“Help! I Have a Sick Goldfish!” 17 Diseases and Their Treatments

“What’s wrong with my goldfish?!” you ask in a panic. “It looks sick!”

Could be.

But before we go on, you should know this up front:

If your goldfish isn’t well, there is a big chance that it actually doesn’t have a disease.

Most goldfish who LOOK sick are really living in bad tank conditions. (The symptoms are often the same!)

The water may look clean, but it is actually filled with deadly poisons.

Some of these come in through the water you filled the tank with, some are actually made by the fish themselves as they respire and *eherm* go to the bathroom.

Ammonia and nitrite are two major culprits in causing sick fish. Even low amounts will cause irritation, stress and lethargy. But a low pH will cause many other issues because goldfish need the pH to be around 7.4.

How do you know what’s going on?

There’s a very important step every fish owner needs to take when confronting a problem:


A liquid water testing kit is something every fish keeper needs on hand at all times, especially for emergencies.  (They are also more accurate than strip tests.) Think of it as a necessary investment you need to make in order to be a good, responsible goldfish owner. 😉

So without further ado, here is my complete list of common – and some not-so-common – goldfish diseases, that are actually diseases:

Parasitic Goldfish Diseases


1. Ich: Did it Snow on Your Goldfish?!

Ich (pronounced “ick”) is a parasite also called “white spot disease.”

The white spots of ich are actually not the parasite itself, but the skin of the goldfish stretching over the parasite.

Outbreaks are very common with new fish that have been stressed, weakened, kept in poor conditions or not quarantined (usually all of the above).

If left untreated, it will kill your fish.


Clamped (flattened down) fins.

Darting and scratching against on objects in the tank, aka “flashing.”

White spots that look like salt granules covering the fish from nose to tail.

ich copy

Sometimes you might see irritation, lethargy and breathing hard.

If your goldfish has these symptoms, it sounds like you have a case of ich on your hands.

But you should know:

Not all goldfish who do have ich show the classic white speckles. They may just have the behavioral symptoms.

… And not all fish with white spots have ich.

You might see white spots in the wen of an Oranda that aren’t disease-related at all.

Treatment & Prevention:

Fortunately, the cure for ich is pretty straightforward.

Here’s how:

  1. Raise the temperature up to 80 degrees (F). This will speed up the ich’s life cycle.
  2. Salt the tank. You will need 3 teaspoons for every gallon (a .3% solution), dissolved in a cup of tank water. This kind is cheaper than aquarium salt and just as pure.
  3. Wait for 7 to 10 days and keep the water pristine. If you do a water change, replace the amount of salt you took out.

If your fish have come down with ich, it’s a sign that something’s probably not right with your tank. It may be a good idea to take a look at your water change schedule or how many fish you have in the tank.

Want to prevent it in the future?

Keep stress low on your fish by providing them with clean water and enough space.

If you have more than one tank, don’t share equipment such as nets or siphons because ich can live out of water (yikes!). This is just asking for trouble.

And ALWAYS quarantine any new fish you get before introducing them to the others.

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2. Flukes: The Invisible Blood-Sucker

Flukes are one of the most common parasites found on goldfish.

In fact, if you have bought a goldfish from the pet store, it is safe to assume it has Flukes – both body Flukes and gill Flukes.

How do they hurt your fish?

They clamp on tight to the skin with spiky hooks and feed on the slime coat, causing the goldfish to constantly bleed until it dies.

And the scary thing about these bad bugs is that you can’t see them!


But it gets worse:

By biting the goldfish, they can inject bacteria into your fish that cause other problems, such as ulcers.

Now, how can you might be dealing with Flukes?


While it takes a microscope to know 100% that your fish has Flukes, you can spot their symptoms.

Goldfish harboring Flukes shed their slime coat, trying to rid themselves of the pests.

They don’t want to be around the other fish and clamp their fins.

Sometimes they may get very thin.

Treatment & Prevention:

Here’s the kicker:

While you can treat the tank with salt and kill all major parasites, there will still be one left behind: the Fluke.

They are salt resistant. Great, right?

So, this means that you are going to have to bring out the big guns and buy your fish some Praziquantel.

Please don’t wait until your fish are showing signs of a Fluke infestation to treat with Prazi.

All new fish must be treated for Flukes (unless they have been treated for you by a breeder).

If you don’t want your fish to come down with Flukes, never introduce new fish into their tanks without treating them first.

Always, ALWAYS quarantine.

3. Anchor Worm: Hooked On Your Goldfish


Anchor Worm comes up when the seasons change, usually in the fall.

Because it is so contagious, an entire tank can quickly get infected.

The fish don’t even have to be stressed out to get them.

By the time you actually see the worm, a lot of damage has already been done to the fish.

In many cases, the goldfish have already died or it is too late to reverse the damage done to the remaining fish.

That’s why it’s important to diagnose early.

Especially because place where the worm was stuck on can get infected and kill the fish if it isn’t cleaned.


