfish. Bob Fenner.

Goldfish being eaten by CAE, crowded in a system that's likely uncycled and mis-fed dry food only. Now, what's the problem?  - 2/4/2006 Hi, Great site that you have. I have 3 fish in a 10-gallon tank. 2 goldfish and 1 algae eater. I don't exactly know that how big they are, sorry. There names are, Charmander, Tiger, and Stripeback. <Keep your eye on that algae eater...> I have just noticed today that Tiger( biggest and oldest in the tank) is acting funny. He rarely goes up to the surface when food comes( I feed them flake food) <Not good alone> and has a long, brownish/reddish big streak on his tail. And he is swimming very slowly. I don't know what to do. I changed the tank completely <Also a bad idea> just recently and he seemed to be doing fine. Also, we just got the algae fish a couple of weeks ago. Does that have something to do with it? <Not likely> And today, I saw the algae eater on Tiger's tail, sucking on it, like trying to clean it. <Not! Is damaging your goldfish. Should be removed immediately> Any help would be appreciated. Thank you for reading. <See the subject title above? Read on WWM re Goldfish Feeding, Systems, Algae Eaters... Bob Fenner>

Calico telescope being killed by other goldfish, owner  - 2/4/2006 I have had my first tank for about 2 months now.  It is  gallons. <?>   I bought a small (about 2 in.) black moor and calico telescope, who is a little smaller.  The black moor seemed to "bully" the telescope almost constantly.   <Can happen. Much more so in crowded conditions> The telescope stays at the top corner and does not venture down or around but has always and still does eat well.  After the first couple weeks, the calico began to lose her "color", it would peel off.. I guess it is her scales. Now the calico has large white spots where most of her color is gone. Her head still has color, some black, some orange like its body had originally.  Its fins seem fine and it still eats well but doesn't have much color left???  Water tests fine. <...? These fish need to be separated. Bob Fenner>

Compatibility of fancy and non-fancy goldfish  - 2/4/2006 Hi,    I had three slim goldfish (common, comet and shubunkin) in a tank with an Oranda and black moor.  I found out after getting the fish that you shouldn't mix the fancy ones with the slim, fast ones.  Anyway, after about 7 months of harmony, I found the three slim goldfish attacking the Oranda one morning.  He sustained some pretty bad fin damage.  I put him in his own tank.  It's been a week and he appears to be doing better however the tips of the fins have turned black.  I have been using Melafix x 5 days.  Is the black a normal part of healing as some internet sources suggest?    <Is normal... from the damage, move... will cure on its own. I would discontinue the "fix">   Secondly, when the Oranda is healed and the "black fin" problem is resolved, should I move the black moor in with him? <Could. I would> The moor is bigger but seems docile.  I am afraid he might fall victim to the other fish if I leave him with them.  Partly, I am waiting because I had to move the Oranda into the new tank quickly and so I don't want to overload the new tank.      Thanks,   Jennifer <When all is ready, cycled, I would separate the fancies. Bob Fenner>

Goldfish mixed with tropicals, disease...  11/20/05 Dear Wet Web Media, I have a problem. I have two angel fish and a gold fish which have lived in the same tank for over a year, <Mis-mix> and there haven't been any problems. Two weeks ago I added another gold fish to my aquarium. A few days ago bubbles started to form on the new gold fish, and I knew this was not good so I put that gold fish into a different tank where it was by itself. It got better and I put it back into the big tank, but now my older gold fish has those bubbles too, and much more severely than the younger fish which got the bubbles again. I took them out for two days, but the bubbles are not "disappearing," can I save my fish and how, and what are the bubbles?  P.S. the angel fish never got the bubbles <... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshcompfaqs.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner> 

Re: Angelfish Don't Go With Goldfish  1/7/06 Here's an update... at each red sore site there are anchor worms.  We  have pulled off as many as we could and dabbed the sores with a hydrogen  peroxide q-tip.  We are now treating with Jungle Lab's parasite medication  (which is specifically for anchor worms) as well as MelaFix.  The nitrite,  nitrate, and ammonia levels are within range.  We will be doing a 25% water  change in 48hrs as the meds suggest.  The "kids" are all swimming around  normally now - which makes us super happy.  We are also feeding medicated  food.  We went to our local fish farm (where we purchased our fishies) and  they suggested putting a few angel fish in with the goldfish - they say that the  angel fish eat the anchor worms --- is this a good idea? Thanks, Susii & Erik < Goldfish and angelfish have different water requirements. I would treat with Fluke-Tabs and skip the angelfish.-Chuck>

Goldfish, Systems, Compatibility - 11/16/2005 Hello, my husband is in the military and we are stationed in Japan. About a week ago a colleague gave us his 20+ gallon tank (Japanese manufacturer so can't read any of the writing on the tank) <You can figure gallonage by taking (in inches) Length x width x height divided by 231.> and fish with a couple of filter systems (one very large covering the entire top rear portion of the tank and one smaller one attached to the side). There are also a couple of bubble contraptions. I'm sorry I don't know the names, but I have never owned fish before!  <You'll get there, no worries!> The following fish came with the tank: 1 Moor - 2 years old 2 Orandas (1 is fairly small - maybe the length of my pinkie - purchased recently I believe and the other 2 years old) 1 Spotted goldfish - don't know the name - purchased recently I believe <Possibly a "shubunkin"....> 3 Corys (albino) - 2 years old <Not compatible with the cooler water desired by the goldfish.> 5 Zebra danios - again purchased recently I believe <Will do okay in cool water, like the goldies.> Is this too many fish?  <Yes, by far - goldfish are tremendously "messy" - heavy waste producers. We tend to recommend ten to twenty gallons per goldfish to allow them to survive to adulthood.> The Moor and larger Oranda have bodies about the size of my 2 year old's fist.  <They will grow, and fast.> It is difficult to ask questions here because the Japanese pet store owners don't speak much English and I don't speak much Japanese in regards to fish :-).  <Much/most of your questions can be answered online - here, and elsewhere. Uhh, that is not to discourage you from getting out and learning to communicate with the folks around you!> The guy at the fish store said 50 fish can go in our tank which I find outrageous.  <He's smoking crack. Or something. That's quite impossible. Sure, 50 fish can go in the tank - 50 *dead* fish, that is. Maybe the salted/dried kind - you could probably get a hundred in there if you squished 'em down. The fellow probably just wants to sell you fifty fish.> I just want to be sure that there is sufficient room for the fish we have now. Again we are clueless since we've never owned fish before, but don't want to do anything harmful to the little buggers. <I'd like you to read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm . This should help you get a handle on the things you need to know.> Thanks for your help, -Christy <Any time. Wishing you well, -Sabrina>
Goldfish, Systems, Compatibility - II - 11/17/2005
Thanks so much for the quick response and the information!  <You bet, Christy!> I am glad to hear that I wasn't the only one who thought the 50 fish was crazy, <Heh! Nope, it's not just you, no worries.> but maybe he misunderstood what it was I was trying to ask.  <I do hope so. Language barriers often yield miscommunications.> Well, I am not sure what to do now with the goldfish since we don't have room for another tank!  <How about a small pond outside or on a balcony? Bathtub? No? Aww, come on.... (grin).... I'm sure you will find a way to manage, or re-home them.> We will have to look around to see if we can find them a home.  <Sounds great.> Thanks again, -Christy <All the best, -Sabrina>

Mixing Goldfish With Tropical Fish  11/12/2005 Is it ok to have 2 goldfish and one blue gourami fish in same tank?  They are doing ok now. They don't seem to bother each other.  My son wants to get another blue gourami so this one won't be lonely, but I'm afraid it will cause problems when it comes to a newcomer. Need advice Thank You < Tropical fish require warmer water than goldfish. Some people try to balance the two by keeping the water in the low 70's. The problem is sooner or later one or both will become ill and then you will need to choose which way to go.-Chuck> 

Mixing Goldfish Sizes 11/3/05 Hi, can you please help me? I have a tank with two fantails and two normal gold fish. I just bought a baby goldfish and added it to the tank. But the problem is the other two goldfish are quite large. I was wondering if they would be aggressive in any way with the baby. Please help. Thank you. <Goldfish are not overly aggressive, but if the size difference is too great there is always the possibility of him being picked on. Be prepared to move or return him. Don> 

