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FAQs About Goldfish Disease/Health 15

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

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

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

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

Crowded Goldfish, Environmental Disease, Bacterial Infection - 11/24/2005 Hello, <Hello.  Sabrina with you, today.> We have an 8 month old 20 gallon tank with 6 small (under 2 inches each) and 1 medium fancy tail goldfish (4 inches). <Too many goldfish, too small a space.> All the set-up and filter etc. has been in place since the very beginning. About 6 days ago, one of the smallest fancy-tail goldfish with telescopic eyes (name is Googly-G) started to get his tail stuck in the filter holes. We quarantined the fish and when he seemed ok, put him back into the aquarium. However, he keeps getting his tail stuck in the filter until a few days later, he finally died in quarantine.  Starting yesterday, the largest of our goldfish (an orange Oranda named Orangie) started to also get his tail caught in the filter. Usually he is a strong swimmer and we have had him for about 6 months and nothing like this has ever happened. I wonder if he is afflicted with the same problem that killed Googly-G. Finally today, after getting his tail stuck twice and being rescued, I put him in quarantine because I notice red streaks on his tail (see photo attached). Other things I noticed as of yesterday are black spots on his top and cheek. <All of these are indications of environmental disease.  A crowded tank can quickly build up in ammonia and nitrite - I would suspect that this may be the trouble, especially since the other fish had shown improvement in a clean quarantine, only to show problems again when returned to the main tank.> All his scales are also protruding porcupine like.   <A bad sign, indeed, and may be an indicator of an internal bacterial infection.  Your best bet may be medicated food....  perhaps medicated with Oxytetracycline.> He has been in quarantine for about 8 hours now, and not really eating. <Also bad news.> He has trouble swimming and often look like he is standing upright in the water with tails facing right down and face up. I went to the pet shop and they seem to think that it's either dropsy (because of the scales) <"Dropsy" is a collection of symptoms, not a disease - just like sneezing is a symptom, but not an illness.  Usually, when the scales stick out in this fashion, it is caused by internal bacterial infection.> or parasites (because of the black spots). <Mm, no, I suspect these spots are from ammonia or nitrite "burns".> However, in the end they said it was best to treat with antibacterial MelaFix as this will help on either case and also for treating the red streaks on tail. <Actually, MelaFix has only mild antibacterial properties, and will not help in this case (or most others, in my opinion).  It's an extract of Melaleuca....  tea tree....  and not really worthwhile in "treating" disease.> We've given him ¼ of a teaspoon in his quarantine and he seems a little bit more active now.  I don't know if this is of relevance, but 2 days ago, we bought a snail and 2 of the fish.    <Ahh - yes - a clue to those black spots, perhaps.  There are digenetic Trematodes (worms, basically) that are parasites of snails, fish, and birds.  The snail may have brought these with, and they passed on to the fish for their next stage in life.  Though not really treatable, these are rarely a problem, as they require a bird to complete their lifecycle and start again - unless you frequently have birds paddling around in the tank, I wouldn't worry about those black spots at this point, unless you have testable ammonia or nitrite in the water.> All other fish seem healthy, swimming well, active and eating fine.  I tested the water today and PH was 7.0, ammonia was 0, nitrate was 0 <Very surprising, that nitrate would be undetectable in such a crowded tank.  Might want to check this against another test kit.> and nitrite was between 2.5 -- 5.0. <Nitrite at this level is toxic, even deadly.> We change 25% of water weekly and vacuum gravel regularly.  A couple of months ago, we added airline tubing and stone to give the fish more oxygen. Does this normally cause the fish to have more problems swimming resulting in them getting stuck into the filter?   <Not as such, no; fancy goldfish sometimes have trouble dealing with strong currents in the water, though, so you might want to be watching to see if any of your other fish are having trouble.> Can you please help to accurately identify the problem that is causing (a) his scales to stick out, <As above, likely an internal bacterial infection.> (b) the black markings, and <As above, likely from ammonia or nitrite, or possibly a digenetic Trematode parasite.> (c) loss of balance and ability to swim. <Likely related to the internal infection.> He is my absolute favourite of all the fish and since we caught the problem fairly quickly, I am hopeful of a recovery.   <I'll be straight with you here, and caution you that, although it is possible for a fish to recover from such an infection, it is very highly unlikely.  I would treat with medicated food immediately, and failing that, at least a broad-spectrum antibiotic in the water (though this won't do as much good).  I do dislike bringing you bad news on this, but I would feel wrong giving you high hopes and then not have the fish pull through.  I will be keeping my fingers crossed, though, and hoping for the best.> Thank you!  -HR <Wishing you well,  -Sabrina>

Moor with a bad eye  11/22/05 Hi there, I have a Black moor named Blinky, and the other day I noticed that he was hanging out at the bottom of the tank and not moving. I finally got him to move and he just sank back down. He stayed like that for a day or two and now he's moving about a bit more. I also noticed that he was running into things in the tank and the glass. <Not good> It didn't seem like he was doing it hard just bumping off it. The more I looked at him the more I noticed things. He has a scale or two that looks like they are missing and the biggest thing is one of his eyes seems to have deflated, for lack of better words. Its like the outer part has gone missing. The eye ball is still there just the bigger outer part is gone. I'm at a loss. Please help me find out what's wrong with Blinky. Thank You Rachel <... need information re the set-up, its history, water quality tests... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm and the linked files above... esp. on disease, nutrition> "And in the end the love you take is equal to the love you make." <First comes knowledge of something, then trust, respect, last love... Become knowledgeable my friend. Bob Fenner> 