The first symptoms are flashing (itching) and scratching.

Then all doubt goes away when the goldfish gets a nasty, stick-looking worm poking out of it.

Where the worm is attached may become very red and bloody.

If your fish has Anchor Worm, you will want to stop it in its tracks. How?

Treatment & Prevention:

What you will need to do is remove any worms you can see with tweezers.

Then use hydrogen peroxide to clean the wound. This will help prevent infection.

This is important:

What you just did won’t be enough to totally get rid of this parasite, but a medication with Praziquantel in it should do the job.

You will need to treat the whole tank, not just the fish you see the worms on.

As far as prevention goes, be sure you don’t add new fish or plants without quarantining them first so they won’t spread disease.

4. Fish Lice: “Flying Saucer” Bugs


The fish louse is more common in ponds than in indoor aquariums. They may be seen in your tank if the fish has been brought in from outside.

It is actually a crustacean-type parasite that lives by sucking blood (ew!).

They spread like crazy, too.


Fish lice are visible little green specks shaped like discs that can be seen hopping around your fish. Usually they show up on stomach, chin and around the fins.

The fish may scratch and itch themselves, leaping and darting around in irritation.

Here’s something else:

When the case gets really bad, you might see red wounds on the body.

Treatment & Prevention:

Fish lice is resistant to many treatments.

For this pesky parasite, Praziquantel is again the treatment of choice.

If you don’t want to have lice in your tank, be sure to quarantine all of your newcomers and treat them for parasites ahead of time.

5. Velvet: It Doesn’t Feel Soft!


This parasite is also called “Gold Dust.”

Fortunately, it’s pretty rare in goldfish.

It sticks onto the fish by a long needle, causing irritation and other symptoms.


A goldfish with velvet appears to be sprinkled with a fine yellow powder.

This gives the fish a “velvety” appearance.

Your goldfish might also start shedding lots of slime to get rid of the parasite…

…or scratching on things to dislodge them.

Other symptoms may include weight loss or clamped fins.

Treatment & Prevention:

It’s too bad that salt doesn’t do much to fight Velvet.

That’s why you might have to go for something stronger, like this medicine with Copper in it.

The Velvet parasite uses light to live.

So you might also try covering the tank with black paper or cloth to block out the light for a while.

Chances are you probably won’t ever encounter Velvet. But if you want to stay on the safe side, always quarantine any new fish.

6. Trichondia: Hobos in Your Goldfish Tank?

These little guys don’t actually feed on your goldfish.

Instead, they use your fish as a taxi and hotel service combined.

But the parasite stresses your fish, so you don’t want it around.

They are more common in dirty tanks.

In fact, a clean tank sometimes gets rid of them completely without treatment!


Scratching, (also called “flashing”) and irritation is a symptom of Trichondia.

Over time, the fish may get ulcers from so much itching.

They may stop eating as well.

Treatment & Prevention:

You can treat Trichondia with a high concentration of salt, anywhere from 0.3% (which is 3 teaspoons per 10 gallons) to 0.9% (3 tablespoons per 10 gallons).

Preventing this parasite is done through quarantining new fish.

bacterialdiseases copy

7. Hole-in-the-Head: Who Needs That?!


With a name like that, you know it’s bad.

It is sometimes caused by the parasite Hexamita.

But most of the time it is an ulcer-causing bacteria attacking the fish during a time of weakness.

Goldfish that have wens (such as an Oranda or Lionhead) may be more prone to this infection.

What’s so dangerous about it?

The bacteria can spread from the outside of the fish to the inside.

Then an internal organ gets destroyed…

and the fish dies.


This disease often starts out as a little red dot or bloody patch on the head, usually above the eyes.

Over time, the area starts to sink in deeper, pitting and spreading to cause multiple holes.

Treatment & Prevention:

A word of advice:

If your fish has Hole-in-the-Head, chances are that the water is messed up. Bad.

You can do everything you can think of to treat Hole-in-the-Head, but if your goldfish’s environment isn’t right…

… NOTHING you do will help.

It won’t work. Your fish will only continue to go downhill.

Perfect water conditions are absolutely necessary for your fish to heal.

As far as treatment goes:

Swab the hole with Potassium Permanganate once.

Then feed medicated food (metronidazole) for several weeks afterward.

Preventing Hole-in-the-Head much easier than treating it.

Don’t overcrowd your fish.

Do your water changes regularly.

Keep their homes clean and pristine.

8. Fin Rot: The Fin-Eating Disease


A bacteria infection called fin rot is another common goldfish disease.

Like ich, it shows up when the fish is stressed or living in bad water.

But unlike ich, it can be very stubborn and usually takes weeks to get rid of completely.

If you let it go untreated too long, the fish’s fins may never grow back.

How do you know if your fish has fin rot?


Fin rot starts out as a cloudiness on the fins.

It doesn’t take long before the fins get whiter at the tips and begin to rot away, sometimes splitting.

Eventually the fins can erode to the base of the tail.