Moving Fish Around  10/20/05 I have two tanks with too many fish in them.  In one, the fish just got way too big, and the other way too friendly.  I have two more tanks...a ten (well 2-10s actually--but parts for one.) and a 30 X 12" tank (long) I would like to shuffle my fish, and get two of the black tipped shark/minnows.   The "sharks would go in the 30 X 12 tank, and I would like to move out several female cichlids to the ten gallon tank. I would like to move one of the goldfish (they are so pretty-fantails) to the longer tank too--with the sharks (and maybe a few Neons?)  Can or should I take water from the old tanks to set up the new tanks to keep from shocking the fish.  They all seem really healthy and happy--but crowded at the moment, and I'd just like to alleviate the crowded part.  Thanks <It is more important that you use some of the old gravel from the established tank to be used in the new tank. It contains bacteria that will be needed to convert fish waste into less toxic compounds. Try not mixing goldfish with tropical fish. Goldfish like cooler temps than the tropicals. Somebody will get sick over time.-Chuck>

Please help my wounded goldfish 10/7/05 I've had a little turtle (the tiny ones you can get in China town about the size of your palm) for 3 years and a goldfish I got in July. The turtle has grown some, not huge but of comparable size to the fish. I was reading online and heard you can put them together in a tank. I just built a 30 gallon tank and put the turtle and fish in together. I monitored their behavior for hours and days and they were just fine. All of a sudden about an hour ago the turtle decided to attack the fish!! <What they do usually> It bit part of it's tail off and by its upper body. It was bleeding and I took the fish out quick, put some 10% povidone-iodine on his back and fin with a cotton swab. He kind of swims but mostly has his head down in the corner of the new tank. Is there any way he can heal??? What do I need to buy to help him? Please help me save my fish... <Mmm, only you can do this. Please read on WWM re goldfish disease. Bob Fenner> 

Plecos and Goldfish  9/26/05 Hiya. I've recently started a coldwater aquarium with a two fantail goldfish and a four danios (they have been in there for a couple of weeks). I love plecs and would like to have one. Will a Plec get along with my other fish? Also, can he be put in now or do I have to wait longer to let the tank build up good bacteria? Many thanks. Rach <Not a good mix in most cases. It's not a matter of aggression, but of water conditions and temperature. Goldfish like cool water, 65 to 70 degrees. They produce a lot of ammonia in their waste. Plecos are tropical and need a temperature near 80 to thrive. They also produce a lot of ammonia. So the tank would have to be fairly large to dilute the waste. But even then, their is no good way around the temperature problem. 73 to 74 may work for both, but is perfect for neither. Don>  

Aggressive white clouds  9/16/05 Hi Great website! <Thanks!> I need some help. I have two gold fish (one fantail and one normal) and 5 (two were bought 5-6 months ago) These have all been living together peacefully in their now upgraded tank for about 6-7 months. I have recently noticed the older of the white clouds are biting at the tails of my goldfish, who are getting very stressed as I have noticed red streaks in their tails. I now divided the tank in half by a sheet of glass, but of course I don't understand why they were all happy one minute and aggressive the next, please can you help? Thanks Sue  <White clouds are known to show aggression during breeding, do you know the sex of the fish in your tank?  If you have more then one male your poor goldfish may just be caught in the crossfire or could be a target if there is a male who is ready to breed with females in the tank.  I would make sure the white clouds are all female and the aggression should be solved.  I hope this helps and good luck! ~Heather aka LinearChaos>

CAE and Shubunkins  9/3/05 Hello, I have recently purchased a 8 cm long Chinese Algae Eater as an addition to my 20 liters freshwater aquarium, which also consists of 2 Shubunkins. <Crowded...> I would like to know whether the conditions are in my tank enough for the CAE and also about his behavior with the other fish. Attached, please find a photo of the fish tank. I replace about 30%-50% of the water weekly, and add one spoon of Terra Aqua's Easy Balance conditioner during every water change. <Good> The tank also holds one Elodea plant and a plastic ornamented structure to supplement the CAE. The CAE seems to like the castle shaped structure as a dwelling, and it constantly sits upon it and hides within it. <Typical> It regularly scrapes possible algae on its outside as well on different parts on the tank. I place a thin slice of cucumber in the tank once per week (as seen in the picture) to allow the fish to eat in case there is not enough brown algae present in the tank (I always see the CAE cleaning the different parts of the aquarium and gear). The Aquarium is equipped with a sponge air filter as well as an internal air pump which circulates the water (its electric cord can be seen at the right hand side of the photo). The Shubunkins do not seem to be bothered too much by the CAE, and they wander around freely in the tank, although sometimes the algae eater swims after them and nibbles at their tail (or appears to do so) when the goldfish are close to its cucumber or castle dwelling. Otherwise, they all swim and hang out next to one another without too much trouble. The CAE does not present a systematic hostile attitude towards the shubunkins. <Good... but do keep an eye on it... can develop> Considering the aforementioned above, I would like to know if it is possible to keep the aquatic system under these conditions without removing the CAE. Plus, is one cucumber a week plus the algae in the tank enough for it? <Yes, all sounds very good... though will be too crowded for space with time, growth. Both types of fishes enjoy about the same water quality...> As far as I can tell, the fish do not appear to be overcrowded or distressed by the situation as it is now, and they are quite vibrant and lively. I will appreciate your knowledgeable advice on the matter at hand. Best, <Thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner>


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>

My poor goldfish... CAE incompatibility 7/27/05 I have a 10gal tank with 2 small fantailed goldfish, and an algae eater.   None of them are more than 3". <This system is too small...> My problem is that I thought the algae eater would eat the algae and goldfish poop, I have since done the research I should have and know this is not the case.  Unfortunately the algae eater has started attacking the goldfish. <Likely a Chinese Algae Eater, Gyrinocheilus... are frequently trouble, particularly with goldfish>   How do I condition it to eat the pellets and algae?  Is that even possible? <Highly unlikely. Take it out> I was thinking of using my hospital tank.  Please let me know.  I don't have the space or budget for 2 tanks, but really don't want to give up Coco (he's the only fish who's coloring looks right to my red-green color blind son).  Also would adding an apple snail to this tank be okay or would that just create more problems? Thanks for your time. Phil <The snail is an excellent substitution. Bob Fenner>

Puffers & goldfish?  7/13/05 <Hi, Pufferpunk here> I just purchased a FW puffer from Wal-Mart (yes I know, not a reliable source) all it said for care was to feed it flake food and tank mates was goldfish.  Well,  brought the cute little guy I am assuming is a green spotted puffer by the pics I have seen on your site.  He is spotted with a little yellowish/greenish glowing area on his head.  I put him in my 44 gallon tank, which is kept very clean (almost like there is no glass there).  I also purchased six very small goldfish for my sons baby water snake.  I keep them in the tank and just take out two at a time for him to feed to the snake.  My problem is, shortly after putting the fish into my tank which already had three fancy fan tailed gold fish, small, medium and extra large, two loaches and two small suckerfishes, the tank became cloudy. The tank is more than adequate to keep him in, he look like a tiny fish in comparison <There are many things wrong here.  1st of all, how "clean" are you keeping that tank?  Are you cleaning it out totally, every time you clean it?  Goldfish are messy fish & produce high amounts of ammonia & other waste, it is recommended to do 90% weekly water changes on their tank, not completely cleaning out everything every time.  They also need heavy filtration.  The other problem I see is GF are freshwater coldwater fish & the GSP is a brackish tropical fish.  The puffer will not be able to handle the ammonia & other toxins produced by the GF.  The fact that the tank became cloudy, makes me believe it is overloaded & not cycled properly.  That tank is probably only able to support the fish that are already in there.  Read the info on goldfish & also about cycling at WWM.> So it wasn't a room issue and I feed twice a day.  I added only him and not the water he was in in the bag from the store. Well, he just went belly up when I thought he was fine. I am upset, he was a cute little guy and I was interested in getting more. The other fishes are fine but one of my goldfish, the medium one, has a bloody scale on his side, could this be form the puffer? <Bloody scales are from bacterial infection, due to poor water quality.  The tank may look clean, but could be high in toxins like: ammonia, nitrItes & even nitrAtes at high levels can be dangerous.  Large water changes, good filtration & test the water often for the above parameters.  Try adding Melafix to the water for the bloody fin.> He never had that problem before and there are no other aggressive fish in the tank.  What made the tank go cloudy?  It was crystal clear for a long time up to the point the puffer was put into the tank. <Cloudy water is a bacteria bloom, usually do to an uncycled tank or by adding too many fish at one time, it can cause the system to "crash".> I am really interested in getting another puffer but only if I can get some advice on what happened and what I can do in the future to keep these fascinating fish. <Puffers are difficult fish to keep (especially BW ones) and are not for novice fishkeepers.  Read: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/BrackishSubWebIndex/gspsart.htm  ~PP> Thanks again for your time and consideration, Michele