Sick fish  11/22/05 Hi, hope you can give me advice please.... <We'll see> 3 weeks ago I bought 3 new fish to add to my tank which was currently containing just 1 fish - a 9 year old goldfish. Three days later the new Shubunkin had tiny white spots on it <... the new fish introduced Ich, a parasite> - I didn't have a spare tank to isolate it in & so bought a white spot treatment & treated the whole tank. The spots disappeared only for me to find ALL 4 fish covered in them a few days later. <The disease just cycled...> I've continued treating the tank as per the instructions on the treatment bottle but the Shubunkin died on Friday after being really lifeless with a ragged tail fin, the black moor had the same ragged fin & white spots & died on Saturday. <The make-up of the system "use up" the medication...> My Blue Oranda is swimming about still with a couple of spots but is very active & feeding. My original goldfish has spent the last week lying at the bottom of the tank with his head in an ornamental pot (coming out occasionally to a circuit of the tank before returning to the bottom). His shine has gone & he looks dull & a there's a grayish white fuzziness look about him, especially on the fins. I really don't know where to go from here - continue with the white spot treatment or is something else wrong? <Need to do a few things more here... Remove any chemical filtration (e.g. carbon), vacuum the gravel, perhaps remove it if this is the only tank you have, and the gravel is "natural" (i.e. not coated, colored... as it is/will absorb the medication... and test daily for ammonia, nitrite... keep these below 1.0 ppm by changing water> My tanks is 11 gallons with a filter running. I've had the original fish 9 years with not a problem. I did an ammonia & ph test today which were both normal. Help please!!! <An eleven gallon tank is not large enough for even the one goldfish... all new fishes should be quarantined... Sorry to read of your troubles. For review, please see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwich.htm.  Bob Fenner> Sick goldfish, even less info.  11/22/05 The past couple of weeks we have noticed that our goldfish is developing lumps under its skin. They don't appear to be discolored. They look hard and are about the size of a be be. <Good description> It now has 3 lumps that seem to be in different areas. One is close to the abdomen, one is above the abdomen, and the other is closer to the tailfin. I have been doing a lot of researching and the closest thing I can come up with is the beginning stages of ulcers? <... but caused by what?> The fish is still swimming around and eating but is quieter than normal. Ann <What re your water quality? System? Its history of maintenance? Have you introduced any new life, live food to this system recently? Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshdisease.htm and the linked files above... re systems, feeding, disease... Bob Fenner> 

New Goldfish, Disease? - 11/20/2005 Hi, <Hello, Oliver. Sabrina with you, today.> I really hope you can help. <We shall try.> I have a 12 gallon tank which contains 3 small (1 - 1.5 inch Zebra Danios) and 1 young Oranda (approximately 2 - 2.5 inches). I bought the Danios first (in order to cycle the tank) <Please understand that there are "better" ways to cycle a tank - subjecting any fish to ammonia and nitrite can cause them permanent damage to their gills, even kill them. There are ways to cycle a tank that do not require harming a fish. Try a search (in WetWebMedia, also just a general search on Google) on "fishless cycle".> and got the Oranda about three weeks ago (approximately 3 weeks after starting the tank). Recently the Oranda has been behaving funny - he started to occasionally scrape himself against the gravel which we assumed might be flukes <Why? What led you to this assumption? Skin flukes are not terribly common amongst cultured aquarium fishes. I've seen skin flukes, once, on a wild-caught angelfish. Though most anything is possible, I would be willing to wager that the goldfish was scraping for a different reason.> so we medicated the tank with Interpet Anti Slime and Velvet. That was three days ago. However, this morning he started lying on the bottom of the tank for minutes at time - resting on his belly - which he has never done before. <I can't find the ingredients for this medication.... It could be that the goldfish is reacting to the medication, or it could be that he has an illness that that medication doesn't treat; simply scraping himself against the gravel could be a symptom of poor water quality, pH shock, or most any ectoparasitic infection (including Ich / "white spot").> I checked the water and this seems ok - figures are 0ppm for Nitrite, 5ppm for Nitrate, 0.25ppm for Ammonia <Ought to be zero, preferably.> and 7.0 for pH. Was hoping for some advice.... Any ideas what might be wrong? <As above, many possibilities - I would observe for more symptoms at this point, and maintain optimal water quality. I would also do a good water change to remove any residual medication left in the system.> He seems to be eating okay.  <Always a good sign.> Thanks in advance for any assistance you can give. -Oliver. <Wishing you well, -Sabrina>
New Goldfish, Disease? - II - 11/25/2005
Hi again, <Hi, Oliver.> Thank you very much for your previous assistance but things seem to have gone from bad to worse... <Uh-oh....> We diagnosed the Oranda with Finrot because his fins were ragged and slightly blood streaked at the base of the fine and began to medicate him - he's had 2 days of medication for this but hasn't shown any real signs of improvement yet. <Likely that the Finrot was brought on by that trace of ammonia, or stress in general....  I would not medicate for this, but maintain pristine water quality instead.> However, now we are worried he also has Ich as he seems to have some small white spots on his upper neck. Would it be ok to medicate for Ich at the same time as Finrot or do we need to wait? <This animal has been through too much medication already - do him a huge favor and learn from this:  never medicate until you are very confidant of the illness you're facing, and know for certain that it is an illness that must be medicated.  Now, on to the problem at hand....  I'm going to assume you are confidant that he has Ich (it manifests in a pretty obvious manner; white spots, like you mention, that look like grains of salt or sugar stuck to the fish).  Ich must (well, usually must) be medicated.  At this point, I would discontinue any/all medications currently in the tank and do a fairly large water change (say at least 50%).  I would then run carbon in the filter for several hours, then remove it.  This will remove any leftover medications.  Then I'd begin medicating for Ich (take a look at that article for a good overview of treatment options).  During this time, you must be absolutely diligent at maintaining perfect water quality, or he's going to continue to have problems.> Water quality is currently: Nitrate 5, Nitrite 0, Ammonia 0 and ph 7.2. <This pH is up a bit from what it was; I want to caution you that a stable pH is very desirable....  fluctuations in pH can be stressful/damaging to fish.  This small increase isn't a huge deal, but I did want to caution you here.> He is currently eating and swimming and is not spending as much time on the bottom of the tank as he previously was. <Ah, good.> However, he looks in a worse condition than before....  I have moved the Danios from the main tank to a 5 gallon temporary home.   <Be watching them very carefully.  It's entirely likely that they have contracted Ich as well.> Any help you can give is gratefully received!  Regards,  Oliver <All the best to you,  -Sabrina>