By that time, they are PERMANENTLY ruined.

That’s why you want to start treatment as soon as you know it’s fin rot.

Treatment & Prevention:

So your fish has fin rot? Don’t panic – all may not be lost.

If you get to it in time, the damage can be reversed and the fins might heal back.

One danger in treating fin rot is accidentally burning your fish with medications, making the problem even worse.

That’s why I don’t recommend them.

There are a couple other options when it comes to treatment.

A hydrogen peroxide swab offers a much safer route than medications. Dab the affected areas on the fins with a Q-tip dipped in the peroxide every 24 hours. Adding 1 teaspoon of baking soda per 10 gallons can be used along with this.

Or, a .3% salt concentration (3 teaspoons per gallon) can stop the rot in its tracks.

Really advanced cases might require antibiotic injections to save the fish.

If all goes well, you will start to see black on the rotted areas instead of white. This is a sign of healing.

Preventing fin rot is much easier than treating it. That’s why you should do all you can to avoid running into water quality issues, which are a major cause of this.

9. Mouth Rot: Wait, A Fish Has Gotta Eat!


It could be caused by parasites or bacteria, but in either case mouth rot is a bad deal.

In its later stages, the fish won’t be able to eat, making early detection vital.

Usually the tank is overcrowded, and almost always the water is bad.


Initially, you might notice your goldfish rubbing its mouth on the sides of the tank or decorations in the aquarium.

Then the mouth begins to get red. VERY red.

Eventually the area starts eroding…

… until the lips come off…

… and the mouth caves in on itself…

… leaving only a jagged hole.

Pretty nasty, right?

That’s why you don’t want to let it get to that point, starting treatment as soon as possible.

Treatment & Prevention:

Assuming the water quality is perfect, you have some choices when it comes to treatment.

Hydrogen peroxide swabs have been used with success.

For advanced keepers, antibiotic injections can prove helpful.

You should know:

A goldfish with very progressed mouth rot often is left with permanent damage. Often times the fish is no longer able to eat and will starve to death. If your fish is in this situation, it may be best to consider putting your fish to sleep.

Now you know why it is WAY easier to try to prevent fin rot than treat it.

Great water quality and properly stocking your tank are the two most important things you can do to stop your fish from getting this disease.

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10. Ulcers: Ever Growing Holes


These are large red body sores that start off as a patch of red.

The bad news?

They can get large and deep very quickly.

The theory goes that ulcers are caused by flukes, which inject dangerous bacteria into the fish’s skin.


If left untreated, the bacteria can spread from the skin into the organs.


Ulcers usually start as an irritated-looking patch of red on the body.

Sometimes the scales may prickle around the area.

(Hint: now’s when you should start treating!)

They can also occur on the head of the fish, often on the ones who have wens.

Shortly, a bloody hole is visible. The hole continues to spread, perhaps bordered with pieces of hanging skin.

Other fish may start nibbling at the wound, making it worse.

Treatment & Prevention

Because ulcers are bacterial in nature, they need to be treated as such.

Ulcers can kill quickly by many means…

… so the sooner you treat, the better.


  1. Change the water. Your fish won’t recover in less than perfect conditions.
  2. Scrub the ulcer with hydrogen peroxide on a cotton ball.
  3. Salt the tank with 3 teaspoons to the gallon.

You should know:

It will probably take some time to improve.

Not worse might actually be better, as weird as that sounds.

Overreacting can stress out or even kill your fish, so don’t start doing shotgun treatments out of panic. Stick to the plan.

A healing ulcer may look darker initially, then get lighter each day.

To prevent ulcers, be sure to treat for flukes (if you bought a pet store fish) and always, ALWAYS keep the water perfect.

11. Pop Eye: NOT the Sailor Man


Some goldfish have eyes that naturally protrude.

Others are actually sick and need help.

A gross problem some goldfish run into is Pop Eye.

It is more of a signal that something is wrong than a disease itself.

Pop Eye often means there is serious bacterial infection inside the fish.


You may first notice the eyes of the fish seem to protrude more than usual.

One or both eyes may be affected.

Sometimes very rapidly, they bulge outwards from the head, surrounded by “bags” of fluid.

During this phase, they may easily come off.

Pop Eye is often accompanied by dropsy or other bacterial infections.

Treatment & Prevention:

Fish-safe salt may be your best bet of recovery. It can help to reduce the pressure behind the eyes.

Dose the tank at a 0.3% concentration (3 teaspoons per gallon).

Of course, good water conditions are crucial for both treatment and prevention of Pop Eye.

12. Dropsy: The Pine Cone Disease


What is Dropsy?

Basically, Dropsy happens to a goldfish when there is too much fluid inside its body.

Like Pop Eye, it’s a symptom of an internal problem, not the problem itself.

Why is the fish have a problem with its fluids?

There are many possibilities.

If you are always having problems with Dropsy on a regular basis, bad water and/or an improper diet are almost always the main causes.