Pleco suddenly died of unknown causes... incompatibility with goldfish 7/11/05 Dear Crew: <Hi there> We have a ten gallon fresh water tank.  We have two fancy goldfish, (a moor and an Oranda) and we had one small brown pleco, about an inch to an inch and a half long. <... a tropical fish... that gets way too large for a ten gallon world> Today, our Pleco, Jonathan Swift, died. He was badly discolored. He was blanched, and his fins were mutilated.  This morning, he was completely fine, and his fins appeared to be in good condition. Swift was always very active and happy, but shortly before he died he started to sit in a corner. He refused to eat any wafers or algae in the tank.  He did not have any sores, but when we lifted him from the tank, he had green slime on his undercarriage. <Good descriptions> We think our other two fish, Huckleberry Finn and George Orwell, might have nibbled on Jonathan Swift post-mortem, causing the fin damage, but we cannot be entirely sure. <Plecos are "armored cats"... hard to see damage> We tested the waters for Ph, Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate, Alkaline, and hard water.  All levels were normal except our hard water. We are currently working on fixing that problem, though it has never been a problem before. This is our first tank, and we are still in college. We hope this is not a result of dorm living. We take very, very good care of our fish.  We do 30-50 percent water changes weekly and change the filter every two weeks. <A bit too much... I'd limit changes to 25% maximum> We have live plants in our aquariums, and they are doing very well. <Good... and good use> Concerned about the loss of our Pleco, Hilary and Paul University of Dayton <Maybe just a weak specimen... I would go with something more suitable for a cleaner-upper with your goldfish though... Perhaps a large species of snail... Bob Fenner> Mixing Plecos and Goldfish Hi WWM, Hope you can give me some advice as I'm fairly new to keeping plecs although I have kept fancy goldfish for quite a few years. I read a question from someone else who seemed to be losing plecs after a very short time. I've also had this problem. After they have seemed healthy I suddenly find they have died with no apparent symptoms. I also had heard that when using treatments for coldwater fish that dosages have to be altered if you have plecs in the tank. I also have 2 tiny Ramshorn snails & wondered if you could advise me of any precautions I should take when using treatments. Many thanks in advance. Lisa <Very generally speaking dosages should be cut in half when dealing with most types of catfish. IMO most plecs are starved to death. They must be target fed at night or they will not get their share of the food. Rubber band a piece of zucchini or shrimp to a rock and add it just before you go to bed. But I'm more concerned that you are keeping goldfish and plecs together. Goldfish do best in cool water. They thrive between 65 and 70 degrees. Plecs are tropical and require much warmer temps. I keep all my pleco tanks between 82 and 86 degrees. I'm afraid you are in for many problems with this mix. Don>

Bristlenose vs. goldies? Hi, guys!  I've read up on the various opinions on mixing fancy goldfish with Plecos.  The general consensus with regards to the 'regular' store bought Plecos is simply don't mix.  From personal experience, I can also attest to this. <Often they start to "ride" the goldfish... not good> However, I've read there is one particular exception with the Bristlenose Pleco.  Apparently, this whiskered-barbed wonders don't really have a tendency chase and munch on the goldfish slime. <I do agree this is so> What are your thoughts on this mix?  FYI, I have a 60 gallon with 2 weather/dojo loaches and 4 four-inch fancy goldfish (calico, lionhead calico, black moor and redcap Oranda).  Thanks! Ted <Worth trying. Bob Fenner>

Angelfish with Goldfish? I have had two young angelfish in a 20-gallon tank (with plans to upgrade soon to a 29-gal.) for about a month now. They've grown quite a bit. Day before yesterday, the apparent female (belly swollen) began to pick on the apparent male. I found him sort of cowering in the corner, fins torn in several places, so I reluctantly moved him to my 50-gallon tank which houses two goldfish and three Rainbowfish and three Siamese Algae Eaters (I know, but it has worked beautifully for two years now).  I am not interested at all in breeding the angels, but most of all I don't plan to subject the more docile male to this harassment from the female again. After almost two days, he seems quite happy in my 50-gal. My questions are,  1) do you think there is a hope of compatibility between the angel and my goldies long term ? So far, they seem to be ignoring each other and things are fine, and also  2) are angels OK, kept singly, with other fish like rainbows? Thanks for any advice you can give!  <The angelfish comes from warm soft acidic waters in South America. Your goldfish come from cool more temperate waters. I think eventually one or the other will have a problem and you will need to separate them into their own tank. Eventually the angelfish will get big and may start picking on the goldfish too. Rainbow fish are very fast and active. They may outcompete the slower angelfish but in general they should be ok.-Chuck>

Mixing tropicals with goldfish - A cocktail for doom? >Ah, one of the most basic of rules when dealing with fish. You do not mix goldfish with tropical fish.  >>A "rule" often broken with nary a death. Some rule, huh? >Yet time and again, I am explaining why not? Please listen my spiel and see you can help me. >>Alright. 1. Goldfish get big, like a softball, so if you put one in a, say ten gallon tank {cycled} with livebearers or what have you, the gold fish will live and the livebearers will die. In time, when the goldfish gets to just the right size. This can be shushed if one has a big tank, i.e. 55 gallon. >>Indeed. 2. Goldfish frequently have disease.  >>Goldfish frequently have disease because of the environs people create for them. They are NOT, however, "inherently" disease prone (outside of the problems fancies have - bowel obstructions/intestinal problems stemming from the shortening of their little bodies, injuries due to their inability to navigate "damned castles" - see Albert & Marcellino - injuries to eyes, poor husbandry, etc.). >They just ship poorly or respond to the change in environment poorly, or from being so inbred have a compromised immune system.  >>They do not "ship poorly" if properly shipped. This is true of all fish, my friend. As for being inbred, this certainly cannot be ruled out, though I've not found the same issues with goldies as with, say, feeder mice (a.k.a. psycho mice, depending on your source). >This is usually shushed off. 3. Gold fish are cold water and tropical fish are tropical.  >>No, goldfish are generally temperate, NOT coldwater (parameters for these designations are quite specific). Goldfish can and do perform well in a WIDE variety of circumstances. Know that plenty of goldies are bred in Florida, for instance. >This is also shushed off, as gold fish will live in temperature extremes, even in tropical water, although it's not the right thing to do. >>The issue with warmer waters has more to do with oxygen saturation and ammonia production. The fish are plenty comfortable in warm water given enough O2 saturation, not being poisoned by nitrogenous waste. 4. Relating to the first reason of size. Gold fish also produce a lot of ammonia which if the filter can handle, still results in nitrate problems.  >>No more so than an excessive bioload, an all too common problem with many aquarists. Nitrate is the natural end result of the oxidation of ammonia via organismal action. This will happen no matter what, it is, again, the aquarist who ultimately decides upon environs/husbandry to deal with such, no matter what type of fish is kept. >But 1 simple power filter can usually only barely support fish, and residual ammonia can still knock the small weak fish down. >>Yes, assuming it is not oxidized/consumed. >So what happens when someone with a 55 gallon tank is hell bent on putting Goldie the gold fish with Mr. angel fish and neon tetras?  >>That actually all depends on how that someone handles husbandry. Obviously, it is done - sometimes with success, oft times without. >The smaller tetras and sensitives usually die, for no apparent reason, of course.  >>Eh, no "apparent" to those unobservant/ignorant of the life processes occurring here. >Although less than perfect, Jungle strip ammonia test kit reveals no real detectable ammonia.  >>I never have, never will rely on such. >Frequent water changes with a gravel vac and good pH and nitrate levels (no nitrite either) seems to vindicate the person with the odd couple. >>Too many folks fiddle too much with pH, drives me UP THE WALL! Most folks only pay attention to where these tropicals originally hail from, pay NO attention to the fact that most are bred domestically (also internationally), pay no attention to what the dealer has been using. Ever wonder how LFSs handle alleged pH issues? They don't - they acclimate the fish and don't fiddle with pH because they know if they do they'll A: spend a lot of money in the long and short term, and B: KILL THE FISHES. pH shock kills, and kills quickly. >Temperature is 78  tropical. Despite all my reasons I'm left with a seemingly voodoo-like answer. If gold fish are put with tropical fish, some of the more smaller sensitive tropical fish die for no apparent reason. I suspect the reason to be a long term exposure to a low level of ammonia that my test kit can't really show, but the fish die in response to.  >>This makes no sense - if the biological filter is working well/properly, the end result is nitrate, there should be NO ammonia present. If there is doubt, spend the money on a quality test kit and put your mind at ease. However, it certainly DOES happen that tropical fishes simply do not fare well when housed with goldfishes, unfortunately, I don't have any research or anything very substantial to present (hard scientific evidence) or cite that can help you in your endeavor. Have you searched our site on the goldfish articles/FAQs? >Or something in the water produced by goldfish that I can't test for, but kills none the less. Dissolved organics, or slime coat or something.  >>DOCs are a problem, thusly, we perform regular water changes and/or utilize plants. I'm sure you know how fond of plants goldies are, problematic indeed. Ask yourself, what happens in nature? Neon tetras, angelfishes do not naturally come from nutrient poor waters, quite the contrary. I don't know when we last saw wild-caught Neons (though wild angels still have a market), regular maintenance is what they undergo where they're bred, but that's going to be about it.  >Lastly disease is always usually blamed, but it's like blaming the air, and an apparently healthy or say a non-obviously diseased specimen usually gets a clean bill of health from the owner. >>Many, if not most owners are incredibly UNobservant in my experience. Also, "in the air" can hit closer to the mark than you realize, especially when it comes to goldfish diseases like Furunculosis. Many people will have fish isolated in their ponds, but come spring an outbreak of this awful disease. How did it get there? >Am I missing anything? There's no way a one can put a goldfish in with tropical fish and still claim to have good care, the second someone tries, it becomes bad care.  >>While I generally agree with the principal of not housing goldies with tropicals, clearly, it CAN be done. It is not automatically bad care, either. >Bad care results in disease and death. Anyway you can help me polish my arsenal against the mixing? >>Not really, because I have said some of the same things only to find that I was plain wrong. Accept it, my friend (I had to!). >[please tell me if I ask too many questions. I try to make them good ones, not the ones I get, well, except for this one] >>I/we don't have a problem with "too many questions", we have a problem with folks who make us retype their queries for ignoring the fact that all is archived and must be "useable" for all audiences, including those who don't speak English. Oh, and netspeak, I hate that. ;) >Thank you again for your time, Jon >>I wish I could have supported your arguments better, I do suggest Googling for goldfish sites, see what you find on those dedicated sites. Marina 