Help needed regarding goldfish  11/18/05 Hello, I have not heard back from anyone yet and now have a new problem to add. My fish all have long trailing white poop. I understand that this could be a bacterial infection, internal parasites or constipation. <Yes> I am concerned about adding anything else to the tank while we are still cycling. What do I use to treat it that won't interrupt the cycle, or do I wait? <Just wait... could be "just" the cycling> All my fish seem to still be eating and very active. Thanks again for such an informative site. It has been wonderful to lookup my questions about the things I am noticing.  Monica Subject: Help needed regarding goldfish.First off I have made a huge mistake. I purchased a 46 gallon upright tank, heater, bio-wheel 350 power filter, 40 pounds of gravel, and 20 pounds of lace rock. I researched African cichlids before going to the store and made the mistake of taking my daughter and husband along. They fell in love with a goofy looking telescope goldfish. <I see another... wait... that's many! fish tanks in your future> Not knowing any better I was told to get 5 fish for this tank and not to add any more till the tank is completely cycled.  <...> After reading this site I have realized that 5 are too many for this tank as it is. Now I am experiencing all sorts of problems. My ammonia is between .50 and .75 and to keep these numbers in this range I have been doing daily water changes and added Zeolite chips to my filter. <Good> My pH right out of the tap is 8. I am using Cycle and Aqua Safe for the dechlorinator and good bacteria's. I had a bacteria bloom on Sunday so I cut down on feeding and it has cleared up. All the fish are small, 1 to 1 1/2 nose to base of tail fin, and so I have been feeding the twice daily in small amounts. <Make this very small amounts> ALSO, of the five fish one now has what looks like fin rot and is not as gold as before. Igor the aforementioned telescope as well as one fantail look bloated (scales seem fine though). And the red cap Oranda has a wormy thing I believe an anchor worm by its dorsal fin. <Possibly> Ritchie Black moor is the only one OK. The tank has been set up for only 2 weeks now, and my daughter and husband are already attached to all these guys. I have read so many articles on goldfish and have several books now. Not sure what else to do about the sickies though. Any advice would be most appreciated.  <I would seek out, use an organophosphate based medication for the Anchor Worm (can be done during cycling), and some aquarium salt as a cathartic... and not feed much of anything till this system cycles... Perhaps you can find some Bio-Spira for hastening the cycle (better than Hagen's "Cycle"). Bob Fenner> 

Sick goldfish  11/17/05 Hi there <Hello> I have a black moor goldfish. I recently purchased a new tank for him and his 2 friends (37 gallons I think). I set up the tank and have been running it for 2 weeks with just the plants and a snail in it to get the water right before transferring the fish. I've checked the quality, pH, temp, acidity, and ammonia levels and they all are within goldfish limits according to the literature I have read and the test strips.  Today was the day to do the big move. The other 2 fish made the transition nicely (a fantail and a Ryukin), but when I put the moor in (Pepper is his name), he started swimming upside down and acting sluggish (he's usually the most active of the bunch). I figured it might be stress of a new environment and being transplanted, <My guess too> so I put him back in the old tank by himself and added some stress coat as well as aquarium salt. This was about 4 hours ago. He seems a little bit better, but is still acting funny. Is there something else going on with him? A swim bladder issue perhaps? <Doubtful> Or did maybe I hurt him while scooping him out to put him in the new tank? (I didn't mean to, I swear! He's my favorite!). Any advice would be appreciated, Thanks!!! Tiffany <You've done about what I would... and I'd leave the Moor where it is for a week or so for resting up, observation, and giving the new tank a chance to "break in" with the other goldfish. Cheers, Bob Fenner> 

Funky Bubbles (Bubble Eye Goldfish) - 11/15/2005 I've had bubble eyes in the past but have never seen this, maybe you can help. <I can try.... Sabrina with you, this evening.> 2 of my bubble eyes have something in one of their bubbles, it looks almost like eggs.... <"In"? Very bizarre....> They are white, round and not stationary within the bubble, as the fish move and jiggle the eggs move and when the fish hang out, the eggs or whatever they are settle to the bottle of their bubble.... <An excellent, thorough description.... Unfortunately, I've never seen nor heard of something like this. I suspect, though am by no means certain, that the things may just be "debris" of a sort (dead skin cells clumped together, etc.), or perhaps a fungus.... I really, really don't know.> The fish seem healthy otherwise, they are eating fine and no other symptoms but I have never seen this before.....any ideas? <Just as above. I would watch these two very, very closely for changes in behaviour or appearance that might indicate illness, and otherwise just keep on with "business as usual" for them.> Thanks, -Tammy <Wishing you well, -Sabrina>