Bad water weakens the fish and makes it more likely to get a bacterial infection.

A bad diet ruins the internal organs that are in charge of the body’s fluids.

In some cases, parasites inside the fish may be an issue.

Other not-so-common causes include tumors, egg-binding and temperature shock.


Dropsy shows itself in two main ways:

  • Extreme swelling in the belly, like a hot air balloon.
  • Or scales standing out all over the body, like a pine cone.

You may also see Pop Eye present.

How do you treat Dropsy? Is there even a cure?

Treatment & Prevention:

I wish I had better news…

But by the time you can tell your fish has dropsy, 99% of the time… IT’S TOO LATE.

This is because there has been some kind of internal damage. And once the organs inside the fish have been destroyed, there is no turning back the clock.

A fish may last a few days to a few months before it dies.

For a fish that has Dropsy and Pop Eye, the case is always terminal.

Not good.

Because of the high mortality rate, it may be the kinder thing to opt for euthanasia rather than treatment.

What makes treating Dropsy so difficult is that many times you don’t know what caused it. Remember, it’s a symptom, not a disease.

Here is something you can try:

If a bacteria infection is causing the Dropsy, medicated food may prove useful.

Epsom salts might help to ease the pressure from fluid buildup.

But treatment won’t help in less than perfect water.


How can we avoid this horrible condition?

The best way to prevent Dropsy is by keeping the water quality good at all times, feed sparingly and don’t overstock.

13. Cloudy Eye: It’s Kinda Foggy in Here!


Also called White Eye, this condition is most found on goldfish that have protruding eyes.

This is because they are more prone to injury and then infection by sneaky bacteria. The injury that causes Cloudy Eye could also be a burn from ammonia.


Just like it sounds, this disease makes the normally clear lens of a goldfish’s eye hazy or foggy-looking.

The fish may find it harder to see.

Cloudy Eye can be found alongside other symptoms, too.

Treatment & Prevention

With a little fish-safe salt (3 teaspoons per gallon), perfect water conditions and time, Cloudy Eye should clear up quickly.

To avoid it in the first place, don’t use decorations with sharp edges and keep the water conditions clean.

fungaldiseases copy

14. Fungus: Is there a Fungus Among Us?


Fungus is seen on fish weakened by stress, illness or injury.

A healthy goldfish won’t have fungus.

There are many kinds of fungus that show up in different places.

Here’s the good news:

Nearly all of them have the same symptoms and respond to the same treatments.

What are those symptoms?


White, cottony growths on the body or fins are a sure sign that your fish has Fungus.

If the case is really bad the fish may act droopy or lose interest in food.

On a fish like that Fungus can spread FAST, so you will want to act right away.

Treatment & Prevention:

Clean water while you treat for Fungus will make it much easier for your goldfish to recover.

Make sure the water isn’t very cold, too.

A high salt concentration (use the fish safe kind!) will usually bring things back in check.

0.3% is good.

Fungus is brought on by factors like bad water quality and poor handling.

Knowing this, you can avoid these problems in the future.

virus copy

15. Tumors: These Bumps are NOT Normal


When cells are multiplying out of control, a tumor is created.

Goldfish can get tumors, too.

And in some cases, they can be cancerous.

They can also grow to get unbelievably huge, FAST. And multiply in number.

Goldfish can get tumors on the inside of their bodies or on the outside.

Some tumors even blind a fish by blocking its eyesight!

It may take a bit, but they DO kill goldfish if left untreated.

That’s why you need to keep reading.


It’s easy to tell when a goldfish has a tumor.

A small lump starts to grow on the fish, usually on the head or body.

The growth may be pink, whitish or even black.

It could be lumpy like cauliflower or smooth.

Sometimes the fish won’t eat or seems depressed.

Treatment & Prevention:

If the tumor is hanging on by a thread, you might be able to snip it off quickly.

Sedating the fish with clove oil can make this easier.

Now I get that not everyone is comfortable with doing this.

That’s when you might need the help of a veterinarian, if you have one in the area that sees fish.

Other than surgery… there isn’t a whole lot you can do.

Because exposure to poor water conditions can cause tumors, keep the water clean as a preventative. Some are caused by a virus so you can’t really do much about that.

16. Carp Pox: Warts that Don’t Come from Toads


Viruses in goldfish are becoming more common.

Carp Pox is one of them.

It is usually seen on goldfish kept in ponds, or even in aquariums.

Nobody knows how it spreads.

And this is good:

Carp Pox WON’T kill your goldfish.

Want to know the weird part?

It can totally disappear only to come back later!


Carp pox looks like smooth, white or pinkish “warts” on the edge of the fins or on the body.

Treatment & Prevention:

There is no absolute cure for Pox…

… And there’s not really a way to prevent it either.

But if you’re desperate, here’s something you can try:

Put the fish in warm water in a bath of at least 80 degrees for a while. Adding a fish-safe salt may help.