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>    

Corydoras, aquarium salt and goofy goldfish G'day, mates! <Good morrow Ted> I've got a 60 gallon freshwater with a relatively stable 75 degrees F (24 degrees Celsius) temperature throughout the year and approximate 7.7 pH readings. At the moment, there are five 2-3 inch fancy goldfish. Rather peaceful characters they are. <Yes, and comical> I've seen and heard of many people keeping goldies and some tropicals together successfully. <Mmm, not a good idea in general... as you are surely familiar... Goldfish are very eager eaters, and messy!> Seeing as that my temp is pretty stable and goldies are very happy, I thought I might try adding a few Corys in the mix. Yes, I know it's a bit of a risk, but isn't everything?  I'm aware of the possibility of mixing two types of fish like this (foreign diseases possible), but I would definitely be taking steps to quarantine any new comers. Clown loaches would have been my second choice, but I haven't done too much research on them yet. <Corydoras are a much better choice... undemanding and can span a range of water qualities, overlapping goldfish's> My question is two-fold:  1) Here we have two very peaceful fish types; do you foresee any major obstacles of this arrangement?  2) I add aquarium salt to the water as a preventative measure (approx. 1 tablespoon per 5 gallons of new water); are Corys sensitive to aquarium salt? <They are, but this is not too much for most all species. Bob Fenner> Thank you so much for your assistance!  Ted  <Welcome>

Mixing Goldfish and Tropicals together... Hi there, <Hello to you> I am a novice fish owner (Xmas gift) but I am very committed to learning. I received a parrot fish for Christmas and then I got some tetras, tiger barbs, and several silver dollars. They reside in a 20 gallon tank for now and all are well. <Wowzah! I do hope your system is "cycled"... that is, that biological filtration is fully established. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwestcycling.htm> In the meantime, we decided to get just two more and we got goldfish. <Umm, not a good idea to mix the cool/coldwater goldfish in with your tropicals> I got one because I am a sucker and she was missing an eye and was puffy and slightly bloated. I immediately deduced that she did not belong in our tank as she got stuck in some of our caves and the other fish were upset.. <Yikes> My friend, who as a very large tank, offered to take her. I was gone two hours and upon my return, I was horrified to see that her tail and many of her scales has been eaten off by an aggressive fish. I took her back and I have her on her own in a small two gallon tank for now. <Wish you had studied before mixing all together...> I really want to help her and I will never make this mistake again. She is barely eating but she can stay upright and she is hanging at the bottom. This happened about four hours ago. Please help! Also, there is a smaller goldfish in with my others and they all seem fine. Is that ok? Lynne <No... best to separate/remove the goldfish ASAP... and to treat the damaged goldfish per here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshdisease.htm and the many Related FAQs (linked, in blue, above). Bob Fenner>

Mixing Goldfish and Tropicals I will be obliged, if you could please enlighten me on the following points: What should be optimum range of temperature of aquarium water for the following fishes during winters (day & night) in North India (Delhi) where the temperature is ranging between Low 11oC to High 27oC :- a)    Black Moor b)    Gold Fish c)    Angel Fish d)    Redcap Oranda Waiting for an early reply. With regards. Bhushan <The three goldfish would like a cool temp. Around 20 degrees C. The Angelfish is tropical and needs to be kept around 26 degrees C. Not a good mix in a single tank. Temp should be kept steady, day and night. If your are trying to keep them together I suggest a temp around 24 degrees C. Add an airstone for the goldfish. If you are not using a heater, go with the goldfish and find a new home for the Angel. Don>

Goldfish and angelfish Hi, I have had my goldfish for over two years now, I change their water every month and feed them every other day, and they were in a 2 gallon tank. <Hi there...Jorie here.  A 2 gallon tank is an extremely small space for even one goldfish...how many did you have living in there? While I congratulate you on not over-feeding (something that leads to poor water quality very quickly), the reality is that goldfish are quite messy and produce a lot of waste, and you probably should have been changing this water at least twice per week.>   About two weeks ago, I got a 10 gallon tank, and my fish are fine. <Great to hear...I'm sure they appreciate the additional space! Do keep up on the water changes, though...50% twice per week at a minimum, in my opinion.> But now I wanted some more fish in the tank, <Well, I think you were pretty full to capacity already...> I went to a fish store and I got 2 angelfish and two snails.  I asked a man about adding angelfish to my goldfish, he said that I shouldn't mix the two, but he said that they both might be ok. <Definitely should not be living together, as you are dealing with cold water vs. tropical fish. Totally incompatible.> I know that goldfish are to have 65-70 degree water and angelfish 75-82, but my goldfish are spoiled and they are always in 74 degree water (they have been for the two years, and they are doing fine) I would like to know is it ok for me to add the angelfish since I have the two snails (which will clean the tank) and since my goldfish like warmer temp.? <I would absolutely recommend against adding the angels.  Perhaps you can enjoy watching your goldfish relish in their additional swimming room in their new tank? They will lively behave much more actively now. Maybe change the decor if you are dying to try something new? Plants, if you don't have any, would look nice...something like Cabomba, which are tough enough for goldies and provide them some munching food?  Also, I want to point out that the snails will pick up *some* leftover food in the tank, they do not actually "clean the tank", per se, and you still need to do regular water changes.>   And please tell me what I can to do so. <I don't mean to sound harsh, Mel, but in reality, a 2 gal. tank really wasn't appropriate for your goldfish.  They are likely very happy in their new digs and, in my opinion, you are now full to capacity.  You could always start another tank...!> Mel <Regards, Jorie>

Goldfish, newts and mosquito larvae control I was wondering if goldfish and newts can be housed together, because I have a mosquito larvae problem? And I read that goldfish can eat the larvae.   < Sure. Fish do eat aquatic insect larva. Both goldfish and newts have similar water requirements too.-Chuck>

Goldfish and Algae Eaters I have a 10-gal tank with one Bubble-eyed Goldfish, one Black Moor and two Algae Eaters. They have lived together for the past two months with no problems, until recently. I noticed that my Goldfish had some white spots on his tail. He also had a white spot on his back where he was missing some scales. After much research, I thought that this was Ick, so I dropped Ick Clear into the tank. His back developed a fungus, or something on it that looked like cotton. Also, the Algae Eaters have taken to attacking him and trying to feed on his back and tail (they never did this before). After a couple of days of the Ick Clear, the cotton-like stuff was gone, his tail looked a little better and he seemed more lively, but his scales have not grown back and the Algae Eaters still attack him. One more thing you should know. Originally, I thought that the Algae Eaters ate the algae in the tank, so for two months I never fed them anything else. After reading more, I purchased some algae wafers for them. My problem now is that every time I drop the wafers, my Goldfish and Moor think it's feeding time and they eat them, so the Algae Eaters can't get them. I really want to keep the Algae Eaters to help keep the tank clean, what suggestions do you have? < Chinese algae eaters are really poor at eating algae. As you have found out they sometimes prefer to eat the slime off the sides of slower moving fishes. Unfortunately many of the algae eaters common in the aquarium trade require warm water and your goldfish prefer cooler water. If you can find them, try an get some fish from the genus Garra. They are sold as stone lapping fish or algae eating shark. They do a great job of eating algae and can handle all types of water. Some encouraging news from my friend Oliver Lucanus of belowwater.com, soon there will be cool water plecos coming from the extreme end of South America that can be housed with cool water fish and maybe even koi in outside ponds in warmer weather climates.-Chuck> ~Brian