Goldfish With Bacterial Infection, Owner Using Shotgun Approach to Treatment  11/15/05 I have a Shubunkin that has been sick for about 5-6 weeks. I have gone to area pet shops trying to find a correct diagnosis along with treatments and none of them has worked. As you can see in the pictures it looks as if the scales have a yellowish color and a blister-like feature to them. He also has lost several scales. The fins and tail look good, no rotting of any type. His mouth and eyes also look very healthy. He still eats well and no real behavioral changes that I have noticed. He is a pond fish. The water in the pond comes from the stream running thru our property where trout and other fish abound. We had recently refilled the pond so I am suspect that he picked up something from the fresh water. The treatments I have used so far are: 1) Tetracycline (was outdated by three years, not sure how much effect this would cause on the outcome) <<A great effect, the "treatment" was likely useless.  MH>> 2) QuIck Cure 3) Aquarium salt - dosage 1 tsp per gallon <<Not enough to make a difference here, try 1 tablespoon/gallon.  MH>> 4) Ick Away 5) Fungus Clear 4) Maracyn-Two (also was outdated, but pet store purchased from was 50 miles away and so decided to use it anyway) along with Maracide 5) Copper Safe along with TriSulfa 6) PimaFix The water condition seems to be good and/or acceptable. Here are the readings: 0 - Nitrate 0 - Nitrite 75 - Total Hardness 40-60 Total Alkalinity 6.8 pH Level Ammonia levels are fine also. After visiting the pet store again today and taking the photos in that are attached to this email, they are at a loss as to what to do next. They did suggest I try the Maracyn-Plus. I am hesitant to use this treatment with no progress in his treatment to date.  Please if you have any suggestions I would appreciate them. I am challenged in this area and need some good expertise. Sincerely, Cindy Simmons < Your goldfish has a bacterial infection. Try Nitrofuranace or Kanamycin. Good heavy duty antibiotics. Get them mail order delivered to your door at DrsFosterSmith.com.-Chuck> 

Goldfish, Anchorworm - 11/14/2005 I have a large silver/blue 2 yr old goldfish. I noticed a red spot started to form where the body meets the tail fin. There now is something that is about the diameter of a human hair, white, and forked on the end of it coming out of the infected area.  <White.... aside from that, I would guess undoubtedly at Anchorworm.... though there are other copepod parasites of fish that are white(er), Anchorworms are usually brownish or reddish.> With this going on the goldfish is still swimming and eating normally. Today I noticed there is a blood red color descending down the fins from the body. <Be testing your water quality....> This sounds like an anchor worm, but I just want to make sure this is the illness. <Could very well be.> If this is the case, will I be able to treat the goldfish with out removing it from its tank buddies. <I would just remove the parasite with forceps, if you become confidant that this is in fact an Anchorworm.> It is housed in a 20 gal tank with tetras, male guppies, dwarf frogs, and a Plecostomus.  <Entirely incompatible.... goldfish really fare best with water temperatures much cooler than tropical fish can tolerate.... please take this into careful consideration.> Please let me know if any photos would aid in this diagnosis. <A photo is worth a thousand words, as they say....> <<I thought it was a thousand bytes.... sorry.  Marina>> Thanks. <Wishing you well, -Sabrina>
Goldfish, Anchorworms, Environmental Disease - 11/15/2005
Hey thanks for your help.  <Sure thing.> I went to get a full test kit and ammonia is at 0 ppm, the nitrite is almost at 0.0 ppm maybe 0.1, <Best to try to maintain this at zero.> the nitrate is between 20 ppm and 0 ppm and the pH looks to be 7.0. <All good.> I went to the pet store and the other fish they had in the tank with the one I purchased looked the same as mine and I asked them what it was and they said they believed it to be a protozoan but they said it was not Ich. I have no idea what it could be then. <Many many possibilities.... If you/they are confidant that it is a protozoan parasite, I would consider treating with a formalin/malachite green combination (like Rid-Ich, Rid-Ich+, etc.) or a copper medication (CopperSafe, Cupramine....). Please do read on our website regarding these medications and diseases caused by parasites.> Thank you, Ashley <Wishing your fishes all the best, -Sabrina> 

Goldfish Lying On The Bottom  11/15/05 Hi, I have a 54 litre tank with 2 small cat fish, 1 snail and four gold fish.  One of the goldfish (fantail I think) is sort of fat but every night lies at the bottom of the tank, I just thought it was normal behaviour but lately it seems to be nearly lying on its side. Do you guys have any idea what is wrong with it??? Thanks <Do a 50% water change, vacuum the gravel and clean the filter. Feed only enough food so that all of it is gone in two minutes once each day. This should keep your goldfish active looking for food. If your fish are not eating then in could be an internal bacterial infection and needs to be treated with a combination of Nitrofuranace and Metronidazole.-Chuck> 