17. Lymphocystis: The Stressed-Out Virus


Like so many goldfish diseases, this virus attacks a weak and stressed fish.

It’s similar to Carp Pox in just about every way.


The fish will have white, crusty lumps growing on (usually) the edge of the fins or even on the scales.

These “tumors” are shaped like a cauliflower.

Treatment & Prevention:

Bathing the goldfish with a chemical called acriflavine is recommended.

With any luck, they will go away in a short time.

Because it is a mystery how goldfish viruses spread, the best way to prevent them is to keep the water clean.

Learn Something? Pass It On!

I know you have a ton of insights I didn’t cover in this post.

I’d love to hear anything you’ve picked up in your experience.

It doesn’t have to be an earth-shattering insight. Even a helpful tip would be awesome.

So leave a comment right now with something you’ve learned.

But before you do…

Are struggling with this whole “goldfish thing” and feeling a bit lost?

Or want to learn emergency CPR for your goldfish, and the biggest mistake most people make when they encounter a problem?

Good news.

You can learn exactly what you need to do in The Truth About Goldfish eBook:

The Secrets to a Healthy Goldfish Revealed

Learn how to keep your goldfish alive and thriving using the only complete, accurate goldfish manual available today –
The Truth About Goldfish.

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  1. polaris March 7, 2017 at 6:00 pm - Reply

    and the little white bumps are all close together

  2. Kylie March 11, 2017 at 10:15 pm - Reply

    I have 4 goldfish and this morning I realized that all my fish were chilling at the bottom of the tank. I also notice 2 out of the 4 have what looks like to be a little red vein on their mouth. I gave them food and they all ate. I don’t know what to do. I just clean the tank not too long ago. Please Help

  3. Josh March 14, 2017 at 12:05 am - Reply

    I have twp goldfish i changed the water recently and they started flashing then lost energy. Started getting red veins in the tails. Though they were coming down with something. Found out the ph level was way too high so i got some ph balancer its getting better i have tried numerous things to try to help them and im at a loss. One is lind of actove and the smaller one just sots at the bottom of the tank most of the time… What should i do? Do i need to take all the water out and re-clean everything? Any help would be appreciated. Thank you

  4. morgan mccormick March 14, 2017 at 12:48 am - Reply

    My Goldfish’s tail turns red after eating.

  5. Kyle kolbe March 16, 2017 at 12:01 am - Reply

    My goldfish stays at the of the tank it just stays there sometimes for hours an I noticed its dorsal fin is out out the water a lot any idea what’s wrong ,and how I might help it

  6. Julie Edgar March 20, 2017 at 12:45 pm - Reply

    I have two goldfish as pets they are both fantails and are the same size.
    But one of them is constantly being nasty too the other nudging into it even pulling at its tail. But recently I noticed part of my fishes Gill is missing. Could the other goldfish have caused this?
    If not could anyone tell me what could cause this to happen plse as I wouldn’t like too think this fish 🐠 is in any pain or discomfort.

    Any advice appreciated 🙂


    • Clementine
      Clementine March 26, 2017 at 8:49 pm - Reply

      I don’t think so, but it will cause stress.

  7. Nicole March 22, 2017 at 11:44 pm - Reply

    I do not know what is wrong with my fish. His fin on the top of his back suddenly got red spots on the fin. He is moving kina like a snake. Can you please tell me ASAP what is wrong with my fish.

  8. Nicole March 22, 2017 at 11:50 pm - Reply

    He is eating and when I look at the Finn when I turned the light on the tank on the fin has small white little bumps. PLEASE HELP

  9. brittany March 30, 2017 at 3:29 pm - Reply

    I have one bottom feeder and four gold fish. I recently found my gold fish has chunks of what seems to be skin n scales missing all over the body including the edges of its tail I was wondering if the bottom feeder or if possible one of the other gold fish could of done this?

    • jamilette April 2, 2017 at 1:08 am - Reply

      mine has missing scales also the bottom feeder is harmless and the fish do not harm other fish because they arent carnivores its most likely your fish is missing scales because hes growing

  10. jamilette April 2, 2017 at 1:05 am - Reply

    my fish has white spots where scales are suppose to be hes not eating and almost always rubbing its mouth against the sides of our tank! i change my filters regularly sh whats the problem??

  11. Royale April 2, 2017 at 12:38 pm - Reply

    My fish has a bump on its side but its chasing the other fish like he wants revenge, what should I do?

  12. Virginia Gladden April 10, 2017 at 12:49 am - Reply

    THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! I have been treating one of my goldfish using Ich treatment but the pictures you show have educated me to the fact that my fish has tumors. None of my other pond fish have this so I figure all I can do is keep “Bumpy” isolated in the aquarium. It still eats well and is active.

    • Clementine
      Clementine April 16, 2017 at 10:14 pm - Reply

      Happy to hear it helped, Virginia!