Plecos and Goldfish Hi, I was just given a 12" Pleco that had outgrown it's tank. After three days I noticed it was trailing long ropelike poop. Is this normal? If not what is the cause and what should I do? < This is normal for large algae eating Plecos and requires no attention> Also, I have several large goldfish. Are there any problems keeping them together? < Your pleco comes from South America were the water is soft , acidic and warm (80+). Your gold fish like cooler water below 70. So if you try and keep it around 75 they will survive but may not thrive. If either becomes ill then you may have to place them in their own tanks with either warmer or cooler water depending on the species.-Chuck> Thank you for your help. Doug

Fat cheeked, fantailed, bubble eyed, goldfish it's in a small aquarium where I work.  I know nothing about fish.  This one is chasing 3 smaller fish all the time, nibbling on the head of a large bottom (sucker mouthed) fish, and being aggressive.  Should it be isolated? < If the more aggressive fish is doing actual damage to the others then it should be removed. The others will be stressed and the damage will cause diseases that will really make the entire tank a pain.-Chuck>   Thanks.  I will work better knowing that murder is not being committed in the tank in the next room.

White clouds and goldfish Hi <Hi there.> I have a friend who is about to flush her white cloud mountain minnows down the toilet because she needs the space, <sad idea that she would rather kill the fish then find them a good home.> I have a forty gallon tank in which I have 2 goldfish, 2 plecs, and 2 stone loaches which all get on great :) if I were to add the minnows would they be ok? <yes, these will be okay.  White clouds and goldfish are often found in the same ponds. The only real concern is that as the goldfish get older, they have been known to eat the minnows.> All fish are currently in cold water, I'm worried that they wouldn't get on and would hate it if they all started to attack each other :( <These minnows aren't aggressive, they are rather timid.> I really just need to know if they are compatible? I cant bear to see these little fish meet such a bad end :'( hope you can help? <Sorry, I didn't get back to you sooner.  But, these minnows will go fine with your goldfish.> thanks Lou. <good luck. -Magnus>

Snailicidal Goldfish; Reader's Experience - 03/27/2004 Hi, <Hello, Sabrina here, today!> I'm writing to respond to a conversation between Candace and Sabrina on 2/22/04.  I think it was Sabrina that said she didn't think Goldfish would be ambitious enough to eat live snails.   <I did, indeed.> Just to set the record straight, we have large goldfish, and about a week or so after purchasing large snails, I witnessed one of the goldfish thrashing something that resembled white flesh.  Then I realized that it was a snail!  It still had the plate(?) attached to it.  The goldfish had ripped it right out of its' shell!   <Holy goldfish!  Er, Mackeral, that is.  But WOW!> A few days later, our entire family witnessed the same scene while eating dinner.  Absolutely amazing!   <Agreed!> We still have 2 large snails remaining, but it's probably just a matter of time.  :(  Margie <I must honestly say, I've never, ever experienced this, nor expected it to be a likely scenario!  Thank you so much for writing in with your experience, Margie, and I will definitely keep an eye or two out for any signs of other snail-eatin' goldies!  Thanks again,  -Sabrina>

Old goldfish, new goldfish Hi, <Hi there> I have had fantail goldfish and shubunkins for quite a few years.  Do to my error over the last 6 months I now only have 2 fantails left. <ouch... not good.>  But that's not the problem.  I have 2 healthy fantails in my tank, approx 3 years old and I had decided to buy some new fish.  I bought 2 young Orandas.  one is a the same size as the fantails and the other a little bit smaller.  I love them and they are quite entertaining. <I agree with you, I love my goldfish.> Anyway a few days ago I noticed that one of my fantails was exceptionally skinny and his tail had been shredded.  I feed them every morning but hadn't noticed the problem before. <I have left the house for a couple of hours and came back to find a goldfish with his tail shredded.  Once a fish becomes sick, I find that other goldfish almost immediately start pecking at the body.  they are quick to destroy a tail, which in turn makes the fish that much worse.>  I immediately did a water change, added some salt tonic and checked my PH incase he was sick.  My worse fears were confirmed when he died the next morning. <sorry to hear of your loss.> I now have noticed that the larger of the Orandas is constantly chasing my last fantail fish.  He has definitely turned into a bully. <Not a bully... more of a lover.  Goldfish chasing another fish is the starting signs of breeding behavior.  The male goldfish will chase after the female goldfish.  Probably the reason why the larger one is suddenly "in the mood" is that you did a large water change when worrying about the other fish.  Goldfish breed in the spring after the spring rains come and the snows melt off.  the freshwater and higher protein foods coming in spurs their spawning behaviors.  So, chances are that the goldfish didn't bully the other one to death... The water change after you found the fish just got him feeling it's time to spawn.>  I've read your articles advising to separate the fish, the only problem is I only have one tank and long term separation isn't a good solution. <You can simply purchase a tank divider.  they make them for almost every size tank, and you can always purchase a larger one and cut it down to fit your tank.  This is a cheap way to go, and once they are separated he can't pester the female.  Give it 1-3 weeks and then try to remove the divider again.  they should be back to normal and not "in the mood for love".>  If I purchased another medium sized fantail would this discourage this behaviour? <No, it might simply give him another female to chance after.>  Is it some kind of dominant schooling behaviour? <No, you have a lover on your hands, not a fighter.> I'd hate to lose another of my precious fantails.  But I love the new fish too. <Once he gets out of the mood, he will no longer bother the female.> Any help with this would be awesome.  I'm getting quite desperate and I can see my poor fantail getting very stressed being constantly chased and nipped at. <There are great sites online discussing the breeding habits of goldfish.  I suggest you look some of them over, starting with www.goldfishinfo.com> Thanks in advance, Stacey <Best of luck with the fish Stacey. -Magnus>

Chocolate Orandas Hi there, <Hi> I was wondering if someone could give me some advice on my 2 Orandas. They were bought from the same tank at the same time, put into their new home at the same time and have been getting on just fine. However, the past day or so, the slightly bigger one has been chasing the smaller one round the tank.  It doesn't nibble, but seems to want to rub against the smaller one. It seems a shame as the wee one just wants to be left alone. <That actually sounds like you have a male chasing after a female!  This is only seen when they are ready to breed!  Goldfish breeding tends to happen when the fish are introduced to freshwater, cleaner waters.  Also, when their food is of a higher protein quality.  Most likely your water is way better than the pet shop, and it spurred the feeling of "love".> I have separated them but when I reintroduced the bigger one, the chasing started again.   <The male will continue to chase the female until the desire to breed subsides.  Which can take one-two weeks, up to a month depending on some individuals.> When the smaller one was in the tank itself, it swam up and down one side of the tank and looked stressed...Any advice? <You can seperate them until the male no longer is in the "mood". This is the only way to not have him harassing the smaller female. After he's no longer interested in breeding he shouldn't be a bother. You will be able to tell this by looking at the male's gill plate.  On there you will notice small "pimples".  These appear on the male fish only when they are ready to breed. You can try breeding them, it's not extremely difficult, but can  be very time consuming.  You can gain more information from checking out sites like www.goldfishinfo.com, or looking at goldfish books at your local library/bookstore.  Good luck with your fish.  I have breed goldfish in the past with some degree of success and enjoyed it.  But, it's best if you are prepared and ready long before the fish start breeding.  take care! -Magnus>
Re: Chocolate Orandas
Hi Magnus <Hi there Carol.> many thanks for your advice! I looked at the bigger fish and saw small pimples on his gills, so your advice was perfect. <hehe... I'm glad I can be of assistance to you and your fish.> The chasing has subsided slightly, but the female fish doesn't seem as bothered anymore.  It's getting less and less so maybe his amorous feelings are going away. Men, they're always chasing something huh? (kidding) :) <No, you are right... all these hormones are sometimes to much to contend with ;) > Well, any time I need advice, I know where to come to, many thanks again, Carol <We are always here for you, if you need anymore help down the road don't hesitate to ask again.  Take care of the fish! -Magnus.>