Goldfish Disease - Environmental? - 11/12/2005 We have a Fantail Goldfish in a ten gallon tank with a filter, gravel, plastic plants and an airstone. We've had her 2 1/2 years and we LOVE her. She is in trouble and we don't know what to do. She has been lying on the bottom of the tank for nearly 24 hours now. Occasionally she will swim but rarely. The first sign of distress was gasping for air so I changed the water at the direction of a local pet store. I put in AMMO Lock also as directed. No improvement. <What you really need, here, are test kits for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate.... What you describe is probably brought on by poor water quality, and the only way to know is to test your water. Ammonia and nitrite must be ZERO, nitrate less than 20ppm. If these are not so, do water changes to fix them. Be sure to use a Chloramine/Chloramine neutralizer if you're using tapwater for the tank.> We went to the pet store today and just got a lot of confusing advice. It is my daughters fish, she is five and this is very upsetting to her to watch her fish probably dying. The pet store sent us home with two free tiny feeder goldfish thinking that would make her perk up, I was not thrilled with the idea. <Neither am I - "feeder" goldfish are usually raised and kept (and sold) in absolutely deplorable conditions in which disease thrives - "feeder" goldfish run an extremely high risk of bringing home pathogens to pass on to your otherwise healthy stock. A very dangerous move.... I would use extreme caution when receiving advice from the person that sent you home with these fish....> If I was sick I wouldn't want someone coming into my room to perk me up. <Me either! Uhh, furthermore, I need to point out that a 10 gallon aquarium is far, far too small to support three goldfish.> The feeders are in with her and she is still just barely moving her mouth and not swimming. I will take a sample of the water tomorrow to the pet store to see if that is what the problem is but what else can we do? Is she dying? We just feel awful watching this happen and not knowing what to do. We have two dogs and can usually take them to the vet and get help, here with the fish we are helpless. PLEASE HELP!!! <Again, most likely this is simply related to water quality.... Test and fix, and hopefully it will be soon enough to help affect a cure for your fish. Please also take a look at our articles on goldfish disease, systems, nutrition, etc.> Thank you so much, -Mrs. M <Wishing you well, -Sabrina>
Goldie's Passing - 11/15/2005
I put our fantail to sleep tonight using the clove oil method. <I am so sorry to hear this; so sorry for your loss.> She went quickly, honestly I wish it had been quicker. Probably took 30 seconds, a bit more. <Likely it was not a painful passing for her; clove oil is an anesthetic, so she probably really did go "to sleep" as she went.> She wasn't swimming anymore for days or eating. It was the right thing to do but it was still hard and very sad. <I understand. I'm so sorry.> I promised my daughter we'd get her a new fantail. She was very accepting of "Goldie's" death because she saw her decline, saw that she wasn't swimming and we prepared her. <What a wonderfully understanding child - thank you for your efforts in helping her with this.> We have two large dogs that we love very much, never did I think we'd get so attached to a fish, but we did. We'll miss her. <I do understand.... And again, my condolences.> Mrs. M <Wishing you all the best, -Sabrina>

Re: Fantail Goldfish Question PLEASE HELP  11/15/05 Thank you very much for your reply. First off, I sent the feeder goldfish back to the store. One of them tried to peck at our sick fish and that was it, out of the tank they went and back to where they came from. Thank you for giving me more knowledge about feeder fish in general, I had no idea. We have a well so there is no chlorine in our water but I am going to bring a sample of our water to a specialty fish store today to have them test it. <Good> I went there yesterday for some pellets and a live plant to see if maybe she would eat from the plant but she hasn't touched it. <Takes time... familiarity> After they test the water they said they may give me some antibiotics to try for a last case scenario. She is still holding on but now not swimming much at all and she doesn't appear to be eating. I was told that she could hold on for 6-8 weeks. <Yes, possibly> It is so hard to watch her lying there, especially if she is suffering. Thanks again, we are very sad and it's a life lesson for my five year old to watch but a hard one. <Yes... Life to you, Bob Fenner> 

Goldfish, Anchorworms, Environmental Disease - 11/12/2005 Hi, <Hello, Ashley; Sabrina with you, today.> I have a 58 gallon fish tank, Fluval 404 canister filter, UV light, and I do weekly water changes with Stress Coat, StressZyme, and a tablespoon of salt for each 10 gallons. Currently in the tank are 4 fantail goldfish. Recently it was only three. At a pet store I went to a saw the largest white fantail goldfish I have ever seen and I had to have it. At the time it had anchor worms so I put it on hold until the fish was treated and better. When time came to pick it up the fish was all white and some red streaks in the tail and I asked if it was fin rot which they responded that in white gold fish you can see the red streaks sometimes and the fin rot would not be contagious. Is this true?  <Mm, to an extent.... but I feel it is more likely that the medication that they used for the anchor worms may have left the goldfish slightly damaged.> It (Samurai) has been a very energetic and happy goldfish until today which is exactly a week later he has been laying on the bottom. He has achieved orange spots which I am guessing is normal. <Possibly, possibly not.> But today I noticed on the big tail fin towards the tip is a white fuzzy spot (which I thought at first to be a scab from the removed anchor worms) and the ends looks a little tore up and he is hardly moving. Also my other fish have their top fins down and one of the others tail is starting to look frayed maybe from nipping or from the fin rot if is contagious. I put in MelaFix <Useless, IMO> and added 4 tablespoons of salt. What could this possibly be and what should I do? <First and likeliest things first - test your water for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate; maintain ammonia and nitrite at ZERO, nitrate less than 20ppm, with water changes. If you find that your levels are currently perfect, then you might consider treating with a broad-spectrum antibiotic such as Kanamycin sulfate. I suspect, though, that this is all related to water quality.> I have had my gold fish for about 3 yrs and I don't want that to change. Thank you so much for all your time and effort. <And thank you for these kind words.> Ashley <Wishing you well, -Sabrina> <<And as an afterthought....>> Sorry I made a mistake I don't use tablespoon I use teaspoons. Very sorry I am just worried about my fish! <<Three teaspoons make a tablespoon!  MH>> <Oh, no problem. Even at tablespoons, that wouldn't be "too much" salt. All the best, -Sabrina>