  13. Mihai Popescu April 11, 2017 at 7:35 pm - Reply

    “You can treat Trichondia with a high concentration of salt, anywhere from 0.3% (which is 3 teaspoons per 10 gallons) to 0.9% (3 tablespoons per gallon).”
    If a tablespoon (15ml) is bigger 3 times than a teaspoon (5ml) it must be an error for the number of gallons: they have to be the same one or 10 gallons for both, as 1 tablespoon is 3 teaspoons, so if 3 tsp is 0.3% then 3x3tsp is 3×0.3%=0.9% for the same amount of water.
    Please correct the text as if is too diluted (10 gal) is inefficient or if is too concentrate (1 gal) it will kill the fish.

    • Clementine
      Clementine April 16, 2017 at 10:18 pm - Reply

      Thanks for pointing that out; will fix 🙂

  14. Andy April 22, 2017 at 4:35 am - Reply

    We have a bubble eye two years old who has become very lethargic – resting at the bottom of the tank for long periods – it has small dark greenish grey scale size patches more towards his tail and a couple of red spots on one side also scale size.

    • Clementine
      Clementine April 22, 2017 at 7:35 pm - Reply

      Did you test the water?

      • andy April 23, 2017 at 4:04 am - Reply

        We took a sample to aquarium – it was 16 degrees , turns out we had two shells in tank that were affecting temp , hardness etc – we were given a dark green fungus cure and told to swab the fish , rinse and return 3 times in three days, after swabbing large red patches has appears and he is floating on one side on bottom of tank (drawn by filter) and bent to his left – slight movement of fins and gills working –

  15. Brian April 26, 2017 at 3:31 am - Reply

    Got small to large red (same color as fish)and round growths on body and head over 3 years.

  16. Ray April 28, 2017 at 7:23 pm - Reply

    I have two Coral goldfishes. There’s a 5 cm and a 3 cm one. Both the fishes have a bump on top of their fin (it doesn’t have any color, it’s just their skin, but with a bump), have specks of white dots (like how you described ich)on their fins & body, and a reddish orange color on their face. Aside from that, the 5 cm one has red specks on her head and near tail part. She also has a clamped fin on her left side. The 3 cm one has greyish-greenish-black spots on the bottom and has a white worm coming from in between her tail fin and fin. It also has a black line on one of her fins. I don’t know how to treat these diseases/disease. I’m not sure what the disease is after adding all of this up. Their behavior has changed, they rub on each other, or just have light touches and bump into each other all the time. They are not that active, only when food is given, they jump around inside the water a bit. After that, they’re back to a dull mood. Please help!!

  17. Sarann May 2, 2017 at 6:34 pm - Reply

    My goldfish has been lying on its side on the bottom of the tank for a while, but did get up and swim around ok for food, then returned to the bottom. I moved it to a “hospital” tank on its own with a treatment for swim bladder problem bought from a pet shop. It seemed to make things worse! the fish looked as though it was dead, and completely turned over upside down. It is still breathing, but totally upside down and doesn’t seem to want to move around at all. I don’t want to repeat the swim bladder treatment as it seemed to make it so much worse, is there any other treatment I can use that is more “friendly”??

    • angela July 27, 2017 at 4:15 pm - Reply

      My fish done same thing I took him out and put in another tank I would bring h up yo get air several times I would put him on hos belly against air filyer now hr navl in his tegalar tank doing fine

      Rating: 5
  18. Marion May 15, 2017 at 7:11 am - Reply

    I had itch in my tank all fish have died I emptied the tank n cleaned it n filters then I filled Filled it added vinegar n run tank for a week now I have emptied cleaned filters with boiling water what do I do now

    • Clementine
      Clementine May 19, 2017 at 5:11 pm - Reply

      Cycle the tank before getting more fish.

  19. Maria May 22, 2017 at 8:27 am - Reply

    Hi my goldfish isn’t active anymore isn’t eating anyways to the bottom of tank also has 2 black marks on fins doesn’t seen to be breathing quite well

    • Clementine
      Clementine May 23, 2017 at 7:45 pm - Reply


  20. Annie May 27, 2017 at 12:25 pm - Reply

    I have one gold fish in a 40 gallon tank. He has a transparent “bubble looking” growth on his rear fin. I have been researching possibilities of what it could be to try and treat but keep on hitting a deadends. He swims around just fine and has a normal appetite. It doesn’t appear to be bothering him at all. I can tell it’s growing as it’s gotten larger. Any ideas?

    • Clementine
      Clementine May 29, 2017 at 10:23 pm - Reply

      It might be supersaturated gas related. Take the aerator off your sink for starters, if you have one.

  21. Liz Mendoza June 1, 2017 at 12:48 pm - Reply

    One of my goldfish has what it looks like a red pimple on his side. It’s very small. It only appeared a couple of days ago. He is swimming and eating normally. Any ideas of what it might be and how to treat it?

    • Clementine
      Clementine June 17, 2017 at 11:14 pm - Reply

      It sounds like the beginning of an ulcer to me.