Oranda Under Attack? - 03/21/2004 I have had an Oranda in my tank for one week now, with 4 other standard goldfish and 4 guppies. At first the guppies were picking on the Oranda so I removed the guppies and after a while returned them and everything was alright. To my horror, I turned on the light this morning to feed them when I noticed that the oranda's back was red raw with a small chunk missing from his back, I assumed the other fish had been picking on him and removed him and isolated him into another tank. <I am not convinced that guppies, or even other goldfish, are capable of this kind of violence.> I am unsure as to whether he has a disease or whether the other fish have been picking on him. <I am thinking disease is the likelier of the two.> What do I do?  And how can I help him, it looks so painful?!! <First off, I need more information to go off - how big is the tank?  are the five goldfish and four guppies the only fish, or are there other animals in the tank?  What are your readings for ammonia/nitrite/nitrate/pH (if you don't have test kits, your local fish store should test these if you bring a water sample - write down the results and let us know)?  If ammonia and/or nitrite are above zero, do water changes to correct them.  For the meantime, I would remove the Oranda to a seperate tank for observation, and possibly treatment (if it turns out he's sick).  > Please HELP ASAP!!! Sam <I do hope we'll be able to.  Please get back to us.  Wishing you and your Oranda well,  -Sabrina>

Mean fish I messed up.  I put an algae eater in the bowl for my goldfish.  Everything was fine until I started to notice that the Algae eater was "picking at" the goldfish.  I removed the algae eater, but the goldfish is missing scales and is silver on top and near the anus.  Will the goldfish recover and grow back new scales?  My some is rather attached to the fish. Thanks, Steve Greulich, Evansville, IN <<Dear Steve; not to worry, as long as you do regular water changes, your goldfish should survive. He will grow back any missing scales. The water quality must be good in order to prevent any wounded areas from becoming infected with fungus. Putting an algae eater, or any other algae eating fish with goldfish is NOT a good idea unless you understand that these fish need to be fed! Sinking algae wafers usually do the trick. Starving algae eaters will see the goldfish as food, and chase them accordingly. -Gwen>>

Killer Goldfish? I have searched your site and others on the internet for an answer to my question, but I have been unable to find out what I'm looking for. We had an orange Oranda goldfish (Homer) for about a year, who was healthy as far as we knew. About 2 weeks ago we bought him a friend - a red top Oranda (Marge) Last week, Homer was lying dead at the bottom of the bowl. We told our 2 year old that Homer was sick, and went out and bought an almost-identical Homer II. Tonight, 5 days later, Homer II was found floating at the top of the bowl - dead! I have 2 questions: 1. Did Marge somehow kill the 2 Homers? If so, how? or..... 2. Did the 2 Homers have an extreme case of Swim Bladder, and I flushed them down the toilet thinking they were dead when in fact they were not. I mean, they certainly looked dead, and didn't react when nudged with the net. I need to know whether or not to go and buy Homer 3, or just accept that I have a killer goldfish in my kitchen. Please help! we look forward to hearing from you, Craig, Anne and Erin McAllister <<Hello; While goldfish can be aggressive and annoying to each other, they are not killers. It sounds to me like an ammonia problem. Chances are, your bowl is too small for the amount of ammonia being produced by two goldfish. You can try either 1)buying an ammonia test kit, and testing the water to see how often to change it, or 2)buying a much bigger bowl, and doing the normal water changes you already do now. Well, I would also recommend testing that, too. :) Test kits are easy to use, cheap, and fast. Make sure your ammonia level does not exceed 2.0ppm (follow the instructions in the test kit). If it does, do a water change. You will know exactly what is going on in your fishes water if you test it regularly. -Gwen>>

Bobbing for Bettas Hi there.   <Hello.> First of all I just want to say what an excellent site you folks have!  I love it, so MUCH information!  Keep up the great work! <Thank you for the kind words!> Ok, now for my problem.   <Ah, I KNEW there was a catch!> I have a goldfish (Bob) and a Beta (Bob Jr. no relation) <heh> in a 10 gallon tank and they have been getting along just fine (even though  my goldfish was a total jerk to the black moor that I have).   <Woah.  Um, so how many fish are there in there, and what?  A goldfish, a moor, and a Betta?  For starters, goldfish are super messy (they poop a lot), and really do need very large aquariums or ponds to thrive.> However, for the last couple days Bob Jr. seems to just be sitting on the bottom of the tank.  At first I thought he was just sleeping but now I'm getting concerned.  I know he's alive, he occasionally moves to a different part of the tank and he is still breathing.  Is there something I can do for him?  Like I said he's in a 10g tank and it has a filter mounted on the back and proper lighting etc.   <Well, some questions, first - what are your water parameters (ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH, temperature)?  How often do you do water changes, and how much do you change?  Do you vacuum the gravel when you do water changes?  What do you feed them?  Do you see anything physically wrong with the Betta, e.g.., pale coloration, clamped fins, labored breathing, clouded eyes, or anything else amiss?  This information will help us figure out what might be wrong with your little anabantoid.  It would be a good idea to do a hefty water change, being sure to match temperature and pH with the water in the tank, as I suspect this might be a water quality issue.  I'd also like to mention that bettas and goldfish do not make the best of tankmates.  The goldfish tend to be very messy, and foul the water very quickly.  Also, bettas are tropical fish, and really should be kept with other compatible tropical fish, rather than with coldwater goldfish.  You might want to consider a larger tank for your goldfishes, and perhaps get a few tropical tankmates for your Betta, once he's back to his old self.> Thanks in advance for any help you can offer. <Sure thing.  Wishing you well,  -Sabrina> Drew

Goldfish playmates? (10/28/03) Hullo fabulous crew! <I'm looking around, but all I see is me....Ananda here today...> It's me, Elspeth "Elf", again! I am sorry to report that Monty the Betta is no longer with us. (Moment of silence, please.) <...> However, there is now George the comet goldfish. May I point out that George was not my idea. After hearing about Monty, my friend "Cheeze", went out and won me a pair of goldfish at the fair. <Argh...training your friends to never surprise you with fish as presents may be a worthwhile endeavor....> We did an emergency set-up - a 10Gallon tank w/ under gravel filtration - carbon filters... (10 Gal was all I could afford... or I would have made it at least 20 Gal for two goldfish)... Anywho. While my sister's died within days, mine stayed in rude health. And she is still very healthy indeed! (I named George, then sexed her... ). <Just don't hug her or squeeze her... ;-) > My sister really wants to get herself a goldfish, preferably a fancy one (not always a good mix, I hear). <Fancy goldfish are so inbred that many of them have trouble swimming. This can lead to the comet, who has a much easier time swimming, getting most of the food.> Should I get George a tankmate? <Yes, but only if you can get her a much bigger tank... or a pond.> Or get my sister a tank of her own? I know you recommend 10-15 Gal / goldfish... (btw: I intend to have her moved to a pond or a larger tank when she gets bigger). She is currently about 3-4in long (haven't taken her out to measure - that could be just a bit stressful). <She's already too big for that 10 gallon tank, I think.> Should I just have her stay all alone in her 10Gal tank, due to the fact that dirtying water is what goldfish do best? Can I add another goldfish? Can I add smaller fish? It looks so lonely in her tank...    <Chatting with Sabrina, we think the best thing would be for you to get this fish into a pond or larger tank ASAP. You could even use a great big Rubbermaid-type container to make a temporary indoor pond for the winter. Then you can put some heavy-duty filtration on the tank to keep up with them. If the filters you are looking at are rated for tank sizes, get one that's rated for at least double the tank volume you have.> Then again, being a twin, I have always had my sister, so maybe I just can't picture not having someone around at all times! Heh heh.   <Yup, a view on life most of us don't have.>   I'm also considering an African dwarf frog. Would George attack it (which some sites have said goldfish do)? Would she pester it? <Hmmm. One thing to remember about frogs: if something is small enough to fit into the frog's mouth, that something will eventually end up in the frog. And frogs generally have bigger mouths than people realize.> Is it a bad idea? Would she really not care one way or the other? She's very boisterous, and I'm concerned she might bug it and stress it out. Mum thinks that George seems happy the way she is, and says "If it ain't broke..." (allows me to finish the sentence). <Goldfish really like to have company, preferably in the form of other goldfish. If you can get a mucho larger tank (or pond, or Rubbermaid container), your sister might consider shubunkin goldfish: the ones that have the orange & black & white calico patterns.> Thanks for any advice! Thanks for running such a wonderful site! And thanks for answering reader questions! ~Elspeth "Elf" Spencer <You're welcome! --Ananda> PS: A final note to the readers: I really don't think giving goldfish as prizes at fairs is a good idea - they are often riddled with parasites, are swimming in their own filth, and many don't go to well suited homes. I was very lucky that George was in good shape. <Agreed.>