Goldfish, Medication, and Disease - 11/12/2005 Hi there, <Hello. Sabrina with you today.> I have just been looking through all your question pages and searching for questions posted about goldfish. Basically I <Whups! Please remember to capitalize your "I"s.> am worried about one of my goldfish - I have a big tank with 4 in - not sure of exact measurements but I know I had to buy a huge coffee table because it is sooo heavy when filled with water the cabinet it was on buckled with the weight. <In inches, Length X Width X Height divided by 321 will yield volume in gallons.> Shop said it can hold 6 but I have put 4 in and left it at that as have read your pages about overcrowding. The fish in particular is a redcap Oranda? (silver with red head - not sure of proper name?) <Sounds like a redcap Oranda to me.> I think its male as he was chasing a little white goldfish I had a month back and ended up killing it. So I bought a bowl to put him in temporarily <Dangerous - even deadly. Bowls are not acceptable confines for goldfish, even temporarily. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm .> but he kept gasping for air and it made me sad so I put him back in the main tank, so he had the filter, company, and more space. He calmed down after a while (not sure if he was being territorial or just trying to mate) and now all he seems to do is hover at top of tank (not gasping for air) and face the corner in the corner - so his head is in the corner of the tank?!  <Likely he was damaged from the environmental conditions in the bowl - water gets toxic FAST in small environments, from buildup of fish waste....> I have a plant in there and if he was going to hide I would have thought he would go in or behind that? Every time I look he is in this position and I noticed a little white dot on his redcap? Have you any idea what is going on - I have tried searching for info and input all sorts from hovering to behaviours of goldfish into yours and many other search engines.  <Likely what you are seeing is the effects of environmental disease. Please test for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate, and be sure to maintain ammonia and nitrite at ZERO, nitrate less than 20ppm, with water changes.> Is he going to be ok? I couldn't stand the thought that something is wrong or he is unhappy - it's like I am being cruel. The other 3 fishies just swim round happily eating the plant and swimming around this bridge ornament I have - they seem happy.  <Test your water, maintain optimal water quality with water changes, and read the article linked above.... Oh, also please learn the volume of your tank, so you can better know if these goldfish are in fact in a "big enough" home.> Thanks v much - Cheryl :-( <Wishing you well, -Sabrina>
Goldfish, Medication, and Disease - II - 11/15/2005
Hi Sabrina, <Hello again, Cheryl - I'm glad you wrote back. I actually gave you the wrong formula for figuring gallonage - here it is again: In inches, Length X Width X Height divided by 231 will yield volume in gallons. Just made a bit of a critical typo - 231, not 321.> Thanks very much for your email - I don't know what I'd do with out WetWebMedia seriously. <Me either!> I will get some test kits from shop and test for everything you suggest. <Ahh, good.> I hope he will be ok. Why do so many shops including big franchises sell fish bowls if they are deadly - it's wrong, they shouldn't be allowed surely? <It's all a moneymaking "scheme", in my opinion.... Heh, recently, the city of Rome actually banned their use/sale.> I wonder if I have used the wrong word - the 'bowl' I bought is actually a proper fish tank but just for one fish, it was from the big fish shop in town. Is it still dangerous? <Depending upon the size of it and the needs of your fish, yes, possibly. Goldfish really can't live in bowls or very small tanks at all - not for long, anyway. Some fish, like Bettas, will do fine in smallish volumes of water.> I am not going to use it again it was just to stop this redcap Oranda from hurting other fishes in tank but I'm upset that they are selling them and in turn will be killing fish?! <Mm, essentially.... yeah. Much of what consumers in the pet-fish trade seem to demand is not based upon the needs of the animals they will be caring for - perhaps based more upon aesthetics and ignorance at times.... It is my hope to help others understand the importance of researching the needs of the lives in their care, to be better able to provide for them. Please take pride in the fact that you care enough for your animals to seek the answers to the questions you've asked - this alone proves your intent to care well for them.> Thanks & Best Wishes, -Cheryl <And all the best to you, -Sabrina>

Millie's Mystery - Carp Pox?  Tumor? - 11/10/2005 Millie is my fantail goldfish.  She is almost 4 years old and is about 9 inches long.... she is beautiful...however...about 1 year ago she formed a lump on her side on the right gill.  The lump has grown to about 1/2 inch and it looks like a white cauliflower in appearance....  I was told it was a parasite <Very, very unlikely.> and fed her a bubble-like substance that was red and which she was not fond of eating.  After 3 days I went back to her food.  She has Willie as a companion since the beginning and he is very close with her.  We love them both dearly and don't want to lose Millie.  I have read your articles and would like to know if it is a tumor and if so, can we medicate her in some way to make her better? <If it is a tumor, no, there's not really anything you can do for or about it.  However, I advise you also to use the search feature of our site and look up "fish pox" or "carp pox", as this is also a possibility.  Be sure to maintain ammonia and nitrite at zero, nitrate less than 20ppm, with water changes.> Thanks to you and your readers for their comments. <And thank you as well for yours.> Alfred <Wishing you well,  -Sabrina>

Goldfish, Cycling, Environmental Disease - 11/10/2005 Your site is very useful and I have followed as many of the instructions as I could to fix my tank but I am afraid I need some individual help. We got a 20-gallon tank for a 1-year-old 3-inch comet. We started the tank with a 1-inch fantail, 2 capfuls of "Stability", <I am not familiar with this product....  All you "really" need is a chlorine/Chloramine neutralizer for new water....> some gravel from the old tank & about 1/2 gallon of old tank water.  My son was in such a hurry to get "his" fish in the bigger tank (The large comet was in a 2-gallon tank), that I added the comet after only 2 days. <Likely not a huge problem, what with the old gravel.> All was well for about 7 days and then over night, the water turned cloudy. I checked the ammonia level and it was over 8 ppm. <Deadly toxic.> I did a 20% water change and added Ammo-Lock as directed and stopped feeding for one day. The next day I added one capful of Stability. <Still don't know what this is, and doubt its use or necessity to you.> The comet started to look bad so I gave him 125 mg tetracycline capsule and fed him 3 peas. <No reason to medicate environmental disease....  pristine water quality is what's needed.> I did another 20% water change every other day for 5 days. <May need more, more often, if this tank is cycling.> The comet's top fin started to lie close to his body so I gave him a full dose of tetracycline (250 mg). <I would discontinue this; nothing you mention suggests infectious disease to me....  likely only environmental problems.> I also added another 2 capfuls of Stability because I was afraid the medicine would kill the good bacteria. I am not sure if this is true or not. <Best to just stop with the medication....  and just do major water changes.> The ammonia is still 8 ppm. Ph is at 7.2. <Some ammonia tests will give you a false positive when you use Ammo-Lock.  My recommendation is to rely solely on water changes - perhaps 50% or so daily - until the water quality is adequate.> The water temperature is about 65 degrees (not heated). Nitrite is at zero. Nitrate was at 20 ppm 3 days ago, but I checked today and it is down to 5 ppm. I have continued to add AmmoLock every other day as directed. <As above, I'd go with water changes alone.> Today the comet developed a blood streak in his tail so I gave him 200 mg of erythromycin. <No more meds....  fix this fish's environment first; he cannot regain health, meds or no, with a poor environment.  Fixing the water alone will likely affect a cure.> I am confused as to whether I should keep changing the water or if this disrupts the nitrogen cycle and dilutes the medicine I am giving the comet. <As above, no more meds - as for disrupting the nitrogen cycle, you are correct to an extent - the cycle will be slowed, but it will still establish.> The little fantail still looks fine but I wonder if I should put him back in the old tank? Should I start over with the 20 gallon tank? <Nope, just change water.> Will it stress the comet to go back to the little tank too? Thanks in advance for you advice. <You'll be fine....  likely so will the fish....  with water changes alone.> Tammy <Wishing you well,  -Sabrina>