  22. mnnmnme June 4, 2017 at 8:07 am - Reply

    I think it is a tumor.

  23. mnnmnme June 4, 2017 at 12:59 pm - Reply

    Hi. Good day. I’m really worried about my gold fish. He has something in his head something like fungus. At first it is just small then I transfered him into another tank to cure him with methyline blue, but then I noticed that it was getting bigger and bigger and I think that there’s a vein on his head connected to it .maybe it’s a tumor.. kindly tell me what to do. thanks. and by the way I sent you message on facebook.

  24. Erin June 10, 2017 at 7:41 pm - Reply

    So my daughter recently won a goldfish from a carnival and has had it for nearly a week. It seems healthy, swimming around his tank and eating all of his food, though hiding if you get to close. She has been working extra to keep him alive and has been pestering me for things to get for him. Today though, as she was cleaning out his tank, she noticed some sort of blackish-brownish thing on his side. Is this an infection or disease or just part of his scales? He is a common goldfish is that helps. And if it is bad for him, what is it and what do I do?

    • Clementine
      Clementine June 17, 2017 at 11:02 pm - Reply

      Black is usually from ammonia poisoning, it is healing after the burn.

  25. Stacey June 19, 2017 at 3:02 am - Reply

    Hi. We had two shubukins. One died last month. Not sure why but did look slightly slimey on body. Now remain fish has three white spots on edge of tail. Is eating and active. Have cleaned tank. I felt it coulld be two or three of the above. Any pointers? TIA

    • Clementine
      Clementine June 19, 2017 at 5:24 pm - Reply

      It could be ich, but give it some time to see for sure.

  26. Anonymous June 20, 2017 at 2:46 am - Reply

    Hello there! I won 7 (yes seven) common goldfish at a carnival recently. A couple of them have developed cauliflower looking lumps on their heads. I thought it may be Ich, but I wasn’t sure. Also, some of them have developed a rusty looking brown substance(?) on the edge of their tails and dorsal fins. I’m not sure what this is, either. Can you help me?

    • Clementine
      Clementine June 24, 2017 at 9:22 pm - Reply

      The cauliflower lumps definitely sound like tumors or virus. The rusty substance, is it dark like ammonia burns?

  27. Ann Sheridan Robinson June 22, 2017 at 1:29 pm - Reply

    Had my goldfish for a few years now but noticed that it has swollen on both sides what can this be the other fish in tank is fine

    • Clementine
      Clementine June 24, 2017 at 9:17 pm - Reply

      It could be a number of things, from eggs to infection. You may want to test the water.

  28. Joy June 23, 2017 at 8:17 pm - Reply

    My small fancy is now producing long, dark/greeny black looking poop. The poo is about an inch and half long and trailing behind him. What can I do to help him? We have just cleaned the tank completely. Any suggestions?

    • Clementine
      Clementine June 24, 2017 at 9:15 pm - Reply

      No worries, it’s from what he’s eating. That’s actually a healthy stool.

  29. Marija Burokaite July 4, 2017 at 8:59 pm - Reply

    Hello my gold fish have blood on fins and he’s hau too help him plays Hello my and his laying on botom not moving it’s really sciers my wath I need to do

    Rating: 4.5
    • Clementine
      Clementine July 7, 2017 at 10:57 pm - Reply

      I would recommend testing for nitrites.

  30. Audrey July 6, 2017 at 9:35 pm - Reply

    My fantail is 3 years old and always been healthy but have noticed a large flat but raised lump on his side that looks slightly bloody colour not sure what it is?

    Rating: 5
    • Clementine
      Clementine July 7, 2017 at 10:52 pm - Reply

      That could be the beginning of an ulcer or tumor, but if it is raised that points more to a tumor.

  31. Jay July 27, 2017 at 10:47 am - Reply

    A couple months ago, I bought some goldfish to stock my backyard pond. One of the fish I purchased isolates itself, stays near the surface of the pond, and eats little. It can move quickly and move about but does not seem too ambitious. It has a small white spot above where its brain may be. It is not raised or granular, but smooth. The fish always seems to be looking as if it wants to climb onto the land. Any ideas as to what is going on with this fish? It is only about 4 inches long.

    Rating: 5
    • Clementine
      Clementine July 30, 2017 at 12:00 am - Reply

      If it is an oranda, it may have wen growth where the white spot is. Or it could be the start of an ich outbreak.

  32. Anndella July 29, 2017 at 1:47 am - Reply

    I have a four year gold fish six months ago we noticed a small bump tumor looking thing on the top of his head now it’s just huge about half the nice of his head hanging it started off a white color now it’s still white but kinda bloody looking it still swims normally and eats normally we used to love to just watch him swim but now it just grosses us out I have always change his water about every 3 weeks now just when the water starts not to look clear I change cause the growth is bothersome…just wondering what this might be or what maybe we could do?

    Rating: 4.5
    • Clementine
      Clementine July 29, 2017 at 11:56 pm - Reply

      It sounds like a tumor. More frequent water changes may stop the progress.