Gold fish attacking other Please help I have a black moor and two fan tails (I am 90% sure that is what they are), one of my fan tails has recently become very aggressive and will not leave the other two, especially the black moor, alone.<You need to separate the two or the one that is being picked on will eventually die>  I am not sure what to do.  They are in a twenty galloon hexagon tank and have seem very happy till now.  Please let me thank you in advance for any help you can offer.<Separate the two...permanently, that is the only way to insure that they both survive, IanB>

Goldfish Behavior Good Morning, I was wanting to ask your help on my Goldfish. I have had one for over a year now, and he is quite healthy, but some months ago the other fish with him died and he had been alone, so just a couple of days ago, I bought 4 smaller goldfish (I have a huge tank) And they are nipping at his tail, is there anyway to stop this? Or will they eventually realize he isn't food? I was thinking of taking them out, but I thought he might have been lonely that is why I added them in the first place. Thanks so much, Anastasia <Hi Anastasia, the fin nipping is pretty normal behavior for goldfish, as long as the damage is not bad, I would not worry about it.  If it gets too bad you should separate the fish.  Maybe try giving them some plants to nibble on, like Anacharis. Best Regards, Gage>

Cannibalistic goldfish, take two (!) Thanks so much for your reply! <Sure thing!> The red cap is the problem! he's a bully! pure and simple! we monitored his behaviour and he continued to 'eat' the others! one he stripped its fins so it couldn't swim at all!! I have the evidence! I watched him! so he's now on his own  in the 'old tank' well fed but isolated! I have moved everything around in the new tank so the existing fish are busy stating their territory! I shall try to reintroduce the fish with the chip on his shoulder in a week or so, so he is  the  ' newcomer' once again! <If this really is a problem fish, I'd probably keep him seperate - or at least wait to re-introduce until all the other fish have healed up, and be prepared to remove right away at signs of aggression.> the other redcap is just fine and mixing in well!!! The black moor with no tail ... well, his white spot has cleared and his tail is looking like it is healing ...... thanks to the absence of the cannibal! yes I guess there are exceptions to the rules! and I have him!!!!!!!! <Stranger things have happened.> the tank size  .... I cant calculate ... but its big! 7 buckets load of water! <In inches, for a rectangular tank, length x width x height divided by 231 gives you US gallons.  Probably would be good for you to know your tank's capacity, especially if ever you have to medicate or anything.> they have lots and lots of room and I shall not put any more in there so the existing fish can spread out and have fun! they already come to the tank edge and are starting to feed from my fingers that hold the food above the water!!!! I shall purchase the water testing kit as you recommend .... but for now it would appear that 'Hannibal' is the problem!!! with thanks Cathy <Great, then.  Hope everything works out okay.  -Sabrina>

Goldfish Harassment Hi, I have an algae eater and 2 goldfish in a 10 gallon tank. One of the goldfish is a regular goldfish and the other is a goldfish with what looks like a brain on the top of the head. <Maybe an Oranda.> I've had them now for a few months but just within the last few days I have noticed my algae eater trying to suck on the brainy one. <Depends on the type of algae eater, some do tend to try to suck on your fish, if I had to guess you have a Plecostomus of some sort, but would need a picture to say for sure.  The most common Plecos get way too big for a 10gal tank.  As long as there are no wounds on brainy I would not worry too much.> And when I turn the lights out I notice the gold one is chasing it and picking at it. The one they are going after is pretty large, larger then the one going after it.  But it hasn't looked sick or acted sick. Would you happen to know why they are going after it? <Most likely just other fish being bullies.> Do I give the brainy one medicine even though it doesn't appear sick?  Please help. <I would not add any meds, just watch them and if it gets too serious or someone starts to get hurt, move the brainy one to another tank.  Just look at his big brain, he is far to intellectual to be hanging out with common goldfish.  Just kidding; but seriously the fancy varieties of Goldfish are best kept with other fancy Goldfish, they have a hard time competing for food with other more streamlined fish.  Best Regards, Gage > Thanks. Angela

Fun with your goldfish Hi, I have an 8 gallon aquarium with 2 veil tailed goldfish, 2 shubunkins, a Plecostomus and a female platy. (They all get on with each other very well). <Holy woah - zoinks, and zowie!  Far too much bioload going on in there.  Goldfish are large, messy eaters that quickly foul the water.  Granted, they are a durable fish, but they have limits.  General rule of thumb is about 10-15 US gallons per goldfish.  Another yikes - the generic Plecostomus can very easily reach over a foot in length; I've even seen a couple in an enormous tank that were 2 feet in length!  Platies, on the other hand, are a good fish for an 8 gallon tank.  But platies are tropical fish, and need warmer water than the goldfish should be made to live in; the Plecostomus ought to be in warm water as well, but can tolerate the cooler water of the goldfish.  I'm thinking a major upgrade is necessary, here; keep the platy in the 8g, and get a couple more platy friends (1 male per every 2-3 females).  Perhaps a gorgeous, flashy Betta?> I was wondering if there were any fun things I could do with the goldfish? I made a hoop for them to swim through but they were too scared to go anywhere near it, and a put a ping-pong ball in the tank but they ignored it. Do you have any suggestions or advice?! <Mostly, things that will make them happy are live aquarium plants that they can nibble on (anacharis/elodea is a good choice), and plenty of hiding spaces so they can feel secure enough to be out in the open.  As far as entertainment, well, goldfish really aren't too bright, but they'll quickly learn that you are a source of food, and will get to the point where they will 'beg' at the front of the tank for food, and may be taught to follow your fingers, and even eat out of your hand.> Also, one of my veil-tails sometimes swims very quickly to the surface, breathes in, swims back down and blows out bubbles of air! Is this normal? Should I be worried? Is there a reason for it?! <Could be a problem, but may be normal.  Is the tank filtered/aerated?  Do you treat your water for chlorine/chloramine?  Do you test the water for ammonia/nitrite/nitrate/pH?  Any of these values being out of whack will cause problems.  I'd very, very strongly recommend looking into a much larger tank for your fellahs.  They'd love you for it, and be able to grow happy and healthy.  Please take a look at other goldfish system FAQs - http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfishsysfaqs.htm > Thank you very much for your help and sorry for taking up your time, Eitan Mirvis, London. <No sorry about it!  That's what we're here for :)  I wish you and your goldfish well. -Sabrina>

Goldfish & Angelfish Hi. I am a beginner at this, and I just purchased a 55 gallon tank. <Well, welcome to this beautiful hobby!  May you have much success and enjoyment.> I have 7 goldfish, 1 pleco, and 2 Angelfish. I  was wondering if its  okay to have angelfish and goldfish together? <Not really a good idea; goldfish like colder water temperatures, and can contract illnesses more easily in higher temps that the angelfish would need.  Also, keep in mind that goldfish get rather large over time, and are very messy fish; your tank is really at its limit with seven goldfish.  Goldfish and tropicals together can be done, but one or the other will suffer for it.> the temperature in my tank is 78 right now. <This is fine for the angelfish (though a touch warmer would be better), but not for the goldfishes.  Goldfish should be kept closer to 68-70F or thereabouts.> I got my fish at Wal-Mart and they couldn't answer my question. I have a 10 gallon tank also and if The angelfish cant live with the goldfish then I plan on putting them in there. <Well, unfortunately, angelfishes get quite large, too, and a 10 gallon is too small for them.  They'll be alright in there for a while, but will definitely need a larger tank in the long run.  Basically, you're set with a few options: move the angels into the 10g and plan to upgrade to a 29g or larger; skip the angelfish altogether, and keep the 55g as a coldwater tank (the plec should be okay down to 70F, I'd think), or skip the goldfish and do a tropical tank with the angels, the plec, and some other tropicals.  If you're feeling adventurous, you might even want to do a small pond for the goldies, then turn the 55 tropical.  Lots of options, but all costing, unless you're willing to give up one or the other.> Thank You. <You're quite welcome. -Sabrina>

Missing Algae Eater Is it normal for a Gold fish to eat an algae eating fish? <Nope. If the Gold fish could fit the other fish in his mouth, maybe.  Or if the Algae eater died the Gold fish might pick at what is left of him, but I doubt the Gold fish would eat the other fish.  Are you missing a fish, or did you see your Gold fish munch a tank mate?  -Gage>