Re: part 1 sick comet goldfish... Antibiotic-ville  11/11/05 It seems you did not receive my original message since I did not receive a reply. The original message has the most important information. Here it is repeated: Your site is very useful and I have followed as many of the instructions as I could to fix my tank but I am afraid I need some individual help. We got a 20-gallon tank for a 1-year-old 3-inch comet. We started the tank with a 1-inch fantail, 2 capfuls of "Stability", some gravel from the old tank & about 1/2 gallon of old tank water.  My son was in such a hurry to get "his" fish in the bigger tank (The large comet was in a 2-gallon tank), that I added the comet after only 2 days. All was well for about 7 days and then over night, the water turned cloudy. <Indicative of "settling in" of microbes likely> I checked the ammonia level and it was over 8 ppm. <Yeeikes!> I did a 20% water change and added Ammo lock as directed and stopped feeding for one day. The next day I added one capful of Stability. <... don't feed and keep changing the water out till there is less than 1.0 ppm of Ammonia> The comet started to look bad so I gave him 125 mg tetracycline capsule and fed him 3 peas. I did another 20% water change every other day for 5 days. The comet's top fin started to lie close to his body so I gave him a full dose of tetracycline (250 mg). <...? What is this antibiotic being added for?> I also added another 2 capfuls of Stability because I was afraid the medicine would kill the good bacteria. I am not sure if this is true or not. The ammonia is still 8 ppm. pH is at 7.2. The water temperature is about 65 degrees (not heated). Nitrite is at zero. Nitrate was at 20 ppm 3 days ago, but I checked today and it is down to 5 ppm. I have continued to add AmmoLock every other day as directed. Today the comet developed a blood streak in his tail so I gave him 200 mg of erythromycin. <What?> I am confused as to whether I should keep changing the water or if this disrupts the nitrogen cycle and dilutes the medicine I am giving the comet. <Can and does> The little fantail still looks fine but I wonder if I should put him back in the old tank? Should I start over with the 20 gallon tank? Will it stress the comet to go back to the little tank too? Thanks in advance for you advice.   Tammy <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshsystems.htm and here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwestcycling.htm and the linked files above... Bob Fenner>

Re: update sick comet goldfish  11/12/2005 Dear Crew First, I would like to thank you for caring about my everyday comet goldfish.  Second, I think my messages (since I sent them separately as I kept thinking of new information to add, my fault sorry) were not answered together, but I have followed the suggestions. I did a 40% water change last night & added 2 more teaspoons of Melafix because I think the comet is developing fin rot &/or septicemia with the blood spots in tail and near gills.  <<I don't think anyone who's answered either question suggested Melafix, and actually (and usually) recommend NOT using such "cure-alls".  MH>> He is looking much better this morning, swimming faster and looking for food (which I am not giving him). The ammonia is still over 8 ppm <This needs to be addressed... is the number "real"? I suspect not (else the fish would be dead), but an artifact of your water "conditioner" (some give false positives), and/or a faulty test kit...> and my pH, which was 7.2) has now fallen to 6.4. I added 3 teaspoons of pH Up/7.0 since I didn't want to change it too drastically. "Stability" is supposed to be a bacteria builder but it doesn't seem to be working. I have called the local aquarium suppliers and can find only "Cycle" or "StressZyme" which the store owners claim will perform the same function as Bio Spira, which I can't find. Which would you recommend? <<Not even close in their actions.  I've tried finding BioSpira online, cannot thus far.  Do stop messing with the tank's pH.  MH>> <Please read. Here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwestcycling.htm and the linked files above> I plan another 40% water change this evening and hopefully can break this cycle if I can just get the bacteria going. Can I put a piece of fish into the filter area to seed the tank? <Not a good idea...> I assume if I put it directly in the tank, the comet will try to eat it. Thanks again for your help! Tammy <Study my friend... your answers are posted on WWM. Bob Fenner>

Re: part 2 of sick comet goldfish  11/10/05 I thought I would send a picture of the comet goldfish and mention that he is still very active. In fact it sometimes sounds like he is trying to jump out of the water. Is this normal? <Not atypical... can jump out of tanks, ponds> Also I have a Penguin 150 power filter that is supposed to be sufficient for a 30-gallon tank and I have a 20-gallon. Tammy <Yes, this should be sufficient, though redundancy in filtration, aeration, circulation is always a good idea. Cheers, Bob Fenner> 