  33. Shelby July 30, 2017 at 3:03 am - Reply

    we have a big goldfish who lives with our five other fish. we noticed that lately he suddenly has a bright red blood lump on his side. we looked on here and think it is an ulcer. unfortunately, the only thing we can do is change the water because we have other fish we cant add salt to it, and scrubbing the fish could kill him. he continues to swim sideways, and even though he does eat, he stays at the surface level with his blood clot ulcer sitting out of the water. he spends almost all of his time up there, and sometimes we find him lying so still we think he is dead, but then swims off. can you give us an estimate on how long you think he may have? we have had him for maybe a year and a half, maybe longer. we want to try and save him, so can you help us please?

    Rating: 5
    • Clementine
      Clementine July 30, 2017 at 8:09 pm - Reply

      On no 🙁 Have you tried testing the water?

  34. rob f August 1, 2017 at 9:27 am - Reply

    my shubukin has become lethargic + stays at bottom of tank have moved him to separate bowl ,no visual signs of decease showing what should I do ?

    • Clementine
      Clementine August 9, 2017 at 8:30 pm - Reply

      Has he been living in a bowl? If so he could be suffering from ammonia poisoning.

  35. Shelby August 1, 2017 at 6:52 pm - Reply

    We tried that…..its fine. but suddenly the giant red lump which we thought was the ulcer, has disappeared, but there are still three small red blood streaks on him. now upon further observance, the previous area with the ulcer has turned white, and he is missing scales! the area he is missing has turned white. he doesn’t like the move much but continues to eat and breathe, along with sticking his side up in the surface air. we turned him over, and saw that also missing scales on his other side! What can we do now? 🙁🙁

    Rating: 5
    • Clementine
      Clementine August 9, 2017 at 8:26 pm - Reply

      Definitely do a water change, but did you test for ammonia specifically?

  36. Shelby August 1, 2017 at 6:54 pm - Reply

    also our black fish seems to be nibbling at his side. can’t tell if that is irritating him or helping 🙁🙁

    Rating: 5
    • Clementine
      Clementine August 9, 2017 at 8:25 pm - Reply

      That’s definitely bad 🙁 Take out the bully right away.

  37. Sandra August 3, 2017 at 2:48 am - Reply

    I have a year old goldfish that has developed a bend in the body. He is shaped almost like the letter z. Another one of my fish has done the same thing. Has anyone any idea what is causing this. They both seem to be eating OK.

    • Clementine
      Clementine August 9, 2017 at 8:23 pm - Reply

      Check for electrical current leaching from the heater or underwater pump.

  38. kim August 7, 2017 at 12:43 pm - Reply

    I have had a terrible run with my tank. I got a 10 yr old suckerfish, added a pearlscale about 3 weeks ago from another tank, and then added a Ranchu 4 days later from the same tank as the pearlscale. The Ranchu died for no apparent reason, water test was all good, except pH 7.8, so got pH down to 7.4, added a new Ranchu from pet shop. The next day pearlscale showed white spots all overits fins & head- treated for whitespot as per advice from aquarium, she dies 2 days later, so did a 30% water change to dilute chemicals out, then the new fish developed white spot, so retreated with white spot chemical. the next day, I found the 10 yr old suckerfish dead at bottom of tank, the ranchu’s white spots have gone, but it now has bright red blotches under it’s skin on both sides, and around one eye, like a haemorrhage, it looks lethargic. Can’t find any pics on google to explain what it is. The pet shop didn’t know either- I’ve added melafix tonight. The tank has a filter and air pump. Does anyone know what the red blotches may be? Also, it looks like some of the slime coat is hanging off the fish tail. The only other thing I have done is add a new drift wood with plant about 3 weeks ago. Thanks in advance for any answers.

    Rating: 3.5
    • Clementine
      Clementine August 9, 2017 at 11:03 pm - Reply

      Some of this can probably be attributed to the stressed condition from the fish at the pet store to begin with, not necessarily all your fault. Red blotches can be from parasites or high nitrites.

  39. Eileen Rimmer August 18, 2017 at 12:28 am - Reply

    i have a dirt bottom pond for my goldfish, they are active and growing nicely. i’ve noticed that some of my fish which were completely gold have started developing black fins. Is this something to be concerned about or is it part of their development?
    This site is informative and interesting. I will use it to help me solve problems with my fish.

    Rating: 5
    • Clementine
      Clementine August 19, 2017 at 9:23 pm - Reply

      I would test ammonia, as sometimes blackening can be caused by high ammonia levels. Glad you liked the site 🙂

  40. Angela August 21, 2017 at 7:21 am - Reply

    I have goldfish in an outside pond, today when I was feeding them, I noticed one has several small smooth pea-like lumps on its side. Can you tell me what it is, and if its treatable, thanks.

    Rating: 3.5
    • Clementine
      Clementine August 22, 2017 at 5:54 pm - Reply

      What color are the lumps?

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