Better Safe Than Sorry <Hi! Ryan with you!> I was just wondering if goldfish and Plecostomus could live peacefully together.  I have seen websites that say yes, and others that say no they can't.  I just have 2 regular goldfish, who are extremely active and very healthy, so I didn't think it would be a problem, I just wanted an expert opinion.  Thanks:) <When I first started with goldfish I kept them with a pleco- and eventually suffered considerable losses.  It's Russian roulette, but because of disease.  Goldfish carry SO many diseases that tropical fish will eventually contract.  It may work for some time, but I would avoid this.  Much better tankmates for a pleco or a goldfish, in my opinion.  Hope this helps>

Territorial Oranda Dear Sir, I have a goldfish who is 10 years old.  I recently got 10 Orandas to go in the 240 litre tank with him.  The 10 year old is constantly chasing one of the Orandas around the tank and if he looses sight of it he will search him out until her finds him and go for him again.  I don't think he is nibbling him but constantly chasing and wont give up! Can you help. My e mail is XXXX@iol.ie <I have noticed that fish become more belligerent as they age. (marine angelfish especially) If your older Oranda keeps chasing one of them constantly I would remove the one that is being chased from the tank. The stress that the older Oranda is causing the smaller one may lead to disease, death, etc. IanB> Thank you, Lorna

Attacking Goldfish I have 5 fancy goldfish in a 55 gallon (double filtered, lots of water changes). They have all lived together for about 8 months. Today 4 were chasing one. I figured must be a female. When I left home about 6:30 and came home a couple of hours later, I went to check on the fish. I found the one being chased hiding in a corner (behind some plants). It looked liked the fins were nipped and to my horror I found that they had sucked both eyes out!!! I quickly put the hurt fancy in a net breeding mesh (same tank) and medicated. What happened and why. Will the fish live and be ok without its eyes? Please help. I'm horrified; I thought fancy goldfish were peaceful? Thanks Eugene <Although Goldfish are usually peaceful towards each other once in a while things like this happen. Most commonly, when this happens is when the fish is sick or dying so odds are, this one won't make it. You had the right general idea in isolating it and medicating it but what you really need to do is move that fish into a completely separate quarantine tank and medicate it in there. This prevents medicating the other fish that don't need it. If this fish lives, it will most likely always have to be kept in a separate tank with no decorations for it to run into and keep in mind that it may be harder to take care of because it won't be able to see food. Ronni>

Re: Bully goldfish Hi, just came across your excellent website and wondered if you could help. <<Will certainly try...>> I have three goldfish in a 16 litre tank with a filter, and for the past month they seem to have been getting on fine (that's how long I've had them). <<Please be aware that these guys are going to rapidly outgrow this tank and will have to be moved.>> They are fed dried flakes except for once a week when they have a treat of some bloodworms, which they gobble up very happily. Today I've noticed that one of the goldfish is bullying another one, chasing him around the tank and nibbling at his vent and fins. I've also noticed that two of the goldfish seem to have faeces stuck to their vents, which is what the bully goldfish seems to be trying to nibble at. Any ideas what is going on? Many thanks. <<Goldfish are very messy fish and a faeces trail isn't uncommon. Sometimes it is a sign of overfeeding but not always. My guess is that this is exactly what the "bully" is after. Watch them for a couple of days and see if he stops, if not, you may need to isolate him. Ronni>>

Worried about my Black Moor Dear WetWebCrew, Can you please help me with my sick Black Moor?  My family inherited a 20 gallon aquarium, complete with fish, when our neighbors moved two months ago.  Our new fish family consists of 5 tetras, a Hatchetfish, a large sucker catfish, and a big (4" body) Black Moor. <Ugh, the Black Moor needs his own tank.  Different water quality needs> It is a strange assortment of fish but they have all lived together, in 72 degree water, for years.  All of the fish adjusted fine to the move except for the Moor.   The first few days he swam around but since then he just sits on the bottom of the tank in the corner.  His fins droop down and he has no energy.  Yesterday I was horrified to find the catfish attached to his back, sucking.  The Black Moor didn't even move.  His eyes look like they are coated with black algae.   The only time he moves is during feedings and then he swims along the bottom looking for flakes that have fallen, taking pieces of gravel into his mouth and then spitting them out.  He has a hard time finding the flakes; sometimes I wonder if he is blind. <they do not have the best eye site.> I don't know if he's getting enough to eat or not but since he won't go to the top of the water (where the other fish eat) I don't know how to get more food to him.   <his own tank.> Do you know what could be wrong and how I can help him? <yup> I can't figure out what is wrong.  I do frequent water changes and all of the other fish seem to be thriving.  He doesn't have any growths on his body or white patches or any other noticeable skin or fin problems.  Any help you could give me would be greatly appreciated! Thanks! Wendy <Hi Wendy, a gold fish does not belong in the above mix, that is the reason that the others are thriving and he is not.  Tetras, hatchet fish, and Plecostomus prefer warm water, mid to upper seventies, while the gold fish prefers cooler water.  The fancy goldfish varieties are not built to compete for food (slow moving poor eye site), while tetras are streamlined.  So I would recommend you pick up at least a 10gal tank for the goldfish (bigger if you want more than one).  Set it up with some filtration, depending upon your location room temp should be fine, a touch of salt, and he should come around.  Please read the links below.  Best Regards, Gage> http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/goldfishfaqs.htm http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshfdgfaqs.htm http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshdisfaqs.htm

Bettas and Goldfish Hi, I have a pet Betta at home. He lives in a one gallon tank. This is because the lady who gave it to me said that the biggest tank that they needed was a half gallon. She also said that they are very aggressive.  <that part was at least somewhat true... they are very aggressive towards each other> Then I asked her if a gold fish could go with it. She said of course. <mistaken... they are not at all compatible. Goldfish are coldwater and bettas are tropical for starters... many other reasons> At three different times I put a goldfish in but every morning it was dead. Was the lady at the store not shore or is there something wrong with the Betta or tank size? <the two fish are incompatible my friend. Goldfish are best not mixed with any tropicals. Please look through the articles on our web site describing each of these fish and see which you prefer and how to care for them best. Good luck, Anthony>

Goldfish with other? Hi Thank you for your response.. <Anthony Calfo with the follow up> I seem to have other clarifications. Please help. <will do> As per your letter you don't seem to recommend other varieties with Goldfishes. Specifically, why? <Exactly as Steven replied to you, my friend, "They have specific requirements that are different from most other tropical fish: water temperature, foods, aggression, etc". Goldfish are temperate species that prefer water temperatures well under 76F while tropicals need temps well over 76F. ON temperature alone they are incompatible> But when I went through your articles Gouramis and Bala Sharks need same kind of Ph value. So what other things are missing? <temperature and aggression are huge here. The goldfish can get picked to death when small even if the temperatures were compatible> Maybe I want to keep 2-3 small other varieties and gradually change the type of fishes in the tank. What will happen if I keep both??. Can I go for such experiment. My tank is fully cycled with the fishes in it for 2-3 month. I add stress coat about once a week when I do 20% H20 change.. <I would never recommend goldfish with tropicals... one of the fishes is going to suffer with temp in time> The guy from my pet shop has a mix of goldfish, Bala sharks. not Gouramis. <all unnatural mixes> He said if the water is old you can keep other varieties. What does that mean? does the water chemistry change as the days go?? <its an old-fashioned argument about having aged water with a lower pH> I know I have too many why's above but I am just curious.. <yes... on temp alone it is not recommended> Have a nice day. <and you as well> Waiting for your reply. Bye, Sujatha <with kind regards, Anthony>

Goldfish with others? Greeting. For some time I have been browsing through net to catch on fishy articles. I found your site and its articles very interesting. Keep it up. I have a question that is I have a 50 gallon tank with pH 6.5 and stocked with 8-10 (3-4") gold fish and its fancy verities. <You will have to eventually remove some of these fish. You tank will become too crowded as they grow older/larger. About 5 fish sounds right.> They are doing great. But of late I realized I don't fancy only Goldfishes and want to add some other varieties. <I generally do not recommend other fish with Goldfish. They have specific requirements that are different from most other tropical fish; water temperature, foods, aggression, etc.> Can you please suggest if I can go for Gouramis or Bala Sharks etc? Any other varieties which are ok with my gold fishes. I am not fond of Suckermouth (Pleco) if that's correct. Also if any plants required for the other variety as for now I have put some artificial plants for Goldfishes. They seem to eat any live plants! <Yes they do.> Thanking you in advance for your valuable reply. Sujatha Ravi <Have a nice day. -Steven Pro>

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