Re: part 3 of sick comet goldfish  11/10/05 It is night now & Jet the comet is looking terrible. He is floating at the top of the tank and his top fin is really clamped. I went to the pet store and found some Fluval ammonia removing gravel which I added to the filter. I also bought some Melafix and added 2 capfuls as per label to the tank. I wanted to get some BioSpira but they didn't have it in stock. Should I take him out of the big tank? Please help. My son will be crushed if Jet dies. Thanks Tammy <Keep monitoring ammonia, change-out water if this exceeds 1.0 ppm, and don't feed anything. Bob Fenner> 

Fish problems, goldfish, Anchorworm  11/9/05 Hi, I'm hoping you can help me because I'm pretty much at my wit's end with my fish keeping experiences. I was given a c.50 L aquarium last Christmas which was bought second hand with all gadgets etc included (filter, heater, potions and lotions etc). <Heeee!> I started off, I realize now, a bit ambitiously, going out and buying a tank full of little tropical beauties. All went well for about 2 weeks but then one by one they ALL went through a period of distress and eventual death. By the time I found a website (not this one) that I thought could help me, it was too late.  Empty tank and extremely guilty/unhappy/distressed fish owner. I printed out a small novel of paperwork telling me what and what not I should do. I realized I'd broken virtually all the gospel no-nos - over feeding and leaving the uneaten food in the tank, not changing water often enough, panicking when the fish looked unwell and tearing apart their home to try and make it beautiful and clean, too much gravel in the tank.  So after a month of psyching myself up again, I decided I'd discovered the reasons for my lack of success and if I tried again, all would be well. This was two months ago. I started off slowly and, as the website suggested, I bought three very very ordinary gold fish and put them into an aquarium I'd set up two days previously. <Mmm, was this system cycled?> I followed all the rules and looked after them really carefully. They flourished and were really happy and healthy for a good three weeks. So then I decided it was time to add one more gold fish - this time a little bit fancier (a red and white Ryukin I think). All fine for maybe a week until the new guy just suddenly got sick and died over the space of about 3 days. After that the three gold fish all started to act strangely - clamped fins, erratic movements, loss of appetite and eventual crashing on the bottom.  <Likely from "something" brought in with/by the new fish> Two have died and the third, though staying quite perky, is still not well. The thing is, I've just noticed that he has some sort of parasite on him - little strings about 4/5mm long hanging off him. <Ahh! Likely the crustacean parasite "Anchorworm", Lernaea> I'm completely gutted as I just feel that everything I do is wrong. I'm pretty much set on never keeping fish again because at this rate, all it has cost me is a lot of disappointment, distress and money. So. Any ideas as to what on earth I'm doing wrong - could it just have been an infected tank to begin with? <Yes, for sure> I'd really appreciate your feedback and thank you for your time! Gemma <Go to the Google search tool on WWM (on the homepage or the indices) and put in the terms, "goldfish" and "Anchorworm"... Treatment at this point, and careful selection, quarantine and acclimation going forward will help you avoid these sorts of troubles. Bob Fenner> 

Goldfish not opening its mouth  11/9/05 RMF's take Hi. <Hello there> I've got two goldfish, and I noticed this morning that one of them is no longer opening its mouth. Its bottom jaw seems to be sunken in--other than that, the fish looks completely healthy. The fish seemed interested in the food that I put in the tank this morning--it would swim up to the pieces and poke at them with its mouth--but it didn't seem to be able to eat any. Any ideas what might be causing this and what I can do to treat it? Thanks! p.s. I'm attaching some pictures. I'm not sure you'll be able to tell anything from them, but they kind of show the sunken mouth. <Good pix... Does look like the mouth is inoperable... very likely resultant from a physical trauma... and important that it be "fixed"... I would try (gently) catching the fish, and prising <<? prying, mayhaps?>> the mouth open with a wooden toothpick... hopefully, if it is the jaw joint that has become stuck, this will break the connection. Bob Fenner>  <<No photos in the appropriate folder.  MH>>
Re: goldfish not opening its mouth  11/10/05
I was able to get the mouth open with a toothpick, but when I let the fish go back into the water, it still wasn't able to open it on its own. Should I try the toothpick again and pull the mouth farther open? <If it were me/mine, yes, I would> I'm not sure where the jaw connects, <At the very proximal corners of the jaw... similar to humans> so I could try sticking the toothpick in farther as well. I obviously don't want to hurt the fish, though, so I need some guidance on this. And if it doesn't work, is there anything else I can do? <Hope> Thanks so much for the advice! Susan <I suspect this fish is so genetically "off" that it has an unlikely chance of further development, but am not given to giving up easily. Bob Fenner> 

Goldfish, White Spots, Maturing - 11/07/2005 My husband recently acquired some goldfish, including a Lion Head that is an adult, about 4 inches long (body measure without fins) <Will grow much larger, given time.> but recently some little white spots appeared; not many, just three or four in the upper fin. We live in Argentina and a Goldfish Spanish forum (Dr. Pez) told him that these little white spots are visible when they are growing, that this is part of their growth.  <Mm, in the fin, this is not likely.... Male goldfish that are sexually mature will develop small whitish bumps on the operculum (gill plate).... These "tubercles" are somewhat hard to notice on some fish.> I have read about the parasites, including the Ich and my question is: is it true that when Goldfish starts to grow little white spots appear (two or three and sometimes just one) or it might be parasites. <They don't typically develop spots on the fins. It is possible that small joints in the bones of a fin might refract light, but this looks quite different from Ich, which appears like small grains of salt on the fish.> Could I be wrong?  <Done.> Thank you so much. <You bet. I would recommend that you take a look at our Ich article and FAQs, and do some searching on the 'net for images to compare with your fish's condition.> Cristina Soler <Wishing you well, -Sabrina>

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